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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm sorry in advance, but this is a long one. My wife and i have been married for 16 years, but about the last 7 have been a nightmare.

We've always got on really well, she's been the love of my life, but as with most people in relationships our sex life began to dwindle. Her libido always declined faster than my expectations, it became a real bone of contention between us causing lots of arguments. I kept asking her what I needed to do to help us, she would always say x or y, id do whatever she asked and nothing would change or improve. She told me to not talk about it as she felt under pressure, I stopped raising it, it just meant we had sex even less. Nothing I could do helped. It wasn’t just sex though, she pulled away physically and emotionally from me, it began to feel like we were just good housemates. This all slid over a number of years.

We did have children (we actually have 3), but we were blessed with really easy conceptions! So our sex life dwindled to practically nothing less than ten times a year for a few years. I felt talking about it was pointless, nothing changed or improved and it just led to arguments. Anyway, one day I stumbled into a chat room and got talking to various people, I connected with a woman. Just texting nothing in the real world. I'd go hot and cold on her, stopping and starting as I knew it was wrong. She got fed up, she wanted to meet, I refused it all ended. I then started flirting with some other women on text, to me it was nothing serious, just fun, a release from my increasingly broken marriage in terms of intimacy. I knew what I was doing was wrong but didn’t know what else to do…I was stupid. I saw it as escapism, not cheating, as I never did anything physical with anyone. As I've read more since then I have realised I was wrong, it was the trust that I broke with my wife.

Anyway, in 2010 my wife discovered my texts. My/our world imploded. We talked lots about it, really sensible conversations about how we both felt and what we wanted. I felt really positive, like maybe, just maybe we could turn a corner and make things good. She said she needed time to rebuild trust in me and she didn't know how long that would take. Completely understandable to me.

I have always said I would do anything to repair our marriage. We tried counselling, but after a couple of sessions my wife said it was useless as they don’t understand what is going on in our lives so she refused to try any more. Things would get a bit better, but I would get frustrated that whilst I was trying to make things work I felt no effort from her. All I said from her was that I wanted to feel loved, apart from sex, she never showed any interest in my life, never said she loved me, we never kissed, we never cuddled etc. Nothing in any of those dimensions got better.

When we argued things got worse, arguments more heated. But things did gradually improve for a few months in 2012 and we even had sex once. Then another argument came along, to be honest an irrational one and she ignored me for a whole week, wouldn’t talk to me about anything. I had a business trip one day which I didn't tell her about as she wasn’t talking to me, later that week she saw a transaction on my credit card statement and queried it. I explained I'd been on a day trip and as she ignoring me and it didn’t impact her day I didn’t tell her, she said I had destroyed the trust again (as I could be up to anything) and everything fell apart again.

We continued to bumble along, then in 2013 one of our children fell ill in a serious way. Obviously the focus became her, but as she began to overcome the worst of the illness by the end of 2013 I was really looking forward to 2014. But the year started with some horrible arguments. She said that she felt under pressure still, I decided not to talk about anything bad that was going on in our relationship for the rest of the year (unless she wanted to), I just tried to focus on the positives. We had a few conversations during the year and she sounded more positive but nothing really changed she's still distant and remote.

To cut a long story short, we're still drifting, nothing has improved. I still desperately want to try to make it work not only because I love her but for our children too. She says she wants to make it work too, but I see nothing to suggest she is trying, she just comes back to saying she needs time. I'm not allowed to touch her, if I do she moves away (so no holding hands, no cuddles), we never go out on dates apart from a rushed meal from time to time after something to do with the school, every night she sits on a sofa opposite me. The extent of our physical relationship is a quick kiss on the lips goodnight.

She used to say that she was concerned that if I didn’t get what I wanted I'd just walk out. I said I never would just walk out on her and the kids and that if I ever felt it wasn’t working I would tell her so. At the end of 2014 I muted for the first time that we had to fix it, for if we didn’t, our marriage could only go one way. Which from my perspective is true, I never gave us a deadline to fix it, she then turned that into how I was blackmailing her into doing what I wanted for our relationship. That wasn’t my intention, it was just me trying to be open and honest with her, I feel that our marriage is unsustainable.

The problem is I don’t know what to do, she says she can see I've been making an effort. I genuinely try to give her whatever she wants (clearly I'm failing, but im doing what she asks). We do have a good lifestyle, nice holidays when she wants we also moved house because she wanted too. I've read a lot over the last 5 years (5 languages of love and a few others), I've suggested in the past that she should but she refuses, apparently they're a waste of time as they can't be applied to our circumstance. She continues to refuse to consider counselling.

