Talk About Marriage banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm strongly considering the 180. After several years of trying to get my wife invested in our relationship, including counseling, with no follow-through on her part, something has to give.
I understand the concepts, and actually have already used some before I knew about the 180--getting fit, getting involved with activities I enjoy, etc.

But what about the kids and running the house? I'm very involved in caring for the kids, cooking, cleaning, etc. I don't want my kids to suffer as a result of my taking this step, and I don't want my house to turn into a dump. How do I hold up my end of running the household without undermining the 180?
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
203 Posts
To me it sounds like you are working on getting a life (GAL) rather than doing the 180. To me this seems like a reasonable strategy, since it isn't clear that doing a 180 will make your spouse take notice. You say you've tried counseling, you've tried to get her to be more invested in your relationship, and she has not. To me, this sounds like you have a walk-away-wife in progress, and that she has checked out of your marriage and is only biding her time before leaving (e.g., waiting for the kids to get out of elementary school, for the mortgage to be paid off, to land the job she wants). If that is the case, doing the 180 won't really do any good for you.

I find the Married Man's Sex Life (MMSL) to be hit and miss, but in your case it strikes me that following Athol Kay's advice might be the better strategy.

As far as kids go --
It is possible to separate your interactions with your wife so that you can still talk to the mother of your children without trying to engage with her as your life partner. Just in general, don't be nasty, mean, or angry. But, do start to do what you want to do with your kids and do not make it a point to try to find things that you, your kids and your wife will do together.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,370 Posts
I don't want my kids to suffer as a result of my taking this step, and I don't want my house to turn into a dump. How do I hold up my end of running the household without undermining the 180?
You can't do a 180 while maintaining status quo!

What exactly do you mean by your kids' "suffer"?

Let them experience a bit of life without daddy's selflessness (read up on selflessness in my signature). Let your wife notice your value. She either has the instinct to get off her lazy ass and do something or she doesn't. It's time to find out.

Don't worry, your kids won't care much.

And please stop caring about your house turning into a dump. So what? At worst it takes a full day of cleaning to bring it back to normal.

Go 180, but don't cheat it. If you want results, you have to stick to the principle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for all the sound advice. I should clarify a couple things: There's been no infidelity. The division of labor is not an issue. My wife pulls her weight. The issue is that she invests zero into our relationship. I plan all of our dates, I buy her flowers, I plan our family activities, I make her lunch, I watch movies she wants to watch, I plan birthday celebrations, etc. She is "grateful," but there's no reciprocation. And why would there be? She's learned--despite the arguments, counseling that I demanded, ultimatums--that I will always be there to see to her needs. When it comes to a head a few times a year, she does just enough for a week or two to take the heat off, and then goes back to the same exact behavior. She sits in counseling and says she understands, accepts responsibility, is going to take action, and then forgets it all when she walks out the door. She has no intrinsic motivation to change, because as far as she's concerned, things are great! The only things that she's intrinsically motivated to do are work, which takes up a staggering amount of her time, and spend time with her parents and sisters whenever she has time off. She has never in 9 years planned a trip for just the two of us, or even a trip for just us and the kids.

My plan is about me, not about her. Neglecting my half of the household/kid duties is cutting of my nose to spite my face. For one thing, it will make me less happy, because those are things that I take pride in doing well, and living in a messy space depresses me and drains my energy. Secondly, not pulling my weight allows her to cast me as the bad guy and feel sorry for herself--she's not going to have to face up to things if she can cast herself as the victim. The approach I'm going to take is this: For the foreseeable future, I'm going to act as if we're roommates who share parenting responsibilities. I do my share of housework, continue to participate in my kids' lives, and treat her with the politeness and respect that I'd give to a coworker or roommate. Otherwise, my time is mine and I'm going to spend it by myself or with friends on things that make me feel good, rather than my endless pursuit of her approval and affection. I'm not planning dates, I'm not going to visit her family, I'm not calling or texting except for kids/household business, I'm not cooking special meals, I'm not coming home with flowers, and I'm not arranging dates or joint social events. If this makes an impression on her that causes a long term change, great. If it doesn't, I've already taken major steps to improving my life. Maybe I'm deluded, but I think it's a plan that makes sense in my particular situation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,945 Posts
Sounds like a good plan.

Cut all "special" things. I have to live in a clean space. If my H was not "pulling his weight" with chores, I would do them myself rather than pout about it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Sounds like a good plan.

Cut all "special" things. I have to live in a clean space. If my H was not "pulling his weight" with chores, I would do them myself rather than pout about it.
That's definitely in the plan. In the past, her participation in "special" things has been a carrot that she dangled in front of me. But everything is on her schedule and according to her whim. She's actually had me trained very well.
Posted via Mobile Device
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top