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Asking tough questions about marriage


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Old 19th March 2019, 2:43 PM   #1
zig
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Asking tough questions about marriage

Hey all,

So recently, the past 4-5 months I've felt that something is "off" in my marriage. It's really hard to explain because I don't know what it is. I've noticed my wife is becoming tired of being a mom for one. So I've really tried to step it up and work double around the house and watching the kids ect. Thing is, it's like the more I try the less it works? Among other things she recently told me she wants to go back to school and start a new career (she's a sahm now) and I 'can' quit my job and stay with the kids. I told her go for it, I wouldn't mind.

Sex seems to be just ok. I've always been into it more than she has from the beginning anyway although she did tell me last night that she really isn't into it much. I think at least 50% of the time she just does it for me. I recently started a different thread about the sex department that may shed a little more light if you care to look. I do feel the new marriage romance is completely gone. Yeah, it's gone on her part for sure but I don't know if that is a red flag or if it's just common between people who are married for a few years and kids come into the picture.

My marriage is so important to me and I would do anything to keep things on the right track. Problem is, I don't know where to start. How do you ask tough questions like, "is everything going ok with you"? Yeah that's easy, I ask how she's doing every day but now what I'm REALLY asking is, "how is your mental health and are you happy with our marriage"?

You see what I'm getting at? Things could blow up really quick If I'm interpreted wrongly in the way I ask.

Any advice on how to approach this? Or is it best to leave it alone for a little while and see what directions things progress in? I really don't think there is much more that I can do.
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Old 19th March 2019, 2:59 PM   #2
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zig,

Good on you for taking a proactive role, and not just ignoring these early-warning signals. Too many spouses have done that, much to their later deep regret.

There is a handy tool that might prove very useful. It's called something like 'emotional needs questionnaire' (or maybe 'assessment') -- Google both, or similar, and you'll probably hit on it.

Wishing you and your wife the very best for positive outcomes.
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Old 19th March 2019, 5:35 PM   #3
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Or is it best to leave it alone for a little while and see what directions things progress in?
Might be a minority view, but I would indeed put things on autopilot for a while. Your wife is already tired, and having your thoughts analyzed, motives questioned and brain picked on a daily basis is even more exhausting. Heck, my goal when my three kids were young was simply survival, along with the hope I didn't accidentally kill a child in process. I'm pretty sure we had sex, little of it memorable and none worth fighting over. In short, it's just a marital hump you have to get over to get to next stage. I'm sure some do it gracefully, I remember it more as a sleep-deprived war of attrition.

The good news is, there are better days ahead. You just have to find a way to hang in there as a team until you get there...

Mr. Lucky
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Old 20th March 2019, 1:00 PM   #4
zig
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Thank you so much for what you wrote. It really helped me put things in perspective and look at the big picture. Last night we had a date night and things were wonderful. It was the best date night we had in years.

I think I need to relax a little and just try to be a better husband first. At the same time be more observant to my wife's emotional needs. I need to be on guard but maybe it's best to try to fix a little at a time then try to fix it all at once.

I really liked what you said about how there are times when it's just "survival mode" That makes perfect sense to me as I'm now in the stage of raising young kids. I get it.

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Old 20th March 2019, 1:31 PM   #5
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How many kids and how old?

Maybe give your wife a “spa day” gift card and let her get some alone time?

Being a stay at home Mom is brutal
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Old 20th March 2019, 3:23 PM   #6
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Marriage counseling could help with the communication issues.
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Old 20th March 2019, 3:47 PM   #7
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I think I need to relax a little and just try to be a better husband first. At the same time be more observant to my wife's emotional needs. I need to be on guard but maybe it's best to try to fix a little at a time then try to fix it all at once.
I'd try to be a "better husband" simply because it's the right thing to do rather than based on some hopeful reaction or reward from her. As I had to remind myself, they are your kids, your equal responsibility and shaped in no small part by your input. Also, just as I had wants and needs, so did my wife, at times with very little overlap with my own.

It's no small irony that both parents of small children can feel they're getting the short end of the stick. And even were you to flip their roles, not sure that feeling goes away...

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Old 20th March 2019, 7:21 PM   #8
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Hey all,

So recently, the past 4-5 months I've felt that something is "off" in my marriage. It's really hard to explain because I don't know what it is.
It's you.

Quote:
"I've noticed my wife is becoming tired of being a mom for one. So I've really tried to step it up and work double around the house and watching the kids ect. Thing is, it's like the more I try the less it works?"
Basically, your wife's only purpose in her life right now, is to keep up the home, and watch the kid(s). Your reaction to her unhappiness, is to literally diminish her role, making her feel less needed than she does, and rob her of her purpose in the household.

