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It’s taken me a long time to write this, but I’ve come to the point where I no longer can hold anything back. My marriage is on very shaky grounds and I just need some outside perspective.

Please bare with me, this is going to be long – it’s 5+ years worth of pent up frustration and hurt.

This is not a story about cheating – I haven’t cheated on her and she hasn’t cheated on me. I know this for a fact because she doesn’t have any friends here (doesn’t want to meet new people) and I’m the only person she ever goes out with. I on the other hand am a very extroverted person, I have a core group of friends I hang out with and many more that I view as acquaintances. I always invite my wife whenever I go out, but she always declines. This irritates me – I want to have fun with her, but I can’t have fun staying at home or always going out just the two of is.

I met my wife online about 10 years ago and we met in person about 3 months after we started talking – we were both 22 at the time. From the get-go it was an LDR, I lived on the West Coast and she lived on the East Coast but had family about 30 minutes from me who she’d come to visit 2 or 3 times per year. Mix that in with me going out there 3 or 4 times per year and we saw each other about ever other month for one or two weeks at a time. From the moment I met her, I knew she was the one I was going to marry and she knew it as well. We were both still in college so marriage was at least 3 or 4 years off in the future. Soon after graduating college, I proposed to her because it “was the thing to do.” I had been with her for 2 years, loved her and she was the type of girl who would never cheat on me and always be loyal. Unfortunately, I’ve come to realize that those are the only two “wifely” qualities she has. We’ve now been married for 5 years.

What I’m going to say now may sound very cold and callous, but unfortunately, it’s the truth. I’m much more intelligent than my wife. I have a degree under my belt and am working towards a second one. She has an AA and is a preschool teacher but this isn’t the actual problem. The problem is that our conversations are always so superficial. If I try to start up a conversation about something going on that I saw on the news, or something interesting I saw at clinicals (I’m a nursing student) it’s as if I’m talking to a wall. I look at her and she has a blank look on her face and all she says is “Ok” and then goes back to doing what she was doing before. The depth of her conversations with me are what she wants to buy next, the house, how she has to clean, or what we’re having for dinner. I’ve told her how much this bothers me and all I get is the “ok” and blank look. About six months ago I just gave up on trying to have any sort of meaningful conversation with her. I now watch TV, read a book, or go online and read about things that interest me. This bothers me immensely (she knows it does because I’ve told her so) but what can I do about it? It especially bothers me because if I give her the same response she gives to me she gets extremely angry. I also must point out that she repeats herself quite a bit – which is also irritating and a point I’ve brought up to her before. She doesn’t seem to care – she’s the classic rug sweeper. I want to be able to connect with her on an intellectual level, but as I said I’ve given up. She grew up in a house where education was not seen as important – again, this is fine with me BUT what’s not fine with me and what she doesn’t understand is that she’s not taking an interest in this aspect of my life.

Communication between us is terrible and not from my lack of trying. I’m the kind of person that likes to lay everything out there. I grew up in a house where we discussed our problems, and even though there was often yelling involved, we still resolved them. She grew up in a house where the only form of communication was yelling. If anyone of my IL’s says something to the other – the immediately take it as an attack and begin yelling at each other. Communicating and coming to a mutually beneficial outcome was not something that was done in their household. If I’ve told her something that bothers me, she thinks that saying “ok” makes the problem go away. It doesn’t – it just makes it worse. She doesn’t understand that the problems don’t disappear by just saying ok. She also thinks that if I don’t bring something up for a while that it goes away. If I say something after a week or two about a previously discussed issue she says, “Well we’ve been fine up to now.” I don’t really know how to explain this well, but it’s as if she doesn’t realize that problems transcend time. She’ll say stuff that indicates she thinks something is a problem only in the here-and-now and that if it’s in the past (and unresolved) it should be a problem. She also doesn’t seem to understand that problems accumulate over time if they are not discussed and resolved. It’s almost as if I have to be upset 24/7 for her to realize that I’m upset – I’ve tried this, it doesn’t do a lick of good other than stress me out.

The only time problems are discussed between us is when I bring them up, and then she tries to flip it around on me. She won’t bring up ANYTHING unless I start talking about problems. Am I wrong to think that this is a problem? Shouldn’t she bring up her problems on her own time and by her own volition instead of sabotaging my problem-talking? This usually just ends up in an argument because all I hear from her is “how do you think I feel” or “well you do this and that” or some other kind of justification. This usually ends up in a huge argument because she does not understand anything I’m bothered about. I just want to scream because she always makes it about her. I have no problem discussing her issues, if she would bring them up during a separate occasion, but no – she always sabotages me.

