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My friend and his wife.

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posted on Dec, 27 2008 @ 12:15 PM
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My friend called me the other night and was talking about how he's been depressed over his relationship with his wife. He explained that his wife doesn't like affection, or doesn't respond to it. His example was that he would hug and/or kiss his wife, not as a prelude to sex, but only as a warm and affectionate offering.

His wife is indifferent or even annoyed by this. Their sex life was great up until about 6 months ago. He described that last summer he returned from a one week camping/hiking trip and things seemed to have been going down hill since then.

I asked him if he thinks maybe she's seeing someone else. He responded by saying it could be possible, but the usual signs aren't there. She hasn't been dressing differently (better) or running off by herself, etc.

Previously his sex life was great, he explained that his wife would often initiate the sex and since returning from the camping trip 6 months ago it has steadily gone down hill. She responds negatively to even cuddling, complaining that she's tired, etc.

He had a talk with her about these things, particularly why she doesn't like to hug, kiss or cuddle once in awhile. She acknowledged that she isn't receptive to hugs, explaining that she has a lot on her mind, etc.

My response to my friend was, "who the hell doesn't appreciate a hug once in awhile?"

His life isn't perfect, he's not perfect. But he's a good person and does make efforts, sometimes in vane. He's been married to this woman for 14 years and when most other couples he knows have seemingly become bored with each other, he is consciously trying to be warm, affectionate and attentive. His wife either responds indifferently or is actually annoyed lately.

He's confused and very depressed about this. I was just wondering if some other people here could offer some personal insight, or suggestions/advice.

Do you think she's seeing someone, or could it be something else?




posted on Dec, 27 2008 @ 12:18 PM
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Originally posted by Electro38
She acknowledged that she isn't receptive to hugs, explaining that she has a lot on her mind, etc.


I think you answered the question yourself. All one needs to do is find out what those things are and work through them.



posted on Dec, 27 2008 @ 12:23 PM
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reply to post by ben91069
 


My friend explained to me that she's been working a lot lately, but when she has time off she still doesn't respond.

What I find strange is not that the sex has declined, but that she doesn't want to just be hugged or kissed at all. Stress will bring down your sex drive, but hugs? I thought hugs were great for relieving stress.

Thanks.



posted on Dec, 27 2008 @ 05:24 PM
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reply to post by Electro38
 


Well I think the last poster just answered the question for you. They really need to talk to each other about this. I mean.... if they have been together for 14+ years you'd think that they can talk to each other about this type of thing - if its left untalked about for ages that when you start getting problems.



posted on Dec, 27 2008 @ 05:35 PM
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Not being receptive to affection would, in my opinion, indicate a lack of emotional attachment. Just because the sex is there doesn't really mean anything. Sex doesn't have to be intimate, it can just be sex.

There are clues there, but I don't want to be too speculative having only limited knowledge of the situation. Though just her saying she has a lot on her mind speaks a great deal.

My advice would be for your friend to try and talk to her as often as possible and attempt to get her to say what is really going on. Though I wouldn't prescribe going out of his way to demonstrate his affections in an attempt to woo her. Talk is what's really needed. What was their communication like before? Has that also declined?

From personal experience I can also tell you that time is not a factor. It really doesn't matter how long they've been together. If it isn't working for her any longer, it isn't working for either of them.



posted on Dec, 27 2008 @ 07:26 PM
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My "friend" I'm referring to is really me. But I was embarrassed to admit, now getting over it.

She is 39 and she was never[U] very[/U] affectionate. But for the past 4 years she was always initiating sex, now that has stopped and when I approach her she is uninterested.

I did initiate communication with her as I always do. She comes from a family where this kind of communicating did not happen, "communicating" especially for a man was something they didn't do. In her family a man did not express his feelings, ever. But, I'm different.

So, I asked to have a talk with her and said; "I think you are very angry with me...", she said yes that's true. Then she gave me a list of things she was angry with me about.

So I said; "if I complete all of the tasks and correct all of the mistakes on the list will you like me again?"

I guess I was supposed to read her mind? If I hadn't asked to talk with her a few nights ago I would never have known any of this, I would never have known she had an invisible list of demands I should have been achieving.

I told her, how was I supposed to know these things if she doesn't communicate them to me?

I don't hold her to any demands, or expect her to perform a bunch of tasks in order to receive my love. She doesn't have to do anything and I would love her.

