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I'm not sure what I'm looking for here. I don't know if I just want to get all this out or if I'm searching for advice. A little of both I suppose. My wife and I have been married for 31 years. It's been a good marriage I guess with the typical ups and downs. We have three gown boys that love us .There was a couple of instances of betrayal early on in the marriage but we worked through it and I think we healed ok. This current situation started about 12 years ago. I had an opportunity to work at a very good company with huge potential for both advancement and money. The only problem was that I would have to work long and inconvenient hours for the first year or so. After that I could curtail and stabilize things. We discussed it and we both decided that it was too good of an opportunity to pass up. I started the job and it seemed everything was going well. I was doing incredibly well at work and when I came home and told her about my successes she seemed genuinely thrilled. The money was rolling in. We were able to travel. I was able to buy her the things that I'd always wanted. And we were building a tidy nest egg for our family. I guess things started coming off the rails toward the end of the first year. She says she was getting tired of me being gone so much and was becoming frustrated and lonely. All her friends were out doing family things and she felt stuck at home with the kids while I worked long hours. Of course I didn't take it as seriously as I should have. After all I thought things were going great. Stupidly I thought it was just a rough patch and she'd get over it. Big mistake I know.

Then after a few months she stopped complaining. I figured it was okay now. That was until I noticed that she was talking to some guy online. He was younger than her, still in college and on some sports team. I managed to read some of their past conversations and saw how he was blatantly chatting her up and flirting. I didn't tell her I discovered this "relationship." I decided to watch to see how far this had gone. It was a week later that I saw she had given him a "boob flash" and had made a date with him to go out. That's when I confronted her. There were a lot of angry and hurt words thrown around. She said she told me multiple times that she was lonely but I wouldn't listen. I realized she was right about that but it was no excuse for what she had done. After I verified that this was the only "relationship" that she had started and that it hadn't progressed past what I already knew we sat down and decided to try to fix our marriage. We both took responsibility for what we'd done. I quit the job with long hours and began to devote as much time as possible to my wife and our boys. She in turn gave me access to everything, hid nothing and generally was an open book in order to rebuild my damaged trust. We read books, we took time for us as a couple. We learned to communicate better. And our marriage became stronger, possibly even stronger than it ever was. Except for in one area. Intimacy.

From the time we were first together we both realized we had high sex drives. It was great that we matched so well. My wife wasn't adventurous per se but she wasn't prudish. She initiated sex almost as much as I did. She would wear lingerie without me asking. In fact she got off on seeing my eyes bug out so she made it a game to see how big of a reaction she could get out of me. During sex nothing was totally off the table although she limited anal sex to blue moons We experimented with things like light bondage, a bit of S & M, and other "tabboo" activities. This all stopped when I started working long hours and the worst part is that I never noticed. After we started to put our marriage back together I tried all sorts of things to rekindle things. It's not like we didn't have sex. We did. But there was no passion from her. She didn't do the things she used to. She still seemed to enjoy the physical act but it seemed the desire wasn't there. She said that she was very hurt, not so much by my working long hours but because I ignored her when she tried to tell me how miserable she was. She said she felt I had abandoned her and she felt detached from me. She was also more than a little freaked out at how easily she was tempted into almost throwing our marriage away by cheating. She told me I had to give it time for her to get back to where she was.

That was over ten years ago. Since then I have tried many (it seems like thousands) of ways to fix this (I'm a fixer.) I ramped up the romance, I took her out more, I made sure to give her one on one time (I think that was her love language or the top need on her list or whatever.) I even started writing her poetry. But it never came back. We still have sex maybe once a week but we've also gone weeks without. Once I decided to see if I didn't initiate sex would she do it like she used to. After four months of no sex I think I had my answer. We've talked about it on multiple occasions. Each time she vowed to try to do better. Each time the sex got more frequent for a week or so and then dropped off again. This past week was maybe the worst it's been for a while. She outright rejected me three time, the last time she even tried to push me away. She says she loves me and I know she does but there is no desire for me in her. I thought about it a lot yesterday and I came to the conclusion that it wasn't ever coming back. It wasn't broken, I couldn't fix it, it was dead and buried. That revelation had me crying like a baby. She tried to throw me pity sex and I of course turned it down. In fact the way I feel I really don't want to have sex with her since I know she really doesn't want me. Last night I was laying in bed with her and I had to leave. I've never felt so far away from her or so lonely in my life. I'm thinking of setting up a bed in the guest room so I don't have to sleep with her tonight. I don't know what to do. Part of me says to shut up and be thankful she'll still allow me to use her body. Most of me is disgusted by the thought of lowering myself to that level. I wish I didn't know how great things could be but I do. It was one thing when I had hope that things might return to the way they were. But now that I realize there's no hope I really have no interest in "coupling" with her. I feel like my world is burning down around me and I don't know what to do. She seems perfectly fine to go on the way things are. In every other way our marriage is great. But I want to be more than her best friend and partner. I want to be her lover like I was before.

