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Originally Posted By: ETW
If I had a wife who was physically attractive, I would then have sexual tension, a pull towards her sexually. I know what sexual tension feels like, and I miss and want that. She just does not command that respect visually with me.



Thanks for answering my questions. It helps me better understand what you are looking for and what bothers you.

Was the sexual tension you felt in the past MUTUAL between you and another person? (Y or N)

Was it recent? ( Y or N)

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Originally Posted By: unwritten


I thought she was enthusiastic about the exercise program you came up with? What changed?


Unwritten asked this, and I am also wondering.

How did you feel toward your wife when she when she agreed to an improvement plan?

How do you feel about somebody who does not work on their appearance? (Not necessarily your wife.)

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Re. Tension. Yes mutual, not for many years, back when I dated before I met my wife.

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I know that you are disappointed and wish she could visually stimulate you.

On the other hand, could you be using PA as an excuse for divorce that your sweet wife can't argue with?

Is that your plan? If so, just file.

If not, then I would Suggest that you and your kids have nothing to lose by your diving in 100% and trying to see
if you can make it the best marriage possible between you.

Listening to MBR DAILY for a year really helped us. The first search I did on MBR was for PA . That may be a way for your wife to better understand this need.

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Originally Posted By: ETW
Not to mention the worst part is that she didn't rate physical appearance high on her list, so here I am knocking myself out to look and feel great, wasted on someone who is herself "above" needing that. I really think we just aren't right for each other, I have completely swung back to how I felt when I originally posted.

Sorry to let you'll down, but looks have been and always will be important to me. Sorry if that makes me less of a person! I will keep the plan, but don't have much faith.


I have been pondering your situation. Emotional needs change over time so just because you married her without her meeting your need for PA does not mean it cannot become your top need now. Many women marry low earning men only to find financial support becomes a key need once they have children.

But back to you, I am trying to put myself in your wife's shoes and think why meeting your need for PA would not be something she would respond to. Here is the list I have come up with (in no particular order)

She does not know how to look prettier. That one is easy to solve - write a cheque and hand it to her!

She does not want to become more attractive to you. That one is easy to solve too - follow MB and fill her love bucket!

She is fat (has a food addiction). That one would be pretty hard to overcome, I think Dr Harley would suggest you separate from her until she has dealt with it.

She never really got the message. My hunch is that this is the one. I think I probably speak for every single person on this forum when I say that if I had known how massively disastrous it was not to meet my spouses needs, I would have fallen over myself in my haste to do it.

I applaud you for being here and sticking with this. You WILL solve it.


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I'm pretty late to this thread (don't lurk as often as I used to), but I did read the whole thing. Some disconnected thoughts in no particular order:

I want to encourage you for the steps you're taking. You will have frustrating, disappointing days. When that happens, buck up and tackle things again fresh the next day. Stick with it.

The advice "when you get married, stop shopping for a partner" is spot on. It's just a restatement of the adage "comparison is the mother of discontent." Look for ways to be happy in the marriage you have, not the one you could possibly have had. (Which, statistically, would have probably come with a whole slate of problems you DON'T have right now.)

Years ago, someone on these boards posted the following: "Remember -- no matter how good she looks, somebody, somewhere has had it up to HERE with her crap." Even though that's an uncharitable way to think about a stranger, and it's not something I'd suggest you do all the time, on occasion I have found it to be a useful mental tool when I'm tempted to do more than glance at an attractive woman. (Works just as well with the genders reversed, too, for the ladies here.)

You've been labeled as a vain, shallow, self-centered person. I haven't seen enough evidence to convict you on those counts. To me, it looks like you're just being honest about thoughts that are common to men. Women tend to be repulsed by the idea that we think these things at all, comparing our own attractiveness to our spouses' and others, and feeling unattracted to the wives we married. I'm not arguing that "this is just how men are; it's natural, so deal with it." God does hold us accountable for our thoughts. We need to bring them under subjection to Christ. But I hate to see you shamed for admitting to the things you struggle with. Some of our thoughts and feelings ARE ugly. It doesn't mean they constitute the entire picture. And it's good that you put them out there anyway.

There are some superficial similarities between your situation and mine. I wasn't attracted to my DW when we dated. Rather, I lacked the courage and integrity to be honest about how I felt. So I talked myself into dating her, to avoid causing her the pain of rejection. I was hoping feelings would follow actions, a.k.a. "fake it til you make it." That plan didn't go as well as I'd hoped. Neither of us is happy with the state of our marriage today, though we are both committed to staying together and trying to improve things.

