A Brief History with Wife 

I met Wife in college near the end of my freshman year. She was the cute energetic coed who lived on the floor above me in the dorms. We were so different. I couldn’t possibly see myself with her. She was way out of my league. We got along really well though, almost from day one.

There was another cute, and much quieter girl on her floor. I thought maybe Wife could set me up with her. Somehow that date never happened and I soon found myself embraced in an early morning kiss with Wife. (I realize my blog nickname for her is a little out of place here but bear with me!)

She was only my second real girlfriend. I was not exactly a ladies man (back then, I got better!). We dated for a long time. In fact it was over four years from when we started dating until we were married. From age 19 to 23.

Now here is where my morals and needs started having a conflict. Wife is a good girl. Like a REALLY good girl. If you are a father you want a daughter like her. She plays by all the rules. Doesn’t drink, smoke, do drugs or have sex before marriage. I, on the other hand, took the new freedom of college to drink like a fish, and try to get laid. I never was into smoking or drugs, but I was VERY interested in nailing a college chick.

Most of the first semester at college I spent drinking, partying, and trying to figure out ways to get a woman to sleep with me. I had zero skills at that point, but spent plenty of time studying guys who did have game. Quickly I noted that alcohol really helped. Not just in giving me more courage, but also in making the ladies more open to advances. My GPA went in the shitter. I was 0.01 GPA away from being kicked out at the end of the first year. (Which was odd for me as I had a near perfect GPA in high school.)

That was where I was when I met Wife. But you see I LOVE the idea of a good girl. Someone I can raise a family with who isn’t too wild and crazy. I don’t really understand why, but that part of her was both really attractive and maddening at the same time. I wanted desperately to be a good, honorable man with high morals, and no secret hidden desires. That was Wife. She was pure and honest. But I wasn’t that way. I was NEVER going to be that way. It is an internal battle with who I thought I should be and who I really am. 

But good girls don’t want to have sex before marriage, and I was a horny boy. A VERY horny boy with intense desires and imagination. What to do? Back in the day when people would wait for marriage to have sex, they married rather quickly. We were looking at YEARS down the road IF we got married. Wife was fine with that. I was not. The other maddening part is I nearly scored with two chicks the month before I met Wife. My game was improving. 

From about the first month in I started pushing Wife toward sex. It was really hard though. She didn’t drink at all so never lowered her inhibitions. She would make me feel really guilty about it, because again I wanted to be honorable, but I was fighting with my own needs. I pushed and pushed and pushed in my own patient way. After a couple of months I was at least getting blowjobs, but never to completion because to her that was gross unless there was a shower and we had no shared access in the dorms. Frustrating. 

I never did convince her that we should have sex, but I really really REALLY pushed for it for our one year anniversary. I was 20 now as was she. I setup a VERY long and romantic day full of treasure hunts, a romantic dinner, and eventually I scored a buddy’s apartment all to myself and set it up with candles and what not. This was going to be THE NIGHT. Even up to that day she still resisted, but when I had her in the room I guilted the hell out of her which I still regret to this day, and she capitulated. It was not great sex, but we finally broke the mental barrier. It was the first time for both of us. I waited one full year before having sex. She cried afterward. I felt like a sleazeball. A feeling I was going to feel a lot more over the next decade plus. The moral side of me felt that I deserved to feel that way. 

This is where I should have ended it. Our needs didn’t align, but instead I stuck with it, and just kept pushing her. She was really hung up on sex, did not enjoy it, and essentially made me promise to marry her that night. You have to understand we were such good friends otherwise. In my head this had to be just a temporary problem. 

We continued to have sex periodically for the next 3.5 years until we were married. It was infrequent, always initiated by me, and not very enjoyable. She could not bring herself to enjoy it. She had her mind set on marriage first. Which made me think it would be great sex once we were married, and at least I was getting some now. In fact she assured me it would be great once we were married. 

