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Thread: Help getting the spark back

  1. #1
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    Default Help getting the spark back


    I got a bomb dropped on me last friday. Things the last year between my wife and I haven't been great in terms of our romantic side.

    First a little background. I'm 33 and she is 30. We have been married for 4 years, been together for 13 and been best friends for at least 16.

    We met in high school but didn't actually "hook up" until after I was done school. I think she was in her last year. We have been living together in our own place for 8 years. We bought our first house the same month we got married. Not intentional by any means. We found out 3 weeks before our wedding we needed to get out of out apartment. We some how managed to make a house work thank god!!

    We have a beautiful and healthy 3 year old girl. She is wonderful but I wonder if whoever made up the terrible two's never made it to three's :-) She has been a handful lately and we aren't sure why. I am not sure if she is adding to our stress or if our stress is making her act out.
    Don't get me wrong, she isn't that bad. Normal kid stuff.

    I think my wife has been in love me longer than I have loved her. She had a weight problem and it took me a while to get over that. She was my best friend and I did care for her but at the same time, I cared what other people thought. It was January 2000 that I realized I wanted her for the rest of my life. We didn't get married until 2005 but we both decided we had to wait for the timing to be right.

    Our sex life was great. It wasn't every day but multiple times a week. The year leading up to our wedding was easily the best "sex year" of my life. She lost some weight which helped her self esteem and I think that is part of why it was so hot.

    Once we got married, it did trail off a little but it was still acceptable for the 2 of us. We had a house now and the extra work load took a toll on us. I'm not a super horn dog but I would be very happy with a couple times a week.

    As the next couple years went is got less and less. Once my daughter was born, she went through a transformation. I understand why of course. I have looked after our daughter myself and it is hard friggin' work!

    Over the last few years, it has got progressively worse. She was back at work so there was even more workload to deal with. About a year ago, I got really sick of being denied. We would go weeks without having sex. When we talked about it, she generally seemed concerned too. She was always tired. A friend was always the butt of a joke. He had been going through this for years and always told us how he had to beg like a dog. I couldn't let myself get that way. I started to resent her. We would do things which would start to lead up and then she would say she was too tired.
    The famous line was "lets have Mommy / Daddy time tomorrow night".
    Well, you guessed it, she was even more tired the next night. Or, even worse, she would invite people over or make plans with her friends to go out. Talk about a self esteem beating!

    I decided after many many talks and being told that she didn't know what was wrong and that she just had a low sex drive that I would stop pressuring her. Lets just say I have had A LOT of alone time the last year. We have had sex on occasion but my performance has suffered. I don't know why. Maybe I was taking care of business too much? I certainly didn't feel like I was satisfying her when we did have sex. I don't have a high opinion of myself due to this. I have always thought of myself as okay looking and "decent in sack" but I have really taken a beating the last few years.

    I don't go out much. I'm a home body. I have friends but I have lost a lot of my closest friends in the last few years. Not for any real major reasons. I am just at a different point in my life. I have a wife and a daughter. They don't get while I don't want to party and got to the bar all the time and stay out till 6:00am. They don't get that I get UP at 6:00am. I love my house and my family and I like being home.

    I keep fish. I had a lot of tanks but it was taking too much of my time. My wife told me a few months ago that she felt I wasn't keeping up my end of the chores since I was spending too much time with my fish stuff. She said if things don't change she can't keep up this way. I sold everything. I now have 1 tank that I setup really low maintenance. I get to keep enjoying my hobby and only require a couple hours a month for maintenance.

    My only other time for me is Nascar. I like to watch the race on the weekend. Even though she gets to go out at least a couple time a week for her time, I rarely had a few hours of uninterrupted, sit on the couch, have a few beers and watch the good old boys get into some rubbin' and racin' :-)


    So, on to the bomb! The last couple weeks have not been very nice. Our daughter has been tough on us. She has been going in early and staying late at work. Since she wasn't home as much, I didn't have time to take care of things around the house. I have a bit of a side business that has helped our financial situation lately incredibly. I haven't had time to deal with things and stuff is starting to pile up. When she did come home, I was trying to get that take care of. I was really starting to resent her again. More than ever. When we were home together, we could hardly look at each other.

