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Originally Posted By: writer1
Originally Posted By: Prisca

This is why many of us have pushed you to separate. Neglect is traumatic, especially for women, and IS a reason for separation.


I guess what I'm trying to figure out is what constitutes neglect.


What you are going through constitutes neglect.


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!

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A marriage merely avoiding a divorce does not equal a successful marriage.


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Originally Posted By: Prisca
A marriage merely avoiding a divorce does not equal a successful marriage.


True. But a divorce doesn't equal a successful marriage either.

The truth is, I'm not sure why my feelings for my husband haven't improved. Even when we spend the necessary UA time together, when we go out, have fun, have good RC and good Conversation (two of my top EN's), my feelings just aren't there. I enjoy the time. I have fun. I like my husband. But I don't feel romantically towards him, and I don't know why.

I hesitate to say this, because it always screams "AFFAIR" but I honestly do feel the "I love my husband (as someone I've been married to for a long time and have children with), but I'm not in love with him." And I'm not having an affair. I have no contact with any other men at all, in real life or virtually. There is absolutely no one else.

I always thought once my affair was over and the OM was out of my life completely (as he has been for a long time) that my feelings for my husband would return. I remember how I used to feel about my H. I remember how I used to get excited when he'd come home from work just at the thought of seeing him. Now I don't really care. And the scary thing is, I've gone from not caring but wanting to care, to not caring and not even caring if I care.


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Quote:

Even when we spend the necessary UA time together, when we go out, have fun, have good RC and good Conversation (two of my top EN's), my feelings just aren't there. I enjoy the time. I have fun. I like my husband. But I don't feel romantically towards him, and I don't know why.


We have told you why. You yourself have said why:

Quote:
I guess I'm just tired of always having to be the one who does everything.


Your husband is neglecting you. That's why.

You don't HAVE to do anything about it. But he's not going to change if you don't raise the bar. Your choice.


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Originally Posted By: Prisca

You don't HAVE to do anything about it. But he's not going to change if you don't raise the bar. Your choice.


Maybe I'm not even clear on what I want him to be doing that he isn't currently doing. I guess I need to figure out where the bar would be for me.


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Originally Posted By: writer1
Originally Posted By: Prisca

You don't HAVE to do anything about it. But he's not going to change if you don't raise the bar. Your choice.


Maybe I'm not even clear on what I want him to be doing that he isn't currently doing. I guess I need to figure out where the bar would be for me.


There's a place where you can set it that leads to a good marriage. Having it anywhere below there will lead to the same unhappiness you have had for years, and it will only get worse.

Don't pick a custom setting. Pick the one that works.

Marriage Builders is all about educating you where to set the bar to get a good marriage.


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, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
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Originally Posted By: writer1
Originally Posted By: Prisca
A marriage merely avoiding a divorce does not equal a successful marriage.


True. But a divorce doesn't equal a successful marriage either.


writer, this ^^^ doesn't even make sense...which kinda says a lot about your state of mind.


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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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Originally Posted By: black_raven
Originally Posted By: writer1
Originally Posted By: Prisca
A marriage merely avoiding a divorce does not equal a successful marriage.


True. But a divorce doesn't equal a successful marriage either.


writer, this ^^^ doesn't even make sense...which kinda says a lot about your state of mind.


It makes sense if you understand my strange, quirky, sarcastic sense of humor, but don't worry, many people don't.


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Originally Posted By: writer1
[
True. But a divorce doesn't equal a successful marriage either.


But divorce is the definition of success if it is to escape a bad marriage. We have many such success stories here. This is not a marriage at all cost program.


"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

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Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
Originally Posted By: writer1
[
True. But a divorce doesn't equal a successful marriage either.


But divorce is the definition of success if it is to escape a bad marriage. We have many such success stories here. This is not a marriage at all cost program.


I consider my divorce a success story. My marriage was completely unsalvagable and once I recognized that, my definition of success changed dramatically. It's scary but sometimes leaving the marriage is the right answer.


Age - 35
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Originally Posted By: tccoastguard

I consider my divorce a success story. My marriage was completely unsalvagable and once I recognized that, my definition of success changed dramatically. It's scary but sometimes leaving the marriage is the right answer.


I don't think my marriage has reached the point of being unsalvagable though. I'm not sure how to tell when that does happen. We certainly have our problems, but it isn't all bad.


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Writer, I completely understand where you are. I feel the same way

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Originally Posted By: writer1

I guess what I'm trying to figure out is what constitutes neglect. I know according to MB standards, my H would be considered neglectful. But by other standards, we actually spend far more time together alone doing things than almost any other couple I know in real life. MB isn't the standard for most of the marriages I see, and yet, they don't end in divorce. My friends who only go out a date with their husbands once a month, or maybe even once a year, would consider me insane if I told them my husband was being neglectful because he only takes me out once or twice a week.


I found this statement so alarming and hauntingly depressing that it kept me awake last night. I couldn't reply to you straight off because I was so freaked out that you believe this sort of marriage is normal and that everyone lives like this. (Together once a month!! I spend more one-on-one time with people I dislike!) Is this really what you think RL is like? It sounds to me to be more like ML - miserable life.

