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Jdreaux, I've only skimmed through this long blog but I can say that I'm in the same shoes as you are- but with a husband who I am no longer attracted to and can't stand to be around. It sounds like your revulsion towards your wife stems from both emotional and physical turn offs as does mine. My husband doesn't work out, eats poorly, has a nicotine and sugar addiction and looks very different than when I met him 5 years ago. However, most of that would be a non issue for me if he was kind, positive, selfless (at least some of the time), and didn't try to control everything. Instead I'm living with the meanest person I have ever met, who complains and curses from the moment he wakes up until the moment he falls asleep; he is unbelievably narcissistic in everything (including sex) and I spend my life bending to his needs and his whims. Its created total sexual aversion on my part, even though when we met I was actually the one with the higher sex drive but now he disgusts me.

I feel like I've aged 10 years in the 5 years we have been together. Every emotion in my body screams at me to leave - and I often fantasize about divorce or more often, fantasize about what my life could have been if he had never crossed my path. However, despite all of this I am still with him - I haven't threatened divorce, haven't cheated, haven't stopped hoping things will change one day even though it seems less likely each year that passes. Have you heard the saying "Marriage was not designed to make you happy, but to make you holy"? Dr. Harley encourages everyone to not settle for anything less than love butterflies I think its worth remembering that God didn't guarantee us that our marriages would be full of happiness or that we would have a partner who treats us as well as we do them. This is not to say that I think living with emotional abuse is acceptable nor that settling for unhappiness is the best course in the LONG run, just that we do have to actively fight the urge to bolt when things don't turn out the way we expected.

I'm here on this site looking for help just like everyone else but I also continue to remind myself of the pitfalls of thinking my life will be better without him, or better with someone else. Could it? Possibly, but if you look at the number of people unhappy in marriage you have to concede that you will probably find yourself right back in this same situation with another person. Different problems maybe, but same outcome. Like you, I also would be "perfectly fine" alone - but would I be happier after the initial honeymoon stage of getting this marriage off my back? Or would I end up like many other single ladies I know that are just as lonely and just as hurt because of all of the creepy dates, betrayal, rejection and failed relationships they go through trying to find "the one"?

I am praying God will put in my husband's heart the desire to change. I'm hoping he will instill in him the desire to follow the principles on this site to transform our marriage from a battlefield to something resembling a real partnership. But while I wait, and worry, and hurt, and cry I am careful not to fool myself into thinking everyone else has it so much better. I don't think for your marriage nor mine enough time has passed to give up hope on the person we made a life long commitment to. Don't spend as much time trying to figure out when to know when to leave - continue to do what you can (even if she won't do anything to help) and lean on God to make the changes in your spouse. Know that the decision to stay is painful but the decision to leave could end up being much more devastating in ways you haven't yet imagined.

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Originally Posted By: newlywed12
Have you heard the saying "Marriage was not designed to make you happy, but to make you holy"? Dr. Harley encourages everyone to not settle for anything less than love butterflies I think its worth remembering that God didn't guarantee us that our marriages would be full of happiness or that we would have a partner who treats us as well as we do them.


newlywed, Dr Harley encourages everyone to create and sustain a romantic marriage using these steps. People don't get married to lead miserable lives. The concept you are pushing here is unconditional love, marriage at all cost, which leads to neglect and abuse. That is more likely to lead to divorce. When a spouse suffers along, eventually they can't take it anymore and leave the marriage.

Originally Posted By: Dr Bill Harley
"The concept of unconditional love in marriage usually refers to a spouses lifelong commitment to care for the other spouse regardless of what the other spouse does. Im in favor of a lifelong commitment to care regardless of unfavorable circumstances (health problems, financial setbacks, and other factors outside a couples control that can negatively impact a marriage). But Im opposed to a lifelong commitment to care for a spouse when that spouse makes marriage-wrecking choices. It tends to give such people unrealistic expectations of entitlementthat they should be cared for, regardless of their willingness to care in return. Neglect and abuse characterize many marriages based on unconditional love.