    Friday was a bad day. I had a crappy day at work and was really looking forward to some couch time with her that we had agreed on the night before. Around 2:00 in the afternoon I got a call from her saying she was going out with her friends. Great! i didn't rush home and when I got home I was MAD! After stomping about the house for a bit I finally went in and looked at her. She ask what I wanted and we actually sat down for a talk.

    She tells me that she feels there is no spark anymore and she doesn't know what she wants. She says we are room mates and thats it. Then she said
    it.... " I don't think I want a divorce but i don't know".

    Then her friend shows up and they take off. Great. Didn't get any sleep that night! Then the next morning I get up and go for a long walk with my dog.
    He friend stayed over and I was ready to put on a happy face. I was hoping she would leave but she didn't. We had plans to go up to out family's place that day. Our folks only live about 15 mins apart so we usually hit both families when we visit.

    I had to ask her to tell her friend to leave since there was no way I could go and spend the day with our family's without at least talking about it.

    She said she didn't know what to say. She had a lot of issues about herself that she needed to deal with. She did not have the greats father figures. He real dad left her when she was about 3. She didn't have any contact with him until she was about 16. They started to build something and then he completely dicked her around. Offered to pay for school and then started bouncing cheques.

    Her stepdad was in her life fro the time she was about 5 or 6 I think. He is a NUTBAR! He is manic depressive and was very hard on her. Not abusive physically but mentally for sure. I actually got my parents to get her out of his house when she was 17. She lived with my parents and I for about a year until her Mom finally left him. He is still in her life as she has 2 step sisters. We don't see him too much though since he is not stable enough to be around my daughter. He freaks out for no reason and yells and it scares her. She would cower in the corner for 6 months after he started yelling at my sister in law. After that incident, we don't put up with it.

    Anyway, you see she really does have issues. I'm not sure what they have to do with me? I have been the rock in her life. I accept her for how she is. I love her to death. I never want to be without her. She is an excellent mother and with her help I am an excellent father. I love my family. Did I say that already??

    She is going to see a therapist but my mind is driving me bananas! She has lost even more weight and is (edit) gorgeous now. We have been using condoms since my daughter was born and I hate it. Too much info? The reason I say this is because a couple weeks ago she decided to go back on the pill.

    What is my twisted mind now thinking? She now looks HOT and has gone back on the pill to get ready for being single. I am very jealous of a guy she works with. Every time she work late she says she goes to dinner with him. I hope it's just me but I don't know anymore.

    She swears there is no-one else. We have had a few friends break up due to cheating and she has always said she would never do that to me. I think I believe her but I can't stop wondering if someone has caught her eye and she is thinking about it. Maybe the dude she works with, maybe some one I don't even know about.

    So now that I've written a novel, I need to know how to act? How can I get the spark back? How can I continue walking around the house with the thought of her leaving me? I fell like I have been kicked in the heart. I hurt and I have no-one to turn to.

    I am scared to do anything for fear of making it worse. Do I suck up and let her do what ever she wants? That to me makes me a pushover and not what I think she wants. Do i start being romantic again and push her away even further?

    I need help ladies. Hopefully someone with some insight has been able to read this monstrosity of a post and can lend a hand.

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by CHANDLERS WISH; 12-12-2009 at 03:49 PM. Reason: word is censored for a reason - no skirting profanity words

  2. #2
    WH Head Moderator Array WildChild's Avatar
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    Where to start? Many women (and men) get the Mommy Syndrome. You know mommies aren't supposed to be sexy, they are supposed to be, well, motherly? That can cause some real issues.
    It does sound like therapy is a good idea, she's had some difficult stuff to deal with that could have been very damaging to her self esteem.
    The working late going out to dinner with another man does sound iffy. Can't blame you for being concerned. At least she has told you, that's one positive in there.

    Kids can really be stressful and yes, they do reflect your stress and often magnify it.

    All this inviting people and such is an avoidence technique. She is avoiding intimancy. When you have sex, does she orgasm? Are you sure? Interestingly in surveys and studies men pretty universally say they can tell if a woman is faking it and that their partner(s) have cum. Yet when the women are questioned almost all say they have faked it at some time and some fake it all the time. A woman who isn't getting full pleasure from sex, isn't very motivated to keep having it.