I know your mother and grandmother never gave you a great example of marital happiness. I suppose that also means there are not any people in the extended family who are happily married either. Your mother probably wouldn't have had any happily married female friends. I am however quite shocked that you have never met a single happily married person and that all your friends are neglectful spouses.

My mother and father, parents of three children, grandparents of five and working class people who sneer at psychology and marriage counselling, have always easily spent the 15 hours together. Without breaking a sweat. They married at 21 and would have considered giving up their entire romantic life at that age to be utter madness. They consider ignoring your spouse to be a very silly, modern and possibly made-up phenomena. In fact 15 hours together would have been a bad week. We probably spent more like 20 hours away from our parents as kids. They were always so passionately in love and still are today. That's what their adored grandchildren get to see.

My mother, a stay-at-home stalwart who is the epicentre of our world, quite frankly refuses to believe that people like you and your friends exist. My dad doesn't get why MB is needed. Why do people need buzzwords like UA and RH to care for their spouse and treat them like important people by 'having the time of day for them' he says. To them, Dr H is speaking such obvious common sense they cannot believe he is being paid to spell it out.

Mum: "What is this UA time, dear? It sounds rather complicated."
Indie: "No not at all. It just means Dr H says you should spend 15 hours alone together each week as a minimum."
Mum: "Do these people not like each other? Surely they must make plans to spend their weekends together or evenings? Two weekend days is about 16 hours surely? They cannot be always doing their work or caring for children. Who are they having their fun with, if not each other?"
Indie: "Some people just do not see the need to do it. You remember my WH never did and I wore my tongue out trying to convince him."
Mum: "Well, yes, dear but you never had children and you say many of these people do. At least you could get divorced, start over and find proper happiness. I can't believe people who have children would be so silly. They must have decided they enjoyed each other and would care for one another before having children".

She genuinely does not believe me when I say some married people do not want to date each other!

Dr H says that our upbringings can sometimes cause blind spots in our choice of companions. We are drawn towards people we are used to because their shortcomings feel comfortable. Do you think this might have happened to you? I can think of no other reason why you have chosen such joyless friends.

As my mother says: What DO you all do with the extra time? When you are not caring for kids and working, what are you all doing for fun at the end of the day/week?


What would you do if you were not afraid?

"Fear is the little death. Fear is the mind-killer" Frank Herbert.

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Originally Posted By: writer1
I guess what I'm trying to figure out is what constitutes neglect. .




Originally Posted By: Dr Harley

On the subject of neglect, I've chosen to feature a marriage that isn't all that bad from most people's perspective, but isn't good either. They probably even have a friendship of sorts. It's cases like these that leave a wife struggling to know what to do.

However women like L.R. suddenly call it quits with little warning, leaving her husband, family and friends scratching their heads wondering what's wrong with her.

Around 80% of divorces are caused by neglect. There's a much higher risk of divorce in marriages where spouses are not meeting each other's emotional needs than there is in all the marriages that suffer from physical and verbal abuse, chemical dependency, unemployment, and all other causes combined.

In this Q&A column, I describe what spouses usually do when faced with neglect, and then I explain what spouses should do. My approach is radical, and very controversial. But keep in mind the point I've just made-80% of divorces are caused by neglect. There's a much higher risk of divorce in marriages where spouses are not meeting each other's emotional needs than there is in all the marriages that suffer from physical and verbal abuse, chemical dependency, unemployment, and all other causes combined.



There you go. The 'not caring' feelings you describe too, is withdrawal - you are already emotionally divorced.

I think you might actually go for one of those emotional divorce marriages rather than an actual split, quite simply because you care so much more about what other people think than about what you think.

Originally Posted By: writer1


My friends who only go out a date with their husbands once a month, or maybe even once a year, would consider me insane if I told them my husband was being neglectful because he only takes me out once or twice a week.


It's your objection to the homewrecker site all over again.

It's the secretive, deceptive 'pretend all is well, little girl' upbringing all over again.

You would rather appear normal, lie and propagate cover ups to maintain a false image of perfection than face the truth of difficult situations.

You are deathly afraid of people finding out you are human, challenged, love starved, fallible and in need of help and support.

You know these lessons of your youth are flawed. So why do you, as Prisca so clearly phrased it, hold on to deception and cover ups "with a death grip". My motto throughout my D was "The truth will set you free". I have never met anyone who is as imprisoned by image and deception as you are.

I wish you were on this site. I am sure the OW on here will be more freed by the truth than you will be.


You are bright and special and you deserve better.

Last edited by indiegirl; 02/14/14 05:38 AM.

What would you do if you were not afraid?

"Fear is the little death. Fear is the mind-killer" Frank Herbert.

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Indie, the thing with most of the married couples I know is that, while they certainly don't spend 15 hours alone with their spouses every week, and think such a thing is impossible when they have children, they all appear to be very much in love. They seem to have good marriages. They claim to be in love with their spouses. Of course, I can't really know how they feel inside, but certainly all of them aren't lying?

