Divorcebusting.com
Canít I just tell her to snap out of it and appreciate the life she has? I canít hardly take it any more.

My name is Scott and Iíve been divorce busting of some sort for three years coming off my wifeís emotional affair. We have two young kids 11 and 9. Weíve been in counseling for 3 years now, since the affair. Weíre on our second counselor. From an outsiders view it would look like a fairy tale. As an insider the truth is things seem wonderful nearly all of the time but my wife just doesnít seem to want to appreciate the truth of what she has.

Over the years as she has brought up complaints and issues Iíve worked to change and she would agree that i have but then itís on to the next ďmajor issueĒ in our relationship.

A consistent one is that i donít ďgetĒ her or that we donít have an emotional connection. Now this seems to be the target, that I need to feel more and share my feelings to improve communication.

We stopped being physically intimidate 4 months ago, the last time she threatened separation and divorce. She says she doesnít want to work on the marriage but she hasnít left and she still goes to counseling (where she told the counselor she didnít want to work on the marriage).

I just want to shake her and tell her to get it together. Work on the marriage and embrace the beautiful family and life she has!

Help. Any thoughts?
I am pasting in Cadet's Welcome Thread for you.

Welcome to the board

Sorry you are here but you will meet some wonderful people here and get some great advice.

Yes first thing you should do is be sure to read the Divorce Remedy (DR) book by MWD
http://www.mcssl.com/store/mwdtc2014/
http://divorcebusting.com/sample_book_chapters.htm

and Michele's articles
http://www.divorcebusting.com/articles.htm

You may be on moderation now, post in small frequent replies and stay on this thread until you reach 100 posts
(for your thread, you can also post on other peoples threads to give support).
Especially on this Newcomers forum, where the posting activity is very active,
and your posts can quickly fall to the bottom of the page or even several pages down.
Keep journaling and asking questions - people will come!
Most important - POST!

Get out and Get a Life (GAL).

DETACH.

Believe none of what he or she says and half of what he/she does.

Have NO EXPECTATIONS.

Take care of yourself, breathe, eat, sleep, exercise.

Take the parts of this advice that you need and don't worry if I have repeated something that you have already done.

Here are a few links to threads that will help you immensely:

I would start with Sandi's Rules
A list of dos and don'ts for the LBS (left behind spouse)
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2553072#Post2553072

Going Dark
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=50956#Post5095

Detachment thread
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2538414#Post2538414

Validation Cheat Sheet: Techniques and tips on how to validate (showing your walk away spouse (WAS) that you recognize and accept his or her opinions as valid, even if you do not agree with them)
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2457566#Post2457566

Boundaries Cheat Sheet
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2536096#Post2536096

Abbreviations
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2553153#Post2553153

For Newcomer LBH with a Wayward Wife by sandi2
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2545554#Post2545554

Resource thread
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forum...ain=57819&Number=2578224#Post2578224

Stages of the LBS
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1964990&page=1

Validation
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=191764#Post191764

Pursuit and Distance
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2483574#Post2483574

The Lighthouse Story
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2484619#Post2484619

Your H or W is giving you a GIFT.
THE GIFT OF TIME.
USE it wisely.

Knowledge is Power - Sir Francis Bacon


Me-65, D33,S32
Scott,

If you have been divorce busting for several years, you already know the answer...leave her alone as much as possible, give her enough space and time to figure things out and no, you can't tell her to snap out of it. Evidently she has some issues that she needs to work on. It appears that the counseling she's getting may not be helping her if she still is still saying she doesn't want to work on the marriage.

So, my question is this...why is she still staying in the marriage and I am assuming she is still living under the same roof w/you? The changes you made, have they become a part of your daily life or did you just make those changes to please her? If the latter is the case, then make changes that you know you need to make and make them a part of your life on a permanent basis.

If would go about my life and keep the focus on you and your family. I would leave her be and if you opt to invite her to do things, then let her make the decision as to whether or not to participate. Keep your expectations at zero at all times, dig deeper for patient and again...keep that focus on you and your family.

Try not to engage in arguments as this gives her a justification for why she feels the way she does. Walk away when she begins to bait you. Get out of the house and do things and don't tell her what you are doing all of the time.

It's a long and bumpy road, but try to remember, you didn't break her, therefore you can't fix her. You can't control how she feels and right now, she's miserable and again, she has to figure things out.
What are your ages and how long have you been married?
Originally Posted by ScottB
....Iíve been divorce busting of some sort for three years....
Have you been lurking here reading all the threads? Or just showed up here now?
Originally Posted by ScottB
A consistent one is that i donít ďgetĒ her or that we donít have an emotional connection.
Most guys suck at this. It is a learned behavior. AnotherStander gives great advise on this.

My take:

1) Listen to understand how she is feeling
2) Validate her feelings
3) make it all about her and how she is feeling.
4) How does she FEEL when she is interacting with you. Change the way you interact and it will change the way she FEELS. You want her to have "good" feelings.


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Now this seems to be the target, that I need to feel more and share my feelings to improve communication.
Maybe. "I am frustrated" is how how share my feelings. I may express them differently.


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We stopped being physically intimidate 4 months ago,
Focus on being attractive. This is more about your behavior and less about your looks. Learn how to be seductive. It is different than attraction. Know the difference.

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the last time she threatened separation and divorce.
you are in triage now. We have been there.

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She says she doesnít want to work on the marriage but she hasnít left and she still goes to counseling (where she told the counselor she didnít want to work on the marriage).
This may sound counter-intuitive, but stop going. Do not tell her. If she asks, tell her "You said you didn't want to work on the marriage, so I believe it is best that I don't go to MC"


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I just want to shake her and tell her to get it together. Work on the marriage and embrace the beautiful family and life she has!
Focus on things you can control. You can't control other people. You can control your words, behaviors, actions, thoughts. The more you try to control, the more she will resist.





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I just want to shake her and tell her to get it together. Work on the marriage and embrace the beautiful family and life she has!
Focus on things you can control. You can't control other people. You can control your words, behaviors, actions, thoughts. The more you try to control, the more she will resist.


[/quote]

This is huge Scott, I know that urge very well. And itís crappy because you know your right. But R2C is right. What can YOU change? If you try to persuade her you will push her further away
Married 14 years; Iím 42, sheís 40.
I just learned about this forum recently. I read some threads. Today was a hard day and I needed some place to talk.
Hey Scott,

From someone who has had that conversation, please whatever you do, donīt tell her to snap out of it. Early on in my sitch, I never begged, cried or anything like that but I initiated several R talks. At one point I was frustrated and told my W to do just that - "snap out of this, this isnīt you! Stop this behavior"

The cold, dead stare I got back from her as I said that I will never forget. From that moment on, things really went downhill. She started going out more, hiding things from me and pretending to be single. Anything she could do to get away from me basically.

Now Iīm no expert and I donīt know what my future holds, but the sooner you detach and do what the veterans here recommend, the better things will work out for you.
So First, I am on moderation. I didn't know what that meant until Job posted.

But I'll share more details because this is just so weird to me. Every day we wake up, together we get the kids ready for the bus. I leave for work and she gives me a hug and a kiss on the way out the door. When I get home from work we share about how our day went, we make dinner together, we put the kids to bed, and then we either have a nightcap and talk or watch something on NetFlix that we both enjoy.

If her back is stiff I might give her a massage as we watch TV. We go to bed together at the same time. She gives me a kiss good night, she says that she loves me, and then the wall goes up and from there, there is no touching. It's like we are sleeping in different beds, but we're in the same bed. Then we wake up and do it over again.

I'd say every third week or so we go on a date night. We have a good time. From an outside perspective, anyone would say everything is fine. We don't fight and we don't argue.

But then one of two things occurs. We go to marriage counseling and she says she doesn't want to work on our marriage, she says how things have to change, and she basically blames me for everything that is wrong.

Or I make a mistake. I'd say once every six weeks or so I'll do something that she sees as unforgivable. These acts would normally be filed under the marital misunderstanding column but in my life, they are reasons for divorce.

And then this goes down the path of "We've been working on our marriage for four years (which isn't true, the affair didn't even end until three years ago, but I digress) and nothing has changed. I'm sick of it. I'm done."

Rinse, Dry, Repeat.
___________________
Me: 42 Spouse: 40
Kids: 11, 9
Married: 14
Scotty B I lived your life for almost the same amount of time. What do you mean your done? Are you going to file? You may have one other option. Get a life like a mad man. Go out every night and be mysterious about it. I can explain more if need be.
Originally Posted by job

So, my question is this...why is she still staying in the marriage and I am assuming she is still living under the same roof w/you? The changes you made, have they become a part of your daily life or did you just make those changes to please her? If the latter is the case, then make changes that you know you need to make and make them a part of your life on a permanent basis.


When I asked her why (i know, mistake) she said for the children and because she is afraid. She also said she had no hope for us. She is still living under the same roof.

Changes I have made have been like helping out around the house more (she was a stay at home mom for years and I made the mistake of expecting the home to be her job). I've also worked to be more supportive, less defensive, never critical or contemptuous. I think these are all good things for me to do, so I did change for her but it was also for me to be a better person.

She has described me as relentless in the past. I do like the fact that I am a go-getter and never give up on anything, but I'm trying to develop some other traits that I also see as personal growth, and not necessarily for her. I'm working to be more soft-hearted, gracious, moderate, sensitive, and humble.
Originally Posted by ScottB
Canít I just tell her to snap out of it and appreciate the life she has? I canít hardly take it any more.


If that worked then none of us would be here, and this site probably wouldn't exist grin Your W isn't who you remember marrying. You can't reason with her, or negotiate or bargain or manipulate or coerce her back into the M. You can't "nice" her back. You can't "mean" her back. You can't do a single thing to help her come back, but you can do a lot to block her from coming back. Your goal is to keep yourself from blocking her way back. As the saying here goes, to keep the way home paved and smooth. But you can't drive her down that road, she has to make that choice.

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Weíve been in counseling for 3 years now, since the affair. Weíre on our second counselor.


I agree with R2C, probably high time to quit going. Go to IC if it helps you, but stop the MC. It's pretty clear it hasn't helped (it never does after BD) and your sitch has in fact continued to deteriorate to the point where sex is now off the table.

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but my wife just doesnít seem to want to appreciate the truth of what she has.


