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Love my wife, but not attracted to her.


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Old 21st June 2011, 4:06 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Toodamnpragmatic View Post
And yes I can see some of what I go through at times too. The difference is I am shallow and lucky my wife is incredibly attractive after 25 years.

Fair, absolutely not, but a fact that I do put up with a lot (at least I think I do), because I look at a vivacious/sexy woman I am attracted to.

So no I actually truly do empathize with you knowing that I would be truly resentful of my spouse if we are having problems and I am not attracted to her sexually.......

To the OP, you added another layer, explaining you are in India for work and separated from family and friends, but did not explain how this may have affected the relationship and the struggles your spouse maybe having.

Go ahead pile on me.
Ok. There's a lot of history that I couldn't have put it in the original post.

Basically, we are originally from India. We were in the USA for a few years for work. At the beginning of this period we even survived 18-months of long distance relationship. Then after 4 years of living together as a married couple in the USA, we came back to India and I started my own business here.

While we had a lot of friends in America, we have still more family and friends here. We don't live with or even close to family. Then again, we never have, and we prefer it this way.

The only added strain in our relationship came during the short period we had to spend at my parents' home when we had just shifted back. But, that sorted itself out when we moved out. So, I don't think those are actual factors.

I suppose that her being suspicious about me having cheated on her during the 18-month separation could be considered a factor. I had a good friend with whom I spent a lot of time, but in a strictly friendly way during this period. And, my wife just wouldn't beleive that we weren't sleeping around.

The other factor, which also caused her to get terribly out of shape, was our son's birth, after which, we've not had much sex.
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Old 21st June 2011, 4:29 AM   #17
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I wonder how happy your wife is with her own life right now? Given her situation I can imagine she deals with boredom and depression just from a lack of purposeful and meaningful activity.

You've mentioned she doesn't work and you have plentiful domestic help. What does she do with her time? Does she at least have interests that she pursues?

I wonder if she is in a place in her life where she's not really happy with herself, but doesn't know how to change it. She probably doesn't really want to be fat, but may resent you for pressuring her to fix it. Maybe it is a way of pushing back on you for that. I could imagine a person who sat around the house all day with nothing to do might just gain weight out of boredom.

Have you tried it all to help her find meaningful ways to spend her time? When I say this, I definitely don't mean pressure her, force her, etc. Just suggest some ideas that you think she might enjoy. Leave it to her whether she actually does anything.

Scott
The factors you've identified are palpable.

There's no denying that she is not a very driven (careerwise) person. And, she will also take every luxury available to her. In that, we are opposites. I'm hardworking and ambitious. She's easygoing.

She spends most of her time reading or researching things on the internet, but not productively. She has often come up with business ideas, which I've supported both morally and financially. But, I've never seen her follow through to make them succeed. I guess, she's secure in the financial department and doesn't worry about making money.

And, while I am very careful not to nag, I've been rather "encouraging" of her to find purposeful work. I've always been in favour of her getting out more and also reducing the help she employs, which most people will agree is excessive.

But, I agree, she's probably finding herself hurtling downward in the self-esteem spiral with not much help from me. Trust me, I've tried to help. But, beyond a limit, I find myself frustrated and at the end of my wit and patience.

Plus, of late, I've been facing undue amounts of business stress, which has made me noticeably edgy also.

Discussing ones problems with others always brings about a lot of clarity. In the back of my head I always knew the problem had to be two-sided. But, the frustration needed to find expression in order for the cobwebs to go.
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Old 21st June 2011, 11:24 AM   #18
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The factors you've identified are palpable.

There's no denying that she is not a very driven (careerwise) person. And, she will also take every luxury available to her. In that, we are opposites. I'm hardworking and ambitious. She's easygoing.

She spends most of her time reading or researching things on the internet, but not productively. She has often come up with business ideas, which I've supported both morally and financially. But, I've never seen her follow through to make them succeed. I guess, she's secure in the financial department and doesn't worry about making money.

And, while I am very careful not to nag, I've been rather "encouraging" of her to find purposeful work. I've always been in favour of her getting out more and also reducing the help she employs, which most people will agree is excessive.

