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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. How to put it all in a couple of sentences? Well, maybe even trying to do so will help me at this stage.
I am in my 2nd marriage. First one was when I was quite young and, looking from where I am now, it was a complete disaster. Just to make it clear, after just 6 months we stopped being intimate but I did not want to divorce so we both suffered for 4 years.
I moved on, somehow healed those juvenile heart wounds :) and lived quite nice for some time alone, having some affairs but nothing really serious. Basically, I was leading an egoistic life in which I would only take what I thought I needed as long as I liked it. Or you could say it like it really was - I was a pig.
After couple of years I started feeling that my life is no good and I somehow pulled in and started to work on myself, got myself together and started leading a normal life focusing on my work which I am really blessed with (music).
On the very day that I decided deep inside that I will never again "hunt" for women, and that I am happy alone and without kids of my own (except for my songs), I met M who is now my wife.
It was really a love at first sight but from the start it was clear that we come from completely different worlds. She is down to earth type, pragmatic, both feet on the ground. I am creative, flexible, living in the clouds (but willing to learn and work). It did not work good at the start because she was also married before and had a son of 8 (back then) so she was really careful about relationships.
But I was persistant and we started to get it going. When I've realized that this might be my chance for the right and deep relationship, I said to my self "This time I will not be the one to blow it. I will try and give my 100% for this relationships, even if it means eating dirt and trashing my ego totally". Basically, I've declared myself as a Knight of Heart.
After having dated for 1 year we started living together at her place and soon married each other. 1 year after, we bought a nice big flat in a nice neighborhood a bit outside and started our "dream-come-true" thing.
So why I am writing all of this?
I am not sure if I am living in an illusion all of this time. My wife constantly (for the last couple of months quite often) says that I am "putting her wings down", that she is a dying flower, that I am stopping her in everything - probably because I am really careful with money and not really into shopping and going out just to visit the shops and buy something. I never lived like that I just can not get used to the idea the "going out" means spending money in a shopping mall.
She is always asleep almost before her son (now 10) goes to bed, and he can not sleep alone with his door closed, so it basically means we have no time for ourselves anymore. I can not really say this things to her, because she always has the argument, "OK, I can live perfectly well alone and don't need anyone".
I feel that I am putting all of myself into our relationship, I've stopped seeing my friends and I am really hurrying back home directly from work - which is unfortunately for our marriage quite often 7 or even 8 PM at occasions. She works from 8 AM and if free by 3 PM, while I drive her son to school and work from 9 AM till 5-8 PM depending on the work-load.
I know that she appreciates the amount of energy that I am putting into my personal transformation into a decent, neat, organized and trustworthy person which I am becoming. Also, knowing her I am sure she would not let me inside of her family if she does not love me. So this is not about being in love or not.
It seems that she just feels - alone. And that is basically what she told me, that there is no "us", that we both lead a life of our own, that I am working too much, that music is everything to me, that I am not listening to her when she talks to me etc.
Quite important is that soon after we married I got diabetes which I am coping with through diet and exercise which makes me quite nervous at times and focused on what I will eat etc. When I come home from work I first have to rush to our kitchen to prepare something. She does not cook and hates the kitchen, she is a very "home" type, and very eager in keeping everything tidy and nice, but it is just that she does not have the affinity for cooking. So, it happens quite often that she talks to me while I am preparing something, and I am quite bad in doing couple of things at the same time... And then she says, "You're not listening to me, never mind, I'll do my things, you do yours".

So I am not really sure about it all right now. I really truly love her and she really makes me a better person. But I am not sure if that works both ways. And if it does not, what's the meaning of it all? Not being alone? But, maybe that's enough?
Do I have a general illusion about marriage and relationships? Is being together, and accepting each other's life as it is, what love should look like? Leading two lifes that cross at point's which are nice for both parties? Live and let other live? I am not speaking about sex, but about general ideas about life.

It seems that I constantly expect that in a relationship people must somehow grow into merging their life concepts and live as one, with common goals and perspectives.
But to my wife, it seems, it is all about working to earn some money, and then thinking about what to spend it on (what probably 90% of all people in the world do).
I knew this from the start, but I thought that with time she will start to appreciate some of my perspectives and somehow "grow", find some interests other than that, find herself in something... but it seems as she has already decided that with her unwanted young pregnancy her life was ruined long time ago, and that there is no chance for her to live a life she would really want to live, so she is just "surviving" from day to day and easing the pain with "presents" to herself. It is not that she is spending a lot, don't get me wrong, it's just that she does not know any other way to fight her boredom but to check out what is out there to buy - constantly browsing the net for something new, so there is never peace, when we get something, she is already digging for the next thing.

