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Discussion Starter #1
I found online message boards very helpful for some other issues I've had to deal with. This one looks pretty active and with people who can understand this situation so thanks in advance for reading and your comments.

My wife and I have been married for over 14 years. We were both each other's first serious girl/boy friend and she's a bit (6) years older than me, and I guess she felt societal pressure that she had to get married. I honestly was in no rush (I'm an average guy that just didn't put much into relationships) but the only other relationship I really knew (or thought I knew about) was my parents, which wasn't truly about love, but was more about devotion to each other.

Which in my mind meant taking care of the other person and just being with the other person. I didn't like the thought of not being with her so I did 'accept' the ultimatum and I can honestly say I have not generally regretted the decision, because in some sense I'm a loner, and not very emotional, and we lived our lives together in harmony, or so I thought.

However, I also did pick up some bad habits from observing my parents traditional marriage, where the man had all the power and basically expected the women to cook and clean. While I don't think I was that bad, I did sometimes slip into that mindset, and for that I was sorry and willing to change.

Past that, her complaint that has led to her to ask for divorce is that there's no classic 'spark' in the relationship. I'm not going to lie and say there was, but my concept of love is apparently different, and it was devotion to her. I'm working on the feelings that many expect, but it's not natural to me to have ever felt that way.

Despite all that, I feel that I love her and love being with her and wanted her to be my companion for life. I have made some mistakes and willing to adjust those, and I'm working on culling the other side of love. But is my devotion enough? Or since the spark wasn't there and maybe something that can't be created after the fact (and maybe I just don't 'feel' that way about anyone or anything) is this a lost cause and I should just move on after all this time?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I'll add two more points and see if you guys agree that these are all signs that point to divorce in the future:

1) After bringing up the D word I suggest counseling which is agreed to on the weekend, on Monday apparently mid day gets the number for a counselor, but 'too busy' to call till they were already closed that day (and I'll be out of town on business soon)

2) When I am in downtime I am generally sad about the situation. I asked her and she said no, she's indifferent'.

I'm going for initial consultations with some divorce lawyers soon and opened my own checking/savings account. It seems like the hope is nil and I can only hope that counseling gives me some advice I can take to my next relationship (I'm still young-ish, in my mid 30s)
 

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It doesn't sound like your wife is interested in reconciling and working on the marriage. The fact that she is "indifferent" is a VERY BAD sign.

Before you both waste your time and your money, ask your wife if she is SINCERELY interested in counseling; if she is going to go into it with an open mind and really attempt to learn something from it...OR is she just going to please you, to say 'okay, we completed all the steps, crossed everything off the list, nothing worked, let's get the divorce.' If she is JUST going to go through the motions (no judgement on her...she's entitled to NOT want to go), don't waste either spouse's time/money going. Just move on to the divorce.

The fact that you're not very emotional and you both agree that there's never been a 'spark' is reason enough for her. Although it appears to be enough for you, it isn't enough for your wife. I think there are many people who would require more than devotion. If all *I* wanted was devotion, I would live with my child forever, or my parents or my sibling, or a cousin, or a best friend (or even a very loyal dog). I am not trying to be snide with you, just pointing out that 'devotion' is something I would expect to get from a very close non-sexual relationship. I, personally, would expect a WHOLE LOT MORE from my spouse.
 

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Past that, her complaint that has led to her to ask for divorce is that there's no classic 'spark' in the relationship.
So we all are on the same page please define “Spark’ In detail
 

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The fact that you're not very emotional and you both agree that there's never been a 'spark' is reason enough for her. Although it appears to be enough for you, it isn't enough for your wife. I think there are many people who would require more than devotion. If all *I* wanted was devotion, I would live with my child forever, or my parents or my sibling, or a cousin, or a best friend (or even a very loyal dog). I am not trying to be snide with you, just pointing out that 'devotion' is something I would expect to get from a very close non-sexual relationship. I, personally, would expect a WHOLE LOT MORE from my spouse.
Devotion, my husband and I are having the exact same problem in our marriage (he's like you, I'm like your wife, but he's older and I'm younger). I've realized that he's approached our marriage in the same way you have, and the thing is this: that's not enough for a lot of women anymore (which is why I highlighted the post above).

We've realized that we don't want the same old "traditional," spark-free, companion marriage that our parents did. And we told our future husbands that we didn't want the same marriage that our parents had. But I don't think that anyone ever really explained to men what that really meant. It's clear to me now that my husband definitely didn't know what I meant.

Sadly, I don't really have any advice for you. If I did, I could fix my own marriage. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the feedback. The marriage counselor said a few times that 'counseling can either be a step towards reconciliation or a checkbox someone wants to mark before divorce'. I can't read her mind on why she even agreed to go to counseling (maybe to have one last time to complain about me??) but the shared session was pretty much her listing her complaints, me admitting the issue, and her still interrupting me with even more complaints.

