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Sinking into a dark place

Posted By: Aaron Taylor

Sinking into a dark place - 12/07/13 05:03 PM

I'm 42 M and married 20 years. 3 kids and what looks like a great marriage on the outside.

To be honest, everything is wonderful except our affection & sex life. I view these as 2 different things.

The first 5-10 years of our marriage, sex, affection was very frequent. (french kissing, holding hands, oral sex(both), arm around each other, 2-3 times per week sex, really couldn't keep our hands off each other.

Then it slowing started to take a nose dive.

First, the kissing & oral sex (which is not a big deal to me) but she didn't want to anymore. I asked about issues and it was my breath...went to dentist and found out I had a bad tooth I didn't realize. Had it extracted, had several cleanings since then...healthy mouth.... doesn't matter. She probably kisses me 1 time a week maybe 2 times now 10 years later.

Next I noticed the other forms of affection.. holding hands, sitting with me, touching me during sex, looking at me, her being on top, her desire to enjoy it wasnt there. It's more of, you can go, I'm tired. You can go, I have a headache.. it's ok. Eyes shut, no emotion during intercourse, only when I help her go during oral sex. It went from sexual intercourse 2-3 times a week to maybe 2-3 times a month to the last 5 years 2-3 times in 3 months.

We've had very open conversations about this and I've honestly tried everything she's suggested from getting my teeth fixed all the way to I have to initiate in the afternoons AFTER a nap, when I know she isn't sleeping.

Last week was the final straw for me. It was the afternoon, like we've had sex many times... she had just been awake for at least 10 minutes laying there looking at her facebook account and she turned over to put her phone away I laid behind her and put my arm around her like a million other times. Caressing her breast I asked if she would like me to "rub" her. Her response was: "I can't stop you, so sure". In a very condescending & frustrated way. I was crushed. (Keep in mind this was another attempt after not having sex since Nov. 7th.)

Here's the thing. I LOVE my wife very much. She's incredibly beautiful, seriously! I know I'm suppose to say that because I'm her husband but it's breathtaking. Very beautiful, sexy and doesn't look 45 at all!

Me on the other hand... I've been overweight since before we met and I know I'm not that attractive. She says that isn't it but I have to wonder. I've tried everything she's suggested I do over the years to no avail.

-Teeth
-Stay home more (work too much)
-Not interested in what I am
-Dates
-Buy stuff
-Too hard because I'm a mom to switch to being a lover
-I'll be fine If I never have sex again (which we went 10 months once without having it)
-Be involved with kids
-Do stuff together

Now, I'll shut up because I know this is long...I honestly feel like in order to have sex or receive any affection from my wife of 20 years I have to take her to a hotel or someplace without the kids and if I'm lucky, get a couple drinks in her before she feels she can.

I know you guys may not believe this but it's not the act of sex that I'm wanting. I can relieve myself to do that... it's the DESIRE from my wife to want me. There is none. I've explained this a hundred times and her response is: I'm not you. Quit trying to make me you.

So, here I sit, knowing I'm fat, but have been working out WITH her (to build our time together and similar interest) and I've lost some weight. I make all the money for our home. I am home every single night of the week by 5PM to do homework with kids or hang out with her or go shopping etc.. whatever she wants. I've taken her to a tropical island, bought her a car, written her notes, tried dating and it is getting worse.

I can feel myself sinking to a dark place in my mind and I don't want to fight about this again. I'm tired, lonely and never felt so humiliated in all my life.

I go to see a therapist this week to which I'm sure she'll be livid but I can't take it anymore.

What am I doing wrong?
Posted By: dbmod

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/08/13 08:50 PM

^
Posted By: melissag

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/08/13 09:40 PM

AT, so sorry you find yourself here. Your post struck a chord with me, because honestly, it could have been my H writing it. Not all the details are the same, but the sentiment is the same.

I don't know why your W isn't interested in having sex with you. She may not even know. Remember that for (most) women, though, sex is more emotional than physical. If the M is not good, she won't be as interested in having sex. Which, of course, leads you to be unhappy, which leads to the M not being good . . . it's a vicious cycle.

AT, is your W happy? Has she complained about anything that bothers her (aside from the teeth, or the headache, or whatever - that's all just BS reasons, whether she realizes it or not)? I can tell you that in my case - and I realize this in retrospect - I felt that my emotional needs were not getting met, and so I withheld sex. It wasn't that I didn't want to have a good sex life with my H, or that I didn't love him or desire him. I just didn't know how to get there, because it felt like when we had sex his needs were getting met, but mine still weren't. (I don't mean sexual needs, I mean emotional needs.) So there we were, stuck. For a very long time. Each focusing on our own needs, and what the other was doing wrong, and expecting the other to fix it. Guess how well that worked out? It didn't. He left me.

(I don't think I have ever written that before. Ouch.)

I am not sure that right now your W is going to be able to verbalize (or even understand herself) WHY she is not interested in sex. Sometimes it takes a really serious look in the mirror, digging pretty deep and being painfully honest with oneself, to figure this stuff out.

Have you read the SSM book? I have not, but understand it might be helpful. You could also do with reading DR, I think.

Most importantly, you need to let your W know exactly how much this is hurting you. I
I'll be honest . . . she might not get it. I didn't. I didn't get it until my H said enough - I'm outta here. He thought that he had been very clear, but to me, I really didn't understand the seriousness. Do not threaten her, do not beg her, do not make it about the sex itself - explain to her that you need this to feel connected to her. I always got annoyed with my H because I thought he was just in it for the sex part, and that made me feel like I was some sort of hooker or something - like I wasn't good enough if I didn't put out. (I am so embarrassed now that I thought these things.) But now I get it - men AND women need to have intimacy in a M. They just do.

Here on the DB boards, we talk about focusing on YOU, not on your S. Think about her complaints in the M. Really think about them. Don't invalidate her feelings or make up excuses or reasons for them. Think about whether the complaints are true - look at how you act to her. Are you happy with yourself? Are there things about yourself you can change? Maybe try some 180s for things that haven't been going well, and see if that changes the dynamic of your relationship. I think it can really have a profound effect. I would suggest reading SSM and maybe DR too.

One other thing - do NOT feel badly about your desire for more sex in the M. It is a perfectly valid and reasonable need. I think it's fantastic that you are here, trying to do something about this. I think you have found the right place. My H told me once he had been on some boards and the takeaway for him was, "Melissa, I was on some boards that say that if this isn't better than within a year, I will be having an affair or divorcing you." I can tell you those boards did a lot more harm to our M . . . I took it as a threat, which made me back away even more, and I guess H took it as some sort of edict or maybe permission.

I know I am rambling, and I apologize. Make your needs known in the most vulnerable and nonthreatening way you can. But MAKE THEM KNOWN. Do not apologize for it, and let your W know that it is important to you, and how much it hurts you. I don't know if that will help, but it's the first step. Would she consider any kind of counseling? I hate to say it, but the only thing that made the light bulb go off in my head was H telling me he wanted a D. I am not recommending that you do this - because if you threaten and it's not real, it will just make matters worse - I am just telling you that it is possible that your W seriously just doesn't get it. I can tell already she doesn't get it by her response: "I'm not you, quit trying to make me you." That tells me that she is completely discounting your feelings on this subject - no wonder you feel so crappy. But - you can't change her. You can only change you.

Keep posting so you can get off moderation, and I know you will get a lot of help here.
Posted By: Aaron Taylor

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/09/13 04:17 PM

melissag

Thanks so much for your response. That makes sense to me and no I haven't read SSM or DR. I probably should.

We've had MULTIPLE discussions over the last 10 years about this. Not to be negative (because I'm a VERY positive person), but it has gotten worse, not better because of our discussions.

I just wish I could take something to make my desire to even want to have sex away. I know that is silly but I'm so frustrated.

One discussion we had I felt like we made progress. She explained to me that she just doesn't think about it... EVER. So, since I'm the H I need to be the initiator and ask her if she's interested. We explained it like going out to eat. She's not even thinking about going to say... Taco Bell but if I suggest it, she may be interested.

