Newest Member: zurichtime

General :
WS staying for the kids?

Topic is Sleeping.
default

Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 12:51 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

Feelings are never wrong

I suppose I would agree that experiencing a feeling is neither wrong or right, but might the feeling itself be objectively wrong in relation to empirical reality.

This phrase gets thrown around a lot in settings like Retrouvaille. It always bothered me, because I don't think feelings in and of themselves offer a good guide for navigating life in general.

I don't want to invalidate the experience of a feeling, but the phrase itself doesn't seem to hold up very well under logical scrutiny.

For example, WW's talk themselves into feelings all the time about their AP’s being “the love of their life.” This is almost always laughable in retrospect because it was a subjective feeling very much out of whack with empirical reality.

On the other hand if I'm angry about my WW’s adultery, this seems to comport with reality and bears out Jonathan Haidt’s research about primary moral emotions (yes, it turns out that old saw about anger as a secondary cover for other feelings is in fact false).

[This message edited by Thumos at 6:51 AM, July 9th (Friday)]

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH (me): 50, WW: 49 Married: Feb. 1996 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2:

posts: 4303   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8673845
default

jb3199 ( member #27673) posted at 1:00 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

She wants validation, not from you, but from others.

This smacks of wayward thinking. It is this kind of thinking/feelings got the M into this precarious position it is in now.

I foresee a relapse back into the wayward path in the near future, if your WS does not re-adjust her thinking.

ETA: She is falling back into the 'never enough' mindset. Your validation/attention is still not enough, or not good enough, for your WS.

Stated by RocketRaccoon on the first page, and I couldn't agree more. In the argument/discussion brought up by TheEnd and others, my questions are these--Mrs. TIF has stated that she wants to be something, not that she is going to do x, y, and z to be something. Why is that? My other question, PARTICULARLY BEING that Mrs. TIF was not long ago in an affair(sorry, TIF, I just don't see your wife as a FWW at this point). What has she done to better herself from this mindset? It was only with EXTRAORDINARY PATIENCE that TIF helped get her where she is today.

I know it's just my opinion, but you have to take the whole of TIF's story into account when you here theses words from his wife. It screams wayward mindset.

BH-50s
WW-50s
2 boys
Married 28yrs.(together over 30yrs.)

All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
D-Day(s): Enough
Accepting that I can/may end this marriage 7/2/14

posts: 3830   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2010   ·   location: northeast
id 8673848
default

Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 1:19 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

Tell her to get on twitter and write something inane every day. The internet is smothered in people trying to get their 15 minutes of fame. Once you look at all the ridiculous utterances that pass for intellectual ripostes you get the idea that most of us are just here for the ride and will pass into oblivion. She isn’t something special except to you and that’s not enough for her ego. You can’t fix that. You can only look after yourself and hope she recognizes her worth. It’s up to her. You look after you.

To thine own self be true. Shakespeare

posts: 2948   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8673853
default

Jambomo ( member #74853) posted at 1:20 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

I suppose I would agree that experiencing a feeling is neither wrong or right, but might the feeling itself be objectively wrong in relation to empirical reality.

I don't think feelings themselves are either right or wrong, they are just there. If you are in a relationship and feel strong lust/love towards another person then those feeling exist and it should not be ignored by that person, that they exist.

The difference is the conclusions a person draws from them and the actions they take upon having them. This is where it is right or wrong.

In a relationship, if you find yourself having feelings for someone then you get yourself out of that situation, do what it take to not interact with them and let those feelings die down (as they all will - most feelings need fuel, like fire).

If, such as TIF's wife, she feels less of a woman etc, then she has to work out what she can do within acceptable boundaries to change that and bolster her esteem. If, as I fear, for her that means having attention from other men, then you may be facing more trouble as I think for some, being a wife and mother can lead to them feeling less desirable and if that is the case and attention from her husband is not enough, then you may be in trouble.

I also think we have to move away from the idea that finding value in being a wife & mother should be enough. Not all women do feel value from this and indeed, not all women actually enjoy being mothers when it comes to it. It is a very individual experience so for TIF, its a case of helping his wife find out what she can do to help her feelings within acceptable marriage boundaries.