For her every issue is about one of us being right and the other being wrong. We are sorely in need of marriage counseling but she is dead set against it – I honestly believe she thinks we have a good marriage even though I’ve pointed out time and time again that we are on very shakey grounds and need some outside help. She feels that if the counselor points out I’m wrong about something that I’ll get upset – this isn’t true. I desperately want my marriage to work and I know that it’s about compromise and not being right or wrong. She, however, sees compromise as me compromising on everything and her getting her way on everything. As an example, I planted some flowers along this little box we have against the house – these flowers are very prone to freezing over the winter so the extra heat from the house keeps them from freezing. Well she didn’t like that very much and wanted me to plant them where she could see them – threw every excuse at me including bees coming in the house (this was 2 years ago – no bees in the house yet). When I remained firm and explained that they were expensive to buy and prone to freezing she still would not let up – to the point where she started CRYING because I wouldn’t move them. This is the kind of behavior I put up with for 5+ years.

From the beginning of our marriage, she’s been completely unaffectionate and emotionally distant and the sex is few and far between. This wasn’t the case before we were married. When we’d visit each other, she’s always hang on me, grab my hand to hold it, touch me, kiss me, beg for me to come pick her up and take her back to my place so we could fool around. Pretty much from the moment we got married this completely fizzled out. I quite literally begged her for 5 years to be affectionate with me, to touch me without being asked, to hold my hand without being asked, to kiss me without being asked, but to no avail. Finally, about 6 months ago, I just gave up and she knows I have because NOW she’s doing all those things but it’s as if I don’t care anymore. It’s like it’s too little too late – I stand frozen when she hugs me and when she kisses me I don’t always return them back. It’s like I had to wait 5 years for this and now that I’ve given up she wants to do them. Did she get off on the thrill of the chase or something like that? I don’t know. All I know is that now it doesn’t do anything for me anymore. I’ve been so used to not being touched or kissed, that now it feels foreign to me, if that makes sense?

Sex is another huge issue for me – I think sex is extremely important in a marriage. I view it as a kind of thing that separates friends and spouses. You share yourself with your spouse in that manner but not your friends. Once we got married her interest in sex took a nose dive. I actually think it’s because of the birth control she’s on but she refuses to talk to her doctor about it or come up with other options. “It works for me and I don’t want to mess with my body” are the responses I get from her. I almost want to say “it sure does because your sex drive has taken a nose dive since you started using it.” She doesn’t seem to understand that lack of sex is a problem. When we first got married it was once a week, then it quickly went to once a month, once every two months, and the longest we’ve gone is once in 9 months. Over the past summer it picked back up to once per week when I finally told her this was a deal breaker for me. But now it’s gone back to once per month, again I told her it’s becoming a deal breaker but this time she doesn’t seem to care. I know this sounds shallow to some, but I find sex extremely important. It’s a way to connect with someone that only you and your partner share. She doesn’t get that, when I complain about our lack of sex she says “so, all you care about is sex.” I used to try to explain it to her, but she just didn’t understand so now I just say “if it was only about sex, I’d have left a long time ago.” She’s made me feel incredibly shallow for wanting to have sex as much as I do – 1 to 2 times per week, which I don’t feel is unreasonable for people in their early 30s without any kids.

Whenever I bring this up I get the “no one said not to have sex” but she does everything she can not to have it. If we’re watching TV and I ask her to come to bed with me she’ll say something like “I have shows to watch, I’ll come later.” I’m usually asleep by then or she’ll say something like “we’ll have sex tomorrow night.” Well when tomorrow night comes around, there’s something more important to do than to be intimate with her husband. Just the other day she said she wanted to have sex with me that night, shaved herself (she knows I love this) and looked real nice. Well suddenly something “important” needed to be done. That something important? The dog over-exerted herself playing during the day and was limping so my wife felt that she needed to baby the dog. When she came to be and saw that I was already half asleep I got the “Oh sorry, I know you wanted to have sex tonight.” I just rolled over and mumbled that I was used to disappointment from her. Well she didn’t like that one bit and flew off the handle; unfortunately – it’s become the truth. She just doesn’t seem to get it – for her being married on paper is just as good as our souls being married. She doesn’t understand that marriage is much more than just a piece of paper that ties two people together. This is a huge problem.

