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Discussion Starter #1
Wow, what a wealth of experiences and advice on this web site.

First post here, I'll try to keep it short and to the point.

I'm a man who's always been a successful provider for my wife and young family. As far as stability goes (i.e. financial, availability, leadership, faithfulness, etc...) things have been incredibly stable and consistent for almost 10 years since we married. Physically, and in the looks department, I am doing pretty darn good. And yes, I am playful at times too.

However, I feel my wife is stuck in some sort of fantasy land. She is literally hooked on her daytime soap and is in constant daily contact with her divorced and promiscuous "BFF". Her words, not mine (damn I hate immature Internet shorthand). Everyday it seems the two need to talk about how their weekend went, and "tell me about Mr. xyz#50" is always in the discussion.

My problem? She has not known how to show me affection for years. I suspect her BFF is the same. Any attempt on my part to show physical affection (hug, kiss, playful slap on the butt) is met with resistance. I'm harassing her. Even when she tries to smile at me, it is just an attempt. No reception at all...nada. In other words, I think she hates me; and I truly believe most of it has to deal with this fantasy she's stuck in.

How does one suggest handling this? If at all.
 

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It's been difficult for her to touch you for YEARS? She's clearly been checked out of the marriage for a while and it seems she wants to leave you but doesn't have the guts to do it. You need to sit her down and tell her things will be changing around here and if she won't work with you then you need to move on. I don't think she's having an affair, but I think she's fantasizing about it. Do something and do something now!
 

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Wow, what a wealth of experiences and advice on this web site.

First post here, I'll try to keep it short and to the point.

I'm a man who's always been a successful provider for my wife and young family. As far as stability goes (i.e. financial, availability, leadership, faithfulness, etc...) things have been incredibly stable and consistent for almost 10 years since we married. Physically, and in the looks department, I am doing pretty darn good. And yes, I am playful at times too.

However, I feel my wife is stuck in some sort of fantasy land. She is literally hooked on her daytime soap and is in constant daily contact with her divorced and promiscuous "BFF". Her words, not mine (damn I hate immature Internet shorthand). Everyday it seems the two need to talk about how their weekend went, and "tell me about Mr. xyz#50" is always in the discussion.

My problem? She has not known how to show me affection for years. I suspect her BFF is the same. Any attempt on my part to show physical affection (hug, kiss, playful slap on the butt) is met with resistance. I'm harassing her. Even when she tries to smile at me, it is just an attempt. No reception at all...nada. In other words, I think she hates me; and I truly believe most of it has to deal with this fantasy she's stuck in.

How does one suggest handling this? If at all.
What was her childhood like?



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It's been difficult for her to touch you for YEARS? She's clearly been checked out of the marriage for a while and it seems she wants to leave you but doesn't have the guts to do it. You need to sit her down and tell her things will be changing around here and if she won't work with you then you need to move on. I don't think she's having an affair, but I think she's fantasizing about it. Do something and do something now!
Close, but not exactly.

She is living vicariously through her friend's flings, parties, etc. She wants the Sex& The City fantasy life too... but that's just what it is: a fantasy from TV for single women. If she's going out for drinks, parties, dancing, etc with this promiscuous woman, that's a huge problem. My wife had some divorced friends who chain smoked and got used and abused by the guy of the week for a bit when I first met her, and I informed her that she needed to figure out what she wanted pretty quick. She didn't deny that she was into that life a bit too after her divorce, but I saw a good woman who had better values than that. It didn't happen overnight, but with my stability in her life, she did shape up pretty promptly and transition to more responsible friends with better values. I had to force her to think about what was important, and I had to do that myself also (cut out the yoga classes with my gorgeous bartender "friend", lower the stakes on poker and sports betting and stuff, spend more time romancing my wife than going to the gym, etc).

You really need to play hard ball. You are the man in the relationship, and you can help her by creating a better social group if she doesn't have one available. She's being selfish and inviting trouble by hanging out with single women... birds of a feather flock together, you're the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with, etc. When you're married, you pretty much need to socialize with like minded people... other parents, other relationship minded people (church is great for this if you're into that at all), other family minded folks.

