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Lately I noticed my wife was being more distant than usual. Seeking some affirmation that everything was OK. I asked her if we were ok. For a long time she didn't answer, then she said no, she's unhappy and has been for a while. (15 years). Since then we've talked some, but not really at length. I am lost and totally confused. But here's the facts.
1. She had just gotten out of being engaged to a guy that cheated on her before we met.
2. We met and engaged 7 months later, married 5 after that.
3. She says she thinks now that she married too soon after and that maybe married me because I was "safe" (wouldn't cheat, drink, abuse etc...) That is all true, never have, never will.
4. We have had our problems, but we always dealt with them and moved on. Finances (no problems) Housework (share pretty equally, I do most) Just your standard run of the mill stuff everyone deals with.
5. She says she loves me like a brother, not husband.
6. We started going to church together about 13 years ago and have been active together in it ever since.
7. Our church has annual marriage retreats to strengthen marriages and we've gone for 10 years. At the retreats we learned about tools etc... to help our marriages, never once did she say we had a problem. Seemingly it was a good away weekend for us every year.
8. We went through the pain and agony of attempting to have children for 3 years before we adopted 2 girls 10 years ago.
9. I forgot, she said that all this time she thought that "it" would get better. I guess "it" is her being happy. I can't really get her to describe what "it" is.
10. We both work
11. There are a lot of things going on in her life (our) She works full time
12. She is going to school online for her doctorate
13. She teaches at a local college
14. Her mother is dying from Emphysema
15. Her grandmother has Alzheimers
16. All of that has got to take a toll on her and I know this, I have been as supportive as I can. I cook, clean, take care of the kids, help her parents, everything I can do to make her life easier. I also work 48 hours a week rotating shiftwork.
17. Our sex life has never been hanging from the chandelier but I never felt it was terrible either. The first 5 years I usually initiated and was turned down a lot. After that I kind of resigned myself to whenever she might be in the mood, not often. But I always said to myself I married for more than that, and I'm committed. Now in my late 40's my libido isn't as strong and I don't sweat it so much.
18. She has said that I am the perfect husband and none of this is my fault.
19. No, she's not seeing anyone else, when would she have time.
20. She is overweight and has always been worried about it, but it has never been an issue with me. I see her as a beautiful, vibrant, smart, sexy woman, my wife!

Anyway when she dropped this mega-bombshell on me needless to say I was shocked. I had a little panic attack, threw up and was generally miserable. That's been a week ago. I asked her if she would give it six more months and seek counseling for her and together with me. She agreed, but told me not to hold out hope. Her appt. is next week. I've gone independently because I really needed to talk to someone.
Our family and friends are completely shocked. To them looking in we have been extremely happy for 16 years. They can't believe she feels this way. No one, no one is more shocked than me. I am totally devastated by all this. I'm confused, lost, and hurt. I want to make it work and I want to fix it. I do realize that I can't make her love me or want me. But it is going to be extremely hard to keep my chin up during this.
Ok, I'll sit back and let everyone solve my problem for me. Hahaha!
 

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Maybe things will come to light in the counseling. Hoping for the best for you.

It does seem like maybe she has a lot of internal stress she is putting on herself. I wonder though about there not being someone else influencing her thoughts of being in an unhappy marriage. Sounds like she has only been thinking that recently. I think it is possible that someone has picked up on her vulnerablilty & is chatting her up & making her feel wanted & pretty. If so, most likely, it is the feelings she is craving, not this actual person.

I hope you guys can find some roots to her unhappiness & find ways to resolve or treat some of them.

Good luck
 

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And I’m hopeful for you. I think MC will get her thinking about what she wants and add a new perception into the mix. Sounds like she might just see things as stale and is at the point where she’s rewriting her past decisions throwing self-doubt and ‘what if’ into the mix. The MC will point out if you are ‘the perfect husband’, then what is she really after that she thinks she might find elsewhere? A “imperfect spouse” won’t be better.... So what does she want?
 

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It's a shame. I would think that a couple that takes time to go marriage retreats every year for a decade is probably very solid.

You say no one's more shocked than you? You didn't see this coming? You seem to be a smart guy... you try to discover what it is, but she won't communicate that to you. It seems you do everything right, your W calling you "the perfect husband." It would have been better if she could outline how much of an ass you are, at least we have a starting point :D -- so your situation is a tough one. It's like a mystery.

If she's not telling you what's wrong, she may (1) have communication problems expressing herself/feelings, or (2) she knows the problem, but is ashamed to say so (either some internal psychological problem she's ashamed to admit, or there is a "third party" that's creating for her a contrast between you and him.)

Start with the easiest... You say there is no "other man." Can you be absolutely sure about that? She may have just surprised/shocked you recently, but remember, surprises and shocks are much like earthquakes... they are often followed by more. So start looking, if only for the sake of trying to get to the problem by process of elimination.

You say she married you because you are "safe." Well, if she previously agreed to marry a "not-safe" guy who eventually cheated on her, what kind of men is she attracted to, then? She thinks you're a "perfect husband" by being "safe" and "stable" (no financial problems, you say) but does she have some internal need for an exciting man?

If it has little or nothing to do with the man you AREN'T, then look into issues such as lack of skill to express oneself (to identify her problem to you), in that case, some counseling may help... or perhaps the problem is clinical, maybe depression...

Whatever this mystery may be, your job now is get active and start investigating... don't think that it will fix itself.

