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Marriage Issues

Discussion in 'Married Couples' started by createdtoworship, Jun 1, 2020.

  1. createdtoworship

    createdtoworship In the grip of grace

    +1,700
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Married
    Me and my wife have been married for 17 years. We don't fight, we don't argue. And when we do argue it usually my fault. I love her with all my heart. But the physical romance is gone. I am not attracted to her any more. And it's affecting my work relationships and my church relationships. I notice other single women taking notice and it just makes me sad. Again I am content with what I have and would never EVER cheat. But flirting is another story. I have had a hard time in my life balancing being pure, flirting and such....

    I say all this because there is a girl at work and she sort of stares at me. Today was the first time I saw here this season at work, and I was sort of excited to see her TBH. I know that is bad. She sort of made the first move. But anyway she sort of flirts and stares. And I have not done the best to refrain from staring back. See at first I just thought she was single. So I was just sort of flirting back. But she is married to one of the employees at work. But I can tell she doesn't honor her marriage, and I was just thrown through a loop today because. I don't honor my own marriage that is for sure. But anyway, It's the start of the season and its about the time where lots of younger women come on premises. Last year I made a resolution that I would stop staring, or flirting with other women at work or at church. And to honor my marriage more. But today when I saw that one girl, it's like the flirting just resumed seamlessly. She is not the only one. I have overcame lots of addictions in the past, over eating, homosexuality, pornography, self gratification....but because this is not a consistent thing, it only happens every summer. It's like it shocks me when women try to flirt. Every year I am surprised by it. In fact I got so used to it, that when I see a pretty woman I will wait to see if she stares at me. It's like I have this identity that I need to verify in my mind. "Ok I still got it". But what about this year, will that same hot girl that liked me last year, still like me, or will she be over me. I don't talk to them. I don't flirt like that, it's more subtle. It's just looking repeatedly, and smiling. But I don't think it honors my marriage. I was juggling it in my mind today. Is it wrong, is it not wrong. I am not lusting after them, I am not like.....thinking "hey I want to jump in bed." But I felt guilty and I don't like it. And I want to eradicate it. It's my next goal. I see other men my age, honoring their marriage. And I desire to do the same thing. I fell in love with my wife, and then she gained a bunch of weight. And I still love her very much. But I sort of fell out of romance. Then when pretty woman show interest.....there is an internal struggle. I don't want to divorce and remarry. But my wife can tell that my passion and my love is not as it should be. She says we are like partners, not married couples. So my desire is to come here and see what recommendations you have to spice it up. For mothers day I totally blew it. I BBQ'd some steaks for me and the boys and the mother in law, but my wife doesn't like meat so I BBQ'd some soy dogs for her with zuchini strips. But I was so into the meat that I totally forgot the zuchini. Then because the meat was done first and normally I just feed the boys first. I just did that. But she wanted a dinner together with the family. Something we have not done for years. And I didn't know that. So she cried. And it was that moment, after a long talk with her that I realize that I love her, but she is right, I love her like a partner. Like my sister or my mom, not like my wife. It got the point where she will ask me to do things, and I sort of complain. When we were first married she would say, he can you mow the lawn today, and I would do it no problem. Now I am like, 'well it's 90 out side' maybe tomorrow, or better yet, next week.' I just put stuff off. And I started letting her do stuff, that she never did before. She started doing more of the house chores. Stuff I should be doing. Like vacuuming the pool. She even started scraping the eves and was going to paint the porch. She expected me to stop her and start doing it. But I was totally fine with letting her just do the work. But I recalled, that in my early marriage I would never have done that. I WOULD NEVER HAVE LET THE WIFE OF MY YOUTH VACUUM THE POOL OR PAINT THE EXTERIOR. I would have cherished her and done it. So anyway, she loves me so unconditionally. But her love language is gifts of service. And I begrugingly do many chores. After she talked with me last weekend, a long cry session. I realized that I am not a very good person. I dont seek her out. I never say..."hey lets talk, lets go on a date, lets sit in the back yard and be with each other." I know she is typically mirroring my autistic teen ager so he doesn't break stuff in the house. But I know I have dropped the ball in my marriage. All I know how to do now is just be nice, do things without complaining. And try to love her better. But it breaks my heart that I am breaking her heart and I want to do better. But anyway, some of this comes out when other girls flirt with me. My personal marital problems all come to the surface and temptation looms. She even said. Hey we can stay married for the kids, we don't have to tell them. Just don't cheat on me, and everything will be okay. This is not the first conversation. We have an annual chat like this every year (for the past five). I started watching marital seminars, reading marriage books doing all sorts of stuff. But I have a bad memory and stuff I do is only temporary and it goes back to the old ways. She says normally I will be better for a few days then it's like we never talked. But this time was a different talk. It's like she gave up hope. I just don't know how to be better, other than just doing chores without complaining, and sitting with her and talking with her. I know she likes talking. And we have coffee time whenever we wake up in the morning. And I was tired one day and she was asking me these pivotal details of my day and what I was going to do. And I said...."I am tired, it's not a good time to ask me pivotal details about the day." And I was short with her. and that broke her. Because that was the one thing she said we had left. Coffee time. And I ruined that. So she was like realizing that our marriage was trash, and that was the last thing we had that resembled a good marriage. Again I remember the talks, and I just realized I need to be gentle and do more. I love the computer, and I Would spend hours on it, and not do other things. So I know I can't spend as much time on it. In fact I got out of several debates I was having, because I Think it was taking a told on my attitude toward others, and my wife. But any pointers may be helpful. Sorry such a huge wall of text. you can proceed with all the replies, that you DRTL (didnt' read too long), or that it was a wall of text and that you didn't read or whatever. But I had to let all this out. So thanks for listening.