Quote:
"Among other things she recently told me she wants to go back to school and start a new career (she's a sahm now) and I 'can' quit my job and stay with the kids. I told her go for it, I wouldn't mind."
What she's saying, is she wants to feel like she has a purpose, and her thinking is that she needs someone to tell her what to do, and appreciate her. (In this scenario, money is acknowledgement of doing what she's told.) Your response was basically, "it's not important for you to be raising our children", and that you are willing to cop out of being the provider for your family. Essentially, you have no pride in taking care of your family as a leader in the home. To be a fly on your wall.
Quote:
"Sex seems to be just ok. I've always been into it more than she has from the beginning anyway although she did tell me last night that she really isn't into it much. I think at least 50% of the time she just does it for me. I recently started a different thread about the sex department that may shed a little more light if you care to look. I do feel the new marriage romance is completely gone. Yeah, it's gone on her part for sure but I don't know if that is a red flag or if it's just common between people who are married for a few years and kids come into the picture."
If your wife isn't interested, it's because you are also failing to lead in the bedroom. A leader makes it their goal to make sure those they lead get what they want, which should be orgasms. When I'm with my wife, I have sex with her like I'm an escaped convict, trying to get some before the cops kick in the door. My wife was pissed at me this one time, and her co-worker told her she should cut me off from sex to teach me a lesson. Her response was this: "Why would I punish myself?"
It's common for people's sex life to diminish, but that's because most men are lazy, and terrible at sex, and women start to feel it's an uninspiring chore.
Quote:
"My marriage is so important to me and I would do anything to keep things on the right track. Problem is, I don't know where to start. How do you ask tough questions like, "is everything going ok with you"? Yeah that's easy, I ask how she's doing every day but now what I'm REALLY asking is, "how is your mental health and are you happy with our marriage"?"
You don't ask those questions. There is a very good chance she doesn't know what is going on with her. Instead, you play your role in the family. Show her she's appreciated. Look at her like she's the sexiest woman you've ever seen, and take care of her. I understand that this is quite a hard thing for many men to step up and be the leader; she needs leadership. Good Luck!

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Old 21st March 2019, 10:07 PM   #9
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Basically, your wife's only purpose in her life right now, is to keep up the home, and watch the kid(s). Your reaction to her unhappiness, is to literally diminish her role, making her feel less needed than she does, and rob her of her purpose in the household.

What she's saying, is she wants to feel like she has a purpose, and her thinking is that she needs someone to tell her what to do, and appreciate her. (In this scenario, money is acknowledgement of doing what she's told.) Your response was basically, "it's not important for you to be raising our children", and that you are willing to cop out of being the provider for your family. Essentially, you have no pride in taking care of your family as a leader in the home. To be a fly on your wall.

I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic or serious. But on the tiny chance that you are serious...
Are you kidding? Any SAHM I know would welcome ANY help from her spouse. Try diaper, cook, clean, laundry, dishes, repeat, and see how quick you get tired of it. I think there are only very few people who have that extreme patience and nurturing personality that are well suited to be a SAHM. Men probably think women are born to take care of babies and the home, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Some women are born to be a SAHM. Most are not. Both my grandmothers were main providers in the home, my mom was for a long time, and I contribute half to my current household income. I have no female friends who are SAHM (just acquaintances). Some of my friends work part-time and the money they make is just enough to cover childcare, which is "pointless" in a lot of people's mind, but they still do it anyway - that just goes to show you SAHM is A HARD JOB.


OP, I think your wife may just be tired of being a SAHM. Take her comment about wanting to go back to school seriously. These days with online schooling there are a lot of options; obviously it's going to be life-changing for your family, but if she's serious, then she should pursue what she wants to do. You can ask a question like, "I feel like you seem more tired lately. I want to help. What can I do?" It's an open question that invites an open dialogue.
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Old 21st March 2019, 10:13 PM   #10
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Get a babysitter and take her out on a date, somewhere you can talk. Say something like, I just wanted to have some quiet time where we could talk. I know there's change in the air and just wanted to find out what all is on your mind and help whatever way I can.

Do NOT ask her about her mental health. Seeing nothing that would warrant that. Just because she's tired of only being a mom doesn't make her mental. Just listen. Really listen. Make a rule with yourself to not say "but" or contradict anything she says. Listen and take it all in, and then in a day or so you can go back to her after you've digested it all and ask some more questions or give your opinions on it all. In a nice way, like, I was thinking about what you said about X. I guess that would depend on what kind of job you ended up getting and our income, etc., but certainly willing to see where it goes.
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