But, I agree, she's probably finding herself hurtling downward in the self-esteem spiral with not much help from me. Trust me, I've tried to help. But, beyond a limit, I find myself frustrated and at the end of my wit and patience.

Plus, of late, I've been facing undue amounts of business stress, which has made me noticeably edgy also.

Discussing ones problems with others always brings about a lot of clarity. In the back of my head I always knew the problem had to be two-sided. But, the frustration needed to find expression in order for the cobwebs to go.


Perhaps she is what one could call semi-addicted to the Internet. She's not really happy doing what she's doing with her time, but she doesn't really know what else to do, it's not like she has a strong pull toward some other activity. Each new website brings a momentary alleviation of boredom, but it doesn't last, and afterwards she feels depressed.

If I sound like I'm speaking from experience I am, I think I spend too much time doing things like that also.

The tough part is, she has to want to change. You are in a tough situation, because if you suggest something no matter how gentle you are she may feel like you are pressuring her or something. She probably has a pretty good sense of what you normally do and say, and if you say or do anything different than that she asks herself why and may quickly realize you are trying to get her to do something.

Does she have any interests, sports, or hobbies that she hasn't done lately, or maybe something she would like to try? Even those are better than being on the computer all day.

I think one piece of this is you may have to back off to some extent and let her solve her own problem. Make it clear that you care about her and are there for her, help her if she asks, offer the occasional bit of advice perhaps, but then focus your mind on a different problem. I know with myself I get very focused on whatever problem I'm dealing with, I want to solve it right then, and I get frustrated if I can't. Well, another person doesn't like being the focus of that kind of intensity. So, focus your intensity on something else where you have more control.

The two of you have a child. How much interest does she take in your child? That might be a point you can build on.

Scott
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Old 21st June 2011, 5:14 PM   #19
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Just how much weight has she put on? 20 pounds? 50+ pounds?

Could there be cultural factors at play?

I'm an Asian American, but I'm not Indian so I don't know what impact her upbringing has on this issue. Do you think it's more culturally acceptable for an Indian woman to be plump after marriage and children? I'm wondering if perhaps she saw her mother, aunties, cousins that way after having children and so she doesn't feel she should have to change.

I don't know what time you get home from work, but what if you, she, and your child went for a daily walk in the evening. You could sell it as a family activity though as the previous poster suggested she knows you so well that she might be suspicious of anything new you suggest.

I could never walk for exercise on my own. My girlfriends don't live close enough to walk with me so when I had my child a few years ago, I found the perfect exercise companion. I live in the USA so my situation is slightly different, but when I come home from work, I take my child out for a nearly two mile walk. My sister-in-law gave me her fabulous jogging stroller (Zooper brand). It's a dream to push. You can even push a five year old in it. Anyway, I put my child in it and off we go.

I know you said you chat with her, but you need to really chat with her about what she needs and what you need. Do it in a non-judgmental way. Make sure she understands you're coming from a place of love and caring. You don't want to make her feel attacked and defensive. It sounds like there are many unresolved conflicts in your relationship. Women need emotional intimacy to have sex. When they have suppressed resentment and anger toward their partner, they aren't going to want sex. I also understand where you're coming from. The biggest sexual organ is one's mind, but there has to be a physical attraction for there to be a sexual attraction. That's what separates a lover from a friend.
I think you both would benefit from some marriage therapy.
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Old 21st June 2011, 5:52 PM   #20
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Do we have a nanny??

We have a live-in nanny, an 8-hour-a-day babysitter, a cook, a housekeeper and a driver.

Don't be shocked. We moved to India a few years back for my business. And, help is a lot more affordable over here.

But, do you see what I mean when I say her laziness is a put-off?
Wow I'll marry you sounds like quite the life you have made for each other! Sorry, all joking aside this sounds pretty miserable for you. I too was wondering how overweight are we talking 10-20 lbs or like 50 what? Maybe she is suffering postpartum depression explains the weight gain and not wanting to get it off, the lack of desire for sex and her general blah demeanor. How is she as a Mom, devoted and caring good with the kids or does the nanny do most of the work?

