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Old 12-06-2005, 05:54 AM   #1
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ceebee42 HB User
Moral help and support for married couple drifting apart.

Well, a bit worse than drifting apart actually. Wifey is seeing somebody else (you can take this as a given since I have hard evidence of some of their conversations). It's not all her fault, but I seem unable to get through to her anymore.

We started like everyone; with a happy marriage, full of fun, excitement, sex etc. Things started to go a bit wrong after the birth of our two boys (13 years ago) when she became a mother I lost a lot of my interest in sex ( it was some sort of psychological issue I guess; problems with my relationship with my mother ...). Niggling little issues (like pain) I used to experience during our lovemaking became reasons for choosing not to do it. I tried to explain where these problems were but after explaining umpteen times it got boring. Then she did not seem interested in making herself attractive to me either. Her dress and personal appearance choices were based on her needs with no interest in my opinions. So I got bored with that side of things. I still loved her though in spite of this, and I was happy with our relationship; we had fun, meals out, holidays alone together, and we enjoyed bringing up the boys. Then two years ago she started to complain about the way I treated her, she told me that the way I talked to her made her feel worthless (like a dog I think she said). So I made efforts to avoid this perception during our rows and I really think that this issue is now no longer present. But a year ago she said she could not go on any more, she could not stand my attitude towards her. She claimed I was still making the same mistakes, treating her like a dog, I was dumbfounded and asked her to keep a record of when it happened so we could monitor, review and discuss (perhaps I was blind to something I was saying and its effect on her) . But despite several reminders she couldn't come up with a single incident. So I assumed all was now ok, I had made the improvements and she needed time to recognize it.

Of course I'm not perfect, I make mistakes with everyone including wifey. But I'm always open to having them pointed out and to learn and grow from them. Wifey and I do have arguments just like most couples, but judging from what some couples say I think our disputes are actually less frequent and shouty than many others. I actually don't think the verbal side of things is the problem, I think its the sex, the subject she hasn't mentioned.

But I'm not sure! Because now that she's seeing someone else she's telling him that I have a terrible temper and that she really can't stand being with me. The incident that I'm aware of her mentioning was in fact brief, yes I did raise my voice (to the children in fact and there was justification for the expression of anger I won't bore you with details) and normality resumed quickly afterwards. I think either she is kidding herself that this is the problem, or she is using these few and far between examples (of what is actually quite common behaviour in families) to convince her illicit partner that the relationship problems are not her fault and are all mine.

Whose fault is it then?
Well, of course it's the fault of both of us. We both need to work to improve the relationship, which is a thing that belongs to both of us and only to us. Without either of us there isn't a relationship to work on. This is in fact what I say when we discuss our problems. For example, she will announce that she doesn't like something I do and I will say ok, but I do it because you are like this. And I say if she tries to change one aspect of herself I will at the same time try to change my response ( and I don't make it conditional I will do it anyway). But after many rows like this she started to say that I was always blaming it on her when it was basically my fault and that she couldn't see why she should change. And then a year ago she said that she had put too much effort in and couldn't put any more in.

So although I knew there was a problem we have managed to get through the last year with really very few arguments and have had a calm, but unexciting 12 months. I might have raised my voice occasionally (like her actually), and I know that sometimes I do this inappropriately but sometimes with the pressure of work (made redundant and trying to set up my own business) etc I make mistakes (and apologise and put 50p into the piggy bank when I do it). In summary I think I am a caring, considerate, loving partner who is trying hard to get things right.

Finally, for reasons which she is unwilling/unable to discuss she has lost all interest in me (she says to her friend that she remains only for the sake of the children). She no longer provides me with moral support in what is a very difficult (read stressful) professional scene, and takes little interest in providing me with moral support over our financial problems. She rarely phones me at work (yes of course I phone her). She is in a mind set which excludes me from her emotional life, and which doesnít see any future in me.