I graduated from college and moved to the city for work and she had one more year before she could join me. Then we were married, she moved in with me, and we started living married life. Guess what, the sex was not better. In fact on our wedding night she had a headache, and I only ended up getting a blowjob. But the first few years were tough because she still couldn’t get herself to really enjoy sex. That was hard for me to deal with. We even talked about it on several occasions that we were married now and she should be able to enjoy herself. She never had much of a libido, and had been suppressing sexual desires for so long or linking them to negative associations that she wasn’t able to enjoy it even when it was “right”.

It was at this point I started questioning what I had done, but there were so many other bigger problems. For one, I was newly married, and felt I should work at it. There is a lot more to marriage than sex. Second I had some problems in the husband department that I went to work on. Communication and the pains of living with someone needed work on my part. Third we didn’t have a lot of money. Like none at all which can be stressful on a marriage. We ended up arguing a lot. 

Wife worked a number of odd jobs then took her MCATS and started applying to Med schools. This was her first real work related stressor, and I decided patience was needed. I chose to support my wife, and put my needs on hold. 

I learned early on that being married was hard work. I wasn’t that great at it, but I vowed to be. Those first years I read lots of books and studied how to have better communication in a marriage. I also studied personal finance to get us in a better place and take arguments about money off the table. I did a lot of things for my wife to make sure she knew how much I loved her. Our communication improved. My abilities as a husband improved dramatically those first few years. Our friendship, which had been going downhill, strengthened again because of the work I put in. 

Next we moved cross country as Wife got into med school. I left my job and took another job over there. This time I really put my wants and needs on hold. She was studying all the time. I was really proud of her and knew it was not a good time to talk about us. I could wait. I even took over many of the household duties that I had never done so she could study more, and watched tv with headphones so the house would be quiet. She was there but we were apart a lot. 

She had a couple of rotations that were not in our city, including a 9 month stint two hours away. We lived apart during that time. Again it was a sacrifice I could make for her. Once she returned we decided to start trying to have kids. It was 2009. 

After graduation we headed back to the west coast for residency. I changed jobs again. I was happy because the loneliness and anxiety I thought was plaguing me would go away when we moved back. I was wrong.

Everything intensified. Residency was much harder than med school. Being back home and finding that nothing really changed caused my anxiety to shoot up. Wife was rarely home. She worked 130 hours one week, probably averaged 90. It was intense. I knew that I just needed to put my head down and push through it. It would all be over soon and Wife would become just my wife, and our life would be great. 

It was really hard though. During residency is when I first started to feel that there were insurmountable problems. Big problems. It’s also when I first started looking outside our marriage. I never got that serious, but I posted a few ads to CL and hit on a girl at a conference in San Francisco. There was a camping trip incident and a wedding incident with other girls. My mind was just trying to find a way to fulfill my own needs while the rational part of me continued to say “wait”. It was quite a battle, but these thoughts were not this clear at that time. Mostly just a feeling of uneasiness and longing. I’m not sure why the thought of leaving Wife never popped up. 

After residency Wife got a full time job as a doc, we hit our 10 year anniversary, we bought a house and we started fertility treatment. It was 2013. Big year and I was hoping this year would change things. Maybe what was missing was the house, kids and a regular job for Wife. 

The first year Wife was pregnant and was new at her job. She tackled that by spending a lot of hours at work to finish everything. I was alone again, but it was her first year. Just had to be patient a little longer. 

Then we had a baby. A wonderful child. The apple of my eye. Wife took some time off. When she went back she was more experienced but was still spending a lot of time at work. Now it was even more imperative she come home because we had family time and things to get done. She would often get home after our child’s bedtime. It was completely unacceptable to me. This was our life now. No school, no residency, no more excuses. I had been patient for long enough. 

She always had an excuse. She meant to come home on time, and thought she would but… yes I’ve heard them all. I stopped caring. I would just move on with our night, and let her know how her actions affected her family. I started asking her seriously if she should just stay until after our child went to bed, and stop trying to come home earlier because waiting for her was the hardest. 

