First time poster. I need some advice and I apologize for this being so long. I'm hoping someone can give me some pearls of wisdom. I've been married almost 3 years (first marriage for both), together almost 5. My wife was 3 months pregnant when I met her. The first time I talked to her, I didn't know she was pregnant, but I could tell she was going to change my life. Everything was great the first year of our marriage (companionship, intimacy, sex, communication). Then, my mom passed away 14 months into our marriage. When something terribly tragic happens, I do what I've always done: stay extremely busy and somewhat withdraw. My wife was supportive and "checked up" on me for all of 3 weeks. I'm not a wuss, but gradually I began to build resentment for her lack of even asking me how I was doing. I went as far to point this out to her and tell her I needed her support. But, nothing. Then, about 18 months into our marriage, intercourse came to a screeching halt. As did communication. I tried to communicate, but got nowhere. We still had oral sex once in a while, but that was usually after much frustration has mounted. Then, due to our lack of communication issues, I didn't find a whole lot to celebrate for our 2nd wedding anniversary. That really pissed her off and she resented me for that. All of this time, I was sporadically being critical and an a-hole (however, I would always turn around and apologize and comfort her). I was frustrated that this is what our marriage had come to. We had never been this way toward each other and I felt like we were waging a lengthy battle towards one another. I continuously got worse about not wanting to do anything together (date night, vacation, etc.) and her resentment continued to build. I tried several times to talk to her. Then, August of last year, she wanted to separate because she no longer had feelings for me. I talked her into giving me another chance, so she stayed. Then, this past November, separation came up again. I tried once to talk her out of it, but after that, I told her to go. She stayed at her mom's till the middle of February.
During separation, I tried to use my time wisely and work on myself. I found a balance between work and home. I went to a psychiatrist to help me get a handle on my anger/criticism outbursts. I had never been like that in my life, so I was frustrated with myself. Dr. told me I had bpd. Normally, I'm an upbeat, happy dude, so this came as a surprise. I got medicated and found that I don't have the anger outbursts anymore. My wife stated that she saw the change in me and wanted to give our marriage another try, so I guess that was my valentines gift.
I am happy to have her and my daughter home. We get along like we did before my mom passed away. We have date night, go do things, etc. But, alas, the intercourse issue is rearing it's ugly head again. She has claimed that she has no desire for sex. But, I feel that I'm giving up. I have encouraged her to go to a therapist (I'd go with her if she'd like), to not make sex complicated, not feel pressure, etc.
But, I feel that she doesn't make any effort at all do anything about this issue. I get the same old excuses. I'm somewhat depressed over this. I might add that I'm beginning to see that the only time she shows any enthusiasm about life is when we buy something new...we're getting a new dog, so she's riding that wave of excitement currently. But the new will become the old, right?
I don't mean for this to be a rant and I'm sure my thoughts are all over the place. I just need some advice about: a. should I try to hang in there and keep this marriage or b. come to an understanding that it's not working.
I agree about the attraction dooming the marriage. It's a two way street, though, in my opinion. But, I do try. So what do I do?
I honestly don't recognize the advances of other women. I portray myself as married and not interested and I guess I don't allow for that. I'm a teacher, so I'm surrounded by women, but they all know I'm married and serious about my commitment to my wife and family.
I believe my wife doesn't appreciate me and takes my commitment and effort for granted (yes, I've tried the 'ignore' thing to no avail). Thank you for the book recommendation. I'll check it out.
She's tardy with the sex and you wonder why you're resentful? I think most people would be resentful about being exploited and lied to. It'd be a little strange if she could withdraw all or most intimacy and you not show some signs of ill-effect. She needs to step up and start acting like the wife she purports to be or she needs to get down the road. She's lucky you come home every day or that you can manage to assemble two kind words. She wonders why you didn't celebrate the 2nd Anniversary of forced celibacy? Seriously? I doubt inmates throw a party to celebrate each anniversary of their incarceration. I went through nearly 10 years of sex drought with mine and Hallmark doesn't make anniversary cards to cover our relationship at that time. Thankfully, that's improved in my life, but at the time, I was doing well to just get through the day without an assault charge or a trip to an attorney's office. I don't think people realize how infuriating and damaging sex-withholding is.