I think many times when a woman gets depressed they can take it out or get angry with their husbands/boyfriends. The husband becomes the object of their frustration. It's as if I've become the enemy.

The things she listed for her reasons for being angry at me seemed like excuses. No one is perfect and it is easy to find faults with anyone and use those as excuses for being angry and distant.

It was often like this before my son was born, five years ago. Back then I suggested that we should split up. She didn't want to and the next thing I knew she wanted to have a baby. So she wanted to have sex often. We had sex every night, and to a dumb guy that feels like love. You begin to think this is love.

After my son was born we moved into a new house and things were great between us, she often initiated sex, and that made me feel closer to her, it was fun and exciting. It was like this until about 6 months ago as I mention in my post above. After about 5 years things steadily declined until now, she isn't even receptive to a hug during the day or an affectionate kiss, or cuddling on the couch.

I work at home running my own business. I spent a lot of time raising my son from the time he was born until now while my wife works as a nurse.

It was very difficult trying to run a business part time while taking care of my son. My business required a full time commitment, but I believe it was well worth it to raise and take care of my son since he was born.

I was always afraid things might change between my wife and I when my son started kindergarten, simply because I would become less important then, since my son is at school 5 days a week for 7 hours a day.

So since he started kindergarten I have been able to remodel/finish work in our house. Things that my wife has been waiting for me to do. Since I haven't been able to pursue my business full time until just now, I haven't been making a lot of money, however I have always made money with my business, just not a lot.

I thought now I can finish work in my house and get my business up to full speed. I have made progress however perhaps not fast enough.

I still need to take care of my son often when my wife works 12 hour shifts 3 days a week, but have much more time now to get things cooking, which they are. But without much credit, or recognition. I think I deserve a pat on the back. I don't know many fathers who have spent so much time raising their kids. I mean diapers and feeding from newborn onward, everyday for the past 5 years and at the same time trying to run a business and remodel a whole house.

So now I am presented with a list of demands and excuses as to why she's very angry with me. After all of this, five years later I've become the "enemy" again.



posted on Dec, 27 2008 @ 07:28 PM
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I would like to add, that the sex issue is not what concerns me, it's the ill-received hugging and affectionate kissing and distance issue. I decided over the past couple of years to make a conscious effort to do those things, hug her during the day, give her a kiss, etc. in order to create a warmer environment, to offer a feeling of support and love. I thought it was a great thing to do, I thought it would help relieve stress, etc.

I would also do the following on a daily basis; when she'd wake up in the afternoon after working a 12 hour shift at the hospital I would have her coffee ready for her, serve her and then I would cook dinner and serve it. I would do this after watching/taking care of my son all day long. I did this everyday for 5 years.

My spare time was spent remodeling the whole house and trying to run my business. (I re-wired my whole house, knocked down walls, built new walls, build a bathroom, framed a basement, etc. It's still not finished.

After discussing this with her and seeing her response to my question, "do you like to be hugged and kissed...", she said in a very unconvincing way "I don't mind it..."

And she did acknowledge that she wasn't receptive to the hugs. So now I'm thinking I shouldn't do these things anymore. No more hugging or kissing, no more initiating affection. She seems indifferent to it.

I'm wondering if I want to be in a marriage where my wife is indifferent to my efforts, indifferent to my affection. I just don't want to leave my son.

The other day she was having a mini breakdown while making my son a sandwich. She blurted out; "I hate being here because of him!"

She was referring to my 5 year old son who was standing right there when she said. I couldn't believe what I heard and told her never to say anything like that in front of my son ever again.

My son can be a little demanding, like all little kids are. I told here if she was feeling stressed out she could have just asked me to make the sandwich.

After this happened I called up my sister and asked her to take my wife out for a girls night out. My sister was making plans but my wife rudely ignored and dismissed.

So I took her out to a very fancy restaurant, it was very nice and fun and she was having a good time. But that mood quickly disappears the next day.

I tried things like taking her out to eat, taking her shopping and buying her stuff, trying to arrange a girls night out for her, trying to do everything for her when she's home, cooking (I do all of the cooking here), laundry, etc. It's hard for a guy to do some of these things, but I don't mind as long as it's helping her.



posted on Dec, 27 2008 @ 09:27 PM
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Op this situation does not sound good. It sounds like she is very emotionally detached, and she may have been for a long time. I think your reaction to this might be making things even worse, you feel she is pulling away so you get clingy, which drives her away even more.

