Wha?? Huh?

Right after Thanksgiving, its over she's done. Had it.  We sleep in different rooms, keep talking a bit.  Still very cordial between each other.  GO to another therapy session in which I propose 2 options and new years eve dealine.  My last ditch effort to complete MY process.  Option 1) New vows, new rules, and I put in writing for the first time my frequency and active participation requirements.  Option 2) I laid out the divorce road, Said the rings come off immediately, we separate money and share custody from the same house for 3 months, then allow for a checkpoint (are we really sure), if we are sure then prepare the documents and divorce by August. 

I said we would choose either option by New Years Eve at midnight and no decision was a definitive option 2.  So we scheduled a therapy session New Years Day and went about the holidays. 

The holidays were great!  No, no sex and no exxpectation of it.  There just relaxed environment.  The therapist said 3 words at the end of our previous session that have apparently lifted the veil of understanding for my wife... "Dying to Self"  Anybody heard of it?  Well this led her to tell me she messed up, and she didn't realize how much she had sabotaged our relationship.  I said "ok", and she said she couldn't quite put it all into words yet, but she was working on it.  So we went and had a great holiday with both of our families.  No appearance of a couplen near the brink. 

So then we go to therapy on New Years Eve, and she writes a letter to me that she is sorry for doing so many things wrong this whole time.  And the reason for this enlightenment is found in a blog called the peaceful wife.  Basically has to do with a man needing respect to show his wife love, and a woman needing love to show a man respect.  Obviously a vicious cycle.  And parts of it make sense to me.  So as agreed earlier she could propose amendments to my proposal for consideration, and even thanked me for the origianl proposal.  Well a bit of concern back and forth and she is still unsure of the frequency, but after talking it really boiled down not to a frequency demand as much as a "quit turning me down" demand. So she said she would do whatever she has to save the marriage.  She said she will not turn me down, and she will initiate once a week on top of that.  Well, so far she has brought it up everyday.  She has only turned me down once, and she initiated as well.  She has been much more communcative on the whole topic, and even with the touches throughout the day.  Basically a tremendous turnaround!!! 

So my only problem is that it took a lot out of me to get this point of elightenment.....  and now I seem to want more than just the sex void filled....  There are many differences in what we prefer to do hobbywise (motorcycle vs gardening...)  and through this process I have thought about finding someone I share more in common.  I feel like I am now moving the goal post on her, and I feel bad about it.

I didn't expect the elightenment part!  Now perhaps it may be short lived, and I brought that up at therapy...  but that hasn't stopped from continuing her transition.  And so while I thought I had a plan, a deadline, i's dotted, t's crossed....  I am still day to day with my emotions albeit with a much more supportive, communicative, and physcial receptive spouse!!   
Usernametbd Usernametbd
36-40, M
6 Responses Jan 8, 2013

Tread cautiously. While some people can be slapped by reality hard enough to see the error of their ways. Sometimes it can be short lived and more of a last ditch effort to save the comfort of a marriage, even if it's an unhappy one.

My gut feel on reading your story is that it shouldn't be that hard. We focus on the nouns.....marriage, family, children. We forget that the verbs...like loving, cherishing, appreciating, partnering.....should be happening too. In a healthy relationship, they are by products of existing. (Apparently, can't claim a healthy relationship myself!). Maybe your enlightenment is your partner recognizing the value of the nouns, but it isn't going to lead to the verb stuff. In some of the toxic vortex we find ourselves in, it's all we can do to maintain the facade of "a couple" or "a family" and yet none of our efforts result in the verbs....the intimacy dividend. I guess it's another way of saying we can only fix ourselves and the "why" doesn't matter!

My wife didn't love me for many years and I played the hard approach too and she didn't change and after 28yrs moved out. However she fell out of love with me many years ago and didn't really try to understand me. I was lonely for love & respect but she couldn't give it due to bitterness for how I was angry and depressed. I thought life would be better single than being lonely in the marriage but so far it isn't. I miss her dearly and am even more lonely. I wish my wife would have made the effort your wife is making. There are likely things that you can do to enhance your marriage and your wife's feeling toward you. Now is a great time while she is so agreeable to change. Best of luck!

What one person may see and do might be regarded as "evolving as a person"
Someone else might look at the exact same thing and brand it "goalpost shifting"

From the individual perspectives, both observers may be correct.

Tread your own path.

This helps tremendously. Very good point! But this would also mean that her moving the goal post was also her evolution as a person. Like when it was more romance needed, then it was more of team, then etc etc.... I can grant that to both sides, it makes sense. Doesn't mean I have to like the evolution, but it does allow a bit more respect for her who is probably trying to tread her own path the best she can. This also supports my main feelings which have been for a long time: she isn't wrong, I'm not wrong, we just disagree...

Thanks !

How can a conversion obtained at the cusp of divorce feel trustworthy? How does a last-minute turn-around suddenly erase all the resentment built up over time?

There's often a tinge of guilt when posters talk about the new dynamic of intimacy under these circumstances. I don't think anything is wrong with requiring the newly physical partner to know that trust issues remain and, as you point out, other real differences emerge.

I agree with this as well, and it came up at therapy. Enlightenment doesn't always happen for both people at the same time. And your 2 questions are high on my mind. It was actually brought up this way... Should it matter why? We often in this group say it doesn't matter why they behave poorly, but the other side of that is what if they do change and you don't know whether they all of the sudden love you more or they are scared to be alone. Does it matter why they came to this stage if they treat you as if they love you more ?

But have they decided to love you more only now that you love them less? What took so long? The only thing that has changed is your desire to move on. It's a way of them saying, "see? I did change, but nothing I do is ever good enough." And now suddenly they are the aggrieved party. Somehow it's still not about you, but about them. Why should it not take as much time to rebuild trust as it took to lose trust? Why should the newly physical partner not be as patient in waiting for your love to return as you were in waiting for their love to return?

I would suggest that your tougher stance on her made her come to the realisation that her meal ticket is about to expire.

Its good that your recieving sex again but just be sure that the change is genuine and not short lived until she feels secure again than reverts back to old habbits.

Only time will tell on this one. In the meantime i would suggest you still prepare your exit plan. At least that way you will be ready if things dont go to plan and you haven't wasted any time in what might just be stalling sex from her behalf.

Stay Strong & Good Luck

Yep. A do-able exit strategy in your pocket does no harm at all. Like having your house insured.

Exactly, hope for the best but prepare. I felt guilty about still preparing!! Have to get past that...