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I have been married for almost 20 years. We have 2 great kids and recently in the last couple years purchased a home that we love.

We bicker at times but don't argue much anymore, though that wasn't always the case. Despite the issues we've had and how hard we argued - we would always come together and work it out somehow.

I am in my early 40s, have a successful career, and work out regularly. Though it sounds arrogant, I am fairly attractive, well-dressed and in good shape for someone my age. I never want my wife to be embarrassed by me when I walk into a room. I am a good father and love to spend time with my kids.

My wife has a steady job, manages our home well, is close to our kids, tries to be careful with money and is always supportive when I've had a rough day. She does enough to ensure our relationship is functional.

My desire is to thrive, not function. Your relationship with your boss should be functional, not a marriage. Where our relationship falters is on everything else. She does little to make sure we spend quality time together. Her idea of quality time is watching some movie or series with me (in which she falls asleep next to me) or running around doing errands together. Even then, those times we watch together is rare. We rarely go out on dates, and have no common interests (I volunteer at church and other non-profits, like sports, travel, exercise, trying new bars & restaurants and go fishing) - if you were to ask her what are her hobbies she'd have nothing for you. Sex is terrible, were down to once or twice a month and she has little appetite to try and "spice" it up. Weve had numerous conversations about all of this and despite my pleas, wishes, speeches, and actions - seen diminishing returns.

In the past few years, I have recognized that my expectations of our marriage were not realistic (due to my wife's different goals and limitations) and I've thrown myself into other things to occupy my mind, heart and time. Despite all this, I find myself down that outside of some miracle, things will probably never be great with my wife and I have to settle for a semi-happy marriage. A functional marriage.

I see people, who routinely spend quality time with their spouses, where they make and find time to be together, and I have to settle. Where their spouse actually wants to enjoy life and not hide from it. Where if they make the effort, they receive love in return.

I do not ask for advice, only to be heard. Where every conversation topic didn't revolve around saving money, the kids or our families. I long to be loved (in my language). To be the star in her sky. I want to feel desired and not lonely. Where my touches and requests for intimacy aren't met with some form of rejection or another. I wish we could try new things together and live life. Read a book and talk about it, discuss our faith, share some common interest.

To have a partner to enjoy this world.....
 

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" We've had numerous conversations about all of this and despite my pleas, wishes, speeches, and actions - seen diminishing returns."
You are doing exactly the opposite of what will make your efforts successful.
You should read every blog on this website....https://therationalmale.com/
 

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I suggest you seek IC just for yourself. Share the IC experience and at some point invite her to join you. There's a lot that's good about your life and marriage. Can it be better? Maybe but it could also be worse.
 

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Have you asked your wife out on dates or for a weekend away together? Have you discussed something, a hobby or interest that you could do together? Have you asker HER what SHE would like to do? Where she may like to go on holiday? To be honest if your wife works full time as well as the home and children, then she is probably tired.

I do think that many people focus on what they think they don't have, not on what they do. Stop being discontent, and comparing your marriage to what you think others have(you have no idea what others marriages are really like),and be the best husband and dad you can. Be thankful for what you do have, which is a lot.


You said 'Though it sounds arrogant, I am fairly attractive, well-dressed and in good shape for someone my age.' Yes it does sound arrogant, and its surprising how many men who come here claim similar. Not sure what it has to do with your marriage issues.
 

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What does your wife say about your marriage? Is she getting what she needs? It sounds to me like she's given up.

There are two books that I think would help you: "Love Busters" and "His Needs, Her Needs". I suggest these because it does not sound like you two are meeting each other's needs. Do you really know what your wife's needs are? Do you know what things you do are "love busters" to her? When you two used to argue a lot, what did she complain about?

Read the books in the order listed. Do the work that they suggest. Then, after you do the things you learned, hopefully your marriage would start to get better. Then ask her to read them with you and the two of you do the work together.
 

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I am in my early 40s, have a successful career, and work out regularly. Though it sounds arrogant, I am fairly attractive, well-dressed and in good shape for someone my age. I never want my wife to be embarrassed by me when I walk into a room.
As @Diana7 mentioned, it remains a bit surprising that people who have viewed threads on TAM prior to participating would actually say something like that. It does sound arrogant, it does seem to set the tone for how the relationship between husband and wife might be taking place.