Anyway like I said maybe I just wanted to get all this out. I'd ask for advice but I can't imagine any suggestions for things I've already not tried already I suppose I should just thank whoever takes the time to read this drama filled drivel and online pity party.
 

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You don’t say what age you are but I’m guessing mid to late fifties. You have still a lot to offer a woman who would desire you so don’t try to convince yourself to settle for pity sex.
You seem fairly certain that your wife isn’t cheating but you need to be one hundred percent sure.
At your age you have to make a decision, are you going to spend the rest of your life knowing that your wife doesn’t want you except for your paycheck or are you going to try to take back control of your life.
 

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My story is way too long to recount here. But, I left a 30-year marriage because it had been a sexless situation for years. I'm in my 50's and the kids were grown. It was the best life decision I've made in a very long time. Other than marrying my current wife. My life is so much happier now.
 

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How old are you both? I am guessing mid to late 50's? Early 60's? I would suggest that you talk to her seriously about how deeply this situation is affecting you and that the marriage itself is at risk.
Maybe if she knows how close things are to a divorce she may want to try changing things. Some good marriage counselling may help.

The work situation was hard. However, you both agreed you would take that job on knowing that the first year at least would be very busy, and you both benefitted in many ways from the money.

Personally I wouldnt end an otherwise good marriage at that stage of life for one thing, but we are all different.
 

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Does she even work now???

She's totally using you for financial security.

She has some pretty serious character flaws. You both agreed the job with long hours the first year was something that was worth it, she was enjoying the financial fruits of your labor then she ended up giving "boobie shots" to another dude inside an emotional affair, and holds that time against you. She gets lonely and goes to-- cheat.

Your situation sounds miserable. I'd leave, personally.
 

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I'm not sure what I'm looking for here. I don't know if I just want to get all this out or if I'm searching for advice. A little of both I suppose. My wife and I have been married for 31 years. It's been a good marriage I guess with the typical ups and downs. We have three gown boys that love us .There was a couple of instances of betrayal early on in the marriage but we worked through it and I think we healed ok. This current situation started about 12 years ago. I had an opportunity to work at a very good company with huge potential for both advancement and money. The only problem was that I would have to work long and inconvenient hours for the first year or so. After that I could curtail and stabilize things. We discussed it and we both decided that it was too good of an opportunity to pass up. I started the job and it seemed everything was going well. I was doing incredibly well at work and when I came home and told her about my successes she seemed genuinely thrilled. The money was rolling in. We were able to travel. I was able to buy her the things that I'd always wanted. And we were building a tidy nest egg for our family. I guess things started coming off the rails toward the end of the first year. She says she was getting tired of me being gone so much and was becoming frustrated and lonely. All her friends were out doing family things and she felt stuck at home with the kids while I worked long hours. Of course I didn't take it as seriously as I should have. After all I thought things were going great. Stupidly I thought it was just a rough patch and she'd get over it. Big mistake I know.

Then after a few months she stopped complaining. I figured it was okay now. That was until I noticed that she was talking to some guy online. He was younger than her, still in college and on some sports team. I managed to read some of their past conversations and saw how he was blatantly chatting her up and flirting. I didn't tell her I discovered this "relationship." I decided to watch to see how far this had gone. It was a week later that I saw she had given him a "boob flash" and had made a date with him to go out. That's when I confronted her. There were a lot of angry and hurt words thrown around. She said she told me multiple times that she was lonely but I wouldn't listen. I realized she was right about that but it was no excuse for what she had done. After I verified that this was the only "relationship" that she had started and that it hadn't progressed past what I already knew we sat down and decided to try to fix our marriage. We both took responsibility for what we'd done. I quit the job with long hours and began to devote as much time as possible to my wife and our boys. She in turn gave me access to everything, hid nothing and generally was an open book in order to rebuild my damaged trust. We read books, we took time for us as a couple. We learned to communicate better. And our marriage became stronger, possibly even stronger than it ever was. Except for in one area. Intimacy.