While I do NOT understand why she NEVER thinks about it, I thought...well, I guess I'll try... so I did, but it just fizzled out.

Then, one time she said, let's have sex every day so you don't have to worry about if we are or aren't.

At first I was floored. I'm sure every H would love his wife to say that, but the heart behind it was jacked up. She just wanted me to shut up and stop asking her for sex, so she was "willing" to lay there while I satisfied myself. Sorry but that is NOT appealing to me AT ALL!

Sure, you lay there and read the newspaper while I do my business. It just came off like you're an animal and can't control yourself so I'll spread my legs and let you do whatever you need to do.

I just can't do that.

I know it takes her longer to "be ready for sex". I get that, but why?

Why do I have to perform open heart surgery before she's ready...

-spend enough time at home....check
-be involved with kids...check
-do some housework...check
-be interested in what I'm interested in...check
-buy me gifts....check
-do little things for me...check
-put it on the calendar...check
-Temperature is right... check
-Kids asleep.... check
-brushed my teeth...check
-showered....check
-t-shirt on....check
-lights on..no off? ok.... check
-humidity is 60%...check
-I initiate again....check

It's impossible. I DO all these things for her because I LOVE her deeply... not because I want to have sex with her.

If she isn't in a hotel, its nearly impossible. A drink in her hand helps us skip from step 1 to 30 with only 15 steps left... as long as I hurry up and don't take to long.

Even during intercourse a couple of times I told her after I pleased her orally (not complaining about that, I enjoy doing that, it's just our pattern, I please her orally and then she lays there eyes closed until I go) But anyway, after a couple of minutes she opened her eyes and said, what's wrong? I said nothing. She said why are you stopping? I said, I want it to last longer...her response. Just go, I already did and this is why we do this...so you can feel good. In other words, hurry up, it's all about having an orgasm so have one already. Once again, frustrated and back to square 1.

I am sorry for venting, I don't mean to...I am just so tired and want to give up.

I won't divorce her, so with that, I know I'm in for hell the next ?? years until I die. Unless I can figure out a way to get rid of my desire for sex and just enjoy what I get.
Posted By: Accuray

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/09/13 04:49 PM

AT,

Sorry you've come to this place. I agree with Melissa that your W's suggestions are likely diversions to take the focus off of her, versus things that are really going to work.

The unfortunate truth is that people cannot will themselves to feel sexual desire. When you discuss her lack of desire, it seems to make her defensive, and she's likely to shut you down rather than getting into it with you. If she feels defective, or that you feel there is something wrong with her, it's going to work against you in the long run.

There are a couple paths that people typically try when they find themselves in your situation:

1) Try to become as attractive as possible: There are many resources out there about adopting "alpha male behaviors" and avoiding attraction killers, plus the opportunity to get in better shape, dress better, etc. Unfortunately, I haven't seen a lot of success on this path when you get to the point you're in. It certainly can't hurt, but more often it seems to be a torture-fest where people exert lots of effort with an expectation of some return, which usually doesn't happen. That said, you'll be better positioned if your relationship cannot be healed.

2) Ensure your spouse's needs are met: People tend to withdraw in relationships when their needs are not being met. If their withdrawal doesn't encourage the behavior they want, they get resentful and put a wall up. Unfortunately in marriage this can all happen without voicing any complaints. Another path to pursue is to ensure that you are delivering what your W needs in the way she needs it. "The Five Love Languages" is a good book for you to read in this regard.

If you are hitting the mark, you'll see it in your W's happiness. If you deliver what she needs and she's still not willing to step up for you, you have a real problem -- but I don't think you're there yet.

Looking at your situation, what has happened to you is not all that uncommon. Sex often falls off after kids, and passion often slowly degrades. Your root complaint here is that you feel undesirable. May be work pursuing some IC to see if that feeling can be resolved in ways that don't involve W. (i.e. are you looking for her to provide something that should come from within?)

So all that said, there are two things at play here: (1) having sex, and (2) feeling like W desires you.

If W will work with you on #1, but never again achieve #2, will you be able to find peace?

Acc
Posted By: KarenR

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/09/13 06:33 PM

i hope you will talk to one of the DB Sex Starved Marriage coaches. They are experts in helping you come up with a specific plan on how you and your partner can get your relationship back on track. It is often counterintuitive to what you 'feel' like saying and doing. You will find your sessions extremely helpful. Take good care.
Posted By: Accuray

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/09/13 07:44 PM

Originally Posted By: AT
Sure, you lay there and read the newspaper while I do my business. It just came off like you're an animal and can't control yourself so I'll spread my legs and let you do whatever you need to do.


I know exactly what you mean -- this is a very frustrating place to be.

You might want to shift your perspective on this one however:

Instead of viewing this as a negative situation where your W is treating you like a dirty animal, you could view it as a positive -- that your W, who is not feeling desire right now, is willing to do this FOR you as an act of love.

Her offer to have sex with you every day was actually very generous, she's trying to work with you here in a way that she doesn't feel compromises who she is.

So she's giving you this gift and you're saying "it's not good enough, you're not selling it"

I guarantee that's her perspective -- that she's giving you something and you're saying it's inadequate.

The predictable backlash from that is that she stops having sex with you altogether because what's the point? You're not going to enjoy it anyway so why bother?

If you think you're hurting now, wait until you get there!

If you want your W to work with you, you do need to acknowledge the effort she is making and be truly thankful for it. If you're going to express this genuinely, you need to get your head there first.

Now if you're able to come to terms with all that and it's STILL not good enough for you (and I can understand why it wouldn't be), then you need to lovingly engage her to work with you for the benefit of your marriage, not because anything is wrong with her. That's a very important distinction.

"Low Desire" can be physiological, so she could have her hormones checked and discuss the issue with her doctor, it can be psychological, and she could pursue that with an IC or a sex therapist, or it can simply be "her sexuality" and not the result of any physical or psychological issues.

If its the third category, then there is literally nothing you can do except ask her to be a better actress and try to find peace with it, or decide to leave.

Acc
Posted By: MrBond

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/09/13 09:37 PM

"it's the DESIRE from my wife to want me."

Understandable. I know your W said that your weight and physical appearance have nothing to do with it, but have you thought about getting a makeover?

You could always bump up your workout regimen to lose more weight faster. Spend the money for a trainer rather than therapy. It'll help with your M and your self esteem.

How heavy are you currently? Is your W on the active side?
Posted By: Aaron Taylor

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/09/13 10:00 PM

I appreciate all of your thoughts and ideas...

MrBond... we both have trainers and she is in wonderful shape... I am about 70# overweight.

I know I'm disgusting and she tells me: "you were big when I married you, it doesn't bother me"

I'm bald and have hair on my back.... a makeover won't help that.

I honestly believe that she's disgusted by me and it's hard for her to even come near me because of it.

Weird thing is that when we married she was about 50 pounds overweight and for the first 15-16 years of our marriage she didn't even care about her health/working out etc.. But now she does (and I do too, just not as intensely as her) and I think she just can't stand the sight of me.

She won't kiss me, barely touches me at all in an affectionate way and really doesn't think anything is wrong with her. "I'm not you, I don't know what to tell you." she says.

Accuray.... I hear you. I just can't bring myself to have sex with her to be selfish.

The thing I can't understand is that this wasn't always her. She couldn't keep her hands off of me when we were dating through the first 5-6 years of our marriage.... and it all died.

I'd totally understand if this is the way it's been from the beginning and that I was asking her to do something she's never done, but it's not.

KarenR.... I'm going to see how Thursday goes with the therapist and go from there...but I may take you up on that.

