Originally Posted by markos
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!

I know that I feel the path to a Love-Filled marriage is hear on MB, I can't speak for my wife. If I may go over something because it might enlighten you to how things occur or don't occur and how I react to them. I almost never "act" upon things with my wife, I "react" instead. Maybe this is the crux of the problem. I "react" to a DJ by her towards me and if I'm on my game I'll response politely even if it hurts me. I'll "react" to feeling neglected. I "react" to her mood(when she is grumpy). I "react" to what she says or her facial expression if I forget something(This happened this morning once and yesterday.) I "react" to me sending her an important email or text and not getting a response. I "react" to pretty much everything which is probably one reason I feel insecure, and completely without control in this marriage. The insecurity causes me to walk on egg shells and second guess everything I say to her. Like I said I'm just plain scared to mess up.

Here is an example. My wife told me earlier in the day that her folks would be out of town this morning. I heard it and made a mental note. So this morning she thought it would be good if I went to work(I was gonna stay home and help her since she tweaked her back). We were discussing how to pick up one of the kids, and I said just brainstorming, "Well can your Dad pick her up?" I realized as soon as I said it that it wasn't possible, but before I had a chance, she said in a tone that I can't convey but that I know to have the "dummy" attached to it, "Hill I told you yesterday they were gonna be gone..." So I immediate said sorry 8 times because I know she doesn't like it when I forget things. So what do I do? I "react" by going into "egg shell" mode. She doesn't like when I do that either but yet when she is irritated at me I get put in a position that I believe to be impossible to navigate. Once we are in this "stage" inevitably things fall apart. I really wished my wife were a little easier on me and more tolerant of annoying habits or things that irritate her because as soon as she reaches that point I feel she remains resentful and make me "pay" by a series of DJ's throughout the day. I forgot something yesterday morning as well and I believe was made to pay all day for my mistake. I feel like she is my boss honestly right now and even though I aim to please her, its never good enough. Feeling pretty discouraged right now, need to rally though before I get home tonight.

Married 15 years
12 y/o DD
10 y/o DS
6 y/o DD