Her "truth" is different than yours. She thinks she's in a terrible, cold, unloving relationship. And she thinks it's all your fault. You see another "truth"- a nice home, healthy kids, a future together. You've got to accept that her truth is her reality though. At your ages I'd say it's quite possible she's going through MLC or early menopause or both. This will affect the way she thinks. She is in a fog, and sees nothing good about the M but lots bad. She's convinced that escaping the M is her path to happiness. You have to let her go on this journey of discovery. Detach, leave her alone, focus on you and the kids. Somewhere down the road she may decide she wants the M after all, but it's going to take a long time for her to get there. If she's in MLC it could be years.

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Over the years as she has brought up complaints and issues Iíve worked to change and she would agree that i have but then itís on to the next ďmajor issueĒ in our relationship.


This is very typical with WAS's. It's like a shooting gallery, you shoot one target down and two more pop up. You CAN'T PLACATE HER back into the M. I know it's tempting to try and it never, ever works. It just makes the WAS lose all respect for the LBS.

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A consistent one is that i donít ďgetĒ her or that we donít have an emotional connection. Now this seems to be the target, that I need to feel more and share my feelings to improve communication.


She's not telling you this so you can fix it. She's explaining to you why in her eyes the M is over. Again, you can't "placate" her back to the M. You've got to earn respect back before she'll find you attractive again. You do that by detaching, letting her go, working on yourself, being an alpha again. I bet you've been trying to show her how great a husband you are by taking out the trash, doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, helping more with the kids? All beta behavior. Beta is fine in combination with alpha, but most men lose their alpha traits in marriage and go full beta. Then when they get BD'd they double down on beta behavior, exactly the opposite of what they should be doing to attract her back.


Originally Posted by Ready2Change
Most guys suck at this. It is a learned behavior. AnotherStander gives great advise on this.

My take:

1) Listen to understand how she is feeling
2) Validate her feelings
3) make it all about her and how she is feeling.
4) How does she FEEL when she is interacting with you. Change the way you interact and it will change the way she FEELS. You want her to have "good" feelings.


Thank you and yes, couldn't have said it better smile Validating is the one thing we can do that doesn't hurt our sitches and usually help them. It's a neutral act, it's not confrontational. It's not even agreeing, just acknowledging that her feelings, no matter how crazy they may seem, are valid.
Thank you for these links. I read through all of them. I ordered "The Solo Partner" by Phil Deluca and look forward to receiving it soon.
Scott, just hopping in to tell you to keep DBing. GAL like crazy. Continue self-improving through 180s. Work on detaching, removing all pursuit and pressure. And no, as AS said, certainly DO NOT tell her to snap out of it and appreciate her family. That is pressure. That will drive her further away.

You have R2C and AS engaged. Listen to these two gentlemen to give you the best chance to save you MR. That is not a guarantee. What is a guarantee by listening to vets like AS and R2C is that you will save yourself.
Originally Posted by LH19
Scotty B I lived your life for almost the same amount of time. What do you mean you're done? Are you going to file? You may have one other option. Get a life like a mad man. Go out every night and be mysterious about it. I can explain more if need be.


I'm not going to file. I'm just exhausted. I am so worn down and tired. As I said, I just want her to snap out of it. We have a good life, she has a good husband, its exhausting to live this way. I feel like the giving tree.

With the kids, it's hard to go out and such. The kids have activities Mon-Thurs and games on Saturday and Sunday. I like spending time with her, so it's hard to leave. And I don't want to make things worse.
Originally Posted by AnotherStander
Her "truth" is different than yours. She thinks she's in a terrible, cold, unloving relationship. And she thinks it's all your fault. You see another "truth"- a nice home, healthy kids, a future together. You've got to accept that her truth is her reality though.

...

This is very typical with WAS's. It's like a shooting gallery, you shoot one target down and two more pop up. You CAN'T PLACATE HER back into the M. I know it's tempting to try and it never, ever works. It just makes the WAS lose all respect for the LBS.


Scott - This advice is absolute gold, and AS the whack-a-mole analogy is perfect. Feelings = Truth. When your W communicates with you, think "feelings feelings feelings." This is harder than it may appear when she's giving you reasons things aren't working, or things she thinks you should change. The more you seek reasons from your W, the more you will be confused because she will keep throwing them out there. This is about emotional thinking, not rational thinking. Asking for reasons does not work.

I lived this life with my W for about a year before BD. We went to MC. She wanted more help around the house, less pressure for physical affection. I did more chores, I came home on time from work, I helped with the kids, I gave her more breaks from the kids (weekends to see friends/family), I stopped all pursuit. Absolutely nothing changed. She didn't change anything. We didn't actually *work* on the MR. When I pressed to work on the MR, she changed her reasons to other things.

Understand she is fighting with her internal feelings. Let her work that out.

Originally Posted by AnotherStander
Originally Posted by ScottB
A consistent one is that i donít ďgetĒ her or that we donít have an emotional connection. Now this seems to be the target, that I need to feel more and share my feelings to improve communication.


She's not telling you this so you can fix it. She's explaining to you why in her eyes the M is over. Again, you can't "placate" her back to the M. You've got to earn respect back before she'll find you attractive again. You do that by detaching, letting her go, working on yourself, being an alpha again. I bet you've been trying to show her how great a husband you are by taking out the trash, doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, helping more with the kids? All beta behavior. Beta is fine in combination with alpha, but most men lose their alpha traits in marriage and go full beta. Then when they get BD'd they double down on beta behavior, exactly the opposite of what they should be doing to attract her back.

Again, this is gold advice. I got the "emotional connection" reason as well. It is a "catch-all" bucket for pretty much anything.

Part of the advantage of detaching is it will give you time and space also. A lot of us early on get stuck on 180s, and think we should 180 everything because our W is telling us to do that.

You need that to sort out what is your truth. How many of your W's complaints are valid things you should 180 on? And how many of them are just her feelings and complaints?

Finally, I have to agree on stopping MC. She will probably accuse you of not wanting to work on the MR by doing so. Again, you can't placate her back.

I identify with a lot of your story... sorry you are here.
Originally Posted by ScottB
I'm not going to file. I'm just exhausted. I am so worn down and tired. As I said, I just want her to snap out of it. We have a good life, she has a good husband, its exhausting to live this way. I feel like the giving tree.

It is absolutely emotionally exhausting to be in limbo day after day.

A lot of DB'ing is about detaching (lovingly) so you aren't at the mercy of her feelings. Come here to vent by all means. Letting her go also involves letting go of your expectations. She does not view your life this way, fair or not.

Originally Posted by ScottB
With the kids, it's hard to go out and such. The kids have activities Mon-Thurs and games on Saturday and Sunday. I like spending time with her, so it's hard to leave. And I don't want to make things worse.

I hear you on this one. It's really hard to get out of the house when you have kids.

However...GAL can be simple, it doesn't have to mean going out mysteriously. Rather than spending time with your W one night, work on a hobby, read a book, do something you like to do at home. Fill your own emotional buckets with things you like. You say you like spending time with your W... is it really that enjoyable to spend time with her? I also enjoyed spending time with my W... we would watch TV every night, sometimes have a cocktail, crack jokes... all while we sat on separate couches, never discussed anything of importance, went to bed at different times. I was a really great friend.
Scotty B,

Are you familiar with Eisensteinís definition of insanity? If you keep things status quo they are unlucky to change.

Iím sorry to say that sheís not likely to wake up one day and realize sheís madly in love with you unless you change things up.

I know about being tired brother. My children were my strength and helped me get up in the morning to go another round.
Originally Posted by ScottB
.... I'm just exhausted. I am so worn down and tired.....And I don't want to make things worse.
Things that work are completely counter-intuitive.

Have you tried taking a break (or vacation) from working on the marriage? Pull back. Put all your energy into your relationship with your kids, your own personal growth, and your personal happiness without her.

The biggest mistake I see poster here make is focusing on the wrong person wishing for change.

The second biggest mistake I see posters make here is not making positive changes in themselves quick enough.

The third biggest mistake I see poster make is using the wrong "measurement stick". They are watching their spouse to see if what they are doing is "working". They need to be looking at their own behavior. If one of your goals is to communicate better, then asking yourself questions like "Did I validate?" is a better "measuring stick".

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I agree with R2C, probably high time to quit going. Go to IC if it helps you, but stop the MC. It's pretty clear it hasn't helped (it never does after BD) and your sitch has, in fact, continued to deteriorate to the point where sex is now off the table.


The only action that takes place, tends to be when I push the action. She has threatened divorce aggressively 4 times over the past 3 years. Then after each, there seemed to be healing and a degree of reconciliation until it happened again. She has threatened separation twice. Most recently in September and she looked at apartments but she didn't move out.

So, nothing really seems to change unless I push the change. She is going to counseling. If I say we shouldn't go any longer, we won't, is that really a good idea?

In 2018 we went the first months of the year with no sex but then got to about 3 times a month as of this August before the BD. After the BD, there were no "I Love You's" or kisses goodnight, but now she instigates that - so that seems like progress.

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At your ages I'd say it's quite possible she's going through MLC or early menopause or both.


Agree on MLC and possibly early menopause, she actually mentioned the menopause thing last week and during her pregnancy she had a partial hysterectomy, keeping her ovaries, but even they said that was a possibility.

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You've got to earn respect back before she'll find you attractive again. You do that by detaching, letting her go, working on yourself, being an alpha again.


So, do I stop setting up dates? Ones that are already set, do I cancel them? Do I stop spending as much time with her? Engaging in nightly conversations?
Scotty B,

What happened in September that she threatened D?

Youíre wasting your money going to MC right now.
Originally Posted by ScottB
She is going to counseling. If I say we shouldn't go any longer, we won't, is that really a good idea?


You've been going for 3 years and your relationship continues to deteriorate. So you tell me, why do you think it's a good idea to keep going? Traditional MC has not saved a single marriage post-BD to my knowledge (believe me, plenty have tried).

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In 2018 we went the first months of the year with no sex but then got to about 3 times a month as of this August before the BD. After the BD, there were no "I Love You's" or kisses goodnight, but now she instigates that - so that seems like progress.


It's a baby step. Baby steps are good, but you celebrate them internally and keep on DB'ing.