Thanks again everyone... appreciate your time.
Posted By: Aaron Taylor

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/09/13 10:03 PM

MrBond, I also sink in my spirit when I think about the only way my wife would want me is if I was lean, fit and trim. I really thought love was more than appearance.
Posted By: Mimi00

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/09/13 11:31 PM

You've gotten great responses....I want to piggy back on the suggestion to read "5 love languages. Your wife says she doesn't even think about sex....I'm not expert, but I think if her LL was being "spoken" it would cause her to think about it more often. For example if her LL is touch....you walking by her in the kitchen and slightly brushing against her naturall may cause the thought to pop up. Or if "acts of service" is her LL, then maybe you every once in a while giving her a day to spend alone/or out and about maybe getting a massage you set up for ber while you're taking care of the kids, clean the house and make dinner while make her want to "thank you" when she walks in the door.

But before you even get to that point though....I truly believe respect is tied to attraction. What are some things that may have caused her to lose respect/attraction to you? What can you do to get that respect/attraction back?
Some times it can be a weight gain....some times it can be that you went through a period of depression that changes the way she sees you...sometimes its simple behaviors that we don't always realize can be unattractive over time.

So i suggest taking the time to really think back on your relationship and what part you may have played in why your marriage has come to this...then come up with some 180 changes that will benefit you and hopefully also result in positives for your marriage as well.
Posted By: SM34

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/10/13 01:59 PM

I think mimi has hit the nail on the head! You need to examine the respect factor because...

Women cannot feel attraction for a man they do not respect.

Speaking from expeience, and in my sitch, a woman's respect for her husband is usually based around your ability to PROVIDE.

it may not be that a wife needs a lot of money, but financial SECURITY and maturity on the husbands part.

I'm not sure if you have any financial issues or if your wife may feel you are not financially responsible or anything along those lines.

But believe it or not, setting up a trust fund for the kids, or a retirement fund for you and her, or simply examing your bills and finding places to lower expenses (without touching her FUN budget) can be EXTREMELY attractive and dmands respect. Its the way women are programed, they look at a secure future as something a strong alpha male provides.

Do you have any financial issues?
Posted By: Aaron Taylor

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/10/13 05:20 PM

SM34 great points... I like those ideas.

In the beginning of our marriage we did, but now we live w/o debt (except our home) and I've done my best (sometimes working 3 jobs) to help her fulfill her calling to stay home with the kids.

She hasn't worked outside the home for over 18 years. I love that! It's a dream we share.

Trust funds, retirement are lacking so I may start to focus on those things.

Like I said earlier....to help her feel at ease with our finances, she doesn't have anything to do with them. I pay everything... took her on a 2 week vacation to a tropical island....sending her overseas in a couple months with my son....bought her a new car (used I paid for in cash) bought her a jawbone (for all you exercise lovers) etc...

Not making excuses, but financially, we are in the best place we've ever been in our history together.

I hope people understand that I'm not asking for the "act of sex" every day. I'm just asking for affection primarily. Her to greet me when I come home with a kiss...a hug... hold my hand....tell me you miss me and you thought about me. It's almost non-existent.

I know this sounds prideful and arrogant but I honestly don't mean for it to be. Honestly, I have been the one to openly be willing to change everything she's asked me to change in the last 10 years.

From taking care of my teeth(which I didn't realize was infected) so I can understand how disturbing that was for a season. But I'm good now and have been for several years.

Since I have unsightly hair on my back, I believe that she finally got up the nerve to tell me it grosses her out and asked me to wear a t-shirt to bed from now on (this was 8 years ago or so).

To work out with me, plant flowers with me, be at home more, I actually love shopping (i know I'm weird) so we do that together, tried date nights more frequently.... NOTHING!

Again...she says: "Deal with it, it's the way I am and I can't help it."

So, we continue to go from argument to argument over a few months and end up in the same spot.

I know I'm not attractive, but I really try with what I have. I shower every day. Shave, can "fix" my hair because I'm bald, I have a belly which isn't pleasant, I'm overweight but not in an obese sickly way.

Since she started going to the gym, I believe she's seen men who look nothing like me and I just gross her out.

It's just depressing. I'm going to just focus on being a dad and find other joys in life that hopefully satisfy that desire.
Posted By: AnotherStander

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/10/13 05:25 PM

You've gotten some great advice here. When I read your first post my initial thoughts were similar to Melissa's. Men tend to see "great sex" as the physical act of sex- doing this position and that position and having this many climaxes, etc. But women don't respond as much to the physical act as they do the emotional connection. They need the emotional connection first, THEN the physical part becomes enjoyable. It sounds to me like you are strictly focusing on the physical part and the emotional connection is not there. As long as the emotional connection isn't there, your W is never going to enjoy the physical part. I think that may be why her attitude is just to get it over with.

Originally Posted By: Aaron Taylor

I know I'm disgusting and she tells me: "you were big when I married you, it doesn't bother me"


It sounds like you've got pretty low self-esteem. I seriously doubt you're "disgusting", the vast majority of the population (at least here in America) is very overweight. There's a big difference between being overweight and being a disgusting slob. An overweight person that dresses and grooms nicely and carries themselves with confidence can be just as attractive as anyone else. When some here mentioned that you should lose weight and get a makeover, it's as much for you as it is for your W. You need to do things to make you feel better about you, to build up your self-esteem and confidence. That will in turn make you more attractive.

Quote:
I honestly believe that she's disgusted by me and it's hard for her to even come near me because of it.


I think you're disgusted with yourself and that in turn is making you less attractive to her. So get busy doing things to make YOU love YOU again :)Don't look at losing 70 pounds as your goal, make your goal to lose 5. Then when you get there, celebrate! Then set a new goal to lose another 5. For each little bit you lose you will look and feel better and your self-esteem will grow.
Posted By: MrBond

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/10/13 06:59 PM

"I know I'm disgusting and she tells me: "you were big when I married you, it doesn't bother me"

You know you have alot of self-loathing for yourself going on.

"I'm bald and have hair on my back.... a makeover won't help that."

There are other ways to improve your appearance. You're not even trying. You'd rather spend the time explaining our disgusting you look and how gross you are, etc. Geez if that's how you see yourself, why would your W want to have sex with you?

" I really thought love was more than appearance."

Let's be honest here. People are visual creatures. You're not talking about love. You're talking about sex. Your W loves you but doesn't want to have sex with you. You can love your children and relatives but you don't have sex with them. Same thing.

Start manning up and start somewhere rather than complaining why you can't. It takes the same amount of effort.
Posted By: Aaron Taylor

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/10/13 10:24 PM

Look MrBond... I thought this was a place I could "complain" but I guess not.

Those are all things SHE HAS SAID ABOUT ME ALREADY... I didn't think I was that bad until SHE let me know it.

I realize the love/sex thing. The thing is, sex isn't about the physical part. That's the icing on the cake... the cake to me is what it does for me emotionally. It makes me feel closer to her and gives me the feeling she actually desires me.

Why that is? I don't know. I wish I could change it.

Anyway...
Posted By: Aaron Taylor

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/10/13 10:27 PM

AnotherStander,

Thanks.. I agree.. there is some great advice and I'm going to do what I can.

I've asked her time and time again, (realizing that emotional connection is key) and she's told me some things... I've done them. Then she thinks of new ones... I've done those... then new ones. I guarantee if I have this discussion with her, and I probably will, it's going to be something different.

I am working out and losing weight.. I'm getting there.. for me.
Posted By: Fartiltre

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/10/13 10:37 PM

Aaron,

Sorry to meet you here!

I haven't got that much to ad to all of the above, but do put on new glasses and read Bonds post once again - this time through your Ws eyes!
Bond hits hard but he is usually spot on!
Process his words!

All the best!

F
Posted By: PatientMan

Re: Sinking into a dark place - 12/10/13 11:07 PM

Originally Posted By: Aaron Taylor

So, here I sit, knowing I'm fat, but have been working out WITH her (to build our time together and similar interest) and I've lost some weight. I make all the money for our home. I am home every single night of the week by 5PM to do homework with kids or hang out with her or go shopping etc.. whatever she wants. I've taken her to a tropical island, bought her a car, written her notes, tried dating and it is getting worse...

...What am I doing wrong?


It's getting worse because you admit you're doing the same things over and over again that haven't worked. That doesn't make much sense.

