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I've been married for 22 years with 2 daughters 20 & 16.

I've come to the conclusion that I thought I was "Mr. Nice Guy". At first we shared all household duties 50/50. For the first 2 years we alternated between in-laws for the holidays. Then for the next 20 years it was always let's go to her parents for the holidays - "your parents don't really like to celebrate them anyway." We had our issues around sex right from the start - mostly because she had some trauma early in life and now she has severe body issues. Basically doing it is an act of do it, get it done with and don't look or touch anything. I have seen her totally nude 3 times in 22 years. Over the years duties have gone more to the 70/30 rule. Any duties she is responsible for I must help or there will be an argument about helping around the house. It used to be I cook and she clean, I do outside house and she did inside. Now 'we' do inside house cleaning together and I have to continuously get the supplies or the vacuum or whatever for her then put them all away after, I cook always, I clean up after, then she re-cleans because I do "a poor job". I do 75% of the laundry.
We do not agree on how to discipline the kids. The 20 year old is in college, she get all her gas money from us, all the money for fast food, she keeps her room a mess and when I try to enforce her to keep things clean, mom undermines me - says she's an adult and if she wants her room messy so be it....it isn't her room it's our house! Similar things go on with our youngest...mom's overly strict with school and such. So much so that I end up undermining mom's decisions since they are way to strict...or I don't follow 'her rules' and we get into an argument. Arguments are always "we do it this way, you were wrong to think otherwise" or "why would you let her do that?"
I always initiated sex. I would try to wait it out but months would go by and nothing so I kept initiating. One day I had enough and said to myself that I no longer will initiate...that was 3 years ago.
Our youngest is in therapy and some of the issues that come up are around mom and her and mom and me. My daughter told her councilor that mom is rude and condescending to me. She tells me what to do all the time. My daughter told me in her councilor session (which she asked me to come into)...that if I was her and she was that rude to her that she would leave in a heartbeat.
This is when I was offered IC and started to read this forum. I've slowly been figuring out that I am not Mr. Nice Guy and I am Mr. Doormat. I have started to do the 180 thing and wow it has gotten bad. The silent treatment, the angry outbursts, which I just politely just walk away from. She comes home from work looking all pissed off and goes upstairs until dinner is ready then eats and cleans up and goes back upstairs.
The problem is I just don't know where to go from here. I guess this is where I need to man up and keep at it. I'm thinking MC but really am about 50% checked out due to the total lack of intimacy. Even though I drop everything for her and the kids. I have plans, but will drop them to join them at the mall or the in-laws or go to the movies or whatever. I recently started going back to the gym on a regular basis - for me. Guess who has been trying to sabotage me going? You guessed it.
There is plenty of details I probably missed but that is the general outline. I am nearing the point of no return.
Any suggestions or pointers for me?
 

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Any suggestions or pointers for me?
Yes. Keep at it. Actually, no, turn up the volume. She isn't convinced yet that you're serious. Don't be afraid of your wife. She works? You do to? Is your income close to equal to hers? If so, then probably no alimony if it comes to that. And the kids are almost out of child support range. You have nothing to fear, except possibly a sore unit from all the tail you'll get once she's either gone or back. But for the moment you're really in limbo. She's neither gone, nor there.
 

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We both work full-time. I used to make more than her before the downturn in the economy. Now she make more than me. I have much less job stress now which feels good....
 

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We both work full-time. I used to make more than her before the downturn in the economy. Now she make more than me. I have much less job stress now which feels good....
Yup, you're were a doormat. I'll bet this less stressful job has given you time to focus more on this very strained relationship with your wife. I know that it has worked for me as I was doormat number #1. My wife is now watching me carefully.

The most important thing for me to realize was that I will survive no matter what and I am not afraid to lose her. The second realization was her constant sh*t tests. I no longer put up with them and they are happening a lot less frequently. Third was working on myself and my needs as a priority.

I have done what I would consider a 180. Some people think that is exactly what their wife would like them to do but in reality it destabilizes the relationship in a good way.

Keep it up!
 