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Agree on MLC and possibly early menopause, she actually mentioned the menopause thing last week and during her pregnancy she had a partial hysterectomy, keeping her ovaries, but even they said that was a possibility.


Exact same thing with my XW. She was around 48 and had a partial hysterectomy. They warned her it might trigger menopause, and it did. And not long after like a bolt out of the blue- BD.

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So, do I stop setting up dates?


I would. Pull back and detach. If she wants to pursue you and ask for dates then that's fine, but you need to drop the pursuit behavior.

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Ones that are already set, do I cancel them?


No if you've made commitments then stick to them.

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Do I stop spending as much time with her? Engaging in nightly conversations?


Yes try to pull back. I'm not saying to go completely dark on her, nor am I saying be cold and indifferent. But quit pursuing her. Do you read Sandi's rules much? They help, they are a great template on how to behave.
A little more background. She had a job that she hated and had wanted to quit for over a year and she has a serious family health situation that has no resolution in sight. As of May I could see that we were trending in a bad direction as we weren't going on date nights, we weren't working on our marriage, we weren't going to counseling and I could feel the distance growing between us. In July she was miserable. Working horrible hours for a horrible boss and her family was a nightmare. We continued to get more distant.

Then we had a bad two-week run. I put pressure on her for sex one night and she said no. She had a birthday that was challenging, just getting older - but I did a good job planning gifts around it and she had a nice day. I went away for business and when I came back we had a very busy weekend. On Saturday I asked her if I could go work out and she said I could. I got home and asked if I could trim the lawn before we went to a neighbors BBQ and she said "Fine."

I offered to help her in the kitchen instead and she said: "No, go trim the lawn." She was pissed because she didn't think I would have time to trim the lawn and get ready for the party on time. She rushed to leave with the kids before I was ready, but it didn't take me that long and so I was right on time but she was pissed and didn't talk to me the rest of the night.

On Sunday of the weekend, she and my son had a conversation about his video game usage and I made a joke about it - she felt undermined and went to our room and locked the door crying.

Then on Sunday night, she started to light me up. She said that I was being selfish because she had the kids all week and I went to work out in the middle of the afternoon on Saturday. She said that was selfish in trimming the lawn. She said that I undermined her in front of our son, and I cracked. I told her that she should focus on herself sometimes and do what she needed to do to be happy.

We went to sleep, didn't makeup. Went through the week and on the following Saturday she sat me down to tell me she was done. We had an expensive vacation planned for her birthday with friends that she canceled as well, prepaid for.

Since then, she decided she wasn't going to move out and that she wanted more space at home. She says she doesn't want to work on the marriage. But she began saying she loved me at night again and she began giving me a kiss at night when we good to bed and she gives me a hug and kiss when I leave in the morning, which wasn't happening before. We went through a week or two where she would hold my hand as we fell asleep, but that's not allowed or happening any longer.

During this stretch, she finally quit her job and is trying to transition to something she would be happier doing. I supported her through that.
Originally Posted by ScottB

...
So, do I stop setting up dates? Ones that are already set, do I cancel them? Do I stop spending as much time with her? Engaging in nightly conversations?


If she's not actively having an affair, I would not go out of your way to cancel the dates that are already set.

Back off in the future setting up dates, spending time, and nightly conversations. Those are all pursuits. If you do talk to her, listen and validate. Otherwise work on yourself.
Originally Posted by ScottB

...
As of May I could see that we were trending in a bad direction as we weren't going on date nights, we weren't working on our marriage, we weren't going to counseling and I could feel the distance growing between us.
...


You focusing on yourself, and giving her time and space / letting her go can be a form of "working" on your marriage. She probably feels trapped right now.
I have Sandi's rules printed out in my journal. I'll reread them more regularly.
Tell us more about the EA and how it ended.
I've heard this idea before, the idea of focusing on myself. From before the time I was married, everything I did was for the future and for my family. I know this is the right thing to do, but changing myself like this hurts. My purpose in life, as Michelle wrote in her book, was my wife and kids.

Focus on myself. I'll work on what that means in IC this week. Can't wait <sarcasm>.
This will be a long post; it was kind of wild. I'll work on it soon.
ScottB - Your description of the growing distance between you and your W is eerily similar. Lack of date nights, lack of affection. You try hard to please her with her birthday, it goes mostly unnoticed. Then you get absolutely lit up for a litany of reasons, none of which are major.

Recognize that she is going through something. She is giving you so many different reasons for her unhappiness your head must be spinning. If you look to her for answers, you will be increasingly confused and agitated.
Originally Posted by ScottB

...
On Saturday I asked her if I could go work out and she said I could. I got home and asked if I could trim the lawn before we went to a neighbors BBQ and she said "Fine."
...


I think most vets would tell you to stop asking her for permission to do stuff... this is beta / NGS stuff. Just tell her this is what you are doing.
Originally Posted by ScottB
I've heard this idea before, the idea of focusing on myself. From before the time I was married, everything I did was for the future and for my family. I know this is the right thing to do, but changing myself like this hurts. My purpose in life, as Michelle wrote in her book, was my wife and kids.

Focus on myself. I'll work on what that means in IC this week. Can't wait <sarcasm>.


Took a lot of reading, researching, cross referencing different videos, books, websites... and what I finally gathered is that attraction works at a subconscious level. Over the span of the marriage, your wife gradually lost respect / attraction for you. She may not have lost it intentionally or maliciously, but this is what happens to most marriages here, and this is how she feels now.

At this point, you need to consider her an ex, and figure out how to make yourself more confident / mysterious / attractive. Imagine yourself single and just starting to date this person again.
Originally Posted by ScottB

Changes I have made have been like helping out around the house more (she was a stay at home mom for years and I made the mistake of expecting the home to be her job). I've also worked to be more supportive, less defensive, never critical or contemptuous. I think these are all good things for me to do, so I did change for her but it was also for me to be a better person.

She has described me as relentless in the past. I do like the fact that I am a go-getter and never give up on anything, but I'm trying to develop some other traits that I also see as personal growth, and not necessarily for her. I'm working to be more soft-hearted, gracious, moderate, sensitive, and humble.


Originally Posted by LovingIt
Originally Posted by ScottB

...
On Saturday I asked her if I could go work out and she said I could. I got home and asked if I could trim the lawn before we went to a neighbors BBQ and she said "Fine."
...


I think most vets would tell you to stop asking her for permission to do stuff... this is beta / NGS stuff. Just tell her this is what you are doing.

Scott, Read the above 2 posts. On the one hand, you are a go-getter and relentless. On the other, you ask for her permission and she gets upset anyways. "D@mned if you do, d@mned if you don't."

In your W's eyes, you can do nothing right. She doesn't know what she wants, but she definitely doesn't want you right now. She's going to find things you are doing wrong and saying wrong on a regular basis. They may seem completely irrational. Ignore the reasoning, pay attention to the feelings. Validate. Understand what is going on, accept it, then decide how you want to conduct yourself according to your values. If you think you need to be more gracious and humble, do it. If that is NGS speaking, then you may have some deeper work to do about how you want to live your life. Confidence, assertiveness, self-respect... these all come from a place within. Work on finding yourself. I guarantee you'll be happier, and you will also increase the odds of saving your MR.
Scott -

I think you are in a good position to turn this around. Your sitch does not sound that bad right now (compared to most other people's sitch).

Your wife is still at home, there is no affair / AP, and for the most part she still talks / interacts with you. I think you just need to back off, and make some self improvement / changes before you push her away further.

Have you ever been annoyed at someone where they got under your skin? Once you see them in that light, there is nothing they say or can do to appease you at that point. The more interaction, the more it reiterates the negative thoughts. That's where a lot of WAS are mentally.

You need to focus on your behavior. Change the way you behave. Behave in ways that makes your woman FEEL good. This is a big task. I lump all the changes into "Alpha Male"

#1) Do not attempt to control her. Set her free to make decisions.
#2) Listen and Validate. STFU and listen. Do not share your opinions. When you want to say something STFU.
#3) Face your Fear. Prepare for the worse and hope and pray for the best.

Read this post and burn coaches words into your head. Then behave like he says:
https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2846984


Originally Posted by ScottB
So, do I stop setting up dates?
Set up things YOU want to do. Test the waters.

H:"W, I will be going to see (band name) this friday. Would you like to join me?"

If she says yes:

H:"OK. I will see if so and so will watch the kids"

If she says no:

H:"OK." walk away and keep doing things"

React emotionally the same with either chioce she makes.


Originally Posted by ScottB
Ones that are already set, do I cancel them?
No. Go out and project confidence. Treat her different. Be different.

Originally Posted by ScottB
Do I stop spending as much time with her?
Treat her like a cat. Let her come to you. Be busy taking care of things.

Originally Posted by ScottB
Engaging in nightly conversations?
If she comes to you. End the convos first. She talks. You listen and validate.

Also, you should take the kids to do fun things. Do not invite W.

H:"W, I am taking kids for ice cream. Be back in a couple hours."


If she asks to join you, say "yes"

If she doesn't, let her have her time alone.
So things continue to be interesting.

I reviewed the situation with a counselor who asked some good questions and knows my situation and actually felt as though we had been making progress in marriage counseling. The litmus test was whether or not I felt like I was personally growing, which I do. I feel that I'm working on becoming a better more authentic me and in marriage counseling, I can work on that.

The counselor also pointed out that since she asked me for separation in September, she hasn't moved out and we are sleeping in the same bed.

He felt that going on dates is actually helping to reinforce the positive neuro pathways she has in regards to her experience with me. He asked if I had noticed anything and I laughed and pointed out that just that morning she had made my eggs. He felt that was actually significant and referenced the 5 love languages - her language is acts of service. He recommended I focus on whether or not she is doing things for me in her love language, which is harder for me to notice because it's not mine.

Matter of fact, I just realized that she asked to take the kids to school today, which is interesting. I need to learn to tune in to those things.

I do think that the advice her related to her needing to figure some things out for herself is really good advice and I couldn't agree more with that. I learned that she has started going to counseling herself which she had fought for some time, so that's a positive.

I've noticed that I am detaching my emotions from the situation to preserve myself, and I don't know if that is good or bad. I worry that may make it harder for her to connect with me as my emotions kind of get shut down, but that will have me not pursuing as much so I'm unsure.