When this happened years ago and YOU suggested breaking up (i.e. you backed off and acted disinterested) then she suddenly wanted to stay together and even have a baby. I think you could use some counseling, but I also think you need to be careful about being too clingly and desperate.

Sorry to be harsh but that is my 2 cents.



posted on Dec, 27 2008 @ 09:40 PM
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Sorry Sonja, I usually agree with most of what you say. But in this case, clingy and desperate is not the right choice of words.
He cares and he is trying everything he can think of to understand her, even posting his private life on here for the world to see. That isn't desperate, but courageously asking for guidance and help.
that is strength if I ever saw it. And to do anything to keep your love alive is worth everything. It may not actually work, and she may never be able to be honest with him, but he sounds like he has tried very hard to the point of giving up.
How can you say that to him?


He deserves to understand what he has been working so hard for.
and if she doesn't appreciate that... there are other women who will.
And there is a child in the mix, who is being affected by all of it.



posted on Dec, 28 2008 @ 02:19 AM
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reply to post by Electro38
 


I feel for you. I think Sonya may have been crass but what she said has some truth to it. You are now working too hard to try and appease her. I don't think that method will work. She knows who you are and what you are about. So, showing her these things in a more apparent manner probably won't do much but create more distance between the two of you.

For her to say that in front of your son is terrible. I would be so mad if my wife ever did that.

I think that you are trying and that is good but I think you should probably suggest / ask for some counseling. Get a professional involved. If that doesn't work, it may be better to separate. I know it would be a very difficult choice but staying together for the kids can be more damaging than separating.

I am not a professional so my opinion shouldn't mean anything to you. When I was reading your story though, I couldn't help but think that she is cheating on you or at least thinking about it. Does she spend time online? Could she have re-kindled an old flame online?

I hope you are able to work it out.



posted on Dec, 28 2008 @ 07:13 AM
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That was courageous to put that out there. And so I'd like to reassure you that you needn't be embarrassed or feel dumb or, most importantly, blame yourself.

I'm not a professional, just a student of human nature. Everything I say is from a limited point of observation, so I may be wrong. Much of this is from concerns developed out of my own personal experiences as well.

From what you describe, it doesn't sound as if your wife doesn't care for you or have feelings. Her giving you the list of things she wants done may sound to some rather shrewish, but I can see it as her way of attempting to communicate, as insufficient as it may seem. As for sex, that too may well be the best she knows how to communicate her love for you since she seems to have a difficult time expressing intimacy and affection. Which means her issues may have nothing to do with you.

I think it possible that your wife may be suffering some psychological difficulties. Related to what, it's hard to say. But trying to get her to some sort of counseling may be a great first step. I can also tell you from experience that issues we hold onto from our past can do a great deal of damage to every relationship we have in our lives. And they always will until we are able to get them out. Until then, they are wounds that don't heal properly.

There is a lot more that could go into this. Your son for example may be to her a separation from you in a way. A distraction from the attention she feels from you. Not that you are less attentive or affectionate, but the problem is that if this is a deeper psychological issue, it can't be expected to stand up to reason and rationality. The fact that she wanted a child in the first place at a time when your relationship seemed rocky is an indicator that she didn't want to lose you.

It may also be a good idea to talk to your son to find out if problems have gone beyond that outburst. It will likely be good to engage in family therapy as well regardless. I hope it isn't too difficult to accept that your wife may not be able to talk to you about these things. That is something she may have to learn.

Now for that well-deserved pat on the back. I can say that it is to your credit that you have managed this long without, from what you said, a completely open and communicative relationship. From everything you've described, you've put in an amazing effort. The kind of thing that most people only imagine having someone do for them. Though you may need to accept for the time being receiving comfort from strangers and not from the woman you love, what's most important is that you receive it and believe it from yourself.

But obviously the efforts aren't working. And whether this is a psychological issue or not, you shouldn't really expect them to at this point. This isn't saying that you should give up, simply that you need to do what is best for you and your son.

So the question comes up if it is worth it to continue.

That is up to you obviously. The truth is, if there are deeper issues they will likely require a lot more of your time and patience before they are sorted. And in order to deal with it, you are going to have to accept her and hold her in some ways blameless if this turns out to be a psychological issue. The fact is, mental illness isn't a choice and as hard as it may be to accept, people suffering act in ways that are beyond their control. To be blunt, the issue of you and your son's happiness can extend beyond whether you should stay but perhaps whether you should go.