[This message edited by Jambomo at 7:20 AM, July 9th (Friday)]

posts: 240   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020   ·   location: Scotland
id 8673854
default

OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 2:03 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

I don't think feelings themselves are either right or wrong, they are just there.

Exactly.

What you DO about them can be deemed right or wrong in terms of damage to yourself or others, so that's why you explore them further. Why do I feel this way? Is it appropriate to feel this way? Is it rational or fair? Are my feelings actually about something else? Who should I talk to? How do I fix this feeling? How do I get rid of this feeling? Etc.

You first have to admit, right or wrong, good or bad, that you have a feeling inside you. Then you start making decisions about it. I would say that denying there is a feeling inside you and/or reacting (instead of carefully acting) on that feeling are what actually get people into trouble. You can't fix what you won't acknowledge or admit, and when you do admit it, you have to spend time working through it properly instead of immediately reacting and justifying your behavior based on your feelings (luuurve and all, as one example).

Feelings are just there. You can't be mad at people for having them, but you can be mad at them for denying that they are there or for reacting to them rather than working through them, especially if there were damaging consequences to themselves or to others. This is exactly why I do not support revenge. It does not neet the "dealing with your feelings in a way that avoids damage to yourself or others" test. There are better ways to work through hard feelings. It's also why I get frustrated with those who pursue divorce without work or effort (except in cases of infidelity and betrayal). ILYBINILWY is a feeling to look at and work on, not a reason to react and immediately divorce. Or worse, cheat.

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 8:13 AM, July 9th (Friday)]

me: BS/WS
h: WS/BS

Reject the rejector.
Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5264   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8673861
default

guvensiz ( member #75858) posted at 2:28 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

The only positive point here is that she told you all this.

You know, most affaires start with opening up marital problems to someone of the opposite sex. Naturally, it is not possible for others to see your wife as wife and mother, they only see her as a woman. It is very clear where to go from there.

posts: 509   ·   registered: Nov. 14th, 2020
id 8673863
default

EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 3:03 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

What mrs tif is feeling is not inherently 'wrong'. Feelings aren't wrong. Her telling Tif that is also not inherently wrong.

Why my radar is going off is because those words, delivered at that time, in that way, from a woman who has committed adultery is 100% a red flag.

You can't ignore her previous behavior and just take these words at face value, because coming from a ws things like this are loaded. That's part of the difficulty of attempting R I think. Things that would be simple statements just aren't anymore because you have a whole history of feelings like that leading to Tif signing up on SI as a BS.

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger

"Being weird is just a side effect of being awesome."– Unknown

posts: 3170   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: CO
id 8673878
default

sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 5:12 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

TIF, This is part of why it takes so long to R. A lot of time is required to overcome the BS's natural and self-protective skepticism. It's easy to lie to oneself an others for 6 months ... 2 years, not so easy.

I don't think feelings in and of themselves offer a good guide for navigating life in general.

Emotions always trump logic. Virtually every situation provides a range of possible actions. Emotions drive the choice of action, even when logic is applied. Consider: every logical problem requires evaluating parameters. Emotion is what determines the parameters that are used and prioritizing the parameters.

Each of us experiences affects. When shown photos, people of one culture can tell if a baby from a different culture is happy, sad, angry, interested, scared, etc., so it appears that affects are pretty much universal. According Sylvan Tomkins and his many followers, affects lead to emotions, but not necessarily the same emotions; affects are universal, but emotions are not.

Emotion leads to action, but there are wide variations in the actions that follow emotions/feelings. What my W does when she's angry is different from what I do. What our GS does is different from what W & I do.

On the other hand if I'm angry about my WW’s adultery, this seems to comport with reality and bears out Jonathan Haidt’s research about primary moral emotions (yes, it turns out that old saw about anger as a secondary cover for other feelings is in fact false).

I am not convinced.

What Heidt does is observe a number of people who get angry at adultery, assume that adultery is 'morally wrong', and conclude that 'anger' is a 'moral emotion'.

Another way of looking at hat is to observe that a lot of people get angry when betrayed, and as a result, they call 'betrayal' morally wrong.

I know many people believe morals are Divinely created and transmitted. I'm supposed to believe that; I read about receiving the Ten Commandments every year in religious services.

I'm monogamous. I believe any sex my W or I would have outside our relationship violates my morality. PST1 has a different view. Robert Heinlein thinks in an ideal world, polyamory would be the rule. Who's right?

