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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Disclaimer: (I may have) saved a marriage, I don't know, but maybe this post can help

Disclaimer: The original title of this post was "I have just barely saved a marriage that is days shy of 20 years old" and was then edited to the even more obnoxious "I have saved a marriage of not quite 20 years, here's how". If I could change it again, believe me I would, but after so many replies I guess you lose that option.
First, let me say that I don't know if my marriage is saved or not. This first post was made when I was feeling good about the way things were going in my relationship. I didn't mean to come off as a know-it-all, or worse a fool. It apparently rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. So I'm sorry about that. But there was also a lot of trolls and negative nellies posting in response. The only thing I was trying to do was to help other people. The main idea I was trying to get across (rather ironically in retrospect) is that communication is key to a good relationship. My wife and I were having horrible fights that were often very destructive and ended with one or both of us either regretting what we said or did, or being very resentful at the other person because of what was said. That certainly wasn't helping our relationship out. Our therapist gave us these ground rules for fighting and for your benefit, they are posted below. This is not some magic cure. Sorry if I made sound like it was. All these rules do is (if you and your partner are willing to stick to them) is keep you from making things worse and maybe, and just maybe mind you, get you moving in the direction of healing your relationship by clearly and calmly expressing what you feel is wrong or what you need from your partner. You can't fix what you don't even know is broken. If you express yourself better and your partner learns to listen better, many disagreements get be settled amicably. Again, communication was/is at root of most of the problems in my and many other marriages. These fighting rules are just a tool to help troubled partners fight in way that is constructive and NOT destructive. - RubenDLR


My wife and I are just now getting out of a very rough spot. Next week on the 23rd of March, 2016 we will celebrate our 20th anniversary. For awhile I didn't think we were going to make it to 20.

A little less than 2 months ago, my wife dropped a bombshell. After having a couple of drinks as we often do on the weekend together, she apparently worked up enough nerve to tell me that "although she still loved me, she was no longer in love with me and that she wanted to be 'single'". Her words, almost verbatim.

Well, suffice it to say I did not take the news well.
Some of the things I did really didn't help. I cried, I yelled, I attempted to guilt, shame, and scare her into staying. I used our financial situation as leverage, reminding her that the lion's share of our income was being generated by me.

Well none of this worked, and in fact, it made her resentful and pushed her even further away. I almost blew it.

So what happened? What changed? Well first I stopped trying to influence her directly. I tried to be more upbeat, and we started talking, a lot. You can only change yourself. But if you change, your partners reactions to you and your actions will likely change as well.

There were things I didn't know about that I needed to hear. Some of them were not pleasant, but how can you fix something if you don't even know that it's broken? I was a bad listener for one, sometimes unbeknownst to me I sucked in the sack. I was stuck too much in my own head and viewpoint and was not seeing things from her side.

So my advice to any other person, especially husbands facing this issue, is don't panic, don't overreact. You are only going to antagonize your wife and make the situation worse.

I strove to be a better listener to my wife, and to be more sympathetic to her needs, wants, and opinions. She felt valued, and in turn was more open to expressing affection toward me, which is the way I feel loved.

I don't think we are a typical example, but I wanted to put this out there if helps anyone. We went to counseling, and we were taught how to fight. Yes, actually instructed on how to have an argument with each other. The purpose of an argument is to reach a consensus or comprise that is acceptable to both parties. When your are fighting without either a set of rules or a clear objective or worse yet neither of those things you get miscommunication and emotional and not intellectual responses. This quickly deteriorates to anarchy and stuff gets broken, and people get hurt.

So let me give you the rules, they help. I hope my therapist doesn't mind me doing so. I doubt he does because his goal is to help people. I hope this helps someone.

10 RULES FOR FAIR FIGHTING

1. Listen completely to the other person's point of view before expressing yours and try to understand what their point is.

2. Be respectful of their opinion; even though it's not your point of view, it deserves respect

3. No belittling the other person or their ideas.

4. NO SARCASM!

5. No name calling or swearing at the other person.

6. Don't gunnysack; stick to the subject at hand! Do not bring up old arguments or other things that have nothing to do with the current argument itself.

