reconciliation advice needed - Talk About Marriage
Reconciliation This forum is for those focused on reconciliation and success stories from people who have been through separation and reconciled successfully.

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-25-2016, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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reconciliation advice needed

Hi there,

I've been going through a rough time the last few weeks, and ran across this website, and could really use some advice. My background... (sorry its so long)...

I've been married about 3-1/2 years, dating around 3 years before that. I'm 45, she's 34. She has a stepson who just turned 17. We bought a home together just before getting married. In general, everything seemed great – we fight occasionally, but not often, we take trips together (my wife and I, and as a family), we host family get togethers. We've definitely had some stresses with the teenager, especially early in the marriage, but I thought we got through those ok. He's 17 now, our biggest conflict is that he sometimes smokes pot in the house, which I have a huge problem with and causes a lot of stress. He's hardly ever home these days though, as he spends most of his time at his girlfriend's house.

My wife and I have gotten into a major rut. We carpool together to work (don't work together but close by), we come home, and we sit in front of the TV on our phones or iPads. I get bored and go to bed early, she comes up a few hours later. Clearly, not much opportunity for a sex life. We both also gained a lot of weight over the years (me 50 lbs, her about 20), which we've been on and off again trying to lose, her with better results than me.

A few weeks ago I started to get the feeling something wasn't quite right. So I asked her “Are you happy?” Well, she thought about it for a few minutes and decided she wasn't sure.

We have a few problems...

1. She had her son when she was 16, feels like she missed out on the “party years”. Now her son doesn't need her anymore, she wants to go out clubbing, drinking, dancing. I'm not into the club scene. I can see where she's coming from, and generally, as long as I know who she's with and she's safe, I've never had a problem with her going out without me.
2. We don't have much of a sex life. Once every week or two. She has a higher sex drive than me, says she could have sex 5 times a day. I want more sex too, although I'd be happy with 3-3 times a week. We used to have more sex, but never as much as either of us wants. Right now the biggest problem is that we got into this evening rut. Longer term the issue is that I have a really hard time opening up, talking about sex, and initiating sex. We've talked about this before, but I've never really realized how big of a problem it was (for either of us), and just let it go.
3. She says she stays home with me because I never want to go out, and she's started to resent me for it. Its at least partially fair - I'm fairly introverted. But we have great friends, and when we do go out we always both have a great time. My weight gain has seriously affected my confidence and desire to go out. We've both been saying for a while we need to get out more, have date nights, but it never really happened. Like I said, we've gotten into a rut.

So... we discussed all this, it all took me completely off guard (we were planning a family trip only a few days before), and we had a blow up. Whenw e do fight (which isn't very often), I tend to just walk away. In this case I ended up grabbing my keys and saying “Maybe I should just leave”. I quickly realized that was a terrible idea, but the damage was done – that really hurt her – that I was going to just walk away from the problems.

The next few weeks were pretty tough... we slept in the same bed, were civil, and even went out together a few times and had fun (although also a little awkward). I tell her I love her, she sometimes will tell me she loves me too. We hug, but she completely withdraws in bed. She goes to visit friends most nights after work, and when she is home she takes 2 hour baths. She's also drinking (a little, not a lot) most nights. I set up a MC appointment, and we've had one session which went ok.

I'm of the opinion that most of our issues can be solved with some romance, start dating again, etc, along with serious communication. Get ourselves out of this rut. She even agrees we're “mostly great” together. I'm willing to push my comfort zone re:sex and going out when maybe I don't quite feel up to it. I'm also at the gym now (its my therapy) and have lost 15 lbs in the last month, already feeling the confidence coming back and feeling better about myself.

In the meantime, to give her the space she needs, I “moved out”. We agreed its not a break, we're not separated, I didn't rent a place, didn't move any furniture. Just took some clothes and am crashing at a friends place for a bit. I thought it was the right thing to allow her to come home and be in peace to think about where she's at without worrying about me being there, wondering what I'm thinking, etc.

I understand I need to be prepared for the outcome that she doesn't want me back. And I'm trying to prepare for that. At the same time, I don't think we've put any effort at all into fixing this, and I think we owe it to ourselves to do that. I'm willing to, but of course she needs to be as well. Right now I'm just trying to do what I can to improve myself, get back in shape, and to show her that I love her. I think she still loves me, and I want to reinforce that I love her and am willing to work on this.

So... my questions are... and I know there's no one answer, it depends on a lot of factors. But I'm in a rough spot and need a little guidance...

* Is getting out of the house the right decision? Should I be pushing to move back in within a few weeks, or just wait until she asks me to come back?

* Should I maintain contact with her? I'd like to ask her to dinner, keep the communication open, and I think thats probably a good idea. I just want to balance that with giving her the space she needs.