I don't know, lately I think that maybe she would be really more happy alone as she lived before, because I bring to her life only my crazy ideas and a certain inner peace and fullfilment (through my music and spiritual work on myself) which make her nervous - and some help with maintenance, her son's homeworks, getting things done, preparing food (usually they just eat toasted sandwiches) which is just a little bit more than nothing.

I am 38. I am not sure if I should push this crazy love further (my heart says yes, my mind says no) and see where it leads, or again quit and perhaps fall into another one equally strange?
I am really not interested into going out late again and hearing all of those same single people stories... Been there, done that.
But the thing is, no matter what I feel inside, people that I care about often feel that I am not with them and that they are alone. Is it better and more fair for me and for them, then, that I really live alone?

Thanks for reading,

HousePainter
 

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Here's what I'd do. There are some questionnaires you can get at a website called marriagebuilders.com, and they're called Love Buster questionnaire and Emotional Needs questionnaire. Print out two of each. Ask her to fill out the LB questionnaire. It will tell you what YOU do that she doesn't like. Once you know those things. stop doing them! It will take you a couple months to break old habits and start new one, so work on that. You have to stop LBing your wife before you can make her happy.

Then, once you have that down, ask her to fill out the EN questionnaire. It will tell what things make her happy. It could be conversation, or domestic support, or honesty...whatever it is, make sure YOU are meeting her top 5 ENs.

If you do these two things, you will fall and stay in love.

If you like, you can fill them out, too, and give them to her so that she'll know what makes YOU tick. If you make her happy enough, she'll be in the mood to make YOU happy, too.

That said, though, you really need to look at your schedule. Two hours a day together isn't going to cut it. You need to be spending that much time together, just for the TWO of you, without her son. You need to do some brainstorming. Also look into some resolution about dinner. What does her son eat, if she doesn't cook? You really should be eating together for bonding.
 

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These things you are doing, to please your woman, are making you too much a "nice guy", and that is killing your relationship.

A woman is not looking to be put on a pedastal, no matter what a man may think it will make her feel like a "charity case", and will make her feel resentment toward her man, and she will close herself off to this kind of emotional pain.

This also kills her sexual attraction to you, and these excuses about sleeping with the door closed are just masking this larger issue.

Here are the facts:

A woman is irrestibly attracted to a man that is in control of himself, and his environment, a dominant man.

A woman will resent a man that is the opposite, this is a "weak man", a needy man, a man that follows a woman instead of leading his own life, a "nice guy", a man that worships a woman on a pedastal, etc etc. Hopefully you get this point.

The solution, is to stop following your woman, and instead do these things that build yourself and make yourself happy, and as this happens, invite your woman to share in your happiness.

And in these other things, her talking to you as you are fixing food, and not communicating, tell her exactly what it is that the issue is, that there is a time for speaking, and there is a time for fixing food, and eating together, and set the stage yourself for your expecatations, and when she sees that you are both explaining the issue, and are the man enough to stand up to her and fix the issue, she is respecting you more, and will most likely be happy to do these things to help the communication, and she will know that she is valued enough to you for you to make these things clear, and even stand up to her when she is needing you to.

These things are a start, to break the spiral of resentment, that a "nice guy" is trying to appease his woman, and his woman is losing respect and will distance herself from such a man.

Instead to take a stand, earn the respect, earn the attraction, and attention, and emotional connection from your woman, and where there is emotional connection, there is communication. And in the future communication will prevent these same issues from reoccuring.

I wish you well.
 

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Hello! I think there is great potetial for you to have a vibrant loving marriage! You are willing and wanting to understand your wife and it sounds like she would like the same thing.

The questionnaires turnera suggested sound perfect. If my husband handed something so constructive and thoughtful to me I would dance with joy! I agree with bigbadwolf that women need their man to be confident and assertive, but there can be too much of a good thing. I was attracted to my husband's confidence etc. but now his assertiveness and vibrato often leaves me feeling abandoned and disrespected. I think we need our confident men to soften just enough to recognize our needs and consider our feelings as valid. I commend your efforts. Your wife is very lucky to have married you. The issues you have to work on are not incermountable and you are looking for solutions before things get more strained.

