Been gone a while, update on 5/28/14, a little over six years after I started this blog...
I'll start with the fact that there has been no further cheating, but an awful lot has happened in our lives.
We stopped actively posting here at least partially because our lives got quite busy. b3tr4y3d went back to school part-time, then we arranged our finances so that she could quit her job and go to school full time and in the interim, she acquired an Associate's degree as well as a Bachelor's degree in Nursing, and immediately passed her board exam for her RN status. I have also been in school, I have received my MBA and have been in a PhD program for two years.
There have been a couple of fights, they tend to focus on money (which is about to be less of an issue as my wife is now working as a nurse), cleaning, and sex. The money part has gotten a lot better, not only because my wife is working, but because we have implemented a sustainable budget, which has really helped us to manage our finances better.
The cleaning issue is going to end up coming to a head in the near future, the deal we had while she was in school was that I would take care of the lion's share of the cleaning so that she could focus on her studies. This changed to a certain extent after she graduated but before she got a job, but has now reverted so we are back to me doing most of the housework again. I really don't mind a lot of it, I fold laundry while watching television, I get the kids to bed every night, to school every morning, but I have to admit I hate the dishes so much that I sometimes leave them in the sink overnight, hoping that maybe she will do them (she never does). Ultimately, this isn't all that big an issue for me since I have a VERY high mess tolerance, it just doesn't bother me even when it is fairly messy.
As you might expect, given my history, it is the sex part that really gets to me. I would be thrilled to do pretty much all of the housework, errands, shopping, kids' activities, and other "daily grind" things if sex was on the table. I have told my wife in the past that if there was a list of tasks that, were they completed, sex would be the result, that list would be completed on a nearly daily basis.
To be fair, it isn't as if we don't have sex. While she was in school, we probably averaged twice a week, about 90% of the time, just "quickies" for my benefit. Since she started working, it has slowed down to closer to once a week. I realize this is probably fairly active for some people, but my Love Language is physical touch and nothing compares. Sure, I appreciate kind words and acts of service are nice to see, but physical touch is number one with a bullet for me. I was already on the edge of dissatisfied while she was in school and now that it has slowed even further, I can feel that a confrontation is on the horizon.
I desperately want to have a fulfilling sex life with the woman I married, the one I love, the one who bore my children. I am certainly open to consider that I desire too much, that my feelings are unreasonable, and that my expectations are too lofty. I believe that there must be middle ground somewhere that will allow me to feel sexually fulfilled without negative impacts on her. The threads I will be starting over the coming days are my way of figuring out how we will move forward.
I have consciously put off bringing these issues up in a confrontational way so that b3tr4y3d could study hard and finish school without feeling like she was under any pressure to solve these other issues. Now that the study is over and she, like I, is now a full time worker, we're going to need to work these issues out. In my experience, we are less than successful having these kinds of discussions verbally in person as things tend to escalate and devolve into unproductive dialogue. I am hoping that typing these discussions out will help to remove some of the emotion which usually accompanies these talks.
In addition, I plan to have these discussions here as my actions have colored our history and I think it is important for the people who will end up moderating and commenting on these discussions to fully understand the background and the things I put her through all those years ago. This is the only place I feel comfortable being fully honest about my transgressions and I expect that the people here will give all due consideration to those transgressions in the context of the evolving discussion.
How to get the kids going? Get 2 large baskets, one for each kid, to keep in a central place. Anything the leave around gets tossed in their basket. They need to empty the baskets each evening by putting things away. Anything left in the baskets after bed gets taken to the garage and put in a box. On Saturday they empty the box or it gets thrown out(or hidden if it is important like a jacket or school book). It will not take long to get it.
Now, about your personal relationship. Your history is hard to read. I cannot imagine finding my H the way your wife found you. You are lucky to have any reasonable relationship with her at all. As the quote says, time does not heal. It is what you do with that time that matters. It sounds as if the two of you got busy and you are still busy. One of the things that jumped at me was the number of times you related porn to your cheating. I hope you have given that a heave ho in your life. The fantasy expectations will kill your relationship.
