Experienced guys, have you taken your wife back after you’ve turned yourself around and she’s realized what she’s missing?
Forty years old, married fifteen years to a forty-four year old, separated and living in a new house for one year. Three kids, age 8, 9, and 12. 50/50 custody, minimal child support payments from me to her, and no spousal support. Amicable separation, with the exception of her losing her mind because I was able to move on so easily.
Issues that led to the breakdown: I didn’t do enough for her - converse, text, renovate, share emotions, take care of the house, I was controlling with the finances, etc. She said that her "needs" weren’t being met so she didn’t want to have sex with me, although she forced herself to in a few instances of transactional sex. She thought that all her other good qualities should compensate for the lack of sex. For me, the only issue was sex. She’s a great mom and a great wife otherwise - or so I was supposed to think. It was the standard, “Everything was great except the sex”.
That was the supposed narrative that explains why our marriage broke down, but we all know the real reason - me. I would say that I most closely resembled the Captain and the Constantly Complaining Passenger in Jack10’s post here
I’ve lurked here for a couple of years and read most of the sidebar including Rollo, Glover, Greene, TFA, and Deida. The most significant exclusion would be WISNIFG, but that was and is the least needed. I’m still very much a work in progress but I’m doing what needs to be done.
I began swallowing the pill and turning myself around during the final two years of our marriage but it was too late. She told me she was done working on our issues and to move on. So my choices were:
1.Stay and continue working on myself for the sake of the kids and our finances, with no reasonable expectation of a positive change on her part.
2.Find someone on the side and have the best of both worlds. This option is generally not for me.
3.Leave and rebuild my life.
So I told myself to stop being a pussy and to leave. A call to arms if you will. I did that and haven’t looked back until now.
Lifting and BJJ have been staples for years, so it’s a non-issue. The new girlfriend said I look like Thor the first time we fucked.
Secure job with a steady salary of just over $100k/year. No debt other than a mortgage.
Introverted with a small group of close friends. Socially competent, funny but not witty, able to hold an intelligent conversation, but not the life of the party. I’m always trying to improve here but generally I’m confident and comfortable with this part of me. I really don’t give a fuck if someone in my life happens to think I’m too reserved or not outgoing enough.
I’m open to feedback here though, as my sociability has been the second-most area of improvement needed - next to frame. In the experience of the experienced guys here, at what point does improvement in this area cross over into trying too hard to be someone you’re not? Especially as a forty year old guy who mostly has his shit together and mostly doesn’t GAF.
This will lead into the issue at hand and the question I have. During the dying gasps of my marriage I learned about frame on an intellectual level. I understood the concept but never actually operated in my own frame, try as I might. The same could be said for almost all of the RP concepts that I knew of and tried to apply. Really I was just a pussy but that doesn’t matter now.
I chose not to get with another girl while I was still technically with my wife. That’s just me though, I get why guys do. But during the time that we were drawing up our separation agreement I met a girl and said fuck it, let’s give this RP thing a shot on a blank slate. Fake it till you make it. I didn’t even know how to fuck anymore, but the Sex God Method seemed like a good approach.
From day one with her I pretended that I was alpha AF even though I wasn’t. Passed her shit tests with flying colours and revelled in her textbook emotions. It was and is glorious to see every single RP concept proven firsthand, even though it’s a sample size of one. She says I’m the best sex she’s ever had. I say this without ego - at first this was a huge ego boost because of what I’d been through, but now I see the reality that it simply comes down to attraction in an RP sense.
I’d like to think that the changes in myself over the past year was all me and my inner strength. But realistically that first period had a lot to do with her and her willingness to let me lead - almost as though she’s RP aware. I say that as fact. She is not on a pedestal and I don’t think she ever was. And that’s the thing, because of that experience of faking it till I made it, I’m not faking it anymore (obligatory disclaimer: at least mostly - obviously I still have a ways to go). Now I know I can be single if I choose, I know how to get my shit together and keep it together, and I know that I don’t need to depend on anyone except myself. I give her credit where it’s due, but now it’s all me. It’s been an interesting transformation.
Although not necessary, here’s a bit about her for context. If some of these points seem pedestally, oh well. It’s part of my evaluation of who and what brings value to my life. For the sake of what will ultimately be my question, let’s assume that I don’t have oneitis.
•She’s thirty-two years old with a nine year old daughter. Yep, I have no illusions about where she sits within the feminine imperative. And yep, as the ex-wife says, there’s the obvious suggestion that she’s looking for a dad for her kid. I’m aware.
•Salary is slightly higher than mine.
•For the first few months I told her that I’m in no place for a relationship. She said that’s fine, she’s happy doing what we’re doing. A year later and we’re still together. The boys bust my balls about it, but I’ve been living the past year with the mindset of doing whatever the fuck I want, and here I am.
•She seems to implicitly understand RP concepts, almost as if she’s read everything on MRP. For example, when I DEER she tells me that I don’t need to explain myself to her. She says that today’s society has emasculated men and that although she’s self-sufficient, she likes the idea of being led by a real man.
Here’s the issue. Now that I’m making myself who I need to be, my ex-wife has taken notice and regrets her decision to end it. She wants me back. She sees what I’ve done for myself and says that I was right all along when I said that if the sex fell into place then so would everything else.
To be clear, I now understand that it wasn’t necessarily her or the sex, it was me. Regardless, she says she now appreciates and values me in ways she didn’t before, and she wants me more than she ever did. All of this would have been a non-issue for me, except for one fly in the ointment. Because of her newfound attraction to me and my own curiosity, we’ve fucked twice since Christmas, and both times she lost control like she never has before. Essentially she was the slut that I always wanted her to be.
Now, I’m not hung up on the sex itself because I know now that generally, sex can be readily available if I want it. In fact, now that I’m typing this I realize that I probably didn’t need to get into the girlfriend narrative at all. Whatever happens with her happens and I’ll be fine either way. But I’m gonna leave it in as a stream of consciousness exercise.
The issue here is that my wife wants me back and she wants to fuck me too. I’ve learned that I truly don’t need her, nor do I need any woman. But my dilemma is whether I owe it to her and the kids to give it another shot. They didn’t get the best of me when we were together, so now that I’m getting my shit together part of me thinks that I owe it to my family to try again. The kids are happier now and I'm a better father than I've ever been, but part of everyone's misery before was my drunkenness at the helm. That’s what I wrestle with. Obviously no one can answer that except me, and I’m certainly not asking anyone here for the answer, but I am asking whether anyone has had a similar experience and how you resolved it. I like to evaluate things with information from multiple sources, and my old man and my buddies don’t have the particular perspective found here.
That was a lot longer than I expected but if nothing else, it was an enjoyable exercise in self-reflection.
Alright, every response here has validated my feelings, so thanks.
In all seriousness though, this is probably close to the truth. As much as I like to think that I'm an RP guy now, it's a good reminder that I'm not there. Otherwise I wouldn't have posted here in the first place. Back to fakin' it.