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Discussion Starter #1
Hello-

My wife and I have been together for 7 years and married for the past 3. I am 30 and she is 29 and we do not have any children. We have had a strange history in that I am a 4th year medical student that has spent many months away from her. We both admit that we have a lot of good things in our relationship but I have squandered them because I have a intimacy issues. Issues that have been present before medical school. I find her Very attractive, but I have always felt awkward and uncomfortable being intimate and romantic with her. I dont know where this comes from. I wish I knew how to be confident in this area, but I feel that I am terrible at it. She has put up with it for years because of the good things we have in our relationship. There are other issues as well.

She feels like she is the only responsible one and wishes that I would be "more manly" and plan things, take charge of things and show initiative. I agree that with intimacy, the checkbook, and vacations or getaways, etc. I have not been taking charge. Im not sure why other than it seems that if I do actually do something for us on my own (far and few between) it always seems to miss the mark and I felt terrible about it. I believe it was this emotion that led me to avoid doing things like this for us. All of this combined with other things makes her feel like she is not secure with me and that I am incapable of being a man.

After years of what she feels as rejection and disappointments, she has decided to leave me and move to a city far away in order to get space because she is not "in love" with me anymore. She does not say that this is the end of us but I can feel her putting me on the friend shelf and it is so painful. She admits that she does love me, but sees me more as a brother/friend than a husband. To make matters worse, she has met up with a former friend that she was romantically involved with many many years ago and he lives in a city very close to where she plans to move. She is adamant that she does not have any relationship with him that would be considered inappropriate, but cannot promise that it will not evolve while she is there.

I am absolutely terrified. I have never in my life felt so much emotion. It is taking over my body, my thoughts, my dreams. I am trying so hard to keep it together so that I can figure out a way to keep us together and Im running out of time. I love her so so dearly and want to give her the future and security that she wants, but I think it might be too late. She will not go to a counselor and has been stoic in her refusal to change her mind. I have been looking deep into myself and have come to terms that I have been selfish, inconsiderate, and insecure for quite a long time. I would do anything to take it all back and be the husband that she deserves. However, ll I can do is take advantage of the little time that we have till she moves out. I know that if she goes I will lose her to this guy. If this happens, I will not be able to come back from that. Please someone give me guidance!
 

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Me again! Help is really needed folks. I only have 44 days left till she leaves and I need to make them count. Im supposed to be studying for a HUGE board exam that holds great sway over my future plans as a doc, but I dont care. My future looks bleak without her. Please help!
 

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You have time to start making some big changes, and you should start right away. What you need to do first is start doing things to change her mind and show her that you can be the man she needs you to be. You should write her a letter and tell her that this has opened your eyes, and you can change.

Let me tell you that the rejection she feels will be tough to get over. I have had to deal with a couple years of rejection in my marriage, and it ate away at my confidence and self worth. You need to find a way to understand how she feels, and what affect that had on her and tell her you what you learned. I am not sure what book to direct you to, but you seem to be an intelligent fella, and could figure it out with a google search.

Feel free to message me if you need to. Good luck!
 

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Wow, you've had a lot going on. I can see your situation from both sides. First, I also have some intimacy issues, much to the dismay of my husband. For years, I have felt exactly like you...never able to fulfill his needs the way he wants me to. I will say this though. After all I've been through, I have learned that it's difficult to change this about myself. I don't think a person should have to change who they are. Compromise is okay, but a person should be accepted for who they are. I'm not saying that you shouldn't try, I'm just giving you my perspective based on what I have been through.

The other side of this situation I can identify with what your wife is going through. After all of these years of feeling completely inadequate in our relationship, I have begun to feel resentful. I now am the one who is unhappy with our relationship. We've been married 11 years and have two children. My husband doesn't know this, but I am considering a divorce. I don't want either of us to go through our whole life unhappy.

Therapy might help you to deal with some of the issues you are having. It's possible that your wife might see this as a positive sign that at least you are willling to work at it. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thank you both for your posts. I did what I feel I should not have done and broke down. I told her how much this quasi-separation has been tearing my heart to pieces. And the pain has caused me to do alot of thinking and self-reflection. I told her that I can see how I used to take her for granted by not acknowledge her love for me. How I used to walk in it and breath it in without giving anything back. I told her how I know now how she must have felt and how hurt and resentful she must be. I went on to tell her (to the best of my ability) that I would spend every waking moment that I have in this life to making her happy and being the man she wants and deserves as a husband. I felt terrible after saying this b/c I knew that it was going to get me nowhere and might even push her away. She was clearly confused, sad, and hurt so I said that I would give her some space. She said she wants that. I went into the T.V. room (my new bedroom) and silently cried what seemed like hours.

