Richard purchased my book, The Dead Bedroom Fix
, to help out with the lack of intimacy in his marriage. Like a lot of men in his shoes, the issues he is facing are deeper than “My wife doesn’t seem to like sex anymore”. For Richard, “starting over” means scrubbing clean his identity as a husband and putting a new gameplan for life in place. So far, the new prescription has worked wonders for his married sex life, and more importantly… for his sense of self-worth and purpose. DSO
So tell my readers a little about yourself. Age, kids, etc..
Self-employed. 45 years old. Wife is 47. Blended family. Her four kids ages 27, 22, 20, 17 and my three ages 19, 17, 15. Four boys and three girls. My first marriage ended in infidelity of ex and my best friend. DSO
Oh wow… that’s quite the litter of kids you got there! And her ex is still in the picture… Still in the kids’ lives? Richard
Her oldest never knew his dad, her middle two have lost contact with theirs and her youngest has had limited involvement in the past but is more involved now. My three are quite close to their mother. DSO
So if I understand you correctly, her children are from three different men? Richard
Yes sir. DSO
So how did you two meet? Richard
Her father and her middle ex (if you will) worked for my family’s business many years ago. When her and her ex split up she moved away for several years. She moved back around the time of my divorce and her father was still working for me. She started working for me at that time as well. Our families were somewhat close throughout the years. After my divorce, I spent a lot of time at work and we got to know each other quite well through that and a romance blossomed. DSO
How long did you officially date before getting hitched? Richard
Just over 2 years. DSO
Did she ever share with you the circumstances of her past relationships?
In great detail, lol! The first was a circumstance of teen pregnancy. The second was a very controlling one and third was a matter of substance abuse to be brief. DSO
So blending these two big families… Was that as stressful as it sounds? Richard
At first, it was very natural. We did have some challenges but the kids, for the most part, got along great. When her oldest daughter got into her teens it became very challenging and then her and her brother’s father became involved with them and it really got hairy then. My wife and I were on mostly the same page with parenting and very involved with the kids, so between us, it was smooth but not without edges. I consider us pretty lucky to have had it as smooth as we did. My oldest boy gave her a lot of grief and her oldest girl gave it to me. DSO
So how long have you two been married? Richard
11 years. DSO
During those 11 years, did you ever see similarities between your wife and your ex? Richard
I suppose a few. I’ll admit to some ignorance. I guess I noticed the differences more. My ex was not a very good house keeper and my wife is very anal about a clean, tidy, decorated house. However, when things got rocky a few years ago I found myself exactly where I had already been before in the eyes of a woman. The pattern leading to my first divorce was being completely emulated. DSO
And what are those patterns? And what led to “rocky”? Richard
Lack of acknowledgments, critical statements, praise for others. Longer periods between intimate actions. I suppose the lead up to “rocky” was I found myself disconnecting from her as well. I was really busy at work, and it was hunting season so I had my focus primarily on those 2 things. And one morning, the day after she had a booth setup at a fair, I was at work and she texted me a book of issues she had with my kids and myself. The veracity of it was kind of out of the blue. I responded very emotionally and the days following were very cold. I tried to apologize and wanted to “work on us” but she didn’t even want to talk about it. Then she was in contact with a musician she met at the fair and they started somewhat of a working relationship which I would later find out was the start of an emotional affair. DSO
Sounds like it can all be summarized as “wife lost respect” for you. Richard
Yes, lost respect for me. Looking down on me from the pedestal I put her up on. DSO
I would naturally assume the relationship with the musician started prior to that long text. Richard
The day before is when they met. DSO
Wow. So the respect was knocked down, her boundaries were knocked down, somebody caught her eye… and she immediately went on the offense to push you away. Richard
That’s exactly right! Your book described him to a T. The bad boy, the guy up on stage. I probably owe him a beer as he rejected her idea of getting together. He had a girlfriend and boundaries I guess. My wife came to me after that wanting to reconcile. I had pretty much checked out at that point but was part of another group that brought to light that I might be a part of the problem in it all too. Those were hard pills to swallow but I read a book at the time “The Five Love Languages” and things improved slowly. DSO
So what was the extent of her interaction with the other man? Richard
To my knowledge, many many text messages. They did a fund raiser together and texting there after. I found an email where he rejected her advances to take it further. The texts stopped cold thereafter and she developed a hatred for him and a desire to reconcile with me. I only seen his rejection message, I do not know exactly what she said to him, but his response was telling. DSO
Sounds like she pursued him pretty strongly. And she knows what you saw? Richard
Yes and yes. DSO
So there was a big fallout. She wants back. You are leaning more towards making her go away. You’re thinking, “Oh God… not this **** again.” Richard
Exactly!! With shattered confidence and a sense of what a great provider I’ve been to deserve this. DSO
So what happened next? How long did you continue on in a state of limbo? Richard
A couple of weeks anyway. We talked a lot and moved forward together and got back to normal eventually and that lasted until about last spring when I noticed the distance reappear. Couldn’t put my finger on it but it just felt uncomfortable how she wasn’t very attentive to me when we went out. DSO
Did you have reason to believe she had strayed again? Richard
None at all really. It was just kinda like she had no concern for me or what I was doing in social settings. She’s much rather be talking or helping others than hold my hand. Does that make sense? Kinda hard to explain but my radar was up and this was familiar. In hindsight and with current knowledge, the only catalyst missing was another candidate like before. Perhaps boundaries were intact but nothing across the line was appealing/available. DSO
Yep, sounds like she was back in the “detached and hunting” mode again. So how did you respond to her change in behavior? Richard
I dug back into what I had learned before. I actually stumbled across Jordan Peterson’s work at this time. It was brilliant! I watched his YouTube videos and read his book, 12 Rules for Life. I really started a focus on myself and through another group from before started to get a grip on my short comings as an individual. As a man. I more and more started building my confidence and started to lose concern for how she was behaving. And her behaviour started to change back a bit with that. And then I was scrolling Facebook one day and the ad for your book came up. I read the forward and at a price of $10, what the hell. I read half that night and half the next morning. WOW! WTF just happened?! I’ll never forget the moment I read about yelling at a woman and being equivalent to a kid wanting their way! And the part about being a man and doing what needs doing because you’re a man, you have time, so you do it. What a shock! What a blunt punch in the face! So I started to practice your book, recognize what I was doing wrong and correcting. It was about a week after that and I’ll never forget walking into the kitchen and her pulling me in and giving kisses, real kisses and saying I love you. I pushed her hair back on the sides of her face and pulled her in and said I love you too with a big old kiss. Since then life is different, WAY DIFFERENT!