In this Q&A column, Ill feature a letter I received from a spouse who was told to love unconditionally. Her husband has failed to meet her emotional needs, and is unwilling to do anything about it. Next week, Ill feature a letter from a wife whose husband has been physically and emotionally abusive. Both of these women want to know when enough is enough. When should they call it quits?
here

I would encourage you to take the time to read Dr Harley's articles on the follies of unconditional love:

Originally Posted By: Dr Bill Harley - this article is about physical abuse but the preface applies to UL
"Last week, I addressed one of the problems that unconditional love can create -- neglect. Many of those who believe that love should be unconditional in marriage feel justified in failing to meet their spouses' emotional needs. I described what spouses usually do when faced with neglect -- they end up having affairs or getting divorced. Those who stay married usually remain unfulfilled for the rest of their lives.

Then, I explained what spouses should do when they've been emotionally neglected. It begins with an effort to respectfully persuade a spouse to meet important emotional needs. But when that doesn't work, I recommend the very controversial step of separation until the most important emotional needs are met.

I help couples avoid calling it quits, not by teaching them how to endure disappointment and suffering, but by encouraging them to insist on having a mutually fulfilling marriage. My approach to the topic of neglect may seem radical to many, because they don't see marital neglect as a serious enough problem to warrant separation. But the alternative for many is to eventually call it quits when an earlier separation would have saved their marriage.

This week, however, my advice to separate will be easier to accept because it involves another serious problem that unconditional love can create -- abuse. In this case, you may feel that separation is too risky, that divorce should be the answer. But as you'll see, even in cases of physical abuse, I don't recommend throwing in the towel until an abusive spouse has been given plenty of opportunity to reform. Towel-throwing should take place only after reasonable efforts to reconcile have been exhausted.

As I mentioned last week, I've come to the conclusion that 80% of all divorces are caused by neglect -- important emotional needs are not being met. You'd think that abuse would be the major contributor, but it's not. In fact, physical abuse accounts for only about 2 1/2 percent of divorces. So while the wife who wrote last week about neglect appears to be in a reasonably safe and normal marriage, she's far more likely to call it quits than the writer of today's letter who is the victim of physical abuse."
here

Whats Wrong with Unconditional Love by Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D.

Whats Wrong with Unconditional Love (Part 2) by Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D.


"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: newlywed12

I'm here on this site looking for help just like everyone else but I also continue to remind myself of the pitfalls of thinking my life will be better without him, or better with someone else. Could it? Possibly, but if you look at the number of people unhappy in marriage you have to concede that you will probably find yourself right back in this same situation with another person.


Yes, but it is because you are the problem, not him. When you don't understand how great marriages are created and don't have the skills to sustain a great marriage, you will carry it into the next marriage. Great marriages do not happen by accident, but by design.


"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: newlywed12
Have you heard the saying "Marriage was not designed to make you happy, but to make you holy"?


Is that in the Bible?

My Bible says that every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of lights. It says God created lots of wonderful gifts for us to receive with gladness and thanksgiving.

Yes, marriage is designed to make us happy, because God is a gift giver.

The idea that marriage makes you better by torturing you until you stop wanting so much is a Buddhist idea, not Christian. The idea is that you will reach nirvana by learning to annihilate the longings that God gave you.

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Dr. Harley encourages everyone to not settle for anything less than love butterflies I think its worth remembering that God didn't guarantee us that our marriages would be full of happiness or that we would have a partner who treats us as well as we do them.


I am so glad that my wife followed Dr. Harley's recommendations and insisted on our marriage being nothing less than what God designed it to be. Now she and I are both able to be cheerful givers to each in marriage as God designed. Our children are so much happier and better behaved. Five of them are Christians. Both of us are able to give so much more at church than we were able to give before because we are no longer suffering at home.

Marriage is not a crucifixion. The Bible does not teach that marriage is a cross to bear.


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.
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.
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Originally Posted By: newlywed12
I feel like I've aged 10 years in the 5 years we have been together. Every emotion in my body screams at me to leave - and I often fantasize about divorce or more often, fantasize about what my life could have been if he had never crossed my path.


You are finding that what Dr. Harley says is true - women can't keep putting up with an abusive man who doesn't meet their emotional needs for years on end. It affects them physically. They end up with serious physical health issues like PTSD and compromised immune systems.

Most women in that situation will eventually leave their husbands. But it would have been far better for them to have left sooner, when they were still feeling like working on their marriages. In those situations many men rise to the challenge, step up their game, and rescue their marriages, and the wife still feels good enough to reciprocate.

If she drags on for years in pain, though, then if he ever does finally wake up it will be too late. He and she will both lose their marriage.