Sit her down and ask her how she'd feel if the shoe was on the other foot: what if you went out with suit sharks who cared about nothing but wall street, gambling, sports, and chasing tail at the martini bars? What if you wanted to have a fun weekend in Vegas with those guys... playing wingman for them? If she says, "that's fine," then you have big problems and she has checked out mentally. If she nods but gets upset since she feels loyalty to her friend that she's shared with, that's normal.

It all boils down to priorities. When you're in a marriage, your top priority has to be your spouse (or religion with your spouse #2, depending who you ask)... and they reciprocate. Other priorities like extended family, yourself, kids, religion, career etc all come after your spouse. GL on finding out what her values and priorities are.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
"You need to sit her down and tell her things will be changing around here and if she won't work with you then you need to move on."

Yes, just did that recently for the first time. She is very aware of my boundaries on this one. Basically said I will not tolerate a loveless marriage for the rest of my life. She responded, positively, but still cannot make that leap to change or choose.
 

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It's not the end-all, but reading "married man's sex life primer" will give you a starting point and introduce you to the vocabulary people will be throwing out here. When they say you're acting beta and like a doormat for letting her get away with this, you'll know exactly what they mean (beta has different meanings depending on who you ask).

But just to start out....let me guess, you do all the cooking and cleaning, right? You do more than your fair share, plus bring in all the money?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
...and yes, all the money too. The only household duty I don't fulfill is packing the kid's lunches and get them ready for school. A working man needs his rest.
 

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She is reaching out to her "toxic" girlfriend to test the waters of single life. I'm pretty sure she's also having a b*tch and stitch about you too. Perhaps in some way she craves drama in relationships. You have pointed out that things for your family have been stable. Perhaps a bit to stable.ie: stale.

Do you go on dates with her? Do you have a few nights out with your guy friends in a month? Are you always hanging around the house? How's your sex life?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
"Do you go on dates with her? Do you have a few nights out with your guy friends in a month? Are you always hanging around the house? How's your sex life?"

Stale? Yes.
Guy's night out? Only with the neighbors.
Always around the house? Yes.
Sex life? Sucks.

We live in the middle of nowhere. Having fun has taken a backburner to providing. I am working on this though. Although I don't feel it's fair. Spontaneity, lunches, walks together. Just started refreshing those recently.
 

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You are not a husband, you are a SAINT! Not only you are the breadwinner, you are also affectious towards her AND you are helping her with the house chores. If she is unable to appreciate you for these things, my guess is that nothing will.
However, she may feel bored with her life. Not necessarily bored with you. What exciting new things have you done together, lately?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
She's definitely bored Memento. There's been several new things in the past few weeks. New cell phones (finally some texting), toys in the bedroom, more open commincation (in and out of the bedroom), lunch dates, Sunday is now designated family day, etc...)

I personally think she has serious self-esteem issues. Not much I can do there, eh?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Just lack of confidence in general. She has no interests, and seems to me little interest in herself.

Maybe that's just it.
 

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She has you well trained. Most of the household and all of the financial responsibility. Wow. Throwing you a sexual bone now and again just to keep you interested. Feel like a doormat?

I would suggest you need to get out of the house more without her. Take on some personal projects.

And one more thing. Stop pointing the finger at her and point it back at yourself. Look inward not outward for the solutions. Sounds like you're playing the blame game.
 

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You are not a husband, you are a SAINT! Not only you are the breadwinner, you are also affectious towards her AND you are helping her with the house chores. If she is unable to appreciate you for these things, my guess is that nothing will.
However, she may feel bored with her life. Not necessarily bored with you. What exciting new things have you done together, lately?
Actually, her reaction to all of this is completely normal. Women aren't generally attracted to their butlers. Or to guys who provide everything without expectations of them. Women tend to have a thing for men who have just a touch of demanding jerk in them.
 

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Does she look depressed?
After initiating those new activities together, have you noticed any significant changes in her behavior?
 
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