I liked the example here that someone left related to how when something is annoying to us, any pushing or even the presence of that thing makes us want to withdraw even more - that example resonated with me, so I'm really trying to give the right amount of space.

The whole situation still makes me very sad. I never thought I would be in a place where I would accept a passionless loveless marriage. I'm not sure how long I have to accept it and I'm not sure if that's the entirety of my future. Thinking about it makes me feel very sad. So, for now, I choose not to and I choose on focusing on the day to day, spending time with the kids, enjoying what I have, and trying to hold out hope for a better future.

Hi Scott,

I can not emphasis strongly enough about changing your behavior and the way you interact with her.

There are sub-conscience and primal things at work here. Do your homework and understand what woman are attracted to. Understand what turns them on. At the same time, understand the difference between attraction and seduction.

What you have been doing is not working.


Time to reinvent yourself. She may like what she sees.
Originally Posted by Ready2Change

Hi Scott,

I can not emphasis strongly enough about changing your behavior and the way you interact with her.

There are sub-conscience and primal things at work here. Do your homework and understand what woman are attracted to. Understand what turns them on. At the same time, understand the difference between attraction and seduction.

What you have been doing is not working.


Time to reinvent yourself. She may like what she sees.


What is a good book or resource to learn about that?

Look here:
https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2061094#Post2061094

Counter-intuitive ways to attract
Hi Scott--

I haven't seen any mention of it so I assume the answer is "no", but do you have any indications or suspicions that she is still engaging in any kind of affair? You mentioned briefly a previous EA, but I haven't seen you mention anything else.
No, there are no indications or suspicions that she is still engaging in any kind of affair.

I just needed to find a place to vent. I am so frustrated and angry. From the last BD, which was probably the fifth one in the last 4 years, things have gotten better. She is no longer making a move to separate. There is plenty of peace in the home. We are nice to one another. When I leave for work in the morning she gives me a quick hug and kiss goodbye. When we go to sleep at night she gives me a kiss good night and she says "I love you."

But there is no intimacy beyond that and its been that way for 4 months. Prior to the BD its not like there was a lot of intimacy either, there really hasn't been much in 4 years (surprise!) since she had an emotional (as far as I know that's all it was) affair.

I'm angry though. And I'm kind of sick of putting my life on hold. And I'm ticked that I'm the one that has to be patient. In marriage counseling this last time the counselor asked her if she was in and she said she didn't know. She says we have big issues we have to deal with before she can commit but the reality is the issues can't be worked on if she doesn't freaking commit.

I never thought I would be where I'm at. I was committed. For me, marriage was a lifetime commitment. So because of my values and my faith I'm trapped and have to wait until she figures it out. I'm also so worried about my kids. I really think a divorce would destroy the foundation of their lives.

The marriage functions in a way that isn't detrimental to them, it is a positive for them. The family has a good life. It's just that I don't have a wife.

I don't think I'm capable of pulling the plug and I don't know if I'm capable of stepping further back to put more pressure on the situation either. I feel very stuck, stuck in a bad marriage where I can't do anything to fix or improve it (trust me I've tried. I've done it all. Our first marriage counselor said "Scott, I've never seen a husband do so much work to change and improve, its really incredible. Unfortunately, its just not enough.") Well, we didn't go back to him and that was 2 years ago.

There is no magic to this.

I know GAL. Detach. I'm working to detach and I've done pretty well. Do I reject the last kiss of the night and the hug and kiss in the morning when I walk out the door to completely detach?

My marriage counselor wants me to do the opposite. She wants me to give my wife a hug when I want a hug, to ask for what I want. What I want is no more of this BS.

I'm fit, I've got a good job, I'm a great dad, I don't gamble or drink. I just can't understand why I have to continue to go through this. It makes me want to have a good cry.
Hi ScottB. I would love to have what you have. How long did it take? Be thankful for the little things.

Do you have date nights? Maybe plan something special. I know, as a woman, I need to be warmed up before we go beyond the small stuff.

Sending cupid arrows your way.
Scotty B,

Unfortunately I know your situation to well and I was gonna comment before on your thread but then you disappeared. I had a feeling you would be back.

I will give you my opinion. Your W is emotionally immature. She had the EA 4 years ago and got addicted to the high. After coming down from the high and as time goes by she is looking for that high again. She canít get it from you because sheís been with you for so long and itís not secretive or dangerous. Sheís too emotionally immature to know where your relationship is at right now. Secure, safe, predictable stable. Thatís not exciting.

My ex did the same thing after her brief ea. We reconciled for two years where things looked normal on the outside but internally she was still looking for the high. She eventually filed and a year and a half later sheís still doing the same thing. Started dated a loser friend of my friend and hid it from me for awhile probably to feed off the secretive rush. Itís pathetic really because heís half the man that I am. Everyone has lost respect for her including myself.

Only you can decide how long youíll put up with it. I can tell you there are lots of woman out there who would give anything to date a guy like you if your honest about your assessment of yourself. Itís tough man I know I lived it for almost as long as you.

Thereís an old poster ďAccurayĒ who went through the same thing. His posts are pure gold and should be sold in a book.
Originally Posted by ScottB

I just needed to find a place to vent. I am so frustrated and angry. From the last BD, which was probably the fifth one in the last 4 years, things have gotten better. She is no longer making a move to separate. There is plenty of peace in the home. We are nice to one another. When I leave for work in the morning she gives me a quick hug and kiss goodbye. When we go to sleep at night she gives me a kiss good night and she says "I love you."

But there is no intimacy beyond that and its been that way for 4 months. Prior to the BD its not like there was a lot of intimacy either, there really hasn't been much in 4 years (surprise!) since she had an emotional (as far as I know that's all it was) affair.

I'm angry though. And I'm kind of sick of putting my life on hold. And I'm ticked that I'm the one that has to be patient. In marriage counseling this last time the counselor asked her if she was in and she said she didn't know. She says we have big issues we have to deal with before she can commit but the reality is the issues can't be worked on if she doesn't freaking commit.

I never thought I would be where I'm at. I was committed. For me, marriage was a lifetime commitment. So because of my values and my faith I'm trapped and have to wait until she figures it out. I'm also so worried about my kids. I really think a divorce would destroy the foundation of their lives.

The marriage functions in a way that isn't detrimental to them, it is a positive for them. The family has a good life. It's just that I don't have a wife.

I don't think I'm capable of pulling the plug and I don't know if I'm capable of stepping further back to put more pressure on the situation either. I feel very stuck, stuck in a bad marriage where I can't do anything to fix or improve it (trust me I've tried. I've done it all. Our first marriage counselor said "Scott, I've never seen a husband do so much work to change and improve, its really incredible. Unfortunately, its just not enough.") Well, we didn't go back to him and that was 2 years ago.

There is no magic to this.

I know GAL. Detach. I'm working to detach and I've done pretty well. Do I reject the last kiss of the night and the hug and kiss in the morning when I walk out the door to completely detach?

My marriage counselor wants me to do the opposite. She wants me to give my wife a hug when I want a hug, to ask for what I want. What I want is no more of this BS.

I'm fit, I've got a good job, I'm a great dad, I don't gamble or drink. I just can't understand why I have to continue to go through this. It makes me want to have a good cry.


Scott, have you read the book No Mr. Nice Guy? I highly recommend it. The book literally changed my life, and was, along with DR, a book I credit with saving my marriage.

I am seeing a lot of NGS in this post. Your MC is correct. You NEED to ask for what you want. Nice guys think that if they are fit, have a good job, are a great dad, don't gamble and drink, then they should just magically get what they want. It is called a covert contract. Your W can't be expected to read your mind any more than you can read hers!

So get NMMNG. Learn to express your needs explicitly. Learn to let go of anger and resentment. Learn to stop being passive-aggressive. (BTW, that's what "Do I reject the last kiss of the night and the hug and kiss in the morning when I walk out the door to completely detach?" is, passive-aggressiveness, and it will not get you what you want!)

Also, your sitch doesn't call for detachment in the traditional DB sense as much as it calls for self-differentiation in marriage. Google: self-differentiation in marriage.

You say "I know GAL" like it is a chore. GAL is about rediscovering that enjoyment in life, that fun side of yourself as individual. Healthy MR are not two needy, overly dependent (codependent) people coming together. Healthy MR as two happy, healthy, self-differentiated people coming together. Our society has too much of the first and not enough of the last, which is why are D rates are so high.

You should also start researching MWD's video and writings on the Sex Starved Marriage. She has excellent resources to help couples in that situation!

You are in a good place. You have a loving W, that appears to be over her EA, that is still affectionate with you. Are you filling her love tank? Another book to read is The 5 Love Languages. Most people try to love their spouse the way that they themselves want to be loved. You have to love your spouse according to her love languages, not yours.

You got this. Keep progressing and growing. Things can get better, just keep working. Oh, and stop FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELF. That is what a Nice Guy does.
P.S. Go back and read my sitch. It sounds sooooooo much like yours! It is as if Steve85 and ScottB are the same guys.

The pattern I gave you in my last email is the pattern I used to turn my sitch around.

- I stopped being a Nice Guy and started expressing my needs
- I stopped loving my W in my love language and started loving her in hers
- I stopped having unrealistic expectations of hot, passionate sex every night, and started meeting her half way (good sex a few times a month)

I say all that to say that my last post was directed directly to you and your sitch based on what I learned in mine. The above does not apply in general to sitches in this forum, but I think yours is similar enough to mine that a similar pattern might work.

The biggest change I made to change my sitch was to fix my own attitude. That is where GAL, 180ing, and being differentiated (loving detachment if you will) focused on me.

One last story. About 3 months into our sitch, I came to my W, who was very similar to yours even telling our MC that she wasn't sure if she wanted to stay or wanted to go, one night saying: "I am really horny tonight and would really like to have sex with you. No pressure if you aren't feeling up to it, but I do really want you tonight." She looked at me, saw that this wasn't the same NGS dude that had demanded sex in the past because he felt he EARNED it, and said; "Ok, I will be in there in a few minutes."

We had some of the best sex of our life together that night.
So Steve just to clarify you our advising someone who has been threatened with D four times to pursue and ask for sex?
Originally Posted by LH19
So Steve just to clarify you our advising someone who has been threatened with D four times to pursue and ask for sex?