From the time we were first together we both realized we had high sex drives. It was great that we matched so well. My wife wasn't adventurous per se but she wasn't prudish. She initiated sex almost as much as I did. She would wear lingerie without me asking. In fact she got off on seeing my eyes bug out so she made it a game to see how big of a reaction she could get out of me. During sex nothing was totally off the table although she limited anal sex to blue moons We experimented with things like light bondage, a bit of S & M, and other "tabboo" activities. This all stopped when I started working long hours and the worst part is that I never noticed. After we started to put our marriage back together I tried all sorts of things to rekindle things. It's not like we didn't have sex. We did. But there was no passion from her. She didn't do the things she used to. She still seemed to enjoy the physical act but it seemed the desire wasn't there. She said that she was very hurt, not so much by my working long hours but because I ignored her when she tried to tell me how miserable she was. She said she felt I had abandoned her and she felt detached from me. She was also more than a little freaked out at how easily she was tempted into almost throwing our marriage away by cheating. She told me I had to give it time for her to get back to where she was.

That was over ten years ago. Since then I have tried many (it seems like thousands) of ways to fix this (I'm a fixer.) I ramped up the romance, I took her out more, I made sure to give her one on one time (I think that was her love language or the top need on her list or whatever.) I even started writing her poetry. But it never came back. We still have sex maybe once a week but we've also gone weeks without. Once I decided to see if I didn't initiate sex would she do it like she used to. After four months of no sex I think I had my answer. We've talked about it on multiple occasions. Each time she vowed to try to do better. Each time the sex got more frequent for a week or so and then dropped off again. This past week was maybe the worst it's been for a while. She outright rejected me three time, the last time she even tried to push me away. She says she loves me and I know she does but there is no desire for me in her. I thought about it a lot yesterday and I came to the conclusion that it wasn't ever coming back. It wasn't broken, I couldn't fix it, it was dead and buried. That revelation had me crying like a baby. She tried to throw me pity sex and I of course turned it down. In fact the way I feel I really don't want to have sex with her since I know she really doesn't want me. Last night I was laying in bed with her and I had to leave. I've never felt so far away from her or so lonely in my life. I'm thinking of setting up a bed in the guest room so I don't have to sleep with her tonight. I don't know what to do. Part of me says to shut up and be thankful she'll still allow me to use her body. Most of me is disgusted by the thought of lowering myself to that level. I wish I didn't know how great things could be but I do. It was one thing when I had hope that things might return to the way they were. But now that I realize there's no hope I really have no interest in "coupling" with her. I feel like my world is burning down around me and I don't know what to do. She seems perfectly fine to go on the way things are. In every other way our marriage is great. But I want to be more than her best friend and partner. I want to be her lover like I was before.

Anyway like I said maybe I just wanted to get all this out. I'd ask for advice but I can't imagine any suggestions for things I've already not tried already I suppose I should just thank whoever takes the time to read this drama filled drivel and online pity party.
oh wow this sounds so so similar to my situation

check out my thread in considering divorce or separation

i am moving out nov1

i wish you the best

it does help to get it out

there is good advice offered on this forum
 

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I'm not sure what I'm looking for here. I don't know if I just want to get all this out or if I'm searching for advice. A little of both I suppose. My wife and I have been married for 31 years. It's been a good marriage I guess with the typical ups and downs. We have three gown boys that love us .There was a couple of instances of betrayal early on in the marriage but we worked through it and I think we healed ok. This current situation started about 12 years ago. I had an opportunity to work at a very good company with huge potential for both advancement and money. The only problem was that I would have to work long and inconvenient hours for the first year or so. ......

Then after a few months she stopped complaining...... I didn't tell her I discovered this "relationship." I decided to watch to see how far this had gone. ...After I verified that this was the only "relationship" that she had started and that it hadn't progressed past what I already knew we sat down and decided to try to fix our marriage. We both took responsibility for what we'd done. I quit the job with long hours and began to devote as much time as possible to my wife and our boys. ..... And our marriage became stronger, possibly even stronger than it ever was. Except for in one area. Intimacy.

From the time we were first together we both realized we had high sex drives.,... This all stopped when I started working long hours and the worst part is that I never noticed. After we started to put our marriage back together I tried all sorts of things to rekindle things. It's not like we didn't have sex. We did. But there was no passion from her. She didn't do the things she used to. She still seemed to enjoy the physical act but it seemed the desire wasn't there. She said that she was very hurt, not so much by my working long hours but because I ignored her when she tried to tell me how miserable she was. She said she felt I had abandoned her and she felt detached from me. She was also more than a little freaked out at how easily she was tempted into almost throwing our marriage away by cheating. She told me I had to give it time for her to get back to where she was.