Read "The Married Man Sex Life Primer 2011" by Athol Kay. ASAP. It describes your problems to a "T" and how you can address them.

-PM
Posted By: Mimi00

Re: Sinking into a dark place - 12/11/13 12:35 AM

You can complain here....but what were trying to help you do is make progress. You saying you're "disgusting" here...so I imagine you probablynhave down talked your self in front of your wife as well.....and I believe that was MrBonds point; Get out of the mode of negative self talk and lets help you do soemthing different.

You have several posts focused on your wifes last complaints and have yet to say what you need to do for you and list some changes and goals. You skipped over my questions asking you about any 180 changes so I assume it was ignored or you haven't thought of any yet?

Have you read DB or DR? If not you may want to start there.

If your wife complained and you made changes...were you cinsistent with those changes, or did you quit after the first time it didn't seem to work?
If you made the changes and they stuck over time and she still comes up with new excuses of what she doesn't like....then the problem may be deeper. Agai. I suggest looking at the issue of respect......do you think your wife respects you 100%? If not...why?

Then you need to take your focus off the negatives and put them on the positive changes you want to make, so that you can be a better man for you...also hows your social life? Do you have hobby's and freinds? Start GALing for you..not just bc your wife has complained she wants to go out more..... go out and invite her along...if she doesn't accept go with out her and make her wonder what you're doing...at some point she may begin to invite herself b/c she wants to get in on the fun.
Posted By: MrBond

Re: Sinking into a dark place - 12/11/13 01:15 AM

"Look MrBond... I thought this was a place I could "complain" but I guess not."

Of course you can complain. HOWEVER, what you are doing isn't complaining. It was you self depracating yourself. If you don't feel like you or anything is going to change, why are you here?

I have a feeling that you do think things can change, which is why you're on here. YOUR SUCCESS DEPENDS ON YOU!

"Those are all things SHE HAS SAID ABOUT ME ALREADY... I didn't think I was that bad until SHE let me know it."

You made it sound as if YOU were saying you were disgusting. So which is it? Disgusting is a very strong word. Either way, you can do something about it.

"I realize the love/sex thing. The thing is, sex isn't about the physical part. That's the icing on the cake... the cake to me is what it does for me emotionally. It makes me feel closer to her and gives me the feeling she actually desires me."

That's your problem. You are so dependent on her that you don't have any self esteem. It's your confidence that will make you attractive. Confidence in your abilities, confidence in your path, CONFIDENCE IN YOU.

"Why that is? I don't know. I wish I could change it. "

Because something probably happened to you that made you afraid of being alone or you felt that you had to please people or feel accepted by them. Who knows?

The bottom line is that you CAN change it. But it doesn't sound like you want to. Again, so what do you want to do? Fail or succeed? Do you want to feel the way you do right now? If not, then you can also CHOOSE to NOT to feel that way. It's all a choice.

Even the working out. Do it for YOU. NOT to satisfy your W. You don't live for her, you live for yourself. Once you do that, she will follow.
Posted By: jp787

Re: Sinking into a dark place - 12/11/13 03:26 AM

Aaron,

When I would feel challenged or pushed on this board, I would get angry, sometimes run and hide.

After a while I started to notice that everyone here had my best interest at heart, they cared about me, they didn't leave or give up.

That is when I started to realize that some of the things that were said or asked and got under my skin, were in face the very things that I was afraid of. Things that I needed to look at with an open mind.

Some of the people on here who seemed to p!ss me off the most also make me look into myself, they are some of the people I respect the most.

Just sayin
Posted By: Accuray

Re: Sinking into a dark place - 12/11/13 02:45 PM

AT,

One other thing to consider: each time you jump through one of W's hoops you devalue yourself, and that makes you less attractive.

Try to get out of the mode of working to win her approval, that will not take you where you want to go.

Acc
Posted By: AnotherStander

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/11/13 02:55 PM

Originally Posted By: Aaron Taylor

Those are all things SHE HAS SAID ABOUT ME ALREADY... I didn't think I was that bad until SHE let me know it


Can you please clarify this? Because here is what you've posted up to this point about it:

Quote:
I've been overweight since before we met and I know I'm not that attractive. She says that isn't it but I have to wonder.


Quote:
I know I'm disgusting and she tells me: "you were big when I married you, it doesn't bother me"


Quote:
So, here I sit, knowing I'm fat


Quote:
I know I'm disgusting


Quote:
I know I'm not attractive..


Quote:
I believe she's seen men who look nothing like me and I just gross her out.


What you've posted makes it sound like your size is not an issue to your W, and in fact the only negative thing you've mentioned her saying about you is she doesn't like the back hair, so you started wearing a shirt to bed. But then you refer to yourself as fat, unattractive and disgusting. So what you've posted so far makes it sound like she's fine with how you look, but YOU are not. It's an important distinction because if this is all in your head then it's a self-esteem issue and we're making suggestions based on that.

Originally Posted By: PatientMan

Read "The Married Man Sex Life Primer 2011" by Athol Kay. ASAP. It describes your problems to a "T" and how you can address them.


I want to second this suggestion. A lot of the things you've mentioned in trying to "fix" this (helping kids with homework, going shopping with W, writing her notes, doing "whatever she wants") is all very beta behavior. Beta behavior makes women feel comfortable, but alpha behavior is what they find attractive. Your negative view of yourself is very beta as well. The book PM suggested goes deep into alpha versus beta behavior and what you can do to get your alpha back.
Posted By: melissag

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/11/13 03:34 PM

AT, I agree with the others about your W not respecting you. Telling you things like, "get over it" are just proof of that. She either doesn't understand or doesn't care that you are drowning in this M. Continuing to complain to her, accept a M that is miserable for you, jump through every hoop she sets up for you, and feel crappy about yourself for it . . . none of those things are helping you, and they are making her disrespect you more. I remember almost wishing that I would suspect my H was having an A, because that might make me be more interested in him. (No judgment here, please, just trying to help the OP.)

The big thing that sticks out to me (remember, I have been your W before) is that there needs to be a BIG change in your M. I mean big. Not, I used mouthwash this morning. But something that really makes your W rethink things or see you in a different view. It is obvious to me that nothing you have done in the past has done any good whatsoever. You need to acknowledge that, first of all. Then you need to do something different. (And you don't TELL HER you are doing something different, or why, you just do it.)

Here on this board we always talk about GAL . . . it will make you feel better, and perhaps will have the added benefit of making your W more interested in you. Go to the gym WITHOUT YOUR W. Make friends there. Go have drinks with them. Get in touch with old friends, new friends, whatever. Visit them. What are your hobbies? Go do them. Find new hobbies. Do new types of exercise. Go on a trip without your W for a few days. Have your own life that doesn't revolve around your W and her wishes (real or perceived). I am not saying be a jerk, but, to be blunt, quit being so whipped. Have some self respect. If you GAL, you will have a lot more self respect, self confidence, and happiness from within.

I can tell you from experience, that the WORST kind of pressure is when you know that your H is completely dependent on you for his happiness. My H would tell me how unhappy he was bc of the lack of sex, and the way he made it sound was kind of like how you are making it sound. It came across to me as kind of pathetic. Like, he had no self worth without me wanting to have sex with him, and he couldn't possibly be happy if I didn't make him happy. This put a HUGE burden on me, and I refused to take it. I thought, "well, what if someday I have cancer, and I am too sick to have sex? Or I am paralyzed in an accident? Is he going to leave me because I will be good for nothing then?"

You cannot allow sex with your wife to be the basis of your happiness or self worth.

I am not saying that any of my thoughts that I am sharing with you here were good thoughts or even remotely acceptable in a M. I am not defending your W in any way. In fact, I wish I could smack her upside the head, because that's what I wish someone had done to me, before my H did it. I am just trying to help you understand how she may be thinking. Right or wrong, it is what it is, and reality is what you have to deal with.

