help please!!!! marriage is dying

lostsoulMarch 3, 2008

i want to thank everyone for reading this, even though its probably going to be a little long. but thanks anyway for reading it.

My marriage sucks. in a nut shell thats all i can say, my wife doesn't see the problems here, she thinks everything is fine, why oh, because he havn't fought, that makes our marriage ok. WRONG, this is the problem. yes we might have not fought, but we don't spend anytime together, we don't talk, hell we don't sleep in the same room, or in fact the same bed, we have sex once every 2-3 months if im lucky, i have to argue with her about spending time with me, and then she gets mad because after she quits what she does and say fine lets spend some time together, at that point i don't want to spend time with her,why? because i shouldn't have to argue to spend time with her, she is more married to our computer, and phone, she spends more time talking to her friends going out with them than with me. she can't go into anyroom of our house without having either her cell phone or home phone at her head or in her hand. but she still doesn't see a problem here. i want to spend time with her, but i refuse to compete with a computer and/or phone. im at my wits end here, on the decision to weather or not get a divorce. yes i have kids, and right now thats leaning me away from it, i want my kids to have both parents, but having a relationship like i do with my wife is not healthy either. do i get a divorce, and live my life and find someone who actually would WANT to spend time with me, and appreciate everything i do, or do i stay miserable for the next 10 years until my kids are old enough to understand why mommy and daddy are not together, im in such a boat right now i don't understand or have any clue to what i can do. my wife doesn't see a problem here. but it exists and im sick of it.

this is the only place i have left to turn to and talk to anyone. why everyone i talk to, talks to her, and what i say to them in confindential turns around and tells them. i realy could use some advice, help, opinions??? what ever it is im all open ears.

thank you for reading this sorry for it being so long.


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Today's's a different world. When your wife is lonely or she wants to feel needed she talks on the phone. There is a book I think you should BOTH read. By Dr Laura Schlessinger, "The care and feeding of husbands". Yes, husbands should come with a manual. :0) No that's not a joke. It really is a great book for women who have lost their focus in life.....your wife needs to evaluate her priorities before she loses her husband and family..... NOW....rather than later. One person, you/husband, can't keep this relationship going by yourself. Dr Laura is a real can call her for personel on-the-air advice. 1-800-dr-laura
Marriage is NOT about being alone in a relationship, you just need someone to point that out to your wife!!!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 2:28PM
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hi lostsoul,
relationships have their ups and down and I can kind of relate to your situation, but from the other side (my wife is the one arguing for more time together). What really worked for my wife (and our marriage) was to sit down, calmly, and openly discuss the situation, without any fight or attacking me. I saw her point and we are working together to come closer once again. So far, so good :)

If I were you, I would try to have a lengthy conversation with her, ask her how she feels and also point out that you are not happy in the relationship and that you want to work on the marriage. That you love her and that you want a truly happy home. Her answers and attitude will probably let you know everything you need to know about your future together.

I'm absolutely NOT suggesting the divorce way, but if it comes to that, kids should NOT be the reason for you to stay; you stay because you want to share your life with her and because having her as a witness of your life gives it a profound meaning.
I'm the son of divorced parents (happened when I was 6) and I have done fairly well in life. I dearly love both my parents and having grown up I can tell they were not made for each other. They have however given me unconditional love and support and I consider them absolutely best friends of mine in addition to just parents. Kids are amazingly able to detect trouble at home; if you are unhappy, they will feel it and suffer. Trust me on this one. I'm also a stepfather, so again I can relate to children of divorced parents.

You'll surely find a lot more of really experienced people around here, these are just my two cents.

Regards and good luck!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 2:33PM
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Sounds to me like a "fight" is long overdue. (OK...just a good sit-down will do.) If you can't achieve acknowledgement that things aren't right, you may have other decisions to make. The feeling you described about "competing" is one I've had with a few friends. I don't see them anymore because I can't get them off the phone, away from the computer, or away from the TV. For them, I became -- more or less -- just another part of the background clutter. I won't tolerate that from friends, much less a spouse. Just me, but maybe some similarity. I think you need to straighten it out or make plans.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 2:43PM
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Ok, I'm just gonna go about this from a different angle. It certainly sounds like your wife is the problem, but there are always two sides to every story.