It may be who I am but I can feel an inner person that is screamin to be released. I have held it back for so so long and Im letting it loose. Today I have felt better than most actually. I think the break down helped me in some ways.

She told me that she still wants to move out and is continuing to make plans despite my proposition. I asked her to not put herself in situations where her sadness and desire to feel loved might cause us to end our relationship(i.e. going to the old guy friends house). She understood what I was saying but never said she would or wouldnt. I am begining to show her that I can be what she needs by making dinner plans, taking her out for a secret picnic in a very special park, doing the small things that I know she wants done, etc. I haven't been the worst husband and we do have a great life together that is very sweet. She does enjoy spending time with me as I do with her, but I can tell inside she is distancing me and pushing me away. I hurts so so bad and it makes me feel like I am dying. I really do fear the worst. The only thing that keeps me hopeful is that she is constantly concerned with my wellbeing. I know its more likely based on guilt, but its the only thing she is giving me. It makes me feel as though there is hope when there likely is none. I am planning an early birthday/goodbye dinner with a small slide show of her growing up and pictures of us (she is turning 30). Im not sure if this will blow up in my face or not. Its something I want to do for her b/c of my feelings for her. If she goes she goes.
 

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We went to a friends apt tonight for dinner. My wife has been confiding in my friend's wife (ill call helen) and she is aware of the gist of everything. They spoke in private on a few occasions tonight. Later, I asked my wife what they spoke about after we left and she told me that Helen believes she is doing the right thing. She went on to say that everyone is telling her that she is doing the right thing. However, I do not believe that she is telling everyone about this guy that she has been involved with in the past that happens to live where she plans to run off to. Should I go behind her back and tell them so that she gets a clue that she is putting us in danger or should I confront her, or should I just sit back and let it play out??
 

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I don't think telling everyone the truth will benefit your situation at all. She would probably resent you for it. Of course, they're going to support her because they're her friends. Just to clarify, her friends think that she should leave you? Unfortunately, she will do what she wants to do, and it seems like she's already made up her mind. You don't want to push too much, or you'll push her further away. Right now, I really don't want my husband. The more he tries to approach me, the more I want to get away from him. Maybe if you give her some space, she'll realize how much she misses you. This may not happen overnight and it may not happen at all. What you have to realize is that you can't control her actions, whether she chooses to be with that other guy or whatever. I know that's painful. If she truly loves you, she will find her way back to you. If not, then eventually, you will have to find a way to get on with your life.
 

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I don't think in 44 days you can show her that you have changed for good. I don't think it would matter at this point if ou did as far as the relationship is concerned. I think the changes you need to make should be for you and you alone since she holds the cards and it is her that will decide for the both of you what your fate is. She isn't being very wify right now, she is making decisions for the both of you based on what she wants.

Make yourself a better person. If she comes back fine, but otherwise you will be a stronger person next time.

draconis
 

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You are good draconis. How do you define "wify"? I'm not sure if I fit the description either. I agree with your advice though...making changes for himself, rather than for her.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Thank you again for everyones input. I have ups and downs of emotion and I feel like Im starting to level off. I dont know if it is something that I said to her, maybe I feel the impending doom of my upcoming board exam, or maybe I have come to terms that I dont have any say in the matter. As draconis says, she holds the cards. I have tried to show her that all of this has changed me (and I truly feel that it has), but its useless. She feels for me and the pain that I am going through, but she is going forward with her plans b/c she says that is what her heart is telling her to do.

We had a discussion where I confronted her about the guy. It initially blew up in my face and she denied any feelings for him. However, she finally understood that I needed to know where her heart was or I was going to be eaten alive by the green monster (jealousy) while she was gone. I also reaffirmed my feelings that I was not going to be able to recover our relationship if she starts to see other men. I do not plan to or want to bring this up with her again. It hurts me too much and it seems to be pissing her off

Everything you have said is 100% correct. My efforts to show affection, attention, concern, even love do nothing but push her away. I finally was able to stop (which was very hard for me) and now she has been doing things for me! I dont understand! She reaches for my hand when we go for walks but listens to her iPod the whole time, effectively shutting me out. I admit that it feels so good so I dont do anything about it. I will start to feel at peace and loved and then we get home and its all over. This is all so confusing.