Hope that helps, good luck. :)
 

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Every thing was fine, till she dropped the bomb? So she has hidden that from you. How do you know there is no one else? She told you? Verify it discretely on your own, before you start counseling.

BTW, no one is going to solve your problem but you. Start looking inside.
 

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Could be a number of things:

She's depressed about being over-weight, etc.

She's going through a mid life crisis (MLC) How old is she? :scratchhead:

She's having an affair. As mentioned already, discreetly verify (get a VAR, keylogger, check her phone, computer history, email if you can get into it, etc.)

She's just not in love with you anymore and just wants out

Those are my initial thoughts.
 

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My friend said all those same things. She got married too young to someone she didn't love blah, blah, blah so after 10 years of marriage she called it quits. She would have stayed another 5 had it not been for me. I'm the one who called her out on how unhappy she was. I didn't mean to it just was so obvious.

She wasn't having an affair she just settled.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the replies. She's 42. I don't doubt for a minute she is depressed, but I am powerless to fix/help something that I have no idea about. At Mavash. You could be right that she just settled. Could be MLC. If it's someone else, then she is very good at hiding it. I'm hoping that counseling will help. At the very least it will prep me for the worst. Right now though is a very tough time.
 

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3) She says she thinks now that she married too soon after and that maybe married me because I was "safe"

5) She says she loves me like a brother, not husband.

9) She thought that "it" would get better.

18) She has said that I am the perfect husband and none of this is my fault

Those are the things that my wife said, just about a week before I found out she cheated on me.

Also, "19. No, she's not seeing anyone else, when would she have time." When she's not with you.
 

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You need to read "Married Man Sex Life Primer" (It's not a sex guide). Read it carefully, it was written for guys like you.
Let me ask you this, if she's not interested in sex, why does it matter if she loves you like a brother instead of a husband?

The answer is, she IS interested in sex, just not with you.

Read MMSL. You need to up your Alpha. You need to get her thinking about sex WITH YOU. You need to get her thinking about you in those terms.

By the way, I've gone through something similar. I got turned down a lot and eventually stopped initiating very much because rejection just sucks. It kills your ego until you stop initiating just to avoid the shame & hurt of being rejected.

I would tell her that you're not giving up on this. Don't give her some wimpy "I'll change for you" talk. Just start going after her. Show her you have a sexual side, an alpha side. Take her out. Talk dirty to her. Send her naughty texts during the day. Stop being her brother.
 

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And for the people insisting she's probably cheating, she may or may not be but it's far from probable. Women in these situations often shut down their own libido. They just seem to go asexual for years. It's entirely possible she has hit her sexual peak, and just decided she needed more than you're giving her. For women it's later than for men. Or it's possible she's developed a crush on some guy that awakened her sexual feelings, who may not have any idea. In any case, something woke her up and if you don't step up, someone will.

First step, get your T-count checked and get something prescribed if necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks guys, I'll check that out. Upping my alpha? Never heard of it, but hey I'll check it out. Thanks Drover. You're right, I'm not her brother. I don't think I'm wimpy just because I do so much for, I do it out of love and a strong committment to my marriage. I will find and read the book. I do know that if she sees me all begging and whining she'll bolt, I've never begged and don't intend to. I probably should have found the book long ago, oh well. Thanks to all.
 

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From my experience on this forum, there's a really good chance someone else has got her interest. Could be online, someone at school or work, whatever. She stuck it out for 15 years but NOW she wants out? Why is that......because her fire is being stoked by someone else.

Yeah everyone that hears this when they get here is in denial, I was too. Do your due diligence, who's she calling/texting? Check her emails and FB messages.
 

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From my experience on this forum, there's a really good chance someone else has got her interest. Could be online, someone at school or work, whatever. She stuck it out for 15 years but NOW she wants out? Why is that......because her fire is being stoked by someone else.

Yeah everyone that hears this when they get here is in denial, I was too. Do your due diligence, who's she calling/texting? Check her emails and FB messages.
I totally agree. It is something he can do. He can try and rule that out. Because IF he does find there is someone else, he needs to deal with that upfront.
 

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After no cheating is confirmed, it is possible she is depressed & thinks "a new life" will cure her depression which is the furthest thing from the truth.

I think you need to bring up depression in MC if she refuses to see a doctor for depression.
 

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By TOM16
9. I forgot, she said that all this time she thought that "it" would get better. I guess "it" is her being happy. I can't really get her to describe what "it" is.

If she cannot describe it then it is very good that she will going to therapy. A good therapist will be able to help her find it and describe it.

By TOM16
18. She has said that I am the perfect husband and none of this is my fault.
I doubt that you are the perfect husband but you definitely are not the reason that she is in this funk.

By TOM16
20. She is overweight and has always been worried about it, but it has never been an issue with me. I see her as a beautiful, vibrant, smart, sexy woman, my wife!

One problem is that SHE DOES NOT SEE herself as beautiful, vibrant, sexy woman.


By TOM16
I do know that if she sees me all begging and whining she'll bolt, I've never begged and don't intend to. I probably should have found the book long ago, oh well. Thanks to all.

There are two people that desperately need someone that is strong and NOT whining and begging. Those two people are you and your wife.

If your wife is opened minded and really wants to get better; then with a good therapist you both have lots of hope.
 

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Maybe love become a habbit in your life, she doesn;t feel fresh and excting than before, she may have more stress than you expect.
This is not the end.
 
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