Where do I go from here?
I want to try to get her back on board, but I feel trapped. If I say we will both have to make an effort she will take that to mean that SHE will have to make an effort and we've been there before. So option B is to ask her why she doesn't leave if she can't love me and offer me the moral support I need (but that will no doubt mean she will take the children which I don't think I could stomach).

 
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Old 12-06-2005, 06:28 AM   #2
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DaVinci HB User
Re: Moral help and support for married couple drifting apart.

Ultimatum time!......"honey since your not with me, you must be against me,ie I want a divorce" Think about it, if she's with another man ....don't you think she's been mulling over that idea? what's she waiting for?the kids to get a little older?the man to ask?show more committment?
Right now she's getting her cake and eating it too. What's most likely to happen?...she'll go tell her male friend....he'll probably panic...cause now he's on the spot....suddenly the mysterious phone calls and rendezvous will stop.
Worse case scenerio: she says yes and goes through with it...could happen, however is this so terrible?obviously she's not treating you with love and respect.....and possibly the time apart will make her come to realize what she's missing??
If they're really "in love" there's no stopping it, if it's most likely lust ...it will peeter out.
I'd be more concerned about your welfare....watch your back!

Oh and .........lose the "wifey"....made me cringe every time I read it.

 
Old 12-06-2005, 06:47 AM   #3
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goody2shuz HB Usergoody2shuz HB User
Re: Moral help and support for married couple drifting apart.

The best advice I can offer you is that you cannot expect to change another person.....the only one you are capable of changing is yourself. You have identified various things within yourself that you can change but seem more focused on the things that your wife could change. It's time for you to focus on yourself and change the things that you can and perhaps after you do that you will see your wife follow suit.

Every marriage goes through peaks & troughs but overall there should be an overall respect and love for the other. Sounds like your rows are somewhat destructive to one another in both action and word. You admit that there is a problem with intimacy which is the highest expression of love between partners.....why haven't you at the very least sought professional help to deal with this so that your wife can have the intimacy with the one she chose above all others to share her life with??? Sure she is a mother, but why should she be punished for being that and compared to your mom when she is not. If you have problems there isn't it time that you faced them and put them to rest so that your wife doesn't get punished for something that she has nothing to do with??? Every man & woman needs to be loved by their spouse and experience intimacy.....it is the flavor of the marriage and an ingredient that sustains the overall goodness and bond in a relationship. To deny the other of this gift is like taking the warmth that the sun provides on a sunny day.

In reading your post your expectations seem unrealistic....you are looking outside rather than within. You need to look at what it is that YOU have control over in getting this marriage back on track. What can YOU do??? Whether it be going to therapy to figure out why you cannot be intimate with your wife, or going about making the changes that you can within yourself that will make you the husband your wife needs & deserves, and realizing that you do have the power to change things around in your marriage by making the changes that you can within yourself. You are capable of changing yourself and the changes that need to occur within your wife are here responsibility and hers alone. To say that you will make the changes that need to be made within yourself ONLY if she makes the changes within herself is counterproductive.

You can start out by telling your wife that you want your marriage back and that you want to make the changes necessary to rebuild what has been broken down in the marriage. And then tell your wife exactly what you are going to work on within yourself to accomplish that. DO NOT tell her what she needs to do. Then go do it!!! Most times when you go about doing your part your wife will want to do her part too. We all know our weaknesses and want to change them. It's feeling as if it's worth the change that motivates us in going about it. It's your job to alllow your wife to see that it is all worth it!! And the only one capable of doing that is YOU.

It's obvious that you want to do something to save your marriage.....start doing it beginning with YOU.

I hope this helps you see things a little more clearly. It's not easy to get back something that seems lost....but with enough commitment & love anything is possible.

~ Goody

 
Old 12-06-2005, 06:49 AM   #4
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Ruth6:11 HB UserRuth6:11 HB User
Re: Moral help and support for married couple drifting apart.

