Lack of anticipation of pleasure (on W's part) is killing me/us
It's taken me a while to figure out what the driving force is between the lack of desire I feel coming from my wife. And I'm not talking about desire just for sex.
She is unable to anticipate pleasure. It could be as simple as that. She lives in the moment. The only reason she can keep excited and interested on a vacation is because it's a collection of fun moments, one after another.
Examples? She's got issues with her back and shoulders, as well as problems with one arm where damaged lymph nodes (from cancer surgery) don't drain properly. Over the past few months I've learned how to do back rubs and erase the pain from one of her nerves, relax her neck, and drain the fluid from her arm so she feels a whole lot better the next day. At the time I'm doing it, she's greatly appreciative and even enjoys it. But she doesn't look forward to it. Logically, that's been a huge hurdle for me to get past. I can selflessly do things for her, that make her feel better, but I've not once, ever, had her tell me during the day it's something she looks forward to.
And yes, we've taken the 5 Love Languages course, read the book, and she knows I'm fed by "Affirmative words." And, curiously, she's fed by "Physical touch."
She'll also tell me how much better she feels after I've helped wash her in the shower. I can use the sponge thingee on her back and other places that are tough for her to get. She tells me, then, how much better she feels afterward. But just try and convince her to let me help.
I'm going to be talking about this exact thing when I see my therapist next week, and hope she can get on the same page when she talks with hers. This is really tearing me up. She knows how much it would mean to me to hear something from her, once in a while, during the day, that she's looking forward to her back rub or the shower time. And it needs to be pointed out that I've told her ahead of time, and kept my promise when I've told her this, that it wouldn't lead to anything else afterward.
I couldn't get to sleep until 2am last night, just thinking about this. And for those who've read my earlier thread, yes, things are made worse knowing that she wasn't always like this, before we met. Anticipation was everything to her. And yes, I get that people change with stability. They've found what they were looking for (she's even told me she was searching for her life-long mate, someone to marry, not just a boyfriend, when she met me) and their mind goes into a different mode, no longer trying to attract the opposite sex but now settled in.
She knows all this. She says she's working on it. That change takes time. But change might also require recognizing that something has to be done at times, and that simply wanting to change and not following through can feel even worse to the other person. I think that's where I am right now. You get a feeling of hopelessness when someone says they understand, they have to change, they understand the consequences of not changing, but... nothing changes. And yes, she's on Prozac and Wellbutrin, although we've gotten her Prozac dose reduced a bit, thinking maybe that's been blunting her too much emotionally.
I'd love to hear from someone on TAM that they've broken through a situation like this. I'd also like to hear thoughts on the unthinkable- would absence actually make the heart grow fonder? My feeling is that separation inevitably leads to splitting up, not bringing people back together. But I'm pretty desperate. I love this woman with everything in my soul.