I knew you wouldn't like it. LOL

No what I am advising him is to improve himself as a person, and as a husband. And not to do just to say: "Well, I tried that, check it off the list." Improve himself FOR him.

He has a W that is on the fence. Just like my W was right before we moved to Ring and piecing.

I guess the last post could be characterized as pursuing....however I like to think of it more as expressing a need. Oh, and again, this is just for ScottB's specific sitch and is not for sitches in general.

But I hear you LH. Do I think he should go home and say "I want you right now, let's go into the bedroom?" No. But it is where it can move to ONCE you drop the NGS act, and once you start showing love to her in her language.
P.S. And since you are nitpicking my advice I will turn it around. His W is in the house, not engaging with OM, attending MC, and is at least affectionate with him. And you jump to: "I can tell you there are lots of woman out there who would give anything to date a guy like you if your honest about your assessment of yourself."

Are you really saying that you think Scott is ready to start dating other women?
No I was telling him when has had enough of the BS he can file for D, heal and then move on and eventually date again.

Also, you have no idea if there is an OM, sounds like sheís not putting in the effort in MC and I can get an I love you and a peck from my children in the morning. Sorry but you need more then that from your wife.
Full disclosure, not following your sitch.

Originally Posted by ScottB
I'm fit, I've got a good job, I'm a great dad, I don't gamble or drink. I just can't understand why I have to continue to go through this.
You sound boring.

It is a lot of work to keep a woman interested. It takes a lot of work to get them sexually excited. They need excitement in their lives. google "the art of seduction". Be attractive. Be seductive. Be unpredictable.

I wish you well.
you insult him then say "I wish you well"?

How is that helping?

Scott (and other LBS) you need to get over this pity party of "life is so unfair"

6-year-olds get killed at a school, good people get cancer and die, people suffer unimaginable tragedies, horrible people prosper by lying (thousands of times) and cheating. Life isn't fair and no one has an explanation of why those things happen. So you aren't going to find an answer of why a good person like yourself has "to continue to go through this."

You are focused entirely too much on your W.

In my situation, I learn to simply ask for what I want. Look I think it's stupid that my W doesn't know that I want sex. It boggles my mind that she doesn't just know that. I mean it's a clichť at this point.
But it doesn't stop me from asking for my needs to be met.

Ok Steve and Mario or Izdad or whomever you are. Those are great traits when your in a healthy marriage. Now when you were just bombed for the 4th time 3 months ago and your W shows zero interest in sex you want him to ask for it???? When she says no does he go running away with his tail between his legs?
Originally Posted by LH19
Ok Steve and Mario or Izdad or whomever you are. Those are great traits when your in a healthy marriage. Now when you were just bombed for the 4th time 3 months ago and your W shows zero interest in sex you want him to ask for it???? When she says no does he go running away with his tail between his legs?


What did you do when a girl says no? did you go running away?

You act like there are no other ways to behave. There are.

Yeah it's been a few months since the BD. I certainly asked for sex a few months post BD. Sometime she said yes, other times no, but I took it in stride.

I would suggest they probably aren't ready for a sex life yet. But obviously, it's causing Scott a lot of conflict. It's causing resentment, it's causing anger. How is that healthy?

I'd suggest he go back and look at the book for guidance. Getting a marriage 'unstuck' is not quick or easy. I don't think trolling for women on Tinder is the answer either.
Originally Posted by LH19
Ok Steve and Mario or Izdad or whomever you are. Those are great traits when your in a healthy marriage. Now when you were just bombed for the 4th time 3 months ago and your W shows zero interest in sex you want him to ask for it???? When she says no does he go running away with his tail between his legs?


Calling me that guy is a low blow, LH! smile
Originally Posted by LH19
No I was telling him when has had enough of the BS he can file for D, heal and then move on and eventually date again.

Also, you have no idea if there is an OM, sounds like sheís not putting in the effort in MC and I can get an I love you and a peck from my children in the morning. Sorry but you need more then that from your wife.



Yeah, I can understand that perspective. As I said, I see Scott's sitch being very close to mine shortly before we moved into Ring and piecing. He can always pull the plug. I don't see why it would hurt to fix the NGS, learn about love languages, and give it one more try with a little more knowledge. That's all.
Lol. You know what I meant.

No I agree with your last post. Itís tough because you and I had different experiences so we tend to post our experience s. I just know emotional immaturity is bs. 90% of marriages can be fixed with both people on board. Thatís the frustrating part.
Originally Posted by ScottB

I just needed to find a place to vent. I am so frustrated and angry. From the last BD, which was probably the fifth one in the last 4 years, things have gotten better. She is no longer making a move to separate. There is plenty of peace in the home. We are nice to one another. When I leave for work in the morning she gives me a quick hug and kiss goodbye. When we go to sleep at night she gives me a kiss good night and she says "I love you."

But there is no intimacy beyond that and its been that way for 4 months. Prior to the BD its not like there was a lot of intimacy either, there really hasn't been much in 4 years (surprise!) since she had an emotional (as far as I know that's all it was) affair.


Oh boy. Well that's a tough spot to be sure, once your M ends up in a sexless state is it VERY difficult to reestablish sex. Has this been discussed in MC? If so, what is her explanation? If not, why has it not been brought up?

Now the following is getting into conjecture so take it with a grain of salt. If I had to guess, I'd say she went wayward back when she had the EA, and that she is still a WW. A key component in a W going WW is that they have lost respect for their H. Once the respect is gone, so is the sex appeal and even if she has sex with you it's likely to be purely for physical reasons. Now if she is WW, then you've got a difficult road ahead. Either you live with things as-is or you make some tough choices. If you live with things as-is things may never change. I've seen situations where a WW continued in a sexless marriage for YEARS simply because it was convenient and because she didn't want to upset the kids. So if that's not acceptable, then here come the tough choices. You take the stance that since she fired you as H, you're no longer going to play family with her. No hanging out together as a family, no doing her favors, no "ILY", no nighty night kisses on the cheek, no vacations together, etc. You treat it as an IHS and go as dark as possible on her.

If she is WW then she has got to learn to miss you, and start seeing you as a strong, independent, healthy, virile man before the respect will start coming back. You don't do this by doubling down on housework and chores. You do it by working on yourself and leaving her alone. Get in shape (or in better shape). Improve your wardrobe. Start wearing cologne. Keep yourself well groomed. Get a tan. Buy some nice shoes. Start going out more with friends. Get out and GAL.

Quote
I'm angry though. And I'm kind of sick of putting my life on hold.


Then don't. Make a life for yourself without her. THAT is the very thing that might attract her back.

Quote
I'm also so worried about my kids. I really think a divorce would destroy the foundation of their lives.


It is certainly not optimal, but they will make it through. Many have before them, and many will after them.

Quote
I've done it all.


And it didn't work. So do the opposite. Work on the M by letting go of it and her.
Originally Posted by LH19
Lol. You know what I meant.

No I agree with your last post. Itís tough because you and I had different experiences so we tend to post our experience s. I just know emotional immaturity is bs. 90% of marriages can be fixed with both people on board. Thatís the frustrating part.


Yep, and the one experience we do share is that we both had Ws that weren't on board, though mine eventually got on board. It is very frustrating.

I try to be positive and optimistic. That if 1 spouse makes improvements that the other will response positively. Obviously that is not the way it always works though.
So a quick follow up on a couple of things:

First, Iím working through the Art of Seduction which was recommended via audio book. Iím through section one and its interesting. I think my biggest take away so far is to have fun, play more, worry less.
I did pick up The Solo Partner by Phil Deluca but I am having a hard time getting through it because I donít have time to read it during the day and its not something I want to be reading at home. Its good though and I like the tips so far on interrupting the reactivity cycle.

CanBird: You might think you want what I have, and maybe thatís true. But try on a spouse that years ago was consistently ripping your company you are putting in long hour to get it started. Then she has an emotional affair that all her friends and family call her on that she refuses to cut off and once she does she still sneaks around. Then once it actually ends you spend the next 3 years being told consistently what you have done wrong, so you work on yourself and work to change and when you think everything is going well you stumble and she immediately goes back to divorce. Any time I make a mistake, she has threatened me. We do have date nights Ė never in our relationship has she planned one. Every year I buy tickets to a theater series which creates a nice pattern for monthly dates from September through March and then I try to find something else in between those dates for us to go do, but Iíve been toying with not planning more to give her space. We havenít had a date since just before the Holidays and I donít have anything scheduled until 2/15 at this time.
LH19: I agree with some form of immaturity as my values are that if you make a commitment to family and a spouse and get married, you work through it and you keep it. But that is just my view of the world and not everyoneís. Iím not sure that she will ever leave which, based on my belief on marriage, puts me in a real pickle. I have to find a way, as someone else mentioned, to be happy without her while being with her.
For better or worse, these leads me to detach more and I really donít want any physical contact with her unless she changes her mind and decides to commit. But I think that would be drastic if I cut off the last remaining touches.
Steve 85: I have not read No Mr. Nice Guy and they donít have it at the library so Iíll have to think on that since Iím in the Solo Partner right now and donít have time to read that one, though it does sound very interesting and might play well with some of the ideas from The Art of Seduction.
Thanks for the perspective on the passive aggressive, I guess that is what that is and I donít want to behave that way so Iíll let that go. In terms of GAL, its just very challenging with 2 kids and considering all my friends do things in couples. Its just frustrating Ė but Iíll continue to think through this.
I have not read the Sex Starved Marriage, and they do have that at the library, so that is strong. At least I wonít have to buy it. I have read the five love languages and I have been living that to a T for a long time with little result in my opinion. She also read it and knows that Physical Touch is my language and puts forth Zero effort Ė which I guess is to be expected, though that doesnít make it right.
Love the sex story. I get your message. But that has to be spontaneous, the air in the room has to be right, its not a recommendation but a story of how sometimes things can happen.
Scotty B

Yeah you are in a tough spot. If Iím correct and sheís searching for that fix again sheís going to find it eventually.
Man, there is some great stuff here.
LH19: Agreed, I could call this thing and move on. Reality is Iíd be fine but family and commitment mean a lot to me. I totally agree with you. I never quit Ė Iím not sure I can. Sheíll have to call it, I think the impact on my kids and their kids is significant. I think divorce ripples. If I can just stay in it, work on myself maybe she comes around. If she doesnít I hope she calls it. If that doesnít happen, well, I guess I focus on a higher calling. My faith does not condone divorce and so that also keeps me in it, thatís just my values and beliefs.