It's far better for her to say, earlier on "I'm going to put this on pause. I want to have a good marriage with you like we planned where we both make each other happy like we used to do when we decided to get married. But I can't do it without you learning to meet my needs. I love you and will wait for you. I won't be dating or moving on." Amazingly you will find that this is Biblical if you look at I Corinthians 7:10-11. You'll find there's a special concession made to wives there that is explicitly not made to husbands. It sounds like the Creator who made us knew the same things about what a bad marriage does to women that Dr. Harley has discovered in his years of experience.

You are already fantasizing about divorce. And you justify that. It would be better to separate before you feel that way. And it would be better to separate before you feel even worse.

Quote:
I don't think for your marriage nor mine enough time has passed to give up hope on the person we made a life long commitment to.


For a wife to save her marriage when the husband is not interested in improving, she needs to separate before she gives up hope. So she can bring that hope back if and when he decides to reconcile.

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But while I wait, and worry, and hurt, and cry I am careful not to fool myself into thinking everyone else has it so much better.


Most people do not know what to do to have a good marriage.

About 40% of marriages end in divorce.
About 20% of marriages end in permanent lifelong separation. They don't legally divorce, but they don't live together or see each other. Usually they live in adultery with someone else. (I guess some of the Bible believers in that group kid themselves that somehow that is better than divorce!)
About 20% of marriages stay together and stay legally married but they are miserable and do like you and fantasize all the time about how nice it would be if they could get a divorce or if they had never met their spouse or if their spouse were dead.
And only about 20% of marriages are happy and fulfilling like Dr. Harley describes.

Dr. Harley built his program by studying that 20% of successful couples. He found out what they do that leads to success and every couple that has emulated it has created a happy marriage for themselves.

Those people don't live like other people do. Other people don't even know how to do this; many of them have never seen a happy marriage. They only know the other categories.

In many of the 20% of marriages that are happy, the wife draws a line and insists that if her husband wants to enjoy a marriage with her he is going to have to do his part. Those wives are big complainers. smile Dr. Harley's wife Joyce is a complainer! But she is a nice complainer. So is my wife. smile My very Christian, Bible-believing and Bible-following Proverbs 31 wife. I am glad she insists on nothing but God's best for us.


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.
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.
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Originally Posted By: newlywed12
I'm hoping he will instill in him the desire to follow the principles on this site to transform our marriage from a battlefield to something resembling a real partnership.


There are principles on this site that Dr. Harley recommends a wife follow when her husband is not on board with the program, in order to maximize the chance that he will eventually follow these principles.

Do you think women are likely to succeed if they don't follow those principles?


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.
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.
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Unfortunately not all wives are able, physically, to do just that & say, I'm worth more than you are willing to offer. And then just go ahead with that decision without looking back.
Unfortunately it has come to the point, that after five years of abuse & neglect, I've actually been able to see it for what it was and not physically able to just step out & get a job. If I had been able, this would have been over,probably before it ever became a problem.
One of the big challenges in life is how we grew up. I was taught to give in, so I didn't really know what that meant until we were married. I was taught that my word didn't matter, I had to obey whomever had control over me at the time, so all I learned was give in, try to be thankful, and behave as well as possible. That didn't work either. He still said, I make the money! So just do your best to get it to where he can't threaten your well being, and go from there. His view might change or it might not...depends on how he was brought up. But by all means, take care of yourself as much as possible, and separate asap. He will either change his attitude & behavior, or you are definitely better off alone. I raised two children alone for ten years before I remarried...only dated 2 men. I dumped one because he didn't believe in God, and the one I married, only looked back at a wife who had Cptsd just like me, but was even worse off than me. She ended up in a mental hospital due to her illness. Thankfully the left side of my brain became more dominate most of the time, and as long as I get encouragement (I never had growing up) and guidance to think things through to the end... I will make it. Life may be hard alone, but it will be harder with someone I am unequivocally yoked to. Most of my greatest times now are spent alone with God.
RMW

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Quote:
Unfortunately not all wives are able, physically, to do just that & say, I'm worth more than you are willing to offer. And then just go ahead with that decision without looking back.

Most are more able than they think they are.
Most who think "I can't," actually can, they are just afraid.
Those who can't right now, Dr. Harley advises them to start making preparations so that they CAN separate. So the advice is to either separate, or start making plans so that you can separate.

I can tell you from experience that most wives who need to separate are scared. And they are usually so scared that they really don't need someone coming along to give them ANY reason to not separate.


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