I am going forward with my plans to give her a birthday/goodbye dinner and I will have a couple of gifts for her. I want to do this for her because she deserves it and I love her. Dispite all of this I cannot and will not hold back ALL of my feelings from her. I want to make the best of what time I have. She knows I am doing this and understands. Once she is gone I will do what I can to make myself happy.
 

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Her wanting to hold you hand is akin to cuddling without sex. It is intimacy and security for her. Atkeast she can feel giid and remember better days and leave in an up-note. But maybe in a strange way it will help you. I learned so much from my first marriage that ended in divorse and it helped me to make a great second marriage.

draconis
 

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She says that she feels optimistic while I feel pessimistic. This is strange for me as it is usually the opposite. I understand that her tame affections like holding hands is helping her, but i think its helping her let go of me. She doesnt want to feel guilty. If I am falling apart while she leaves she will feel terrible.

I feel like she is cutting me out of her life even though she denies it. She began to remove pictures of me from her myspace which she said was an innocent move that meant nothing. Now Im not even a friend on her page anymore. She has blocker her profile as private. As soon as I feel that things are possible turning around I get shut out. I dont know how you got through this. I feel like I am being dragged by a truck and Im just waiting for someone to cut the rope.
 

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IF she is still willing to hold your hand then that is a plus. Touch is a very strong emotion. I have very little if any in my separation with my wife. So enjoy it when she is willing.

Remain strong, while at the same time being able to express your emotions to her. A woman is not able to read your mind, its about the actions a lot of the time.

As Drac said....44 days is short time period. But it might be enough to convince her to prolong leaving.
 

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I've been following your post. Much of your post is a reflection of what happened to me in April. So, now that I can look back, I'll offer some advice. First, you could greatly benefit from a good counselor. Don't worry about her going to counseling. You need to focus on you and your issues. I know you don't see it right now, but you've got a great future ahead of you. A good counselor will help you see that. You need to focus on achieving inner peace--something which will offer you much comfort.

Talking to your wife isn't going to change anything at this point. Actions will speak a lot louder. I know everyone is probably getting tired of me recommending a certain book on here, but I'm going to do so again. The book, "The Five Love Languages", will benefit you greatly. You and your wife are clearly speaking different love languages. Once you read the book, try some of those techiniques on her. Also, see if your wife will read the book. She really needs to read the book, since she is headed the wrong way by dating someone before your marriage is even over. I've been thru all of this with my spouse, so I know how you feel. I'm actually feeling more hopeful now than I did when he moved out in April.

Oh, my husband did exactly as your wife did with the My Space page. Exactly!

Please keep us updated. Many of us on this forum can relate to your situation. It' s an emotional rollercoaster, and we'll be there for you.
 

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It does feel very good to hear that I am not alone. Because I am a med student most of my friends (at least the ones nearby) are also med students and we are studying for the same VERY BIG test. As a result I have avoided talking about this with them b/c I dont want their own studies to be disrupted. Ive also not mentioned this to my parents, other friends, or anybody else. I dont know exactly why other than it will bring this whole thing closer to reality. I also think in the back of my mind (maybe just an excuse) that if by some chance my wife has a change of heart, I want her to know that nothing will have changed with respect to my friends and family. Strangely enough the only person I have spoken with is her mother via email. It was out of necessity more than anything else, but it did feel good to speak about it. It has been such a help to read everyones responses in this thread and the rest of the forum. I continue to be very lost, but at least there is a little light from here.

I would really love to attend counseling. There are a few things that are preventing me right now. As a student, money is in short supply and my wife and I have done some serious credit card damage together. We canceled them about 5 months ago but the debt is still there. Also, there is a time factor. I will defiantly pick up the book you mentioned in the previous post.

Im glad that the myspace thing wasnt all in my head. I must admit that I felt stupid being a 30 year old getting his feelings hurt by a move my wife did on myspace. She even lied and said it was an accident, but when I asked if she would undo it she replied "I dont know".