Right now you are in a very stuck place. And she is obviously not going to get you unstuck. So instead of looking to her to solve the problem (which will only backfire because it will put more pressure on her), YOU need to take steps to make changes in your M. And that starts with changes in you.
Posted By: 3boymom

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/11/13 03:54 PM

AT - I read through your posts and I see that you talk a lot about what changes you think that your wife would like to see. What do YOU want to change about yourself?

Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to get in shape? Do you want to change your physical appearance?

You also say a few times that you cant make certain changes to your appearance. If you don't like the hair on your back, there are ways to remove it. It may not be fun, but people do it all the time. Heck, I hate getting my eyebrows and lip waxed but I do it because it makes ME feel good. And when I feel good about myself, other people will take notice.
Posted By: jp787

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/11/13 04:37 PM

Originally Posted By: melissag
AT, I agree with the others about your W not respecting you. Telling you things like, "get over it" are just proof of that. She either doesn't understand or doesn't care that you are drowning in this M. Continuing to complain to her, accept a M that is miserable for you, jump through every hoop she sets up for you, and feel crappy about yourself for it . . . none of those things are helping you, and they are making her disrespect you more. I remember almost wishing that I would suspect my H was having an A, because that might make me be more interested in him. (No judgment here, please, just trying to help the OP.)

The big thing that sticks out to me (remember, I have been your W before) is that there needs to be a BIG change in your M. I mean big. Not, I used mouthwash this morning. But something that really makes your W rethink things or see you in a different view. It is obvious to me that nothing you have done in the past has done any good whatsoever. You need to acknowledge that, first of all. Then you need to do something different. (And you don't TELL HER you are doing something different, or why, you just do it.)

Here on this board we always talk about GAL . . . it will make you feel better, and perhaps will have the added benefit of making your W more interested in you. Go to the gym WITHOUT YOUR W. Make friends there. Go have drinks with them. Get in touch with old friends, new friends, whatever. Visit them. What are your hobbies? Go do them. Find new hobbies. Do new types of exercise. Go on a trip without your W for a few days. Have your own life that doesn't revolve around your W and her wishes (real or perceived). I am not saying be a jerk, but, to be blunt, quit being so whipped. Have some self respect. If you GAL, you will have a lot more self respect, self confidence, and happiness from within.

I can tell you from experience, that the WORST kind of pressure is when you know that your H is completely dependent on you for his happiness. My H would tell me how unhappy he was bc of the lack of sex, and the way he made it sound was kind of like how you are making it sound. It came across to me as kind of pathetic. Like, he had no self worth without me wanting to have sex with him, and he couldn't possibly be happy if I didn't make him happy. This put a HUGE burden on me, and I refused to take it. I thought, "well, what if someday I have cancer, and I am too sick to have sex? Or I am paralyzed in an accident? Is he going to leave me because I will be good for nothing then?"

You cannot allow sex with your wife to be the basis of your happiness or self worth.

I am not saying that any of my thoughts that I am sharing with you here were good thoughts or even remotely acceptable in a M. I am not defending your W in any way. In fact, I wish I could smack her upside the head, because that's what I wish someone had done to me, before my H did it. I am just trying to help you understand how she may be thinking. Right or wrong, it is what it is, and reality is what you have to deal with.

Right now you are in a very stuck place. And she is obviously not going to get you unstuck. So instead of looking to her to solve the problem (which will only backfire because it will put more pressure on her), YOU need to take steps to make changes in your M. And that starts with changes in you.


Thank you so much for this post smile
Posted By: Aaron Taylor

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/11/13 09:18 PM

AnotherStander

What I was trying to point out was that I wasn't "healthy" when we got married. For the majority of our marriage, NEITHER of us would be in the "healthy" category.

about 5 years ago she became a health-nut and lost some weight and is not what I would consider "healthy". I was active the first 5-6 years of our marriage but still overweight. Then, primarily being at a desk, I wasn't active which only made it worse.

I was trying to point out that she has told me it doesn't matter to her but then she's called me fat before, asked me to cover myself up etc... If she's not attractive to me, it is what it is and like I said, I have a trainer and it will take time.

My fear is that this will not make a difference. She will come up with something else after I get in shape and look better. That's what has happened the last 20 years.

do this... I do it...it changes for a season then goes back to or actually worse than what it was. Then repeats.

So, I'm NOT losing weight and getting in shape FOR HER, but FOR ME! I do want to get healthy....for me, for my kids and to be around longer.

For 10-12 years, it's been me. All I'm saying is could it be possible it's her? And if it is, if she loved me, why wouldn't she go to the DR to try to see if everything is ok?

Instead, she just settles and says, this is me, I'm not you and don't try to make me you.

So.. this is where I am.

Mellissag, thanks for your response as well. I hear you and am trying some new things. She's worth it and I love her dearly.

To me, if she came down with cancer or was in a car wreck, this would be different. IMO-those are things she can't help. This, I believe she can help IF SHE WANTED TO but I believe she just doesn't want to help it. Having sex maybe on average 2 times per quarter is NOT normal.

It's not so much "self-worth" type of need as it is an actual human being who is supposed to be my wife to DESIRE me. Why is that so hard?

With DESIRE comes CONNECTION. With CONNECTION comes security...security gives birth to self-confidence & self-worth in my opinion. Happiness? No, I can't rely on her for happiness and wouldn't. That's a choice.

3boyzmom, jp787... thanks for replying. I appreciate it.

I talked to a therapist today... I liked him...now I'm going to see if she would go see him on her own and see if this works.

pray for us please.
Posted By: Accuray

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/11/13 09:23 PM

Originally Posted By: AT
I talked to a therapist today... I liked him...now I'm going to see if she would go see him on her own and see if this works.


I really wouldn't do that. By suggesting she go see a therapist you are implying that she is somehow broken or deficient and in need of help. You're making it about her and it's about you.

Acc
Posted By: PatientMan

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/11/13 09:39 PM

Originally Posted By: Aaron Taylor
pray for us please.


Will do.

Read that book I suggested. It will very likely shock you.

-PM
Posted By: melissag

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/12/13 06:19 AM

Quote:
For 10-12 years, it's been me. All I'm saying is could it be possible it's her? And if it is, if she loved me, why wouldn't she go to the DR to try to see if everything is ok?


Sure, it's possible it's her. It's more likely both of you. But nobody here is going to say, "yep, it's her. Oh well, that $ucks." We are all going to say that whether she carries some blame or responsibility is irrelevant because she is not the one who is here trying to figure this out. You are. You can't make her change. And what if we did all say, "yep, this is all her fault"? How would that help? It wouldn't. No matter how many people agree with you that yes, this is her fault, if YOUR W doesn't see it that way, what good is that?

So like we have said . . . change yourself. Read DR. Read SSM. Read the other books that have been recommended to you. And start changing YOU. Not for her, or the way she wants you to be, but the way YOU want to be.
Posted By: planet

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/12/13 08:00 AM

Originally Posted By: melissag
Sure, it's possible it's her. It's more likely both of you. But nobody here is going to say, "yep, it's her. Oh well, that $ucks." We are all going to say that whether she carries some blame or responsibility is irrelevant because she is not the one who is here trying to figure this out. You are. You can't make her change. And what if we did all say, "yep, this is all her fault"? How would that help? It wouldn't. No matter how many people agree with you that yes, this is her fault, if YOUR W doesn't see it that way, what good is that?

Absolutely brilliant response melissag!

Aaron Taylor,
What does help is that you dig really deep to acknowledge your own fault, flaws, actions or inaction in your M. It will be very clear to you if you hit rock bottom, at least it does for me.

Hereon...

You will learn why W decides to leave the M. Imagine someone trapped in a loveless M. That's how she felt. It may not be your reality, but it is true for her.

You will also learn to forgive yourself and stop short on blame-shifting.
Posted By: MrBond

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/12/13 09:44 AM

You didn't acknowledge me so I'm assuming you took offense to what I said about getting your self esteem back. That's okay. But you're going to find out that while many people will be on your side it isn't going to help you to get your W back.

"My fear is that this will not make a difference. She will come up with something else after I get in shape and look better. That's what has happened the last 20 years."

