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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have been married for 20 years. In that time I have failed to connect with my wife emotionally and intimately. I have blamed her low interest in sex on all my problems......and totally ignored my responsibility to build the emotional bonds that create a truly intimate relationship between husband and wife. We have a wonderful 15 year old child, who is a credit to both of us...but especially my wife.

I have been advised to (and seriously considered) separation....but one point I keeps coming back to, ”I love my wife, she is the love of my life”. Even now when I chat with her I see flickers of the woman I met and fell in love with 25 years ago, my heart melts and I feel sad, sad because I let the relationship drift, I got distracted, took for her granted and damaged the most valuable thing in my life...the love I have for my wife. By extension I have had a life without intimacy which has made me an incomplete adult.

She has stood by me all these years, as I worked excessive hours, paid her little to no attention and stonewalled her attempts to reach out. I detached myself emotionally from her. Found satisfaction in years of masturbation rather than wooing her. I have grown middle aged, selfish, grumpy, hard and unkind.

And yet she is always there, always interested in my day, wanting my company, wants to hold my hand, wants to be my best friend.......I now realised that I have been a fool, and see that I am extremely fortunate to be sharing my life with this woman....I need to fix this marriage, and give her the husband she deserves....and in return all I need is her love and intimacy....

At this stage I know I have deeply damaged her love and trust. She sees my renewed interest as a desire for sex and sex alone. She has some issues with intimacy, but rather than me being patient and kind, I get angry, annoyed....and quiet.

What I need now is to carefully rebuild the relationship, act by act, day by day...never losing sight of what is truly important....the love of my best friend...this woman who for some reason believes in me, and continues to share her life with a man whom she believes does not care anymore.

I would welcome people’s opinion and guidance on how I approach this....as I share my journey, and hopefully reach the heights of love, than only a truly connected couple can...

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You sound a lot like my husband and the anger I feel towards him some days is breathtaking. Yes he's back emotionally, physically but I want to know where the hell was he for 20 years?

And you think you have the right to be angry when you are the one who stonewalled your wife, put her on the back burner, ignored her, took her for granted, etc.? Seriously? What you want to just check back in like nothing happened? Really?
 

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I do not in any way disagree with the tone and content of Mavash's post. However, if you are serious about making changes to reconnect, then I highly recommend the books His Needs, Her Needs and Love Busters, both by Willard Harley. Don't just read them, actually do as they suggest - the worksheets, the amount of quality time, all of it.

Make actual changes. Don't just sound better or think better. Do better.
 

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I should clarify I contributed to my marital problems but I've worked for the past 10 years to fix it and angry probably isn't a good word. I'm hurt. I'm hurt that I was put on the back burner, hurt that he blocked me out, hurt that he chose work over me, hurt that he didn't care, hurt that he checked out and detached from me when all I wanted was for him to love me.

It's really hard to feel like the man you love and adore doesn't care about you.
 

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Have you ever just sat down and told her all of this? She has stuck with you through all of this. You might just get back into her heart if she knew exactly how much truly loved her.

I know that I would melt if my husband was to say all this with an I love you and a would you marry me again.
 

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And you think you have the right to be angry when you are the one who stonewalled your wife, put her on the back burner, ignored her, took her for granted, etc.? Seriously? What you want to just check back in like nothing happened? Really?
Its a fair point. Many people who put work and daily living ahead of their married relationship reach the point you have.
Suddenly you, for what ever reason wake up and think that for X years Ive dont this and that and been only 50% of a husband (when considering what is expected of the rounded husband as an individual). Now you want to get that all back..... Aint going to happen just like that. Your W has, by your own admission stood beside you throughout, been the dutyful wife and it appears has been faithful to you. Now you want to change the life style. You wife needs to know what youve discovered. She needs to see what youve said here, youve blamed many issues on her low sex drive. When you marry you can expect issue to evolve. Some are of a sexual nature. Consider this. Swop places and put yourslef in a low sexual demand position and your wife in the high demand. Would you want her to treat you like youve stated here? I doubt it.

Sometimes, and I say this expecting some comments on it, you marry, you have a great sex life at first then it just naturally eases off. You either put in demands and make the partner feel threatened as they are low and you high demand, you work together to try and get a mutually acceptable level of satisfaction or you part. In the majority people will come to a mutal agreement whe they love each other. There are marridges where accident and illness have caused high low balance to become part of everyday life. These people still have to work at it.
Youve decided to kick start your marridge again and it appears that you have not involved your W in what this is all about. If youve been in a disengaged situation and suddenly re-engage its not all supprising that your wife sees this as a "lets get laid" scenario. Have you thought of starting this all off with the dating process, re-win your W's heart and mind, start showing her in small ways that you are still interested in her, have you even mentioned this want to recapture her?. If youve just decided we're marriied therefore its as it used to be then you really have messed it up big time. She has to a degree made a life stye of her own which has you on the outer edges and not centre of her world. Try talking in a mindful manner and see if its actually what she wants - you may be supprised by her responses
 

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Tell her everything you wrote. Tell her as often as you can.

