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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
46 y.o. male facing a divorce I didn't see coming (but can now see all the ways I've failed my wife over the past 18 years). This summer, my wife told me she didn't want to be married anymore. More recently, she's used the word "divorce." I'm working on the things I know that are part of the problem (me), and seeking counseling to (hopefully) discover the things I don't know about. The relationship has not been abusive and there hasn't been any infidelity. I've just ignored and neglected my wife for most of our marriage. She doesn't love me anymore and says she's done, and I can understand why. I'm doing what I can to buy any time there is. We have two kids, so she hasn't left (yet), but I know I may not even have half a chance. Still very much in the "trying to save the marriage" stage, and working to fix myself enough to give my wife a reason to love me again. It's been a crushing few months, and hope seems like a luxury, but I'm not giving up. Google searches have turned this site up multiple times, and the threads I've read have been helpful, so hoping there will be more.

EDIT: Fuller picture here
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Why did you ignore and neglect her, as you admit, for most of the marriage?
Because I'm an idiot and didn't realize I was doing so. We've had some ups and downs, but mostly I thought things were OK. She communicates obliquely, and I'm terrible at hearing the feelings behind words. I'm very much a "rational" personality, and she's very much a "feeling" one. As such, if she wasn't crying or angry, I thought things were fine. So, you know, an idiot. :(
 

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I am assuming she told you many times what she needed was your time, perhaps she wanted to be held or kissed because you loved her and not just because you wanted to have sex? I am also assuming that when she felt all you wanted from her was sex because the time together, affection outside of the bedroom wasn't happening she eventually was not as free to be loving towards you when you did want intimacy?? Then you felt unloved or rejected and maybe stopped trying? Or do I have the picture wrong here?

What do you do now? This is all over 18 years in the making. I can tell you once a woman has crossed the threshold of the door (mental picture) and has walked to the other side, she is done. You would be smart to figure out where she is. The only chance you have in saving your marriage is if she has not closed that door yet. When a man feels he "won" the prize by walking down that aisle and then from there goes back concentrating on himself like he was a bachelor the wife feels unloved, rejected, disrespected. Her daily association to you is attached to all of those feelings. So really seriously you are going to have to change up your game in a noticeable way. I think men think they can win their wife back with what men want, sex. Think again! Oh we like it, yes, but after years of neglect that part of us has been burned.

If you are clueless to what she needs you need to ask her....is it time together, just perhaps a date or a walk together. Ask her about her day, show interest in her. Be her support, understand her like you did when you were dating. Compliment her meal or how she handled a situation with the kids or someone in her work place. Women connect thru conversation and communicating. Don't push the physical. She has to know you enjoy her and love her for the person she is. She needs to be acknowledged and shown your appreciation.
 

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Welcome to the TAM Family, @TXCiclista

It sounds as if you're already doing the post mortem on the relationship!

Regardless, it would serve you well to get with a good family attorney to help protect both your financial and custodial rights!
 
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