That was over ten years ago.
Since then I have tried many (it seems like thousands) of ways to fix this (I'm a fixer.) I ramped up the romance, I took her out more, I made sure to give her one on one time (I think that was her love language or the top need on her list or whatever.) I even started writing her poetry. But it never came back. We still have sex maybe once a week but we've also gone weeks without. Once I decided to see if I didn't initiate sex would she do it like she used to. After four months of no sex I think I had my answer. We've talked about it on multiple occasions. .....Last night I was laying in bed with her and I had to leave. I've never felt so far away from her or so lonely in my life. I'm thinking of setting up a bed in the guest room so I don't have to sleep with her tonight. I don't know what to do...... I want to be her lover like I was before.

Anyway like I said maybe I just wanted to get all this out. I'd ask for advice but I can't imagine any suggestions for things I've already not tried already I suppose I should just thank whoever takes the time to read this drama filled drivel and online pity party.
OK, I am 71, been married to the same woman for 49 years and although there has been no infidelities that I am aware of, I was in a similar situation, with two major exceptions, my wife had a low sex drive and my wife had lots of sexual hang-ups. My wife told me that she had no sexual desire for me. I did the wait for her to initiate sex and it didn't happen. I nearly destroyed my health by staying up late so that I was absolutely sleep deprived and exhausted when I went to bed. That was the only way I could share a bed with my wife without being physically and emotionally torn apart by being so close with no intimate contact.

Ultimately, I came to the point where I couldn't go on like that any more and decided I needed to change things. I promised myself that I would be in a loving sexual relationship with a woman (my wife or someone else after I divorced my wife) within 2 years. I then read just about every relationship book I could find. I decided that I needed to fix myself so that I would be suitable for a new healthy relationship. I didn't want to just bounce into another failed relationship. I wanted to learn from my mistakes. I also wanted to try to fix our marriage and if we couldn't, then I would heal and move on.

My advice to you is based on what I learned to heal myself and ultimately how my marriage was saved.

First, understand that you cannot change your wife, her sex drive, or her desire for you. Only she can do those things, and only if she wants to. You can, however, do things that may motivate her to make changes in her life, but only if she wants to. The danger is that the changes she may make may make your relationship better or worse. It is her choice and not yours. I strongly recommend you read and study two books, Glover's No More Mr. Nice Guy and the companion book by MW Davis, The Sex Starved Marriage. Both are about your and my situation in life, but from slightly different perspectives. The advice complements each book in ways to heal yourself in a way that will lead you to happiness.

MW Davis feels that you are both part of the problem and that you need to change the dynamic in your relationship so that your wife has to change the way she treats you. She calls this doing a 180. I call it the Monty Python approach, or "now time for something completely different." If something doesn't work, try the opposite to see if that works, if it causes a change in her behavior that you like then keep it up. Then change it a little more to see if that improves things even more. If not try something different, if so keep that up and do more minor changes until she treats you the way that you want. But first you have to really forgive her and the pain she has caused you. For example, whenever my wife felt like she might want to have sex with me, she would pick a fight with me by punching my hot buttons. This allowed her to control the emotional distance between us. Ultimately, I forgave her and refused to fight. She would do something, like insult me, I would just smile and look at her and ask her why she said what she did. It does take two to fight. She then apologized in a confused way without quite creating the emotional distance she had subconsciously hoped for.

Glover on the other hand identifies a Nice Guy as a man who thinks he is only validated if he is desired and loved by a woman. He has no core self. A Nice Guy is full of covert contracts. I will do the dishes if you will have sex with me. Only he never tells his W what the "deal" is and when he does the dishes and she doesn't have sex, he gets mad and pouts. Then he doubles down and not only does the dishes, but the laundry, shopping, etc. so she has to have sex with him. When that doesn't work he gets even more made and doubled down again. This is a path to total frustration.

Both Davis and Glover talk about "getting a life." This is code words for getting in shape, challenging yourself to do manly things that give you a sense of confidence and pride in yourself. Confidence and not being clingy are sexy to most women. There are lots of other things they both suggest, and I highly recommend those books to you. As a former Nice Guy, you sound like a Nice Guy and that is not a complement.