Tell her you are worried about her and wondering if she is suffering from depression or postpartum and maybe it would help to talk to a counselor. Offer to go with her or if she'd rather go alone that's fine too. Make it as a concern for her not a this is what I don't like about you thing. She will get defensive surely if you attack her about this.
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Old 21st June 2011, 6:10 PM   #21
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Her turn

It sounds like you have done your part. Its her turn.

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Originally Posted by JeffWinger9 View Post
My story will probably raise a lot of eyebrows, cause a lot of eyeballs to roll, and make people judge me for being a selfish a****le. But, I've got to say this, and more importantly, I've got to get advice.

I'm 34. She's 33. We've been married for nearly 11 years and dated for 6 years before that. We were highschool sweethearts.

Needless to say, the sex was volcanic in the early years. Hours of foreplay, multiple orgasms, experimentation, you name it. Then marriage happened.

We slowed down drastically. The relationship was still healthy and the love was very much there. But, sex went down from everytime-we-met to a couple-times-a-month. Some attempts at having sex would even end up in a blame-match about who's responsible for the lack of it. My wife is somewhat short-tempered and not the kind of person who accepts fault easily.

In the years that followed, I realized that I began to turn down sex way more often than she did. And while my sex drive was very much in place, I just didn't want to do it with HER.

I can't explain what happened, but the following are factors that I think played into it.
1. I was pretty turned off by the risk of her flaring up if anything didn't go as expected.
2. As we grew older, her lazy side started to show. She has never taken up serious work, as I always earned enough through my business. I have always encouraged her to work and find gainful use of her time and talents, but she has never felt the need to do it.
3. She has consistently put on weight since we got married and after our 17 month old son was born, she hasn't bothered with hitting the gym to lose all that weight, except maybe a total of 15 days since giving birth.
Now she's physically unattractive. But, her attitude is a much bigger turnoff for me. And even talking of sex makes me very uncomfortable, as I don't want to have sex with her.

We seem to live our lives just fine without sex. But, it's a clearly dysfunctional relationship and the strain has begun to show itself quite a bit in our behaviour with each other, even when we're with a group of friends.

She probably very well realizes that I masturbate and I know she does too. She nags me about sex every now and then but it pisses me off all the more that she can keep expecting me to hold up my end of the deal, without any apparent effort from her side.

I've repeatedly hinted to her that her being so terribly overweight is a major turnoff. Since our early days together, I've always made my preference for lean women known to her.

Asking her to hit the gym with me or simply talking about losing weight always bring about a huge fight and is becoming a sore thumb between us. But, I don't see her doing anything about it. In fact she hasn't been very supportive of my own running habit and is the main reason I gave up running the half marathons I ran on a yearly basis.

I don't want to leave my wife or break my family. But, I cannot continue to live in a relationship which is losing love on a daily basis. I want to fix this. I'm open to criticism, suggestions, analysis, anything.

There's a lot more I can write here to explain the situation further. But, I don't think any reader will be able to digest all that history at once.

But, I do know that our relationship needs help desperately, as lately I've found myself considering cheating (a lot). My sex drive is very healthy. I need to channel it right. Otherwise, either I'll explode or I'll destroy my family by cheating.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 4:25 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Scottdmw View Post
Perhaps she is what one could call semi-addicted to the Internet. She's not really happy doing what she's doing with her time, but she doesn't really know what else to do, it's not like she has a strong pull toward some other activity. Each new website brings a momentary alleviation of boredom, but it doesn't last, and afterwards she feels depressed.

If I sound like I'm speaking from experience I am, I think I spend too much time doing things like that also.

The tough part is, she has to want to change. You are in a tough situation, because if you suggest something no matter how gentle you are she may feel like you are pressuring her or something. She probably has a pretty good sense of what you normally do and say, and if you say or do anything different than that she asks herself why and may quickly realize you are trying to get her to do something.

Does she have any interests, sports, or hobbies that she hasn't done lately, or maybe something she would like to try? Even those are better than being on the computer all day.

