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Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 5
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I hope I am posting this in the right spot. My wife and I have known each other since middle school, so about 17 years. We had always been close and able to talk. She went to the marine corps and I went to college but somehow we always stayed in touch or tried to find each other when we came home. She had always had a crush on me. She was, to me, my buddy, so the feelings were not always returned. Then there were times I would have those feelings and she didn't.

At the beginning of 2005 we got reaquainted again and we were both home for good. As before we just sparked up intimate, (not sexual), coversation as we always had. We hit it off strongly. As always we could talk about anything and were honest with each other. By the end of that year we decided to become a couple and move in together. By this time our bond was so strong I just wanted to go straight to marriage. I have always wanted to marry my one special person but never found her until .... her.

We were together 7 months when I proposed. We had been each others support system. At the beginning of 2006 I had a painful surgery and she was by my side the whole time. It's not just that she was there, it's how she was there. At one point the nurse asked which of us was the patient, she had climbed in the bed with me and was sleep. I loved her more for that. Then shortly after, she lost her job and was without work for 4 months. I was her support during that while she dealt with issues of guilt and helplessness and our financial strain.

We ended up getting married in late 2006 shortly after our one year anniversary. A few months before, we started having hard times. Always arguing over little stuff. I still chose to marry her because I believed that if I couldn't make it work with her then I couldn't make it work with anyone.

And so it has been. Since shortly before our marriage until about now we have been at odds. My wife is distant. Sex is rare. I discovered this site and have been trying to apply some of its techniques. I believe I had a very strong part to play in this. Everytime we talked I would have something to say about what I felt she wasn't doing right. Looking back I can say that she patiently listened and tried to and did make some changes. But all I could do was go on about things that weren't fixed...and would repeatedly bring up past things, a well known and bad characteristic of my father.

After reading through this site I have decided that aside from what she has done that hurt my feelings...one of the main reasons we are where we are is because I stopped being that man she fell in love with. I started giving her bad conversation repeatedly and over time she just got more and more distant. We are not verbally or physically abusive and even in our anger I still do for her...cook, wash her clothes, etc. and she does the same. I never treaten to leave her although she has, at times, expressed a feeling that it may be best for us. I have tried to change my ways without trying to get her to change hers. I figure, I need to first show her the man she fell in love with and then maybe we can get back to a point where our communication skills, which have gotten better through all this, can have a chance.

Sense I've been trying she gives me more attention and conversation but I have learned that when in comes to problems in my marriage I have very little patience. This is wierd because I have always been a man of patience. One thing I should note is I believe we both have anger and abandonment issues. The anger is from the hard life we both had growing up and the abandonment from her father and my mother. I can say she still loves me and I can say she wants this to work and what I am doing so far is working...even though slowly faster that the opposite side.


I hate when she is withdrawn. And I find is very difficult to hold on to my optimism. As I said, I have anger issues too so holding them in while trying to make this work, not always getting the response I'd like in the timely fashion I'd like......Let's just say I can't sleep too well. I just need guidance. I have no one to talk to. I just want my best friend back. Am I on the right track? I love my wife dearly and it would hurt me deeply to loose her. Any thoughts are appreciated. Thank you

Joined: Apr 2006
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The good news is that the two of you are figuring this out early in your marriage. Having a successful and rewarding marriage isn't easy and I think too often people want to rely upon some nebulous romantic notion of what it takes to have a good marriage. Without hard work and constant effort a marriage will suffer. I personally believe that Dr. Harley's Marriage Builder's principles can help to show you were your effort and hard work should be directed in order to have a good marriage. It can also help you to save your marriage if it is experiencing difficulties. So that's my advice to you to read everything that Dr. Harley has provided on this site to see if his method sounds like something you'd be interested in pursuing. I really liked his book "His Needs, Her Needs" as an indepth exposition on Marriage Builders too.

If you apply Marriage Builders in your life the changes that take place will happen slowly, but they will surely happen. Patience is your ally. Good luck.

Joined: Apr 2007
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Things are getting better. A few days after I starting applying the concepts, very long days in my mind, my wife started to change and respond more to me. It lead to us having a long discussion late one night where we talked about how we truly felt and some things we both did to hurt each other and the marriage. Since then our interaction has drastically increased. I am also glad we caught this so early and didn't let it build too long. I am unsure what the future holds but I can see light again at the end of this tunnel and that's good enough for me.

Joined: Apr 2007
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The part that is the hardest is trying to continually do the right thing and still not getting my emotional needs met. My wife has often joked that she is bipolar, just a little joke nothing serious. She will have mood swings that can be very unpredictable.

As I stated in my last post, things appear to be getting better between us. There has been more conversation and interaction. But today she came in and didn't even speak, not unusual when we aren't on good terms. She seems agitated. I tried little waves of conversation but the plane never got off the ground so I left her alone. Then she get's on the phone with one of her friends and it's an instant conversation. When my wife and I first got together she had very few friends outside of family, maybe 3. Now she's back in school and seems to have a bunch. I understand that talking to me had gotten tuff so she spent all her time talking to everybody else. It is SO hard not to withdraw from her. I expressed how her actions tonight made me feel but after some dry answers, though i believe they were sincere, and weak conversation I decided not to push the issue.

I want to block out my emotions so bad because this hurts like ******. I want to stop caring so I don't feel the hurt anymore. My wife has also joked that her actions and reactions are more like that of a typical male, withdrawn doesn't easily talk about problems, etc. While mine are more like that of a woman try to solve problem right away and encourage conversation. I can't stand this stubborness. I think the main reason her actions bother me more than expected is because I have a strong desire to act just as cold but I fight them.

During our last talk she said that I am stronger than she is and am handling this situation the way that she should. Slightly comforting words but it's still hard. It's like being in war and hearing that the president is close to ending the war through diplomatic talks with the enemy. Sure it's nice, but it doesn't ease the tension of the bullets flying over your head right now. Extreme analogy I know.

I also fight negative thoughts which is not easy. Patience is a nesecity I find hard to hold on to in these times. I know, I am bouncing all over the place with my thoughts. That's the way it is, in my head at least. One minute I feel we're gonna make it and we are growning stronger. The next I feel we have grown apart, I want a divorce, and we never should have married in the first place. I suppose this post could have found itself in the conflicts section but I was hoping that by us essentially being newly weds this may be a common theme.

I find myself cornered again with no answers but to stand firm on what I believe are the right and best things to do. The challenge has come in trying not to withdraw from her. When I'm open to her emotional need and trying to make deposits in her LB and be the man she feel in love with my heart is open. But, everytime she doesn't give me attention, everytime i try to talk to her and only get a two word answer, everytime she ignores my presence it hurts hard. I want to stop caring so bad. No. The truth is I want to stop hurting so bad and blocking my emotions and not caring is a selfish way to do that.

Well to keep this post from turning into a book I'll just say I am still trying to fix my marriage with my wife who appears to just be along for the ride not actively participating. But in her defense I will say she has grown to be this stubborn and thick skinned over time. For her to even be along for the ride and say to me what she has shows effort on her part. I guess I'll just have to hold on to that.


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