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#2915700 02/26/21 04:07 PM
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I was here almost 15 years ago, M#1 ended in D. A short time later I met a new woman who became my W. Unfortunately, I am back. I guess I didnt learn anything after all? Anyway

W and I have been together ~12 years, married almost 10, I'm 41 she's 40. Three kids, 9S, 5S, and 4D.

The big issue with us: I'm bad with sex and affection. I like it and never reject my W, but I'm poor at initiating both sexual and non-sexual affection. It's just not how I show love, I'm more of an actsof service and quality time person, but it is what she needs. This has been a problem here and there throughout the M. She would ask for more, I improve for a while, then I backslide, she gets resentful and goes cold and distant, I feel pushed away so have even less desire to be affectionate, vicious cycle.

Early 2018 we had a big fight. About this and other things she was unhappy about. She says during this she wants a D. She says to just leave her alone and let her do her thing. So I do, I basically do DBing for a while. Things improve. No further mention of D. But whenever I do try to meet her needs she is not very receptive and overall still feels distant.

End of 2018, she goes back to work after 7 years. This was always planned so nothing weird here, but she worked a ton. Like by Fall 2019 I am basically a single parent much of the week as shes gone all the time. I have no reason to believe there was an OM, she said the other day there was not and she just did this to stay away from the failing M. I believe her.

Fall 2019 we have a huge fight about this stuff. I had built up a lot of resentment that she was never home anymorelike I said, acts of service and quality time--so my needs were never met. She even totally forgot middle son's bday. Her needs obviously werent being met either so she remained resentful herself. The fight doesnt go well, she tells me she wants me to move out of the bedroom to a spare room. I say no, if she wants to leave she can. She does not.

At this point I went to IC for about 5 months, trying to figure things out, both with myself and what I wanted with the M. Of course part of it was do I really want to stay married to her. Ultimately Idecide yes, if things can improve.

I figure if this is to get better one of us has to change something so I decide to be nicer. We go on some dates, which we hadn't done in forever. I feel like some progress was made over the first few months of 2020. I write her a letter about how I feel about her and the things Id like out of our MR. We have done this from time to time in the past and me expressing my feelings and needs is a big 180. She ignores it. I try to talk about it, she doesnt want to. I drop it, but this really pushes me away.

Then the pandemic hit, IC stops, the kids are home all the time, both of us are working at home trying to manage work and school and parenting. It is busy and stressful and we go back to focusing on anything but the M, we slide easily back into the rut of being basically roommates.

At some point I re-read DB. I knew we were in trouble. Since 2021 started she became even more distant, on weekends she might stay in bed the vast majority of the day just listening to music and being on her phone. We were living separate lives in the same house. I did not feel she was in a place to work on the M so I never pushed anything. I was always kind of thinking lets let her find herself a better place first and that was probably a mistake as it was just too long. In the mean time I work on myself, always try to be a good dad, improve diet and exercise, rekindle some hobbies Id dropped. Other than the M I am pretty good with how life is at this point.

Last week she told me she wanted a D. I was not all that surprised after the past few months. She accepts that we are both to blame, but doesnt really want to talk about it much, she already accepted the death of the M and wont go to MC. I didnt beg or plead or any of that kind of stuff other than asking if she would try MC, tried to be as validating as possible.

So where are we and why am I here? I am not sure. We have not had a real loving M in either direction for several years, no ones needs have been met for a long time. If I'm honest with myself, the real bomb was in 2018 and the M was basically dead since then. If I'm really honest with myself: I probably wasnt that far from being a WAH myself if not for the kids. In other words, the status quo was not working and if thats all thats left then D is the right thing to do.

At the same time I am hurting and am quite sad. I know that we were in love and think we could get there again, Id love to go back to where we were a few years ago when we enjoyed each other. That was a long time ago and might be too far at this point, but I would like to try and see what happens. She said I am still her best friend but the D is the best thing for her and thats that.

Believe me, Im not surprised at any of this, she has spent a long time without feeling loved. I feel terrible about that part, especially since I should have known better having done this beforeI hope its clear that I fully understand why Im here and what I could have done differently. I was also way too passive in hoping she would get into a better place without me doing anything, but I can't do anything about that now.