I think one piece of this is you may have to back off to some extent and let her solve her own problem. Make it clear that you care about her and are there for her, help her if she asks, offer the occasional bit of advice perhaps, but then focus your mind on a different problem. I know with myself I get very focused on whatever problem I'm dealing with, I want to solve it right then, and I get frustrated if I can't. Well, another person doesn't like being the focus of that kind of intensity. So, focus your intensity on something else where you have more control.

The two of you have a child. How much interest does she take in your child? That might be a point you can build on.

Scott
She is a good mother. Somewhat lazy, but involved. She avoids the physical labour of being a mother, which is why we have all the excessive help. But, she is very involved with my son's upbringing. And, she's always watching over the help's shoulder to make sure everything's done right for him.

Her "internet research" is also mostly reading up about his upbringing, health, etc. You could say that he is her hobby and interest as of now. But, you see how she has made it into a zero-physical-activity hobby :-)

I have been thinking and the following came up as an idea. I would like as many opinions on this as I can get. I'm going to sit her down and tell her that as we both know, the relationship needs fixing and we need continuous dialogue to bring it back to its full glory. But, we're not going to sit and talk like in the past, so we don't bite each other's head off.

We're going to just send each other one email a day. The email will have four short sections:
1. One thing that puts me off about you.
2. What I think you can do about it.
3. What I think I can do to help you get rid of it.
4. Discussion about your last email to me. In this section we get to respond to the other person's note. We can agree or politely disagree with each other's point of view. But, we don't discuss that email after this.

I think that if we can shoot each other a short email daily where less is said and more is understood, we can get through most issues over ten days' time. And we can have a simple rule where if we can't think of anything else that puts us off on a given day, we must still send the email with 'One thing that turns me on about you.'

Now, I'm no expert on this. And, I don't want to single-handedly destroy my relationship by playing a silly game, which goes terribly bad. So, I need opinions, please.

Has anyone tried anything this silly in their relationships? What was the outcome? How do I make sure something like this doesn't spell disaster for our marriage?
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Old 22nd June 2011, 6:10 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Afishwithabike View Post
Just how much weight has she put on? 20 pounds? 50+ pounds?

Could there be cultural factors at play?

I'm an Asian American, but I'm not Indian so I don't know what impact her upbringing has on this issue. Do you think it's more culturally acceptable for an Indian woman to be plump after marriage and children? I'm wondering if perhaps she saw her mother, aunties, cousins that way after having children and so she doesn't feel she should have to change.

I don't know what time you get home from work, but what if you, she, and your child went for a daily walk in the evening. You could sell it as a family activity though as the previous poster suggested she knows you so well that she might be suspicious of anything new you suggest.

I could never walk for exercise on my own. My girlfriends don't live close enough to walk with me so when I had my child a few years ago, I found the perfect exercise companion. I live in the USA so my situation is slightly different, but when I come home from work, I take my child out for a nearly two mile walk. My sister-in-law gave me her fabulous jogging stroller (Zooper brand). It's a dream to push. You can even push a five year old in it. Anyway, I put my child in it and off we go.

I know you said you chat with her, but you need to really chat with her about what she needs and what you need. Do it in a non-judgmental way. Make sure she understands you're coming from a place of love and caring. You don't want to make her feel attacked and defensive. It sounds like there are many unresolved conflicts in your relationship. Women need emotional intimacy to have sex. When they have suppressed resentment and anger toward their partner, they aren't going to want sex. I also understand where you're coming from. The biggest sexual organ is one's mind, but there has to be a physical attraction for there to be a sexual attraction. That's what separates a lover from a friend.
I think you both would benefit from some marriage therapy.
You're partially right. Ordinarily and traditionally, Indian women don't expect to maintain their physical fitness, thinness, etc. after having had children. This is because of the traditional belief that marriage has but one purpose - procreation.

However, we aren't traditional people. In fact, we're looked upon by our family and friends as the most rebellious couple known to them. We also believe in adopting the best of every culture available around us. We've always done that and very consciously teach our son to do so. So, while she sees most women around her let themselves go, I don't think she's the kind of person to let herself fall into the same stereotype.