My situation is similar to yours. It was love at first sight, he had just decided to be single after a few years of "questionable" behavior evolving around being the front man in a blues band, we come from completely different worlds, and he was the one to aggressively pursue me while I was very cautious. However, my husband choose to turn to abusive behaviors to force me to conform with his beliefs and perspectives rather than working with me to build a stronger foundation of understanding and acceptance. I was a single mother for many years and my husband was not privy to all the finer points of being "married with children". We have no privacy as you describe, my husband is a musician and works the same hours as you, I work anytime he is not working, and I am the "grounded" partner.

I might be able to give you some insight into your wife's shopping habits. I know I have always been on the hunt for things that would enhance, inspire and create a more comfortable HOME. I am very frugle and shop more than I buy, but I do enjoy "gathering" things that enrich the home and the lives of my family. It may be that your wife is similar? I think maybe I put energy toward creating a comfortable home all those years as a single mom instead of putting energy toward a husband. However, I think all women nest in this way to some degree.

My husband does not value my habits, hobbies and interest and tells me I foolishly spend his money on things we don't need. I now have no money given to me for the home. My wings are clipped, as your wife said. I feel very alone, even when my husband IS home. I don't have the oportunity to develop new interests or habits that involve my husband because we never spend time together and he does not value my thoughts and feeling. I'm just telling you this to help you see that your situation has great hope. You are searching for insight and you are willing to work toward understanding your wife's motivations and perspectives. As long as she is on the same page, you are close to finding the key to breaking apart all the tension and uncertainly you are feeling now.

I wish you luck and please let us know how it goes...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
First of all, THANKS!!! I really did not expect such swift and wonderful replies. I really did write a long post, and I thought, well, people will probably not have time for it.
The thing that I did not explain and write about is how my wife is psychologically. She comes from a very rigid and "tought" background. Her parents are both really loving and care for their two daughters, but their upraising was always really "militarty" kind of style. Just an example, they were never allowed to have long girl style hairs because it is easier then to catch, well you know what :) Her father is a doctor, breast oncologist, a guy that knows EVERYTHING. He is really a supertidy and organized person and a completely frustrating role-model for me, musician and a creative guy.
Also, my wife is a kind of a character that does not like talking too much and too "philosophic" (I told you we were true oposites). Also, she responds to a certain completely "reversed" type to a communication best, which I quickly discovered. I know it maybe sounds strange but it is really like this:
When I would like her to do something, or think in a certain way, I have to - keep my mouth shut! And then somehow, as in a miracle, maybe not at once, but after a couple of days, she tells me EXACTLY what I was meaning to say to her! Incredible, and this is exactly why I believe she is the one for me. I have been known to preach and tell others what to do. But my wife, she has this thing in her head that makes her totally oppose everything anyone tells her, like a stubborn kid. But, if you just let her think for herself, she always makes the right choice.

This is why it is really hard to communicate more delicate things with her, because she jumps directly to "OK, if that is really what you feel, I can live perfectly well on my own".
So the only way we progress is that I keep my mouth shut most of the time, and she evolves and changes bit by bit. But, off course, this is a really slow process for some things.

On the other hand, we are a really good team for a lot of really practical things people fight about - choosing the tiles etc. We both either go around the shop and choose nothing, or buy the first thing we see. So far it never happened that we argued about anything of this sort.

So, I don't know, if I give her the list, I am not sure how she will take it. I think that she is really not ready nor willing to face her part of the blame, mainly because she thinks that it is not her part of the blame at all, because her son "happened" to her. I mean, she adores him and has devoted her life to him, but exactly that is the problem, I can not see where is she in all of that. She told me a couple of times that I have changed her life, that now she has more time, that she is only now starting to live, she has someone to help her, someone to rely on... She also got a job in a kindergarten (she is a defectologist) that leaves her with lots of free time, but it seems she does not know what to do with it... You know, she is kinda like the old people that were used to have a lot of responsibilites, and then they retire and are stuck with "what to do with my life" thing...

I will surely think about what you all have told me and see where I should go with my life...

Today she send me an incredible message, right to the point. She told me "Your biggest problem is that you blame yourself for your diabetes". So true. The question of guilt seems to be somehow central in my life, I constantly feel guilty about something and that is really limiting my potential...
 

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Two things. The list, if you're talking about the questionnaires - it's not a list, it's a form that you fill out. She could fill out a form where SHE gets to tell YOU what she doesn't like about you. What's not to like, lol?

Two, if you feel guilt about everything, you probably suffer from toxic shame. Get a book called Healing the Shame That Binds You by Bradshaw. I think it would make a huge difference; it did for me.
 
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