Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
If you are ok taking the time with me, I'm trying to get a grasp of what is a LB as well as what my EN's are. I am having a hard time getting in touch with what my feelings represent. I know when I feel bad, but I frequently don't know why. I have a problem with DJs, SDs, and AOs. I can recognize them and I'm trying really hard to eliminate them, but there are other things that I think I need or want from my wife but I'm just not sure.

Independent Behavior/Affection: I know this has both LBs and ENs, but they are intertwined and I don't yet know how to separate them. My wife is a person that is always moving. She's very active and has a lot of "hobbies" that she enjoys doing and has a ton of friends. That way this is all tied into affection is because I still have feelings of neglect that frequently are felt when my wife is doing all of her many things. To her credit she has done a much better job in returning my phone calls, texts, emails not so much. I used to think she didn't return them because she wasn't interested in me. I think there is a little bit of that, but more so it is because she is busy with kids, friends, hobbies, etc. To me it doesn't matter if she is busy, all I feel is that she just doesn't have a desire nor the time. I feel like I'm "fit in" to my wife's schedule and that is not a good feeling to have. I love affection. I love to give and receive affection. I can think of 7-8 things yesterday that involved my expressing my affection for my wife. The opposite is not true however. I don't say this to "keep score", I say this because there is a whole inside of me that feels hurt that my wife doesn't "want" to show me much affection, and also that doesn't receive affection from me with enthusiasm I guess? I'm not sure what I mean exactly, but from my perspective, when I show my wife affection she seems indifferent to it. Its like I could be rubbing her shoulders or not rubbing her shoulders and she's totally fine either way. I'm not sure what this means, while I feel this way about it, but I feel compelled to figure it out because its driving me crazy.

SF: I think I've tip toed around this subject with my wife. Truth is I want sex all of the time. I think about it a lot and I don't think I've really every gotten my "fill" of it from my wife with the exception of when we were dating. I'll be honest, I'm lacking confidence in asking for fear of rejection I suppose. I think about being with my wife during the day and often at night before we go to bed. In other words, I'm very much into her physically and I know that I often feel better about our relationship when regular sex is there. I guess I feel selfish for asking her for it? I think part of me wants her to want it, which is just like the affection thing. I've mentioned a few times about maybe having sex twice a week or something, but I still feel like this isn't really in my hands at all and I'm at her mercy 99% of the time. I'd love some perspective on the subject.

Admiration/DJs: Up to this point I've never had this on my list of important EN's. I'm starting to rethink that. I feel that my wife focuses on the things I'm not good at rather than the things I am good at. I suppose this is human nature. I've often felt that although my wife doesn't add it to the end of a sentence, that her tone reflects a "stupid" or "dummy" when it relates to certain things. For example she might say, "Oh well I wanted for you to drill holes on the back of those flower pots, not the bottom." The statement itself is perfectly fine, but the tone means you could rephrase it to, "Oh well I wanted for you to drill holes on the back of those flower pots, not the bottom, dummmy!" She'll slip in a "I'm proud of you for working so hard, being a great businessman," or similar but not very often. I'm starting to think I want to be admired and if I was admired by my wife I might have more confidence in a lot of parts in our marriage?

Hill, one or two problems at a time, please! The path to resolving all of this is here on the Marriage Builders plan, but the first step is eliminating control and abusive behavior from the marriage. Your wife will probably feel a lot better about trying to meet your emotional needs when you get passed this obstacle; right now I will bet that since she was just lately heard saying "Marriage Builders doesn't work" that she doesn't want to discuss any of this.

The way to discuss all of the above is going to be as a REQUEST and with NEGOTIATION. But discussing it now, before eliminating your own abusive behaviors, translates emotionally for her as "I will stop abusing you when you start doing these things for me."

To make one point perfectly clear: women feel a LOT better about sex when they are in a good romantic relationship with their lover. That relationship is precluded when love busters are sitting around in the recent past, as they are today. You would be in a much better spot right now if you had dealt with her DJs calmly and had not replied with DJs of your own. That is a difference she will notice immediately!

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, 19 years. Father of 8.
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.