    Over and over we get posts her about the pill causing women to lose their sex drive, so that may not help much. A non hormonal IUD would be a better choice in that regard. It's is interesting that she made this change without any discussion. Did she give any reason?

    I would guess that your performance is suffering because you are stressed. It might not hurt for you to have a few visits with a therapist. They may be able to give you some insight and some ideas. It certainly wouldn't hurt to give it a try.

    Being a pushover isn't the answer and neither is goinf overboard on the romance, you are right, that could push her further away. Communication is really your biggest tool right now. Let her know how much she means to you and how much your marriage means and that you are ready and willing to do what it takes to save it. See if the two of you can find some sort of middle ground?

    I have to admit to getting very frustrated with these situations. I've been there, trying to hold it together - more than once (I'm a slow learner I guess) it is very painful and difficult. The only person who's actions you can control is you. You can't make her respond as you want. You can't make someone love you or want you, no matter how badly you want to. Focus on yourself and your daughter and let your wife know you are open, loving and want to find a way to make it work.
    We can only learn to love by loving. - Iris Mudoch, British writer

  3. #3
    Silver Contributor 100+ Posts Array baja's Avatar
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    I echo WC's comments, but I must say that as I read your posting I see a lot of serious red flags. I know you weren't looking for a guy's opinion, but here's how it looks to me...

    She seems to have checked-out, played the "roommate card", isn't acknowledging the ever-increasing investment you are putting into the relationship to compensate, is callously inviting friends over as if you actually are roommates, criticizing how you spend your time, taking away your hobbies, is avoiding you, taking you for granted, clearly spending time at work to have more exposure to the guy you referenced or someone else and the condom/pill thing is extremely curious.

    I'm sorry, but for her to frequently work late and always have dinner with a guy when she has a husband and child waiting at home is not acceptable. This isn't coincidence, this is pre-meditated. She may be telling the truth that nothing has happened, but the trend would suggest that things are about to become unhinged soon.

    What's worse, is that this has eroded your confidence, esteem and has resulted in her having most of the power & control. This is cruel, since you were obviously there for her when she had issues and needed you. I fear you were a convenient support system for her and now she is looking at potentially expanding her options. All I can say is that if you continue down this path, you will lose the relationship, your happiness and your self-worth. WC has provided a recommendation around a softer approach to the solution. I would normally say this is the better course of action if things were on more equal terms... but they are not.

    I think this situation calls for far more direct communication, confrontation, expectation setting, joint-therapy and re-leveling the relationship... and... be prepared to walk-away with your daughter.

  4. #4
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    All this inviting people and such is an avoidence technique. She is avoiding intimancy. When you have sex, does she orgasm? Are you sure? Interestingly in surveys and studies men pretty universally say they can tell if a woman is faking it and that their partner(s) have cum. Yet when the women are questioned almost all say they have faked it at some time and some fake it all the time. A woman who isn't getting full pleasure from sex, isn't very motivated to keep having it.
    I wish I had an orgasm detector I can say that we have tried to spice things up with toys etc. If she is faking with me, she is faking with them too or has learned to mimic the real ones because I don't see a difference between the orgasms she has with toys and the ones with me.

    Over and over we get posts her about the pill causing women to lose their sex drive, so that may not help much. A non hormonal IUD would be a better choice in that regard. It's is interesting that she made this change without any discussion. Did she give any reason?
    She hasn't been on the pill for 4 years. She just went on it 2 weeks ago. Could 2 weeks of hormones be the cause? Don't get me wrong, as I have explained, these issues go back but in the last 2 weeks, things have changed dramatically for the worse.
    As I said, I have issues with condoms. Part of it I am sure is the fact I'm taking care of myself a lot since I have been trying hard not to pressure her. When we do have sex, I don't have as much pent up sexual energy because I am masturbating. That is part of the problem no doubt and I know that. Due to that, and the fact that I just want to please her so that she may want to have more sex, I do put a lot of pressure on myself. Condoms decrease my sensitivity dramatically and sometimes I don't get off. It's very hard on me and has to be hard on her. We have talked about it before and think I have tried very hard to let her know that it is me and not her. It has nothing to do with the fact she isn't sexy. The last time we had sex was one of those times. Our daughter was downstairs watching a TV show that was going to be over in 10 minutes so we were "on the clock". The pressure was too much and I had one of my moments.
    Afterwards we talked and she said "that wouldn't happen if you weren't wearing a condom." I agreed since it never happened before condoms. She said she was going back on the pill. I said we should discuss it further. She said her periods were getting worse and more irregular which was the reason she went on the pill originally way back when. I was under the impression this was still in the discussion period since I agree the hormones are not good for her. She had made a doctors appointment which I thought was to get information. She told me after that she got the prescription but hadn't filled it yet. Again, I thought we were going to talk about it further but then a week later, I found out she had already started taking it.