I you find happiness for your family.

Best wishes.



posted on Dec, 28 2008 @ 07:48 AM
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Originally posted by seagrass
Sorry Sonja, I usually agree with most of what you say. But in this case, clingy and desperate is not the right choice of words.
He cares and he is trying everything he can think of to understand her, even posting his private life on here for the world to see. That isn't desperate, but courageously asking for guidance and help.
that is strength if I ever saw it. And to do anything to keep your love alive is worth everything. It may not actually work, and she may never be able to be honest with him, but he sounds like he has tried very hard to the point of giving up.
How can you say that to him?


Perhaps my choice of words was a bit harsh. But one cannot force another one to be attracted or in love with them. The old saying “men want to be loved, women want to be IN love” applies.

Her providing a list of minor things that he needs to do sounds like an excuse to me (if he was always mentally and physically absent, then maybe a partner asking for more attention, or more help with the house would make sense, but in this case it sounds like an excuse).

If he wants a chance to save this relationship I think he needs to change his tactics. I think instead of focusing on pleasing her in the way he thinks she wants to be pleased (i.e. waiting on her hand and foot) he needs to focus more on becoming INTERESTING to her. She is 39, she is hitting her sexual peak, quite honestly I think she is bored with the relationship. I don’t know if it can be saved, but I think changing the dynamics is in order. Strong women may SAY they want a compliant male that does everything he is told, but don’t listen to what they say. Fact is she wants a partner that interests her, and she may get way more into it if she felt the need to please and seduce him.

Edit to add -- I have been in relationships in which the other partner showed slavish devotion but the relationship was fizzling. It can become like a vortex of emotional need, seriously their presence in the room sucks up energy due to their need. It is not cool. I would suggest he find some interests OUTSIDE of the house, maybe some male buddies. Different experiences will change his attitude and his behavior, and that may have a positive effect. If his whole world is at home focusing on her I suspect it will only aggravate matters.


[edit on 28-12-2008 by Sonya610]



posted on Dec, 28 2008 @ 07:55 AM
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Strong women may SAY they want a compliant male that does everything he is told, but don’t listen to what they say. Fact is she wants a partner that interests her, and she may get way more into it if she felt the need to please and seduce him.


Those are the reasons I suspect that she is interested in someone else and making excuses to end the relationship without it coming out.

Then again, I am overly paranoid and think that most people are rotten. So, I should butt out of the thread before I ruin a relationship.

Disregard anything that I say.



posted on Dec, 28 2008 @ 08:08 AM
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Originally posted by Karlhungis
Those are the reasons I suspect that she is interested in someone else and making excuses to end the relationship without it coming out.


Well she may not be interested in someone specific. I speak from experience on these matters, women are not like men sexually. They can and do shut down completely in an ongoing relationship even if they have a very high sex drive. For females it is not about "love the one you are with" in the same way it would be for guys (who often think there is no such thing as bad sex).

If I were wondering about actual, physical infidelity I would pay attention to body hair. Unless she has always made it a habit to shave her legs (and other areas...) frequently, and quite honestly many women don't if they don't have too, especially in the winter, then that will be the obvious sign. She may not change her style of dress if she took up with a coworker or someone she knew very well for a long while, but she darn sure is going to start shaving frequently if she is getting intimate.



[edit on 28-12-2008 by Sonya610]



posted on Dec, 28 2008 @ 08:20 AM
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Again, I am not thinking sex either. I am only speaking emotionally. Either way, it is a bad sign and you and I are on the same page that his current avenue of trying to fix it probably won't work.



posted on Dec, 28 2008 @ 09:11 AM
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But one cannot force another one to be attracted or in love with them. The old saying “men want to be loved, women want to be IN love” applies.
are you saying that women want to DO the loving and men want to RECEIVE love?
I don't agree with that. Being IN love is not exclusively female. Being IN love to me means you are not holding anything back. The future looks bright. You see nothing stopping you. Wanting to be loved is not exclusive to men... what woman doesnt want to BE loved? Most likely a woman who feels she doesn't deserve it, or one who isn't healthy enough to allow it, and be open to it.
His wife is turning away his love for a reason we don't know. Only she does. And she isn't saying.