    Oh yeah and me and wife have not had sex for like four or five years. I told her I was starting to feel like I wanted to be romantic with her, and she laughed at me and said something like.... "well you have to treat me better/" I forgot what she said. So I just realize I can't have sex till my marriage is fixed, but my marriage is sort of messed up because I am having a hard time being physically attracted to my wife.

    But she is the very sweetest thing in my whole life, she is so sweet and gentle and I would never ever think about being with another person. But anyway. I don't expect any quick fixes I know I have an issue.
     
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  2. Darkhorse

    Darkhorse just horsing around

    +3,405
    United States
    Presbyterian
    Married
    US-Republican
    I see two things that need immediate attention:

    1) STOP the flirting, staring, etc. with the young ladies in your workplace. That activity is FULL of dangerous and destructive effects. Pray, look away, be somewhere else, do whatever you must to break that habit and activity.

    2) I don't quite know how to say this, but...start admiring your wife again; the way she looks when nude, the many thoughtful things she says and does, the traits she has that you could never replace with anyone else. I don't mean put on an act to impress her, I mean genuinely spend time and effort "counting your blessings" from having her for a wife. This will take time, so don't be too hard on yourself at first. She's a treasure, and deep down, you still know that. Now feel it too.

    Prayers for both of you...
     
  3. createdtoworship

    createdtoworship In the grip of grace

    +1,700
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Married
    Other people tell me my wife is very attractive, and I think she is. But the physical romance is gone. I do love her, but I love her for other things other than romance. But she can tell that part is missing and it makes her sad. And that in turn makes me sad. I know I need to stop the flirting. It's so strange because I totally justify it. Like one time I saw a worship leaders wife, staring at me. And because I didn't return favor, she just sat there for like a half hour across from me and I could tell she was frustrated. But anyway, it does not honor your marriage. And I know it's wrong and I also know all sorts of people do it. So it's a true struggle when they put themselves in my path not to notice. I did real good last summer I was able to completely stop it, and also do it in a respectful way. I mean I also don't want to be rude, if someone is smiling at me, I don't just want to ignore it. In fact at church, one worship leader girl has to be early 20's and she just stares at me. (I think she knows I am married), in fact during one chili cookoff, she was serving the icee stand, and I walked up with my wife and kid, and she looked sooo mad. Like that I was married. or whatever, but anyway....I normally sit in front, and she will just stare at me from stage. And it's hard not to notice, I mean everyone is already looking at the stage, I just have to divert my eyes sort of. But I sort of think it's due to my flirtatious nature. I am really friendly and sometimes too friendly. But I need to reign in the friendliness a notch or two and just be more professional and more normal. But if you could say a prayer for me, I would appreciate it. A prayer for a longer victory than just a summer. But something that lasts more than a few months and then goes away but a victory that perseveres through my life.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
  4. Endeavourer