FWIW, my relationship with the kids seems great. We have not told them anything yet. My heart aches for them and how they will deal with this.

Anyway, thats it for now. Thanks for reading.


Me: 43 W: 41
Together 2009, Married 2011
Sons 10 and 6, Daughter 5
Bomb 2/21/21. W moved out 10/2021
mako #2915702 02/26/21 04:26 PM
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Hi Mako,

Sorry to see you back on the board.

You know how DB works - give her plenty of time and space. Detach, and do not push for MC right now.

What attracted your W to you when you first met?

mako #2915704 02/26/21 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mako
The big issue with us: I'm bad with sex and affection. I like it and never reject my W, but I'm poor at initiating both sexual and non-sexual affection. It's just not how I show love, I'm more of an acts of service and quality time person, but it is what she needs. This has been a problem here and there throughout the M.

Hi Mako,

Sounds normal. Your natural love languages aren't a perfect match, which requires effort on her part to remind you what she needs, and effort on your part to remember what she needs.

Originally Posted by mako
I improve for a while, then I backslide,

This sounds more like "acting how she wanted" for awhile than an improved mako per se.

Originally Posted by mako
she gets resentful and goes cold and distant,

Stonewalling. This kills relationships.

Originally Posted by mako
Early 2018 we had a big fight. She says during this she wants a D.

Oh no! This is an easy 180, one I'm surprised you didn't learn your first time here--stop fighting. You 100% control whether you get into fights. It sounds like you were headed here even before the fight, though.

Originally Posted by mako
. This was always planned so nothing weird here, but she worked a ton. Like by Fall 2019 I am basically a single parent much of the week as shes gone all the time. I have no reason to believe there was an OM, she said the other day there was not and she just did this to stay away from the failing M.

I think you missed a boundary here that would have been helpful, here. Walking away from you shouldn't have meant she also got to walk away carefree from her responsibilities to the children.

Originally Posted by mako
Fall 2019 we have a huge fight about this stuff. I had built up a lot of resentment that she was never home anymore

This sounds like your biggest goof so far--tolerating a situation you disliked, building up resentment towards her, and then fighting. Both partners are usually responsible for a failing relationship.

Originally Posted by mako
The fight doesnt go well

Unless it ends in make-up sex, do fights ever go well?!

Originally Posted by mako
she tells me she wants me to move out of the bedroom to a spare room. I say no, if she wants to leave she can. She does not.

Well done!

Originally Posted by mako
I decide to be nicer. We go on some dates, which we hadn't done in forever. I feel like some progress was made over the first few months of 2020.

Yay!

Originally Posted by mako
I write her a letter about how I feel about her and the things Id like out of our MR. We have done this from time to time in the past and me expressing my feelings and needs is a big 180. we slide easily back into the rut of being basically roommates.

I get it. Your wife's commitment was low enough she wasn't willing to put in the effort but was willing to try as long as you did, and then you stopped trying when it didn't move quickly enough. Maybe it would have worked out if she were more receptive or you tried longer, maybe it would have ended this way either way.

Originally Posted by mako
I work on myself, always try to be a good dad, improve diet and exercise, rekindle some hobbies Id dropped. Other than the M I am pretty good with how life is at this point.

There are obvious positives to this!

Originally Posted by mako
Last week she told me she wanted a D. I was not all that surprised after the past few months. She accepts that we are both to blame, but doesnt really want to talk about it much, she already accepted the death of the M and wont go to MC.

Sounds.. reasonable? It's been 3 years since she first asked? I wouldn't be surprised if between the workaholic hours and the hours in her bedroom on her phone she's started or about to start an EA.

Originally Posted by mako
I didnt beg or plead or any of that kind of stuff other than asking if she would try MC, tried to be as validating as possible.

It sounds like you handled the conversation well.

Originally Posted by mako
I guess I didnt learn anything after all?

This seems patently untrue. Learning from one failed relationship isn't a panacea. I will be a better partner in my next relationship. You and I will never be perfect partners!