I actually feel like that night is the night that I was no longer in love with her – sure I love her still, but only as a person, not my wife. After crying myself to sleep for many nights during our marriage, I’ve just given up. I don’t feel any more pain, I don’t feel anymore love, I just feel numbness when it comes to her. I look at her now and I don’t see someone I want to stay married to anymore. I know this will sound counterintuitive after what I’ve written but a divorce would break her. I know that it wouldn’t be because she’s loosing me, but because she’s loosing a husband. I’ve come to the realization that her marrying me wasn’t about being with ME, it was about having a husband. I don’t want that in my marriage, I want someone who wants to be with ME. I’m no a cardboard stand in – I’m a person who deserves to be loved and to be with someone who wants me. I’m an extremely self-confident individual but these last five years have taken a toll on me. I lost friends because of my marriage and really thought that I wasn’t worth it to anyone and that no one wants to be around me – going back to school and making friends quickly, and GOOD friends at that, has shown me that I’m worth it to others and that people genuinely like being around me. You don’t know how many times I’ve heard from her “no one wants to be around you.” I started believing it and I don’t know why should would say this to me.

I think a lot of the problems stem from my MIL, but my wife refuses to believe it. My MIL makes it known to everyone that my BIL is her favorite child. Doesn’t say it outright, but makes it very obvious – I think she may have even said it to my mom once, but I overheard it so I can’t be sure this is what I actually heard. I’ve brought this up to my wife, gently, and she just said “I know, this is how it is in my family and it doesn’t bother me.” That may be the case, but how could it not erode my wife’s self-confidence – she has NONE and I honestly believe this is the source of all our problems. It’s not something I can fix though, it’s something she has to be able to fix on her own – so far she’s not willing to. My FIL has always been treated like he’s just around. My MIL shows no respect for him and he basically has no say in anything. My MIL’s word is the end all be all in their house and I think that’s how my wife feels it should be. This is not how I was raised, I saw my parents work together as a team. Sure, they had huge fights once in a while, but they always did work as a team and made decisions together. If one had more skin in the game than the other than the other would compromise, but I think that’s how it is in every situation with everyone.


Being on this forum, I know some of you may be thinking that she’s cheating on me, but this 100% isn’t the case. We are together all the time. The only time we aren’t around each other is when I’m at school and she’s at work (are schedules are roughly the same). The only time she goes out is when she goes to visit her parents and stays the night there. There is no opportunity for her to cheat so please do not bring this up – she’s not social at all and wouldn’t know where to meet guys if she was. I’d have more opportunities to cheat on her than her cheating on me but it’s not something I’d ever do, no matter how bad our marriage is. I’d never cheat, but to be honest, I can’t help thinking that there are women out there that are better suited for me than my wife is. I’m at the point now where I sometimes think divorce is my only option – as I said before, marriage counseling is out of the question for her and individual counseling for me will only do me good, I don’t think it would help my marriage out at all.

I’ve brought up divorce in the past, but that usually gets turned around on me too. I get the “well, that means you don’t love me anymore” response. I used to try to fight this, but she never understood what I was saying; for her divorce = no longer in love. This is true now, but when I did bring it up in the past, I was still very much in love with her. I told her that just because people get divorced doesn’t mean that the one filing doesn’t love the other one and pointed out to her that over our 5+ years of being married she never once gave me any indication that she loved me, while I did everything I could to show her I loved her (at least up until about 6 months ago when I had my aha moment). I’ve reached the point where I don’t care anymore what she thinks or feels. She’s going to feel or think those things no matter how much I try to explain it to her.

As I said, I’m done crying myself to sleep at night – I did this quite often for a long time but now I realize it does me no good. If I stay with my wife I don’t think I’ll ever have the marriage/spouse I feel I deserve/want/need. I guess maybe I already know what I need to do, but need some outside perspective. I may not have been cheated on, but living in the kind of loveless marriage I’m in is still very painful. I just want to be happy in my marriage and if it takes divorce and me being alone to be happy then I’d rather be single and alone than married and feeling lonely!

I don’t really have any questions to ask, but just wanted to get all this off my chest. It’s been 5+ years and an incredible burden to bear for me.