I don’t mind being home and taking care of the kids. What I didn’t like is that she wanted to be there and then wasn’t. She made her priorities and they didn’t include us. I know people are going to say “it sounds like you didn’t like your wife working as a doctor” and that really isn’t it. It’s that I know my wife and I know she wants to be a mom more than anything. Yet she continues to put work first as she had always always always done. I have to tell my kids mom isn’t going to be home in time. I put family first and follow through. She only does lip service and then cries about not being able to make it. Put the fucking work down and go home. Stop saying you will and just do it. Or at least start admitting your priorities lie elsewhere. 

I will say I was under the fog of new child for a while and everything frustrated me so I won’t count how I felt then. 

After our first child turned one we started talking about another. It had always been our plan to have several kids. I was starting to really question things at this point, but I hadn’t put all the pieces together. A few more months and I bet I would’ve delayed a second pregnancy. 

You see we had been married 12 years; we had one lovely child; Wife was back at work and not a newbie; we had our dream house. Everything was supposed to be good. But all that did was highlight to me all I was missing. I had nothing to pin it on anymore. I had run out of if onlys. I was upset with her for staying late at work, but really I was upset that this was now my life. There was nothing left on the horizon and her staying late at work was the easiest thing to pin it on. 

Why didn’t I confront Wife then? I don’t know. I continually think back to that time and wonder. What didn’t I see yet? Because it wasn’t clear to me. I still thought we should have another child. Almost on autopilot while my brain was figuring things out. 

Strangely I was quick to get upset with her when something affected the kids, but slow when it affected only me. All those issues with work and prioritizing everything else first were there from the first year we were dating, but I didn’t see it as the problem it was until we had kids. You see she was and is never going to be able to focus on what I need out of our relationship. I come in 3rd now on the priority list. She will argue the opposite, but her actions speak volumes. Work, kids, husband. It is just who she is and how she is wired. A good girl with good intentions and really focused on external pressures (work). 

Strangely I did put things together almost three weeks after she was knocked up. Horrible timing, but I did start to talk to her. What I learned was that she had no idea of what I was going through, and that it was a bad time to talk about it. So I must wait again – how long have I been waiting? What’s one more year right? Fuck life can be tough. 

Now she knows for certain that I’m not happy. She’s known for almost a year. When I don’t bring it up then she acts like nothing is wrong. However hardly anything has changed. She gets too upset to really talk about it. She tried a couple minor new things in the bedroom, but otherwise we are the same. She still gets angry at me for being an asshole (which I’m not) everyday then apologizes and tells me she loves me. She still has no desire for even mildly kinky sex. She still doesn’t want to talk about fantasies or really to even just sit and ponder things. She hates doing that, and I crave it so badly. She continues to joke about and promise all kinds of sexual favors and never follow through. As if the promise is enough. 

She is such a great woman, mother, and a really great wife for some man. I wish we could go back in time and someone could tell me “Hey, she’s great but it’s ok to keep looking. Those things you keep telling yourself you don’t need – you do. And there are other great women out there who will not only make you happy but you will make them happy too. Don’t settle, and don’t listen to other opinions.” But I cannot. 

There are times when I feel as if I have what Wife needs to be happy, but she doesn’t have what I need. We have an asymmetric relationship. Her needs are fully met while mine are left wanting. That cannot be healthy in the long run, and I think we are there. It’s time to face them. 

This is the end of my winding story. That is briefly how we got to where we are. I still love her very much. We are great friends, but we have almost no sexual chemistry. She does not understand who I really am, and I’m not sure if she even can. 

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16 thoughts on “A Brief History with Wife 

  1. It sounds like you have a lot of resentment. You keep saying she’s a great person but …..
    I hope you get counselling for yourself as well because like it or not, half of this story was created by you as well. IMO …
    They say that the key to a happy life is a bad memory, and in your case I think it will be needed if you actually do plan on moving forward. But then again, maybe you really don’t?!?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I’m working on it. Oh I was hoping it wouldn’t come across as resentment, but I can see where it does. Maybe it is. I guess when I see it applied to my kids I can then see how it’s been that way forever. I just didn’t do anything about it. Which makes it my fault as well. Just as you say. I know this. I was complicit in letting it get to this point. I’m just bad at recognizing the pattern until it’s way you late.

