Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
I think she enjoys dinner with me, but also loves to be very social. I think I am an acceptable companion for her but not her favorite. Again I am not her priority and so I need to figure out better ways to become that. Her friends are a priority, obviously the kids, the house, and going to the gym. I feel I am probably #5 behind those four items.

That sucks.

The kids, the house, and the gym are all love bank deposit opportunities for you. Is she open to doing things with you and the kids? Does she want you to plan family activities?

What obstacles are there at the moment to you changing your schedule to go to the gym with her?

The house -- what does she need done on the house? Is it consuming her, bugging her, in the way, she's thinking about that instead of about you and the marriage? How much of it can you handle?

She frequently brings up the past when we get in any serious discussions about our marriage.

This also sucks. It's a big emotional minefield, and it's not going to be easy to navigate, and even though she absolutely should not do this, you're not going to be able to stop her or persuade her to stop.

So ...

When she does this, if at all possible, begin your answer with "You're right." Tell her she's right, tell her why she's right, and then gently take the conversation back toward the future.

"You are right, Honey. I did promise to you that I was going to clean that room, and I haven't done it. I was supposed to take care of the garage for you Saturday, but would you rather I take care of this room?"

"You're right, Honey. I was very angry and disrespectful to you that day. What do you need from me to recover and to show you that it will not happen again?"

There's a lot in older threads in the SAA forum on how a wayward spouse (particularly a WH) can lovingly handle situations where the betrayed spouse does not follow the "do not dwell on mistakes of the past" rule. You and I are not wayward, but I have found the suggestions helpful.

Remember that when something upsets your wife, like a memory of the past, she has much less capacity to just "block it out" than you do, by virtue of the fact that her brain is wired differently. This is the same reason why women, even women in love, can typically list many annoying habits on the part of their husbands, but the husbands will typically see very few in their wives.

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.