Perhaps I'm right for me, and PST1 and Heinlein are right for them ... IOW, perhaps morality is socially constructed.

She wants validation, not from you, but from others.

This smacks of wayward thinking.

Not necessarily. For years I wanted the approval of others, but I discounted the love I got from my W (and friends) because I thought I got their love without really earning it.

Wanting the approval (and liking and love) of others in not a problem. The problem comes from thinking ego kibbles from others will fill up the hole some of us feel inside ourselves. My W's love didn't fill up the hole I felt, but I somehow realized no one else could fill it, either. My W wasn't that lucky or wise - she thought ow could fill up the hole she felt.

The cure for both of us is probably the same: to accept that each of us is lovable, loving, and capable.

[This message edited by sisoon at 11:54 AM, July 9th (Friday)]

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 26135   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8673996
default

 This0is0Fine (original poster member #72277) posted at 6:10 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

My wife is in IC and basically always has been for generalized anxiety disorder. She works and has a job that pays well (she has an MBA and works in financial operations), but is a little more than half of what I make (I have a PhD and work in a specialized technical field).

On being a more than a wife and mother, I think that I have gotten a lot of different feedback on this. I think this goes into the whole comparison issue too.

So I think of myself as a good husband and father. But I also like that I am successful in my job and keep myself active and healthy as a person. My wife doesn't feel like she is keeping up in the same way. That she is both less successful at work and maintaining her personal health, and that the being a good wife and mother is being offered up as some sort of consolation prize. I do think her sharing her frustrations with me is an overall good sign, rather than sharing them with someone else, or especially another man.

here are 8 billion people on this planet. Has she invented something? Is she a committed and accomplished artist? Has she founded a new religious order? Written a well received novel?

Back to the comparisons, I have invented things, and recently got my first sole patent. I think of this as part of my job. Plenty of my coworkers have patents. I am of course proud of these sorts of things. But my wife then feels the pressure of being in the shadow again, even if she does celebrate my success.

She is falling back into the 'never enough' mindset. Your validation/attention is still not enough, or not good enough, for your WS.

I always want to be very careful with this sort of thinking because my wife would use "I'll never be able to do enough" as an excuse to not do more or improve. I think my wife has brought legitimate negative feelings to me, and there is probably more I can do about it than complain back to her that what I am doing ought to be enough for her.

I remember your R involved some rugsweeping. And now they're starting to surface again.

Her quoted words may be 1% of all she says, but that doesn't mean she's 99% inside.

Even if nothing has happened yet, this is a sign of something very serious in the future. She seems to be looking for an external validation again.

You should talk to her more deeply about her words. What does it mean to be a woman? Doesn't she see being a mother and a wife as part of being a woman? Most importantly, is this something you can give her? Or, as her husband and father of her kids, is it not possible for her to see herself as nothing more than a mother and wife next to you? If second, there is nothing you can do. Maybe it can be solved through counselling.

I think by being "seen as a woman", she means more sexually desired. It may also be due to a decrease in your sexual approach to her, but if there is no such thing and it is at a normal level, it means that she can only be satisfied by providing it externally.

I did feed her minimization for a variety of reasons at different points in time. We didn't ever rugsweep though. The affair is always a possible topic. But we have covered it pretty well. It only comes up on occasion now. I don't avoid the topic if I feel like talking about it.

I have recently decreased my sexual approaches. Mostly because she was rejecting me (because she is having negative body image issues, has been busy at work, and stressed about our kids summer camps and such). We have talked about this, and I do think it's a bit of a negative feedback loop we are both in. She feels not sexy enough and rejects me, so I don't approach her as much, and this makes her feel even less sexy. Standard issue long term relationship sex stuff, but with the history, yes this could be a red flag or slippery slope. I don't think that is the case based on the information I have (it would have to be underground).

What would it take for her to feel amazing to herself? Because that feeling of amazing doesn't come from external. That's an internal self worth thing. And a perspective thing.

Your fWW has major insecurity issues. External validation won't do diddly squat to fix them. That has to come from within. I hope she finds a good way to figure that all out and then find her own sparkle.