    Endeavourer Well-Known Member

    +1,229
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    Here is a good article for you to read:

    The Risk of Opposite-sex Friendships in Marriage : Marriage...

    Flirting with women the the first step towards throwing a grenade into your family and hurting your children and your wife. And, you will **loathe** yourself afterwards. To avoid all of this pain, do not connect gazes with other women. Do not converse with them beyond what you need to take care of the immediate business they are involved in.

    Think of trolling for an affair like a long, steady climb to a sexual climax. A time will come that is beyond your ability to turn back, but that was not the case when you took the first act. Flirting is the first act towards a sexual climax outside of your marriage. Towards an addiction that will become too powerful for you to control.
     
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  5. Endeavourer

    Endeavourer Well-Known Member

    +1,229
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    Secondly, do you and your wife date anymore? Your patterns of behavior when you were falling in love included one-on-one attention, and meeting each other's emotional needs until you finally had made so many emotional deposits that you were in love with each other.

    You need to go back to the behaviors that you were pursuing when you fell in love. So many people feel that once they are married they can behave a whole different way and continue to expect the same results (being in love). Not so. You still need to dedicate spending time together and meeting each others' emotional needs or else you will not stay in love. It seems you and your wife have all but abandoned this marital behavior.

    Here is an article for you to consider:
    The Policy of Undivided Attention : Marriage Builders, Inc.

    Can you ask your wife out on a date this weekend, that will last at least 4 hours, and be just the two of you?
     
  6. christine40

    christine40 Well-Known Member

    +7,216
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    .
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
  7. createdtoworship

    createdtoworship In the grip of grace

    +1,700
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Married
    I love that. Thanks for sharing. Maybe I have a big nose. Some have told me that. But whatever, I think I can tell when someone is flirting. In fact there is this super gorgeous younger woman at church (she is now dating), but she was probably the prettiest girl in church. And I sort of looked at her, and I noticed she was just staring at me from across the court yard. I noticed because I was staring at her (sadly). And then when I turned toward her she would look away and then look again. It was obvious she was into me. But anyway like you said maybe it was my nose. Like I said. I have a long snowzer for sure. But why then at the chili cookoff when I was sitting on the grass with my wife and child (obvious that I am married at this point in the game), and I notice she is like looking right at me (and her boyfriend was right there). I was like. OKAY! But that is when I realized that I just need to stop flirting. It's not only not honoring to my wife, it's not honoring to God, and not honoring to the particular woman. She is discontent with her relationship at that point. Or maybe she just has a problem flirting, or what not. But again she is discontent with who she is with, and it may be God's will for her life (to be with that man), and she is throwing it away. But anyway. Like you said....it could be my nose. I sure hope and wish it were that simple. I could get a nose job and be done with it.
     
  8. christine40

    christine40 Well-Known Member

    +7,216
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    .
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2020
  9. createdtoworship

    createdtoworship In the grip of grace

    +1,700
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Married
    I Will read that link later THANK YOU SO MUCH! I don't in particular think I am befriending anyone at this point. It just casual flirting. But again flirting once is flirting too much. And it just sets a bad precedence and it's not a good habit, and it's so bad for relationships, and marriages. And I don't think it is loving my wife the way she deserves to be loved by me.
     