I know this was long, but to anyone who read it, thanks for reading. If anyone has some advice, it would be greatly appreciated. I’m not really looking for advice along the lines of “divorce her,” I’m looking more for advice about how to deal with this situation.
 

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Posted via Mobile Device so, I know I'm a woman and this is the men's zone, but I do have a couple of suggestions. Try to engage het interest by making it fun. There are conversation games where you pick a card, it suggests a hot topic and you get chatting. After a few sessions you might find that you both have a way to express opinions and get the talk flowing. My husband and I are both Christian so we find church vs science topics to debate on. You could also try themed date nights. Go to www.thedatingdivas.com and try s few of their ideas. It will hopefully rekindle your spark by making the focus on a theme rather than just going out to dinner and finding you both have nothing to say. Finally, regarding the sex, place ad much focus and responsibility on her as possible. give her a book of sex vouchers for valentines day with the month already allocated. Make up a piece of paper that is titled 'sexual fantasies'. Number it one to five, leave the list blank and leave on her pillow with a nice note requesting thay she fill it out and return it. Once it has been returned, you can act on it! There are plenty of ways to rekindle a spark by not laying the focus directly on the issue.
 

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Hi there,

First, don't say you are far more intelligent than she is. Even if true it makes you sound pompous and arrogant. I'm assuming that you are inferring this from some behavior of hers. It's better to focus on the behavior rather than a hypothetical cause for it.

FWIW, it seems likely she's uninterested and not unable to comprehend. I am highly intelligent. But, on my "down" time, I take in enough media to know what's going on in the world. Besides that, I tend to eschew the thought provoking and watch comedy, play video games, and listen to hip-hop music.

I could say that I'm far smarter than you because early in your post you said "bare with me" rather than "bear with me". Doesn't feel good, does it? Moreover, making a grammatical error (or not debating politics, or liking low-brow humor) most definitely is not indicative of intelligence, or success in life.

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Now then, your wife simply seems to be along for the ride and not terribly interested in meeting your needs. And, your approach to this relationship enables that.

You say you met in college, and you both knew you would marry her. What about that dynamic says you have worth and are a prize to be sought after and valued as much as she? Then, when you don't get your way you pout and cry yourself to sleep - where is the self-worth in that?

My take is that you were pegged as a person who would take care of her and be willing to settle for not getting much back. You do seem intelligent and (as importantly) hard-working and loyal. Going back for a second degree? Keep coming back for more of the same regardless of how she treats you?

Then I look at her. She is a pre-school teacher (an occupation famous for its low pay and something people do as a calling). She comes to you when she wants something (what's for dinner, I want to buy this) and basically ignores you otherwise.

As you noted, the worst part of this is that she minimizes your complaints while getting as much as she can for herself. Of course she doesn't want MC - she does not want to be told about herself and for you to be enboldened to demand better. Also, she figures she can treat you this way indefinitely, since you keep coming back.

You need to tell her clearly what your needs are. You need to repeat your expectation that MC take place. And you need to set boundaries so that she takes you seriously. The goal - communicate clearly that business as usual is over.

My personal twist on this is that you should place an emphasis on "speaking her language". Since she values your support and service, shake things up there first. Offer her some of what you are getting for dinner, and she can get something else if she doesn't like it. When she wants you to buy her something, refuse. Talk about how you will reward yourself for completing your second college degree.

ETA: I just saw where your wife said "no one wants to be around you". That is exactly what my ex said to me. I can tell you, with near-certainty, that you indeed are loved and wanted by others. Your wife is telling you these things to beat you down and make you think that she is the best you can do, because she sees that as the easiest way for her to get her needs met.

You need to seriously consider simply getting her out of your life now. There are no kids, and this is a fairly short marriage, so alimony should not be too much of an issue. This goes far beyond marital discord to where she is emotionally abusing you just to keep a soft life for herself.
 

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So... lack of sex is the only "dealbreaker" that you mentioned, however I'm betting it's the result of several other "dealbreakers" and not a dealbreaker in itself.

Mostly, communication. Just look at the flower example. You planted flowers and probably didn't ask her opinion. I'm betting WHERE the flowers were planted were much less the reason for the argument than HOW (without her opinion) they were planted. This is just one example.

My wife and I have had communication problems, too. She's a stay-at-home person and I work as an accountant. She really has not much to contribute to a conversation when I get home but then again, neither do I (unless she's interested in accounting talk).