    Baja, it isn't that I don't want a mans opinion. I welcome it! I just thought women might have more insight as to what she is going through.

    I really hope you and the little voice in the back of my head are wrong. She really has never lied to me that I know of. I really think she is being honest with me know. Everything I have read tells me not to think about it. Put it out of my mind. Don't spy on her emails or text messages. The thought has crossed my mind. I am trying very hard not to.

    Everything I have read tells me get my own life. Do things for me and leave her the alone. I expressed to her that I am confused and not sure what she wants from me. Does she want me to leave her alone? Does she want me to try and rekindle the passion? She said I should do what I feel like. If I feel like giving her a hug, i should. If I fell like giving her a kiss, I should. So, should I? Of course I feel like hugging and kissing her. Most of the time I feel like throwing her on the kitchen counter and showing her that I do still find her to be the sexy woman I fell in love with. Obviously, that may be a little overboard but should I kiss her? Should I hug her? Should I continue doing the things I do for her? I like doing things for her. I like making her a tea. I like getting up 5 times in a row to grab her things when she is doing her nails. Sure I get a little frustrated sometimes and wonder why she can't ask me for all 5 things at once but for the most part, I like doing thins for her. It makes me feel good. Don't get me wrong, I am not her puppet. I do say no. When she says jump I do not say how high. She does a lot of things for me too.

    If she thinks we are just room mates now and not partners as she has said in the last few days, do I stop doing these things to show her we are still more than room mates? Room mates do not do these things for each other.

    Anyway, I'm on my way to another novel and I shouldn't be. I'm at work and have things I need to do.

    Ive gone back 10 times editing things so hopefully this all makes sense

  5. #5
    WH Assistant Head Moderator Array LanaBear's Avatar
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    Have you thought of marriage counseling? She's not being fair to you. She can't say, "I don't think I want a divorce, but I don't know" and not expect you to react in some sort of manner. She's not owning up to her end of the bargain as your partner by not being able to communicate what is going on with her.

    Can you leave your daughter for a weekend with one of the grandparents? Have a weekend with just the two of you, dinner, conversation, etc.? Go back to what it was that brought the two of you together and find out if that spark is salvageable...

    The lines of communication need to be opened up. One suggestion... Print off your first post and let her read it. Tell her you are keeping a journal because your just not sure how to approach her anymore, but that you'd like her to read a couple of things. Maybe she'll then realize how much this is hurting you... Just a thought.
    Friendship Prayer
    May the fleas of a thousand camels infest the crotch of the person who screws up your day and may their arms be too short to scratch.
    Amen

    Whoever said anything was possible obviously never tried slamming a revolving door.



  6. #6
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    Thanks Lana. She has sought out counseling but I am not sure she has called yet. I don't want to be too pushy. She knows she needs help and I guess thats a good thing.
    I will be going to talk to someone too. Not sure if I should see the same therapist or not. We will eventually be going to see someone together so i guess it makes sense we are seeing the same person.

    I want to tell her how I feel. I want to take her away for a weekend. The problem is, everything I am reading about midlife crisis, potential infidelity, etc all say to stay away. Get my own life because by trying to draw her back to me, all I will be doing is pushing her away. That is why I am so confused.

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    WH Assistant Head Moderator Array LanaBear's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm not sure I agree with the whole stay away part... I don't know. It's a tough call, but can you sit back and not at least give it a shot?

    I mean, don't sit there and ask her 24/7 what is wrong, what is going on, what her plans are, etc. But you do need to communicate, just the two of you, that's my thoughts on putting your dear daughter with the grandparents and talking.