  10. createdtoworship

    createdtoworship In the grip of grace

    +1,700
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Married
    Ok maam, maybe you were not into men in their 40's when you were in your 20's. And that is good. But not everyone is that mature unfortunately. I don't think people should date anyone less then 10 years younger than their age. So these girls I would NEVER date. Not in a million million years. Even if I was single. But it's just flirting. But it's bad. I honestly have not seen a younger woman NOT be interested in me. In my 20's they sort played hard to get. But now that I am 40, they just come out of the wood works in all confidence, that I am an easy catch for them or something. But anyway, there is that. But I had to look up why dating younger women was bad, because many guys at work do it. One guy in his late 50's is dating a girl in her young 30's. And that is when I looked it up. There are hosts of problems "robbing the cradle."
     
  11. christine40

    christine40 Well-Known Member

    +7,216
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    .
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
  12. createdtoworship

    createdtoworship In the grip of grace

    +1,700
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Married
    I honestly was a young man with hormones and I was sexually aroused by her, (I wanted sex) TBH. And I think that is a God given thing to make young men commit to women. And it worked. I married her and I loved for years and years, until one day I just realized I was no longer attracted. She is very pretty don't get me wrong. (but we were best friends for life four years, so don't think it was ONLY SEX). And there is part of me that gives in to discontentment. Like I have a great job, and all I can think about is what it would be like doing something else. I have a great life, but all I can think about is the next thing. I know I have discontentment, in lots of areas. So working on that, I think will help. But part of it is, she loves coffee time... It's our one time to talk. But she uses it to load me with chores. So it's not my favorite talking time TBH. But she can't differentiate casual talking and unloading her stresses, which puts work on me. I like me alone time. And that means less chores time. But again when we were newely married I would do ANYTHING FOR HER. I remember sacrificing so much just to please her. But that is not there. But I do want to initiate some dating. But we have an autistic teen ager, that has to go with us everywhere. In fact he is sleeping in my bed right now in my room with my wife. I sleep in his room on his bed. Because he broke his TV and our computer is acting like his little movie before bed time. So even if we wanted to be romantic, we can't. So I get it. But I want to be more romantic for her in other ways, not just sex.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
  13. createdtoworship

    createdtoworship In the grip of grace

    +1,700
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Married
    well I do wear it yes. But my wife actually does not want me to wear it. So I started wearing it last year despite her recommendation not to. I told her that people at church were sort of flirtatious. In fact some moms, that have single college age daughters were like making casual talk with me. I was like, "I am married and have a teen daughter." I didn't say it so abrupt, but I am always at church by myself because my wife has to be with my autistic son. So people just think I am single. But on major events I always go with my wife. There were other situations where women came up and started small talk with me too, but I always make sure to mention my wife in talking with them. But anyway the reason she does not want me to wear it is because I am an electrician and we have a friend who was an electrician and he lost his finger because he fell off a ladder and his ring caught on the rung, and pulled it off. We remember his cast, they sewed it back on. But she told me not ever to wear one. I keep telling her I want to, and even said we could get a silicone ring, that was rubber. But she didn't want to. I am not sure if it was the hurt part of her saying that or what.
     
  14. createdtoworship

    createdtoworship In the grip of grace

    +1,700
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Married
    well I don't know. I am not always with them. In fact I was witnessing to a young girl in her twenties, and I was sort of looking at her. She was pretty. And I gave her a tract and said it talked about God, and she started small talk with me about my work and if I had a job. And then I said yes and then she talked about her job a bit. Then she pulled out her phone and asked for my number. I was so scared I literally ran out of that store. I booked it. That has never happened to me even when I was in my 20's. I always had to make the first move. Well accept 3 times. But the rest of the times it was me initiating. But that is when I Realized that flirting not only dishonors my wife, it actually gives other women hope and hurts them when you don't follow through. That is the first day I realized I was actually playing with peoples hearts. I think that was the first time I sought for prayer from my colleagues regarding my flirtatious habits. But ultimately it stems from discontentment in my marital life. But again I think there are things I can do to conquer it. It's not my wifes fault it's mine. I need to find the answer.
     