Mako, I'm sorry you're here. I don't see anything in the above painting your wife as evil or you as a fool. I hope you continue to write about your journey here. You already know the relevant links.



mako #2915706 02/26/21 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by mako
I was never particularly affectionate, and communication wasn't that great, taking each other for granted. I love her greatly, but I foolishly didn't treat her that way. My lack of affection toward her (I've never been a terribly affectionate person) and our lack of communication gave her serious doubts about the relationship.

I just read your first post from 13 years ago. It's interesting that both partners cited your lack of affection in the breakdown. Didn't they know that about your personality before they married you? It sounds like you view this as a flaw, so I wonder if you acted differently when courting them vs. after marriage.



mako #2915715 02/26/21 07:51 PM
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Wow Mako, I am reliving my past reading your post. First, welcome back, sorry you are hear and going through this. But also thank you for sharing your story. I hope we can help each other.

I first discovered MWD in 2005. That fall my W had an EA with an old flame from Jr. High. I noticed some strange behavior from her, staying up much later in the night, not coming to bed until after 2am. She always had an excuse, most of it related to work she was trying complete. One night I watched a sporting event, my favorite player of that sport was retiring and that event was his final event of career. I was so excited at how well he was playing I jumped out of bed (it was pretty late) ran down to the office in the house, and when I came through the door to share my excitement with my W, I noticed she switched windows on her computer really quickly and in a rush. At first I didn't think much of it, but I shared my excitement and returned to bed. At 4am that night I sat bolt upright in bed in a panic. I just had a dream she had cheated on me. When I woke up it woke her up and she asked me what was wrong. I told her about the dream and of course she assured me that things were fine. But I couldn't get the dream nor remembering her switch windows on her computer, and I started to slowing investigate. I found this strange name on her IM client, and questioned her. "He is an old friend. We IM sometimes. blah blah blah." I finally installed spy software on our computer and caught her red-handed.

She immediately said she didn't want to get a D, she wanted to save the marriage. She agreed to send him a cease-and-desist, block his IM account and end contact. (She did slip up one time after that but for the most part kept her agreement.) We slowly began to R. I became a human vacuum, sucking up everything I could read, watch and listen to related to saving your marriage, being a better husband, fixing intimacy issues in your MR (we were a SSM). But slowly over time I slipped back into my old habits of resentment, criticizing her, isolating myself, not sharing my life with her, etc. And it slowly began to simmer again. Then to boil. And finally the explosion came in the form of another EA in Dec. 2017, but this time her immediately saying she wanted a D.

Where I related so much to you was that I didn't learn from my first sitch. I bandaided it, buried it under the rug, and went back to living my life and slowly slipping back into the old ways that had worked their way into causing issue #1. The only different was I made the same mistake twice with the same woman, you've made with two different women.

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If I'm honest with myself, the real bomb was in 2018 and the M was basically dead since then. If I'm really honest with myself: I probably wasnt that far from being a WAH myself if not for the kids. In other words, the status quo was not working and if thats all thats left then D is the right thing to do.


That really hit home for me. Up until BD 12/23/2017 I was very close to walking away myself as well. That anger, bitterness, and resentment at our SSM, and having had two EAs myself in the 7 years prior to sitch #2 (both were very close to becoming full PAs before they ended), in those years I thought about D quite a lot, but just like you just couldn't imagine doing that to my daughter. So I stayed, was miserable, and was making her and my daughter miserable too.

When I confronted her about the EA in Dec 2017, I was very calm. Very firm. I had my gameplan down and was following it to a tee. Until she dropped "I don't want to be married anymore". Those words triggered in me the fight side of fight or flight. And I wasn't going down without a fight! For the next two days I was mopey, sad, clingy. I begged, cried, pleaded, reasoned, tried to use logic. But on day three I woke up and remembered DBing. I started reading and watching MWD and others that used the back off, remove all pressure, go out and get a life, become the best version of me I could, and detach approach. I started trying to implement that plan to the best of my ability and had some good DB days, some not so good DB days.