For the week after reading your book I always like to reference that I didn’t neglect or ignore her, but I never minded her if that makes sense. I focused on me, the gym, and getting **** done around the house that had been laying around undone for far too long. DSO
Wow… what an abrupt turnaround! Not going to lie… that’s not the norm. Usually it takes months to get to the “wife molests me in the kitchen” stage. Has she said she recognizes your changes? Richard
What a woman says, lol! Not directly no. She actually has, like the book referenced, tried to get in the way of the gym and working out. But it’s her actions that indicate she’s noticed! Lots of affections and closeness regardless the surroundings. When I line up things to do she tries to help and participate. Sexy time was up but then she had surgery so that messed it up a bit, but back on track now and dead bedroom no more. I realize it’s not the norm, and I haven’t been “molested” in the kitchen yet, but that distance, that discomfort, it’s totally gone.
Awesome. So… there’s always that lingering monster in the closet. She has emotionally drifted in the past and actually drifted right to another man. That’s her way of coping when she’s in some kind of emotional turmoil. You’re doing YOUR job of going through the steps and becoming the best all-around dude you can be. Has SHE, in your opinion, done the work of becoming the all-around best wife she can be? In other words… is she putting in the necessary work to be worthy of being called “Richard’s wife”? Richard
The effort is definitely being applied. She also copes by spending. She knows my past disdain for this when it’s reckless, if you will, and I’ve noticed her putting the brakes on that recently. She’s always had a nice figure and continues to maintain it well. So up to now the answer is yes. As for the monster, perhaps it shows up again in the future. But I’m not afraid of it like before. In one of your articles, forgive me, I can’t remember which one, you mentioned many men thrive after a mate leaves them. I know my path, she can come or go somewhere else, I’m good. I want her along, but I don’t need it. DSO
Excellent! So any plans to kick things up a notch with the wife? Here in a few years you could potentially have an empty nest. Changes the relationship dynamic quite a bit. Richard
I’m not sure what you mean kick it up, lol! I am very much looking forward to the empty nest! We have three grandkids now, two of them close by and the latest (last week) is a few hours away so a lot of focus on making that trip right now. We both love travel and are making plans for that in future too. DSO
Travel is a good way to keep things fun and interesting. Any kind of activity that is outside the norm and brings about some excitement/anxiety in her… do more of that. Richard
Indeed! Last week when grandchild number three was born we went up for a few days, it was interesting because we were very close and intimate the first night and the next three nights we stayed at our daughter’s place to help out. Wasn’t so close and not intimate, but I was busy helping with their house and tidying while my wife was busy with baby, of course. I didn’t have time or energy anyway, lol. But when we got home, intimacy was in full bloom, like she wanted now, lol! DSO
Nice! Family time is not conducive to sexy time. Richard
Exactly! I have also been stepping outside of my comfort zone when I get a chance lately. Public speaking has offered me a couple of opportunities and she loves to tout about that to other women, especially the ones that husbands were asked and went the way of the coward, lmao! DSO
That’s awesome! Should be proud of yourself. Thanks for the time to chat! Anything else you wish to share with everyone? Richard
So, so much, but I’ll keep it brief. I won’t discount the lessons I’ve learned from Jordan Peterson, but my friend (and I don’t mean that lightly), you provided me a whole new outlook on life and wife! Guys out there looking for success, it’s your confidence in yourself. You need to become a good, a better, at continually improving you. Reach inward and pull that man out! Hands on shoulders, big yank, and head out of ass!
Listen to every podcast. Read every article. DSO knows what’s up!
The provider is dead, the man for your wife is an all-round man. She knows that, and she will eventually not settle any longer. DSO
Thank you, my friend!!
Posted at dadstartingover.com