This is of course a recurring subject, and one that would be great to solve in a more permanent manner. Sometimes she sets a goal and sticks to it, like doing a long distance race. But even that is a sort of "external validation" when it's showing of the accomplishment that matters more than the actual accomplishment.

The fact that she is clearly jealous of your recent successes and is trying to take attention from those and put it on her - man, that's not good. If it was a friend doing that and not your ww, my bet is you would think it was pretty shitty (cus it is). She's your wife - she should be happy for your success and proud and happy for YOU.

She needs to grow up and stop expecting happiness and 'amazing' to be wrapped in a box and handed to her. Those things aren't presents - they come from one's self.

I really believe you hit the nail on the head here Ellie. That said, she does set goals, she does work hard, she does have a good career. It's not like she is sitting on her ass doing nothing wishing she could have things fall in her lap. She just sees me having more success under very similar circumstances and it is frustrating her.

That I need to remember to do something for ME.

Which we have always made time for! That the annoying thing to me about this. I support her goals just like she supports mine. I make sure she has time to herself to do a hobby, exercise, do some self care, etc. Our chore balance is pretty 50/50 just not on each subject.

Id serve your spouse with divorve papers.

You will never trust your spouse ever again. Your relationship will forever be changed.

I recognize the permanent damage that the A did to my M and have accepted that cost as part of R. It doesn't mean all trust is dead forever. Just a specific kind of naive and complete trust can never be restored. I don't think I would have that in a new relationship ever.

First off, your WW is trying to communicate her feelings to you. That's what spouses are supposed to do. That doesn't mean you own her feelings but you listen and try to support her.

Everyone jumping in here like she's doing something awful... I don't even understand that.

Secondly, it is super common for SAHM or even working moms to feel this way. The way she put it might be uncommon "I want to be something amazing" but the underlying feeling happens very, very often.

Being a wife and mother are very rewarding things, but she is also a woman. A person. An individual. Wife and mother roles are about giving to others, putting them first, almost always.

The woman in her needs to be fed as well. And yes, it is on her to figure out what that means and pursue it but telling her husband she has unmet needs is hardly a red flag. Isn't that what we say waywards should have done in the first place?

I think this is and excellent post and do want her to be happy and feel fulfilled and wanted by me. I think she is showing vulnerability instead of lying to me and just creating more emotional distance.

Once that’s established then you two can work on how to maintain the spark. That might be as direct as seeking guidance from a relationship consultant. It can be as indirect as establishing joint financial goals, going to the gym at the same time, sharing housework or taking walks.

We did establish this, very clearly, and in writing. I know that doesn't mean much to some people, but that was the breakthrough that led to several behavioral changes on her part. We are about as materially comfortable as can be reasonably expected. We do have MC and we are both in IC (I'm down to 1/mo).

Her lack of happiness is not for lack of trying.

If this need for validation led to the affair and she's feeling it now, how is it not a good thing that she is talking?

Her internal motivations were largely selfish, just feeling good off the new relationship high.

The external motivating factors were largely coming out of her crisis, and was partially driven by her fear of sharing her pain and vulnerability with me. I agree with you that her talking with me about it is much better than her not talking with me about it.

Wayward thinking is significantly founded on the need for validation....I'm not happy....I feel unappreciated..... your success makes me feel undervalued..........this is not a safe former wayward mindset.

And that is more or less why I posted here looking for some wisdom. I think it's a little debatable how much is good news she talked to me about it, and how much is bad news that she is feeling this way.

You're on vacation and that should be an exciting time. Time filled with joy, play, and hopefully great memories with the kids and family, but instead you're here typing about what your WW said, and you're not all that happy. Your body just feels ughhh. Maybe something to consider TIF. I think you were on the road to saying that cheating was going to be a deal breaker, and you landed back at R.

Lots of good memories on this vacation. Also a strained one. I suppose is worth bringing up in this thread. After the original post, I went swimming in the ocean and my wedding ring fell off as I swam back in. I went looking for it a few times, but it's gone. I'm very upset I lost it. A large part of the reason it fell off is all the weight I lost. I can't help but think my wife would read something into this.

Incidentally someone observed above that women at midlife struggle with feelings of attractiveness and mediocrity. I'm willing to bet that, as a betrayed man whose wife was prepared to throw him overboard, you have similar struggles. And yet here you are, day after day after day, eating that shit sandwich.

