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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

Hope you are all keeping well during these testing times. I am a father of two graphic designer who is married to the love of his life.

I find myself in a situation in which I am truly lost. My wife is distancing herself.

I met my wife through a mutual friend and we had an instant connection. It was obvious we were meant to be and all I wanted was to settle down with her. Fast forward 9 years (married for 5 years this Summer) we have two boys who we adore and we both work full-time. I live at home with my mother because she was alone and my brother recently moved home after graduating.

From a young age I constantly saw marriages breaking down as a result of infidelity and/or time. Time in the sense the couple never made time to strengthen their marriage/relationship they were only held together by their kids. I was very concious of this and so made an effort to always be home on time to help put kids to bed and spend time with my wife.

I have recently found myself constantly asking my wife if she's okay? So much so that she has pointed it out a couple times and that she needs time alone and she'll be fine. I understand kids can be stressful at the best of times but the feeling that something is wrong is overwhelming. I know she is off when she clams up and responds with one word or half assed answers. I ask if she's okay and her responses include but not limited to;

I'm tired
Kids are acting up
I'll be fine
Work has exhausted me

These are all normal responses and she has mentioned repeatedly that when she is upset/angry she just goes quiet until feeling passes. I'm a talk it out kind of guy so I see someone visibly upset, especially my wife and ask if they are okay. I feel she is upset with me. When she's upset I will get one worded answers if any but if my mother/brother talk to her she's fine. She gets on with both really well and especially loves having my mother around.

I find myself obsessing over the fact that I get the silent treatment and others don't. I've brought this up and I'm told it's because we are close and she can only take her anger out on me. I was happy to do that initially but it's all becoming abit much. I'm lost as to what to do. When she's okay you wouldn't tell there was an issue. It's like everything is perfect except, it's not!

I have to ask for a kiss and I always have to initiate anything more. So much to the point Im afraid to bring it up.
 

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You are correct that a lot of marriages fall apart because the couple did not nurture their relationship.

How many hours a week do you spend in quality time, just the two of you alone?

There are two very good books that can help a couple restructure their relationship, rebuild the passion and maintain it long term. The books are "Love Busters" and "His Needs, Her Needs". Read them in that order and do the work that they say to do. Then ask your wife to read them with you and the two of you do the work together. The reason I suggest you read them first is because you will learn a lot and get new way of thinking and speaking about all this that will help you start changing your relationship right away. Once things start to get better, she will most likely be more receptive to the idea of reading the books and doing the work.

The idea of the books is that first you have to identify the love busters, the thing that kill love for each other. Once those are stopped, then you can start meeting each others needs.

One of the points that the "His Needs, Her Needs" book makes is that a couple has to spend at least 15 hours a week together in quality time. That's without the children, extended family, and friends.

There is a saying that is overly simplistic but it makes a point: "A woman needs a reason to have sex, a man only needs a place." What it means is that a woman needs a fair amount of non-sexual intimacy to build her desire for sex. My bet is that with work, caring for children, house work, and your relatives all around you too are not getting much non-sexual intimacy going on. Think of when you dated, before you married. What things did the two of you do that you both enjoyed, though brought you too closer together?

And of course if you can come here as you wish and get input and support from others. :)
 

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I've brought this up and I'm told it's because we are close and she can only take her anger out on me.
Okay, so she says it's anger. But it may not be anger at you.

Don't keep pestering her for explanations.

I ask if she's okay and her responses include but not limited to:
I'm tired, Kids are acting up, I'll be fine, Work has exhausted me
Then a good answer might be "is there anything more I can do?"
Then leave it alone.
I'm a talk it out kind of guy
Yes, and you need to understand that she isn't! Don't keep on at her about the "silent treatment".
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You are correct that a lot of marriages fall apart because the couple did not nurture their relationship.

How many hours a week do you spend in quality time, just the two of you alone?

There are two very good books that can help a couple restructure their relationship, rebuild the passion and maintain it long term. The books are "Love Busters" and "His Needs, Her Needs". Read them in that order and do the work that they say to do. Then ask your wife to read them with you and the two of you do the work together. The reason I suggest you read them first is because you will learn a lot and get new way of thinking and speaking about all this that will help you start changing your relationship right away. Once things start to get better, she will most likely be more receptive to the idea of reading the books and doing the work.

The idea of the books is that first you have to identify the love busters, the thing that kill love for each other. Once those are stopped, then you can start meeting each others needs.

