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.
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.
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.
Last edited by job; 12/06/1910:06 PM. Reason: edited language
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.
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.
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 best for my kids is best for me" Amor Fati Link to quotes: https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2879712