Do you feel seen as a man, TIF?

I actually haven't felt these struggles much at all. Maybe I'm not quite old enough to be middle aged. Maybe I'm just full of myself. I've always been pretty happy with my personal health and attractiveness, even before losing the weight. I don't see her A as a reflection on my attractiveness at all. It was, as it tends to be, cake eating. She wanted the new relationship and her marriage.

Another possibility that comes to my mind is, could these be exit steps from marriage?

Probably the opposite. I think she is worried that I might leave her. I gave her the divorce letter in the first place. She could be worried I feel my success is separating me further from her and that I will attempt to "trade up" if I feel she isn't keeping up. If she wants to go, she can go. I won't be happy about it, but I wouldn't do anything to stop her.

What you DO about them can be deemed right or wrong in terms of damage to yourself or others, so that's why you explore them further. Why do I feel this way? Is it appropriate to feel this way? Is it rational or fair? Are my feelings actually about something else? Who should I talk to? How do I fix this feeling? How do I get rid of this feeling?

I'll try to use some of these questions next time we talk about her feelings. I was just very much on the defensive last time, leading to the flooding/stonewalling.

I'd like to make it clear this isn't something that happens often. I haven't had much reason to post anything on my relationship specifically since about February. That's a decent chunk of time. Certainly the best stretch I've had since the A.

The implication of this sentence, TIF, is that “kinda fighting” during which she DARVO’s you is relatively commonplace now, to the point that you turn into a silent brick. Anything you say is turned against you? Sounds like you aren't dealing with an honest broker, and hasn't that really been the issue all along? How long was that going on in your marriage before you found out she'd opened the marriage unilaterally?

No it isn't, which is why I wrote the preceding paragraph. She was looking down and I asked her to open up to me and she did. Yes it became a sort of "fight" because as I pointed out, and others see, I was the subject of her negative feelings about herself by comparison. So I felt attacked and became defensive when I was just trying to show support. This is the first time since December that we had an poor and unproductive conflict. Many other times we have discussed things more reasonably and used the tools we have learned in MC to work through issues.

No one bothers to post when things just go OK. I think we are all aware that the filter of what gets on to this site is always slanted toward the memorable negatives.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 1391   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8674011
default

Buck ( member #72012) posted at 8:02 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

TIF, based on what I've read of your posts, I would say your WW is far too selfish to stay solely for the kids. She sure as hell wasn't thinking about your kids during the A and it doesn't appear that she's made any inroads into becoming a decent human being.

Her jealousy over your work success is odd and shows the maturity level of a teenager. She's throwing herself a pity party instead of sharing in your success. You've succeeded in spite of her treatment of you and I think that's awesome. BTW, congrats on the patent, that's a huge deal and a major accomplishment. She doesn't seem to grasp that life is hard even if you don't make stupid choices that amount to shooting yourself in the foot.

What are you getting out of this relationship? It sounds like sex is odd, she doesn't sound very supportive, she's been unfaithful, she's treated you horribly, and she's not going above and beyond to atone or repair. What's the appeal for you?

posts: 332   ·   registered: Nov. 4th, 2019   ·   location: Texas
id 8674048
default

ChamomileTea ( member #53574) posted at 8:38 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

I haven't read the full story but I'm not agreeing with what is being said here.

First off, your WW is trying to communicate her feelings to you. That's what spouses are supposed to do. That doesn't mean you own her feelings but you listen and try to support her.

Everyone jumping in here like she's doing something awful... I don't even understand that.

Secondly, it is super common for SAHM or even working moms to feel this way. The way she put it might be uncommon "I want to be something amazing" but the underlying feeling happens very, very often.

Unless there's a lot more going on that we don't know about, I'm in agreement with TheEnd... it was a weird way to say it, but it still seemed like sharing a thought and opening up her feelings.

This is unlikely to be a popular thing to say, but at my age, I'm seeing generations of "special snowflakes" who by virtue of Reality being REAL, have to drop back down to earth. We all love our kids and we want them to really believe in themselves, but we set the bar really high telling them that they can do anything they want. It's sometimes a bit of a shock to be surrounded by all this human greatness and then to finally realize that our part to play is most likely going to be so small that once our grandkids are gone, we'll be swallowed up by history completely, anonymous and forgotten, just a name and some dates in a family tree.