      I would be happy to look toward the future if the future looks bright. I would forget about the past. Right now I’m skeptical a bright future is even possible.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It seems to me like she just wants things to stay how they are. I mean she sees nothing wrong with how things are, only you do. People don’t change, I mean it’s rare but they don’t. I think you realize that too. She was like this when you were dating and now she’s like this now that you’re married. I really hope both of you can sit down and have a real conversation about what’s bothering you. It seems to me like she doesn’t care to fix things or try to make you happy at all. Just my two cents.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes. She does like things how they are. She does care to make me happy very much. She just doesn’t have the ability. Her way of operating continually makes it that way. Her intentions are all thwarted by her actions. She feels bad about it but seems to have no ability to change it.

      But as you mentioned she was like this all along and I let it happen. So it’s partially my fault as well. I’ll need to deal with that and find a way to have a conversation with her even though it is hard.

      Like

  3. Ummm you knew about her before you married her. I think may be time to let go . Resentments eat into your relationships .
    She’s a doctor. Doctors are notoriously busy. She might wanted to go home early but then a patient went into cardiac arrest or something . If you’re a doctor you’d stay and sort it out. Doctors don’t have a 9-5 job like others .

    Liked by 2 people

    1. They are notoriously busy. That is true. And if every time she stayed late was because a patient was dying that would be one thing, but that has actually only happened once. Usually the culprit is -> email. She just wanted to get those last few emails done. No matter that she’s always the last one to leave and the cleaning crew no all her family stories. It’s just that after all these years it makes me feel so small. My marriage shouldn’t be the place to make me feel small.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s sad. But if she doesn’t get it done she will have to do it at home. Can’t win . Hopeless situation . I know a lot of doctors who are divorced because of no time for spouse. The one still standing are doctors marrying doctors or doctors marrying CEOs as they are away from home anyway half the time .

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow…now I understand. I think fundamentally, you have a wife that simply doesn’t work to meet your needs. Nor does she care to. Her self-worth centers around her career. I’ve always believed you can either be an amazing parent or an amazing career woman. I chose to be an amazing mom because I knew I couldn’t serve two competing masters. On one hand, you must have realized that becoming a doctor is fraught with difficult time constraints. But on the other hand, you have a history of denying your relationship needs. Both of these elements have multiplied to an apex which you now find yourself at now. I guess the million dollar question is this: is your marriage bad enough to leave?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You nailed it. It doesn’t suck. She’s not a monster. But it’s not great and I’m unhappy. I really wish I knew the answer to that question and then I could go forward confidently.

      She doesn’t even know where to start to meet my needs. She just can’t wrap her head around it. Work is first and foremost. It is always the thing she comes to first. Everything else is second.

      I’m really proud of you for choosing to be mom. I’m sure you had to sacrifice. My wife does not believe in sacrifice. There are no trade offs. You should work harder. I just roll my eyes. Do you know that I had to tell her that she needs to stop cleaning the house for the 20 min she is home before her daughter goes to bed and actually play with her? Like the concept had not occurred to her. She comes home, the house needs cleaning, so she cleans and cleans and cleans. Then when it’s done she stops. But by that time her daughter is asleep. And she wonders why I’m the favorite parent. PLAY WITH YOUR DAUGHTER! Clean when she’s asleep.

      The fact that those are her default settings are just too much for me. I’m not sure how much I’d need her to change and how much she is capable of changing. And yes a doctor takes time, but we are beyond that. She’s always #1 in every category they are measured on at work. Do you know that it makes me angry when she comes home with another #1 metric for her clinic? What that really says is that all that extra time she put in to get everything perfect was time away from her family. Time that the other doctors were not taking away from their families.

