Only One Step

The last time I wrote for this group was in March. You can read my previous stories but essentially my wife and I had left the situation as me needing to work on:

1) unilateral decision making, 2) impossible negotiations, 3) not honoring commitments, and 4) polite silence...I also added the point from another book. 5) Taking responsibility or decisiveness

and she needing to work on her weight and health and both of us needing to work on expessing emotions.

She claimed that she didn't work out because her work schedule wouldn't allow for trips to a gym and the basement (where I have our treadmill) isn't an appealing place to work. Whether these were legitimate reasons or not only time would tell. To that end I invested in an eliptical trainer to eliminate any such obstacles.

I committed to my own health at the same time.

Four months later:

My wife has used the eliptical trainer no more than six or eight times. It appears as though time is telling me that the reasons cited above were more excuse that anything.

I have worked out regularly and an interesting dynamic has developed. When I prepare to workout I get snide remark (in jest of course) about how I'm making her look bad.

Of the five points on #1 and #3. Number 5 is becoming more contentious. When I've offered suggestions instead of initially asking for her preferences (interpreted as not be decisive and wanting her to make the decisions) the suggestions are typically rejected. This puts me back in the situation of having to ask for her preferences.

Recently when I asked her for her preference, she asked why she has to decide. I responded that she is the one who seems to have specific preference. Expecting me to decide based on verbal clues related to observations make it difficult for me to really determine her preferences. It seems like a form of passive / aggressive behavior. She seems to be expecting me to make the decision she wants.

I've also noticed that she seems to have given up even trying to work on her health. Even though she was overweight four months ago I would still envision an intimate sexual relationship. Recently I've noticed it is becoming more difficult to envision such a relationship.

Finally, my routine efforts to expression affection (kissing an hugging her in the morning and when going to bed) have subsided. During the past four months she never responded to these expressions and did not try to express the same behavior. Often she would go to bed before me. I would find that she had simple gone to bed leaving everything as it was earlier in the evening; lights on, kitchen unkempt, etc.

Needless to say, it seems as though she's settled into a comfortable state of emotional numbness and that seems to suite her just fine.

I feel physically and spiritually stronger and have one other book recommendation...Intimacy and Desire by David Schnarch.

I don't know how this will end but so far the results aren't encouraging. For those of you inclined to say "told you so", I still stand by my plan because in the end, regardless of the outcome, I will feel I've done all I can.

NWTruthSeeker NWTruthSeeker
56-60, M
7 Responses Aug 18, 2012

Wow. We have a LOTin common. It's impossible to communicate because he is so defensive all the time. I quit smoking and work out regularly he is waiting to die.

It sound like we so have a lot in common

Thank you all for your encouraging comments.

Good for you for making such a valiant effort! No matter the outcome of the marriage you are doing a great job improving your health and well being (emotionally and physically) and sorting through your feelings and your observations. If she chooses to be left behind there is nothing that you can help her with. She is too comfortable - you are correct saying that - she no longer sees you (or your home) as something she treasures and wants to put effort into. My husband was exactly the same way. Good luck with your decisions and good luck for your future :)

I understand that there is more at play here than fitness, but to that one end, I have never been much for machines in the house or the gym. They are boring. Perhaps a group fitnesss class is better. Spinning is the most popular but boot camps and zumba are also popular. They feed the social element and keep you coming back. As for you, great work!

Thanks for the suggestion. Personally, I use the exercise time as some quite time as well. It works for me in the house.

I'm with mvcmvc. I see your strategy as paying HUGE dividends.<br />
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You have provided opportunitys galore for her to deliver, and be, the person she claims she wants to be. She has shown you, with great clarity, that she was telling fibs, and has no such intent or ability.<br />
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What additional standard of proof you require is the interesting point here. Surely "beyond reasonable doubt" is sufficient ??<br />
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The next choice is yours and yours alone.<br />
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Tread your own path.

Only smartarses will tell you "Told you so". Why would you need to take them into account for even a nano-second? The words: a, them, pole, barge, with, ****, come readily to mind.

We all work on these things as best we can. Sometimes it reaches a point of not being able to keep working at it like before. Then we do something different. Good luck.