That's all on you. It sounded like you were the one who went back on your changes. The point is that changes need to become permanent. If you revert back to old bad habits, then the person you're with isn't going to trust you the next time you say "I'll change". Change yourself to become a better person and make those changes for life.

"do this... I do it...it changes for a season then goes back to or actually worse than what it was. Then repeats."

Are you talking about her or you?

"So, I'm NOT losing weight and getting in shape FOR HER, but FOR ME! I do want to get healthy....for me, for my kids and to be around longer."

Which is good. However the workout will help your self-esteem also.

"For 10-12 years, it's been me. All I'm saying is could it be possible it's her?"

You said you backslid on your changes. It doesn't sound like it's all her. It's always a little of both sides. It just depends how much or how little you've kept the changes going.

"And if it is, if she loved me, why wouldn't she go to the DR to try to see if everything is ok?"

Because she doesn't think there's anything wrong and you can't control her to make her see that YOU think there's something wrong.

"Instead, she just settles and says, this is me, I'm not you and don't try to make me you."

She's right. You're trying to control her behavior and thoughts. What you don't get is that you CAN change her thinking once you stop trying to control.

"To me, if she came down with cancer or was in a car wreck, this would be different. IMO-those are things she can't help. This, I believe she can help IF SHE WANTED TO but I believe she just doesn't want to help it. Having sex maybe on average 2 times per quarter is NOT normal."

To who? It's not up to you to tell her what YOU think it's normal. AND when you say that to her, you're essentially telling her that there's something wrong with her. You don't like it when you think she's saying that about you, so why would you think she likes it when you think that about her?

"It's not so much "self-worth" type of need as it is an actual human being who is supposed to be my wife to DESIRE me. Why is that so hard?"

Because it is HER CHOICE to desire you or not. It is hard especially in a M. YOU just don't see it. And again, you're trying to force her. She's not disrespecting you. She just isn't feeling it. There are many times that you probably didn't want to do something she asked of you. You might think they are small things but to her, they may be big deals. Same here. She doesn't see the lack of sex as a big deal. And the more you pressure her, the less inclined she will want to do it.

You say that you tell her about what YOUR physical needs are, etc. and she told you to go ahead but just not in an intimate way, and then you got upset about that. That's all control on your part. You EXPECT her to have sex with you and then you EXPECT her to enjoy it. It's all one sided.

"With DESIRE comes CONNECTION. With CONNECTION comes security...security gives birth to self-confidence & self-worth in my opinion."

You're wrong. "self" confidence and "self" worth are exactly that. They depend on YOUR self.

"Happiness? No, I can't rely on her for happiness and wouldn't. That's a choice."

Same goes for confidence and worth.

"I talked to a therapist today... I liked him...now I'm going to see if she would go see him on her own and see if this works."

As others have mentioned before, DO NOT suggest this to her. It is again you telling her that there's something wrong with her. There isn't. She has just made a choice that you disagree with. She has a right to it same as you have a right to your choices. Respect that. When you start understanding that, you'll REALLY understand her and can actually hear what she's trying to tell you. From there you will be able to figure out what to do to get things on track.

But if the only voice you choose to hear is your own, then she won't be heard.
Posted By: Accuray

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/12/13 02:47 PM

You haven't acknowledged anything I've posted to you either -- and that's fine, if my input isn't helpful or isn't connecting with you I will spend my time elsewhere. You've got to find guidance you connect with and I understand that.

Acc
Posted By: Aaron Taylor

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/12/13 05:12 PM

Hey EVERYONE.. it's not intentional that I don't acknowledge everyone who's said something. I've tried to say thank you...I just cant get on here as often as I'd like.

So please...accuray, MrBond, planet, mellisag, jp787 and anyone I forgot.. THANK YOU! Seriously. You didn't have to make time to say anything and I appreciate you.

I'm going to stay off of here for a while so that I can read the books recommended to me and try to learn.

I disagree about the counselor. She and I both previously agreed in 2 or 3 different discussions that we wanted to go see someone. I took the initiative and simply met the guy to see if he had the basic foundation (christian etc..) that we would want. She's agreed to go next week and see how she feels about him. This is a combined relationship that will take BOTH of us changing things in order to improve.

Also, I don't know you guys.. I haven't even been on this forum for a week yet. So, I'm not going to take "offense". I may disagree but who has time to take offense?

Thanks again, I'll check back in for posts and updates.
Posted By: MrBond

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/12/13 05:19 PM

"I disagree about the counselor."

You may disagree, but I've been here over 5 years and I don't think I've seen a case where a C actually helped unless the WAS is the one who actually goes on there own initiative without the LBS.

"I took the initiative ..."

Still controlling. Let her go and seek help if she wants to but let her be the one to initiate. If she doesn't, then you know she wasn't serious.

"This is a combined relationship that will take BOTH of us changing things in order to improve."

Start reading DB and DR ASAP. You are very wrong about this. It will take ONE of you to change to make things improve.
Posted By: melissag

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/12/13 05:23 PM

AT, each situation is different, so take the advice you feel is right. I do want to warn you of one pitfall of MC. My H and I went, and I am embarrassed to admit (but will in hopes this will help someone else) that I went into counseling trying to get the counselor to say I was right. There is more to MC then just a willingness to go, or wanting to have a better relationship. You both have to drop your long held positions and beliefs, drop any care about being "right," and be willing to really listen to each other and accept the other's feelings as valid. And that takes a lot.

I hope that you are both willing to do this, and that MC is helpful. If you find it is not, do come back here, because, despite what you may think now, you *can* change your M on your own.

Good luck!! smile
,
Posted By: jp787

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/12/13 05:42 PM

IMHO,

MC will most likely hurt your sitch right now.

MC is essential when piecing though.
Posted By: swoop

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/12/13 06:09 PM

I will just put my .2 cents in as well.

Right after BD, I also "took the initiative" to seek MC. In retrospect, it was a mistake....at least for my sitch. I did the same thing that mellisag did. I wanted to be proven right, and I spent my time...actually we BOTH spent our time, expressing our issues with the other person. That was partly to blame for the counselor we chose, who was just as happy to provide a smooth transition towards separation. She was definitely not solution based or pro-marriage, even though she touted herself as such. Combine that with a wife who already had one foot out the door, and you can imagine the outcome. I think our scenario is VERY common. When I look back, not only was my wife not willing to work on it, I don't even know if I literally knew how to work on it either. This may be a hard pill to swallow AT, but I am going to tell you something. I don't think you are fully capable to know how either, at least not right now. I hear a LOT of blame in you. If you don't address that on your own, It very well may be a recipe for disaster in MC.
Posted By: Aaron Taylor

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/12/13 06:32 PM

MrBond

you sure come across not as MrBond but MrKnowitAll

I've been married for over 20 years. I've seen first hand dozens of times where counseling has worked. Do they always, of course not, but that's better than doing nothing.

Taking the initiative is NOT controlling, it's following through on a commitment BOTH of us made to each other in order for us to move forward in our marriage. NOT doing it would only result in another failed commitment we made to each other and would cause more friction. It would be controlling if I just did it without her request or without her being a part of the discussion, but she said she wants to see one as well so relax.

Also, you put a LOT of stock in DB and DR and say I'm wrong about this being a combined relationship. Are you kidding me? That doesn't even make sense! Makes me NOT want to read the books if that's the stance they take. NATURALLY if ONE person changes the other reacts to that change which is also change. Duh! If things were going well, then NO ONE would need to change anything.

I realize that I don't have it all together. I need to change, I need to do some things different which is why I joined this forum and am seeing a counselor. A by-product of me changing in our relationship will cause her to change as well and vice versa. I don't understand why that's hard to comprehend.

I joined this forum for ideas, support and ways I can improve. I felt myself sinking into a place of giving up and not fighting anymore. I didn't join this forum because I read the end all to be all DR or DB books. I'm sure they are great, but let's not put all our hope in these books.