I thought I was the only one cringing at "wifey", but then I cringe at "baby" too!

I never ever never condone a cheating wife or husband. Not only morally wrong and against the marriage contract but downright unsafe from a disease standpoint.

So, first, somebody would be moving out pronto. Separation isn't the end of the world. Gives you a little distance between the wordplay in arguments and what the issues really are.

My first question is, did your wife have any say-so in you starting this business? What's it doing for you except giving you financial difficulties adding to your marital problems?

You can't change her.
You can only change yourself. Harder to do than just pointing out someone else's character flaws by the way. You change - she'll change. It's a fact.

And from what I'm reading both in your thread and between the lines, BOTH of you could benefit from marriage counseling. Together and/or separate. Doesn't matter who's more at fault if BOTH of you want to give it a try.

I mean this most kindly - honest... but I don't think you're the easiest guy to live with. If you know and accept that about yourself it might help you understand.
What I DON'T understand are men & women who don't get out of the marriage before they cheat...

 
Old 12-06-2005, 09:17 AM   #5
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ceebee42 HB User
Re: Moral help and support for married couple drifting apart.

DaVinci,
Wifey - dropped (the term not the person!)
Everything you say is right, it probably is most likely lust and an ultimatum would put both her and him on the spot.

Goody2shuz,
I think you may have mis-read my post, I have never made my changes conditional on changes in her, but I have discussed the reasons behind the behaviour patterns (which obviously involve her) . Having said that I'm very grateful for what you say : Don't expect to change her, but do expect to see changes if I show a commitment to the changes she needs. I have considered professional help, but have postponed this (obviously wrongly) along with visits to the dentist (and my teeth do need doing) until the financial situation gets better. Wrong choice!

Ruth
Thanks for your comments. I'm not so principled as yourself, I take a more pragmatic look at the situation, so my question is where are we now, where would we like to be and how do we get there? I don't like the idea of separation unless both partners see it as the best way forward to their goals. You asked about her interest in my business and yes, we both discussed it thoroughly before going into it. I would normally have expected her to be taking the pain with me on this one, but she doesn't, I remember one argument where she accused me of starting the business out of my own selfishness. I cannot believe she really thought that. How did her memory banks become so currupted? If she really thinks that is what happened how can I possibly convince her otherwise? Perhaps the best thing to do is just to let that issue drop, focus on other things and perhaps the memory banks will sort themselves out again!

Your comments on my personality were accepted in good humour. I do appreciate frank discussion like that, in fact I find the subject fascinating. Yes, this is something which I accept but don't understand. I know, or think I know, that (some) other people find me difficult to get on with. But I am actually blind to the causes. Previously people have kindly identified particular issues and then no problem I have worked on them and eliminated the issue, but for some annoying reason the big problem doesn't seem to go away! I am truly blind to this fault, if it is one.

My thoughts so far: I will be taking her out on Thursday for a meal where I will talk about my feelings for her and my commitment to changes in me. I will ask for some form of understanding, sympathy. But I think I will also have to confront her with the fact that I'm aware of her affaire. It's then up to her how she takes it from there; whether she really believes she can have a new improved hubby. No ultimatums, just stark truths. I shouldn't be expected to live in this menage a trois for the next 9 years until the boys leave home, something has to change. How does this grab you all?

 
Old 12-07-2005, 07:23 AM   #6
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DaVinci HB User
Re: Moral help and support for married couple drifting apart.

Hope it's a private restaurant...as things may get heated. As a women, but having been accused of "male thinking"....one piece of advice...women like to talk about past problems, future probs and any potential probs that have no apparent solutions. In alot of ways they don't want a solution or don't think they want a solution. Women like to talk...a way of exploration....in detail about all various unrelated things.
Point I'm trying to make ....probably not successfully is that...LISTEN...if a women is felt she is being heard that's half the battle. I know you got your speech already...but if ya do it right hopefully you'll at least plant the seed towards a renewed relationship.

 
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