By: Will Wavvy
Dear Relationship Playbook,
First let me give you a little history.
My wife and I (Both 27 years old) have been together 7.5 years and married 2.5 of those years. She had a son before our relationship, who by all means is my son. His biological father hasn’t seen him since he was 2 years old and he is now 9. I just recently legally adopted him and Im the only father he knows. More recently we just had my first child, my sweet baby girl and she is two. Now Fastforward…….Although I love and value the institution of marriage/family, this is nowhere close to what I would have ever imagined. I am a man at a crossroad. I am truly beginning to believe that me and my wife are two pieces to TWO DIFFERENT PUZZLES. We have issues like most couples, which I have learned to expect, but let me categorize a few.
Our relationship has no affection at all or what I would categorize as affection. We go months on end without touching, hugging, or kissing. It hurts even more because I am an affectionate person. I have gone through my avenues to open her up but I am always rejected. Being rejected so many times has killed my confidence in approaching her in any affection at all. She says dont be Passive, but honestly I am tired of getting my pride crushed so I dont even attempt anymore. With lack of sex, affection is a mole that has become a mountain.When we do sleep in the same bed its back to back never a time period when we are cuddled then it becomes time to seriously sleep. Sex is a completely different issues. We probably have sex every 6 weeks sometimes longer. As a 27 year old man it is deeper than just the sexual act. It hits me like “Damn you don’t want to have sex with me”. I try to understand but honestly I feel like its a smack in the face.
LACK OF INTEREST
Lack of interest is another major issue. I try to motivate and encourage my wife to find our hobby. I believe there is a model of happiness but everyone has to carve their own nitch. The daily routine at my household is she sits in the bedroom on the laptop and I have my kids outside playing, or watching tv together in the living room. It goes to extremes like missing an entire season of sporting events for my son. She has never been to any of my Frat events which is dear to my heart, nor does she show interest in attending my friends events. She only feels like being bothered when she feels like being bothered. As far as the kids, she doesnt have those motherly instincts I wish she had.The ones that smothers my kids with love, affection, and admiration
Although this is common in most relationship I’m not really focusing in on the individual acts but more on the principles. Let me clear it up by giving you an example. I am the breadwinner of the family by double of what my wife makes so me taking most of the financial burden is completely understandable. My wife freely offered information that she was making X amount of dollars per month on several occasions. So I took it at that and offered to cover bills she was responsible for. So 8-9 months later I discovered my wife was making 500-600 dollars more a month that she previous stated. Now for me this is major. This isnt just a lie its a bold face lie. If she had a stash that would be something else. Another incident, that I used as a test, was when I was flat broke and I knew she had money. My wife didn’t even offer to give me money to hold me over til pay day. She refuses to get a joint account and I quote “You always tripping when I want to by myself something”.
My wife knows how important setting the foundation of love/family/marriage is to me so I think she believes I will never leave or cheat. To be completely honest I am ready to leave.Although we have been only been married for 2.5 years these have been our same issues for the entirety of our relationship so she is well aware of my gripes and lack of any progress. In her defense, things have always been the same and I still married her, so are my complaints even valid. I believe we became infatuated with the thought of the life we could build together without even focusing in on who we married or what we signed up for. So part of me feels like why should I even complain when things have always been this way. So as a man, I am truly realizing the things I need in a relationship. I have a tendency to believe my way is the best method. I am no longer thinking in that frame of mind. Am I wrong for pressuring her to become this woman that I desire? Should I accept her for the woman she is? Am I expecting to much or are my desires unrealistic? My plan was not to use this medium as a chance to rant, but rather to get valuable input on are my expectations unrealistic. So as cliche as it sounds “Give It To Me Straight No Chaser”..
For the most part you answered your own questions in your letter…
…things have always been the same and I still married her…
I believe we became infatuated with the thought of the life we could build together…
… without even focusing in on who we married or what we signed up for…
Your wife isn’t who you wanted or built her up to be in your mind, your wife is who she is – which is who she’s always been. You have a benefit that a lot of couples don’t have – you know EXACTLY who the person you’re married to is. She didn’t lead you to believe she was one way and was actually another. So instead of wondering why she isn’t who you want her to be, you need to just accept her for who she is.
Accepting her doesn’t mean you have to just “deal with it” if it’s not what you need in a relationship; however, once you accept she is ONLY going to be who she is, you then you’ll stop wasting time trying to change her. Next issue…
“I have a tendency to believe my way is the best method.”
This could be the reason why she doesn’t do the things you want her to do. A major problem couples have is that there is a constant struggle over who’s “right and who’s wrong”. Each person thinks that “their way” is how things should be done. If YOUR way was the “right” way in everything then you’d be by yourself and vice versa. It’s the COMBINATION of you two that’s right. You have to learn to respect and appreciate the individual differences between you two. You don’t need to have “our” hobbies or a bunch of things you enjoy doing together. That’s cliché and cliches don’t make a successful relationship – people do.
It’s a great start you no longer have that mindset, but changing the way you think is just a start – you need to put it into action. You do that by talking TO your wife instead of AT her.
There is a difference.
If someone from a foreign country start talking to you in a language you didn’t understand, they’d be talking AT you and not TO you. No matter what they said or how they said it, you wouldn’t understand them because they’re speaking THEIR language and not YOUR language. You talk TO your partner when you’re speaking to her in a language she understands. While sex and affection are a couple of ways she can talk TO you in your language, it doesn’t sound like that’s how you need to talk to her in hers. She probably speaks a completely different love language than you and unless you’re speaking her language you’re talking AT her and not TO her.
A great book that explains this concept is The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. By far it’s the best relationship book I’ve ever read (and I’ve read dozens of them). You’ve invested 7 years in the relationship, I’m going to ask you to invest 60 more. Read The 5 Love Languages and speak your wife’s love language to her every day for the next 60 days without any thought to her speaking yours.
60 days. That isn’t long at all – less than half a football season.
Put everything you have into speaking her language and one of two things should happen. Either she’ll see that you’re putting your all into HER and not your way and she’ll reciprocate w/o you saying anything. Or you’ll realize the relationship is not what you need and you should move on. No matter what the outcome is you’ll have the answer you’re looking for.
I’m not going to address the money issue because I have the feeling there’s more to it. The thought that you believe things should be your way lends me to believe you’re controlling and her lying to you about how much she made could’ve been her way to have some control. It doesn’t make it right, but makes it understandable.
Hope this helps.
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