Plus, there's basically only one good gym where we live, and all our local friends (as couples) are members. Some of them pretty regular, too. So, there's factors working both ways.

She had put on about 18 lbs over the first 9 years of our marriage. An additional 15 lbs remained after she had lost as much as she naturally could after delivering the baby. There's now a monthly variability of 2 pounds. But, she's only 5'4" and there's about 32-34 lbs more of her to love ;-(

Another noteworthy thing is that during the 8th-9th year of being married, she suddenly put on a lot of weight, which she lost mostly after being diagnosed as hypothyroid and being treated for it. She is no longer hypo, based on test results.

There's way too much history when you've been married reasonably long.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 6:59 AM   #24
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Oh that doesn't sound good to me,
hey...why don't you both plan for honeymoon again? never too late to safe the marriage and spark alive..

Enough say..
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Old 22nd June 2011, 12:55 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by JeffWinger9 View Post
She is a good mother. Somewhat lazy, but involved. She avoids the physical labour of being a mother, which is why we have all the excessive help. But, she is very involved with my son's upbringing. And, she's always watching over the help's shoulder to make sure everything's done right for him.

Her "internet research" is also mostly reading up about his upbringing, health, etc. You could say that he is her hobby and interest as of now. But, you see how she has made it into a zero-physical-activity hobby :-)

I have been thinking and the following came up as an idea. I would like as many opinions on this as I can get. I'm going to sit her down and tell her that as we both know, the relationship needs fixing and we need continuous dialogue to bring it back to its full glory. But, we're not going to sit and talk like in the past, so we don't bite each other's head off.

We're going to just send each other one email a day. The email will have four short sections:
1. One thing that puts me off about you.
2. What I think you can do about it.
3. What I think I can do to help you get rid of it.
4. Discussion about your last email to me. In this section we get to respond to the other person's note. We can agree or politely disagree with each other's point of view. But, we don't discuss that email after this.

I think that if we can shoot each other a short email daily where less is said and more is understood, we can get through most issues over ten days' time. And we can have a simple rule where if we can't think of anything else that puts us off on a given day, we must still send the email with 'One thing that turns me on about you.'

Now, I'm no expert on this. And, I don't want to single-handedly destroy my relationship by playing a silly game, which goes terribly bad. So, I need opinions, please.

Has anyone tried anything this silly in their relationships? What was the outcome? How do I make sure something like this doesn't spell disaster for our marriage?
Sounds like you need to get your child involved in some physical activities or something that your wife can share!

Communication is good, certainly. It's good if you both know what the other is thinking and feeling as much as possible.

I wonder, though, whether it's going to be so simple in this case. I would imagine she already knows that you don't like her weight, you think she needs to work harder on it and be more active, and you're willing to exercise or whatever with her. I would guess you've already talked about it multiple times and covered the points you would probably cover in the #4 discussion section in your e-mail. She might feel like you are just repeating yourself.

I have also heard people say that you should say positive things before you say anything negative. If you go the e-mail route you might want to include positive things first-- you both have to write a paragraph describing something that you sincerely like about the other person.

Scott
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Old 22nd June 2011, 2:06 PM   #26
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Jeffwinger - Thanks for the explanation. I have very Westernized Indian and Desi friends. You and your wife seem like them - non-traditional.

It's interesting you mentioned she was hypothyroid before and isn't anymore based on test results. Sometimes people can be subclinically hypothyroid. That's what my doctor says. He says he prefers to treat the condition if the symptoms are present rather than relying on a test result. Sometimes we can be within the normal reference range, but still hypo for our particular bodies. Just a thought to consider...

Since you have so much hired help at home (am so envious! ), could you ask her to join you at the gym after work? Make it a couples activity. Go three days of the week as a start.

It seems to me the only way to get her to think about exercise is to incorporate it into something you do with her.

I like the email idea, but please keep it positive as the previous poster suggested. I think you need to have a section in the email that deals with something nice that person did for the other person that day or recently and how that made the recipient feel. Start off with the good before you get to the bad.
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Old 23rd June 2011, 4:02 AM   #27
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Jeffwinger - Thanks for the explanation. I have very Westernized Indian and Desi friends. You and your wife seem like them - non-traditional.