I honestly don't recognize the advances of other women
Pre-selection is a powerful tool.
It sounds like you are where I was when my marriage took a serious downturn (and never recovered). Being comfortable in the relationship and devoting yourself to your marriage and home life is nice and everything, but you need to be sexy, feel sexy, and attractive outside of your marriage. Your wife is no doubt too comfortable with you in your relationship and could use a little shaking up.
Adopt a program of improving yourself so that if you don't get your needs met in your current relationship you will be assured that you will in the next one. Work on your confidence.
What is your waste size? Have you let yourself go a bit as a result of the comfort of your relationship?
I had eyes for no woman other than my wife, she was the single object of my desire. It caused her to completely lose attraction for me and I wound up in a sexless marriage full of frustration and resentment.
There is a maturity to being (and staying) married. Part of that is understanding that happiness and satisfaction are conscious choices. As Disenchanted said, your wife needs to wake up and focus on what she has. I do hope she will agree to counseling.
Unbelievable: Glad things are better for you now. If you don't mind my asking, how did you get to the place where things are better? I feel like I see where I need to get and the path is crystal clear, but then, when it come to her, the waters can get a little murky. I can relate to how you described your frustration. Sometimes, I feel like I'm jet fuel and just waiting for that spark to ignite me. Other times, I have a pity party but just try to remind myself that marriage takes work.
Disenchanted - I don't know if something's wrong with me, but I don't think I can even make myself think about "the next one". But you're right. And I should. I have let myself go a bit since we first began dating. Maybe I should commit more time to working out. In general, confidence is not much of an issue for me, but I'm the quietly confident type. But maybe there's something that I had when we first got married that she really liked or attracted her to me that I'm missing.
Shoto - I agree with what you said about the maturity and happiness. I constantly find myself coming to a better understanding that it takes work (labor of love). I've tried to help my wife see that she needs to realize what she has in us...and of course, that sex is the glue to that holds the marriage together. I guess everyone comes to that realization on their own?
Second the recommendation for Married Man Sex Life. You're looking for your wife to be physically attracted to you, and part of that is having an attitude that is attractive to her not repulsive. Being needy, being passive agressive.. These are common things many guys do that are unattractive. Read the book. You may figure out a lot of things you never realized, and many of these things you might not read in most other books.
Dr. told me I had bpd. Normally, I'm an upbeat, happy dude, so this came as a surprise. I got medicated and found that I don't have the anger outbursts anymore. My wife stated that she saw the change in me and wanted to give our marriage another try, so I guess that was my valentines gift.
This little bombshell needs to be put in the right context, and this is a case where hearing out the wife's side is pretty important. I have some experience with bipolar, in terms of seeing it happen, so I can understand two things about it.
First, that it crops up later in life rather than childhood or teens and gets worse before it is recognized by either party for what it is. Second, that the person who has bipolar is not actually a very good reference point for understanding what living with them is like.
I don't point this out to put the onus on you and blame bipolar for everything but this really is a serious matter. You are a different person than when she met you, and this takes a lot of understanding and cooperation from your spouse to deal with effectively. Are you guys dealing with this directly and discussing/communicating how to address this between each other?
She was pregnant when you two met and she got what she wanted. Someone to take care of her and her baby.
That accomplished, she no longer had any need for you beyond financial and lost interest.
She same back not because she saw some change in you and your temper (most of which was justified in my opinion) but because she didn't find a better deal during the separation.
I know this sounds harsh but I've seen this scenario happen before. Things will be OK for a while. UNTIL/IF she finds a better prospect.
At that point she'll start distancing herself and either leave or make you leave her. Before there is another child in the picture, ask yourself if it's truly worth fixing the marriage.