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Broken Promises - It's hurting my wife and our marriage

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My wife and I have been married for about 3 1/2 years. We have a nice little life with a house, a son and a daughter on the way. But last night we had a fight that I would classify as a "wake-up call."


I was upset at the way my wife said something to me in front of some family members. I told her she hurt my feelings and then I proceeded to explain further. While doing this I suddenly got very angry and agitated and basically said something like:

"Well it sounded like you were saying F-you. So F-you and I'm sure you can find another husband out there who is not as attentive to your needs!"


I left the room and eventually fell asleep on the couch. I was waiting for 20 minutes or so for her to come apologize to me. Well that didn't happen and in the morning she yelled at me and ran out of the house and off to work.


I have had some time now to think and have come to the realization that I may be the worst husband possible. I thought I was the best husband. I give her every material thing she needs. I work from home so I am with our son all the time. I do almost all the work around the house and shop for food. I am very attentive. But you know what I don't do? I don't show her how I really love her. I don't tell her enough how wonderful she is and how wonderful life with her is. Our fight took place on Mother's Day. She reminded me this morning that I never once told her yesterday that she was a great mother. We spent most of the day with our mothers as well so the day ended up being more about them. But I made zero effort to make the day about my wife. I "do" so many things for her, but I don't show her love. I feel like I have broken many promises including our marriage vows. I have forgotten to love, honor and respect. I have promised to work on communication issues but have never done anything about it. As you can see I make a small fight turn into a big blow out so I have promised to work on anger issues, but I've never done that.


I can't expect my wife to forgive me right away. I am actively looking for a counselor to speak with as I hope this will be a step in the right direction. I also need advice from you to guide me on how to get my marriage back on track.

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Try to bring some romance back into your relationship. I know its difficult with the kids and working from home but put some effort into complimenting her, appreciate the little things she does. Surprise her, maybe prepare a bubble bath for her when she least expects it. That way she knows you been thinking of her.

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Good for you nels, you have had an epiphany! It is not what you give your wife as far as material items or things you do for her, you have had a windfall with this realization. Women are emotional creatures, seeing my husband play with our daughter is more of a turn on to me than any jewelry he buys me, etc. Having him listen intently to me vent about a crappy day at work, without interjecting with ways "he would have fixed the issue" means more to me than any 2 dozen roses he would give me.


It is ACTIONS not words that women see as progress, anything else is just blowing smoke up our butts. I am glad to hear you are looking into counselling, I think individual therapy will help you, but possibly some couples therapy might be a good idea as well.


Good luck and keep following the path you are on now. SHOW your wife what she means to you, here is a site I found that really helps figuring out how to deal with the differences in how the sexes view love and relationships:


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I suggest you read the "emotional needs" section, do the emotional needs questionaire with your wife, and read about the "Love Busters". Good luck and good for you for realizing this now, before it's too late. Take care!

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Start reading here (there is some pay stuff on this site for counselors to buy and use for their clients, but it's all on the site for free):


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It's a good place to start.


Specific to your problem, you may wish to jump ahead to here:


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Good luck. I hope things work out for both of you.

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While I would agree that the outburst was a bit much, I am one of those people that believe that where there is smoke there is fire.


That being said, I have a couple of questions for you:


1) What did she say in front of family members? How did she react when you told her she hurt your feelings?


2) During your argument with her, you told her to find someone else that is "not as attentive to her needs". Do you feel like you do too much, or that your needs aren't being attended to in return?


I just wonder if you perhaps you are suppressing some feelings here, correct me if I am wrong.....

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What exactly did she say that made you so angry? Was it trivial, substantive, or did it hit a button?


This sounds like a very typical issue among couples - how men and women express love. Women express love through emotional connection. They need to be told, they need to be appreciated on Mother's Day, they need occasional reaffirming eye contact and gentle touches...that type of stuff. Men, on the other hand, express love by doing, buying her material things, cleaning the house, picking up groceries, etc. You're trying to act in a loving way, the way men naturally know how, but she isn't "feeling" it.


"I "do" so many things for her, but I don't show her love."


You nailed the core issue. It sounds like you're far from the "worst husband possible." Work on your communication skills and anger management, and your "nice little life" will fall back into place.

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I also think you're far from the worst husband ever. I think all that has happened, was an epiphany. You know now that what she needs is not just the practical things. She needs explicit 'I love you's', hugs, appreciation, etc.


In addition, don't forget that she probably needs those things even more now that she's pregnant. At least for me, during and now short after the pregnancy, I am much more vulnerable in some way. I need the expression of love/appreciation more than before.

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Don't beat up yourself too hard, it takes so much for a person to show love in every way possible. Some are better at showing love and appreciation for another. It sounds like you are a successful person, which isn't always the case for others.


What do you think it is that's lacking? How do you communicate with her that you love aside from being the bread maker,being the husband figure, telling her that you love her. Women are more keen on the smallest things in that sense.


Simple things (from the heart of course) like recognizing her beauty, quality, gestures and other actions to show that you appreciate her won't go unrecognized. Surprise gifts of things she likes, random flower bouquet, little notes and just look back to the time when you did everything you can to win her heart.


You're not a bad person at all, like any of us there's always a room for improvement and things we need to constantly work on to keep the relationship strong. Trust me, last year's Mother's Day wasn't exactly the way I wanted it to be either (and it was my fault).

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