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#2864117 08/25/15 03:05 PM
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Hi all...
I just need a place to start. I signed up for free emails from another seemingly popular online help site and almost paid for it today. Then it struck me, "why are there literally NO negative reviews?" Long story short, I changed my mind.
I feel that I need to get a better game plan in place to save my marriage. I've been trying and some things seem to work, some things don't and I'm tired of throwing darts at the board to see what sticks. The information here has always been helpful and I've lurked for a while but I'm having problems with where to start.
The wife will not do counseling (which I'm ok with) and she did not agree to go along with that other path I was about to "lone wolf" on.
I could go on and on with the details but not sure they're needed? Can I just start on the questionnaires and the policy of joint agreement with or without my wife's involvement?

KPT #2864123 08/25/15 06:44 PM
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Hi KPT, why not start by telling us about the problems in your marriage so we can get you on the right path. How long married? Any affairs? Children? Any addictions?


"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


MelodyLane #2864163 08/26/15 12:22 PM
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Not sure where to start...
Married 16 years, two kids daughter 6, son 11.
My wife and I were high school friends and lost touch and later married in our 20s. I've always thought we had a great friendship and a great marriage. She's always been pretty emotionally withdrawn though, I think, based on things that happened in her childhood and teens (divorce, etc.)
For the longest time I held a job that had me working about 40 miles away from home. My wife took care of the kids morning and night - There's some resentment there I'm sure. I work locally now and have taken over those duties and have sincerely expressed my gratitude for how awesome she was and how much she gave doing that. Did I do it enough? Not sure...
At any rate. I thought we were doing good, great relationship, great conversation, good times with friends, are really all I remember. She remembers fighting. We never really fought a lot but when we did it was not pleasant. I felt, that she would hold things in until she exploded, then when she exploded it was hurtful and I exploded back.
I was in what could have been a pretty bad accident last June. I've always been active (running, cycling, weight lifting) and was determined that after the accident I would be better at all of that and I wouldn't be held down by the fact I was in the accident. I would always ask "do you mind if I (go run, cycle, etc)" and would always get a "yes" or a "Yeah, I guess".
A couple months after the accident, she just starts getting more and more depressed and removed (coming up on the 40th birthday). After enough prodding from me asking what's wrong, she eventually just snapped and told me that essentially her life wasn't what she wanted. The kids, the house, the car, nothing was enough. I was already going to therapy for the accident so I brought that into my therapist and we talked a bit about it. I realized I have anxiety issues and I also realized that I spent too much time (running, cycling, lifting weights) etc. So using that knowledge, I cut down on the activity and tried to spend more time with her and the kids. Also, since the accident, it makes you really appreciate everything you have. I've really tried to be a better husband and I think I've done well. I don't blow up like I used to, I take criticism a hell of a lot better, I try to do the little things here and there.
There was a time when that all seemed to be working, but I have a problem staying the course. Something will happen that will get me depressed and we'll have a conversation (mostly me talking) wondering if everything will be ok. A couple times she's said "I don't know" to which I respond, "so you're trying to decide between staying and leaving" and the answer was yes.
She went on a trip with family a few weeks ago and came back and for the first few days it was amazing. We missed each other, we kissed and hugged at the airport and she seemed honestly glad to see me. The sex a couple nights later was awesome. *that's been hard lately as I've noticed that as a male, when you're having sex with someone you love but there are relational issues, it actually causes things to "finish early"* On the same hand, we just had a little retreat and had a good time, but when we started to have sex she was just removed - she'll hold the bridge of her nose in that manner you do when you're just fed up or disgusted. So I stopped and went to bed angry. Woke up the next morning to her getting ready and we had a whole day planned but she was ready to go home. We had a conversation and I told her its had for me to keep trying. I told her I love her along with a few other accolades and she just sat in silence (which is typical) and she finally said "I don't feel the same anymore. It's more like you're my friend". Which, I'm not terribly hurt by. I've known that, and I'd rather be at the friend level than the enemy level, at least we have something.
I asked her to join in with me on the "dual track" program that I will not mention and she was not cool with that.
Are we perfect for each other? Maybe not. I've said to her before "we don't communicate well!" and it's true! She holds everything inside and always has. I don't help that by having blown up before when getting hit with emotional sledgehammers.
That said, I love this woman so much. She's beautiful, strong, unique, stubborn, a wonderful mom, a great friend, has such a terrific laugh and this sparkle in her eye. We have things in common and I think we fit. I'm excited to see her, I'm in love with her and I will do anything to save our marriage.
No addictions although we both like to drink. Sometimes the drunken state certainly doesn't help.
We do try to get out on date night (something we hadn't been doing really since the kids) but now she seems to be avoiding going together and preferring going with friends.
Not sure what else to say, but that's a lot. We've gone on a fantastic vacation since her blow up and done a lot of things we didn't used to do but it doesn't seem to be helping in the long run. It's wearing on me too, as I've always been the first one to say "I love you", the first one and usually the only one to say "sorry", the first one to initiate sex 90% of the time, etc etc. I know I'm last in a family of 6 counting the dogs but I still keep trying as I do believe anything can be fixed.
Hahaha, it's funny - A friend has said that I'm the typical female and she's the typical male...