Ready 2 Change: Thatís an awesome drop in. I freaking agree. We used to have a lot of fun, then with the EA and how public it was most of our social relationships got disturbed. Throw in the kids, which I coach in most sports, and I am boring. I have a lot of interests, but I donít have the time to chase them down. Iíve got a standing invite to take up bow hunting, I like fishing, poker, skiing and working out. I like the theater, I like to read, I like current events, I enjoy MLB, college sports, etc. Iím involved in the kids lives. When I say I donít drink I mean I stop at a beer or two each night and generally at two martinis or a bottle of wine. I like jazz, I like jazz clubs. I love to compete and Iím up for anything anytime. Iíve got lots of things Iím in to, but I feel like my wife isnít interested in much of it so I pull her along or do it alone. Fortunately, as the kids are getting older I can take them. Crummy winter so skiing has been light.
Originally Posted by ScottB
I have read the five love languages and I have been living that to a T for a long time with little result in my opinion. She also read it and knows that Physical Touch is my language and puts forth Zero effort Ė which I guess is to be expected, though that doesnít make it right.


Scott, the more you share the more your sitch sounds so much like mine! Same here. Our MC had us both read it and do the assessment. Mine: Physical Touch. Hers: Words of affirmation.

I was looking for subtle ways to give her words of affirmation. She did nothing to try to fill my love tank with physical touch. None.

One complicating factor in my marriage that I had to get used to is her medications. She is on two antidepressants and it has really changed how she emotes. She is much more closed off emotionally than she was prior. Even now I have to initiate most physical touch, but reading NMMNG taught me to be the alpha, the lead on that, and when I need to go get it. Rather than secretly expect her to know when my need is there and wait for her to act.

I would not give up on the touching just yet. I believe that in our situations touch charges can work to warm up the obstinate wife. Just be subtle, don't over use them, and be consistent and patient with it.

I'd also suggest you look up talk charges. One of the things my Nice Guy tendencies has me do passive-aggressively was to cut her off verbally. She wasn't the first person I called or contacted about good news. Or when I needed to share some news that required support. That was a BAD dynamic in my relationship that I fixed in my self-improvement activities during my sitch. Talk charges were a huge part of those.

If she moves back to being more of a WAS, I would be careful with all of this advice. And other LBSs reading this should not think that things like touch and talk charges can work in their sitches when a spouse is full-on walkaway.
Mario: I love this take too. But get this one, this created a major issue for us. It was 3 years ago, we hadnít had sex in two weeks and she was getting ready to go out of town. So weíre in bed and I asked. She claims she was already asleep and I woke her up (weíd been in bed 5 minutes). She said yes. After she cries and for at least the next year she holds this against me and says that ďshe feels like I raped her.Ē That is strong charged language and I would never ever come close to doing anything resembling that. So asking for sex is off the table more or less.
But I agree I may be focusing too much on her. Its tough not to.
As for the sex thing, since that incident its been an issue. And Iím not asking for sex, Iím talking intimacy. We can work our way up to sex. Iím talking some touch thatís not superficial. I dance in the kitchen with a kiss at the end or a hug that Iím not starting when I get home from work, an offered massage, cuddling when we got to bed, or some flirting. We can start small.
LH: I agree if both people are truly committed, open minded, and willing to really work together a marriage can be fixed, but that is rarely the case.
Another Stander: yes, sex is talked about in MC. Its been something weíve touched on here and there. Weíve never gotten to a point where its ďfixed.Ē I remember that in 1/2018 we werenít having sex and then we did one in Q1, twice in Q2 of that year. Iím accused of ďkeeping trackĒ but Iím good at math and can count to three.
Then we got to monthly. Then around June of 2019 it was like twice a month and right before the bomb drop I would say we were close to weekly. Then it went dead. In MC she has basically said we need to back burner that issue while we talk through other things as recently as last week. But there isnít even a road in that direction since there is zero intimacy (from my perspective). One could argue that post bomb drop there was no morning hug and there was no kiss good night, but weíve been stuck there since probably November.
You conjecture on the WW, since I am a newbie is that it was a physical affair, is that correct?
Scotty B,

I hear you brother. I think we have a lot in common. I just want to tell you that your kids wonít be destroyed if you D. I thought that too but mine are fine and I might argue better off because there is zero tension in my home and probably not much in their moms.

Itís amazing how WWs can become sexual camels lol.
I've seen this a number of times. Parents who don't want a d because of the kids and the example it will set.

My questions is what kind of example are you setting for your kids now? It's certainly not a healthy marriage.
Scott, by the way, unlike DR, MWD's book The Sex Starved Marriage is available electronically! Much easier to buy and read wihtout your wife knowing!!

I just bought the Kindle version and will begin reading it.
Originally Posted by ScottB
In MC she has basically said we need to back burner that issue while we talk through other things as recently as last week. But there isnít even a road in that direction since there is zero intimacy (from my perspective).


Yeah I agree that it's not on the horizon at this point. The reason I asked if it had been discussed is because she's still saying ILY and giving "polite" kisses. Usually when a WAS cuts the sex out they cut out all other intimacy as well (but not always). Strangely many WAS's will do what mine did- cut out all the casual signs of affection (kissing, hugging, ILY) while continuing to have sex.

Quote
You conjecture on the WW, since I am a newbie is that it was a physical affair, is that correct?


Sorry, WW is shorthand for "wayward wife" which is a bit different than WAW (walkaway wife). Typically a WAW wants out of the M because they feel their needs aren't being met, but they're not necessarily wanting to jump into another R anytime soon. Waywards are often looking for someone else to meet their emotional needs while they are still married. They might be in an EA or PA or even an IA ("imaginary" or fantasy affair).
Originally Posted by AnotherStander
Originally Posted by ScottB
In MC she has basically said we need to back burner that issue while we talk through other things as recently as last week. But there isnít even a road in that direction since there is zero intimacy (from my perspective).


Yeah I agree that it's not on the horizon at this point. The reason I asked if it had been discussed is because she's still saying ILY and giving "polite" kisses. Usually when a WAS cuts the sex out they cut out all other intimacy as well (but not always). Strangely many WAS's will do what mine did- cut out all the casual signs of affection (kissing, hugging, ILY) while continuing to have sex.

Quote
You conjecture on the WW, since I am a newbie is that it was a physical affair, is that correct?


Sorry, WW is shorthand for "wayward wife" which is a bit different than WAW (walkaway wife). Typically a WAW wants out of the M because they feel their needs aren't being met, but they're not necessarily wanting to jump into another R anytime soon. Waywards are often looking for someone else to meet their emotional needs while they are still married. They might be in an EA or PA or even an IA ("imaginary" or fantasy affair).


The WW will also expect that they can do whatever they want....and that the LBH will be sitting their continuing to provide whatever they want from them too. We call it cake eating.
So Steve my follow question to your last post is how can he prevent that from happening?
Originally Posted by LH19
So Steve my follow question to your last post is how can he prevent that from happening?


Well that is a complex recipe, well documented here. However, I am not totally convinced that his W is WW.
Well Iím sure Scotty B would love to hear the complex recipe as would I. How do you prevent her from doing whatever she wants? Sounds like control to me. How does he get her to have sex with him against her will? He could go to jail. How does her show her heís not waiting around for her to figure her $hit out?

One of the best quotes I read on here was from Accuray who said he read the only way and healthy relationship can last long term is that both partners are willing to walk away if their needs arenít being met and bother partners have to believe the other is willing to walk.

Something to think about.
I think the emotional immaturity could be a thing. I really don't think she is looking for the next thing or looking for that thrill and excitement. Now if it found her, that would be different.

I've also noticed that her drinking has taken an uptick with about a half of bottle of wine every night - not sure how that factors in.

She also quit her job because she hated it a couple of months ago and I supported her, her boss was a jerk. And now she is really trying to figure out what she wants to do next. She wants to make a bit of a career change, so she is putting time into that. Just some additional details.

I did order No More Mr. Nice Guy after listening to a book review of it, parts of it sounded familiar and I thought, based on the reviews, it couldn't hurt.
Originally Posted by LH19
Well Iím sure Scotty B would love to hear the complex recipe as would I. How do you prevent her from doing whatever she wants? Sounds like control to me. How does he get her to have sex with him against her will? He could go to jail. How does her show her heís not waiting around for her to figure her $hit out?

One of the best quotes I read on here was from Accuray who said he read the only way and healthy relationship can last long term is that both partners are willing to walk away if their needs arenít being met and bother partners have to believe the other is willing to walk.

Something to think about.


This is an outstanding post with great probing questions. As always LH your insight is keen.

The complexity you are describing her is why it is a complex recipe. Obviously, I do not advocate rape. What I do advocate is reading sandi's extensive writings here on dealing with a WW. ScottB look for threads and responses from sandi. She was a WW herself. She knows best how to deal with them.

However, as stated before, I am not sure your W is still a WW. I think she is foundering. And I think you've done some things, and are held back by NGS in doing better things, that have her stuck in a rut.......as you are.

Now the good news. You are here. You are reading. You are in C. You are doing many things to get yourself to a better place! And you should stop and commend yourself for that. Because that is how we improve. So keep doing it. Trust the process. Be consistent. And most of all..................BE PATIENT. It sounds to me that you, like me, are devoutly religious. If so, and if I can presume you are a Christian, you know what God tells us about being longsuffering. In fact, most places in the NT were the word "patience" is used, a more appropriate translation from the original Greek would be "longsuffering".

And that word implies EXACTLY what it means........
Originally Posted by ScottB
I think the emotional immaturity could be a thing. I really don't think she is looking for the next thing or looking for that thrill and excitement. Now if it found her, that would be different.

I've also noticed that her drinking has taken an uptick with about a half of bottle of wine every night - not sure how that factors in.

She also quit her job because she hated it a couple of months ago and I supported her, her boss was a jerk. And now she is really trying to figure out what she wants to do next. She wants to make a bit of a career change, so she is putting time into that. Just some additional details.

I did order No More Mr. Nice Guy after listening to a book review of it, parts of it sounded familiar and I thought, based on the reviews, it couldn't hurt.