DW put on 100lbs the first year we were married, and it's stayed there ever since. For awhile, PA was an issue for me. I felt repulsed looking at her. But my wants and expectations have changed since then. Today I could honestly feel attracted to DW without her changing her body at all. How? If she smiled at me often...gave me spontaneous hugs or other little tokens of affection...didn't seem irritated by me all the time. What I'm pointing to is ATTITUDE. If your DW has an attractive attitude, count yourself very very blessed. I've come to believe that for me, a plain-Jane-average woman with a sunny smile is far, far more attractive than any model with a sour look on her face.

If that's true for you too, then you can make your DW more attractive by helping her feel confident about herself, and loved, and protected! Give her reasons to smile at you!

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Originally Posted By: Issachar
I'm pretty late to this thread (don't lurk as often as I used to), but I did read the whole thing. Some disconnected thoughts in no particular order:

I want to encourage you for the steps you're taking. You will have frustrating, disappointing days. When that happens, buck up and tackle things again fresh the next day. Stick with it.

The advice "when you get married, stop shopping for a partner" is spot on. It's just a restatement of the adage "comparison is the mother of discontent." Look for ways to be happy in the marriage you have, not the one you could possibly have had. (Which, statistically, would have probably come with a whole slate of problems you DON'T have right now.)

Years ago, someone on these boards posted the following: "Remember -- no matter how good she looks, somebody, somewhere has had it up to HERE with her crap." Even though that's an uncharitable way to think about a stranger, and it's not something I'd suggest you do all the time, on occasion I have found it to be a useful mental tool when I'm tempted to do more than glance at an attractive woman. (Works just as well with the genders reversed, too, for the ladies here.)

You've been labeled as a vain, shallow, self-centered person. I haven't seen enough evidence to convict you on those counts. To me, it looks like you're just being honest about thoughts that are common to men. Women tend to be repulsed by the idea that we think these things at all, comparing our own attractiveness to our spouses' and others, and feeling unattracted to the wives we married. I'm not arguing that "this is just how men are; it's natural, so deal with it." God does hold us accountable for our thoughts. We need to bring them under subjection to Christ. But I hate to see you shamed for admitting to the things you struggle with. Some of our thoughts and feelings ARE ugly. It doesn't mean they constitute the entire picture. And it's good that you put them out there anyway.

There are some superficial similarities between your situation and mine. I wasn't attracted to my DW when we dated. Rather, I lacked the courage and integrity to be honest about how I felt. So I talked myself into dating her, to avoid causing her the pain of rejection. I was hoping feelings would follow actions, a.k.a. "fake it til you make it." That plan didn't go as well as I'd hoped. Neither of us is happy with the state of our marriage today, though we are both committed to staying together and trying to improve things.

DW put on 100lbs the first year we were married, and it's stayed there ever since. For awhile, PA was an issue for me. I felt repulsed looking at her. But my wants and expectations have changed since then. Today I could honestly feel attracted to DW without her changing her body at all. How? If she smiled at me often...gave me spontaneous hugs or other little tokens of affection...didn't seem irritated by me all the time. What I'm pointing to is ATTITUDE. If your DW has an attractive attitude, count yourself very very blessed. I've come to believe that for me, a plain-Jane-average woman with a sunny smile is far, far more attractive than any model with a sour look on her face.

If that's true for you too, then you can make your DW more attractive by helping her feel confident about herself, and loved, and protected! Give her reasons to smile at you!


Wow. That was a GREAT post!

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Nice post Issachar (nice to see you around).

ETW,

I thought Id throw in my .02 cents worth. I apologize for the length.

I've been lurking around your thread ... not quite sure what to offer for advice but I certainly have empathy for you. I remember a time when I found myself having similar feelings when I was younger and dating my wife. I even broke it off with her for this very PA reason. We did get back together, obviously, but only after her physical shape changed some. Long story made short she was a very, very thin girl back then and later on put on some weight where she then became more physically attractive to me. Only years after we were married did her shape reach a point where I was extremely attracted physically to her. I stand here today knowing I married her mostly because it was convenient at the time. PA and SF are two of my highest ENs and at the time we were to marry it appeared she wasnt going to do a good job meeting either one of those. The PA changed for me later on because she changed enough.

