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She feels like she "settled"

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Hello all,

First let me say I am sorry for the long-winded post.

Vital stats are:

32 yo male. Married 8 years. Two kids. Varied education and work history.

I met my wife in college and fell immediately in love. we married and have never had good communication. I have always tried to develop real intamacy in our marriage but for eight years she has continued to keep me at arms length. Our sex life is dismal. once a month is doing well. Last YEAR we were "together" four times. The forcast for this year is not looking any better. Any time I try to talk to her about the issues in our life, it either turns into a shouting match or she just blows the issues off because she just wants to "keep the peace"

I admit that I am far from the perfect husband. I have not always been as attentive as she might like. I am also easily distracted by lifes challanges. I am in the process of bettering myself in an effot to make myself more acceptable to her. Working out multiple times a week(for no more than an hour,at home) going to school, doing TONS more around the house(to be that helpful husband), spending quality time with the kids,and being "up"and flirty with my wife.

All of this stuff has actually become annoying to her. I cant figure out just what it is that she really wants and she is not telling me what she wants.

I am hopelessly in love with this woman. I find her to be stunningly sexy even after two kids and the toll that working parenthood takes on a woman. The sex thing is really bumming me out because I am a VERY sexual man and want nothing more than to be giving to her in bed. Frankly, It is pathetic that the closest that I get to real sex with her is the mental replay of sex with her during those times where I am "taking care of myself"

I have tried to get her to come with me to therapy, but since it is me with the "problem" I have gone alone. It ended upthat I went to get the tools needed to exist in a loveless marriage until the kids had grown. The idea being that XX ammount of years is a long time and alot can change for the better. If not I would then get out while I still had life left to find someone to have a vibrant relationship with. I want to say though, that it is with this woman that I long to have that relationship with. I guess I am looking for some advice as to what I can do to try to get her to fall back in love with me. I understand that I cannot "make" her love me, but there has to be something I can do to make the situation better. There has to be a way that we can each get our needs met with out argueing. I am firmly commited to our relationship. During a "discussion" with her I said that it felt that she was distancing herself from me and that it feels as though she feels that she had settled for less than she deserved, and that she is resentful of that. VERY painful when she said nothing to dismiss this assumption.

Any help would be great. If more info is needed...I am game.

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Hi there,

I feel for your situation so much that I was brought to tears. I am a married woman in England. My relationship lacks a lot of attention from my husband who I really love. I feel that the only way to protet my feelings is to distance myself but that doesn't work as he will ignore me more. Luke can be a great man but he feels that I should be more independent emotionally. But I need to feel loved.


You are an amazing guy to try so hard for your marriage. It is also fantastic that you sought therapy but you really need to take your lady with you. Based soley on your post I'd say that she needs to open up and talk to a third party with or without you present as long as her feelings get aired. You need to know what the problem is before you can set out to fix it, even though you are doing a great job so far.


Please feel free to email me or chat via msn mesenger: email removed


Hayley Michelle

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Hello. Your effort with your wife is admirable. You are totally in love with her. I would like you to look back on how you both fell in love? What were the motivations, for her, for you? At what point, did you grow apart? When was there a problem that maybe you or her didn't see? Is she really attracted to you? Do you think she is cheating on you, emotionally if not physically, or both? What level of relationship experience did you both have?


I ask this because I feel I was a slave to my own insecurities and married my man of 5 years (2 kids also). I have never had that passion and maybe I stayed with him because I knew he loved me more than I loved him, he would give me that unconditional love, that I would never get hurt anymore. I guess I got a puppy and not a dog as someone would way, that puppy fixed my emotional scars by having had years of unrequited love and/or lust in my own life (that is not a healthy basis believe me).


I am also sure she feels there is no improvement to be made and that is why she is not trying or opening up. Honestly, I am sure there are some big issues going on in her head. Would you want to know?


I suggest that you tell her that she needs to go to counselling for maybe some personal growth and emotional issues. That may be a first step in going with you to get through this. Sounds weird, but maybe she needs to chat online and tell all? Bon chance.

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I agree that she could benefit from some therapy. I can tell you that there is NO WAY she will go though. I think that the reason is a combo of the "its not me with the problem" and the "I do not agree with Psychology philososophy". I am really on the rollercoaster here. I want to make this work but I am also in need of some physical contact with someone. I want to feel free to love on my WIFE with out feeling pushed away or that I am being annoying. I am not talking about just sex here. (although that is a good thing too) I cant remember the last time she just came to me and showed me any affection. Sex is on her terms and her terms alone. When we were dating we were together EVERY DAY. I felt that she was hot for me. Since we have been married, I quit asking for sex because she would either turn me down out right or start up with me but it was REAL obvious that she was just not wanting to do this but "Its my duty so I guess I will" at that point I would just stop and then she would be mad at me for stopping. Or I would try to keep going, to try to satisfy her(and me) but would stop "functioning" talk about a fight then.

