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Originally Posted By: ETW

I honestly think my wife and I do have a romantic love, just not a passionate one that involves my desiring her physically.


That is an oxymoron. The definition of romantic love is a passionate desire. And I don't believe you are following the program which is why you are not in love with her.

How about writing out your entire UA schedule with her for this week to give us an idea of your timelines and activities?


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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I have found this discussion so enlightening. Thank you to the OP for being so open and honest, and thanks to the MB crew for high lightening some many interesting points.

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Originally Posted By: ETW
I do have one female friend, but I would not share this type of dialogue with her. I have never shared any of what is inside my head and how I feel with anyone outside of this anonymous forum.

I honestly think my wife and I do have a romantic love, just not a passionate one that involves my desiring her physically. We are like an older couple who are companions, not lovers. Maybe there is nothing wrong with that, I just wish I could turn off the primal side of my brain. Someone mentioned getting my testosterone checked. I had a physical done a while back and I guess I am actually on the high side, doc says that is a very good thing and that mostly he sees someone at my age with much lower free counts.

This just might be my burden to bear for this lifetime. I am honorable and would not cheat. I am smart and avoid the obvious come ons from strange women, and I am careful to avoid keeping women as friends. Maybe you women can pull it off, but I know it would certainly put me into harms way if I find them attractive.

I don't know if anything more can be done here, I don't think anyone here has an answer for me other than keep following the plan. We are and it keeps me and my wife close as friends, but I know at this point it won't make me see her face or body as beautiful. My head is just not wired that way.

I am surprised that on this site, there isn't at least one other guy in the same spot with something really helpful to say, even if it is just "deal with it, this is what you signed up for mate".


Some factors that can negatively influence how you view your wife:

- Once you have chosen a mate, the competition is off. Maybe you are the kind of person that buys a car and is still looking if he has missed the better offer months after the deal? This is a recipe to make yourself unhappy.
- you should therefore stop looking at and comparing your wife to other women, on tv in the fitness studio and at work and in town.
- you participate in sport competitions. Unless they are competitions for people over 80, there will be many women around who are extemely physically active. In your position this is a bad idea. You do not need a competition. You can compete with yourself.
- if your female friend is better looking than your wife, you should drop her.
-you seem to have a really high sense of entitlement. Allthough many people have some narcissistic tendencies, too many are unhealthy. You have stated that your wife deserves a man who desires her. To me that sounds more like: I deserve someone who looks better than my average looking wife... and sure, it would only be good for my wife. If your wife had been fantastic looking 25 years ago, chances are, she would not be looking as good any more. You would have the same problem. Also if you "take" a new wife, you will have the same problem in a few years. What if your fantastic-looking wife would have gotten breast cancer? Would you then leave her because she had a scar? Do you expect your wife to leave you if you lose your hair? Would you feel it would be ok for a woman to marry a balding man and leave him after 20 years because she could not take it anymore to be seen with a bald man? (sorry andre agassi).
Is it OK for your wife to live with a man who does not have the kindness and strangth of character she thought he had?
- Yes, MB encourages people to change for their spouses. And the emotional need for a man to have a wife who takes care of herself and to look as good as she can for him is not seen as shallow. However, this does not mean that it is OK to not be a bit more honest with your wife, who does not know what the chances are that she will be left by a man, who yearns for sex with 20-year-olds with a tiny but. You are absolutely right that being too blunt here would be devastating, but at the same time, it is a subject that should be adressed.
I would recommend that you give it some good thought, what it is that you expect from her exactly. I mean in realistic and measurable goals.

I am impressed with your honesty and that is a good thing to bring into your relationship. Maybe it would be a good idea to get wome counseling with the Harleys, who can also talk with your wife. I assume though, that it needs work from both sides.

A few questions remain:
- are you still looking at other women?
- are you looking at magazines/porn?
- have you tried looking at the world though the eyes of others, really putting themselves in their shoes?
- are you intimate with your wife on a regular basis and in a way that is satisfying for both of you?
- do you avoid solo-sex and thinking of other women and concentrate and redirect all of your sexual energy on/to your wife?


You seem eloquent and intelligent. I am sure you could find a way out of this which does not inclued exchanging your wife. It can be done, but she must be informed and you need someone to hold your feet to the fire. You need to resolve this fast, because you have not come further by trying to do it alone.

God bless,

Happyheart


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RE:ETW

I've been reading your posts as I have a low level of attraction to my spouse. I think of it as, I was young and naive when I married (25yrs old...but he really swept me off my feet with saranade's at 2:30 in the morning singing with his guitar and candles outside my window. Roses and dinner cooked when I came home from work. I came home one day and he had painted my apartment (I had mentioned in passing I'd like to change the color!). I could go on and on and on. But then after the wedding, it all stopped and he got mean and angry. I do feel tricked. Would I have married him only based on his looks? No, I would not have but because he was filling my love tank so much, that overtook that negative until after the wedding when he became mean and angry. I do feel betrayed. It's like I was tricked. Now I don't feel any attraction. But anyway, it's not about me. I enjoyed your story and the posts so much but need an update.