I don't feel that I can do much more, it feels like she's not trying to help us and that she's just waiting on some divine intervention that is going to change things. I feel that we both have to try to save us, but I feel that I am alone in doing so. I knew it would take some time to get over what I did, never in my wildest dreams did I think it would take this long.

So why am I writing this? I don’t know, to get some thoughts and perspectives from others on our situation. Thanks for reading.
 

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Even though she refuses to go to counseling, perhaps you should go.
 

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I sort of agree with Matt. Its probably a mental health issue at play my man....yours. The problem is you've been absolutely no challenge by pandering to her and allowing her to jerk you around. Hence, she's lost romantic interest in you. The bad news is that you've allowed this to go on so long her romantic interest is likely to never come back. It certainly won't if you continue the same actions.
Reading you comments its easy to see what you want and what you're willing to do to breath a little life into your dead marriage. The obstacle is your wife. She wants it to work all right; 100% on her terms. If you even hint of anything normally expected as part of a marriage, she screams "blackmail" and you simply back off. Why should she put any effort into it. She can just control you with voice commands. When she said she needs more time, that's "womanese" meaning " I need buy more time because I'm not planning on changing anything and it'll get him off my damn back". In short, she wants to see how much more she can push the envelope before she has to get off her azz and do something. Maybe you should just give her another 10-15 years while this woman you love, and just can't do without, willfully drains more life out of you while you beckon on one side of the sofa.
My advice is to do the 180 everybody talks about and put a deadline on it. When she hits you with the blackmail/time frame thing, tell her the deadline is not for her; its for you. And you can see and feel the marriage is obviously not right for her, if she doesn't want a marriage with you, you'll reluctantly release her to find somebody she can happily spend the rest of her life with. If she doesn't get off her azz and quickly put something into the marriage, you'll know where you stand.
 

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OP,
Has your wife pretty much been given everything she wants? Had it easy, so to speak? When people have everything they want, they have to keep wanting to keep getting and they soon come to believe that wanting and getting is the way life goes. Then when they want something they feel conflicted getting, like a new H, it depresses them that they cannot get it.

In any event, I think I would try talking to your wife in a calm, open manner and simply tell her that you are seriously unhappy. Explain that there are certain expectations in a marriage and that she is not meeting your basic needs. Tell her that your feeling this way should stir something in her to try to improve the situation and if it doesn't then it shows how little she cares.

Finally, tell her that you cannot go on like this and that there are women out there looking for good men and if she screams blackmail simply tell her it is just fact and that you don't want her to change in any way. She can continue on exactly as she is with the only exception being that you won't be there any longer.

One last thing, if you value your integrity, your honor and your word then do not engage with other women until you finalize things (D) with her. She must know and acknowledge, beyond any doubt, that you are moving on and what your intent is. If she fails to put forth any effort to save the marriage then you must accept that it is over because there can never be a marriage with only 1 participant.

Or you can leave things as they are, improve you coping skills and learn to deal with it better. Based on ythe info in your post I see little else in the way of choices. I wish you good fortune.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I get what you're saying but it is high risk given how she reacts to things, above anything else, I don't want to risk not being with my children.
 

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It ok to come here and vent, as long as your realize its not going to get any better without you taking the bull by the horns. You'll just have learn to live with and be satisfied what she doles out.
Bear in mind though that there is nothing to prevent her from ditching you at some point. She may not want to continue to live in that igloo ya'll have created. About 90% of the time its the woman who ditches the man.
 

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Lila, I hate to tell you this my girl but when a man's wife is long term disinterested in sex without a believable reason, there's about a 95% he's will take up another offer, if he can get away with it, and often when he cannot. If a woman is not "giving it up" and still wants to keep her husband out of other women's beds, she damn well better convince him she would love to have him in the saddle but for certain legitimate (medical) reasons, she cannot.
Remember, just because you don't want sex, doesn't mean I have to give it up. ;) Hey, I don't have to go through a life altering event, loss of kids, financial hardships, etc., of divorce if you willfully cut me off and I can get it some place else without you knowing it.
 

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So you agree that cheating is justified? I'm not judging you one way or the other, but I do believe in fairness for both sexes. If a man can justify having an affair because he's not getting his needs met, then a woman can as well.
What's ok and what happens in real life are two different things. An oft quoted study here says 70-75% of men and women would have and affair if they knew they wouldn't get caught. At minimum, half of those people do have affairs.