But what we do is make an effort to talk about things that interest our spouse. I don't come home and talk debit and credits, even though they make up 10 hours of my day, and my wife doesn't talk about how long the spin cycle took. I try to talk about something she has an interest in and visa-versa.

If you're talking clinical trials, I'm sure you're going to get an "OK". Most of what you are saying is probably going over her head.

What to do? Insist on marriage counseling. If she won't go, go alone and let her know you are going because you feel this is the last-ditch effort to save the marriage. Improve your communication skills with her. You want sex? You want someone interested in you? Engage her at HER level, not yours and eventually she will do the same for you.
 

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Don't have a kid with this woman,, if you do it may likely be the last time you ever have sex with her,, they go thru a major change after child birth and the level of sex drops dramatically, I understand about the lack of emotions, trying to figure out those answers as well,
 

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First, don't say you are far more intelligent than she is. Even if true it makes you sound pompous and arrogant.
1. I don't see ANYTHING wrong with saying this. If it's true, it's true. It's no worse than saying he is more socially adept than she is, or that she is more athletic than he is. Facts are facts and intelligence IS quantifiable; it just isn't the 'end all, be all' and OP isn't trying to make it so. He's more intelligent than she is, okay that's alright to SAY and alright to BE.

2. Mike, you seem to KNOW what needs to be done. Are you wondering whether you have sufficient REASON to divorce her? If you're looking for validation for your decision to divorce her, *I* would say you have plenty of good reasons:

*no sex
*no communication
*wife does not discuss HER concerns/problems
*wife dismisses YOUR concerns/problems
*wife engages in win/lose thought processes with regard to problem-solving
*no affection
*wife actively beats you down emotionally (crying, manipulating, telling you no-one wants to be around you, etc.
*wife REFUSES counseling to address these issues

I'm NOT seeing a whole lot of 'upside' to this marriage other than neither of you are physically abusive, addicted, nor cheaters. That's not MUCH to recommend your marriage.

Is THIS the kind of marriage you would want your SONS and DAUGHTERS brought up in? Is it likely to change? Then WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? It's a NEW YEAR, clean this mess up by divorcing and moving on so you can BOTH find someone who is a better fit for each of you.

BTW: Be EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS NOT to impregnate your wife BEFORE you can move out! If she really sees you as a stable force to 'take care of her' then she may see you as a reliable wallet for 18yrs, or someone she can manipulate into being in her life peripherally for 18yrs, or someone that can be guilted/manipulated into staying with her PERMANENTLY because she's having your baby! I don't know HER, but I urge CAUTION.
 

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1. I don't see ANYTHING wrong with saying this. If it's true, it's true. It's no worse than saying he is more socially adept than she is, or that she is more athletic than he is. Facts are facts and intelligence IS quantifiable; it just isn't the 'end all, be all' and OP isn't trying to make it so. He's more intelligent than she is, okay that's alright to SAY and alright to BE.
I am not saying he isn't. What I am saying is her not engaging him in discussions of world events does not mean he is. He is assuming her refusal to engage means he is so far above her level that she can't keep up. It seems to me more like she just does not care, based on everything else I've read.

Moreover, the way he stated it on his post sounded a bit arrogant (at least to me). And, claiming higher intelligence is not the same as being more athletic or more socially adept. Saying you are smarter than the person next to you cuts deeper and triggers more negative emotions.

I'm a really smart guy, and I've had this aimed at me. For whatever reason, the smart guy does not get the same esteem as the guy who can run a faster lap or pick up girls at the bar. It sucks, but that's the way it is.

So, even if he is smarter, he would do well to not say so or act like it around her. There is strong potential for such a statement to cause defensiveness or resentment, neither of which is helpful in this situation.
 