How is it going now? Have you told her the truth or are you finding her PA?

If I was your wife, I'd want to know the truth. Nobody wants to be with someone who doesn't love them completely. It could end up horribly or she could get serious with working out and make over techniques- weight loss, lasik, make-up, minor cosmetic enhancements. You may have to take that chance. I disagree with the advice not to tell her. She may be hiding the fact that she doesn't find you attractive either. Who knows?

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I'm married going on 19 years, my husband is in a wheelchair, physically paralyzed from the waist down and he has a colostomy bag , I don't know, you say your embarrassed by your wife's body and people seeing her with you. I know your being honest and you take this all quite seriously but forgive me for laughing, I can't help it. I too am considered very attractive but I guess I just don't care what people think about who I love. I love him, I couldn't be embarrassed by him, maybe by some of the stupid things he does but not the way he looks .I have marriage problems too and in our case more then the average marriage has to deal with. What your saying is you never loved your wife and I think most people on here at one time did love their spouse and they want to regain that love with them. I think your saying you never did so how can I gain what I never had... and to that answer I don't know. But I do think somehow you think your wife is a reflection of you or an extension of you and you don't like that extension to look so foreign to the beautiful you that you think you are and have tried so hard to work on. I don't see my husband as an extension of myself. He is who he is and I am who I am. When were together it doesn't bother me how others view us, they may think it strange to see a beautiful woman with a disabled man but is that my problem? Only if I make it my own. I don't feel insecure like you when it comes to that and I think all your issues stem from insecurity. The workouts. competitions, being handsome, your wife not fitting into this image of who you believe yourself to be. This is why you feel strange and humiliated to be seen with her. You have focused your life on what is on the outside, and yet its funny you married someone who would challenge all those preconceived notions you have about what beauty is, and at one time you thought you could rise above it all so you married her. I don't know if your a Christian or not but I know we took vows, sometimes we have to say them again and again, Love, richer, poorer, sickness ,health, better, worse til death do us part. God has brought you to the right place we all have deeper soul searching to do if it begins and ends only with ourselves.

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if you knew your husband never found you attractive to the point he was 100% drawn to you in admiration of your look, would you be ok with a deep friendship where your husband does not chase you?
This question should only be given to your wife and answered only by her and her alone.

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**edit**

Last edited by MBsurvivor; 10/06/13 09:40 AM. Reason: non MB advice
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No, I am not using porn, have not for many years.

Over the past year or so, I have become more introspective than ever, and I think that because I was hurt in a couple of relationships, I chose someone I knew in deep down I did not have to worry about the odds that anyone would pursue her other than me, she was safe. My wife is not, and never was my "type", and with a high need for physical attraction, basically a woman's beauty is what draws me in, without it, there is no romantic draw. I have said in past posts that we do have a romantic love, I now think I was wrong. There is nothing romantic about our relationship. We are at best very amicable partners, and there are some great achievements resulting from our joint effort.

The sex has always been just awful! I think I now understand myself better, why I ended up here, and I know I have changed over the years to a point that I am looking for the best exit strategy.

How do you know for sure you are not in love? Here is an answer for you, my dreams now center around her finding someone who will sweep her off her feet and give her the love she deserves. I am more than ok with that playing out as reality, if I don't have even a hint of jealousy, what does that say?

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I just don't understand why you're not honest with her. How long are youggoingto keep bbeing dishonest and allow you and her to be in unhappy marriage? You're wasting her time and yours


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Originally Posted By: ETW

How do you know for sure you are not in love? Here is an answer for you, my dreams now center around her finding someone who will sweep her off her feet and give her the love she deserves. I am more than ok with that playing out as reality, if I don't have even a hint of jealousy, what does that say?


I think most of us have walked in your shoes at some time during our marriages.

At the beginning love seems so easy and it feels as if it will last for ever, effortlessly. So we get lazy and cease meeting each other's needs in the way we did at the beginning. Or real life rears its ugly head in the form of financial stress or illness. Then independent behaviour starts eating its corrosive way through the bonds, destroying love and desire.

What Dr Harley says is right, love is a formula. Anyone can create or destroy love by their actions.

Believe me when I say that I spent years praying that someone would sweep my angry husband off his feet only to find, to my surprise that I was heartbroken when I found out that had happened. Do not believe your dreams, they are based on a version of reality that is distorted by your longing for a real relationship.

As others have explained to you, the right thing is to go back to your wife and tell her how you feel. Ask her if she will do what is needed to make herself attractive to you. I seem to recall that she is fat. This may be just the incentive she needs to make herself slim. Being fat is always a choice. Tell her that if she gets slim you will desire her. What could possibly be a better carrot than that!

The problem with dumping this marriage is that you are going to find exactly the same dynamic in your next relationship. Far better to try to repair what you have and you have a road map here at MB. Give her a chance.


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Do you have female friends?


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What to do with an Angry Husband

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Originally Posted By: ETW
How do you know for sure you are not in love?


Love (passion) is usually pretty easy to create.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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