The fact that your wife gives you quickies is probably more situational because of your busy lives, your kids, and her job. But, that may be all she can handle emotionally. Your wife has had a lot to heal from and real intimacy required for more explorative sex may be hard for her. Not to hit you here, but you really screwed up the sex life of your marriage. I read what you want, but have you asked your BW what she wants, lately? You are doing amazing service acts for her, but what intimate acts are you doing for her? Rubbing her tired feet? Massaging her scalp? Putting lotion on her when she is exhausted(not necessarily in a sexual way)? Paint her toenails? Fun, physical things that do not push her on to sex. Do not whine for sex. I can tell you. Nothing is more repulsive or a turn off than a man that keeps pushing for sex when a woman has said "not now". Let her know you desire her, and her only, but love her enough to wait. If you say, "you are driving me wild" do not say it as a demand or in a contentious way. Say it with a smile, a wink, or in a playful way that you are thinking about fun with her, not just fulfilling a "need". Whenever I hear WH say they have the love language of touch and therefore need more sex, and the wife is not giving me what I "need", I hear "you better put out or I might just start looking."
I tell people I am tired but really my heart is broken and I am sad.
I do like the bucket suggestion, I've implemented similar things with Legos (I truly hate stepping on them in bare feet) and will likely get a bucket and an area in the garage over the coming weekend, thanks!
I completely agree about my history. I lived up to my moniker here and then some, my wife is a truly amazing person for even considering reconciling with me.
I do rub her feet when we are lying on the couch watching television, regularly ask if there is anything I can do for her, and would gladly rub lotion or paint nails if she wanted (she's not a painted nails/lotion person).
I don't feel as if I "whine" for sex. I agree that is one of the least sexy actions in which one could engage. I also recognize that this topic is very delicate, I don't want it to be interpreted as "or I'll start looking" because the only thing I am looking for is a more active sex life with my wife.
Honestly, it wouldn't even have to be intercourse. There was a phase where she would "help" while I was engaging in self-pleasure and that was very fulfilling for my Love Language. At this point, I'm really just exploring and trying to figure out what to say and how to say it so that my true point is heard clearly:
I want to have an active, satisfying sexual relationship with my wife and am willing to do virtually anything to accomplish that goal.
Or things like that.
Instead of working up to a big confrontation, you could try these things first.
Instead of working up to a big confrontation, you could sit down with your W and have a calm conversation about it.
Being confrontational is not going to make her want to get her freak on with you.
BTW, I did laugh at your comment about chores for sex -- I've been telling my H for years that if he would scrub all of the floors he would get very very very lucky.
I know that my desired level of physical contact will always be higher than BW. No two people can have the same needs, unless you marry your twin.
I have to learn to accept that. I need to learn that my BW isn't just touch, but the whole package. Sex is only a part of that package. I need to focus on what I have, not what I think I am missing.
My wife and I "discussed" our sex delta problem last night. The limerence and hysterical bonding have worn off. Currently, I get 2-times-a-week duty sex...when I initiate. The sparks and intimacy are gone to the point were I'm not satisfied anymore. I want my wife to want me. Sex and intimacy should be a beautiful thing, not a duty. I'm confident to say to her that I'm not happy and won't stand for it.
The issue is like the chicken and the egg debate. She wants affirmation (the chicken) before sex (the egg). I want the egg before the chicken. I've supplied too many chickens over the years to agree to her demands. In fact, the more chickens I supply, the more chickens she needs. She needs to streamline. More eggs, less chickens. Go revamp the factory.
To me, with her having the affair and all the things she did with the AP, the sex delta is a slap in the face.
[This message edited by still-living at 4:30 PM, May 28th (Wednesday)]
Recovery is building a pyramid of inference from which to climb and see clearer, and heavy usage of the reflexive loop.
Does b3tr4y3d know about this post? Are you saying you're planning on hashing this out here- with her? I'm going to wait until she's here to really dig into this, but I did want to point out that this:
I was already on the edge of dissatisfied while she was in school and now that it has slowed even further, I can feel that a confrontation is on the horizon.