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What I’m going to say now may sound very cold and callous, but unfortunately, it’s the truth. I’m much more intelligent than my wife. I have a degree under my belt and am working towards a second one. She has an AA and is a preschool teacher but this isn’t the actual problem. The problem is that our conversations are always so superficial. If I try to start up a conversation about something going on that I saw on the news, or something interesting I saw at clinicals (I’m a nursing student) it’s as if I’m talking to a wall. I look at her and she has a blank look on her face and all she says is “Ok” and then goes back to doing what she was doing before. The depth of her conversations with me are what she wants to buy next, the house, how she has to clean, or what we’re having for dinner. I’ve told her how much this bothers me and all I get is the “ok” and blank look. About six months ago I just gave up on trying to have any sort of meaningful conversation with her. I now watch TV, read a book, or go online and read about things that interest me. This bothers me immensely (she knows it does because I’ve told her so) but what can I do about it? It especially bothers me because if I give her the same response she gives to me she gets extremely angry. I also must point out that she repeats herself quite a bit – which is also irritating and a point I’ve brought up to her before. She doesn’t seem to care – she’s the classic rug sweeper. I want to be able to connect with her on an intellectual level, but as I said I’ve given up. She grew up in a house where education was not seen as important – again, this is fine with me BUT what’s not fine with me and what she doesn’t understand is that she’s not taking an interest in this aspect of my life.
I get what you're saying and it doesn't sound callous to me. You're looking for someone who is intellectually compatible with you. You don't necessarily need someone with a Ph.D , but you want someone who is intellectually curious, bright, interested in the world in the way you are. You want someone who can talk about the superficial things as well as deep topics. You're not getting that from your wife right now.

I'm a sapiosexual. I couldn’t be with someone who is staunchly anti-intellectual. I mean someone who is even opposed to the idea of traveling somewhere new, reading a book, learning some new skill. One of the things I noted right away when I met my husband is his verbal playfulness. He has a quick mind. He has a swift comeback so talking with him is fun and stimulating. Sometimes we don’t have to do anything at all to have fun. Just sitting at home talking about whatever topic comes to mind is enough. The guy I dated just before I met my husband sounded exactly like your wife. I would say something about something I read and he'd give me a look and say "ohh-kay" very slowly. Just that. Nothing more.

What I don't understand is surely you must have seen how she is before you married her. Did you just decide to ignore the red flags and hope she'd change after you got married?
 

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I’ve come to the realization that her marrying me wasn’t about being with ME, it was about having a husband.
And what was it to you?
Soon after graduating college, I proposed to her because it “was the thing to do.”
The state of your marriage is not all her fault. You were there every step of the way.

You two married young after what was a long distance relationship. Neither of you was ready for marriage. It doesn't sound like you two made a good decision. If she won't go to MC because she thinks your marriage is fine, then you need to start going yourself. Perhaps she will join you when she sees that YOU believe your marriage is dying and soon to be dead. If you can't make her see that, then you can't improve anything.
 

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Being on the same/similar intellectual level in a marriage is VERY important. If you can't have a normal discussion about daily events and if you can't exchange thoughts about important matters then communication is poor. I see it in my parents. They don't have the same intellectual level and they don't really talk about anything during the day. They just say "good morning/good evening" and that's it. Their marriage is so poor that I wish they were divorced. Dad is very bad at keeping up with a normal conversation without saying anything crappy or non-related to the discussion...up to the point that he becomes ridiculous. Mom on the other hand is able to discuss about anything, anytime and I wish she had a partner similar to her.
Marriage is not just about sex but it's about more than that and communication/talking about similar interests is VERY important.

You and your wife come from different backgrounds and this affects the way you see each other.
I don't blame you for feeling this way. I totally understand what you're talking about.
 
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Being on the same/similar intellectual level in a marriage is VERY important. If you can't have a normal discussion about daily events and if you can't exchange thoughts about important matters then communication is poor.
Marriage is not just about sex but it's about more than that and communication/talking about similar interests is VERY important.
I have to agree with lovelygirl there. I don't think I could stand a marriage with just shallow BS being shared left and right. Deep conversations are what builds the closeness.
 

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.... Well what did you talk about before you got married?

I'm a little confused, you see, because when people fall in love they have to talk to each other, so if your wife is not on an intellectual level with you, what did you talk about before?

Could it be you've just become bored of married life and are maybe slightly depressed by it to the point you don't find what was previously stimulating good enough anymore?

Because to me it sounds like nothing has changed, except you, and this is normal, we all evolve in relationships, but it sounds like you're blaming your wife for YOUR changes.

It's not like she suddenly became unintellectual, you chose her that way, and as for the social thing, it doesn't sound like she was terribly social to begin with. (Unless she suddenly decided to conform to a hermit existence spontaneously)

Perhaps now is the time to re-evaluate what you want and expect, and if your wife isn't meeting your expectations, she deserves to know your not happy, in plain words (no tip toeing around the subject) your not happy.