One of the points that the "His Needs, Her Needs" book makes is that a couple has to spend at least 15 hours a week together in quality time. That's without the children, extended family, and friends.

There is a saying that is overly simplistic but it makes a point: "A woman needs a reason to have sex, a man only needs a place." What it means is that a woman needs a fair amount of non-sexual intimacy to build her desire for sex. My bet is that with work, caring for children, house work, and your relatives all around you too are not getting much non-sexual intimacy going on. Think of when you dated, before you married. What things did the two of you do that you both enjoyed, though brought you too closer together?

And of course if you can come here as you wish and get input and support from others. :)
Hi EleGirl,

I will definitely read both books. We get roughly 7 hours a week of alone time. Like totally alone. We could do with more.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Okay, so she says it's anger. But it may not be anger at you.

Don't keep pestering her for explanations.


Then a good answer might be "is there anything more I can do?"
Then leave it alone.

Yes, and you need to understand that she isn't! Don't keep on at her about the "silent treatment".
Hi Laurentium,

I appreciate the point of not pestering and it's never my intention. I have talked it out with her a handful of times. Everytime she says she feels much better. I also feel if I don't ask it would get worse. The only reason we talk in the end is my persistence in starting a conversation. She admits this too. The next day it's the same story again.
 

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Hi All,

Hope you are all keeping well during these testing times. I am a father of two graphic designer who is married to the love of his life.

I find myself in a situation in which I am truly lost. My wife is distancing herself.

I met my wife through a mutual friend and we had an instant connection. It was obvious we were meant to be and all I wanted was to settle down with her. Fast forward 9 years (married for 5 years this Summer) we have two boys who we adore and we both work full-time. I live at home with my mother because she was alone and my brother recently moved home after graduating.

From a young age I constantly saw marriages breaking down as a result of infidelity and/or time. Time in the sense the couple never made time to strengthen their marriage/relationship they were only held together by their kids. I was very concious of this and so made an effort to always be home on time to help put kids to bed and spend time with my wife.

I have recently found myself constantly asking my wife if she's okay? So much so that she has pointed it out a couple times and that she needs time alone and she'll be fine. I understand kids can be stressful at the best of times but the feeling that something is wrong is overwhelming. I know she is off when she clams up and responds with one word or half assed answers. I ask if she's okay and her responses include but not limited to;

I'm tired
Kids are acting up
I'll be fine
Work has exhausted me

These are all normal responses and she has mentioned repeatedly that when she is upset/angry she just goes quiet until feeling passes. I'm a talk it out kind of guy so I see someone visibly upset, especially my wife and ask if they are okay. I feel she is upset with me. When she's upset I will get one worded answers if any but if my mother/brother talk to her she's fine. She gets on with both really well and especially loves having my mother around.

I find myself obsessing over the fact that I get the silent treatment and others don't. I've brought this up and I'm told it's because we are close and she can only take her anger out on me. I was happy to do that initially but it's all becoming abit much. I'm lost as to what to do. When she's okay you wouldn't tell there was an issue. It's like everything is perfect except, it's not!

I have to ask for a kiss and I always have to initiate anything more. So much to the point Im afraid to bring it up.
I know that I get more upset with my one wife for her asking if I'm ok or is everything alright on a very frequent basis. In her case she was married to an abusive man before she fanally got the courage to leave. But that leaves scars. It makes it hard. Now while that might not be your situation specifically, you still might come across to your wife as smothering, asking too often if she is alright. That's not to say that you shouldn't check in now and again, but try to be mindful of your frequency. My first legal wife, was super upset because I said, "I love you" quite frequently. That was too much for her. Thankfully, both my wives and husband have no issue with such frequency. As to silent treatment, she may be putting on a front for your mother and brother. That's not uncommon. Keep in mind that while you are a talk it out type, she may not be. She should be there to listen to you when you need to talk it out, but you should not expect her to talk out her issues with you, UNLESS they are issues with what you are or are not doing.

Maybe find some time, when she is not upset, and talk to ensure that she is aware of your feelings. Try not to be accusatory. Use phrasology such as "I feel A when you do B" instead of "you doing B makes me feel A". The later comes across more accusatory, and they are more likely to shut down and become defensive before actually hearing your real concerns. Discuss what is and isn't appropriate timing for asking when she is okay. Maybe even having a third party to mediate (not your mother or brother) and restate things that may be misunderstood.
 
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