      Hey, thanks. You really hit the core of it.

      Like

      1. Yes, my life is one giant sacrifice. But I made that choice consciously because I figured later in life, I would finally build a start-up. It’s just not feasible to do both…and be successful at both. I knew my business venture would fail ifI didn’t pour all of myself into it. And I knew I would raise meaningful, thoughtful, curious and caring kids if I didn’t nurture my two greatest creations. My time will come…but to be brutally honest, thatdream is on hold until my health issues go back into remission.

        In the world of adultery, too many affair partners wonder, “When will they leave there spouses?” But really, that’s the wrong question (especially when presented to men who classically never leave their wives. Interestingly, women overwhelmingly initiate divorce proceedings). Like I said before, the crux of any unhappy marriage boils down to: is it bad enough to leave?

        You need to take a long hard look at all of the elements in your marriage, and decide which ones you can live with never improving…and which ones are deal breakers (like having a soul filling sexual partner). Sex is so important in any marriage as this is what binds you with your wife. This is what fulfills a man, adds to their ego and creates a close unbreakable bond. If that is lacking, it will only filter through to every other area of your marriage.

        It surely does not help that you had an affair. Because now, you know what life could be like with another (no matter how idealistic that may be). Additionally, that drove an unseeable wedge between you and your wife. She may not “know” about your affair. But make no mistakes, if you tell her one day, it will make sense in her head as to why your connection was off.

        Obviously, this is a symptom of a much bigger problem: your wife’s prioritizes work over her marriage and family. Her values do not align with the things that truly matter in life: relationships…and with the ones we are supposed to truly love.

        And that realization hurts. And makes you feel invisible and unwanted and ignored. I truly wish things were different for you two. It’s a heartbreaking story to have “all the things society says we should strive for” and yet, be so unhappy once you attain them.

        Any thoughts on what you could do to feel happier and more fulfilled, even if just on a personal level?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I truly love the way you think. So much clarity in what you write. Is it bad enough to leave? That’s what I need to figure out. Interesting that men don’t initiate as frequently.

        Sex is super important and I should’ve made it the priority that it is years ago. There is simply no way wife will even get close to the type of fun and enjoyable sex I want to have. I need to decide what to do about that. Maybe that alone is enough. It’s enough to push me to cheat. Then it’s probably enough to end a marriage. I really crave that bond. I’ve never had it with wife. It surely does filter to all our marriage. It’s part of her keeping control. She controls every little detail of our sex life and thereby the rest of our marriage too.

        You see the affair as a negative but it was a wake up call. Honestly it was probably going to happen anyway. Just a matter of when and with whom. Because I have strong desires but never wanted to consider divorce before. And you are correct she would totally know. In fact if I said “I had an affair.” She would say “It was Meredith wasn’t it?” She may say a few other things, but yes she would know.

        In my marriage I often feel invisible, unwanted and ignored. In fact just last night I felt that way when we had guests over and Wife so dominated the conversation as to hardly let me get a few words in all night. She simply had no idea I was there it what I needed. Invisible.

        I do have the perfect life on paper. In reality I’m unhappy. On a personal level I need to make a few changes this year. 1) lift weights. Nothing makes me feel quite as good as lifting weights. I bought a power rack over xmas break and have already started. Side effects include increased testosterone, increased sex drive, and alpha male bravado. 😉 in other words – me.
        2) I need to see a counselor who understand the crazy sex shit. Started figuring out how to do that with our insurance this weekend.
        3) need to get wife a counselor s she has someone to talk to she can trust. Someone in her corner. Because I worry about her. That is done. She’s met with her twice already and I watch the kids.
        4) I need a new job. I had a great job at a great company. Ok they underpay but everything else was great. Until October 2015 my awesome boss was promoted to president and the new boss is a complete and utter asshole. I mean he’s such an asshole he leaves a wake of people who hate him everywhere he goes. But he’s so good at managing up he keeps getting promoted. We do not get a long. I’ve sucked it up and done just enough to get by but I need out. I’m grossly underpaid for this shit anyway. Once I get better sleep the hunt will resume.