Her providing a list of minor things that he needs to do sounds like an excuse to me (if he was always mentally and physically absent, then maybe a partner asking for more attention, or more help with the house would make sense, but in this case it sounds like an excuse).

I agree. It is an excuse. She is trying to put the blame on him so she doesn't have to look at what she isn't doing. It's deflection. If she makes him think he isn't doing something right, he will focus on himself and not her. I see her blaming everyone else but herself. Her past and family, her husband, her remodeled house, maybe even her job, but most importantly, her son. Perhaps she needs to look at her efforts to make the home function well, not his.


If he wants a chance to save this relationship I think he needs to change his tactics. I think instead of focusing on pleasing her in the way he thinks she wants to be pleased (i.e. waiting on her hand and foot) he needs to focus more on becoming INTERESTING to her.
Why do you assume he isn't interesting because he is devoted to the home and child and business and her? Do you think those things make a man a servant? Maybe he did those things out of love. Maybe he did those things just to keep her happy.. We don't know his motives.
We don't know what she finds interesting.


She is 39, she is hitting her sexual peak, quite honestly I think she is bored with the relationship. I don’t know if it can be saved, but I think changing the dynamics is in order. Strong women may SAY they want a compliant male that does everything he is told, but don’t listen to what they say. Fact is she wants a partner that interests her, and she may get way more into it if she felt the need to please and seduce him.
again you assume she is a strong woman who wants a compliant male. And yet say not to listen to that. Yes women want a partner who interests them, and that starts outside the bedroom, but being at a sexual peak doesn't necessarily mean she is having an affair. Or even that sex is what she wants right now. quite frankly she doesn't sound bored to me, she sounds frustrated with the child and with the home not being done. and maybe with not having enough money from the business. And she is taking it out on them. She sounds angry, not bored. Who she is angry at is the question she wont answer truthfully.
The angry outburst at the child is where you need to look.. she let it slip out... and he should look at that. Very carefully.
If she is having an affair it most likely is another deflection tactic. A means to soothe a symptom.
What her problem really is could go deeper than anyone suspects. I doubt it is caused by his loving her too much or trying to do for her. And he sounds like an interesting person to me.



posted on Dec, 28 2008 @ 10:14 AM
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Originally posted by seagrass
His wife is turning away his love for a reason we don't know. Only she does. And she isn't saying.

What her problem really is could go deeper than anyone suspects. I doubt it is caused by his loving her too much or trying to do for her. And he sounds like an interesting person to me.


Well we all have our own perspective on this matter based on what we ourselves have experienced. I think she is really bored and uninspired.

You apparently have a whole different view on this, based on your own issues.



posted on Dec, 28 2008 @ 10:36 AM
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Isn't someone saying they are "bored" in a relationship just an easier way of saying they aren't in love? That's been my experience. And if the love isn't there then nothing is going to create it. I think everyone who's posted agrees on that point.

Though, as I see it, bored people don't usually make efforts in relationships if they are at least honest with themselves. And she seems to be putting some effort in, though it lacks the emotional content necessary to maintain a healthy relationship.

I've been "bored", so that's my point of perspective.



posted on Dec, 28 2008 @ 10:45 AM
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She very well could be bored. But does boredom cause a lack of desire for affection?
Does boredom cause affairs?

yes thank you Sonya, we are judging and coming to conclusions based on our own experience and issues. That is why it is important not to.
His relationship is more complex than a few anecdotes on sex and women.
and she is more complex than "bored".
and if we actually can help this man it will be through questions, not assumptions.



posted on Dec, 28 2008 @ 11:02 AM
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Originally posted by seagrass
She very well could be bored. But does boredom cause a lack of desire for affection? Does boredom cause affairs?

yes thank you Sonya, we are judging and coming to conclusions based on our own experience and issues. That is why it is important not to.
His relationship is more complex than a few anecdotes on sex and women.
and she is more complex than "bored".
and if we actually can help this man it will be through questions, not assumptions.


Yes boredom can cause a lack of affection, and it can cause affairs. I think she was probably bored years ago, and then she decided to have a baby to spice things up. He mentions that, things were bad a few years ago and then she wanted a lot of sex and wanted to have a baby. Classic triangling. The relationship gets dull so pull something new into it, a wedding, a house, pets, a baby, etc... I think this problem has existed for years, but it is just now reaching the boiling point.





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