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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".


"What is best for my kids is best for me"
Amor Fati
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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?

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Scotty B,

What happened in September that she threatened D?

Youre wasting your money going to MC right now.


M:51 W:46
T:22 M:16
S:15 D:11

“Don’t chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people – the ones who really belong in your life – will come to you. And stay.” ~LH19
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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.


Me: 60 w/ S18, D24, D27

M: 21 years; BD: 06-14-12; S: 09-10-12; D final: 03-17-14; XW:57
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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.

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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.

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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.

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I have Sandi's rules printed out in my journal. I'll reread them more regularly.

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Tell us more about the EA and how it ended.


M:51 W:46
T:22 M:16
S:15 D:11

“Don’t chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people – the ones who really belong in your life – will come to you. And stay.” ~LH19
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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>.

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