You are at that same point, and I feel for you because your story transported me right back to that last week of Dec, 2017. I know you are spinning, freaking out, followed by periods of calm and peace where you start thinking clearly, only to go back to the former again. It is an awful place to be. But you know what to do: GAL, 180s and detach. Focus on you and the kids, remove all pressure and pursuit from her. We are here to help, to listen, to support, to exhort. Hang in there, brother!

If you are still reading after all of that, at this point all you can do is DB!


M(52), W(53),D(17)
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Originally Posted by Thornton
Hi Mako,

Sorry to see you back on the board.

You know how DB works - give her plenty of time and space. Detach, and do not push for MC right now.

What attracted your W to you when you first met?


Thanks Thornton. Yep, I know what I gotta do, now just gotta do it.

I don't know, we used to enjoy each other's company so much. Similar sense of humor, similar world view. We used to play together a lot--games, puzzles, hikes, etc. Nowadays, not so much.

I'll be honest, I wasn't super happy for a lot of the past 9 years or so. I love my kids, but parenting was something that really stressed me out and overwhelmed me and it took me a long time to get over that. I know having a baby or toddler for 9 straight years isn't unique or anything, but it wore me down and I think I had a not very good attitude for a time. That certainly wore on her as well. Funny enough, what really got me over the hump was when she was gone all the time and I really gained a lot of parenting confidence with doing so much myself without her. I think that has really prepped me for the potential upcoming single dad life.


Me: 43 W: 41
Together 2009, Married 2011
Sons 10 and 6, Daughter 5
Bomb 2/21/21. W moved out 10/2021
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 313
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Originally Posted by CWarrior

This seems patently untrue. Learning from one failed relationship isn't a panacea. I will be a better partner in my next relationship. You and I will never be perfect partners!

Mako, I'm sorry you're here. I don't see anything in the above painting your wife as evil or you as a fool. I hope you continue to write about your journey here. You already know the relevant links.


CW thanks for the posts. A lot of your comments were pretty much on the mark and I appreciate it. You are right, all we can do is try to keep getting better.

Originally Posted by CWarrior

I just read your first post from 13 years ago. It's interesting that both partners cited your lack of affection in the breakdown. Didn't they know that about your personality before they married you? It sounds like you view this as a flaw, so I wonder if you acted differently when courting them vs. after marriage.


Yeah, that is interesting. I don't think I act any differently during dating vs marriage, so yeah you'd think they'd know what they were getting into. Or perhaps they didn't realize the importance to them until later. No I don't view this as a flaw per se, more generally that failing to meet my partner's needs, especially this time when I had a lot more knowledge about everything, is a flaw. In the future maybe it would be better for everyone if I find someone whose love language better aligns with mine!


Me: 43 W: 41
Together 2009, Married 2011
Sons 10 and 6, Daughter 5
Bomb 2/21/21. W moved out 10/2021
SteveLW #2915721 02/26/21 09:54 PM
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Steve thanks for the comments. I knew I couldn't be the only person around here who has been here before, and your sitch sure looks familiar. You are right when you said that instead of really learning the first time maybe it was just a bandaid that got put on then tossed when it seemed it was no longer needed. I swore I'd never end up here again, and well...

Quote

You are at that same point, and I feel for you because your story transported me right back to that last week of Dec, 2017. I know you are spinning, freaking out, followed by periods of calm and peace where you start thinking clearly, only to go back to the former again. It is an awful place to be. But you know what to do: GAL, 180s and detach. Focus on you and the kids, remove all pressure and pursuit from her. We are here to help, to listen, to support, to exhort. Hang in there, brother!

If you are still reading after all of that, at this point all you can do is DB!


Yep, I know what to do, now just a matter of doing it.

One good thing about doing it before...all the stuff like "you can make yourself a better person with or without her, you can live without her, you won't die..." etc. I know all that already smile Whatever happens with W I will make it through.


Me: 43 W: 41
Together 2009, Married 2011
Sons 10 and 6, Daughter 5
Bomb 2/21/21. W moved out 10/2021
mako #2915746 02/27/21 01:28 PM
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Yep, I know what I gotta do, now just gotta do it.