    Hubby and I are both 32, I pulled away for a good while, no real reason. I didn't communicate, didn't want sex, etc. It hurt him. We were kind of just living life, we got a long, but I don't know, now that I look back on it (and I do often) I'm embarrassed and sad that I did this to him. I was busy being a mom to our boys and forgot how to be a wife I think.

    My hubby would try to talk to me about it, but he's very analytical, there's an answer to everything, right? He over thinks and over analyzes (which, after being here, I've come to realize a lot of men do), but I just didn't have any answers for him. I knew it was me. I don't know, hard to explain. A lot of men probably would have given up a long time ago, but he didn't, I'm amazed really that he didn't. And one day, literally, a switch flipped for me. I realized it was no way for him or myself to be living when we did love each other, but yes, I needed to find the spark again. I did and I'm forever grateful that he didn't give up on me...

    Like I said, I don't know, I just don't feel that you should let her build a new life while being your roommate... You know? You ARE part of her life and will always be. While I believe that you do need to hold onto some individuality while in a relationship, one person just can't go ahead like the other one doesn't exist...
    Friendship Prayer
    May the fleas of a thousand camels infest the crotch of the person who screws up your day and may their arms be too short to scratch.
    Amen

    Whoever said anything was possible obviously never tried slamming a revolving door.



  8. #8
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    Thanks again Lana. Your situation sounds very familiar. Did you feel like you were just room mates and had no passion? Did you actually think of leaving?

  9. #9
    WH Assistant Head Moderator Array LanaBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lost_in_TO View Post
    Thanks again Lana. Your situation sounds very familiar. Did you feel like you were just room mates and had no passion?
    Yes and no. I didn't want the passion that he was wanting to give.

    Quote Originally Posted by lost_in_TO View Post
    Did you actually think of leaving?
    I regretfully said it numerous times. I don't believe I ever would have actually gone through with it. We've been with each other since HS, I know deep down, we're meant to be together forever. I think most of me saying it was to give him an easy out, I had it in my mind I couldn't possibly be making him happy, so if I say it, he doesn't have to.

    I wish I would have sought counseling. I never did, even after the numerous times I told him I would. The irony... I found this place and after reading other husband's post with a story so similar to mine, I didn't want that to be my husband. I didn't want him hurting like it seemed these guys were. Saying he was at a loss of what to do, etc. Granted, I didn't join until a couple of years later, but the stories helped because at the time, I felt as if I were the only one to have this problem.

    So, like I said, obviously everybody's situation is unique and different, what may work for some, won't for others. But I really have a hard time with suggestions saying, just leave it alone. Think of it this way, if you do leave it alone, what is going to stop her from thinking you don't care?
    Friendship Prayer
    May the fleas of a thousand camels infest the crotch of the person who screws up your day and may their arms be too short to scratch.
    Amen

    Whoever said anything was possible obviously never tried slamming a revolving door.



  10. #10
    Gold Contributor 500+ Posts Array PJhavinfunagain's Avatar
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    As a mom that has also gone through withdrawing from my husband and family I can feel for you and to an extent your wife. I know what some of my reasons were. But some of it I still don't quite understand. She may just be stretching her wings. Would she respond to you going out with her?

    I am married to a homebody somewhat anti social guy and he could care less about going out unless it is to a bar and he can get wasted. Otherwise all he does is complain about how much everything costs. Also she could still be hurt but your attitude about her former weight issue. You seem to really appreciate how she looks now. She may feel resentful... I mean if it were me and I was already having issues I may be thinking. "well if he is so excited by how I look now how did he really feel before?Was I that bad before? Why is he with me if he did not like the way I looked?"

    I have a weight issue and know my DH wishes I was thinner for many reasons not just looks. I would love to see him drop 50lbs too and quit drinking. I love him for who he is though. Those things do not make me feel differently though. I do not love him less because of them. I know he appreciates me for the person, wife and mother I am.

    Best advice I can offer is to have a heart to heart. I know DH and I have our best ones late after the kids are i bed and TV is off or nothing good is on. I love those chats and truly cherish them.
    "When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so regretfully upon the closed door that we don't see the one that has opened for us."
    Helen Keller

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