Its not ok but if you are a good mate, surely that lowers the odds of being cheated on.:eek:
 

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Lila, The problems in the OP's marriage pre-date his texting other women. So you can't lay all the problems at his feet based on what he has told us so far. Yes, he made a mistake by texting these other women and there is NO excuse for that. But his wife is avoidant when it comes to working on their problems and there is NO excuse for that.

From what we know, he is bending over backwards to work on the problem and she has no intention to work on anything. At best, he can become a better person by working on himself and they will still have the same problems they had before his texting incident. The source of those problems is unknown to us. Is it likely that they will go away if his wife doesn't participate in counseling?

The OP may yet admit that he was a lousy husband from the start and that is why sex dwindled to almost nothing, but he hasn't so far and that isn't an assumption I would make.
 

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Lila, I hate to tell you this my girl but when a man's wife is long term disinterested in sex without a believable reason, there's about a 95% he's will take up another offer, if he can get away with it, and often when he cannot. If a woman is not "giving it up" and still wants to keep her husband out of other women's beds, she damn well better convince him she would love to have him in the saddle but for certain legitimate (medical) reasons, she cannot.
Remember, just because you don't want sex, doesn't mean I have to give it up. ;) Hey, I don't have to go through a life altering event, loss of kids, financial hardships, etc., of divorce if you willfully cut me off and I can get it some place else without you knowing it.
Fortunately, honorable men don't think this way. Honorable men (and women) take their marriage vows seriously and don't take the cowards way out. Yes, you divorce if necessary and then find someone else to be with.

No, you don't screw up your marriage and possibly other marriages by having affairs. There is no excuse for that.
 

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So you agree that cheating is justified? I'm not judging you one way or the other, but I do believe in fairness for both sexes. If a man can justify having an affair because he's not getting his needs met, then a woman can as well.
People do a lot of stuff that's not justified. Cheating is one of them. And both men and women do it. Justification and incentive are two different dogs.If the truth were told, how many men in "sexless" marriages would turn down a tryst with Penelope Cruz or women, Chris Hemsworth, or their choice, if there was absolutely no way anybody would ever find out? We're talking the way the world is; not the way it ought to be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for taking the time to comment Lila.

[*]How long did these EAs last?
Off and on for 18 months. I knew it was wrong, i stopped from time to time trying to be good, but when things got really bad in my marriage i fell back into it.

[*]How did your wife find out about them?
She wasnt suspicious of me, she logged onto my phone account for something normal and saw a high level of text messages then explored who i had texted and saw it was predominantly to one number. She asked me the same day and i came clean.

[*]How did you express true remorse for what you did to your wife? Was there transparency after the fact?
I was devastated. Perhaps stupidly, whilst i knew what i was doing was wrong, i never felt it was that bad as everything was virtual. I never let it go further than that despite having the opportunity to. To me it was all about coping, for years prior to me doing anything the closeness in our marriage evaporated, i hated it, i tried whatever she said to make things better but things got worse. So to me, it made me happier in my circumstance as i knew no other way to deal with it. It was escapism, it stopped me talking to her about it and ultimately prevented arguments. In hindsight it was stupid, as it didnt help address the issue.

Post it, i said id do anything to fix it, i meant it. She told me various changes she wanted. As far as im aware/concerned i did all of them. She has just always said she needed more time.

i never once blamed her for my actions, i take full accountability for them, but the circumstances of our marriage and my reaction to dealing with that was the cause. But i chose to do what i did.

As for transparency, i went so far as downloading all of my phone statements for two years and putting them in a list so she could see exactly what activity i had been up to and when. I also gave her access to my email accounts, shared my work calendars etc.

[*]What sort of heavy lifting did you do to try to regain her trust?
Apart from the transparency above, and always letting her know what i was up to and with whom nothing else on trust. What she wanted from me was simple, she wanted to feel that i was more engaged and helping her in her life. I have a pretty good career, but with that comes long days. I work minimum 12 hour days often a lot more, yet i still ensure i am home to take care of the children and sort things out around the home. I bust a gut for our family during the week and at home.
 

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She has just always said she needed more time.

The devil met with a three of his demons about how to stop the dynamic new preacher from saving so many souls from hell fire. "This guy goes right to their house and saves them them right in their living room. We need a plan to at least slow him down." said the devil.

The first demon said, "lets tell them that being saved is a boring life"

The others said, "no that will never work because many see its not a boring life"

The second demon said, "Lets tell them all the religious stuff is fantasy"

The others said, "Well that may work on a few, but we'll still lose a lot".

The third demon said, "How about this. Lets convince them they need time before committing to anything."

"Brilliant", said the devil.


Think about it my man.
 
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