I wish I could have seen you face to face and heard your voice when making the statement above. To me, I hear a tone of ..............dread? Is it b/c you feel as if history is repeating itself? If I'm no where close, you can correct me.

You seem to recognize the areas that need your personal work the most, which is a good thing, IMHO. I don't know if it comes from a place of weariness, since you went down this road in your first M........or if it's a tiny touch of laziness. It's as if you see it as something you have to force yourself to do. Here's the thing, Mako. You've said in both marriages that you weren't very affectionate and you did not show love that way. Maybe it was your old thread, IDK, you said you basically waited on the W to initiate sex. What if you married a woman just like you? There would never be any love making! eek Now some women do not have any problem initiating sex with their H, but on the other hand, some women do. They are responders and like for the H to seduce them. The W could feel that her H saw her undesirable, or unattractive, or he simply didn't care, etc., if it did not come naturally to touch her. I think it could be a real killer to her esteem, b/c she carries those concerns over to doubting he even loves her. There are two types of touching. One is reserved just for your W, b/c these include sexual areas of the body. The other type of touching is completely non-sexual touching. A couple should be able to give these nonsexual touches throughout the day. From my experience and my observation of other couples, the nonsexual touches come first in the relationship, and end last. If you are uncomfortable with nonsexual touching.......that should be a concern, IMHO.

Although it's a bit rare to see a LBH on the board admit his primary LL isn't physical touch, I don't think it's an indication something is wrong with him. I'll admit, however, since you started both initial threads (first with W #1 and now with W #2) almost identically, it does raise a red flag. You've explained in both cases (W#1 & #2) your lack of showing affection. I get the impression it must be pretty severe, if this was the main issue for both women. And, if so........I would strongly recommend seeing a professional as to why you aren't interested or try avoid it. Most women like physical closeness with her H, like snuggling together while watching a movie, or sitting close together with the H's arm over the shoulder of his W. It doesn't mean it's going to lead to sex.........it just means she likes to feel your nearness. and she may feel secure when your arms are around her. The snuggling is just one tiny example.

Did I read, or thought I read where there were no goodbye kisses, hello or goodnight kisses......unless your W initiated it? Is any nonsexual physical affection for your W shown in front of your children?

I can't tell how much or little this may concern you, but I think demonstrating affection is definitely an important area in a relationship. When demonstrating any physical affection completely stops.......it's going to have a negative, and unhealthy side effect. One more question on physical touch. What about showing affection for your kids? What do you do to demonstrate affection for them? Please answer these questions.


It is not about what you feel should work in your M. It is about doing the work that gets the right results. Do what works!
mako #2915760 02/27/21 04:08 PM
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Heh, yes there might be a little bit of dread there. I mean, I know the drill, this is not going to be a fun process, even if it is good and important and ultimately results in a better me. Assuming D occurs, in the best case situation I am going to see my kids a lot less. Financially we are going to be worse off. The future is a lot less clear now, and its scary.

I agree with what youre saying Sandi, and I totally understand my Ws point of view. I said above that it wasnt really a flaw per se, but maybe it is. Any physical touching has been nonexistent in the M for a long time. Maybe it wasnt always quite so bad. Its the chicken and eggthe marriage is dead because of this, or theres no touching because the marriage is dead. Either way, there wasnt enough, and she was the initiator much more than me. Its not as if I dont like it or it makes me uncomfortable, its almost like it just doesnt occur to me to do. Im going to need to spend time in IC and figure this stuff out. My W actually thinks I may be autistic or have some sort of anxiety disorder and maybe shes right. This was explored a bit in previous IC with no real resolution but its something to look into. Thats probably beyond the scope of this board smile

Interestingly, I have no problem showing affection with the kids, giving them hugs and kisses and cuddles. So thats good! But it probably made my W feel even worse. Why is it different for them? I have no idea.


Me: 43 W: 41
Together 2009, Married 2011
Sons 10 and 6, Daughter 5
Bomb 2/21/21. W moved out 10/2021
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