My Valentine's Weekend

So last weekend my wife invites some old friends of ours to visit us this past weekend.  "How convenient", I think, as this past weekend also happened to be valentines weekend.  Nonetheless, I was happy at the prospect of seeing some good friends that we haven't seen in a long time.

We made reservations at a nice restaurant for Saturday night, and arranged for a sitter.  Our friends arrived Friday evening, and that night we had a fun time catching up over a few drinks.  My wife was uncharacteristically warm toward me until we got to the bedroom.  Then back to the same old frigid BS.

Saturday evening was great, had a great time with our friends at dinner.  Wife was again very warm toward me, rubbing my leg during dinner, wanting me to put my arm around her on our way into the restaurant.  But, alas, once again, as soon as we get home and the bedroom door closes, it's right back to the frigid witch I've come to know all too well over the past few years.  Multiple layers of PJs and sweats - check.  Annoyed sighs - check.  Mussed up hair - check.  Angrily slamming toiletry items while brushing teeth etc. - check.  Pillow wall/sheets tucked around body - check.

Saturday night it finally dawned on me - wife's warmth and affection toward me around our friends has nothing to do with her desire to be a loving and caring wife.  It's about her perpetuating the outside perception that she is a loving and caring wife and that we have a healthy marriage.  She is not, and we do not.

As the weekend progressed, it became more and more difficult for me to continue playing the role of "happy satisfied husband".  It takes a tremendous amount of emotional and physical energy to project that sort of image when, on the inside, you are disgusted, angry, frustrated, and profoundly sad.  I found myself having to escape at times just to recharge and refocus.  On one such occasion, I was taking a morning shower and my wife barged into the bathroom demanding to know what was wrong or "what she had done".  I felt a brief moment of happiness as I responded, "Nothing.  You've done nothing, honey."

Sadly, that was the most accurate response I could ever give her, as she's done NOTHING to work toward a solution.

Our friends left Sunday evening, and instead of being sorry that they had to go I found myself being relieved.  Relieved because I no longer had to feign satisfaction and happiness.

Only now do I realize what this situation is really doing to me.  I have spent the past several years investing my emotional capital into a relationship that's turned out to be a sadistic emotional ponzi scheme.  The more I invested, the bigger the promised return became.  Only now that I am emotionally bankrupt do I realize that I've been conned by a master deceiver that would give Bernie Madoff a run for his money.

This morning the wife asked again what was wrong.  I just told her that she really didn't want to discuss it right before we walked out the door to work, and that I wasn't sure that there was much value in discussing it since we've talked about it so many times in the past.  She responded angrily, "Oh.  This is about the sex thing again."  I responded, "You should know by now that it's about WAY more than that."  She huffed and stormed to her car.  Sadly, she really can't be any colder toward me than she already is, so why pretend anymore?

So at this point I've decided not to invest any more physical and emotional energy in pretending that things are ok.  They are not ok, and pretending has drained me emotionally to the point that I think it is starting to affect me physically.  It's time for me to focus on me.


Refused1 Refused1
31-35, M
13 Responses Feb 15, 2010

Hey am new here ...i joined because your story made me laugh so hard .....your discription of your wife ....was soo funny sorry .....o sorry for your situation ,i have a selfish partner too..who does that acting scenario infront of people ...did you ever read about sociopathic tendancies /narcissistic bullies .....they have these weird ways your wife ...and my partner...dont be surprized if she trys to leave you ....when you concentrate on you..o and of course it will be your fault ...untill she comes back....all for self gain of you think she may be insecure with her body ?? woman who hide tend to be insecure with there bodies?i dunno another way you could look at it ? perhaps...<br />
stay humerous.bye

I think you should just call her bluff....if she is the "real her" in the bedroom, you should find the cojones to show the "real her" in public...she can't perpetuate the charade alone, you don't owe her to do it in public.

We all have problems in our relationships, But if its not working or you are fed up, Get the hell out!! Life is to short to be miserable. Tell the other person you have had enough and want to leave. If this doesnt wake them up then leave. They obviously are not going to change, My friend of 20 yrs just got his divorce finalized and he is so happy and feels free. He said it is like being released from jail. The fact is just do what makes you happy,if staying with them makes you miserable. GO< RUN

I was just writing about something similar today. For the longest time I kept up and perpetuated the theory that we were a perfect couple and family, and I have no doubt it was believable. But once I hit the 'uncoupling' wall after years of emotional abuse and sexless marriage, I felt very free to stop the charade. I have gotten more and more open with people as I've been able to accept the truth myself. <br />
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I feel for you, but I can tell you're beginning the process that will ultimately lead to acceptance, and being released from that continual pain. It's liberating when that finally happens.

Hey Refused I am the SinginLady I have a husband who is kind but I have to argue with him to shovel the snow. My husband wants me to cook, make his plate and bring it to him upstairs in the bedroom! But he cant hammer a nail! He complains about how I look when I leave the house (I look great) but he wont visit the dentist to fix the broken fence! Then my husband gets upset when I won't kiss him but in the process of brushing his teeth in the bathroom the sink, I clean away the speckles of blood!