7. STAY RELEVANT

8. Realize that in general there is no right or wrong in an argument* only differing points of view.

9. Take several deep breaths, count to 10, and remind yourself why you love the other person.

1O. Ask yourself, "How important will this argument be to me in 10 years?"

Remember that who started the argument is irrelevant. The important thing is to resolve it as quickly as possible, in a manner that will strengthen your love for each other and bring you both greater understanding of each other.

COMMUNICATION AVOIDS CONFRONTATION

God bless and good luck in saving your marriage.

RubenDLR
 

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Re: I have just barely saved a marriage that is days shy of 20 years old

So did you find out who she was seeing?
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Re: I have just barely saved a marriage that is days shy of 20 years old

That's not very helpful or funny. But, in truth, I know she was starting to window shop, but she hadn't bought anything. That was one of the reasons she told me she wanted out. She wanted to be respectful of our marriage, and didn't want to have an affair without at least telling me how she felt. I wasn't giving her what she needs, but she wanted to tell me before she went outside the marriage to address her needs.

I am not selling anything at all, I am sincerely sharing information I have learned the hard way in hopes that it would help someone else out.

Snide comments are not appreciated. If you were trying to be cute, you did not succeed. The you were honestly asking that question, you could have been more diplomatic in your approach.
 

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Glad you two turned it around.

Good rules for fighting as well.

If I missed it, Were you able to better satisfy her in bed?
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Re: I have just barely saved a marriage that is days shy of 20 years old

That's not very helpful or funny
It's kinda both, actually.

Admittedly, though, its helpfulness is at least significantly lessened if all you did was bury your head in the sand while swallowing all the stale platitudes your "therapist" could offer up.

In truth, I know she was starting to window shop, but she hadn't bought anything.
That's probably a lie.

But is it hers, yours, or both?

And did you even bother asking?
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I believe that I am addressing the issues she brought up. She quoted a yoga guru who said, "Foreplay doesn't start a few minutes before sex. Foreplay is how you treat your partner daily." By talking and listening more to her, she felt more connected to me, which made her more receptive to physical intimacy.

But specifically yes, I added a lot of manual foreplay before penetration. So either I made come with my hands first, or almost come and then I had a lot less distance to travel so to speak when we finally got to penetrative sex.

I hope that this helps someone too.
 

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May I ask, so it sounds like the potential failure of your marriage was your fault (at least that is how it is laid out in your OP). You mention:

I strove to be a better listener to my wife, and to be more sympathetic to her needs, wants, and opinions. She felt valued, and in turn was more open to expressing affection toward me, which is the way I feel loved.
The success of your marriage depends on you doing XYZ and then your wife deciding if it is enough to reciprocate?

Also, you mentioned you were a bad listener, and pointed specifically to sucking donkey balls in the sack (I may have paraphrased here). So does this mean your W was trying to give you guidance about the sucking and you didn't listen, or was this ever communicated to you directly?

Also, did JLD put you up to this post :grin2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: I have just barely saved a marriage that is days shy of 20 years old

I did bother asking, actually. Though, I have no proof that what she said is true. If there is no trust or honesty then there really isn't a basis for the relationship anyway.
 

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Nothing wrong with letting her go and starting over. In my state, 20+years of marriage can mean life time alimony. Definitely a reason to stay in a miserable marriage if you let it go that far.

Not sure how I could be someone with that doesn't desire me.

Hope it works out for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I am really kind of surprised by the tone of some these comments, actually. I have no idea who JLD is. I just thought this was an open forum on marriage and marriage issues.

Again I was just trying to help someone else. Instead I am belittled and made fun of.

It seems that at least one of these guys is a troll from way back. So what ever.

If my wife cheated, I don't know about it. I can choose to take her at her word or not.
You can believe what you wish, it is of no consequence to me.

If anyone finds help from my post, even if it's just to provide some modicum of hope then I have done what I sought to do.