Let's just say that your wife's talking on the phone, etc is not "the" problem but rather her solution to dealing with the problem which is altogether something different. I know when I am going through bad times with my husband, I do tend to reach out to others more... talk on the phone, more computer, watch tv by myself, etc. I withdraw to find what is missing with my husband elsewhere. If it went on long enough and I didn't realize what was going on, I may even feel content with getting attention elsewhere. Could this be what is going on with your wife?

I know you'd probably say you try to be close to her, but are you sure you try to be close to her in ways that she needs? Asking her to go to a hockey game when she hates sports, asking for sex after she's had a bad day, or even asking her if she wants to go to her favorite restaurant when she's on a diet, may not be what she's looking for.

Bottom line, you probably can't change her... so you need to work on making her "want" to spend time with you. You may have to do all the dishes or laundry so she has enough energy to see that movie with you. You may have to set up double dates with her friends, meet her for lunch. I don't know, but it's probably not going to be as easy at this point as bringing home a movie and thinking she's going to want to watch it with you. She's learned to live without you, to not depend on you, and not really want to spend time with you.

Personally, I think your marraige can be saved. But I think it will take a lot of work and it sounds like your wife doesn't think there's much wrong so I doubt she will care to work on it. At this point it is up to you. I don't know maybe even play hard to get yourself. Be away; do stuff with your friends, go out,...get her jealous (not with other woman) but in a way that she wonders what you are doing and wants to be with you and has to tell you to get off the phone. So, you have to find a nice balance between not being there too much (like a puppy dog), but still helping her out so she appreciates and comes to depend on you. Make her want you.

Here is a link that might be useful: If you want me, satisfy me

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 3:37PM
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thank you all for your advice, but some of you seem to take it as i work all day and come home and do nothing, here is my day. i work, i come home, i cook dinner, i do the dishes, i play with my kids, until they go to bed, then i want to spend time with my wife. but shes on the pc, or on the phone. so i watch tv by myself. then i go to bed. then when i ask to spend time with her, she says, well you where watching your show and i don't like watching that. so i stayed on the computer. she sees nothing wrong with our marriage, because we havn't fought in a long time. just because you don't fight, still doesn't mean that there isn't a problem. i can't talk to her, without it becomeing a fight.
thats just how she is. every conversation we have about us, ends up to a fight. i would just once give anything to actually be greeted when i come home from work and not just from my kids. and also be asked how was your day. i haven't heard that in years. or just even at night while im watching tv, for her to come over sit beside me and give me a hug, and just cuddle, im not a greedy person. but some affection would be nice. i dont want a divorce, but i don't want to be unhappy anymore either. i want her to want to spend time with me, instead of me asking her.
i do appreciate all the help you (as in everyone here) has given me. thank you.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 4:21PM
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Have you told her what you would like?

If you were to say, you know, I miss a certain closeness in our relationship, and one thin that makes me feel close to you is when you greet me at the door. I'd love it if you asked me how my day went. By the way, what kinds of things make you feel closer to me? I'd like to make sure you're getting your needs met as well.

You don't want to ask her - I know, you want it to be spontaneous. But it's not happening now, so you have to ask. She can not read your mind, and you cannot read hers - time to start talking! Good luck

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 4:27PM
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Ditto amyfiddler...except may require some "affirmative action" on your part. Like maybe after dinner when the kids are in bed...go to where she's working on the PC and tell her you'd like to talk a while...instead of giving up and turning on the TV...which I think is what you said you're doing now. Clearly some specific conversation is appropriate. Adding separate beds to your equation seems to shout at me that the time for some reasonable action has arrived. You're the one that will have to initiate. It can all be be very calm and nice. Decide in advance that escalating to argument will not be allowed to occur. However, you will have to act. You're the dissatisfied one. Time to lay it out so there's no confusion about it on her side.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 4:55PM
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My husband and I have a "date" each week- a time when we go out or stay home, but no other person or thing is allowed to interfere with it. We may just go out to lunch on a Sat. or yard saleing or a movie, but that is OUR TIME-cell phones off, No TV or computer. We may even work together on a project. Try taking her away for a weekend, step on her cell phone, whatever it takes. You are going to have to be persistant to get her attention, though. Do you have any two by fours laying around?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 5:27PM
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Forgot to ask the obvious.....does your wife work?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 6:05PM
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"she says, well you where watching your show and i don't like watching that so i stayed on the computer"

Exactly, what I'm saying... She doesn't WANT to watch 'your' shows (Why would she?). If you're really after spending time with her, I'd try watching her shows with her, not making her watch your shows.

