Well, easier said than done. When kids are involved, and with the prospects of a vengeful wife, I NEVER think about going 'external' for intimate satisfaction. That makes things really really messy, and just makes things much worse than they appear to be already. And given my lack of desire on that front, I'll just use the military term: 'Hunker down'.View Thread
For sure, my wife knows she's holding all the cards from a financila standpoint. State laws are most favorable to the wife in Divorce settlements, and when kids are involved, much more so. I understand to a point, and given today's bleak economic picture, there is no way I could live on my own AND meet my financial obligations after divorce. So as Ms. Becker-Phelps eluded to, for now it's try to make best of a bad situation.. I know it sounds bad to do that, but optional choices are slim to none: She won't go to counseling; it's basically my fault; she's aready told me I could leave; and she's holding the financial cards.
I can manage for now, as bad as that sounds, and yes, that means if I'm miserable, I tend to keep it internal. I know I'll have to address it at face value in the future and deal with it, but right now things are too dynamic to start down that path.View Thread
Thought I'd update...going on 2 1/2 years with no physical relationship with my wife. I suspect the emotional relationship is gone too, as I no longer feel 'connected' in my marriage. (going on 25 years now) Cliche I know, but going through the motion for the kids is a sad way to be, but that's where I am at. Can't afford the divorce route, and my wife denies anything is wrong, and puts blame on me as far as romance goes...I always seem to initiate, but after a handful of "Not in the mood" responses, I just gave up. She doesn't initiate. I just feel 'Lost' at the moment, As discussed before, Therapy is not an option because I'd go it alone, and then be chastised for it. Because of all of this, my labido is dead, and I have gone to a Doctor to see if there's something medical causing that. Honestly, it makes me wish I could go back in time and stay single if you wanna know the truth.View Thread
Actually, things are just on a steady pace, going nowhere. Too much stuff going on in my wife's family or with our children that she focuses on, which tends to draw her away from much interaction with me anymore. Yeah, the romance department: Non existent for the last 2 years. I used to fret over the lack of intimacy, and after a few failed advances and attempts on my part, I have just resigned myself to the fact that it won't change and I accept it for now, and that at some point in my life I will have to make a decision. Sad, actually. I argued once with her that it was "Us" before the children came along, and that we at least should still have some focus on the "Us", but that was quickly discounted by her because things are so busy that she has neither the will nor the time for that anymore.
So, for now, I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, move forward, make good on my responsibilities as father and husband/provider, and inwardly keep a small hope that some day it may get better. But I know where this is headed most likely, that when the kids go off to college, and it's just "Us" again, the marriage SHELF will be completely empty..and I don't think I can stand pat that long.View Thread
Wish I could say that I haven't tried this approach, but I have, Twice. First time, admittedly, I got defensive real quick when she threw it all onto me as the reason we're not doing that well..I tried to justify what she was saying with a response of my own, and that was a mistake. She basically told me I could leave anytime I wanted, which kinda floored me. I learned the hard way I guess. In round two, I did indeed let her vent without any response on my part, I just let her have her say. I did acknowledge that I was hearing her, and at the end of her vent, I did offer my regret for not trying to see her side of it, even things she threw out that happened 20 years ago. I guess the addage has merit that many men get past the old issues, and quickly let them go and try to move on, but some women (not all) tend to hang onto to old issues for a looooooong time. But I did ask what she thought could be done to make it better for us, and her response was: "I don't know. I don't think anything can be done at this point." When I said I wanted to talk more about this, she countered with: "I don't want to talk about it anymore, leave me alone. I'm done." With that, I let her to her thoughts, and left the room...feeling hurt, confused and more resolute than ever to not play out the rest of my years like this. That was 3 months ago, and she's not offered up any hint to start up a conversation about this again, an I dared not. Between family and kids' activities, those priorities have dominated the scene, so I just go along, trying to stay positive that things somehow will get better.
I understand your response about seeking counseling alone, but at this point, finances and situations prevent that from happening. I know a counselor would want to get at the heart of what my concerns and hopes are for a happy marriage,and I did that in the past. But to be honest, I'm somewhat at a loss for what that might be now. I'll keep working at it though, because to just 'sit and stew' is so counterproductive...and potentially damaging as well.View Thread
Thank You. I appreciate your advice. I can't speak for my wife, so it's in all likelihood she'll have a different response. So as I stated, I'm not devoid of blame..just trying to offer my observations as to what I've tried, and how it has left me 'empty'. My wife may clearly feel the same, but she won't talk about it...with me or with a therapist. Her response is usually "I don't want to talk about it" or "I'm done talking". She walked out of the previous attempts at therapy, vowing to never do that again. And then turned around and called me an idiot for even getting her to a therapist to begin with. And because of all this, I feel uncomfortable around her, to the point that I know we're emotionally disconnected, and we both just avoid those subjects that start bad feelings up again. I can say with 100% certainty that I do love her, but am not 'In Love' with her anymore. Yes, every couple has its ups and downs, and I expect that. But this feels so much different.. so much resentment on both ends...
But I'll keep trying to get through for now, and will once again suggest therapy as a last stop attempt.
Been there, done that on the romancing and 'opening up' front. To no avail I'm afraid. Honestly I think we've passed each other in what we feel life should be at this point. It stopped being about us, and all for the kids years ago. I keep telling her that we were an 'us' long before the kids came about, but I just don't think it registers. Look, I'm not without fault, and I've done my share to fragment our closeness, but I've admitted it and am trying to show how much it means to me. But when things from 20 years ago keep getting thrown back in my face (Not bad things mind you, just old male friends kind of things---arguments, bad feelings, etc..), or when I tell her I don't agree with her or her family in her family squabbles (I'm being honest, but in a supportiove way), I keep getting told that I don't really support her. Sorry to vent...I'm just so over it at this point...When I honestly try to look ahead 10 or more years for myself, I don't see my wife as part of that...does that make me such a bad person? I feel guilty to feel that way, but it is something I've told her (in a roundabout way, not that direct), and she just gets mad. There's a LOT to lose I know, and it's not something I take lightly.View Thread
Sounds all well and good, but if this 'effort' remains one-sided (as in my case), then what's the point of continuing? I've done pretty much all that you suggest (even couple counseling--my wife thought that to be stupid), but it still has me disillusioned and wondering why to continue the relationship. I've been married 25 years, and to say we're in a marriage slump is a huge understatement.. We're emotionally detached, physically detached, and just don't seem to work togther well anymore. I can admit to us both acting in contempt towards each other at times, and the effort to maintain the relationship on my part has all but but extinguised. But continue I do because of the kids and all that has been invested into it, but at some point I really won;t care anymore. So as my advice to tkae away from your column: Please DO NOT EVER let it get this far in a relationship, or else you may reach the point of no return.View Thread