RubenDLR
 

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She was more than window shopping. She had one picked out and she was saving up the money. Maybe she was not making moves, but by your own admission you never bothered to ask to see her email, phone etc, because that signifies no trust. Well honey her wanting to be SINGLE shows that you CANT trust her to be in your relationship. You just don't realize that you have lost trust in her, you are just deluding yourself into thinking you actually DO trust her. You are crossing your fingers and looking the other direction.

Good points in your post though. I'm sure i could have used that last night for the doozy of an argument i had with my husband.

Sorry if you feel we are poking holes in your perceived progress. I know it may feel like things are on track, but you don't actually know it in your bones because you never took the x-ray.

Dig, i highly recommend it. If you find nothing then you KNOW you can trust her.
 

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I am really kind of surprised by the tone of some these comments, actually. I have no idea who JLD is. I just thought this was an open forum on marriage and marriage issues.

Again I was just trying to help someone else. Instead I am belittled and made fun of.

It seems that at least one of these guys is a troll from way back. So what ever.

If my wife cheated, I don't know about it. I can choose to take her at her word or not.
You can believe what you wish, it is of no consequence to me.

If anyone finds help from my post, even if it's just to provide some modicum of hope then I have done what I sought to do.

RubenDLR
Chill
 

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I really kind of surprised by the tone of some these comments, actually. I have no idea who JLD is. I just thought this was an open forum on marriage and marriage issues.

Again I was just trying to help someone else. Instead I am belittled and made fun of.
It is an open forum, and I don't doubt your motives, and am glad you posted. The thing is, what you have posted here is nothing new from the I love you but am not in love with you speech your wife gave you, to what you discovered to placate the situation. Look up and research Walk Away Wife Syndrome...

Unfortunately, more often than not, the problems were never really fixed by simple compliance. More often than not, it leads to being a doormat and continuing misery. Not saying that is for sure your situation, but yours would certainly be the very rare exception that you want to believe it is.

JLD is a regular poster here who in short believes that it is the mans responsibility to carry his wife and marriage, and anything that goes wrong is ultimately his fault, and responsibility to fix. Her marital dynamic is not one of equals, but one of a parent and child where the husband is the parent, and the wife is the child.
 

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Again I was just trying to help someone else. Instead I am belittled and made fun of.
May be because for me your advice is limited to

-be able to conduct a civilized and meaningful argument/discussion (I would assume that that is a given, not always possible but at least most of the time)
and
-give your wife more foreplay and orgasms.

Seems rather superficial but from your comments I can only conclude that your wife's problem was her not orgasming enough.
And she didn't tell you that? Because you were not able to have a civilized discussion or what?

No issue about taking time for her, how did you treat her the whole day, do you have kids, was she at home, how did you value her work (career or at home). Basically how was your marriage life, how a typical day or weekend? There is a plethora of information that would make your story more valuable for others.
Now it's just ,"Argue in a civilized manner and f*** her better and all will be good.".

Others have already spoken about other problems in your statement, basically her side of the relationship is missing and it reads like a newly opened "my wife doesn't love me any more and I don't know why" thread when you should be able to provide a much broader picture since you saved your marriage and should have all these informations others come here to learn how to aquire them (or are unaware that they should aquire them).

Doesn't mean your post is unnecessary, just means it's lacking helpful information.
 

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@rubendlr

Honestly, any time someone is able to save their marriage I consider that a huge positive, so don't take the questioning here to mean people disapprove.

For me personally, I am just trying to understand a little better since nowhere in your OP is there an indication that your wife had any role in the deterioration of your marriage. Also, the concern is that your W said she wanted to be single. So to me, adding this all up with your post, it would appear that at any point if she decides you aren't doing enough she will just throw out there the single card.

So I am curious, do you feel like currently it is all on you to make the marriage work? Also, can you expand on what parts of your marital issues do you believe your W contributed to? Just trying to see the full picture here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
She was more than window shopping. She had one picked out and she was saving up the money. Maybe she was not making moves, but by your own admission you never bothered to ask to see her email, phone etc, because that signifies no trust. Well honey her wanting to be SINGLE shows that you CANT trust her to be in your relationship.