Sorry for the ramble and verbal diarrhea smirk

KPT #2864170 08/26/15 01:01 PM
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Your wife sounds like she has fallen out of love with you. The good news is that this can change using the MB plan.

How much time do you spend together each week? This is time alone, not as a family taking care of the kids.

You did not answer ML's question about affairs. Has either of you had an affair? Are you positive she is not having one now?

unwritten #2864171 08/26/15 01:09 PM
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Yes, fallen out of love for sure.
Where would you start on the MB plan? That's where I'm at overload as there doesn't seem to be a set 1-2-3-4-5 deal. And can I go that route without her participating?
How much time a week alone - Man, not enough. Our monday through friday schedule leaves us with about 30-45 minutes alone at night to hang out. I leave for the gym in the early morning so she can go at night so I'm usually headed to bed early.
On the weekend it seems to be really family focused. We try to get out, but it's hard, baby sitter availability, lack of funds, not sure what to do. I've read the 16 hours a week and it's hard for me to fathom. The kids and the dogs require just a ton of attention.
On that same note, I know the family life wears on her. It is stressful and there's a lot of things to juggle. The dogs tearing the yard up, kids not listening, chores to do LOL you know the whole story.
Not sure on affairs. We've had some issues in the past where friends got too close in both our cases but that was umpteen years ago. Is she having one now? I honestly don't believe so. There's nothing that leads me to think that.

KPT #2864176 08/26/15 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted By: KPT
I've read the 16 hours a week and it's hard for me to fathom. The kids and the dogs require just a ton of attention.
On that same note, I know the family life wears on her. It is stressful and there's a lot of things to juggle. The dogs tearing the yard up, kids not listening, chores to do LOL you know the whole story.


KPT, everything you tell us indicates she has fallen out of love because your marriage comes last. 16 hours a week won't do the trick either, because it takes 20-25 hours per week to fall in love and 15 to maintain. I would focus on how you can get her out on 4 - 4 hour dates a week. Look into babysitting co-ops, family, whatever you have to do. If you will really work on it, you can do it. All of the things you mention: dogs, chores, etc, should come last, not first. And the most important thing in your children's lives is your marriage because that is the source of their security. Their lives would be wrecked if you divorced.

I would think on that and in the meantime, eliminate ALL love busters. You cannot afford even ONE. Every love buster negates weeks of progress. So you need to just accept that and change your behavior. Do you have the book Lovebsuters?


"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


MelodyLane #2864177 08/26/15 04:09 PM
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Start by reading Lovebusters and Five Steps to Romantic Love workbook. Start being as pleasant as possible and figure out a way to invite your wife out on fun, romantic dates.


"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


MelodyLane #2864194 08/26/15 07:02 PM
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Gotcha - thanks.
Is there anything I should bring her into the loop on or..? A conversation I should/can have?
I will tell you and I'm not trying to be negative but 4 x 4 is amazingly difficult. Do people really have time for that? Helping with homework, making dinners, etc. etc
I don't have either book but I will look into them! I will also admit it's tough to keep on keeping on since it's always been lopsided smirk

KPT #2864195 08/26/15 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted By: KPT
Gotcha - thanks.
Is there anything I should bring her into the loop on or..? A conversation I should/can have?
I will tell you and I'm not trying to be negative but 4 x 4 is amazingly difficult. Do people really have time for that?


Yes they do. But most people balk at first because it is such a strange notion. They have been neglecting their marriages for years so it sometimes takes some persuasion to get them to understand their marriage will never improve as long as it is neglected. See, couples who are in love don't have to struggle to find time for dates. They guard their date time jealously.

Dr Harley asks people who can't find time for their marriage if they manage to find time for their job? Most people manage to do that and it is less important than the marriage. But you don't have to give up your job to find time for your marriage. You just have to create sane priorities in your lives.

Quote:
Helping with homework, making dinners, etc. etc


If you had dinner out the kids could be fed pizza by a babysitter. Or you all could feed them dinner early and then go out.

Quote:
I don't have either book but I will look into them! I will also admit it's tough to keep on keeping on since it's always been lopsided smirk


We will help you with a PLAN if you will follow the advice. I would get the book Lovebsuters, read the first 3 chapters and come back and post about it.