It's time to take a deep hard look at your life and decide what you want, and if it's not your wife, then for both your sakes you should separate and find happiness with people that make you both happy, but beforehand think about this..

There was something that made you fall for her in the first place, something that bonded you (maybe she wasn't terribly deep but she made you happy in some deep way if you were willing to marry her) Now is the time to rethink those things and decide if maybe your being too harsh and just going into the "settling down" phase of your marriage or if your genuinely unhappy.

Best of luck!

- Christina
 

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I completely understand. here is something you might want to consider. You have to accept that what you have here is the old paradigm of the strong introvert and extrovert relationship. You need to greive that there are going to always be loses in every relationship, meaning we aren't always going to get what we want. You belittle this woman who you claim is less intelligent than you, I made that same claim about my SO, while I watch her ace her ba degree. I am only working to have my AA + Certs but I see her taking classes online and getting A's so I know, intellectually, she is very smart. Emotionally, she is blocked. That isn't my fault. I have my issues as well. Go work on your problems. Learn how to deal with this personality type, it's the most common type of relationship around. These types of people men and woman, don't like crowds, don't like things we as extro's love.. Try a new approach.. Learn what an introvert is if you're so smart.. I bet you really don't know.
To be a teacher, this woman, must have a tremendous amount of intellegence, energy and feelings, but I'll bet these kids drain the living life from her. Then you want to drain what's left. Cuz you're feeling sorry for yourself you aren't getting the wife you dreamed of as a kid when you were growing up.. It's ok.. be sad, be a little angry, be mad.. but accept it. Look at her postitives.. You married her for a reason.... You have to learn introvert, Venusian and let go... If that doesn't work, leave.. then you can say you've tried everything.. work on you!!
 

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I get what you're saying and it doesn't sound callous to me. You're looking for someone who is intellectually compatible with you. You don't necessarily need someone with a Ph.D , but you want someone who is intellectually curious, bright, interested in the world in the way you are. You want someone who can talk about the superficial things as well as deep topics. You're not getting that from your wife right now.

I'm a sapiosexual. I couldn’t be with someone who is staunchly anti-intellectual. I mean someone who is even opposed to the idea of traveling somewhere new, reading a book, learning some new skill. One of the things I noted right away when I met my husband is his verbal playfulness. He has a quick mind. He has a swift comeback so talking with him is fun and stimulating. Sometimes we don’t have to do anything at all to have fun. Just sitting at home talking about whatever topic comes to mind is enough. The guy I dated just before I met my husband sounded exactly like your wife. I would say something about something I read and he'd give me a look and say "ohh-kay" very slowly. Just that. Nothing more.

What I don't understand is surely you must have seen how she is before you married her. Did you just decide to ignore the red flags and hope she'd change after you got married?
I totally get needing to be with someone who is compatible intellectually. I've known ladies (and dudes) who cannot hold a meaningful conversation (it's always about something inane, or focusing on themselves) and it drives me absolutely nuts.

That being said, another possibility is the OP and his wife have different outlooks on important issues. Some people (men and women both) take certain issues so personally they simply cannot engage in meaningful discussion.

If he is pro-Obama and she is staunchly Republican, for instance, she might be put-off enough to not engage. Just something else to consider.
 

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Originally posted by DTO:
He is assuming her refusal to engage means he is so far above her level that she can't keep up. It seems to me more like she just does not care, based on everything else I've read.
Originally posted by OP:
If I try to start up a conversation about something going on that I saw on the news, or something interesting I saw at clinicals...it’s as if I’m talking to a wall. I look at her and she has a blank look on her face and all she says is “Ok” and then goes back to doing what she was doing before. The depth of her conversations with me are what she wants to buy next, the house, how she has to clean, or what we’re having for dinner. I’ve told her how much this bothers me and all I get is the “ok” and blank look. About six months ago I just gave up on trying to have any sort of meaningful conversation with her.
Since he's married to this woman for 5+ years, and known her for 10 years, I'm ASSUMING he's basing his perception of his higher intelligence on day-to-day interactions with his wife for a decade, NOT the fact that she's disinterested in the news.

Saying you are smarter than the person next to you cuts deeper and triggers more negative emotions.
True, so does SAYING you're more attractive, SAYING you're more successful, SAYING you're more popular. But OP has never SAID to his wife, "I'm smarter than you, you're an intellectual flyweight!" I'm ASSUMING he's smart enough to know (like most people with AT LEAST average social skills) that SAYING you're smarter to a SO is never going to end well.