There were other things about her during our dating years that gave me grief so the culmination of things were the reasons I broke it off but I do remember her looks were at the top of the list. I felt like crap back then thinking I was vain and self centered, knowing I broke up with a girl over her physical appearance (skinniness). After all she was a very nice person and she was fun to be around. Some of those feelings spilled over into our marriage years as there were many times I felt Id made a mistake in marrying her because I wasnt that into her looks. That I should have held out for someone different.

Your sich may be different in that your Ws shape may never change to your liking. Ill say I am very fortunate. Had her PA not changed I may have ended up being here posting a similar story.

Youve gotten some good advice. Dr Harley gave you some sound advice on how you could go about setting up an environment/condition for you to see your W in another light.

The only additional advice I can give is that you arent a victim of your thoughts. That, to a large extent, you can control the thoughts that you have. Im sure youd like to find your W attractive but the only way that may happen for you is you find a way up there in your head to view her differently. This is going to sound contrary to some of the advice but dont trust that simply spending UA time and having RC is going to be the entire recipe you need to improve your situation. {Mr Alias ducks the stream of objects hurled his way } Based on what you've said I think you need more than that for it to change.

Please be careful in your life making comparisons. I have often seen posts from the veterans here that speak of the evils of comparing their spouses to others (mostly in situations concerning an affair and an AP). It is quite possible you shut down some of your attraction to your W because you spend your time comparing and wanting the animal attraction (sexual tension) if you will. You know for a fact there are others out there that, on the surface, are attractive to you and you do the comparison. To sit around and speculate that you could land one of these ladies and that that gal is going to meet all your needs and not LB you well thats a path to disaster for your M.

I liken it to my car. I have a simple car. Its a nice car. Its dependable. But it aint flashy. I see other cars (Beemers, Audis, etc) drive by and I start the comparisons and I convince myself I no longer really like my car. But if I stop the comparisons, look at my car for what it is I actually kind of like it and lose the urge to go out and drop boatloads of cash on another set of wheels that is more flashy.

This is no small task. I cant offer a plan on how youd actually change your thoughts. I leave that to the pros. I do think it is something you should consider above and beyond.

1). Get in lots of UA time doing recreational things together.
2). Encourage your W to look her best.
3). Help your W feel confident, loved and protected (to quote Issachar).
4). Change your thought patterns.


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The red flag that I see is that your w responding to your need in the way that she did (thinking you were 'above' that) smacks of shaming behaviour, which is an EXTREMELY destructive way to deal with this issue. Also, you have commented that you don't think she'd be willing to work out. That's very bad, too. So that's on your wife.

But as far as you go, I have to take you to task over thinking that things can't get better. Just about anyone that puts their mind to it and works for it can have a great body, and great bodies on women ARE attractive and sexy. I know you commented that her body is 'pear shaped' but truthfully, some of the best bodies on women that I've ever seen come from pear shaped women (that is, pear shaped when they were formerly overweight).

The thing to do is to convey to her the seriousness of this issue. You should not have to apologize for this need; and she should be willing to accomodate it.
BTW perhaps the way to frame it is around her being in shape as opposed to being unattractive. That's a lot easier pill to swallow. Besides, let's face it- how do you know if you wouldn't be really into her if she had a great body?


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1) I stick by my opinion that you need to be O&H with her about how great this need is for you, and how unhappy you are to not have it met. She won't take this seriously if she doesn't know how serious it is. If you have been married for many years and did not give her any indication this was important to you, one conversation where you were admittedly not fully O&H with her is not going to relay that information. Continued work on the MB program TOGETHER will though. Have you read His Needs Her Needs? Has she? This would be a good starting point.

2) I agree wholeheartedly with Mr Alias's post about comparisons. Even if your wife works out every day for 2 hours and has a killer body, there WILL be younger/prettier/more fit girls out there for you to turn your head at, if you want to. (Just as there will be wealthier men for her to turn her head at, if she wanted to).

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Important point on #2:

Absolutely correct. I would also like to add, however, that if his wife works out, gets a killer body, works hard to improve her style and presentation, etc...AND if she is meeting his other needs it is almost impossible for OP to not be attracted to her. He seems resigned to the fact that he will never be attracted to her. IMO that is most certainly NOT the case. Hard work really can make a HUGE difference in this area. I'm living proof of this as I am not a naturally great looking guy, but when I get in shape and put my mind to focusing on improving my attraction, women go from avoiding me to approaching me all the time. Different gender, but the same principle most certainly applies. I've seen this a million times at my gym with people that stick to an exercise plan. It's also great for one's health, energy, and emotional well being independent of the marriage as well.