* Any other suggestions for how I can show her I love her while still giving her that space?

Thanks!

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-25-2016, 11:05 AM
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Re: reconciliation advice needed

Separation is a bad thing most of the time. It can lead to divorce. Get back in the home if you want this to work. You can't work on a marriage separated. Really bad idea. You need to bite your tongue and think before you act. Both of you need to sit down and read His Needs, Her Needs together. A good marriage takes work from both of you 50/50.

You need to do things together besides sitting in front of the TV. Join a gym and go together.

Take for out once a week. Nothing special. Just spend some time together. Dinner and a movie, window shopping but get out of the house.

The big thing is learn to talk to each other and LISTEN!!!!

Change things now or you will be divorcing. Is that what you want????

These things aren't hard to do but you need to get off your rear.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-25-2016, 11:07 AM
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Re: reconciliation advice needed

In my opinion, it sounds like you guys are both still on the same page. You are wanting to put forth the effort to make your lives better. All around. I wouldn't think that unless you were fighting a lot that moving out of the house would be a good idea. Maybe sleep on the couch or in another room a few nights a week. If she is already going out a few nights and having time to herself at and away from home, she is getting plenty of me time. You are both on the right track. I myself am a homebody , but recently have been doing things to get out of my comfort zone for my husband and marriage. Start like what you said, ask her to go to dinner with you. Just you two at first. Hang out and have a good night. Maybe the next time invite another couple to go with you . Break the ice a bit, she will probably enjoy being able to get out, hang out with you other as well as you. I have found that a mutual hang out for us is a sports bar. A little out of my comfort zone, but I would rather be at a bar then a club. A lot of places these days have live music, food, pool tables etc. Start doing date nights at home, cook dinner together , have some wine and loosen up together. Put on some music and just hang out. As for the sex, it took me a little while to come out of my shell. But once I did , I wasn't sure why I was there to begin with. Sex is amazing , and the good thing is that there is so much you can do or add to it. I started by emailing and texting my hubby during the day. It was easier for me to say things to him, that were not face to face at first. Sending pictures also is a way to steam things up. Maybe bath with her some nights? Or just sit with her while she's soaking. I love when my husband comes in while I'm in the bath, because I never know what he's up to. Start asking her what kinds of things she would like to try out. Meet in the middle, don't just into the club or with some wild sex that you are not comfortable with. It will only give you anxiety and will not be pleasant for you. And I'm sure she will not have fun doing something with you that she can tell you don't want to be a part of.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-25-2016, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: reconciliation advice needed

Thanks, I think you're telling me what I kind of already know.

We do actually both go to the gym together in the mornings before work. We used to take long walks after work, which was a nice time to talk and reflect together. But we haven't been doing that for a while, its tougher in the crappy weather.

Agreed, we need to do things other than sitting in front of the TV. Since this all went down we have been out each week, dinner and a movie. I'm trying to re-introduce date nights and spend some real, quality time together.

I decided to get out of the house for a bit after talking to a friend who went through similar issues with her husband. She said she needed space, he didn't give it to her, and it pushed her away. I'm house-sitting for a friend this week, but once they're back on the weekend I'll suggest coming back, and figuring out how to give her the space she needs. In the meantime I won't cut off communication entirely and will ask her out again this week.

Thanks again for your advice!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-26-2016, 09:25 AM
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Re: reconciliation advice needed

Hi, I agree that if you want to make the marriage work, you should be living together. Yes, a lot of people think the time apart will help you to "miss" each other and try to better yourself. But once you move out, you get into the mindset that the marriage is an "option" and you'll always treat it as such.

I moved out because I lived with my in laws, 5 other adults in the house aside from my husband and I. There was no privacy, independance or respect and it's insanely hard living with moody passive-aggressive emotionally abusive in laws. My husband refused to move out and in fact started being verbally abusive to me in front of them, so I left. I had no other choice. I didn't leave to prove a point, I left and I never intended to go back (and didn't).

He moved in with me (sans in laws) a year later. But every time we had a serious argument, he'd pack up and leave. It hurt me because it showed how insanely weak our marriage was. It was turning into a yo-yo relationship. So the 5th time he packed up and left, I didn't let him back in. Hardest decision of my life. I'm still struggling.

Reason I'm telling you this is, he's moved out and yet still has hope things will get better. But things won't get better if we don't live together...it's just preparing me for the eventuality of divorce.

"The pain of all your experience is what makes you the person you are now. And without your experience, you are an empty page, a blank notebook, a missing lyric. What makes you brave is your willingness to live through your life experiences and hold your head up high the next day. So don't live life in fear. Because you are stronger now, after everything that has happened, than you ever were back before it started."
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