Originally Posted by holdingontoit
She said "You need to work on where you go from here given that you are a failure at work. You need to focus on other areas of life where you have had success." I said "well, it is not like my wife is happy and we have a good marriage. You wanted the life that my career success would have brought, and you are not going to get it." She said "true". I replied "at least my kids like me." She said "you have to learn to want what you have instead of striving to have what you think you want." I said "yes, that would be the road to contentment."

I get that you don't want to really know your wife. I believe you believe the same of her--that she doesn't really want to know you. These conversations are crazy to me...because the come in the guise of knowing one another.

And they aren't. They are a subtle war you wage.

If you wanted to really know her, you would have asked her in that exchange, "Is that what you've begun doing, striving to really want what we have? Can you help me with that?"

She may have been sharing that her expectations of you, which were true, are no longer...and her concern now is very real, for you to stop the self-flogging and deprecation. She may hurt for you. You won't know because you still are erratic with honestly sharing and striving to know and being known.

My DH hurt when I would make fun of myself. Until he told me to stop doing that, I didn't know. I thought it modesty. It wasn't. Wasn't sharing, either. He still, six years later, questions me if he hears it. He asks if I'm being honest or wry.

You're partners. Not about disappointing one another...it's about knowing and being known. Please, Hold, take these posters advice and act on it...and if you won't do it for yourself, then do it for the marriage, instead.

Which is the crux of your stagnancy. Not your wife. To know who she is today, what she's working on, her stuff...is a privilege. Take it.

Not to get her to do/say/believe anything. Be really selfish and do it just to have this experience. So you will stop your self-loathing, horrific manipulation (review your conversation) and self-deception. From practice. Whether you feel like it or not.