I believe it takes all kinds of tools (forum, counselor, friends, prayer, books, etc.) to improve your life in any area...not just marriage.
Posted By: LBH_LC

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/12/13 06:39 PM

Originally Posted By: Aaron Taylor

I joined this forum for ideas, support and ways I can improve


So why are you ignoring the forum's advice? There is not a single person here who will say MC is a good idea at this point, but I know you can find quite a few who tried MC in similar circumstances you are in and found it only helped the WAS right out the door.

If you want help, you need to read the DB books. At the very least read DR. I've seen it work for a lot of people here.
Posted By: MrBond

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/12/13 07:02 PM

"you sure come across not as MrBond but MrKnowitAll"

Thanks for the compliment but that is certainly far from the truth. Dealing with intensely troubled marriages for over 5 years you'll see that there are similarities in all of them that you will be amazed at.

"I've been married for over 20 years. I've seen first hand dozens of times where counseling has worked."

But you see, the timing of the C and the individual situations are critical to whether or not C will work. Go back and REALLY read and understand what I wrote. I DID NOT say that C wouldn't work, I said that it works mostly in the times when the WAS is the one who initiates it.

You seem to be only reading what you want to read and getting upset by it.

"Do they always, of course not, but that's better than doing nothing."

TO YOU. YOU think it's better. Your W doesn't think so right now and it's her opinion that matters right now. The question is how can you change that opinion.

"Taking the initiative is NOT controlling,"

It is controlling when you've made it become an expectation of yours. Whenever you WANT someone to do something, that's control. They are going to have to WANT to do it of their own free will.

"it's following through on a commitment BOTH of us made to each other in order for us to move forward in our marriage. NOT doing it would only result in another failed commitment we made to each other and would cause more friction."

Weren't you the one that said that she didn't really want to work on anything and was just fine the way things were? If you are the only one that is pushing for all this change, then you are trying to control the situation.

"It would be controlling if I just did it without her request or without her being a part of the discussion, but she said she wants to see one as well so relax."

That's not entirely the way you phrased it above. And hey it's not M. You are free to do what you wish as much as your W does. Based on what we've seen on here though, your W may react negatively to it or tell the C that it is YOUR issue and she doesn't have a problem. Which I feel is something you won't like very much.

"Also, you put a LOT of stock in DB and DR and say I'm wrong about this being a combined relationship."

No that's not what I said. You're twisting words around. I said that it takes one person to change the dynamic of a relationship. Sure it takes two to keep and sustain the M, but all it takes is one to get those wheels moving in the right direction.

"Are you kidding me?"

No.

"That doesn't even make sense!"

It does if you actually read what we are posting to you rather than getting angry at us. It's your M at stake we are trying to help save.

And by the way, we are only on here to help you. We don't get paid, we've all been hurt by our spouses, etc. It's your choice to pick and choose what you want to believe, but don't crap on the people going through the same thing you are going through just because they want to share with you what they've learned.

"Makes me NOT want to read the books if that's the stance they take."

If you don't do something different, nothing will change. You don't have to read the books and if you want to continue to follow the path you've been on so far, you can see how that has gotten you.

"NATURALLY if ONE person changes the other reacts to that change which is also change. Duh! If things were going well, then NO ONE would need to change anything."

Very mature. You're the one who feels "beaten" by your W's attitude. Taking it out on us here won't help.

"I realize that I don't have it all together. I need to change, I need to do some things different which is why I joined this forum and am seeing a counselor. A by-product of me changing in our relationship will cause her to change as well and vice versa. I don't understand why that's hard to comprehend."

Um that's what we told you. You were the one who said that you kept backsliding on those changes. We weren't the ones who said you were "disgusting". You did.

"I joined this forum for ideas, support and ways I can improve. I felt myself sinking into a place of giving up and not fighting anymore. I didn't join this forum because I read the end all to be all DR or DB books. I'm sure they are great, but let's not put all our hope in these books.

No one puts all their hopes on the books. However, the basic concepts about change and what made your M get to the place it is now is universal .

"I believe it takes all kinds of tools (forum, counselor, friends, prayer, books, etc.) to improve your life in any area...not just marriage."

Of course it does. But you're trying to affect an outcome you can't control. Release that control, change focus and your M will change.

Go back and carefully read and truly understand what others are telling you. We have ALL been in the same position you have which gives us a leg up on counselors who only know about relationships based on theory. We have real life experiences in dealing with spouses like your W.
Posted By: PatientMan

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/12/13 07:20 PM

Originally Posted By: Aaron Taylor

I believe it takes all kinds of tools (forum, counselor, friends, prayer, books, etc.) to improve your life in any area...not just marriage.


In your OP you asked:

"What am I doing wrong?"

Here are some action items:
  • Lose the weight and get into great shape. Quit complaining about it and just do it. You will be more attractive and healthier. You will be a better version of you, and this will help with your self-confidence.
  • Start getting your back waxed.
  • Stop jumping through your wife's endless hoops - they're just distractions that exhibit your beta-male behavior. You need more alpha-male behavior to attract her.
  • Give your W some space. This will allow her time to think, it will allow YOU some independence, and it may draw her in according to the distance/pursuit dynamic.
  • Read those books!

It does take all kinds of tools...that is correct! But the wrong tool at the wrong time can make things worse for you.

You said you came here for advice and support. You're getting exactly that from people who have been through what you've been through. You don't seem to like the advice and support, though, so you seem to be dismissing it.

You're certainly entitled to do whatever it is you want, but ignoring the advice of people who have already been through your experience doesn't seem very wise.

-PM
Posted By: Mimi00

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/12/13 07:25 PM

This forum is on the Divorce Busting website.....so 99% of the people have read the book and the advice will most times be geared towards what is taught in the book. If you haven't read the book then you may not understand why certain things are suggested to you.

Maybe a more neutral forum would be better....where you'll find a bunch of people that will help you continue with your complaintsand cheer on the negativity, instead of lifting a mirror to your face and helping you become a better man.

Most people don't like the mirror.....but I truly believe if more people looked in that mirror from the start, asking what they can do to better their relationship instead of focusing on their partner can/can't do.... marriages would be much better.

Good luck to you in your sitch. I may continue to follow but probably won't comment anymore as you have many others here trying to help. Its funny b/c some threads with people who really want the help to change and find out what they can do better, get no responses...So take advantage of this attention and resources.
Posted By: Accuray

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/12/13 09:17 PM

I would add to PatientMan's list to stop treating this as a defect that your wife has. If you view it that way it will become apparent to her and she will resent you for it, and that will lead to NO sex.

Your wife's desire has dropped off and she does not see that as a problem, but you are telling her she needs to seek help.

Like Mr. Bond I've been here a while and that approach to solving your problem has one outcome and it's not a good one.

You need to first ensure she's getting what she needs from you, and when she's in a good place getting her needs met, tell her that you would like her to work with you to improve your sex life for YOUR BENEFIT, not because there is anything wrong with her. Make it about you, not about what she's doing wrong.

I hope that makes sense, it's a subtle shift in perspective.

Acc
Posted By: MrBond

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/13/13 01:23 AM

I do want to point out that DBing isn't a strategy or tactic. It just teaches you how to figure out what your spouse's needs are and if what you're doing isn't working, to try something else. There is no set method to how to do something.

So if your W encourages going to C, then go for it. No one said it was bad if she suggested it.
Posted By: SM34

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/13/13 05:08 AM

Good God. Do we all sound like that when we arrive here?

I would STRONGLY suggest reading DR before making any C apoointments or any rash decisions. Even if you are sceptical, it can't hurt right?

I turned down C invite by my wife at th very beginning of my sitch. I had heard it was a bad idea and just went with it. I later learned from my wife that she thought it would b helpful for me to move on!

So I think we can imagine how that session would have gone. Thats why everyone is cautionong you. Without a strong commitment from both spouses to work on the M, it will be a venue for you and her to bash each other...and with one foot out the door, someone will move all the way out of the door.

It would be wise to listen to these people. MrBond and Accuray are two of the most knowledgeable and experienced people on the board. You don't know how lucky you are to get so much help from these wise folks...

