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"My wife displays no affection towards me whatsoever. Help!"

When we first met it was like magic. I lived in a big city in an upscale neighborhood and had a thriving business. I was 37 never married and no kids. She lived in the same city but we had never met. She was married with 7 kids to another man. We crossed each others paths several times in different states in the US but never met. We found out later that we went to some of the same concerts together, ate at the same restaurants. I even knocked on her door and spoke to her kids while campaigning for a friends senate position. I was at point in my life where I was ready to sell my business, my house and move to the country on a 44 acre ranch in a big house. I had been looking for almost a year for the right place. My family thought I was nuts for wanting to do this because I was not married and didn't have any kids. Something that I always wanted - A lot of kids and a loving wife. Not knowing but she moved 1500 miles away in 2000. She ended up divorcing her verbally abusive husband of 16 yrs in 2002. She was now having reoccurring vivid dreams about a man from Iowa (I'm from Iowa) whose face she couldn't see in her dreams and was trying to plan a trip there to maybe meet him. Well her sister ended up passing away of cancer back in the city where I lived. She was given air reward tickets for her and her kids to travel back for her sister's funeral. She went to the funeral and planned a night out with her old friends. We ended up at the same place and the rest was history. We have been told we are the Barbie and Ken couple and on a scale of 1-10 in looks we are both a 9. She has finished sentences of thoughts I've begun in my head. My birthday is in the last four digits of her SS number and in her mailing address as well. We have many more neat things like that together. Here comes the bombshell. She tells me that she was a prostitute to support her kids and stopped 2 weeks prior to us meeting. Her house is going into foreclosure and she is way behind in her bills. So I start sending money (thousands) to save her house and catch her up on her bills (monthly bills run about $4000). I sell all my toys and send her the money as well. We move forward in our relationship and I made several trips to her home in the country. She is having problems with her two oldest boys ages 15 and 17. The day I'm buying her wedding ring I get a call from her 1500 miles away and she tells me her oldest son just beat her up and was taken away by the police. I sell my house and business and move in with her on her "44" acre ranch in the country. Here is where the problem starts. Her pimp (prominent local businessman) so to speak keeps calling her for the next hook-up. This goes on every 2-3 weeks for the next nine months and each time he calls I let her know how upset and unhappy I am about it and that if she doesn't stop him from calling that I was going to leave. She tells me that it is not that easy to do because the guy is connected and she can't just tell him to stop calling. In the meantime I'm catering to her every need because I know she has had it very difficult in the past. I'm doing all the shopping, cooking dinners, doing laundry, fixing up all the broken things in the house, taking the kids to school/practices and basically organizing/running the house. I write her love notes, bring her flowers, chocolates, give her massages, and when we make love she tells me she has never felt that way before. I pamper her for a solid year. I begin to realize she doesn't and hasn't done anything for me that would show she loves me. No attention, no initiation of love or affection. In four years together she's brought me a cup of coffee every now and then. She also bought me a shirt on one of my birthdays. No cards or love notes from her. Nothing! I have wanted to leave her many times because of this and have tried talking to her about it on numerous occasions. She says that if one person (me) is initiating the love (not just making love - all the other little things), affection and attention in the marriage that it is ok. She says a lot of marriages are that way and I should be happy with that. I feel unwanted, unneeded, unhappy and have lost confidence in myself. We have been together for almost 4 yrs and married for almost 3 yrs. We have a son together now making a total of 8 kids. We also have several of our 17 yr old's friends living with us. Finances are straining our marriage now and her ex hasn't paid child support on their 7 kids together the whole time. He is behind almost $80,000 and has quit many high paying ($75,000+) jobs to avoid paying child support. I have become very unhappy over the past 2.5 years and have said many things to her that I wished I could take back. I was also abusing alcohol to bury the deep hurt from her inside. I haven't had a drink since I moved out on 2-16-08. She says I have hurt her deeply because of the things that I have said. I'm not making excuses for my behavior but I feel like a dog chained to a tree that doesn't get any food or water. I love her but feel as though I was used badly. I have lost my desire to do anything for her. I used to publish a magazine in two markets doing 98% of all the work. Selling the ads, creating the ads, laying out the magazine, sending it to the printer and distributing 20,000 copies in two different states. I was told that I did the work of seven people. I also did over 75% of the work needed on our other business. I gave up on the publishing. She despises me now for not continuing to provide for her and the kids. In fact I was told by a friend that she hates me now. Why can't she see or understand that her actions or lack of actions (showing love) has changed me into the complete opposite of who I really am? I filed for divorce on 2-29-08. I love my soon to be ex wife and kids. Should I move on? HELP!!!!!!!
 

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She says that if one person (me) is initiating the love (not just making love - all the other little things), affection and attention in the marriage that it is ok. She says a lot of marriages are that way and I should be happy with that.
:scratchhead: really? I don't know of any one-sided marriages where the ignored spouse is happy. Sounds to me like she just wants to be taken care of but too selfish to be in a marriage. I'd move on.
 

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I think you should move on. No it will not be easy, but you deserve so much better. It is hard when one person is loving for two. If you continue, your feelings will begin to turn into hate and resentment. Just please, please continue to do for your child. Don't make him pay for her selfishness.
 

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whoa - I thought I had it bad but your story is one I don't envy. ALL (you gave up alot - your business, the financial aspect or supporting her & providing for her 7 kids (ouch), you moved to be with her, etc) the sacrafices you made & for what?
you mention how you met & all that you have in common but how long did you date? sounds like you moved pretty fast in the relationship - mainly due to all her "problems" that you jumped in to rescue her.
I think if it hadn't been for her "problems" you might have seen what kind of a woman she was before you got in sooo deep. It is admirable what you did & tried to do. But you have been giving too much of yourself without anything in return. You aren't asking for alot - just love & appreciation (which doesn't cost anything). She should have been grateful for you coming into her life but she wasn't & took you for granted.
I think you made the right decision as hard as it might be. It is time you start making choices that will ultimately make you happy & fulfilled & doesn't sound like that relationship was providing that whatsoever.
Keep your head high & don't look back - I am sure there is someone out there that will love you & appreciate you for who you are.
 

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It sounds to me as if you were a god send for her and she didn't appreciate the blessing. Hoepfully you will find that special someone that can give you want you want in a relationship.

:)
 

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I'm impressed that you stuck through it for as long as you did. It's really hard to be in a one-sided relationship for a long time. I agree you deserve better. Just be strong and don't believe for one second that you have done anything wrong by trying to look out for yourself.
 

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similar story here......i thought it was meant to be. i still love her. the kids have made it clear to me that i am just a guy that F's their mother. good to see i am not alone. it is hard, but better off without her superficial performances that only reward you for the money spent or to cheapen the whole act and use sex as a tool to get something more superficial and then try to make us believe that we are selfish if we dont buy this crap for her or the kids. rocky road now, but a better road once the divorce is over. im having a hard time too...i just want to be amicable, but the time it takes the system just fuels her abusive actions towards me everytime there is a new legal occurance.
you were used....i feel ya.
praying for you brother.
 

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you have actually taken on so much. whereas she has lived plenty of life before you came along.
i dont think she appreciates you.
but takin on more than your 8 children ( several more of your child friends - ship them out. )
it sounds like a free for all in your place.
but it doesnt sound like you or your wife are taking control either.
 
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