So yeah... could it be some wayward thinking rearing its ugly head and waving a red flag? ..the possibility exists. But when we hear hoofbeats do we think zebras?.. or horses? Chances are, its just a wisp of longing shared with someone she trusts not to laugh at her for her temerity.

posts: 4574   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016
id 8674057
default

FamilyMan75 ( member #65715) posted at 1:27 AM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

She recently said she doesn't feel seen as a woman. She want to be more than a wife and mother. I asked her,"what do you want to be". She feels she is in my shadow and wants to be "something amazing".

This was something my wife dealt with for years. She's an amazing mother and kept our household going smoothly. She just wanted to be more than just someone's wife, someone's mother, and was never satisfied with being a stay at home mother.

It took a lot of self reflection, and is in a place where she has her own identity.

Me: 46 WW: 35 (serial cheater)
T: 16 M: 14
3DDs: 13, 3, 2
Reconciled

posts: 476   ·   registered: Aug. 5th, 2018
id 8674144
default

Thissucks5678 ( member #54019) posted at 2:10 AM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

I am in my WH’s shadow all of the time. I am successful, but he is much more so. I am known as his wife more than as my own person or my kid’s mom than I am my own person. It’s annoying and frustrating at times.

As we both get older, he is getting more salt and pepper and aging in that way that men sometimes do. He is not losing his hair or getting a beer belly or any of that. There is only so much women can do to keep up with the younger girls. He already cheated on me once with a 22 year old and he could easily do it again. He’s a good looking, even more successful now man and very desirable to these young women who don’t know any better like the last one.

I am not going to cheat. But I understand how women my age have this kind of existential crisis and lose their shit. I feel lost and I don’t really know what I want sometimes. Sometimes I just want to escape everything and run away to a deserted island and not be needed by anyone anymore. Not my job, my kids, my husband or my pets. It’s overwhelming at times and there is always too much to do.

Just to give you a little insight as to what may be going on in your wife’s head. I agree that it’s a good thing that she came to you with this. Communication is important even if it’s not what you want to hear. She has to figure things out for herself and hopefully with a little more IC, she will. I know I am working on myself and know that it has nothing really to do with my WH, it’s my own stuff to work on.

DDay: 6/2016

“Every test in our life makes us Bitter or Better. Every problem comes to Break Us or Make Us. The choice is ours whether to be Victim or Victor.” - unknown

posts: 1792   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2016
id 8674148
default

guvensiz ( member #75858) posted at 2:49 AM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

She feels not sexy enough and rejects me, so I don't approach her as much, and this makes her feel even less sexy.

She doesn't feel womanly enough, but she rejects when approached, and when you respect it and stay distant, she feels less sexy because she's not approached.

What a nonsense vicious circle.

You don't even mention her initiating intimacy with you. I don't think it's all due to her lack of self esteem. She clearly doesn't feel any attraction towards you. I can't say that she is definitely actively seeking external validation, but i can't say that she will not cross the line either when she is given attention. At least it's clear that she didn't expect that from you.

I think there's one way for you to stop her feeling like just a mother and wife and make her feel like a woman:

To divorce her and take full custody of children.

No, no, just joking.

posts: 509   ·   registered: Nov. 14th, 2020
id 8674152
default

 This0is0Fine (original poster member #72277) posted at 5:46 AM on Sunday, July 11th, 2021

Got back from vacation and had a nice talk about it and some things that each of us can do to get her feeling more seen as a woman.

I used some of the questions from this thread to dig in on the issue. Thanks again everyone.

It wasn't ever a crisis in the first place, but I think the weight of the A just makes stuff like this harder than it should be.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 1391   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8674434
default

guvensiz ( member #75858) posted at 12:46 PM on Sunday, July 11th, 2021

Did your conversations reveal exactly what she meant by what she said?

Does her expectation seem like something you can fix, or does it seem external?

If you get the impression that it's external but not a big deal, I suggest you dwell on it anyway.

posts: 509   ·   registered: Nov. 14th, 2020
id 8674511
default

 This0is0Fine (original poster member #72277) posted at 6:02 PM on Sunday, July 11th, 2021

Did your conversations reveal exactly what she meant by what she said?

Does her expectation seem like something you can fix, or does it seem external?