After I changed, lost 50 pounds, started dressing better, took up some sports I stopped doing when we were first married and did well at them, her attitude toward me changed. I also then started to be a more loving partner. I no longer was sexually clingy, and had forgiven her of all the hurt she caused. At that point I suggested marriage counseling with a sex therapist. My wife agreed, but it stretched her to the breaking point as we still were in a sex starved marriage. The ST helped my W work through her anger issues toward me and eventually helped us negotiate a new sex life. Not everything I wanted, but something I could live with and remain married to her. It was more than she wanted, but less than I wanted and something we could both barely live with.

I wish you luck. You may or may not be able to find happiness or save your marriage, but at least you will have tried. I would not recommend moving into another bedroom unless you discuss it with a sex therapist.
 

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Loyal, steadfast and stubborn.
Those are your strengths.

Your faults are that you are steadfast and stubborn.
You refuse to capitulate when the cause has been obviously lost for most of your marriage.

Stop blaming your wife for who she is.
Blame yourself for tolerating this marital situation for so long.

Come to grips that things will never get better with this woman.

Do both of you a favor and divorce her.
Let her find that better man and you that loving lady.


Nemesis-
 

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She has some pretty serious character flaws. You both agreed the job with long hours the first year was something that was worth it,
This is altogether typical. You bust your a$$ to make life better for her and your children. She rewards you with adultery, giving other men "boob shots". "Serious character flaws" is quite accurate, she's ungrateful, entitled, and selfish. She also needed to grow up and be an adult instead of a sniveling dependent child, a "help-meet" for her husband instead of a ball-and-chain who needed to be propped-up and carried through life.

She's totally using you for financial security.
Correct. And, it has probably been this way since the beginning. She deserves the just and fair recompense of having to bust her own a$$ for the rest of her life. Unfortunately, the courts won't see it that way, they will force you to maintain her just like you have been for all these years.

I don't know what to tell you. You are damned if you stay, and damned if you go. You have every good right to end your marriage, if that's what you choose, but I have no advice one way or the other, I think they are both bad.

I want to be more than her best friend and partner.
I don't blame you for wanting more, and I think you are kidding yourself about being either her "friend" or her "partner". She has been NEITHER of these things to you. To her, you are a pack-mule whose job it is to carry all her provisions, and her.
 

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You're a male drone. Read the Predatory Female. It was written by an airline pilot in 1986. You'll never view marriage the same again. You'll learn about the 5 faces, the invisible man, the matriarchal system, whether slavery is the natural state of man, and lots more!!
 

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You need to study up on the 180 and implement it.
You need to start focusing on you. Get some new clothes, a new hair style. Go the extra mile to present as someone looking to upgrade themselves and their life.
Find a good attorney and start lining your ducks up. Find out what divorce will look like and look at strategies to minimize the hit. You don't necessarily have to file at this point; however come up with an action plan for a 12 and 24 month departure in regards to sticking away some money away, having an exit plan, etc.
Let things fester awhile. See what the wife does. She will either want to work on the marriage or will resort back to her old pattern.
If she does the latter, use technology to your advantage. Stage some VAR's or wireless cameras around. If something nefarious is going on, use this knowledge to position yourself to gather the goods in a manner which would be admissible in a court. Think in terms of leveraging a favorable exit.
The bottom line is that she needs to be on defense, and you need to be on offense. You need to take charge and set the terms, parameters, etc for the marriage you want. If she is truly into you, she will respond favorably. Either way, you will find out what you have.
You need to read, learn, and live this book:

 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you for all the responses. I'll try to reply to each of them.

For those that say I'm her financial security I won't disagree. I always have and always will have the capability to make significantly more than she does. I will say that as soon as the kids were old enough she did go right out and get a job. She is still at the same place and has advanced steadily over time. When I left the job where I was working long hours I had to take a substantial pay cut. I was still making plenty, more than enough to support us in a comfortable lifestyle. Over the past several years I have gradually curtailed my day to day involvement in the business and now I pretty much make my own hours. All in all I still make more than her but the gap is not as much as it was. Since she knows I am well established and can make more as I need to I agree that in her mind I am still her financial stability even if our current incomes don't reflect that as much.

