This is heartening to hear!
Thank you all for the help. I do have so much to tell you! I immediately read "No more Mr. Nice Guy", twice! I read "Hold on to your N.U.T.S" (once) and I now have a "better" understanding of who I am, and how I got to be a "nice guy". With your help on this forum, I understand that I have been going about my marriage with the wrong motive and course of action. For me, sex has been the highest and most important form of validation. Therefore, I have often spent most of my time operating with covert contracts, manipulation and trying to please my wife, so she would see me as a good guy and want to have sex with me. As that has continually failed, my solution has been to try harder.
Well put. I am hoping many other men who are also caught in this spiral will recognize exactly these same things.
Seeking validation from your woman, following a woman, begging for sex from your woman, the irony all these are exactly the wrong ways to increase sexual attraction and will produce the opposite result, leading to much misery and unhappiness.
As I have made changes to a more healthy me, my wife has actually embraced the changes. I have had a few instances where it has been difficult to know how to deal with her, but with more help from people on this forum, I have successfully marked my territory and I have to admit....I am happier now then I have been since dating my wife...almost 21 years ago!
Do not fret over not having all the answers. The important part you already have grasped. As you become more comfortable with this dynamic, your humor and personality, they will come through naturally more and more.
Much like learning a musical instrument, is this same thing of learning to deal with these fitness tests. At first, maybe they are easy to trip on, like learning scales and modes and intervals and odd times signatures, but over time with practice and experience, they become less and less the mountain and more a molehill.
The time will come, when you can forget even needing to learn of them, as your personality and humor, like a master with his instrument, will express himself without even needing to think about it.
Fitness tests, they are just like this.
Over the last two weeks, I have separated myself, stood up for myself and I have been the head of my household. It feels really good.
A man behaving as a man!
Nothing in the world compares to this the feeling, and what could be more attractive to his woman.
I had a talk with my wife last night.....over an incident that took place on Sunday. I told her exactly how I felt and I did not try to justify my feelings. She was receptive and understood where I was coming from. She told me she supported me 100% in the changes I have made.
Your woman, she will be your biggest fan and supporter in all this. On this, do not doubt for a second.
Even without the need to talk so much about these changes themself. I would discourage talking too much about the changes , this is to avoid appearing to ask for permission or validation from your woman (and in so failing a fitness test before it is even begun).
Instead, it is best just behave in your own leadership and see the happy results.
Action, not words, is the name of this game.
For a very long time, she has carried the burden of being the Man of our house. I have been too busy trying to figure out how and when I was going to get sex!
Every man on this forum, if he has even the slightest amount of doubt that his relationship is not a sexual as it could be, should read this many times.
I imagine many women reading this can also relate.
As she has seen me change, her attention to me has also changed. I can't say she has desired me more, necessarily, but I think she has sensed that I am no longer living in fear of her leaving me.....maybe, more that she is in fear of me leaving her.
Regarding desire, have you expressed your desires to her in these same ways as you stand up for yourself?
Do not miss expressions that require no words, they are the most important. A longer stare at her, head to toe, as a predator stares at prey. A passionate kiss, then going about your business. Grabbing her hair and kissing her. Swatting her behind, especially if she is being sassy. These things, done throughout the day (not just a bedtime), it tells your woman that a dominant man is interested in her.
In a woman, this WILL light her fire, and a mighty fire it is!
I still don't know exactly how to respond to her all the time, but I have began to set clear boundaries....and she has responded well to me. I view this as a marathon and not so much a sprint.
Old habits die hard.
When you put these things in place, your own leadership, passing fitness tests, expressing sexual desire from a position of dominance and never from a position of neediness or begging or negotiation, it will not even seem like a marathon.
Now you are putting off the old mask of "nice guy", when that mask is gone, dealing with your woman is a joy and a sexual pleasure and intimate and emotional happiness.
Be creative, you know what is not working, and what is working, so look for creative ways to pass fitness tests.
The finesse, pass the tests in the ways that puts a smile on your womans face. That is you knowing you are right where you need to be.
Flip the test back to your woman. Find ways OFTEN to get her to sell herself to you, instead of you having to sell yourself to her. Use much humor in this, but when you get this down, it is most effective.
Unnerstand when you were dating, your woman knew you had "options".
Do not lose this edge even in many years of marriage, continue give her the FEELING that you have options, and that you are a prize for her to win. Give her the (sexual) pleasure of winning this prize (you), because she is a beautiful and attractive and sexual woman.
Do NOT give her the FEELING that you are with her only because you have no options and merely the bird in hand, so to speak.
Also, simply ignore the fitnes test when appropriate. Sometimes, not even acknowledging a fitness test will work wonders.
Finally, ENJOY the fitness tests. They are the sign that your woman is interested in you, and wants to open to you intimately. Only the man that has overcome her tests, has won this great privelige.
And when your woman is open to you intimately, unleashed and emotionally vulnerable, she will move heaven and earth and fight the very gates of hell for such a man, so much will she love and value the good man that has won her, and that she trusts utterly to this level.
All good men, they should never stop until they experience this relationship with their women!
I did speak to her about the dishwasher incident. All I did was say..."the other morning, when you belittled me about the dishwasher...., she interrupted to say....."that was not very nice, was it?" I very calmly and firmly told her I was not her son, and she was never to speak to me that way again. She apologized and that was all that was said. She has started to say things since....but she has stopped short. She has come to me with decision making questions, and I will admit....I have also failed a few fitness tests.
Again, do not fret failing.
Fitness tests, flip them around to your woman, use humor to diffuse, or ignore them. Never go to defensive mode or get upset.
I am learning...and I'm so happy to have found you all for so many reasons. This experience was like turning on the light for me! I knew there had to be something wrong....but I was afraid. I took every one of your comments and I created a word document for future reference. I don't know how many times I have re-read what you have said to me. I love my wife, and I will fight for her, but I'm done being ran over.
I'm sure I will continue to update this thread.....and I welcome any of your comments! Thanks again so much!
I appreciate you sharing and updating.
Unnerdtand, trough this web forum, MANY good men will read this and see their own miserable situation and recognize their own unhappy behaviors, and will see by your example and sharing the glimmer of light, perhaps it will give many of them the inspiration to do these same for themselves, for their own happiness and bliss and sexually fullfilling marriages.
r2d210, I wish you well.