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Good stuff. I know I am on the right site and getting good advice. I will keep you updated, but I think I need to somehow get my wife on board with this program more than just filling out the questionnaire and glancing through the book.

Will keep you posted.

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Originally Posted By: ETW
Does anyone know how long it takes for spending time together before I start changing how attractive I feel she is? So far, nothing has changed, and although she says she wants to look better for me, she has no interest in doing a real workout separately or together. She brought up again that she was surprised that looks were that important to me, and that she really thought I was "above" that.

I don't know if this is going to make any difference at all. Getting very depressed over this.



The way to tackle this isn't quite rocket science... and it isn't going to turn around instantly.

You very likely both have very low LB$ balances, as evidenced by your low attraction to your wife, and her lack of enthusiasm in meeting your needs.


So, what you will want to do, is key in on working on your PA need while fulfilling the necassary UA requirements to reestablish Romantic Love in your marriage.

Find some physical activities that will both increase fitness, while also being mutually enjoyable. Look in your local paper, and find some ballroom dancing classes to take together (or salsa, or swing dancing... you get the point).

Set aside and schedule some time to take your wife shopping. This provides; UA opportunity, PoJA practice, and the opportunity to help her dress in a way that better addresses your PA EN.

Be sure to COMPLIMENT your wife's progress. This can meet her need for Admiration and/or Affection, and will help motivate her to continue to try to meet this need.


"An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field." - Niels Bohr

"Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons." - Michael Shermer

"Fair speech may hide a foul heart." - Samwise Gamgee LOTR
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**edit**

Last edited by Fireproof; 03/05/13 06:23 AM. Reason: TOS non Marriage Builders material

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A reminder to posters that the purpose of this forum is help others with Marriage Builders concepts. If you can help do this we welcome your posts. If not, please refrain from posting.

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***EDIT***

Do not repost when advice has been removed by a moderator.

Last edited by Ariel; 03/05/13 08:18 AM.

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Originally Posted By: MrAlias
...the only way that may happen for you is you find a way up there in your head to view her differently. This is going to sound contrary to some of the advice but dont trust that simply spending UA time and having RC is going to be the entire recipe you need to improve your situation. {Mr Alias ducks the stream of objects hurled his way } Based on what you've said I think you need more than that for it to change.


x 2


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exWH - serial cheater
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Divorced 12/2011




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We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.
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Posting an update here. First, now that I am more in tune with the concepts on this site, I find myself much more aware of why I feel how I feel at different times. I can't say that our new found leisure time together has changed my physical attraction to her, however, I now have massive guilt associated with my feelings of discontent.

I have noticed that one of the triggers for how I feel is when I receive a compliment or attention from any female who I consider attractive. Any type of flirt sent my way is bad news that serves as a reminder that I could have done better.

So at this stage of the game, I have decided to simply be aware of my feelings, and stay out of any situation that might lead down that path. I read some pretty good advise on the board, I know the changes need to take place in my head, as I said before though, I might just have to accept this as an unmet need that will always go unmet.

In summary, the time together has not changed how I view my wife, although we certainly have become better friends. I am really missing the weekend competition that I have given up (my off on my own time).

Might be my last post here, final step is acceptance.

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Originally Posted By: ETW


So at this stage of the game, I have decided to simply be aware of my feelings, and stay out of any situation that might lead down that path. I read some pretty good advise on the board, I know the changes need to take place in my head, as I said before though, I might just have to accept this as an unmet need that will always go unmet.

In summary, the time together has not changed how I view my wife, although we certainly have become better friends. I am really missing the weekend competition that I have given up (my off on my own time).

Might be my last post here, final step is acceptance.


I completely disagree with this assessment. Guilt and acceptance will not last for long. That is not the glue that will keep a marriage together. The glue is ROMANTIC LOVE. And you have to go through these steps for several months until that happens. You have not done that. Please follow Dr Harley's advice and continue spending UA time with her - 20-25 hours per week - until you have exceeded the lovebank threshhold. You have only got your toe wet. Keep going...

Quote:
Any type of flirt sent my way is bad news that serves as a reminder that I could have done better.


And this is part of the problem. What kind of environment are you in where women flirt with a married man?


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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