I do believe that she loves me a lot and I feel like I am her best friend and partner. I also realize the irony of that statement since if she cared that much about my wants and feelings she would do more to help me address the unfulfilled need. She says the right things but her actions don't back this up. I've been reevaluating the last decade or so and see in clear detail that I have been the only one to actually work at the problem. I won't say it's all her problem because I do feel like I set the stage for the problems that occurred by not listening to her when she was in fact communicating her dissatisfaction with our marriage. That is no way excuses her for what she did and almost did. She did do all the things necessary to rebuild trust (if it can ever truly be totally rebuilt.) She deleted all passwords on her computer, cell phone etc and installed had me install tacking software so I could always verify her location. Whenever we weren't together she checked in so I would be aware of what she was doing and where she was. She outed herself to her family and our close friends and in front of me she implored them to report to me any suspicious behavior on her part and asked them to "kick her azz if she ever looked like she was going to betray me again" She deleted her Facebook account, email and other such platforms that could be used to cheat. We use a couples email and Facebook account since then so there can be no elicit communication. Btw, I did not ask her expressly to do this, we read it together and she chose to take action to try to alleviate any worries I had over her faithfulness going forward.

That's one reason I'm so damned frustrated at her lack of action about intimacy. She's shown she will take action for other things but not this?

In Absentia, It does seem like she can't seem to connect with those feelings so detached is probably the right word. We've talked about this issue more times than I can count. She claims not to know why she can't feel the same way again. When I press her she cries because she says she is frustrated too. And she is not usually a crier.

Andy & Diana, you are right we are both in our mid 50's. And I don't want to divorce her. I love her with all my heart and we've come so far in every other aspect of our marriage but this one.

Suncmars, you nailed it. I am loyal, steadfast and stubborn. It's why I've been successful in many areas of my life. It's also why I believe our marriage is still together although she really has worked as hard as I have in all other aspects but this one. I have almost no hope left she will ever truly permanently address this and it's why I'm in crisis mode.

Livie, I think you are right, she does have some serious character flaws at least where this issue is concerned. She has stepped up in many situations but not here. Like I said if I didn't know how good it could be I suppose I could be satisfied with the way things are. But I do and I'm not. I wonder if she is subconsciously still punishing me for what happened all that time ago. Her parents divorced when she was young and her father gradually abandoned her blowing off visitation weekends all the time and eventually ignoring her altogether. Maybe she is unknowingly equating me with him?

Young at Heart, can I ask, did you communicate your two year timeline to her? Did she believe you? We've talked about divorce before, usually when I get to this point. I want her to know that if this doesn't change something will damnit but I don't know how to make her listen. It's my fault for tolerating this for so damned long. Also, how did you forgive her. I'm so pissed off right now I can't imagine forgiving her for letting it get to this point.

manowar, I'll read the Predatory Female as you suggested but I must admit it scares the crap out of me.

To all this that suggested No More Mr Nice Guy and The Sex Starved Marriage. I will immediately study those like my life depends on it. I must admit at first my thought was I've done everything for so long I'm not doing anything more. But then I realized that this would not be for her, it's for me. One question, I assume the 180 is to do exactly the opposite as I've been doing. Is there more to it? Is it in one of those books?
 

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I'm not sure what I'm looking for here. I don't know if I just want to get all this out or if I'm searching for advice. A little of both I suppose. My wife and I have been married for 31 years. It's been a good marriage I guess with the typical ups and downs. We have three gown boys that love us .There was a couple of instances of betrayal early on in the marriage but we worked through it and I think we healed ok. This current situation started about 12 years ago. I had an opportunity to work at a very good company with huge potential for both advancement and money. The only problem was that I would have to work long and inconvenient hours for the first year or so. After that I could curtail and stabilize things. We discussed it and we both decided that it was too good of an opportunity to pass up. I started the job and it seemed everything was going well. I was doing incredibly well at work and when I came home and told her about my successes she seemed genuinely thrilled. The money was rolling in. We were able to travel. I was able to buy her the things that I'd always wanted. And we were building a tidy nest egg for our family. I guess things started coming off the rails toward the end of the first year. She says she was getting tired of me being gone so much and was becoming frustrated and lonely. All her friends were out doing family things and she felt stuck at home with the kids while I worked long hours. Of course I didn't take it as seriously as I should have. After all I thought things were going great. Stupidly I thought it was just a rough patch and she'd get over it. Big mistake I know.