You don't know what you have until you lose it. Dont lose these people! You stand a much better chance of turning this arround with their help than without.
Posted By: AnotherStander

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/13/13 04:08 PM

Originally Posted By: Aaron Taylor

about 5 years ago she became a health-nut and lost some weight and is not what I would consider "healthy". I was active the first 5-6 years of our marriage but still overweight. Then, primarily being at a desk, I wasn't active which only made it worse.


We don't talk about MMSLP too much around here other than suggesting it now and then, because there's some disagreement on whether it's consistent with DB'ing. But I will say that your sitch more than any I've read here could benefit from the advice in it. One subject is sex rank, when people date and get married they're typically pretty close in sex rank. If one of them suddenly does things to make themselves more attractive (work out, lose weight, different hair style, etc.) then they can move 2 or 3 notches up in sex rank, and if their spouse is really letting things go they can move a few notches down. Now you've got a sitch where the spouse higher in rank is losing interest in their spouse and suddenly attracting the attention of others. Sound familiar?

The book also goes into the hoop-jumping you're doing for your W. Every time you do what she asks to "fix" things you're just making yourself look less desirable. Just read the book, I think you'll feel like it is speaking directly to you.

MrBond and the others are spot on about MC being a bad idea right now. You mentioned being married 20 years and seeing it work many times, sure it works when BOTH spouses are willing to work on things but it NEVER works when one spouse is a WAS. What you need to understand is a WAS situation is different than anything you've been exposed to before. What works in saving a troubled marriage does NOT work with a WAS because the marriage isn't troubled, it is OVER. read DR, you're not trying to save your M, it's already done. You're trying to attract your W back to a NEW relationship and marriage.
Posted By: melissag

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/13/13 04:17 PM

I think the OP is gone, so I won't feel too guilty about hijacking his thread - what is MMSLP?
Posted By: ccZ28

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/13/13 04:24 PM

"The Married Man Sex Life Primer"

it's a good read
Posted By: MrBond

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/13/13 07:19 PM

Aaron,

I hope you continue to post and not get discouraged. Things will get better.
Posted By: PatientMan

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/13/13 07:45 PM

Originally Posted By: AnotherStander
MrBond and the others are spot on about MC being a bad idea right now. You mentioned being married 20 years and seeing it work many times, sure it works when BOTH spouses are willing to work on things but it NEVER works when one spouse is a WAS. What you need to understand is a WAS situation is different than anything you've been exposed to before. What works in saving a troubled marriage does NOT work with a WAS because the marriage isn't troubled, it is OVER. read DR, you're not trying to save your M, it's already done. You're trying to attract your W back to a NEW relationship and marriage.


Just to piggyback what AS is saying here, your marriage is very likely over and MC would not only NOT be useful, it would actually be one of the line items on your W's list that she can check off and say "tried that...didn't work."

MC can actually reenforce the WAS desire to leave and divorce.

-PM
Posted By: Accuray

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/13/13 08:28 PM

I'm not sure his wife is a WAS -- it's more of a sex starved marriage situation. She's not really complaining, she's not threatening, she's still willing to have sex with him, she has just reached a point of low desire and he resents her for that, which is understandable. This is the type of situation where MC can help IMO because it doesn't sound like she is checked out.

If his goal in MC is to show her she's wrong and she needs to change then he probably will have a WAS situation eventually but I don't think he is there yet.

Here's my issue with MMSLP: if you actually read it carefully it's a fine bit of input for self help, but it is not fact, it's not proven, and it does not suit every relationship. It's definitely not written for a WAS situation. My issue is not the book, but people who read it and interpret it as a cure all -- to the man with a hammer everything looks like a nail.

It's not reasonable to expect your spouse to lust after you over the course of a 20 year marriage -- passion will come and go over and over again.

With MMSLP the message risks being interpreted as "you're not a good enough man -- you're too beta and that is bad." Now take someone whose self esteem has already crashed and hand them that message. 3 months of hitting the gym and chest thumping behavior is not going to turn a lifelong introvert into a player with incredible game, and if the takeaway is that you are therefore inadequate I don't buy it.

Everyone owes it to themselves to be the best person they can be -- after that you need to be with someone who appreciates who you are and the good qualities you have. If you have to remake yourself into a macho man to get the sex you want with your current partner I think you're going down a cheese less tunnel.

I respect anyone who thinks differently, just my two cents

Acc
Posted By: jp787

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/13/13 08:58 PM

aaron,
This really is a great place with great people (no kool-aid)

I hope you are doing well.
Posted By: Aaron Taylor

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/16/13 04:23 PM

Hey everyone... I appreciate ALL ( I honestly mean that) ALL of the responses here.

I'm incredibly busy and do not get a chance to respond as often as I like to.

For everyone who is saying that I'm not taking the advice, that's not true.

I am taking the advice, I have only been on this forum for a little over a week, I haven't even had a chance to order the books yet much less read them. I plan to and will do whatever I can to make the marriage better. I just got here...give me some time to process this and get the books ordered etc.

And to be crystal clear. My W WANTED C as well. She's brought it up on several occasions. I'm NOT saying that MC is going to be the end all to be all, I am saying that I want to try whatever I can to help our marriage. If this is what we BOTH want to try. Heck it may not work at all. But IMO, both of us trying to work on OUR marriage is far better than ONE of us working on it.

We go Wednesday and I will keep you guys posted. We are constantly looking to adjust schedules and spend more time talking to each other about our situation.
Posted By: Accuray

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/16/13 05:18 PM

Aaron,

Most of the newcomers here are in a situation where their spouse has already checked out of the marriage and often is engaged in an affair, so that's where a lot of the advice is coming from -- an assumption that your spouse is "done" and you are trying to save your marriage.

Since that's not the case with you at this point, you may get more targeted advice in the "Sex Starved Marriage" forum, as that is really the core of the issue you initially posted about.

--Acc
Posted By: melissag

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/16/13 06:25 PM

Aaron, I am glad you are back! I think it is great that your W wants MC, and I truly hope it works out for you! I think that it would be great for you to read DR, which actually was written for someone in your situation - where the M is in bad shape, but nobody is yet out the door. I think it would give you ideas of some things to implement even while you are going to MC.

As far as MC goes, make sure you have a solutions oriented, pro-M counselor. My H and I went to MC, and though we begged her for homework, or something to actually DO, she didn't give it to us, and on top of that never really addressed our issues or asked us the hard questions. I honestly wish that I had read DR at that point instead of wasting the $$ on MC. (I'm not saying that your MC will be a waste of money, just saying that not all Cs are created equal.)

Also I think that some of the folks here are trying to explain that while it's great that your W is willing to go to MC, you CAN effect change in your relationship on your own. And I'm not sure why (in addition to working on things with your W), you wouldn't want to.
Posted By: MrBond

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/27/13 08:46 PM

Are you still around?
Posted By: Aaron Taylor

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 12/30/13 09:16 PM

Mr. Bond..

Yep.. still around.
Posted By: MrBond

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 01/03/14 07:45 PM

So how did the C go?
Posted By: Aaron Taylor

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 01/05/14 01:03 AM

Hey everyone... a quick update...

We've had 2 counseling sessions....they went very well. My wife and I both agree this is a process and one we are glad to have a 3rd party.

We both know we have some things to work on and after 20 years, to do some things different now than what we've done before. I know that sounds obvious, but it was helpful.

We are both doing what we can to grow. I'll keep you all posted.

Thanks.
Posted By: paul19510

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 01/05/14 01:09 AM

Good luck. it gives me hope to hear such things smile
Posted By: MrBond

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 01/05/14 08:46 AM

That's very good and I'm glad it's working out. It especially helps when you find a C that your W is comfortable with. I hope you continue with your own personal changes though and not just the ones that involve your W. If not, you'll be in the exact same position you were in when you first started.
Posted By: Aaron Taylor

Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place - 01/07/14 12:41 PM

MrBond,

I agree... you know what they say: doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results...INSANITY! lol

Don't need that!

Have a great week
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