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Reigniting attraction in wife


Mocoboco
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Hi there,

My wife and I have been together for just over 10 years, married for 4 years and have a 1 year old daughter, we're early 30s.

We get along great, love each other, do lots of nice things for each other and are very supportive of one another.

But recently my wife has revealed that she is not really attracted to me currently, and isn't really "in love" with me currently. There's also someone else that she's had a crush on for a while - not something that she intends to act on, but it is distracting and detracting from her feelings for me.

 

Neither of us want to break up, we both want to fight to make it work. We have a lot of great times together and both love our daughter to bits. My question is: is this fixable? Is this something that's possible to work on to get back closer together and attracted to each other again? The sex life definitely fell off with the baby, but lockdown and time to think has made all things worse...

 

Would love to hear any experiences from people that have got through something like this.

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Thanks for your response, yes we'd to consider marriage counselling. Do you have experience with it?

She met the other man through work but doesn't work with him any more and has cut contact off with him, although the feelings aren't going away..

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Of course it is fixable. Your wife has been very honest and open about this and she wants your help.

 

Are you currently attracted to your wife? Do you help make her feel attractive even when she has baby vomit on her?

Are you a hands on father? Or just a provider? It’s important to be be both while also being a loving husband.

 

Despite lockdown you still can have romantic moments , dinner cooked by you or even food ordered in , still do date like activities etc

Do little things so she knows she is appreciated.

Get a hot bath ready for her while you put the child to bed etc.

 

A bit more clarity needed from you as to what’s going on at home that she felt disconnected from you in the first instance?

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I would recommend marriage counselling.

 

Also, who is this other man she has a crush on? How did they meet and is she in direct contact with him?

 

Thanks for your response, yes we'd to consider marriage counselling. Do you have experience with it?

She met the other man through work but doesn't work with him any more and has cut contact off with him, although the feelings aren't going away..

 

A friend of mine met a man through work while in a serious relationship and also experienced these kind of feelings your wife has. She told her partner. He was sad but extremely supportive to her.

She got past it and cut off contact , since married her partner and has 3 lovely kids.

 

I remember thinking she was bonkers telling her partner at the time but really they are the strongest couple I know and got past this bump in the road , without counselling.

 

The openess and honesty , lack of judgement from her partner , support from her partner is all it took.

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Have you asked her why she thinks she lost a romantic attraction to you? What does she say needs improvement in the relationship?

 

Do you have relatives in the area who can babysit so you two can have date nights? Of course with social distancing, this makes it more difficult now, but was this happening, or not, before? Besides being parents, you have to make sure you have some couple time to focus on that important connection, since a child takes up so much of your focus the majority of the time. When I was a Navy wife, we used to trade babysitting hours with other military families.

 

Doing new activities might help to break a mundane routine. There are so many exercise programs you can stream now, or dance instruction videos you could do together. Give each other foot and back massages. Write her a note about everything you appreciate about her. Have a picnic on the living room floor. Cook a new recipe together. Pick out new products for the bedroom at a couples store.

 

You can try this until you get in with a counselor, since those things normally take time to get an appointment. The therapist will also give you homework and the skills to improve things if she's willing to actually work on the marriage. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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Ask her and communicate with her what she feels is lacking in the relationship. You are not supposed to be a mindreader. Take her comments to heart but know how to parse through. Be aware that it will get personal and don't let it get heated. I think both of you have a lot of work to do. I call it heavy-lifting in a relationship because you can't rush through it and it's emotionally and mentally strenuous as you both uncover what you've both done or not done to cause rifts in trust. Be prepared for some serious talks about broken trust.

 

Something is broken there between the both of you and you don't seem aware of it. I understand you see the symptom of broken trust but you're not seeing what caused it. That's the hard work - finding out what happened in those 10 years. When someone finds solace in the attention or presence of someone else, there are deep cracks in trust. Things are not what you think they are on the surface. Take the time and communicate better with her.

 

Your question about whether it is fixable depends on whether you both can do that heavy-lifting and communication.

 

The forum cannot mind-read for you either so you must do that with her. Gestures of affection are ok but it is not going to repair broken trust and deep resentment spanning 10 years. I learned this the hard way. Sweetness and joy cannot be layered immediately on top of pain or trauma and broken trust between two individuals. It doesn't work that way. Repair the broken trust first and give time for resentments to come to the surface.

 

I strongly suggest marriage counselling because couples rarely do this right on their own. Have a trained mediator to help you both stay on track with those conversations.

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Of course it's fixable. One thing that helps is get out of your "routine" and be more spontaneous, do things outside your comfort zone, have a makeover. This friend of mine grew a beard, and wow he looks great! His wife loves it. Small changes can make a big impact. Nothing wrong with changing things up, start a new hobby, take dance lessons together, try golfing, or whatever. It's all about having fun, and finding that connection again.

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Fixable? Yes but this is not one of those do it yourself type of jobs. You both need to get into see a therapist/marriage counselor.

 

I am not saying your wife cheated physically but she emotionally cheated. What transpired between your wife and this other guy is way more than she let on...way more. She only told you part of the truth.

 

Basically she has turned her emotions towards another. Understanding why is the key and that can only be discovered in a counselors office.

 

Could you be a better husband and father? Of course but this is not all your fault or even partly your fault. She chose to respond to this guy, flirt and who knows what else while married to you. That is the first issue and the first question. Why did she think it was okay to do those things? In the end you could be the best version of yourself and she could do the same thing again and worse because this was her choice. I have seen people cheat on a spouse that was a wonderful person and also better looking, smarter, great personality, great body and fun. They cheated with someone that was none of those things because they thought they were missing something in their life.

