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Thread: Tips for getting through a good marriage without any real love?

  1. #31
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    Im in a very close situation. I would love to hear the advice ... and what you end up doing.

  2. #32
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    Last night, my wife and I had what I'd call Part 1 of what will probably be a much larger conversation. A lot of things came out. I'm very glad I posted here and listened to the views before I did that. Well in all honesty, I probably wouldn't have even done it had some of you not put me up to it.

    I told my wife about all the great things we have but also what's been missing for me and how that has grown and how I hit a point where I figured that was it, that it was gone. But that what I hadn't really seen was how totally complicit in that I was over the years. And how I have never once sat her down and asked what she wants. Where she is in all of this. And we went from there. It was a very honest start to talking it out and it was hard in places but it told me a lot. I think it told both of us a lot.

    One important thing it told me is that I was wrong - I'm not ready to just write off that part of my life. It's not completely gone. It's that I let it go. As you know, I had also been afraid of what my wife would say, that she doesn't enjoy sex or at least sex with me (which I guess is a sign that I hadn't truly given up). Well, according to my wife she loves giving me a good shag, as she puts it. She still wants me and desires me. But really what she was feeling was very similar to what I have been feeling. That we just let that go and, at some point, she stopped trying. The rest of life, our roles as parents and in our work just took over. Even with the talk of sex, I have realised that it's not just one thing and I think that has been a bit of a misinterpretation for me over the years. I often took it that the problem was a lack of frequency but it's not just that. There are three components for me: 1) that physical act, scratching that itch, 2) the passion, desiring and being desired, 3) the excitement and the exploration. They can all be part of the same thing but they require slightly different approaches and I missed all three, not just one.

    And as it turns out, my wife says she misses those things too. And there is obviously a lot more to it than the sex - a lot of it is how we see each other and how we interact with each other.

    So we ended the conversation in a very positive way. I kind of sprung the conversation on her so where we ended up is that, because I've been working through some of this and she hasn't yet, she will do a bit of evaluation herself in order to answer that question that I haven't asked enough (or maybe even ever): what does she want?

    I thought this would all be so difficult and there were tough parts to the conversation but she was really happy that I brought all this up. And there was a sense that, far from revealing that this is all dead and a lost cause, we have somewhere to go and we should have had these conversations long ago. I don't know where it's all going to lead exactly but it felt like a really good first step. And I have a lot of your posts to thank for that because they provoked a lot of thoughts. Especially when it comes to my own role in this. That I spent so long on focussing on what I was missing that I wasn't really thinking about how much of that was down to me. I mean, it's both of us but I don't think I was being entirely honest with myself the whole time. And I probably still have a lot more figuring out to do.

    But right now, it feels like something is happening.

  3. #33
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Greg40s
    But right now, it feels like something is happening.
    Excellent! Often times we learn that our discontent is less about what we're not getting, and more about what we're not giving. So glad to hear that you were willing to invest in giving you wife enough credit for a discussion. Hopefully it will unlock a shared same-side conspiratory kind of view of your marriage and the world that will open new doors for you both.

    What are the ages of your children?

  4. #34
    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    This is so so so great!! What a great conversation and building point.

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  6. #35
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    Thank you, both.

    Originally Posted by catfeeder
    What are the ages of your children?
    They are 9 and 11. Growing up too fast!

  7. #36
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    Originally Posted by Greg40s
    Thank you, both.



    They are 9 and 11. Growing up too fast!
    We got our life back about when my son was 15 and we could leave him alone for a few hours.

  8. #37
    Platinum Member lostandhurt's Avatar
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    Greg,

    I couldn't be more happy for you both. I commend you for being brave enough to start the conversation, I know it was not easy but it will get easier and easier each time. No matter what happens these conversations should never stop.

    I learned some hard lessons with my ex wife and from this forum. I used to ask my wife pretty frequently if she was happy and enjoyed our life together but I asked that when I knew deep down what the answer would be. As time went on I stopped asking because I was afraid of the answer. As it turned out she just isn't a happy person and has many of the same problems with her bf that she had in our marriage but that is another story. My point is asking those questions often lead to relief and optimism like you feel right now. It is kind of like asking a woman out that you really like but you are afraid to because she might say "no thanks" and ruin what might be (at least in our minds).

    You have done what most husbands have not and actually showed up here way earlier than most. Usually guys show up here or wives after resentment has set in and all hope is gone along with the "In Love" feeling and someone may have even cheated. You could have just saved your marriage and possibly turned it into what you always hoped it would be.

    Well done

    Keep posting (we all like happy endings and especially on here) and be patient, it took a while to get here so it will take some time to get to a place you are both feeling good about.

    Lost

    PS The one thing I know for sure is if you rock her world in the bedroom she will drag you in there all the time. Numerous studies have shown when women have awesome sex they want it more and more (duh) so make sure you have your A game ready when you both get to the rekindling your intimacy. It may sound silly but there are some excellent books on how to pleasure a woman in ways I would bet you never knew.

  9. #38
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    I literally got goosebumps reading your update.

    My marriage didn't fair as well and to see someone turn things around like this makes me happy. AND I don't even know you.

    I guess it's just those of us who know what it's like on the other side post divorce, will continue to cheer you on and live vicariously through you.

    I love a good ending♥ Or at least the beginning of one.

  10. #39
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Seeing Lost gave you some tips. I will tell you something my (male) therapist told me.

    ` I tell all my male married clients that one of the most important things you can do for your wife is listen to her. If you see women with each other they connect by talking, commiserating and sharing stories. Men while together are typically engaging each other by doing things, activities and such.

    Connect to a woman, or anyone for that matter by active listening. Do not underestimate the human desire to be heard and understand' Then he added in joking manner, `these guys would get so much more sex if they just listened to their wives'
    (not to be misconstrued into giving in or giving your power away, but just simple active listening)

  11. #40
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by reinventmyself
    I literally got goosebumps reading your update.
    Same here.

    Bravo, Greg. I could riff and ramble more, but for now: bravo. Knowing dudes like you exist makes me feel very happy and hopeful.

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