1. She will say she loves me, but never says she is in love with me. I find myself avoiding saying IAILWY because I don't want to feel hurt by the lack of similiar reply.
2. I generally call or text first, but she does text or call me, usually if she needs something, hasn't for a long time just for 'no reason'.
3. I'm always the one who is saying sorry, no matter what seems to happen. So scared to lose my marriage.
4. She knows when I'm very upset, and in turn she ends up getting upset with me, even if I'm trying to keep it to myself.5. I apologize profusely and repeatedly when I do something wrong, for the same reason as (3).
6. Wife initiates a hug or peck on the lips from time to time but hasn't initiated sex in a long time.
7. Anxiety causes me to want to talk about and fix things, she swears that nothing is wrong. I back off
8. She does housework but has backed off a lot since I picked up workload a year ago, I wasn't really doing my share, but now I'm doing about 75% of everything inside, and 100% outside. In her defense she is in school full time and working at home most nights doing transcription.
9. Her needs come first, usually I'll do just about anything to be close to her, I can't seem to get away from doing that.
10. I don't even know what she approves of in terms of me sometimes, other than getting a thank you for housework or taking care of the kids specifically.
11. I'm incredibly anxious and fearful when she is mad at me.
12. I do get upset when she does not initiate sex, however it is deeper than that, it is just that the sexual contact is where the focal point can be seen. The lack of emotional attachment to me is what is the driving force behind my frustration with that, lack of intimacy.
The COOL partner wants less warmth so they:
1. React irritably/with hostility to HOT behaviors such as:
a. Discussions about the R
b. Requests for sex. An irritated “NO” when asked for sex is an attempt to throw a bucket of ice water on a painfully overheated moment
2. Often behave more and more disrespectfully to their warmer partner and often steadily deprioritize both the partner and the R hoping to lower the temperature
3. Provoke their partner to create conflict and space
Yes, except 2 isn't really like her, and 3 isn't at all, she's more likely to shy away from any sort of conflict.
The Warm partner thinks they are repeatedly conveying “I LOVE YOU” with all this activity. The Cooler partner actually hears it as a question, repeated over and over ad nauseum: “Do YOU love ME”? Imagine if you replaced every loving act by literally asking “Do you love me”? How well do you think THAT would fly.
Yes, this is pretty big, been trying to not care so much about it but again intimacy, or lack thereof, is tough.
The core message this thermostat mismatch sends to the cooler partner is: I DON’T DESERVE YOU. And over time your behavior convinces them you are right.
If this is true, I have to really do some things differently.