It's interesting you mentioned she was hypothyroid before and isn't anymore based on test results. Sometimes people can be subclinically hypothyroid. That's what my doctor says. He says he prefers to treat the condition if the symptoms are present rather than relying on a test result. Sometimes we can be within the normal reference range, but still hypo for our particular bodies. Just a thought to consider...

Since you have so much hired help at home (am so envious! ), could you ask her to join you at the gym after work? Make it a couples activity. Go three days of the week as a start.

It seems to me the only way to get her to think about exercise is to incorporate it into something you do with her.

I like the email idea, but please keep it positive as the previous poster suggested. I think you need to have a section in the email that deals with something nice that person did for the other person that day or recently and how that made the recipient feel. Start off with the good before you get to the bad.
I haven't been properly responding to some of the suggestions that have come up in this thread. She does take our son out for walks every evening. Puts the pram in the back of the car, drives him to the park, and lets the babysitter walk him :-)

The fifteen days that she did go to the gym was with me. I got her a personal trainer for three days a week. It went on for 4-5 weeks and then the habit was broken for some reason or the other.

I've been living this nightmare long enough that I've tried most such things already.

The only thing I haven't been able to do is a serious non-flared-up talk. And, I'm thinking it will be a lot less confrontational if we do it over email and leave the together-time for pleasant things. I know if we can keep the rest of the day pleasant, doing away with the negativity through email would work.

Then again, she could save those emails forever and they could come back to bite me in the butt later on! :-)

I've also been building up to get us both in the mood for some good sex for the last two-three days. Sex will ease the tension a bit and set the mood right to start a talk, I think.

I also think the suggestions that have come up make sense. The emails shouldn't be all negative. They could start out positively, somehow. Will work on that. Any more suggestions?
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Old 27th June 2011, 11:25 PM   #28
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I was wondering if you'd sent the email. Any updates?
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Old 28th June 2011, 11:58 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffWinger9 View Post
She is a good mother. Somewhat lazy, but involved. She avoids the physical labour of being a mother, which is why we have all the excessive help. But, she is very involved with my son's upbringing. And, she's always watching over the help's shoulder to make sure everything's done right for him.

Her "internet research" is also mostly reading up about his upbringing, health, etc. You could say that he is her hobby and interest as of now. But, you see how she has made it into a zero-physical-activity hobby :-)

I have been thinking and the following came up as an idea. I would like as many opinions on this as I can get. I'm going to sit her down and tell her that as we both know, the relationship needs fixing and we need continuous dialogue to bring it back to its full glory. But, we're not going to sit and talk like in the past, so we don't bite each other's head off.

We're going to just send each other one email a day. The email will have four short sections:
1. One thing that puts me off about you.
2. What I think you can do about it.
3. What I think I can do to help you get rid of it.
4. Discussion about your last email to me. In this section we get to respond to the other person's note. We can agree or politely disagree with each other's point of view. But, we don't discuss that email after this.

I think that if we can shoot each other a short email daily where less is said and more is understood, we can get through most issues over ten days' time. And we can have a simple rule where if we can't think of anything else that puts us off on a given day, we must still send the email with 'One thing that turns me on about you.'

Now, I'm no expert on this. And, I don't want to single-handedly destroy my relationship by playing a silly game, which goes terribly bad. So, I need opinions, please.

Has anyone tried anything this silly in their relationships? What was the outcome? How do I make sure something like this doesn't spell disaster for our marriage?
Upon reading this... my feelings are... it's a bad idea.... for a few reasons.....

1. Things can get so totally misinterpreted through written form.... without body language and proper connotations....

2. You need to learn how to communicate together properly about serious stuff ..... as uncomfortable as this may be.

3. If you think that talking via email is gonna end there without any 'bad feelings' spilling over at night afterwards, you are mistaken....

Perhaps instead of emailing once a day, you could set aside a 'discussion time' once a week or something

Just my 2 cents.
Good luck and I give you alot of credit for trying to work things out with her !!
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