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Wonderful to hear you differentiating between Mr Nice Guy and Mr Door Mat... many on this site don't.

I'm married to a nice guy and I try to be a nice woman back... we are never a doormat to each other though.

I reckon your getting the expected response from your wife. She doesn't want anything to change and she doesn't like YOUR changes. You've been doing most of the housework/yard work , why would she want to change this? Your the one who bends over backwards to accommodate her/make life easier for her... when she isn't willing to do the same for you.

Your getting sweet FA out of this marriage by the sounds of it... is her crabby attitude really that much worse than your 'normal' life with her?

Stand strong, amp up your 180, be kind to yourself... heck...maybe even go out and have some fun with friends. Leave her home to sulk!
 

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The most important thing for me to realize was that I will survive no matter what and I am not afraid to lose her.
This couldn't be more true!! I have fallen into the same trap. I'm just now starting to dig myself out (though you really seem to be in a rougher spot). Setting boundaries, resolving that I will do what's right (not easy, not necessarily what I or she wants) for my family, and reminding myself that I am the master of my destiny are the keys to ultimate happiness. Just making this realization is liberating.

You didn't mention it in your post, but you should be very clear on what you want out of the marriage, and if there's any way of getting it. Intimacy seems to be an impossible goal. Sometimes a successful marriage can be just a business relationship. (certainly not ideal, but even fewer marriages are ideal).

If you can't get what you need out of the marriage, you have a couple options. First, find a way to meet your responsibilities. If you're resolved that this can't work, then make the break. If you think there's something worth saving, then be aggressive about moving in that direction. If she doesn't go along with the program, then make the break. This may be the shock she needs to get her act together.

Stay with it. It sounds like you're doing the right things.
 

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Thanks for the words of encouragement. We had a couple of conversations since. I talked to her about parenting our youngest and that we need to be on the same page. It was a productive talk and we seem to be at least in the same book now....closing in on the same page...

We then had another talk about intimacy and it is painfully obvious that she is in a totally different universe than I. She believes that love and intimacy do not go hand in hand at all. She believes over the years that I pulled away from her, not the other way around. Yes 3 years ago, I stopped trying to 'get in her pants' because it was futile. Now, she is the one that has stopped all physical contact - kissing/hugging etc. Now that I grew a pair and actually have called her on it she says we can't be intimate until we re-kindle other forms of affection first...and that I should be the one who initiates. OMG - I've always tried to hug, kiss, do things for her. The last 2 times I tried to hug her, in front of my daughter, she yelled at me. My daughter was like "what the hell did you yell at dad for - why don't you want him to hug you?"
My wife walked in on me in the bathroom the other day and I was hopping in the shower. She was talking to me and the minute she saw me naked she got all flustered and walked out. Later I asked why she stopped talking to me and whatnot and she basically said that when she saw my "you know what" that she was repulsed so she walked out of the room. I was totally floored that she thinks the naked body as something so repulsive. She has body image issues(always has) but her comment is something we will have another conversation about. It's becoming more obvious that sex and intimacy may never be something we will be able to agree on...
More to come, I'm sure.
 

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Thanks for the words of encouragement. We had a couple of conversations since. I talked to her about parenting our youngest and that we need to be on the same page. It was a productive talk and we seem to be at least in the same book now....closing in on the same page...

We then had another talk about intimacy and it is painfully obvious that she is in a totally different universe than I. She believes that love and intimacy do not go hand in hand at all. She believes over the years that I pulled away from her, not the other way around. Yes 3 years ago, I stopped trying to 'get in her pants' because it was futile. Now, she is the one that has stopped all physical contact - kissing/hugging etc. Now that I grew a pair and actually have called her on it she says we can't be intimate until we re-kindle other forms of affection first...and that I should be the one who initiates. OMG - I've always tried to hug, kiss, do things for her. The last 2 times I tried to hug her, in front of my daughter, she yelled at me. My daughter was like "what the hell did you yell at dad for - why don't you want him to hug you?"
My wife walked in on me in the bathroom the other day and I was hopping in the shower. She was talking to me and the minute she saw me naked she got all flustered and walked out. Later I asked why she stopped talking to me and whatnot and she basically said that when she saw my "you know what" that she was repulsed so she walked out of the room. I was totally floored that she thinks the naked body as something so repulsive. She has body image issues(always has) but her comment is something we will have another conversation about. It's becoming more obvious that sex and intimacy may never be something we will be able to agree on...
More to come, I'm sure.
It sounds like you are turning things around.