It seems that I have quite a mess on my hands here. i am at a loss as to what to do.

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Ouch. I can sympathize, to some extent......I've been with my fiance for 2+ years and we've had sex less than 8 times, and only ONCE in the last year and 8 months. And his equipment works, I know this for a fact. Like you, I want affection and sex a LOT more, and talking to him always turns into a fight or him saying that he has stress, and just flat-out finally told me that sex didn't interest him much. Great. So yeah, I feel your pain. The counselling suggestion didn't work for me either, since he feels that he's in his right not to want sex like I do. Sheesh.


I'm not sure what to tell you, honestly. From the sound of things, you have made EVERY possible effort, and been met with resistance as a reward. If she won't even acknowledge that she might be part of the problem, I don't think the situation is going to fix itself. A couple obviously has to work TOGETHER to solve these things, and if one half of the equation isn't willing, there's no solution. You can't "make" her do anything, so the question is, "How long are you willing to wait and be unhappy in a marriage where you don't feel loved?" Eventually you're going to resent her, get angry at her just by looking at her and wanting her and knowing you can't have her, and turn bitter about the time you've spent trying to please her. And divorce from someone you love is awful, especially when there are kids involved, but it's YOUR life, your happiness, your need to love and be loved IN RETURN. Are you going to sacrifice your feelings for the next 40 years? That's how I picture it, when I think about my relationship and the similar circumstances-do I want to still be in this same place, effectively having a roommate until death do us part? Not particularly. But I'm not giving up yet.


I don't know, hon. If you can't talk to her, if she won't go to counselling, and if she won't change her opinion that it's not her, you're in a hard, hard place. It's left to you to decide how to handle it. But keep in mind that you're sacrificing your happiness with every little thing you do for her that's rebuffed, thrown back in your face, or just generally unappreciated, and how that makes you feel every time it's done. It's not fair to you. Just don't feel guilty, when you've done everything in your power. Guilt at having to possibly hurt someone is a huge motivator for staying in an unhappy relationship, and if you can say you've done it all and have no other options and nothing left to offer to change the way the relationship is going, then there should be NO guilt. Good luck, and please keep us posted.

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Again I understand totally about the sexual issues here. My husband turns me down but in my case it is because he is tired or he wants to do something else, like read or play on his PC. it still makes me feel very rejected. I just want to turn him on. Sorry, I should focus on your problem.


Have you tried arranging a weekend away somewhere isolated and beautiful? It may sound silly but maybe she just needs the two of you to have some carefree relaxed fun? Don't put on pressure for sexual intimacy. Just spend time talking about non-important things. Talk like you did before you married. How about that? Worth a shot? Be friends again. Can that happen?


If that isn't possible or probable then try asking her to come with you to see a counsellor.


Next step, if you can handle the possible outcome, is to demand that she tell you why she is cold to you. By 'demand' I don't mean threaten but firmly asking. Don't give her the silence option, you deserve to know, it is your right to know. If she used to have sex through duty then surely the same logic applies to discussing fears?


I hope any of this is useful to you. Luke and I are planning to have a holiday as soon as we can afford it. I have asked him to come with me to counselling and although he believes it is my problem he has agreed begrudgingly. I did do the demand and it worked. It helped me to understand him and help us to work together. Things between Luke and I are not perfect but I feel they now have room for improvement when only a few weeks ago I wanted it all to end.


Let me know how things go....


Your friend,

Hayley Michelle

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Can I ask you how old your children are? Do you think they see a problem, now or in the future? Will they respect you more if you stay and are unhappy? Less I think because you will respect yourself less.


Ask your wife, I see things are not working here since we are not having good intimate relations, so why are you staying with me? If I left you, how would you take it? Put the pressure on her.

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The kids are 6 and 12 They seem to roll with the ups and downs pretty well. The younger of the two is a carbon copy of me so sometimes I think he feels rejection more deeply than his brother. She can be somewhat harsh with both of them as she is fairly overwhelmed most of the time. I am hopeful that there will be some kind of breakthrough soon.

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Your wife is distant to the children aswell?


I hope you are right that the situation will get better soon. Your wife needs to open up and talk with you about the troubles you share. anything that can trigger that will help your situation. Counselling, a break from stress or even a verbal shaking could get her to acknowledge the situation. Hopefully she will do just that.


Kindest regards,


Hayley Michelle

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