Your wife likely went into "mom" mode, which is a tough act when also working. She thinks she's been paying attention to the most-important items for that stage of her life/your marriage. You, meantime, were impressing yourself, and anyone who would listen, with your ability to provide for the family and not just act like but look the part of the successful alpha male.

How would you have described your early married life? What attracted you to her initially, if you had so little in common? Sex... was it a high priority for her before, and if you track it backward, do you see a time when things changed from good to not-so-good?
 

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So, just a suggestion for you to discuss with your wife (I had this same discussion with my wife quite a few years ago when my son was small).

YOUR relationship between you and your wife MUST be the PRIMARY relationship. YES, of course you will do what you need to for your children, etc. but you CANNOT sacrifice the relationship between the two of you for that. Sometimes, what the kids want becomes secondary to what you and your wife NEED. At some point, your kids will grow up, and move on in their lives, which means what -- YOU AND YOUR WIFE are still there together. You don't want to be saying then "gee what do we do now?" Your wife and you need to be the primary relationship for the both of you. NOTHING should take precedence over that. i don't mean ignore the kids, etc. AT ALL, but you both need to understand that you two need your relationship to be rock solid and not taking a back seat to anything else in your life.

Why not plan a date night, get a baby sitter, tell her that she needs to be dressed nicely and ready by 7PM on Saturday night, and don't tell her anything else. Take her out to dinner/dancing/whatever you know that she likes. DON'T talk about the kids and day to day stuff. Talk about HER. Ask her about how her job is going and the people there. Ask about if SHE is happy with her life, etc.. Try to get out of the daily rut.

If you are good looking/etc. great. ASK YOUR WIFE for help in shopping for some new clothes. Ask what SHE THINKS about how you look in them. Have her pick stuff for you that she would like you to wear. Ask her to pick out a cologne for you that she likes. Do things to make yourself more attractive TO HER.
 

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If you are good looking/etc. great. ASK YOUR WIFE for help in shopping for some new clothes. Ask what SHE THINKS about how you look in them. Have her pick stuff for you that she would like you to wear. Ask her to pick out a cologne for you that she likes. Do things to make yourself more attractive TO HER.
In other words, do things that validate the qualities she brings to the marriage, especially those things that it would appear he has in-hand all by himself. Because if he doesn't, in-hand all by himself is about all he's going to get.
 

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When you can get over yourself, others want to get closer.

SunCMars-

...............................................................................

Sounds good in writing, rarely is the case.

Yours, is another compatibility mismatch.

Very common, very hard to overcome.

Since she won't bend, you must.
I know, ugh!
 

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Women have all the answers, certainly most of those wants and needs that are found in men's prayers.
And some hoard the answers, they do.

The problem is, many of the fairer sex go to a different house of worship.

Men worship those things that form into boobies, and lips, some red, some curly hair covered.

Many women worship your obedience, your reverence, and they have this love of dressy baubles.

Women cover their riches in chest protectors and thick panties.
Men cover up their hanging shame with lame excuses.

Not all women, not all men attend this cold-felt, Cathartic Mass.

In truth, there is no easy answer @beenbetter. :(

You could replace her with a hotter model.

That new model will go from 0 to Sexy in 5 seconds, but she likely cannot converse, cannot clean, cannot cook anything but your hotdog.

And, with this new model being so hot, she may be too hot to handle.
She may find monogamy, monotonous.
Most of those naturally hot ladies, likely did no 'long' tour in the freezer.

They know what they want, and will tolerate no chills.
Too hot to handle? Yes, some often are.

I know, I know, maybe, not necessarily.



The Typist I-
 

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OP, be careful to follow advice from the rational Male as well as advice from those who put the repair work of the marriage solely on you. Somewhere in the middle is your answer, but it's going to take you to bring up the subject and then more importantly BOTH of you to work on it.

She is responsible for 50% of the marriage and she needs to participate in taking care of your feelings as much as you need to take care of hers. The one thing you must do though that is 100 % on you is to bring it up with her, and that is only because you are the one who is acknowledging an issue with the marriage. Communication is key. Focus on helping eachother and stay away from finger pointing and defensiveness. Just the fact that you are putting in the effort to bring it up to her shows you care and hopefully she will recognize that.
 
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