She said she felt like she is unnatractive. That we started losing weight at the same time, she is struggling, and she is finding me more attractive as I get in better shape. She feels like I am the most attractive I've ever been and that she knows even if she loses weight she won't feel that way about herself.

I find her attractive. I told her she still lights a fire in my heart. I told her it's not fair to compare yourself to your youthful self (sorry but I'm not going to bullshit her and give her some stupid aging like a fine wine line). I gave her a bunch of examples of stuff I know I will never achieve again that I did at my physical peak.

I pointed out the approach/rejection dynamic we had and she said she will be more receptive and appreciative. I told her I will make more flirty passes at her without actually trying to have sex with her. I didn't feel like I was being transactional, but she felt like I was only putting in effort when I wanted something out of it.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 1391   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8674579
default

guvensiz ( member #75858) posted at 7:55 PM on Sunday, July 11th, 2021

Physical attractiveness, another competitive area besides career.

Why can't she see you two as a team? She should rejoice, boast of you, that she has a successful and attractive husband.

If she's afraid of losing you because she thinks you're more attractive, shouldn't she just increase her interest in you instead of walking away and cheating on you?

I know she's looking for external validation to prove it to herself. But if it's you she wants after all, then this request for validaiton shouldn't run the risk of losing you.

posts: 509   ·   registered: Nov. 14th, 2020
id 8674602
default

 This0is0Fine (original poster member #72277) posted at 11:44 PM on Monday, July 12th, 2021

What are you getting out of this relationship? It sounds like sex is odd, she doesn't sound very supportive, she's been unfaithful, she's treated you horribly, and she's not going above and beyond to atone or repair. What's the appeal for you?

I didn't answer these questions before, maybe I missed them. I was just revisiting the post.

She is successful in her career and contributes financially to the home. She is a good mom, does a little more than half the household chores, and all the ones I really don't like. She scheduled all the summer camps for the kids and generally handles logistical planning. She does support me and will put in extra effort when I have to work late, or just to give me time for hobbies/sports. She has treated me poorly at times, but in the grand scheme of things I think horrible is an overstatement (though you and others have observed that I have an extraordinary level of patience...) She generally treats me well and shows her appreciation.

I find her attractive and the sex is good and of an acceptable frequency (generally 2 or 3 per week, though more like 1 per week with the drop off I brought up). I would like it more frequently, but it's by no means the end of the world. At the same time, I won't sit back and let it get really infrequent or bad. We've done sex quiz stuff and other things to openly explore together. Sorry if I've somehow made it sound odd. What seems odd about it?

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 1391   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8674969
default

jb3199 ( member #27673) posted at 2:59 PM on Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

I find her attractive. I told her she still lights a fire in my heart. I told her it's not fair to compare yourself to your youthful self (sorry but I'm not going to bullshit her and give her some stupid aging like a fine wine line). I gave her a bunch of examples of stuff I know I will never achieve again that I did at my physical peak.

This is a common issue that has always bothered me. I'm not talking about your wife specifically, TIF, but to any wayward or partner in a committed relationship.

Why, because the way one feels about oneself(physically), can they simply dismiss their partner's feelings?

Him/Her--"I feel ugly. I don't feel attractive."

Partner--"I find you beautiful. I always have."

Him/Her--"You're just saying that." Or, "It's not the same. You're my partner."

I know that we have to be happy in our own skin. And many of us may at one time or another have not been happy with ourselves. For whatever reasons--aging, poor diet, illness--we don't like what we are/see. But to dismiss our partner, who is telling you from the heart how they see you?

Just a little threadjack. But something that has always bugged me when I said this to my wife. Before, and after, infidelity.

BH-50s
WW-50s
2 boys
Married 28yrs.(together over 30yrs.)

All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
D-Day(s): Enough
Accepting that I can/may end this marriage 7/2/14

posts: 3830   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2010   ·   location: northeast
id 8675093
Topic is Sleeping.
Cookies on SurvivingInfidelity.com®

SurvivingInfidelity.com® uses cookies to enhance your visit to our website. This is a requirement for participants to login, post and use other features. Visitors may opt out, but the website will be less functional for you.

v.1.000.20211019 2002-2021 SurvivingInfidelity.com® All Rights Reserved. • Privacy Policy