Then after a few months she stopped complaining. I figured it was okay now. That was until I noticed that she was talking to some guy online. He was younger than her, still in college and on some sports team. I managed to read some of their past conversations and saw how he was blatantly chatting her up and flirting. I didn't tell her I discovered this "relationship." I decided to watch to see how far this had gone. It was a week later that I saw she had given him a "boob flash" and had made a date with him to go out. That's when I confronted her. There were a lot of angry and hurt words thrown around. She said she told me multiple times that she was lonely but I wouldn't listen. I realized she was right about that but it was no excuse for what she had done. After I verified that this was the only "relationship" that she had started and that it hadn't progressed past what I already knew we sat down and decided to try to fix our marriage. We both took responsibility for what we'd done. I quit the job with long hours and began to devote as much time as possible to my wife and our boys. She in turn gave me access to everything, hid nothing and generally was an open book in order to rebuild my damaged trust. We read books, we took time for us as a couple. We learned to communicate better. And our marriage became stronger, possibly even stronger than it ever was. Except for in one area. Intimacy.

From the time we were first together we both realized we had high sex drives. It was great that we matched so well. My wife wasn't adventurous per se but she wasn't prudish. She initiated sex almost as much as I did. She would wear lingerie without me asking. In fact she got off on seeing my eyes bug out so she made it a game to see how big of a reaction she could get out of me. During sex nothing was totally off the table although she limited anal sex to blue moons We experimented with things like light bondage, a bit of S & M, and other "tabboo" activities. This all stopped when I started working long hours and the worst part is that I never noticed. After we started to put our marriage back together I tried all sorts of things to rekindle things. It's not like we didn't have sex. We did. But there was no passion from her. She didn't do the things she used to. She still seemed to enjoy the physical act but it seemed the desire wasn't there. She said that she was very hurt, not so much by my working long hours but because I ignored her when she tried to tell me how miserable she was. She said she felt I had abandoned her and she felt detached from me. She was also more than a little freaked out at how easily she was tempted into almost throwing our marriage away by cheating. She told me I had to give it time for her to get back to where she was.

That was over ten years ago. Since then I have tried many (it seems like thousands) of ways to fix this (I'm a fixer.) I ramped up the romance, I took her out more, I made sure to give her one on one time (I think that was her love language or the top need on her list or whatever.) I even started writing her poetry. But it never came back. We still have sex maybe once a week but we've also gone weeks without. Once I decided to see if I didn't initiate sex would she do it like she used to. After four months of no sex I think I had my answer. We've talked about it on multiple occasions. Each time she vowed to try to do better. Each time the sex got more frequent for a week or so and then dropped off again. This past week was maybe the worst it's been for a while. She outright rejected me three time, the last time she even tried to push me away. She says she loves me and I know she does but there is no desire for me in her. I thought about it a lot yesterday and I came to the conclusion that it wasn't ever coming back. It wasn't broken, I couldn't fix it, it was dead and buried. That revelation had me crying like a baby. She tried to throw me pity sex and I of course turned it down. In fact the way I feel I really don't want to have sex with her since I know she really doesn't want me. Last night I was laying in bed with her and I had to leave. I've never felt so far away from her or so lonely in my life. I'm thinking of setting up a bed in the guest room so I don't have to sleep with her tonight. I don't know what to do. Part of me says to shut up and be thankful she'll still allow me to use her body. Most of me is disgusted by the thought of lowering myself to that level. I wish I didn't know how great things could be but I do. It was one thing when I had hope that things might return to the way they were. But now that I realize there's no hope I really have no interest in "coupling" with her. I feel like my world is burning down around me and I don't know what to do. She seems perfectly fine to go on the way things are. In every other way our marriage is great. But I want to be more than her best friend and partner. I want to be her lover like I was before.

Anyway like I said maybe I just wanted to get all this out. I'd ask for advice but I can't imagine any suggestions for things I've already not tried already I suppose I should just thank whoever takes the time to read this drama filled drivel and online pity party.
So you both decide that this job was best for both of you. Then she decided she was lonely and tried I guess to find a f-buddy. She then checked out of the marriage and is not coming back.

I love how she blames you for her not being happy. Thank goodness she wasn’t married to someone in the military, she would definitely have been cheating on them.

ALL of this is on her. Best of luck being in a marriage were your wife hasn’t given a damn about you in many years.
 

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Thank you for all the responses. I'll try to reply to each of them.
......