        Those are the main things. Lifting weights is akin to you running. I feel SOOO good from lifting. Watching the weight ever increase. Feeling stronger.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. “Even up to that day she still resisted, but when I had her in the room I guilted the hell out of her which I still regret to this day, and she capitulated. It was not great sex, but we finally broke the mental barrier. It was the first time for both of us. I waited one full year before having sex. She cried afterward.”

    JFC. That is heartbreaking. Heartbreaking for her for obvious reasons but also heartbreaking because it should never have got that far. Your sexual desires were totally out of whack. What she wanted and needed didn’t align with what you wanted and needed even then, before you even knew what your kinks were.

    Also, you say you “finally broke the mental barrier” but I think it could easily be argued that the mental barrier is still there to this day, just slightly changed. She doesn’t sound like she has reached a healthy point where sex is a positive, enjoyable, adventurous thing for her even to this day.

    …You also say something about thinking sex is a minor/small part of a marriage. I hope you don’t still believe that. Sex is extremely important. Being on the same wavelength is important. Anything else leads to deep resentment, and very few relationships can survive deep resentment, in my opinion….

    Obviously all of this is just my two cents, and probably isn’t even worth that….. but you sound like you’ve spent your entire relationship waiting. Waiting for her to have sex with you, waiting to have more sex after marriage, waiting to move back, waiting for her to work less….. I don’t think life works like that. I think you have to be happy in the present. You have to look at life as if this is as good as it gets. Are you happy? If so, keep on keeping on, and try to build on what you have. If not, move directly to GO.

    That’s just me though, and what do I know? Today I wore a string top back to front for four hours, so maybe take all of these thoughts with a pinch of salt…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Quinn you are right. It is heartbreaking. I still feel down about it. We were both young and stupid then, and I should have seen that we were not a good pair sexually. But in truth I knew so little I just assumed that everyone gets there eventually. I had no idea that I could even expect anything different.

      We broke the mental barrier keeping us from having sex, but as you said the mental barrier around sexual enjoyment was and is still there. She simply does not need sex the way I do. I have tried so hard over the years to make it enjoyable for her. She just isn’t into it, and never really does anything to change that.

      To sex being a small part of marriage I think what I was trying to say is that of all the things you do in a marriage from sunup to sundown only a small percentage of time is spent on sex directly. There are many other important aspects to a healthy marriage. But it may be the most important. As I’m fond of saying, you can do many if the other things with other people, but you can’t go get laid with someone else. As I’ve learned now is that not being on the same wavelength towards sex is very bad. Like you said, deep resentment. But what do I do? There are kids now. It’s complicated. I waited too fucking long to figure it out.

      I waited and waited and when there was nothing else to wait for I could see this was my life. Not what I wanted. Not happy. But I suck at living on the present. My head is always in the future. It was so easy for me to see where it could be rather than where it was.

      We will see. This is the year of big changes for me. Something needs to change.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is complicated. Would your wife see a sex therapist? If she associates sex with guilt and shame maybe a sex therapist might help her let that go? I know it’s probably not that simple… I hope this is a year of change for you. I hope it is a good year for you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think she would. We made progress in that she is seeing a therapist. That’s a big start, but I would be surprised if anything around sex came up. The counselor is not on the sex positive counselor list either. But I going to start seeing one next week. Hopefully what I learn I can share with her. At minimum we can start to have more productive conversations. Honestly though, even if she sees a sex counselor and they magically resolve all her issues she is not going to become a sex deviant like me. She just isn’t. So I’m not even sure what I’m shooting for there. I need to be a little patient though, let the counseling work its magic.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Easy for me to say I think you should leave if you have such a fundamental incompatibility, but I think it should be considered as an option particularly if your kids are young… I think it’s good that you’re each seeing someone, because I think that’s healthy apart from anything else, but I’m sorry that you find yourself in this place.

        Liked by 1 person

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