"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


MelodyLane #2864245 08/27/15 10:13 AM
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You make valid points of course.

One of the challenges is finding a sitter. We are both extremely protective of our kids, her even mores. So it's usually the kids grandma that helps and getting a second sitter is super challenging. I'm not trying to make excuses, but those things sometimes are harder done than said. The marriage to me is and has always been number 1 but I know it's not that way with her and convincing her we need to get away and to start trusting other people is going to be tough.

What's the general opinion of telling people why I/we need the help so badly?

Other than that, I will buy the book today and start.
Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
Originally Posted By: KPT
Gotcha - thanks.
Is there anything I should bring her into the loop on or..? A conversation I should/can have?
I will tell you and I'm not trying to be negative but 4 x 4 is amazingly difficult. Do people really have time for that?


Yes they do. But most people balk at first because it is such a strange notion. They have been neglecting their marriages for years so it sometimes takes some persuasion to get them to understand their marriage will never improve as long as it is neglected. See, couples who are in love don't have to struggle to find time for dates. They guard their date time jealously.

Dr Harley asks people who can't find time for their marriage if they manage to find time for their job? Most people manage to do that and it is less important than the marriage. But you don't have to give up your job to find time for your marriage. You just have to create sane priorities in your lives.

Quote:
Helping with homework, making dinners, etc. etc


If you had dinner out the kids could be fed pizza by a babysitter. Or you all could feed them dinner early and then go out.

Quote:
I don't have either book but I will look into them! I will also admit it's tough to keep on keeping on since it's always been lopsided smirk


We will help you with a PLAN if you will follow the advice. I would get the book Lovebsuters, read the first 3 chapters and come back and post about it.

KPT #2864252 08/27/15 11:27 AM
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Also - here's another question

Is there a "too much"? My wife is one of those that could potentially turn and run if she feels pressured or smothered. Now, turn and run would in reality be just pull away from me emotionally. I don't see her actually leaving as the kids are so important.

KPT #2864259 08/27/15 01:02 PM
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You say you don't have time but between the 2 of you, you spend two hours per day at the gym. That's10 hours right there.

apples123 #2864261 08/27/15 01:05 PM
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You have time. You need to put the dates on the schedule first everything else will fall into place.

The problem with the activities you mentioned, errands, homework, etc, is that they expand to fill all the available time. If you have a 2 hour block of time, grocery shopping takes 2 hours; if you have 45minutes, shopping takes 45 minutes.

KPT #2864265 08/27/15 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted By: apples123
You say you don't have time but between the 2 of you, you spend two hours per day at the gym. That's10 hours right there.

Right, but that would also involve her becoming involved with the effort unless it was us going together (which we used to do back in the day). Then it's also her agreeing and not feeling like I'm invading her "me time".
Originally Posted By: apples123
You have time. You need to put the dates on the schedule first everything else will fall into place.

The problem with the activities you mentioned, errands, homework, etc, is that they expand to fill all the available time. If you have a 2 hour block of time, grocery shopping takes 2 hours; if you have 45minutes, shopping takes 45 minutes.

I see your point there. Good idea, block the time out first and let the rest fall into place.





Just adding my other thoughts/questions below in effort to keep them on the forefront of the conversation.
Originally Posted By: KPT
Also - here's another question

Is there a "too much"? My wife is one of those that could potentially turn and run if she feels pressured or smothered. Now, turn and run would in reality be just pull away from me emotionally. I don't see her actually leaving as the kids are so important.


Originally Posted By: KPT
You make valid points of course.

One of the challenges is finding a sitter. We are both extremely protective of our kids, her even mores. So it's usually the kids grandma that helps and getting a second sitter is super challenging. I'm not trying to make excuses, but those things sometimes are harder done than said. The marriage to me is and has always been number 1 but I know it's not that way with her and convincing her we need to get away and to start trusting other people is going to be tough.

What's the general opinion of telling people why I/we need the help so badly?

Other than that, I will buy the book today and start.

KPT #2864276 08/27/15 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted By: KPT
Originally Posted By: apples123
You say you don't have time but between the 2 of you, you spend two hours per day at the gym. That's10 hours right there.

Right, but that would also involve her becoming involved with the effort unless it was us going together (which we used to do back in the day). Then it's also her agreeing and not feeling like I'm invading her "me time".

[/color]exactly
Originally Posted By: apples123
You have time. You need to put the dates on the schedule first everything else will fall into place.

The problem with the activities you mentioned, errands, homework, etc, is that they expand to fill all the available time. If you have a 2 hour block of time, grocery shopping takes 2 hours; if you have 45minutes, shopping takes 45 minutes.

I see your point there. Good idea, block the time out first and let the rest fall into place.