I know of three couples who have both adopted several special needs children, and have several biological children too, who literally almost never leave their children with a sitter due to their medical issues. Yet all three of these couples appear to be and claim to be madly in love with each other. I have no reason to doubt them. They certainly seem happier than I am in my marriage.

Yet, my husband and I go out alone together on a regular basis, and we aren't in love. We get at least 10 times more UA time than these couples, but they seem far happier than we are.

I come here and people say that isn't possible. But I see it. I've witnessed it.

The real world, as I've experienced it, is nothing like MB.

Most of the people I know have told me that I'm probably unhappy because I keep coming back here, keep having these unrealistic expectations of what a marriage should be like.


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writer;

My 2 cents:

Would you say you feel cherished by your husband? Is it possible this is the missing ingredient?

If you don't, what do you think it would take for you to feel cherished?


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Originally Posted By: writer1
Indie, the thing with most of the married couples I know is that, while they certainly don't spend 15 hours alone with their spouses every week, and think such a thing is impossible when they have children, they all appear to be very much in love. They seem to have good marriages. They claim to be in love with their spouses. Of course, I can't really know how they feel inside, but certainly all of them aren't lying?

I know of three couples who have both adopted several special needs children, and have several biological children too, who literally almost never leave their children with a sitter due to their medical issues. Yet all three of these couples appear to be and claim to be madly in love with each other. I have no reason to doubt them. They certainly seem happier than I am in my marriage..


Even in the unlikely situation they are happy to spend all their time caring for children with no respite, that's not the case with you. Children are exhausting so perhaps they are superhuman. We do know however that you aren't. You know that you are very unhappy and you and your H are the more human type of couple who requires a break from your work and cares and to have fun.

I've personally never met any superhuman people who never need rest or fun. (Can we hear more about the once a year lady!?) However I have met plenty of martyrs who claim that they do not.

Even if it was really hard to get a 'sitter', don't these children of your friends have anything else going on in their lives? It can't be healthy for any adult to spend 24 hours a day seven days a week caring for children without a break, but ignoring that - what about the poor kids?

It can't be healthy for them to have a worn out parent permanently hovering about them either. Don't they have play dates, or clubs or dance classes or societies? friends? family? sleepovers? I spent a great deal of my childhood with extended family but even children who don't have that need to develop social skills somehow, someway.

Special needs kids need outlets and friends just as much, if not more, than anybody.

Plus they are watching an example of their parents not socialising or having a life either. Which just means this cycle will go on and on. I just don't see the benefit in making life all work and no play and putting that blame on the children who are probably aching for a break themselves.


What would you do if you were not afraid?

"Fear is the little death. Fear is the mind-killer" Frank Herbert.

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Originally Posted By: writer1
Most of the people I know have told me that I'm probably unhappy because I keep coming back here, keep having these unrealistic expectations of what a marriage should be like.


Translation: "Lets all stick our heads in the sand and it will all go away". This is not the kind of thing that happy people say.

Unhappiness is unhappiness. You are are not making it up.


What would you do if you were not afraid?

"Fear is the little death. Fear is the mind-killer" Frank Herbert.

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Originally Posted By: catwhit
writer;

My 2 cents:

Would you say you feel cherished by your husband? Is it possible this is the missing ingredient?

If you don't, what do you think it would take for you to feel cherished?


I'm not sure. I think my husband does cherish me. I think he's certainly trying. He sent me a very in-depth, lovely email this morning for Valentine's Day, expressing a lot of feelings. But I just don't know how to reciprocate them right now. I feel myself pushing him away every time he tries to get too close. I don't even know why I do it. It's like I'm afraid of intimacy.

I know I've always been very stand-offish and introverted. Maybe a personality trait or maybe a product of my upbringing, I don't know. I spent a lot of time alone as a child. My mother said I never liked being touched, even when I was a baby. I cried every time someone tried to hold me. But there were many years in my marriage where I had no problems with affection, touch and intimacy. I don't know why I'm having such a hard time with it now.


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Originally Posted By: indiegirl


Even if it was really hard to get a 'sitter', don't these children of your friends have anything else going on in their lives? It can't be healthy for any adult to spend 24 hours a day seven days a week caring for children without a break, but ignoring that - what about the poor kids?

It can't be healthy for them to have a worn out parent permanently hovering about them either. Don't they have play dates, or clubs or dance classes or societies? friends? family? sleepovers? I spent a great deal of my childhood with extended family but even children who don't have that need to develop social skills somehow, someway.

Special needs kids need outlets and friends just as much, if not more, than anybody.

Plus they are watching an example of their parents not socialising or having a life either. Which just means this cycle will go on and on. I just don't see the benefit in making life all work and no play and putting that blame on the children who are probably aching for a break themselves.




Well, two of the families have at least one very seriously disabled child - basically wheelchair bound and unable to even feed themselves. So with them, I don't think playdates or classes or sleepovers would ever be possible. They also have kids with Down's Syndrome and other disorders. One family actually has six adopted children, all of them special needs. I honestly don't know how they do it, but they seem happy and they don't seem to regret the choices they made to bring these kids into their families.

But no, I don't think I could ever do that.


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BH and I are raising my OC together.
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