Originally Posted by nams
And more sex with a woman who is motivated to consent (not enjoy, just consent or allow)to more sex simply because you make more is going to improve your happiness and sense of worth how?

Oh no. You are right. It won't. It might have 18 or 15 or 13 years ago. Back before I realized how little enjoyment she gets from it. Now it doesn't help. Which is why I no longer press for it.

I still resent her for not providing more. But I don't feel any better on the relatively infrequent occassions when she does.

Originally Posted by nams
Your self esteem is truly in the toilet, Hold. How did you become so dependent on others for your sense of worth? If that doesn't bring the self esteem plunging nothing would.

I have always felt this way. Been dependent on others for self esteem. I have never had any internally generated sense of self worth.

Originally Posted by nams
Just the thought that you would feel better about yourself by having more sex with someone who doesn't really want sex with you, just your buying power, is very disturbing.

Agreed. But that simply means that at the present time I have no way to feel better about myself. Because I cannot ethically be with someone who truly desires me. And I cannot do well enough at work to avoid feeling like a failure. So I continue to slog along hoping for lightning to strike.

Mrs. Hold got me lottery tickets for Father's Day. Needless to say, we did not win.

Originally Posted by kilted_thrower
Have you mentioned to her you are contemplating divorce when the kids graduate?

Yes. I told her several times. That I cannot make any promises about our future after the kids leave. That I am mostly staying to be with the kids and live in the house. That it is tremendously painful for me, on a daily basis, to remain married to her.

She has told me several times lately she feels, on balance, glad she married me. She feels I am a good person and a great father and she wants to stay together despite her disappointment. I never say the same back to her. I tell her she is a good person with a big heart who means well. I am sure it hurts her when I do not mirror her sentiment. Then again, it is not like I did not tell her continuously for 8 years during MC that I was unhappy. Or that I haven't told her numerous times over the past 5 years (since we stopped MC) that I still am.

Lately we have been much more honest with each other. Or more accurately, she has finally been willing to be honest with me (and herself). Perhaps over time this honesty will lead to renewed respect and a willingness on both our parts to make additional changes in our behavior. I am staying for at least the next 5 years regardless. So I continue to hope for change even as I despair of either of us choosing to make any.

When you can see it coming, duck!