I can relate to your post, my situation sounds similar. In fact I almost thought it was him posting this!

We realized that we did not talk about anything that mattered anymore, and once we started it was like the flood gates opening and we haven't stopped. And honestly, in the 2 months since I feel more of a desire for him because I feel so connected. Of course there are bumps, but we handle those by communicating now and so they are not so big.

He told me that he was not going to give up on me as long as I did not give up. And when I do not have the desire we talk about it and why, I have some medical issues that interfere that in the past I have been too closed mouth about and he took my lack of desire as not loving him.

It sounds to me like you have a strong foundation, it is just a bit cracked and in need of repair. To repair I think sitting down and having a heart to heart…and then keep having those discussions for the rest of your lives about everything in it. That is my plan.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes...I will talk carefully...this is a journey...these are baby steps..
I have been a great provider materially, and master of the big gesters.....but poor at the smaller one.

Thou I have no interest out side of home & work. And all my spare time is spent with her....but we never communicated properly...

I have started...she is confused....but at least we are begining...
 

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I would welcome people’s opinion and guidance on how I approach this....as I share my journey, and hopefully reach the heights of love, than only a truly connected couple can...
My humble advice would be to start dating your wife. Set aside regular date nights, you make all the plans and arrangements. Take her to nice places and fun activities and make sure to remember your manners
 

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You sound a lot like my husband and the anger I feel towards him some days is breathtaking. Yes he's back emotionally, physically but I want to know where the hell was he for 20 years?

And you think you have the right to be angry when you are the one who stonewalled your wife, put her on the back burner, ignored her, took her for granted, etc.? Seriously? What you want to just check back in like nothing happened? Really?
You must of missed his previous post. She's denied him sex for the last 10 years. Before that she has allowed him 5 times prior. :(
 

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vitality, one thing to consider is that as a guy, you connect with your wife largely through sex, and after seeing your previous thread, it sounds like your wife is just not in a sexual mindset. She is effectively denying you your most effective mechanism to reach the closeness you are looking for.

I hadn't read your previous post, so I read this one and was amazed at how well thought out and well designed your plan was, and I do think if you do it, you will maximize what you attain in this relationship being the only one trying.

Now that I know the back story, the amount of venom she lashes out with you with, and the ridiculously long sexless marriage, I think you need to ask yourself a serious question... do you love what you guys are in this marriage, or do you love what you think it will become?

Because, it sounds like you are miserable now and she has no designs on changing.

Please think about it.
 

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Hi Vitality. I love your post. If more hubbies were that committed I think there'd be far more happy wives.

I highly recommend His Needs Her Needs as was previously suggested. Also by the same author is Love Busters and there's a workbook to accompany them. You should get all 3. My hubby and I are working through them right now as a matter of fact, and just last night we did chapter 3 of His Needs Her Needs, which talks about affection. It sounds like you and your wife would benefit a lot from it.

If your wife will work with you I think you have a great shot at it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
To answer your question...I love what this marraige could become. If we achieve good intimacy, I will be so happy as the daily life we have created will become whole.

I know that I have challenges in my journey...but I own it to myself to give it all I have got to make it succeed....time will tell...but it will be months, not years..

No matter what I end up doing, I love my wife very very much...and I really hope it turns out the way I dream it to be...
 

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You must of missed his previous post. She's denied him sex for the last 10 years. Before that she has allowed him 5 times prior. :(
Oh how I love it when posters don't tell the whole story. He painted her as this great wife and he was completely in the wrong.

I take back what I said. This little nugget changes everything.
 

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Vitality I agree with those advising you to talk to your wife and tell her exactly what you've told us. Sometimes humbling ourselves by accepting responsibility for our part in issues helps to break down the 'defensive walls' that may have been erected.

I also agree you should begin courting your W just like you did back when. Another good book to read "Rekindling the Romance' by Dennis & Barbara Rainey. It's separated into two section His/Hers. Hopefully once you've explained to your W what you've discovered and what you'd like for your relationship to become, she'll be open to doing some/all of the suggested reading and/or workbooks with you.

Best of luck to you. Please keep us all posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I am speaking to my wife ...discussion on my needs agitate her. ...discussionnon us being close draw her in...

she does not like reading books on relationship/marraiges/ self help ....possible because I have been reading them for 12 years ...like Dr Phil, Stephen Covey, Marcus Buckingham etc

I really have to be basis, gentle and natural with her ...

My fear is I could lose my identity if my intimacy needs are not met ....so goes the merry dance ...

I wil keep you posted...as I find all the comments challenging, supportive and heart warming ..
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Finally read your other thread.

Dude there is no way you are ever ever going to fix this.

Ever.

82% of us think you need to leave according to your poll. What more is there to say?

BTW this wasn't your fault. Not even close.
 
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