"I would just once give anything to actually be greeted when i come home from work and not just from my kids. and also be asked how was your was your day."

Again, you're asking for something from her. When she walks in the door after being out, do you drop what you're doing (be it leaving the dishes half done or turning off the tv show you're watching) just to ask her about how her event/shopping trip went? Do you ask how her day was in general when the asking is convenient for her to be able to respond? It takes consideration on both sides.

You say your problem is about spending time together and then your examples above only really include instances that you expect her to give.... watching your show with you, greeting you at the door when you arrive (on your schedule). If you want to "TRY", you examples need to be somewhere more along the lines of booking a hotel in her hometown so you both could go visit her family even though you don't like them (doing something for her) not "I rented my favorite action movie for Sat night but she just didn't want to watch it with me". Do you see the difference? Do you see why maybe she doesn't want to spend time with you, and talking to her friends may be more enjoyable than watching your show?

You have to make her want to spend time with you and even greet you when you come home. Bring home some flowers. Find something she likes.. and, like amy said, ask her. You can come home with her favorite movie, but she may have just watched it last week. If you don't know what she likes, what she wants to watch, or what she'd like to go out and do, then ask.

I'm seriously not trying to harp on you. It's just if she's content, you're the only one that can really do anything about it at this point. You can't change her, just yourself. Quit trying to focus on what you want her to do differently, and think about what YOU can do differently instead. But again, don't become a pushover or she won't respect you.

Have you considered, or would she agree to go to, marriage counseling?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 6:18PM
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Dear Lostsoul

Carla has hit the nail on the head, and every other post here is just so helpful.

Ask yourself "What can I do to make this situation better ?"

Did you do that? What did you say to yourself ?

Of course your wife is doing the wrong thing, but WHY is she doing this ?

Your marriage has just hit a bit of a slump, don't give up, spruce yourself up, and start formulating a plan.

Lots of good suggestions above.

Report back to us and tell us what changes you have made in the way YOU deal with your lovely wife.

Remember what she was like when you married her ? Remember how you felt when you were courting her ? Did you take her to nice places, did you buy her flowers, did you make a fuss about her ?

When you plough your way into a marriage, kids, mortgage, stress...its easy to get into a rut of indifference. You have to keep working at the love affair, and not start picking faults in the other person.

Good luck
Hopefully you will change your name from "lostsoul" to "contentedhubby".


    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 2:21AM
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thank you all for your great advice and help, i talked to her yesterday, after work, now granit it did not go as well as i thought it would be, there was a bit of argueing, and some yelling, but in the end it was quiet. later that evening, there was a little a change, but i will take it for what its worth, and then late last night, it happend. she came into the room, and we just laid there in bed, cuddling
with each other, it was so nice to be able to hold my wife again, share a bed again. just laying there with her beside me was a great start.
we both agreed that we need to work on it, but i believe the results in the end was worth it. i just wish we could've avoided the first initial argument, and just talked, but it wasn't just her fault it was mine as well, but like i said, in the end, i think we both now know what we have to do, and it doesn't necessarly need to be sex, that was just a bonus, i would have loved it just as much if we just laid there and held each other.
but thank you all. i hope this is the end of an dying age, and the begining to a new love...
you are all great friends.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 9:00AM
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WHAT IN THE WORLD JUST HAPPENED HERE???? sorry to yell but I haven't been this excited in decades, so to speak.

I don't remember a time, in a very long time on this site, where someone comes for help, gets a long list of suggestions, and actually TAKES the suggestions, and makes it work. Hallelooo-ya!

Lost soul, congratulations. I couldn't be happier for you and your wife. I say the fight was a positive!!! Fighting is not always a bad thing, as long as it gets resolved. Which it did. Like you said and others said earlier, NOT fighting is a bigger problem than fighting, when you've got issues and partners have shut down.

This has totally made my day. You know, I think I kept coming here to this site, determined to see a success somewhere, and maybe this was all I needed. Thank you Lostsoul, for your excellent example.

Sorry for all the yelling. Anyone want a piece of cake?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 10:18AM
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One of the points that many marriage counselors stress for couples is to get back to the happy greeting of the other spouse when they walk in the door. So many couples get caught in the "bad habit" where they barely look up or acknowledge the other spouse when they come home. There is nothing like the pure joy of a young child who runs to a parent with such glee and excitement when they walk through the door! Couples need to stop what they are doing and smile and focus on their partner when they arrive home, like most did in the early days of love and dating. Some marriage counselors advise that couples sit and talk for 10 minutes (uninterrupted by children...this is parent time) when a spouse comes home from work.