Congratulations!

I don't know if your marriage will work or not but I'm pretty sure you will be happy you stepped up and made the change regardless.
 

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well at least it seems youa re certainly heading in the right direction.
i like the previously suggested ideas of getting out just for you.
do something YOU like. fish, hunt, skydive, learn to fly a helicopter who gives a sh!t, just go do something you have always wanted to do, or something you already like to do but havent had time to do since you are so busy doing everything else for everyone else.
AND DONT ASK. TELL.
i know that when i found myself in your situation, nowhere near as bad i dont think but hey, once i started doing some things i wanted to do because they made me happy and i got a break from being the ever-present companion/hunter/worker/protector/fixer/buddy guy, and actually got out and enjoyed myself, the wife really took notice.
a couple other things...
you havent had sex in THREE YEARS? dear god man how does someone do that
and your wife actually said you were "repulsive"? i would find it hard to have anything to do with someone that actually found me repulsive. let alone be married to them.
 

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No sex in three years and then she calls you repulsive. I would not react well to that. I'd likely leave for a few days, stay at a motel, go completely dark. Then when I returned, the first words out of my mouth would be 'if you find me repulsive then I want a divorce. We're not really acting like a married couple anyway'.
 

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no sex in three years and then she calls you repulsive. I would not react well to that. I'd likely leave for a few days, stay at a motel, go completely dark. Then when i returned, the first words out of my mouth would be 'if you find me repulsive then i want a divorce. We're not really acting like a married couple anyway'.
yuuuuuup.
 

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No sex in three years and then she calls you repulsive. I would not react well to that. I'd likely leave for a few days, stay at a motel, go completely dark. Then when I returned, the first words out of my mouth would be 'if you find me repulsive then I want a divorce. We're not really acting like a married couple anyway'.
That sums it up pretty darn well
 

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Just an update. No new news here...status quo. She still expects me to bend over backwards for her with no extra help from her. We are starting MC on Monday. My choice. This is for me to get her 'official stance' on why thing are the way they are from her point of view.
I've resolved myself that no-sex is no-marriage. This is something that I will be bringing up in our session. If she would treat me with more respect and other intimacy then things could be so much better.

Thanks for 'listening'.....
 

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I have a feeling your going to see A LOT of hamster in MC. I doubt you will here an "official stance".

1) You need to run the household. You need to do the chores you want to. Leave the others for her and tell the family not to do them.

2) It's your house, tell the daughter to clean up or move out.

3) Initiate. Push her past her walls.
 

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Boy it's been awhile. A lot has happened and a lot has not. MC has enlightened me to what she believes is happening verses what I believe is happening. I can't get her past "co-parenting issues" so I finally stopped one of our sessions and point blank said that we had physical intimacy issues and that I have basically never seen her naked, she hates to see me naked and she never initiates - I stopped 3 years ago due to her lack of engagement.

What I got out of that session was that in her IC sessions which she has been going for a year plus, she never talked about her body/intimacy issues! I almost walked right then and there. I figured she was working on those issues at least a little bit. She did say that she wanted to be intimate - "for me". I flat out told her that I did not want that at all - I want her to be intimate with me, for her.

It's been 2 months since that talk and tomorrow's session will be a request from me for an update from her. I want to know what she is doing to re-enable her physical feelings for me.

I would like to set a time-limit for her but I feel at the same time that this is a bit too over-bearing and insensitive. However, I no longer want to wait years for something that may never happen - ever again...
 

