Encouraging leadership in with non-rp husband

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October 30, 2019
7 upvotes

I am a woman, I did not overtly see anything that prohibits me posting here, apologies if so. Tldr at the bottom.

I have been married to my husband for 10+ years, he is not into rp. I am not fully aware of everything trp from a man's perspective (I intentionally stay out of those discussions usually) but I do generally agree with (most) of the ideals, as it pertains to what I personally want in my relationship anyway.

I can make a very long list of wonderful things about my husband. He treats me and our children wonderfully and is in many ways a dream man. I am grateful for him, I appreciate him, I love him, and I make sure he knows this often.

However, our relationship is seriously devoid of passion, physical affection, sexual chemistry, and attraction. We are having somewhat scheduled sex but it is very difficult for me to force myself into it and honestly that gets worse every time I "muscle" through it. I make an effort to always say yes, but I can't force my feelings and he knows this. Unfortunately this has gone on a very long time and we're in a vicious cycle where I don't enjoy it, he knows I don't enjoy it, and everyone is feeling pretty hopeless. I am (secretly) shocked and appalled that he continues to want to have sex with me in this state and at this point I can barely stomach being touched sometimes. I feel absolutely terrible about this but I don't know how to change how I feel, only how I act or what I do.

I think there's some difference in "taste" of what we each want in bed that I didn't really know about myself when we married. He knows about this. But I believe our issues are both multifactorial and connected, and without sitting here and listing all his faults I honestly believe 80% of our problems boil down to the fact I badly need him to lead both me and our family in just about all aspects of our lives (including faith), and that he needs to develop some self respect. Regarding our faith I'm not really sold that he is truly interested in growing his relationship with Christ, we both came into our faith as adults. He doesn't talk much at all about God and he does go to church but that's about it.

I know my part in this is in submission and respect. I've picked up Laura Doyle's work and I am trying. I'm not perfect and I can give a big list of improvements I need to make, but I've changed enough to where we had quite a long conversation yesterday that amounted to him being beyond frustrated with me basically noping out of running the show. I told him I would tell him if I wanted or didn't want something, and I'd share my opinion if asked and if I had a strong opinion but that I am tired of metaphorically "driving" everything in our marriage and that I had complete confidence he could do it and that I was fine not going anywhere until that happened.

I believe he is at least peripherally aware of trp, he is definitely aware of how I feel regarding wanting him to be more of a leader, I'm not sure if he doesn't agree with trp principles or possibly just doesn't care enough about our marriage problems to change anything. We overall have a good life and relationship, we get along well and have lots in common. I suppose another possibility is him being afraid of me or my reactions. I have been ugly to him in the past, mostly over my frustrations over this same subject, and I know that is going to take time to undo, if I can even undo it. I would not even blame him if he did not want to be married to me anymore. I'd be upset but I would understand.

I'm at a loss, and frankly I'm struggling a lot with this and with my faith a bit because I know we are not to divorce but this has gone on so long and it is just this impasse. I have grown and changed a lot over our relationship and I feel like I'm being unfair to him. I have no idea what I can even do at this point except keep praying that one or both of us will change.

Tldr: my question would be: how can I encourage my husband to "swallow the pill" or at least parts of it.. Without telling him what to do? Or, possibly, can I "game" my own mind and body into being happy and attracted to him as things currently are? Insight and experience are much appreciated, or further reading that I can do that is appropriate for a wife.


Post Information
Title Encouraging leadership in with non-rp husband
Author Wistful_wife-
Upvotes 7
Comments 28
Date 30 October 2019 12:05 AM UTC (1 year ago)
Subreddit askRPC
Link https://theredarchive.com/post/304606
Original Link https://old.reddit.com/r/askRPC/comments/doyr96/encouraging_leadership_in_with_nonrp_husband/
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Comments

[–]Deep_Strength6 points7 points  (9 children) | Copy

I can make a very long list of wonderful things about my husband. He treats me and our children wonderfully and is in many ways a dream man. I am grateful for him, I appreciate him, I love him, and I make sure he knows this often.

Absent is the "I respect him." The one the Bible actually commands wives to do.

However, our relationship is seriously devoid of passion, physical affection, sexual chemistry, and attraction. We are having somewhat scheduled sex but it is very difficult for me to force myself into it and honestly that gets worse every time I "muscle" through it.

Surprise surprise. If you don't respect your husband you don't want to have sex with him. Respect/admiration naturally leads to attraction of the wife for her husband.

I am (secretly) shocked and appalled that he continues to want to have sex with me in this state and at this point I can barely stomach being touched sometimes. I feel absolutely terrible about this but I don't know how to change how I feel, only how I act or what I do.

You're shocked that he wants to be with the wife he committed his life to? Sister, you need to turn this around. You should be respecting him for this. Despite your bad attitude he wants to do you. That is worthy of respect.