Just adding my other thoughts/questions below in effort to keep them on the forefront of the conversation.
Originally Posted By: KPT
Also - here's another question

Is there a "too much"? My wife is one of those that could potentially turn and run if she feels pressured or smothered. Now, turn and run would in reality be just pull away from me emotionally. I don't see her actually leaving as the kids are so important.


[color:#FF6666]look for a gym with child care, trade, do background checks. But get it done


Originally Posted By: KPT
You make valid points of course.

One of the challenges is finding a sitter. We are both extremely protective of our kids, her even mores. So it's usually the kids grandma that helps and getting a second sitter is super challenging. I'm not trying to make excuses, but those things sometimes are harder done than said. The marriage to me is and has always been number 1 but I know it's not that way with her and convincing her we need to get away and to start trusting other people is going to be tough.

What's the general opinion of telling people why I/we need the help so badly?

Other than that, I will buy the book today and start.

apples123 #2864419 08/28/15 08:59 PM
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I've managed thorough a starting of the book. The principle is easily enough identified of course but the stories that accompany them are just tough to tolerate just because point is a few pages long and the stories are there to fill space

So frustrated right now because we have a sitter for tomorrow and all I get is I dot knows to any idea of what to do and has no suggestions and is just all together cranky. Things have been pretty good the last few days but this is exactly what I was worried about. No commitment, no ideas no nothing and would prefer to stay home and be miserable. And again I'm giving 150% and nothing is good enough

KPT #2864635 08/31/15 05:39 PM
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Hi again -
Should I break out the lovebuster questionnaire for her to fill out prior to me finishing the book?

KPT #2864645 08/31/15 06:56 PM
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Why cant you plan the date?

apples123 #2864649 08/31/15 07:56 PM
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Apples what does that have to do with the other questions I asked?

It's hard for me to plan something right now because so far nothing has worked it been met with much excitement. So I'm following MelodyLanes advice and trying the love buster route as there seems to be things I need to be more aware of.

Every just been afraid to move because you're not sure if the next step takes you closer or farther away from divorce?

KPT #2864655 08/31/15 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted By: KPT
Apples what does that have to do with the other questions I asked?

Well, in a recent post you said

Originally Posted By: KPT
So frustrated right now because we have a sitter for tomorrow and all I get is I dot knows to any idea of what to do and has no suggestions and is just all together cranky. Things have been pretty good the last few days but this is exactly what I was worried about. No commitment, no ideas no nothing and would prefer to stay home and be miserable. And again I'm giving 150% and nothing is good enough

apples was suggesting that, since you know that your wife is withdrawn and uninterested, you become pro-active in planning something you know that, when she is not withdrawn, she enjoys. Suggest that you do whatever it is, and ask her whether she would enjoy that. Make sure it is a recreational activity that you know she enjoys, that allows you to talk to each other, and preferably, to be affectionate, too. Cheap dates can involve going into a town centre, walking around (especially if there are evening displays or entertainment laid on for summer evenings), and having a few drinks or a cheap meal. Art galleries and museums are often free or cheap. Try not to take up the time watching a film or a play, where the expectation is that you will be quiet during the 2-hour performance - unless your kids are staying with their grandmother all day or overnight. Films and plays actually provide good subject-matter for conversation later in the evening, but at this stage of trying to bring your wife out of withdrawal, you need to make sure that you spend all your date time focusing on each other, and talking. Dancing is good for recreation, affection and some conversation, and there are plenty of other ideas that have been explored in threads on this forum.

It just seemed odd that you had a sitter booked, but it looked as if the date was not going to take place because of your wife's lack of enthusiasm and ideas. What did you actually do the night you had the sitter?

If you really want to pull your wife out of withdrawal, you are going to have to carry on cheerfully, when she is non responsive. If you are going to feel hopeless this early on, when you haven't even begun to use Marriage Builders, you are not going to get the marriage that you want.

In answer to your other question:

If your wife were willing to fill out the LB questionnaire, she probably would be willing to work with you in using the whole MB programme to pull your marriage out of the ditch. Is she willing to do that? Have you told her about what you've been reading, and that, if you both use the programme, it will turn your marriage around and have you both back in love before long?

If she shows any interest in using MB, you should ask her whether she would be willing to go on the radio show and talk directly to Dr Harley. If she isn't willing to do that, suggest that you send him an email in which you each outline the reasons for your unhappiness with the marriage. He will answer your email and your follow-up questions (free). If your wife won't join you in an email, send one yourself asking for help with bringing your wife out of depressions and withdrawal.

Could you speak to your wife about writing to Dr H? And in the meantime, what are your plans to achieve 20 hours' UA time this week?


BW
Married 1989
His PA 2003-2006
2 kids.
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