Originally Posted by LovingAnyway
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.

Not quite. I don't want her to know me, because she will realize what a loser I am and not want to be with me. Of course, that makes me the crazy one, since it is long since clear to her what a loser I am and she hasn't left. I figure she doesn't feel she has any good options, and it is my job to make sure she never realizes HOW bad it is to be stuck with me, or she might rethink her conclusion.

The above might have been false when we started marriage counselling 13 years ago or when I arrived here 8 years ago. I wasn't in such a bad state and there was hope things would improve in time, and maybe being with me wasn't as bad as I thought it was. Now that I am so irredeemably depressed and resigned to failure, I have made what were warped thoughts into reality.

I understand that many people think the essence of marriage is to share your true self with your spouse and be accepted. I have long since given up any hope that my true self would be accepted, so I have long since stopped sharing my true self with my spouse. Not that I do a very good job of hiding it. But I use whatever flashing lights and shiny objects are available to distract her. And myself.

The key is that I am not willing to undertake the effort to make myself into a more attractive person, so that my true self would be attractive. I have given up and given in. I am going quietly into the dark night. I am not bothering to put up a fight.

Originally Posted by LovingAnyway
They are a subtle war you wage

If you think it is subtle, then I must not be doing it right.

Originally Posted by LovingAnyway
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.

I do that to her. Complain when she is self-deprecating and tell her to stop. Tell her that I will not have anyone talking about my wife that way, not even my wife. I think she likes hearing that.

I, on the other hand, don't want to hear that from her. When I complain about myself, I am merely stating the truth. I don't want to hear from anyone else that I am wrong.

This will only change when I want change badly enough. Amazingly, despite all my complaining, I don't.

When you can see it coming, duck!