I think you will get a lot of it. Even if you aren't full blown NGS, most of us guys, without realizing, have some aspects of NGS. I know I did.

Wow, it really does sound like your W is stuck in a rut. Could mean she is also in a bit of a depression. Has your MC ever suggested IC for her?

And your first paragraph is dead on. I truly believe very few Ss go out looking for an EA or PA. Heck, I can speak from experience as I've had a couple of EAs myself.....something I am ashamed of now. But in neither case did I go "Hmmm, maybe I will go find someone to be emotionally intimate with!" But when that started happening I did nothing to stop it. In happier times in my marriage, when the opportunity for an EA arose, I turned it down. So you are right to think that right now she is a ticking time-bomb for an EA or even a PA. So time is of the essence.

One thing I do want to challenge you on. I see you've claimed that you've tried everything in trying to improve. That is a dangerous attitude. We can ALWAYS improve. Self-improvement is not an item on a checklist that we check off. "Okay, done with that!" It is something we are constantly working. And another aspect is the motivation behind our self-improvement. If we are just self-improving to see if our spouse responds favorably, or to see if frequency of sex will go up, or for any other reason than wanting to be the best self we can be, well then we probably haven't really improved, have we?

So work on you......FOR YOU. Not for her. If she recognizes the positive changes and improves herself, great. But the goal should be to be the best ScottB you can be! Regardless of how others respond.
so I was thinking, the one thing she continues to rail about is this emotional connection, she says we are not emotionally connected. This is one of the big things that she likes to talk about.

I wonder if she is recalling her EA and that period of limerace in that relationship and thinking that is emotional connection, that our connection should feel like the one she had in her EA?
Also, she is in IC. She had done that before and then took a break. She started that again a two months ago. She hasnít gone since before Christmas so Iím not sure whether or not she plans to continue it as we donít discuss it. In order to get her to start going again I began going a couple months back too. I just had a feeling that if i did it she would. Iíll admit i hate and donít see the point really. Maybe I just donít connect with my guy. Iíve used the divorce busting coaches in the past and I get a lot more from them. My current IC seems to want me to work on feeling my feelings, which is the same thing the MC seems to want.
Originally Posted by ScottB
so I was thinking, the one thing she continues to rail about is this emotional connection, she says we are not emotionally connected. This is one of the big things that she likes to talk about.

I wonder if she is recalling her EA and that period of limerace in that relationship and thinking that is emotional connection, that our connection should feel like the one she had in her EA?

Hi Scott
I have the same from my H, who also had an EA but struggles to connect with me. My take is that he meant they just ďgetĒ each other, they feel good in each otherís company, she laughs at his jokes and strokes his ego, he gets a buzz out of helping her and teaching her stuff. In my case my H felt valued and respected and it breathed life into him after several years of bad SSM.
S,

Yes! That is where the emotional immaturity comes in to play. Not being able to understand that the feeling doesn't last forever. It's not realistic to think you and her will have that same connection right now. Could it happen? Sure if she put in the effort.

I was just ready to post on your thread to clarify that I don't necessarily mean your W is on the hunt for another A. What I meant more is they are addictive and are easy to fall into. In my group we all have each other's cells for group texts and stuff. One on my friends Ws was texting me about stuff for the kids and then the convo got sidetracked and the next thing you know she was asking me questions that was crossing the line so I put an end to it.

There are so many variables right now for you and you throw in possible depression and it's the perfect storm brewing. My ex had at least one EA and I'm thinking there was at least one more. She ended up filing for D to chase those butterfly feelings (her words).

Scotty B it all comes down to value. Her feelings won't change until she sees you as a person of value. How you accomplish that is the million dollar question. Unfortunately some people don't realize the value in something until that something is not available anymore.

Something to think about.
Feel free to try other ICs. People always feel locked into an IC, but you can and should keep looking for one that works.
So my wife just got the book Whole Again by Hackson MacKenzie, has anyone read it? If so thoughts? Interesting to note the guys first book was Psychopath Free, which I believe is about leaving your narcissist partner and how to deal with that. His follow up is recovering from toxic relationships.

Any thoughts on that?

Itís been a tough weekend in that I feel like Iím growing more resentful and angry. Working out sure helps andninneed to commit to doing that first thing every day to help.

We spent some great family time together as we went to a show together and took the kids. Iíve been reading the Art of Seduction but Iím not getting much from it other than if i had a style itís probably ďthe takeĒ and in general people like to be with happy fun interesting people, so Iím really going to try to have more fun. Next week I think Iím going to go explore the local jazz scene. Iíll invite her and if she goes great, if not thatís fine too.

This week NMMNG comes for me, so Iíll try to make quick work of that and see if I learn anything. Peace peeps.
Scotty B,

Not good. Just looked up the book on Amazon. Itís about recovery from emotional abuse. If you have NGS traits you may have been passive aggressive, gas lighting, and giving the silent treatment. All forms of emotional abuse.
Originally Posted by ScottB
Any thoughts on that?
Read more books than her.
So last night we had a somewhat, almost constructive conversation. I asked what conversations we could have outside of MC to move things forward. She asked for my list of things that ďwere wrong with her.Ē I said intimacy and empathy. It was not that straight forward, the conversation started with soft start up. I mentioned that sometimes I feel like she hypocritical. This conversation stemmed from MC.

Anyhow, she wanted examples and I said i didnít want to talk about it at home. She had really been pressing. I asked her for the same and she said that she feels i put myself ahead of her and the kids. She said she has been noticing it more and more and she needs to decide whether or not that is something she can live with. She said that in sex she feels used and she doesnít like that I have pressured her for sex in the past.

It really [censored] to have to deal with this stuff at home and then after to go and deal with tough days at work; had a tough one today and had to leave and go for a drive. I feel like my baseline stress level givers around a 7 so pile a couple things on and Iím at my limit.

She asked about my day and I started to tell her about it. She seemed distracted and from my perspective didnít seem to care. We then got interrupted by my son and she never circled back. I brought it up when we were going to bed. I asked her if she had noticed that I had a real tough day. She then told me how she had tried to ask but how I donít tell her things, etc, etc, etc.

There was no ďthat [censored], sorry you had a tough day.Ē Just a bunch of defensive reasons as to how she was right which implied I was wrong.

Giving up is easier. Patience = long suffering.

Knowing I wasnít going to fall asleep After laying there for 10 minutes I got up and went to the gym. She didnít ask where I was going.

I guess Iíll read more books, it helps me be patient while Iím waiting.
I would add that in yesterdayís conversation I took the criticism non defensively an listened with empathy. I really focused on being careful not to critique, to be aware of my emotions and hers and to keep them in check to stay out of non productive cycles. It was good that we could have a potentially charged conversation without escalation.

But all day long Iíve been trying to figure out how in the world she thinks I put myself ahead of her and the kids. I wish we had a rwfereree who could make these calls because i want to call extreme BS on that one.
Originally Posted by ScottB
I would add that in yesterdayís conversation I took the criticism non defensively an listened with empathy. I really focused on being careful not to critique, to be aware of my emotions and hers and to keep them in check to stay out of non productive cycles. It was good that we could have a potentially charged conversation without escalation.

But all day long Iíve been trying to figure out how in the world she thinks I put myself ahead of her and the kids. I wish we had a rwfereree who could make these calls because i want to call extreme BS on that one.

Scott, you and I are both in the same situation with WASí but equally what you say about your wife really resonates with me. H and I went through several bad years where I constantly felt I was priority 3/4/5 on his list. At the time I wouldnít have really been able to articulate why I felt like that or exactly what he was doing wrong. Looking back now, I can see that I had lost all connection with myself, I was trapped in an identity called ďmumĒ. My H abandoned me every week to work away - it might only have been 1-3 nights, but still I was left at home with 2 young children and a full time job. All the school pickups, docs appts, etc was left to me. When H got home he was tired from travelling, wanted to see his friends, go out on his bike for 6 hrs etc. Nowhere did I get scheduled in, and because the children were young we didnít get much time together anyway. I threw myself into my kids - they gave me unconditional love, I didnít have to fight for it. Do you have a similar setup? My H would Ďhelpfullyí tell me to go and ride my bike or go shopping for the day, which he thought was what I wanted, to give me a break, but what I wanted was time with him (donít think I realised that at the time because paradoxically I resented him and didnít want to spend time with him). When I made noises about him sitting on the sofa while I was cleaning heíd jump to attention. Now I realise that I didnít really want him to join me in ďmum modeĒ , I wanted him to take me away from that and put me in wife mode! I wish heíd said ďget your coat, weíre going for a drinkĒ. I know thatís not easy with children. You do sound like you have a lot of interests and a demanding job, perhaps this is where GAL may backfire a little. Sheís wanted you to put her first but now DB says not to. This is where you need to understand her needs-she probably doesnít know herself, sheís possibly lost connection with herself. Does she have a fulfilling life outside of work/family?
Scotty B,

That's where validation is important. You could have 200 referees telling you that you are right but if that is not how she FEELS and that's all that is important to her.

Let me ask you a question. In the past and you asked for sex and she declined what was your reaction?
Originally Posted by ScottB
I would add that in yesterdayís conversation I took the criticism non defensively an listened with empathy. I really focused on being careful not to critique, to be aware of my emotions and hers and to keep them in check to stay out of non productive cycles. It was good that we could have a potentially charged conversation without escalation.

But all day long Iíve been trying to figure out how in the world she thinks I put myself ahead of her and the kids. I wish we had a rwfereree who could make these calls because i want to call extreme BS on that one.


Believe nothing she says, and only half of what she does. She is gaslighting you with the "you put yourself above me and the kids." More on this later.

WASs always blame the LBS. For everything. You have to learn to stop taking her words as daggers to the heart. Because when you do it shows in every action, reaction, facial expression, body language, and tone of voice. You may think you took the criticism non-defensively.....but did you really?

Scott, I have to be honest with you. This is what i see. You come to the board for advice. Get lots of good advice, then leave the board and do the exact opposite, then wonder why you feel like crap.

I like that you went to the gym. But why did you wait so late? GAL isn't waiting until you can fall asleep due to an interaction, and then go to the gym. Imagine if you had been at the gym earlier? Then the interaction never would have occurred. Which should be your goal each night! What can I do tonight to avoid an R talk?

