Turning the corner on change

Turning the corner on change

Postby AppleGuy » Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:31 pm

I'm new to the forum and am taking the plunge to get some support and advice.

I've read the book and find it very useful in many ways. However, I wish I'd had it 10 years ago rather than now. I've been married almost 22 years. My wife and I did a good job raising her two sons from the first marriage and our 2 children from our marriage. Once the kids started leaving the house (there's only 1 left), the relationship really started to strain as we no longer had all the diversions and work related to kids and had to deal with each other more and more.

My situation is this...my wife is generally unhappy with our relationship based on my unwillingness to open up and be emotionally "close" to her. I on the other hand am pretty much OK with the distance and am good at pretending the relationship is just fine even though things aren't even close to good. I'd really like us to have more physical intimacy and affection, but I'm more willing to tolerate things as they are than she is.

In the last few years, my wife has completely closed up. She doesn't touch me, doesn't express any affection, and won't offer me any positive feedback. Her reasoning is that if I won't meet her half-way with what she wants (some openness and willingness to be completely honest about my feelings to her), then she shouldn't give me what I want. In addition (and she's right about this), as soon as she softens up and allows herself to show feelings toward me, I immediately assume all is forgiven/ok and go back to a place where I don't feel that I need to do work on the relationship anymore.

I realize that a big part of why I don't open up is that I'm insecure about my feelings and afraid of being rejected. Even when I put it on the list of "must do's", I still find it difficult to "check in" and say "hey, I thought we could talk a bit about our relationship" or whatever. In my wife's view, that's evidence that I don't really care about relationships and is very good at reciting every relationship I've neglected in the same way - my dad, brother, sister, friends, etc. I tell her that it's not that I don't think it's important, but that it's very uncomfortable and not a natural thing for me to do - plus I'm pretty spoiled and expect things to go right for me if I'm "pleasant and nice". However, after all these years of discussing it but not changing anything, she no longer believes me and I can't blame her given the lack of action in this category from yours truly.

Any thoughts on the best way to move forward? I often make these resolutions and commitments to change, but after a few days or a week I begin to feel comfortable and don't make much more effort. I admire the kind of person who can be open and honest and not scared of being who they really are, but i can't seem to turn the corner. On the other hand, if I could just make some progress in the relationship, I'd feel much better about myself and not under so much pressure to figure it out before it's too late.
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Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:54 pm

Re: Turning the corner on change

Postby Lachamakiita » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:13 am

Hello AppleGuy,

First of all, I would like to congratulate you for raising two children from your wife's previous marriage NOT all men do that! and it seems like you and your wife did a pretty good job. :wink:

So, you're basically saying that the problem in your marriage is because your wife is generally unhappy with you and your unwillingness to open up and be emotionally "close" to her! correct? Also, that you are pretty good with the distance and pretending that the relationship is just "fine". but on the other hand, your said," I'd really like us to have more physical intimacy and affection, but I'm more willing to tolerate things as they are than she is."

To begin with, you have to understand that man and women thinks in a totally different ways, there is some things that a man can tolerate more then women, in your case it seems like your wife does not tolerate the fact that you are emotionally close to her. In psychology their is a term called the Fundamental Attribution Error. Dr. Misiurki says, "fundamental attribution error is the tendency to blame the person and not focus on the situation. I believe that you are more concentrating in blaming your wife because she is unhappy but not the fact that you are the one who is not making enough effort. On the other hand, you seem to handle that but not that you guys don't have "enough" physical intimacy and affection.

Yet, my question to you is, how do you expect your wife to be happy when you are emotionally close to her? You can't not give what you don't receive! :(
you should try to have an Altruistic behavior, which according to General Psychology class notes is helping another person without expectation of personal reward or benefit. You should help your wife to be more expressive. How? By you being more open up to her, showing your real feelings, don't be afraid of demonstrating that you truly loves her. by doing that things will change, and overall, keep in mind that effective communication is crucial to the success of a marriage.

In conclusion, I want to say that I am gland that your are seeking for help, to become better husband. I suggest you, to not give up on your wife and try to be as honest as you can and also I would like to recommend you the book of:

The Secrets of Happily Married Men: Eight Ways to Win Your Wife's Heart Forever 2007, BY Haltzman and DiGeronimo
Table of Contents:
1. you've got Male
2. Beware of of Marrige Consuling
3. The Fist Way: Know your wife
4. The Second Way: Be home Now
5. The Fourth Way: Expect Conflict and Deal with it
6. The Fifth Way: Learn To Listen
7. The Sixth Way: Aim to please
8. The Seventh Way:
9. The Eighth Way: Understand the Truth about Sex
10.Introduce yourself

I hope that my opinion helps you! I wish you all the best on your marrige! and remember EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE! :wink:


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