Second, many of us are probably guilty of being on the computer while our spouse/family are watching TV. So I imagine that many of us may see ourselves here. For me, my spouse watches several shows at the same time, flipping the channels constantly back and forth between TV shows, often not getting back to the main show in time, and missing parts of the show. It is so annoying. And yet, I may do the same thing if I am watching alone. But it is not fun when the other person has the remote (and you don't) and they are flipping channels constantly, or watching shows one has no interest in. And it is easy to want to tune out from what the kids are watching, as they watch a kids program you know they have seen at least 12 times.

Also, would one of you be extroverted and one introverted? I have a few friends that are extroverted and have many friends. When they are on the phone with me, they will happily talk for a long time, (and I imagine they do this with all their friends). They are fun friends, and laugh easily, and talk a lot. And yet, until I read your post, I did not really think about what that must feel like to the spouse at home, listening to them on the phone all the time, focused on their friends instead of their spouse and family.
And I imagine thinking about it now, that it must get really annoying. Perhaps a time can be established in your home where there are no phone calls after a certain time, and the ringer is turned off, and the answering machine takes calls after that time, and she is to focus on her family then. This is spouse and family time. Calls will be returned the next day. People get into bad habits and they really do not realize what it feels like to those around them. We were out to dinner with a large group of friends, the adults sitting at one table and all the kids at another. One friends (who is very extroverted like your wife) was happily engaged in conversation when her 12 year old daughter got something in her eye. The child came over and asked her mom for help. This girls eye was red and watering down her cheek. Her mom kept talking and laughing and kept telling her daughter just a minute. The girl waited patiently, standing near the table, her eye watering and watering, and the mom kept talking and talking, and laughing with those around her. I mentioned that I think your daughter needs your help, and she said just a minute, and again just happily continued to engage with all these friends at the table. I think the girl must have stood there for 10-15 minutes quietly waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and clearly miserable. It gave me a glimpse into my friend, and what it must feel like for her family. And yet we all love being around her. She is fun, and great to talk to. She is a good parent. She just gets caught up in the moment, and is just very social. I think she would be surprised to learn from her spouse or kids what it feels like to be the spouse or family, listening to her on the phone, waiting and waiting for the attention that should be focused on her own family...first, not last.

I think sometimes if people could stop and imagine what their life would be like if their spouse had enough and left for someone else. The family home being sold, downsizing, and step parents and kids going back and forth between the two. If they could really imagine would they change their behavior before it was too late, and get their priorities in order, and actually "hear" what their spouse needs them to hear?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 11:31AM
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thank you for the great anouncement, but by all means i don't want to be an example. yes, things started to work out, but i don't want to jinx it just yet, we have alot to work on, yesterday i have to say was indeed a great start, and even this morning we started to say i love you again, when hanging up the phone. i have to admit it felt awkward at first, i know it shouldn't have, but with not saying for so long, i guess you know what i mean. but i am very excited that for one time in my life the advice i took actually worked. yes it started out bad, but i think its on a good road to recovery. but i know there will still be some potholes in the road of love, that will need filled in. and with that said, we both are going to work on it. i wish i could help some of you men/women out there that has helped me.

thank you again. and ill keep you all informed to how the progress goes.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 12:44PM
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Lost -
I wasn't clear - I'm simply celebrating that you took a single step. i'm easy to please.

I just get pretty tired of folks showing up, sharing their story, getting good feedback, and then saying "You're all wrong, i'm innocent, why is nothing changing?"

You ARE an example of success - you made a choice to DO something positive about your situation. You were proactive. You didn't carry on about how all of us suck. You actually tried something new. Who knows what the future will bring for you, but for now, for today, you made my day. With your attitude, things have a much greater chance for success than attitudes which have come and gone here on a regular basis.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 1:54PM
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Getting back to basics, is always a good way to solve a problem such as this. Just basic manners, treat others how you would like to be treated.

I am happy for you Lost, keep up the good work. Amy is correct when she says you have a good attitude.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 5:14PM
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i just wanted to thank you all once again for everything postiive you said to me and helping me with a decision to save my marriage. you all have been great.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2008 at 4:14PM
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