Sorry if you feel we are poking holes in your perceived progress. I know it may feel like things are on track, but you don't actually know it in your bones because you never took the x-ray.

Dig, i highly recommend it. If you find nothing then you KNOW you can trust her.
Thanks for the advice, now that was a constructive critical response and I DO appreciate that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
@rubendlr

Honestly, any time someone is able to save their marriage I consider that a huge positive, so don't take the questioning here to mean people disapprove.

For me personally, I am just trying to understand a little better since nowhere in your OP is there an indication that your wife had any role in the deterioration of your marriage. Also, the concern is that your W said she wanted to be single. So to me, adding this all up with your post, it would appear that at any point if she decides you aren't doing enough she will just throw out there the single card.

So I am curious, do you feel like currently it is all on you to make the marriage work? Also, can you expand on what parts of your marital issues do you believe your W contributed to? Just trying to see the full picture here.
Ok this is also good feedback. I didn't really mean to generalize.
I thought I was being wordy enough. Ok. Yes, my wife of course has some culpability in all this. One, she wasn't communicating her feelings and needs well. She also was keeping score. A relationship should not have a scoreboard. She was holding on to things from the past and throwing them in my face when it benefitted her. She is definitely no angel. She has a bad temper and she holds grudges. No one is perfect. No one.

The main advice I was trying to give was one, not to argue without a set of ground rules, and two, communication is absolutely the cornerstone of a good relationship. You really have to be clear and not make assumptions, you have to listen well and express well.

Sex is important as well, but not every woman can be satisfied by the same means. I posted what worked for me, but your mileage may vary. That was not the focus of my post, however, the communication was. People asked for specifics though, and I tried to answer them.

Sorry if I'm coming across as being testy, but geez, come on.

I am sorry if anything I said came across as insincere or overly optimistic or any other negative perception you may have had. I just wanted to express my personal situation somewhere and maybe help someone who is in the same place as me not to make the same mistakes.

RDLR
 

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If you found out that she was actually in an affair or close to one, be it physical or emotional - would that be a deal breaker for you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If you found out that she was actually in an affair or close to one, be it physical or emotional - would that be a deal breaker for you?
A physical affair would be a deal breaker for me. Or at least I have always thought it would be.

I have asked her straight out if there is someone else, and she said no. I have looked at emails and phone, BTW. Either I am a horrible detective or she is really good at covering her tracks or both because I didn't really see anything to give me pause.

Anyway, as I stated, if I can't trust this woman, then what the hell am I fighting to keep anyway?

RDLR
 

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Ok this is also good feedback. I didn't really mean to generalize.
I thought I was being wordy enough. Ok. Yes, my wife of course has some culpability in all this. One, she wasn't communicating her feelings and needs well. She also was keeping score. A relationship should not have a scoreboard. She was holding on to things from the past and throwing them in my face when it benefitted her. She is definitely no angel. She has a bad temper and she holds grudges. No one is perfect. No one.

The main advice I was trying to give was one, not to argue without a set of ground rules, and two, communication is absolutely the cornerstone of a good relationship. You really have to be clear and not make assumptions, you have to listen well and express well.

Sex is important as well, but not every woman can be satisfied by the same means. I posted what worked for me, but your mileage may vary. That was not the focus of my post, however, the communication was. People asked for specifics though, and I tried to answer them.

Sorry if I'm coming across as being testy, but geez, come on.

I am sorry if anything I said came across as insincere or overly optimistic or any other negative perception you may have had. I just wanted to express my personal situation somewhere and maybe help someone who is in the same place as me not to make the same mistakes.

RDLR
Seems another point that was not done in your marriage was honest communication. She didn't get to a place of love you but not in love with you overnight. Million and one things bothered her but she didn't tell you about them or you didn't listen. Same for the lackluster love love. You can only take accountability for what you know and have to work with. Some, maybe a lot, of that is on her.
 
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