Originally Posted by Wheels_spinning
Originally Posted by GreenMile
Last night, she stopped what she was doing at the computer when I came in the room, looked me straight in the eye and asked me, "Why are you here?" She wanted the big answer. Why am I still in this marriage? .... In this case, she really was looking for an answer, because of the thought that I did not feel "in love" with her. I tried to explain, but it did not help. When she asks for a response specifically, I am compelled to answer and explain, but it is always wrong or simply not believed due to the destruction of trust.

There is no reason to explain why you are there in ther marriage. I can ask why are you here on MB? You can explain the situation of the past, but that is not what I would want to hear either. I would rather you give me a straight answer like: "I am here on MB to learn ways to build a better marriage." Its honest and there is no trying to explain your past.

Explainations of your past to determin what you are doing now, even if what you are doing now, is a bad idea. Its all about what is happening now and what you can do for the future.

I find that when my wife asks me a question I don't answer it. Most of the time it might be a rhetorical question, and she just wants someone to listen to her. Many times I have to exercise empathetic listening. The hard part is trying to block my problem solver mode, and put myself into support mode.

Men by trait are problem solvers. They want to give solutions to any problem. Sometimes women what to be listened to, and don't want a solution. You know it and I know it, so there is no need to further explain. The hard part is practicing it. When is the right time to listen empithetically, nod to a rhetorical question, or shut your yap.

Of course maybe we are all reading into this too much and her real question was what are you doing here? meaning: I wasn't expecting you to be home.

That is it exactly, Wheels. I have been told this before by other veterans, as I mentioned. I still suck at it. I really am still a 2X4 guy, and most of the time, I need to remember to hit myself with it. My whole professional life was being expected to be a problem solver. But this is not what is being asked of me in my marriage, when I am being asked something by my wife.

FWH, age 63. 24 years of narcissistic behavior, infidelity, and emotional abandonment of my BS, age 57, DancesWithGoats (DWG). D-day two years ago, leading to emotional breakdown. Been working MB program and toward spiritual transformation and personal growth since then, with some slow but real progress. DWG still with no trust, but with grief starting to subside a bit.