Last night was strange. Im lying in the fold out bed in the TV room and its about 3 in the morning. I cant sleep b/c Im lost in my thoughts about my wife and studying. All of a sudden my wife walks in and she is emotional. She has to go to work the next day and cannot sleep as well. She tells me that she doesnt know whats right or wrong anymore and that she may never trust men anymore, and she is trying so hard to be strong but she is failing. I didnt know what to say. I was sad and upset to see my wife like this, but almost a little happy to hear that she might be second guessing this whole thing. However, the only thing I could think of doing was to talk her down and remind her that I will always love her and that there are many people out there that love her as well (family and close friends). I went on to say things to bolster her strength!! What am I doing!!??!? I felt like it was the right thing to do but WTF?! I feel as though I was given a chance and blew it!! I know everyone is saying that I should not try to convince her to stay but something is telling me that she IS second guessing this whole thing. However, I think she wants to stay simply for security and not for love. Is there someway I can find out?
 

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Hi Grendel,

I second picking up that book. What I found interesting was at the end they have a question/answer to fill out to determine what makes you feel loved in order of the 5 ways outlined in the book. It might be beneficial for you and your wife to do this for a few reasons:

She sees the effort you are making to change how you relate to her

It may enlighten her to realize it's not that you didn't love her, maybe you just missed the mark on how to show her that.

It's a great way to open up that dialog and begin doing things differently.

What a crazy time in your life to have the boards coming up and such major issues in your marriage. I hope you get some relief on both ends soon. Take care & hang in there.
 

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Sorry you really don't have time and money for a counselor right now. I fully understand! After all of the money my husband blew and all of his credit card debt, we really don't have the money either. However, part of his counseling is trying to figure out WHY wasting money and being in debt makes him happy. Strange! As bad as it is, I'm even having to chuckle at that OCD tendencey....Nonetheless, due to your time and money issues, start with the book we've recommended (it is a short book). Do you have a minister, priest, or other clergy you could talk to? Many of them are trained to discuss these problems and it would be free.

The Myspace thing is just another example of the physicological "distancing". It hurts.

As hard as all of this is right now, please focus on "YOU" and what you need to do. You've got a big exam coming up. If your wife is a distraction, you may want to find some place other than home to study.
 

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I dont think that she is going to be open to reading the book with me but I will get it. I will take my test in 16 days (sept 2) and I will start a new rotation on Sept 3rd but I will be able to devote time to reading it. She will be leaving on the 21st of sept. This gives me a couple of weeks to maybe make some sort of impression. I dont expect her to do a 180 and stay, but at least she will see the possibilities. This may just be enough for her to steer her mind away from divorce if that though happens to arise. I feel that it is all I can do.

It looks like she may be further distancing herself with a new tactic. We recently got new mailboxes in our apt building. They were installed many weeks ago and they began using them yesterday. The only reason I knew this is because my wife mentioned it to me. When I got home tonight after studying (yes I have chosen to study elsewhere b/c I cannot focus in my home anymore) I opened the mailbox for the first time. I noticed that inside the mailbox there is an index card with my last name on it and another last name that my wife used to use from a previous marriage. She dropped that name once we got married nearly 4 years ago and none of the bills, accounts, magazines, etc use that name anymore. In fact, since we have moved from place to place due to school, I dont know how that name could have possibly reached us where we are now. Im thinking of not taking the bait b/c I know that my feelings are on high alert right now and I may be making mountains out of mole hills. However, as the previous post said, the distancing is the stuff that hurts so bad. Doing it this way is almost like rubbing it in my face?! Ive got to find out if that was an intentional move or was it simply a fluke. I dont know who wrote it so I cannot be sure. If it turns out to be intentional on her part, my will to rescue this marriage is going to take a severe blow.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I approached her calmly once she got home. I asked her if she knew anything about the old name on the mailbox. She denied having anything to do with it and completely understood why it made me feel the way I did. She seemed to be as flabbergasted about it as I was. She was not angered by this and we actually had a good night together. We talked freely about random stuff and laughed together as we laid next to each other in our bed (a place that has unconsciously been marked as her space). She wanted me to stay and talk to her so she would fall asleep and asked me to play with her hair (somehow this helps her relax). I obliged, but felt unsure with what was happening. I stroked her hair for about 5-10 min and slowly crept out of bed to prepare my couch in the other room. A part of me wanted to stay and pretend that I simply fell asleep, but I decided to take the high road as draconis said.....

Just before she dozed off she asked me to help her with her resume soon so she that could find a job after she moves. I said I would but she could tell that I was not leaping for joy to help her do this (for obvious reasons). She then says that I shouldn't be so sad and that she will be there for my graduation (may 2009). She even went on to say that "..it would be great if you could end up in the state that I am going to and that we will talk to each other sometimes while we are going to be apart." How do I respond to this? What is going on in her mind/heart? I dont know weather to feel used or excited.... :scratchhead:
 
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