  15. NerdGirl123

    NerdGirl123 Member

    190
    +197
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Married
    Your love for your wife is so apparent and sweet! My heart hurts for what you're going through. Clearly you love her very much and want things to be better for both of you. And just smiling or looking at another woman isn't something to beat yourself up over, even though you should certainly follow your spirit and stop doing it if it's causing you guilt or wayward thoughts.

    I would suggest talking to a pastor or church counselor if you have one. We all get old, our bodies age, we gain and lose weight, hair goes grey or falls out, things wrinkle and sag. We have to sort of retrain our minds in the way we see our spouses. If you look at them with appreciation for who they are and all they do, rather than how firm or tight or youthful their body parts are, it can reignite desire through a deeper and more mature type of love. Bodies that aren't young can still give and receive pleasure! I think Western culture has played a big, big part in convincing us that we just can't be attracted to anyone over the age of 30 or feel desire towards anyone who's not physically perfect. And that's nonsense, you can find beauty in people of all ages!

    I hope you'll get deep into prayer with your wife, ask God to renew your passion for her, and speak to someone to help guide you and keep you accountable. The way you speak about your wife is so sweet and precious, and I hope you can hold onto her always.
     
  16. NerdGirl123

    NerdGirl123 Member

    190
    +197
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Married
    People confuse me so deeply. I would *never* sit and stare at a married man. Or any man if I were married. I cannot fathom what's going on inside peoples' heads, to be staring or leering at another person who isn't single and available, or when you're not single and available. It's like looking at a ball of flame and just inviting it to come over and burn you to a crisp.

    If you recognize that you're too friendly, to the point where you become flirtatious, then absolutely you need to work on that and nip it in the bud. Your wife is already feeling that you don't desire her anymore. As much as you love her, most women will only put up with feeling that way for so long, and then they're going to be out the door and finding someone who appreciates them. Nobody wants to live in a passionless, dead marriage.
     
  17. NerdGirl123

    NerdGirl123 Member

    190
    +197
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Married
    You're paying WAY too much attention to what other women are doing. You're even THINKING about what this woman is doing and why she's doing it. Sitting there pondering her relationships, her thoughts, even her relationship with God.

    Stop.
     
  18. createdtoworship

    createdtoworship In the grip of grace

    +1,700
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Married
    THANK YOU SO MUCH! That is my desire. I don't know why girls like me, I am getting grey hair, and I guess I am just friendly and people like that. But I get propositioned a lot, at church or work. I just posted as I was witnessing to a young woman, she asked for my phone number. I was 44 and she was probably 22. half my age. I was just over all shocked. It shocks me every time. I honestly don't see myself as attractive, I have a overbite, and a big nose. But anyway, I would never EVER cheat. For one our lifestyle is such that my teen age autistic son needs a strong willed woman over him, that will be with him day in and day out. Young girls are simply not equipped to get punched, or kicked in the face repeatedly day in and day out by an autistic boy. My wife is amazing. She is probably the smartest woman I know, and the gentlest. But she has a firm side, with the boys. She is just so wonderful. I am sure if she died God would raise up someone else, but I can't fathom another replacing her. So I do love her so much. Again we were best friends for years before marriage. It's just the combination of her gaining weight and me getting more propositioned as an adult, than I was even as a young man in highschool or college. I have no idea what changed, I was really physically fit in highschool and college. I am by all means not that way anymore. But it is a struggle to constantly be propositioned, while being romantically disconent. As far as friendship and wife material, she can't be beat in my mind. She homeschools all the kids. She cleans, cooks, even does yardwork. I really desire to take more load off her, she has told me that she feels abused by our boys and me. And I don't want her thinking that. I want it bear more of her burden in the home. I truly desire that. I pray for her all the time, almost every day. But it's just that temptation is always there day in and day out. But I know that temptation is there and not to give in. But on a month to month basis, I can handle extreme temptation if I am geared for it. But it's when changes happen. Rotations in shifts, or change in employees, or changes like corona, where you are months away from church body. It's those types of change that I am not prepared for. I can handle temptation, or no temptation, but the switching back and forth between the two, just catches me off guard.
     