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The problem is I just don't know where to go from here. I guess this is where I need to man up and keep at it. I'm thinking MC but really am about 50% checked out due to the total lack of intimacy. Even though I drop everything for her and the kids. I have plans, but will drop them to join them at the mall or the in-laws or go to the movies or whatever. I recently started going back to the gym on a regular basis - for me. Guess who has been trying to sabotage me going? You guessed it.
There is plenty of details I probably missed but that is the general outline. I am nearing the point of no return.
Any suggestions or pointers for me?
This, sir, is not the 180. The 180 is that YOU do YOUR plans. If she arranges that YOU (plural) have plans together (note who should initiate) THEN you do things together.

If you come like a dog when she whistles, what sort of message are you sending her? Obviously, your plans should include your kids. SHE should be fighting to join YOU (plural) when you do fun things.

On the cooking front...cook what YOU like. If it's something she does not prefer, that is a bonus. If it's 'light' on the portions, that is also on her. You are her live in chef.

You established an inside and outside dynamic earlier in your marriage re cleaning. Okay...go back to that. Do NOT get her supplies, help her get a vacuum, whatever. In a matter of fact way, you say "you have told me that I don't clean to your standards, so I will let you do it correctly.'

Continue to hit the gym. Continue to find social activities outside the home. Make some friends. If she sabotages it, don't let her.
 
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Boy it's been awhile. A lot has happened and a lot has not. MC has enlightened me to what she believes is happening verses what I believe is happening. I can't get her past "co-parenting issues" so I finally stopped one of our sessions and point blank said that we had physical intimacy issues and that I have basically never seen her naked, she hates to see me naked and she never initiates - I stopped 3 years ago due to her lack of engagement.

What I got out of that session was that in her IC sessions which she has been going for a year plus, she never talked about her body/intimacy issues! I almost walked right then and there. I figured she was working on those issues at least a little bit. She did say that she wanted to be intimate - "for me". I flat out told her that I did not want that at all - I want her to be intimate with me, for her.

It's been 2 months since that talk and tomorrow's session will be a request from me for an update from her. I want to know what she is doing to re-enable her physical feelings for me.

I would like to set a time-limit for her but I feel at the same time that this is a bit too over-bearing and insensitive. However, I no longer want to wait years for something that may never happen - ever again...
So THREE YEARS of no intimacy, calling you repulsive naked and not even hugging or kissing you is what? Being sensitive?

By self admission she hasn't worked on any of her body image problems OR her intimacy problems with you and you are afraid of putting any line in the sand.

You believe the stupid myth that women are naturally sensitive. So...let's test that, shall we? Have you been hurting from lack of intimacy for three years? Has she picked up on that? Do you feel taken advantage of on the chore front? Has she picked up on THAT? Do you feel disrespected and marginalized as a father? Has she picked up on THAT?

The answer to all these questions is no. So...is she a sensitive person or has she callously been doing whatever she wants to do and expecting you to accept...well...everything.

So sure...don't give her ANY time limits. I'm sure she'll feel driven to change anyway...because she's changed so much in the last three years...oh...wait...
 

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Mickey
Make a plan for the future to get out of your marriage. You are too weak right now to execute any plan but you can start building and your new plan should definitely include you getting stronger. You need to work on getting as self reliant a possible and that is going to take some time. You do no have to include any revenge or actions against your wife. Your plan should be ALL about you getting stronger. You can not change your wife but you can change you.

Allowing yourself to be a martyr and having your 16 year old daughter take up for you can be very satisfying but you will be a lot better off when you can stand up for yourself.

Your chances of your wife changing sexually to an acceptable level are slim to none and I bet slim has left the building. If you are willing to have a very poor and pitiful sex life and be treated like you have for the last 10-20 years then you can stay in your marriage. You are never going to gain a lot of respect for yourself as long as you allow your wife to treat you like an incompetent and unappreciated employee.

In your new plan I hope that you get someone that can help you as you have a 20 year groove in your brain about being a door mat and it is going to be hard for you by yourself to get out completely. MAKE YOUR PLAN NOW!! We are pulling for you because when you take actions that are opposite of a door mat you will be much more content and you daughters will be able to draw strength from you. Your wonderful daughters are going to love you anyway but they will need a strong father many times in their lives.


You have many years left in your life so put an end to being a door mat.
 
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