Originally Posted by Rose888
My typical posting style is very brief, and I can tell from things you have said to me and about me that that comes across to you as not supportive. So I'm going to try to use what feels to me like way too many words, because I think there is something important you are not seeing and that seeing it would be valuable to you.

You seem to have learned a lot about yourself and what you need to feel loved. That's important, and that can be hard work. But I don't see you putting yourself in your wife's shoes and looking at it from her perspective. You talk about what *you* needed when you came home from a 5-day business trip and how you were hurt by her rejecting your advances. What do you think your return felt like from her perspective? You said her love language is gifts of service. What would have felt loving to her in that moment?

I know business travel can be exhausting, but so can being the person staying home and taking care of the kids. The person traveling might have jet lag, but they probably also had someone cleaning their hotel room. They probably got to go out to eat at restaurants and choose from a variety of food options, none of which they had to cook or clean up after. Meanwhile, the person at home doesn't have jet lag or the hassles of travel, but also has to cook, clean, do laundry, and take care of kids. The level of effort varies depending on the ages and numbers and personalities of the kids, but even easy-going teenagers take energy and time. And toddlers are flat out exhausting. Did you try to meet her needs before you sought to get yours met?

Or let's take another situation. Your wife went to work when one of your kids went to college, right? What changes did you make the household and family responsibilities when she started earning money? Who cooked, cleaned, grocery shopped, kept track of the kids' schedules and needs, bought holiday presents, decorated the house, organized parties, made doctor appointments for kids, took the kids to the appointments, ditto for pets, etc., etc.? Are you familiar with the phrase "emotional labor"? If not, google it and think about how the emotional labor was divided in your marriage.

The core truth of Divorce Busting is that when one spouse changes their behavior, without waiting for their spouse to change first, the marriage can improve.

I know it's tempting to say, "but she (or he) isn't meeting my needs!" And that can be a true statement. And it's hurtful. But I know when I say, "yes, that's true, but what can I do to be a better spouse" my relationship improves and my spouse starts meeting my needs. When I focus on the ways in which he isn't meeting my needs and use that to justify not doing the things I know make him feel loved, then my marriage worsens, and my needs aren't met.

I honestly feel like this is the single most important thing to take away from DB. Meet your partner's needs, even if they aren't meeting yours. (Disclaimer: excluding abusive or toxic relationships, of course.)

Most likely, one of your spouses current needs is time and space away from you. Meet this need even if you do not understand or agree with it.

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