  19. createdtoworship

    createdtoworship In the grip of grace

    +1,700
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Married
    I know. That was before I rededicated my life to the Lord. I am better now. I don't entertain these thoughts, but some of these pseudo relationships established years ago, still exist. So normally you just cut all ties, and that is basically what I have done with everyone at church, but at work....I still struggle, simply because the change of atmosphere throws me off guard. But I have not looked or entertained flirting with that particular girl for like a year. But I see she still sort of tries. I am very observant. It's just my personality, it's not a gift or anything. But I see people pretty well. But anyway, you are right absolutely. It's flirting and not appropriate for a married person to begin with and even for a single person. She is literally in a relationship, and there should be no flirting. At least that is the way I think of it, but she has other ideas. Now I know that girls may not realize they are staring, or flirting. But guys know what they are doing. I dated a girl at a christian bookstore one year (one of my three failed engagements), and she said one day that I just came out of the woodwork and asked her out, and I said, yeah but you were making eye contact and sort of looking at me too before hand. That is how I could tell she was interested. She denied it outright. I know she did that, but I think it didn't stay in her memory because to women it may be totally natural to just do that. But for a guy, it's stumbling. They think you are into them.
     
  20. Endeavourer

    Endeavourer Well-Known Member

    +1,229
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    From what you have written, it appears behave flirtatiously and invite flirtation. I have spent all of my life in Christian circles and there is nowhere near the amount of flirting and extended eye contact you are describing in normal interactions.

    Chalking it up to your "personality" or "who you are" is inexcusable. Your flirtations are not personality flaws, they are behavioral choices. You can CHOOSE to protect your wife and family by stopping the flirting.

    Observe how non-flirtatious men behave and emulate them.

    Second point about the coffee time: It's important to separate quality time from work/complaining time. Quality time together needs to be entirely focused on meeting each other's emotional needs and making love bank deposits. Invite your wife for some quality visiting time over coffee. Let her know you want to spend some nice time visiting together, and if she has some work projects to suggest for you, she could make a list later that morning and give it to you then.

    When my husband and I schedule dates, we both understand these dates are not the time to discuss unpleasant topics but are time to enjoy each other's company. We compartmentalize the mundane and anything that's stressful for a time other than our dates. This allows us to enjoy recreational companionship, intimate conversation and affection for a date (we try to schedule at least 3 hours together) without fear of being blindsided with something that wrecks our pleasure in each other. At the end of spending 3+ fun hours together, we're usually both eager for more of each other's company, privately. When you're married, this is the way dating works, ideally. You can invite her on activities that are gently active (according to her capabilities), because activity tends to generate more endorphins, which generates more enjoyment and more love bank deposits.

    In your case, you will have some time to build up to the level of wanting additional private connections afterwards, but it can be done, even if you are not attracted to her right now. You need to give her the time and opportunity to make love bank deposits in her account with you. At some point, even if you do not presently find her attractive, the volume of her deposits will cross over the in-love threshhold and you will find yourself in love with her again.

    However, NONE of this will work if you keep you love bank open to other women by flirting with them. You need to shut that off in your imagination fully and completely...NOW.

    With respect to your difficulty in being satisfied with where you are presently, let that play out with a restlessness to experience your marriage in a better state and work towards that. You made your decision on your wedding day and it's not fair to your wife that you are thinking (or flirting) with a field of other women. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be madly in love with your wife and eagerly anticipating your future together? Let your restless imagination work towards that goal instead of toying with flirtations and ideas that will devastate your family and cause you to loathe yourself.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2020
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