To all this that suggested No More Mr Nice Guy and The Sex Starved Marriage. I will immediately study those like my life depends on it. I must admit at first my thought was I've done everything for so long I'm not doing anything more. But then I realized that this would not be for her, it's for me. One question, I assume the 180 is to do exactly the opposite as I've been doing. Is there more to it? Is it in one of those books?
This is the 180:
180 for Betrayed Spouses
 

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There was a couple of instances of betrayal early on in the marriage but we worked through it and I think we healed ok.

major red flag. Do you think you caught all of her betrayals? Perhaps. But there may have been others going way back. She may have gotten complacent when you caught her since its been so easy to get away with it. She could have emails, phone that she didn't tell you about. Confident she can talk her way out of it. Pull the lonely card while you are breaking your ass to provide a stable lifestyle for your wife. which she apparently doesn't appreciate. Do Not accept responsibility for this BS. You are upholding your end of the marriage bargain while she's showing her tits to some college guy. That's phucked up! You have been whipped into behaving and responding this way. You think it's normal to be her plow horse.

You don't seem to understand female nature. Or the red pill. Read the Rational male and go to the rational male blog and videos. Females are duelists. Alpha phucks/beta bucks. It's a primary principle of how they act. Why did she marry you? What was she like before the marriage? Many women marry their second and third choices for a financial and stable lifestyle. they then seek the other guys that they desire sexually. This may be a real eye-opener for you.

Don't tell her anything. Time to do serious due diligence to find out what she's been doing all these years. Sounds like you have some suspicions. Any red flags over the years. Going out with friends, leaving the house with clothes in a bag, trips without you, Vegas with girlfriends, girls night out, staying at a friend's house often. Any suspicious behavior that you recall? Look at her phone records, emails, and credit cards. Try to go back 10 years or as far as you can. On the credit cards look for hotel bills, sexy lingerie, sex toys that kind of ****.

A good PI is probably the way to go here. He will dig up all kinds of crap, if it's there, he'll find it. You won't.



we both realized we had high sex drives
Did she just shut this down? Maybe for you she did.

She said that she was very hurt, not so much by my working long hours but because I ignored her when she tried to tell me how miserable she was. She said she felt I had abandoned her and she felt detached from me. She was also more than a little freaked out at how easily she was tempted into almost throwing our marriage away by cheating. She told me I had to give it time for her to get back to where she was.
What about you busting your phucking balls for 31 years. Tell her you're thinking of walking. Women found you attractive at that long term job you went to. How bout dressing nice and going out at night without her. See how she reacts then. She's got you trained like a seal dude! Read the ****ing Predatory Female OK. LEARN what's going on. Because you don't get it.

Your problem is everything is about your princess. You have NO FRAME. YOU GO right into her frame and allow her to dictate the narrative.

It's not like we didn't have sex. We did. But there was no passion from her. She didn't do the things she used to. She still seemed to enjoy the physical act but it seemed the desire wasn't there.
Easy. She's not attracted to you. You are a mule for working not a hot guy for sex. She probably finds that elsewhere.What little you get from her is her way of performing her wifely duty.


(I'm a fixer.)
Oh cshit. You're in trouble. Not a turn on for her and the BLUE PILL methods you utilized. Poetry. Really. Where did you learn that one watching a romantic comedy? Your Blue PILL methods drove her further away.


She says she loves me
Yep she loves you but is not in love with you. She saves the sex for someone else that gets her hot. You don't.


She was also more than a little freaked out at how easily she was tempted into almost throwing our marriage away by cheating.
No she wasn't. She just wants you in the dark as she has for 31 years. that she stepped out that one time early in the marriage. remember she's got you trained and knows that you'll believe just about anything she tells you.

That revelation had me crying like a baby.
Dont ever let a woman see you cry. Your attraction as a man and lover falls off a cliff. However, your status as a plow horse remains intact.
 

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Stage some VAR's or wireless cameras around.
You have to do this. I think she's cheating and has cheated in the past more than you are aware. I'll leave it at that. I hope Im wrong. But you came here voluntarily asking for advice.

As a FIXER -- maybe you can do this. VAR in the car as well. Use GPS tracking.

BTW as a fixer, Im sure she has you fixing all sorts of stuff around the house. STOP BEING HER FIXER. GO 180! Tdbo's advice is good.
 

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Has she had her hormones checked? If she hasn't already been through menopause, she's fast approaching it. Peri-menopause and menopause have been known to do a number on some women's libido. It may not be just you for whom she has no passion.

If the hormones are good, then she's seeing you as more of a brother or good friend than lover. Can that be changed? Possibly. Whatever you are currently doing to meet her emotional needs - just stop. Do not approach her for sex. Do not eagerly accept any advances made by her. She'll probably try to put out just to get things back to normal for her comfort level. Play hard to get. Make her work for your passion.
 
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