" Sadly, she really can't be any colder toward me than she already is, so why pretend anymore? " ...this is when it really starts to get interesting. Stay your course, live the Hell, cat's out of the bag. It was kool that you kept your composure and maintained the pretense and didn't cause a bad scene for your friends. That's where I fall short, I typically just don't pretend anymore. Unfortunately being a weak human being, I do bend which later makes me feel like a total sell-out. When we are on an outing and there's the need for faux-closeness, for everyone's benefit and obviously for her to save face, I can't help but to pull back, way back. I feel repulsed. Many times, I have found her groping my face with her eyes with an almost "help me" look as she desperately tries to get me to act all lovey-dovey. I think to myself, " you pretentious ***** " ( sorry, Ladies, I don't really like that word but it fit here squarely ). <br />
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Touche' DryCreek, your input here is amazing. That is exactly the way I feel. I share my ideas from inception to completion ( my logic tells me that is what loving creative people do for each other ) and at fruition, I feel amazed to even get a lackluster, "ah uh..." It's maddening. It completely zaps my creative energy which as we all know, shuts down if not fed. Later CC

IsthisIt - Thanks for your kind words and support. I am happy to hear that you're making progress toward a resolution!

DC - thanks for the comments. I've now stopped trying to find a rational explanation for the behavior - I don't believe that there is one. You are correct about the respect issue - I share your belief that refusers feel that their spouses do not "deserve" any honest effort on their part at a fulfilling marital relationship. I will search some of your stories.<br />
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DotV - Sorry to hear that your situation is so similar to mine. It's not fun. Regarding the issue of remaining in the marriage for the sake of the children, I am seriously weighing the benefits of doing so. I am so drained emotionally that I have less and less patience with the children. If I assess my situation honestly, I come to the conclusion that it is not going to improve due to my wife's unwillingness to work toward solutions. Thus, I am left wondering how healthy will the children's environment really be if I choose to remain in a marriage that leaves me feeling frustrated, angry, and upset? I don't know if I can be strong enough for long enough to keep those feelings from affecting my relationship with my children. Undecided on this one.<br />
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AC - Thank you for your comment. Sadly, I now find my wife's public "loving wife" facade laughable.

Refused1 - firstly, i'm very sorry, and sad, to have read your story. You're entire description about how your wife interacted with you around people, and then differently behind closed doors is almost identical to how my husband treated me! And like you, i reached a point, where not only was i emotionally 'spent' (namely from having to put on a front around everyone, that everything was just rosy, but also from the constant rejection, frustration, anger and resentment!) but my physical health took a massive hit too! Enough was enough....i am now a member, sort of 'nearly on the other side' as i've taken great steps over the last 4 months to end the misery and for ONCE...think about myself and my future happiness! I truly hope that you find either the strength to challenge your position head on, or the courage and determination to walk away, knowing you are worth FAR more than this! Either way, you have my support! xxxx

R1, I've taken a similar stand recently, though our situation is more amicable (no hostility, just dysfunction).<br />
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From your wife's facade and her anger / concern at you not playing along in public, it's clear that she recognizes good vs. bad relations. The question is why she chooses "bad" when the cameras are turned off. Apparently she's not proud of it, so why doesn't she try to fix it or choose to get out?<br />
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I often wonder if there's a factor of "familiarity breeds contempt". I.e., refusers have lost respect for us as people - that "we don't deserve" the effort required for them to be the best person they can be.<br />
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For my part, I wonder if this is the result of sharing too much, rather than leaving her out of my activities... leaving something to mystery. I mean, if she sees how you "work your magic", suddenly the mystery is gone and the admiration and respect is too... once you know "the trick", well, gee, "anyone could do that"; even if nobody else does.<br />
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I've shared all my ideas with W; she's seen all the slow starts, false starts, and failures, and I think it diminishes the successes a lot. On an odd but similar note, I dress top-notch every day before I leave for work, so when we go out together she doesn't see me as "smartly dressed", she sees me in my "everyday" clothes; I think this similarly diminishes the specialness of the event. I'm starting to make some changes in these regards, and you can read my stories here.<br />
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Cheers,<br />

Your story sounds amazingly similar to mine. My wife has all but beaten the spirit right out of me. I am at the same point as you..realizing that there is now return on investment. By the way - I love your analogy.<br />
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My wife never wants to go out alone (just the two of us) - claims its not worth the price of the sitter. When we do go out with another couple or couples we always have a good time until the ride home or the arrival home. That's when she decides to reveal her ruse and start a fight. A fight to become her excuse shut down any physical advancements by me. <br />
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Your description of what happens after you get in the bedroom is the nightmare that I live too. The over exaggerated slamming of toiletries, the wall of pillows, etc.Those actions couldn't be any colder signals. The dismissive comments about "that sex thing" is the frosting on the cake.<br />
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I do not know if I am even capable of trying any more since my wife's signals are so completely obvious that she has NO interest in my advances.<br />
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I don't have any advice to offer other than letting you know that you are not alone and that I share your pain. If not for my two beautiful children I would end this painful cycle sooner rather than later.

I used to think I had it very bad because my wife does the opposite in public: she acts cold, she pulls away when I try to put my arm around her, moving to kiss her is a huge gamble. Now, I see that none of this refusal is good. <br />
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RefusedOne, <br />
It must drive you crazy when she acts hypocritical in public.

Thanks, JJ.

Refused,<br />
You are in a good place when you can say it's time to focus on me. Keep standing strong!