DTO: Perhaps I misunderstood your original post. If you meant he shouldn't say 'I'm smarter' to his WIFE, then OF COURSE I agree. (see last sentence of previous paragraph) I took it to mean that YOU THOUGHT he shouldn't post on TAM that he's smarter than his wife; I see NOTHING WRONG with him telling us he's smarter than his wife.
*
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
An update...

A lot of people here focused on what I said about my wife's intelligence as if that was the main problem. It is not, it is a part of the problem. I understand how someone could take offense to it, but focusing only on that really didn't help much.

As for people who offered other, sincere, advice...thank you.

I took a different route. I edited the posting - took out the part about her intelligence and her mother - and gave her the letter before I went to work. Told her she needs to read the whole thing and we'll talk about it when I got home.

I came home to her in bed bawling and at first she started with the "so you're not in love with me anymore?" I didn't let her play the victim. I explained to her again why I felt that way - and I think she finally understood. She admitted that she grew up in a household where mom and dad didn't show each other any affection and that was probably the reason why.

The next day we didn't really talk all that much, she apologized for not being as loving as I need her to be but I had to go to work. When I came home we talked some more and she said she'll work on being more affectionate and loving - which is what I really need more than anything. The intellectual stuff I can get from friends. She doesn't want to go to a counselor so I agreed to give her a chance, but if she reverts back to her old ways we are going to a counselor.

It's only been two weeks, but there has been a marked improvement. I get kisses and hugs in the morning, when I go to work, and at night before bed. We make love every one or two days and she initiates more often. I'm cautiously optimistic that this will be the change I need. I also understand that there will be slumps, but I think the letter got through to her. She's apologized again a few times for being distant, unaffectionate, etc.

We haven't fought once in the past two weeks - we used to fight quite a bit and mostly because I was extremely frustrated with her lack of emotion. She's finally opening up more to me, tells me when something bothers her, etc....

As far as female friends, which I think she desperately needs, I'm going to start bringing her around my core group of friends from nursing school. There's six of us, all married and half male and half female. Hopefully she and the women can hit it off, especially since one of them is Persian (like my wife is).

Again, it's only been two weeks, but I'm hoping this will be a permanent change...if not, off to counseling we go.
 

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I explained to her again how I felt that way. She admitted that she grew up in a household where mom and dad didn't show each other any affection and that was probably the reason why.

The next day we didn't really talk all that much, she apologized for not being as loving as I need her to be but I had to go to work. When I came home we talked some more and she said she'll work on being more affectionate and loving - which is what I really need more than anything. The intellectual stuff I can get from friends. She doesn't want to go to a counselor so I agreed to give her a chance, but if she reverts back to her old ways we are going to a counselor.

It's only been two weeks, but there has been a marked improvement. I get kisses and hugs in the morning, when I go to work, and at night before bed. We make love every one or two days and she initiates more often. I'm cautiously optimistic that this will be the change I need. I also understand that there will be slumps, but I think the letter got through to her. She's apologized again a few times for being distant, unaffectionate, etc.

We haven't fought once in the past two weeks - we used to fight quite a bit and mostly because I was extremely frustrated with her lack of emotion. She's finally opening up more to me, tells me when something bothers her, etc....

Again, it's only been two weeks, but I'm hoping this will be a permanent change...if not, off to counseling we go.
This is a great beginning but I would caution against thinking that permanent change can happen organically, without a lot of persistent encouragement and involvement on both your parts. Don't underestimate the value of counseling. Mostly all this distant behavior goes back to childhood experiences and counseling can flush these out
 

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I would go crazy living with someone who isn't intellectually curious. The brightest part of my day is when I learn new things. A couple weeks ago, I discovered that the signs of narcolepsy perfectly match the signs of alien abduction, so it's entirely possible that thousands of people are walking around with undiagnosed narcolepsy. I was so excited that I told everyone I knew. I would feel rejected if people said "ok" and ignored everything I said. The highlight of yesterday was talking about random things I find on the internet and how they relate to schizophrenia. Example: seeing shadow people (see wiki) and feeling gang stalked (see youtube) are classic signs of schizophrenia.

That alone would be a deal breaker. If I can't talk about anything, then I might as well be alone.
 
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