I've tried to be more affectionate and understanding, but I can't even get a shred of return. I offered to cook her dinner (and I've only cooked maybe four times in my life before) and picked something relatively complicated for me, focused on her and watched some TV with her and left all the bitterness behind. I asked to hold her hand and she allowed that, but never offered any emotion in return.

The next day I try to explain that I want to fix the things that are broken for 'us' and not just for 'her' (a sticking point) and somehow that kicks off a firestorm of 'Don't tell me how to feel, blah blah'. I try to avoid it and get down to brass tacks 'I really enjoyed spending some time with you last night and being a better husband, did any part of you like it at all' and the answer was "I'm too busy now to discuss this"

So its not 0% yet, but its close to 0. I can only get kicked when 'm done so much, I have to move on. And I'm actually getting more bitter because when we were dating, she GAVE me the ultimatum to get married or leave. And I made the very logical reasoning that I'd rather be with her than without, as those were my only TWO choices. Then 14 years down the road she has the gall to complain that there was no spark when she didn't let one ignite on its own???
 

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How do you determine a MC that is 'pro-marriage'?
devotion, I'm answering you on your own thread. Simple answer, you question them. Find out how many couples they have treated, how many of those have they had success with. (Their success rate) Ask for their credentials and training for couples counseling too. If they tell you something along the lines of you really can't base things that way, just say thank you and have a nice day.

PS, My wife too got into messages and texting another man. That was what lead to the final ' I want a divorce ' when I found out she was still texting that man (supposedly not about a relationship, but still talking after agreeing he was a bad influence). And I too send emails saying how much I want to be with her and willing to change, and got no response which hurts sooo much when one party has checked out before the other. So we may be heading down the same rabbit hole. .

But the most important thing you haven't mentioned in this thread is that there is an OM in your relationship. MC is for two people to work on a marriage. MC can not work as long as there are three people in a marriage. Your wife is involved in an affair. That is why she is treating you the way you describe. Until the OM is out of the picture all your efforts will be rejected. You need to get rid of him before you will have any hope.

Get this book, Dr. Shirley Glass - NOT "Just Friends"

Have the Mods move you thread to Coping with Infidelity section of the site. There you will get proper advice from others that have been in your shoes. Good luck.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
It's funny since I am not sure if I'd consider it infidelity but some of my friends do tell me to treat it that way too.

That said, we had a shared MC session two weeks ago that didn't really change anything. Had my personal one with MC last week and it was fine, I mean, my first therapy session and I let the process work and saw some things to work on. Wife had session yesterday and told me that they both agreed she doesn't want it to work so she's not having any more MC sessions.

So I asked if its over and I think I'm hearing its over and she's just stalling for time to get her own financial stuff together (stuff that she always depended on me to handle) and also the legal stuff (for example I've already talked to several lawyers and know the process, while she was never good at that).

She also says she didn't miss me at all (been travelling for business for a week) and that despite me trying for the last couple of weeks, cooking her meals, taking her to dinner, watching TV with her, that she finds missing nothing. In addition she feels I am only saying I'll change because I don't want to lose her (duh, in some sense) and that because of all the changes I have to make that i'll revert in 6 months and at that point she's wasted another 6 months of her life.

My family counseled me to put it all out there as a last ditch effort if I really wanted to be with her. I do, because I feel she's the best women for me. She's got her flaws but I was always happy to be with her and comfortable with her. And I even feel the passion is there, its just muted because that's the way I hide my emotions.

But I think its time to do what devotion does good; call a lawyer, draft the arrangement and get this beaotch out.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Found out she has an active (within past 24 hour) match.com page which I would no longer match her 'interested in' column.

I'm taking the 180 divorce buster approach now, because I tried the other way and it got me nothing but a brick wall. I looked deep down and actually found the passion she was talking about, but it was covered under an emotional wall I've been brought up to show. I tried to demonstrate it at a couple of dates and making her dinner, but absolutely no reciprocation at any of those, and right after the last 'date' is when her match.com profile is active.

I don't really think that the 180 approach will save my marriage, but it will help me prepare for my new life after the marriage and at least stop me from driving myself crazy if there's anything else I can do. Like others, when you get past a certain point its hard to imagine the other party not even caring about you one bit, but that's what's happened to me.. and that is still a bitter pill to take.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just wrapping up this thread, its now a certainty and I'll be starting a new thread on the other forum about the actual divorce. There was one last flare up where she accused me of being 'rude' to her .. the real difference was that once I accepted divorce as the only option (As she had felt all along) that I just don't want to talk to her about anything except the business at end.

We had shared friends that she gave up on, and now she asks me how they are doing (since I still see them). I have no interest in talking about them with her. So if I see a movie with them, I'll tell her if the movie was good (Looper, Argo, both good) but I won't get into any more details (divorce 180, anyway!)

So now she understands that despite living in the same house for now I really have no interest in talking to her about anything.. and maybe that made her mad, because she wanted me to pine after her till the end, and instead I closed the book.

Moving on with life, love, and the pursuit of happiness....
 
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