 

Your wife needs to figure out what she wants in her life. You represent security and day to day life, this other guy represents excitement and passion. Hard to compete with that when you have bills to pay and a child to raise with all the responsibilities that come with it. You simply cannot compete with the fantasy she has built in her head. Get into counseling asap before this goes to far and she does something you cannot come back from.

 

Don't let her put this on you, it isn't your job to keep her from cheating.

 

Lost

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Hi all, thanks for your many thoughtful replies - this is the best forum i have posted on!

We continue to have daily chats about this, really exploring things.

It's feeling less and less likely we can come back.

She mentioned that for years it has seemed like I am dragging my feet with her: didn't want to get married (took a long time to propose), didn't want to have a baby (I wanted to wait another year), didn't want to have sex during late pregnancy or early on having our child (true). I can see that that would slowly kill her passion: her thinking that I did not have the passion myself. Actually many times I turned her down in the evenings even before we got married: my sex drive is very low in the evenings, it's much higher in the evenings, whereas I think hers is the other way around. But we never really spoke about it calmly and carefully, so that must've felt terrible to her. I feel awful now, thinking back about all that.

That's why I'm thinking it's hard to come back from this, I've been grinding her down for years and slowly crushed the spark.

She says we have all the ingredients of a perfect marriage apart from the spark (which we did have before). She really wants our life to make her happy but currently it doesn't, because of that lack of a vital component.

Some of you blame her for what you call the affair: I don't and never have. I know that nothing can stop a human heart racing out the gate, all I can do is forgive her out of compassion. I don't think there's more she wasn't telling me: they had a drunken kiss one night but he wasn't that into it, so mutual attraction wasn't there.

Many of the suggestions sound great but somewhat too superficial to really help.

 

Anyway there's more information, please do come back to me with thoughts.

 

FYI we are planning to start marriage counselling in the next couple of weeks. We both really want it to work out.

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Nothing can stop the human heart from racing out the gate??? What a romantic notion and also complete and utter bs, OP. What stops it is called integrity, loyalty, responsibility to your family and your spouse. Emotions are fleeting, but loyalty is a choice and she chose to cheat. NO, sorry it's not all on you so please stop with the guilt trip. Cheaters always always blame the SO - insert any blame shifting excuse you want here. When you stop listening to the blame shifting bs on what a horrible spouse you've been.....what rises from the murky waters is simple - choice. She chose to cheat and she got caught....ooops. Enter the blameshifting, the love bombing, the promises to get better, the I want this to work out, I'm sooo sorry I cheated (well not really, just sorry I got caught).

 

Oh you didn't propose fast enough, the spark was dead for years - then why did she marry you, why did she promise loyalty and fidelity in front of all your family and friends, why did she have a child with you? She had plenty of opportunity to walk away. I'd bet money that there was no problem until she ran across someone willing to help her cheat. Only then did you become a "monster" who was too slow, too this, too that. That's a whole lot of bs, OP. Cheaters lie and you better learn to understand this.

 

Anyway, you are not in a place emotionally or mentally where you can accept that you didn't cause this or that your spouse has some major character issues, so off to counseling you go. I hope it helps you and I really hope that a few years down the road you aren't back here at square one - because she cheated again.

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You are doing what I warned you not to do which is take the blame for her actions.

 

I always find it interesting that the marriage failures are all brought up AFTER one spouse meets someone new. Your wife basically blamed you for the way she is feeling. Don't fall for all that crap!!!

 

If you want to figure out how to repair this then there needs to be brutal honesty from you both. You are kidding yourself and trying to take the blame for all this because if it is your fault you can fix it, but if it is all on her then you have zero control of the outcome which is scary.

 

You really need to open your eyes and see her for who she really is right now, not the women you love so deeply that you would die for her.

 

By the way how did she end up in a situation where there was a drunken kiss?

 

Cheaters lie and she has not been totally truthful with you.

 

Lost

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Nothing can stop the human heart from racing out the gate??? What a romantic notion and also complete and utter bs, OP. What stops it is called integrity, loyalty, responsibility to your family and your spouse. Emotions are fleeting, but loyalty is a choice and she chose to cheat. NO, sorry it's not all on you so please stop with the guilt trip. Cheaters always always blame the SO - insert any blame shifting excuse you want here. When you stop listening to the blame shifting bs on what a horrible spouse you've been.....what rises from the murky waters is simple - choice. She chose to cheat and she got caught....ooops. Enter the blameshifting, the love bombing, the promises to get better, the I want this to work out, I'm sooo sorry I cheated (well not really, just sorry I got caught).

 

Oh you didn't propose fast enough, the spark was dead for years - then why did she marry you, why did she promise loyalty and fidelity in front of all your family and friends, why did she have a child with you? She had plenty of opportunity to walk away. I'd bet money that there was no problem until she ran across someone willing to help her cheat. Only then did you become a "monster" who was too slow, too this, too that. That's a whole lot of bs, OP. Cheaters lie and you better learn to understand this.

 

Anyway, you are not in a place emotionally or mentally where you can accept that you didn't cause this or that your spouse has some major character issues, so off to counseling you go. I hope it helps you and I really hope that a few years down the road you aren't back here at square one - because she cheated again.

 

I can only echo every word you say, Dancing F.

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Dont plan on counseling, make the appointment yourself. If you are working, your job might have an EAP that can get you in with a counselor right away. BTW, you don't have to wait to go together. You can go to a counselor by yourself then after a few sessions, she can go on her own or you two go together.

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Dont blame yourself. None of this is your fault. She's a grown woman. She chose to walk to down the path of deceit.

 

The fact she chose to engage in an affair instead of directing her energy towards working on the relationship says it all.

 

I'd be looking to seek legal advice and keep contact with her to a minimal but civil level for the kids sake.

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