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My backstory:

I have been married 21 years and have 3 young kids. Sex has always been good although I have always felt it lacked an emotional element. I have always struggled to feel connected to my wife but we have had sex regularly and that has helped. We have have taken off of sex for a while and it has helped me to see the marriage more clearly. I find it hard to feel connected with my wife emotionally. When we have a an argument and settle it I feel so much better. These are the best times to me because it is at these moments I feel our hearts are in sync. She is not affectionate and does not speak of her love for me ever. I could take the no sex if she wanted to cuddle but that is not there. I will readily admit that I have not handled her well through the years. She is quite fragile and have been not soft and gentle enough.

Anyone else have a situation like this? What have you done? I guess I have to consider myself too dependent on her actions to feel good. I feel so alone sometimes and get anxious when I feel disconnected.
 

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@trytobebetter I have read about every book I can find including Five Languages of Love. My wife read it too and said she did not find one that spoke to her except maybe "acts of service." Personally I think I have done a good job at all of them but not as well at "acts of service". My wife thinks our marriage is ok but I feel it is very lacking in terms of emotion and connection. She may just be this way and I have to just learn to accept her as is or move on.
 

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My backstory:

I have been married 21 years and have 3 young kids. Sex has always been good although I have always felt it lacked an emotional element. I have always struggled to feel connected to my wife but we have had sex regularly and that has helped. We have have taken off of sex for a while and it has helped me to see the marriage more clearly. I find it hard to feel connected with my wife emotionally. When we have a an argument and settle it I feel so much better. These are the best times to me because it is at these moments I feel our hearts are in sync. She is not affectionate and does not speak of her love for me ever. I could take the no sex if she wanted to cuddle but that is not there. I will readily admit that I have not handled her well through the years. She is quite fragile and have been not soft and gentle enough.

Anyone else have a situation like this? What have you done? I guess I have to consider myself too dependent on her actions to feel good. I feel so alone sometimes and get anxious when I feel disconnected.
Have you tried marriage counseling?
 

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Marital therapy could be very helpful. As a first step try to understand the patterns in your relationship. Most marriages over time form a patterned dance which blocks intimacy, such as the pursuer/distancer dance. (We describe a number of dances in the Couple's Survival Workbook) Once you figure out the dance, try to change your part in it. Second, review what attracted you to each other. Try to build on things that made you feel closer in the early years. Finally, spend some time discussing what each of you need from the other. Attempt to keep the dialogue open.
David Olsen, Ph.D, LCSW
 

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Marital therapy could be very helpful. As a first step try to understand the patterns in your relationship. Most marriages over time form a patterned dance which blocks intimacy, such as the pursuer/distancer dance. (We describe a number of dances in the Couple's Survival Workbook) Once you figure out the dance, try to change your part in it. Second, review what attracted you to each other. Try to build on things that made you feel closer in the early years. Finally, spend some time discussing what each of you need from the other. Attempt to keep the dialogue open.
David Olsen, Ph.D, LCSW
Dr,

You are absolutely correct--we are in the pursuer/distancer dance. We are at the point now that if I am sad or express that I feel disconnected she gets seriously sad and angry at me. So here I am trying to fix me and feel okay despite the distance I feel. I am going to counseling for myself but I am not having much luck feeling better. I feel I just have to toughen up but am struggling to do so. She will not go to couples counseling at this point. I will purchase your book and give it a try.
 

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I have totally been guilty of not allowing my wife to be herself and she has been totally conflict avoidant with me. She has always tried to be and to do whatever it takes to keep the peace. I am working hard to accept who she is and to accept her when she is less than great or in a bad mood. She has always felt the need to do things to keep me happy. It is such hard work to let go because it fills me with dread and fear.
 
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