Sex and other intimate acts certainly fulfill my physical touch needs the most. I am a very sexual person and if we are going to be viable in the long term, something has to give eventually.
I have tried to calmly sit down and talk about this, but every time I do, things escalate. We have had success having calmer discussions in this format, I don't think we would have made it without this forum six years ago. I'm thinking about using this forum as the platform for the conversation so that it can be that instead of a "big confrontation."
I have scrubbed the floors, it didn't get me anywhere.
I don't expect her to ever have the level of sexual desire that I have, that would be unrealistic. I would like for her to be involved in a higher percentage of my orgasms, as this is one of the big things that fills my love bank.
Well said, I also "want my wife to want me."
No, she doesn't know about this post yet. I'm hoping to get enough feedback to help me confront without her feeling as if I'm attacking her, which is not my intention. I don't want it to feel like an ultimatum, because I'm not giving one. I'm trying to get across the message that I would like a more active sex life with her.
You're absolutely right about the justification. This is the reason I want to hash this out here rather than engaging in undesirable activity. I'm trying to learn and grow, to do things differently because what I did before was wrong. I want to work these things out before they become crises, when they are more akin to minor annoyances that would fester if left alone.
Does that make sense?
No, she doesn't know about this post yet. I'm hoping to get enough feedback to help me confront without her feeling as if I'm attacking her, which is not my intention.
Don't you fear that she will think posting such intimate info here without her knowledge will be considered a breach of trust?
[This message edited by sunnyrain at 12:47 PM, July 1st (Tuesday)]
DC wants more sex, but then still-living complains that the sex he gets is only when initiated and only out of "duty". So it's sounding like a lose-lose situation. DC, would you be satisfied if all you got was dutiful sex that she wasn't really into? I know it was two different posters comments that I'm mixing together here, but it's coming across as if sex-craved men will never really be satisfied, unless you have a similarly sex-craved wife. Maybe I'm way out of line...
My thoughts on approaching this topic with your wife would be to ask her what she wants out of sex, what would have to happen for her to initiate more often, and what kind of things she would enjoy. Instead of broaching it as a conversation to try to satisfy your own needs.
Best of luck!
I also "want my wife to want me."
^^This is what I was sort of getting at in my advice above - I think figuring out what would make her want you is the key.
[This message edited by Jovie at 9:50 AM, May 29th (Thursday)]
This is the only place where I would share such intimate information. We have shared much more intimate stuff here in the past, I believe she feels like this is a relatively safe place, where there are lots of people on her side to check me.
When I say that things escalate, I am taking ownership over my part without trying to cast blame in her direction. We both tend to get emotional and I am trying to figure out a way to minimize the escalation so that we can deal with the issue more efficiently and effectively.
Thanks for the feedback, I think your suggestion is a fantastic approach!
Also, click on the home page and read that one, too.
[This message edited by ThoughtIKnewYa at 12:27 PM, May 30th (Friday)]
Thanks, I have explored the possibility of SA with my IC, he seemed to think that such a diagnosis would be a poor fit for my behavior. I have exhibited addictive behavior in the past, but several years in recovery gave me the necessary tools to avoid it in the future.
[This message edited by D1rtyCh34t3r at 1:34 PM, May 30th (Friday)]
I went back through your profiles (both of you) and I remember when you were both here before. At that time, I didn't know much about SA, but that has since changed. Your past behavior DOES fit and it was all I could think about when reading your first post on this thread because of the focus on sex- laser focus.
I can't make you do or see anything, but I hope for both of you that you'll take a closer look at recoverynation without defensiveness because I think it will really open your eyes to some things, if you give it a chance.
As far as the "laser focus" on sex, it is certainly present, it is the single biggest issue that I have in my relationship with my wife, it is the reason that I came here to post again. To my credit, I came to a place to post and discuss the issues rather than acting out in any addictive way. Again, I appreciate your opinion and welcome any opinion that anyone here would like to express. As far as I'm concerned, you can hit me with a 2x12, it couldn't beat me up any worse than I have done to myself over the last few years!