Remember, NEVER initiate a R talk (which sounds like you did). And if she does, you listen and validate. "Oh, so I hear you saying that you feel that I am putting too high a priority on myself, and not on the kids and you." See that, you heard. Repeated. Showed that you understood her feelings. But what you didn't do is agree or disagree.

And what the heck was the "you don't care that I had a tough day!" bit? Let me ask you a question.......do you think that was attractive or unattractive to her? Scott, you have a WAW, maybe even a WW. You have to drop all expectations. Your W has had an EA, said and done things that show she is not into the MR, and yet you keep expecting her to be and do all the things that a loving, committed W is. We have a name for that around here: denial. You are in denial about how close to the end of your marriage you are right now. You even came here asking "can't I just tell her to snap out of it?" If that were how easy it were this forum wouldn't exist. MWD would be working in a different field and we wouldn't have books like DB and DR.

Here is the thing Scott: THERE IS NO MAGIC PILL. There is, as you said, patience. Long-suffering. Putting in the work. For you it is an easy formula: GAL. 180s (self-improvements). Detachment.

Right now you are failing on all three. You certainly aren't GAL like you should. Your goal should be to be busy. When you get home spend all of your home time with the kids. Otherwise you are out doing things. Gym. Hanging with buddies. Etc. You certainly are not sitting around with her having discussions that lead to cheeseless tunnels. 180s. You come here, get advice then go do the exact opposite of that advice. I have to assume that all this reading you are doing, you absorb, then turnaround and make no application to your life from the learnings. I mean, that is what you are doing with the advice here. And detachment. Wow, not even close. "you don't care that I had a tough day!" REALLY? Do you know how unhealthy it is for you to expect a woman that has fired you as her H to care about your day? Scott, you have to get to a place where you are emotionally and mentally even, no matter what her words or actions are.

And do not let her gaslighting you over the "you put yourself ahead of me and the kids" prevent you from GAL. When home, make it ALL about your kids. Put them first after God. Forget her for now. She has removed herself from your life. That is why her saying what she said is gaslighting. She is making you feel crazy. "I don't want you as my H anymore. Oh, and why are you putting yourself ahead of me?" See how illogical that is???

Now I am not saying all of this to hurt you. I am saying because I see hope in your situation. Your W is still there. She is checked out but she is still there. If you can turnaround your approach you have a good chance of saving your MR. Keep learning, but also apply what you learn to your actions! Become the best ScottB you can be. Become the spouse only a fool would leave.

But "you don't care that I had a tough day!" ain't it.....................
Pommy: So it is interesting, earlier this year when I brought up that my wife had me low on the priority list her response was ďthatís because you are always go to be here.Ē Similarly her priority list was Work, her Parents, Kids, me.
I donít travel for work. I used to work 6a-6:30pm 5 days a week and 7a-1p on Saturdays. In November of 2014 I made some changes to work more traditional hours and when she went back to work in 2016 she through a lot on my plate so then I also had to make major changes. I began taking the kids to school daily which is at 8:40am. I began getting home closer to 5pm. I began making dinner about 60% of the time and more from there. Now in November she quit her job without anything lined up and she still wants me to make dinners, help out around the house, drive the kids to school and activities. She plays tennis twice a week and is working to change careers because she says that if she doesnít work things donít work for our family (she claims that I donít respect her and she doesnít have an equal say when she doesnít work).
Like I said, I really wish a third party could witness this. I try to be very self-aware of the things I do and how Iím being ďselfishĒ but Iím just not seeing it.
LH: Good point. I would say the last time I asked for sex was in November of 2017 and she said yes and then later said she felt like I raped her. After that, I haven't asked since. She feels "pressured" because she believes I want to have sex and she feels like I keep track of how often we do it and when the last time was, which I guess I can do because it's like remembering how often and when you go to the dentist.

To your point, all that matters is what she thinks. 200 referees wouldn't matter, it would just make me feel better because I'm really trying and I want to be validated.

I can say this on the sex, I know she feels guilty about it. I also know that she has accused me of being mad about it.
Steve85: You are 100% right. And I'm tied in knots. I'm angry, I'm growing resentful. I just think its BS on so many levels. I'm trying to hold it together.

I'm used to taking action. I've been dramatically more patient than I want to be, as can be seen from my first post. So I guess I cracked. Thank you for pointing it out.

I stayed in MC, against the advice of some on here, because my coach thought it was helping things. I just pulled out my notes from the last time we were at MC and what we were supposed to work on is the opposite of the forum, so I guess that's confusing.

The MC said to be more vulnerable, to share my feelings more and to validate her feelings. She also said to take more risks, and when our partner takes a risk, to ask questions, to be curious. She said to reach out to holly and initiate physical contact, nothing in the bedroom but a hug in the kitchen at random times.

My wife has said that we were spending a fortune on MC and that the time between appointments was such that we weren't getting through enough. I do believe I brought the conversation up though. I believe I asked if we should try to talk about our marriage - that was obviously a mistake and led to a bad place.

Also, the MC asked for us to both think through and be prepared to discuss our issues for the next time we are there.

This all feels like a stupid game, I'm not really into fake or BS. To do this right I feel like I need space. I'm in knots. I can't think about this anymore right now
Scott, MCs are usually classically trained. Pursuit. Pressure. Reconnecting. That is what they know and preach. And in marriage where both partners are committed ot the marriage, that can work. Your W is not committed to the marriage, so traditional MCing has very little chance of working. About the only positive I saw from MC in my own sitch was that it gave us a place to do the R talks, without me initiating them myself. That kept me from initiating R talks the other 167 hours each week. Our MC encouraged us to save the R talks for MC, where she could supervise, manage, and coach, in a safe place. But if you think you are going to go to MC, your W is going to hear what she needs, buy into the homework, and make an effort..........well, you will be disappointed.

I will leave the MC to you, since you have a feel for your own sitch better than any of us. But general guidance is that unless your WAS is committed to saving the MR, that it will benefit little. And since you already have issues with expectations, unless you ca drop them related to MC, it might set you back more than move you forward.

I see a lot of you in me. Trying each next new thing hoping for a miracle. Doing it for a few days and growing frustrated when it had no affect.

So I am going to encourage you in what worked for me. When I finally dropped all my expectations of her was when I started to DB well and started to see small signs of a turnaround. Think of it as EXPECTING her to NOT respond positively to anything you try. This helps you find the real strength of DBIng.....taking the focus off of her and putting it on to you.

That is what GAL is for. Right now your W feels like she is under a microscope. You are watching her in minute detail. "Oh, she actually winked at me..maybe things are better! Oh she didn't ask about my day, she hates me an wants nothing to do with me!" My W even described this dynamic as feeling like an animal in the zoo: I was watching her trying to learn her behavior. So when you go out and GAL, they don't feel like they are under a microscope. Try this for a week. Come home from work. Spend time with your kids, don't even interact with her except pleasantries. If she asks about your day "Oh it was okay." Things like that. After the kids are down for the night, go to the gym. Go hangout with a friend. Go to the shooting range. Go kick around a store. Try that for a week or two.

180s, take everything you are learning and apply it to become a better person. Work on your reactions. IE try not to react. Work on your demeanor. No sad or down or angry or resentful. Be upbeat. Pleased. Fulfilled. Happy even! (One thing that helped in my sitch is my W was being silly. Normally I'd ignore it. Or snap at her. Or in some other way show my disapproval. But I started repeating her silliness, to myself. And the said outloud, "That's funny!" and chuckled. My W literally turned to me. Stared at me, and said "Who are you?". The effect it had on her was profound! It was a real turning point in my sitch.)

And detachment is so key! Especially to the demeanor above. You can fake it, but eventually it becomes who you are! And guess what Scott, even if you turn your sitch around, you need to be detached in your marriage! Google: self-differentiation in marriage To me detachment, lovingly and healthily, also known as self-differentiation, is a key to happy, healthy, successful marriage. When identify too much as "so-and-so's husband" rather than our how individual that happens to be married to so-and-so, we lose who we are. We become caught up in looking to that person for our happiness and fulfillment. And NO ONE wants that kind of responsibility. Anyone would crack under the weight of responsibility for someone else's happiness. Love demands that you do not put that on your W.

In short, you need to focus on you! DB to save yourself. The side-effect might be that you save your marriage. (Notice, "might", there are no guaranees, and you should have no expectations).
Great reply Steve. That actually helps those of us who are in our very early stages of GALing & detachment.
Quote
That is what GAL is for. Right now your W feels like she is under a microscope. You are watching her in minute detail. "Oh, she actually winked at me..maybe things are better! Oh she didn't ask about my day, she hates me an wants nothing to do with me!" My W even described this dynamic as feeling like an animal in the zoo: I was watching her trying to learn her behavior. So when you go out and GAL, they don't feel like they are under a microscope. Try this for a week. Come home from work. Spend time with your kids, don't even interact with her except pleasantries. If she asks about your day "Oh it was okay." Things like that. After the kids are down for the night, go to the gym. Go hangout with a friend. Go to the shooting range. Go kick around a store. Try that for a week or two.
I am terrible at micro analysing everything, e.g ďhe said letís buy a new bookshelf, nobody buys furniture if theyíre leavingĒ kind of thing. Itís been so hard to learn not to do that. Shortly after I first found out about my Hís EA , he accidentally butt-dialled me one night from a bar when he was out with her. He said to her ďI feel like Iím being watchedĒ. ( Well no sh1t, Sherlock, you just butt dialled me for 10 mins!!) but he was right, I was watching his every move, picking up on every date/time/location/comment/facial expression. And it was unhealthy, I actually felt more in control when I stopped Thinking about the micro details and just relaxed a bit more. Thanks for spelling that Out Steve, never really thought of it from their POV.
Steve: Ok.

I have a follow up question, itís probably a dumb one, when does this go to the next ďstage?Ē What am I looking for to know that?
Originally Posted by ScottB
Steve: Ok.

I have a follow up question, itís probably a dumb one, when does this go to the next ďstage?Ē What am I looking for to know that?


Not a dumb question, but before I can answer, what do you see as the "the next stage"?
When will I know that she wants to reconcile? Or work on things? Does she need to say she is committed to the marriage? What does that look like, how will I know? Is it presumptive or explicit?

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WAW that Won't walk, won't work on marriage part 2
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