I'm not perfect and I can give a big list of improvements I need to make, but I've changed enough to where we had quite a long conversation yesterday that amounted to him being beyond frustrated with me basically noping out of running the show. I told him I would tell him if I wanted or didn't want something, and I'd share my opinion if asked and if I had a strong opinion but that I am tired of metaphorically "driving" everything in our marriage and that I had complete confidence he could do it and that I was fine not going anywhere until that happened.

  1. So you don't like his laid back leadership style and want him to do it your way. No wonder he feels disrespected and doesn't want to do anything you want him to do.

  2. Take a step back and be grateful for his laid back leadership style. Stop having these conversations trying to change him.

  3. To borrow a phrase from BDSM you're trying to "top from the bottom." In other words, you say want to be submissive, but you're trying to force your opinion on him like the dominant. Obviously, it does not compute because you are saying one thing to him (that you want him to lead more) but modeling the total opposite (telling him to lead more as the leader and therefore making him more afraid of you).

I suppose another possibility is him being afraid of me or my reactions. I have been ugly to him in the past, mostly over my frustrations over this same subject, and I know that is going to take time to undo, if I can even undo it. I would not even blame him if he did not want to be married to me anymore. I'd be upset but I would understand.

Of course he is because you've show him a pattern (even in your writing) where you negatively emote when things don't go your way.

I'm at a loss, and frankly I'm struggling a lot with this and with my faith a bit because I know we are not to divorce but this has gone on so long and it is just this impasse. I have grown and changed a lot over our relationship and I feel like I'm being unfair to him. I have no idea what I can even do at this point except keep praying that one or both of us will change.

Here's the root of the problem. You're trapped in the net of false humility. You think you are trying to submit, but you're actually trying to lead him by changing him. Stop trying to change him. Be grateful that you give such good advice to him that he often wants to do it with his laid back leadership. Compliment him when he takes the initiative to do things, and keep your mouth shut and quell the rebellious attitude and disrespect when you think he does something that you wouldn't personally do.

The only person you can change is you. 1 Peter 3 speaks to wives with husbands disobedient to the Word to win their husbands through their behavior: purity and respect, and a gentle and quiet spirit.

Doing it your way is not working, so why not try it God's way.

[–]Wistful_wife-0 points1 point  (6 children) | Copy

Absent is the "I respect him." The one the Bible actually commands wives to do.

Correct. And I hope that I am coming across as sincere in wanting/trying to change that. I can change my behavior, I can change my attitude (and a couple places in your response has me seeing that I still have work to do on these) but it's a lot harder to change how I feel. I think this is what I'm really here trying to get counsel and feedback for.

You're shocked that he wants to be with the wife he committed his life to? Sister, you need to turn this around. You should be respecting him for this. Despite your bad attitude he wants to do you. That is worthy of respect.

Without being graphic, it's really a "dead fish" type of situation. I'm well aware of how bad that is and I am desperately seeking to change it but again it is difficult to change how I feel. I've developed real aversions to this kind of sex over time. This is the one area I'm having a really hard time with "fake it til you make it" and I'm also concerned that if I give him false positives of it being mutually enjoyable that it won't ever get better for me because he'll think everything is fine. And isn't it disingenuous, or dishonest?

So you don't like his laid back leadership style and want him to do it your way. No wonder he feels disrespected and doesn't want to do anything you want him to do.

Take a step back and be grateful for his laid back leadership style. Stop having these conversations trying to change him.

I don't mind a laid back leadership style. What I've been trying to do is basically "sit down and shut up," in an attempt to be respectful and also to give him room to lead. This is out of character for me and my past behavior and definitely not a normal pattern in our relationship (I was a proud "wearer of the pants" which I'd declare to him and anyone else). My changed behavior leads to these conversations that I shouldn't be having with him but I don't know how to shut them down. I think (hope) that what is coming across as "false humility" is an improvement over my past behavior and attitude but clearly I have more work to do here in figuring out how to be respectful but not frustrate him. I am obviously missing something.

You think you are trying to submit, but you're actually trying to lead him by changing him. Stop trying to change him.

Point blank, I NEED the passion, intimacy and sex issues to resolve one way or another. Just about everything I've changed stems from me doing my best to "force" attraction and chemistry into this relationship. I've sat back and done nothing for a long, long time and that doesn't help either.

My needs in this marriage are going unmet and I've only been able to conclude that one of two things has to change: 1) he meets my needs (and this is what I'm praying for and trying to get to happen) or 2) I disconnect or somehow change what I need (and this is the option that is in my power but I'm struggling with the -how-. Also it's incredibly sad to me.)

I can see now that I need to press more into my faith and that I can set some examples with getting more involved with the church and possibly also with healthy habits. And, as you noted, continue to work on having a gentler demeanor and respectful behavior. And just keep praying for one or both of us to change such that our marriage can be restored.

[–]Deep_Strength1 point2 points  (2 children) | Copy

I can change my attitude (and a couple places in your response has me seeing that I still have work to do on these) but it's a lot harder to change how I feel. I think this is what I'm really here trying to get counsel and feedback for.

Good.

Without being graphic, it's really a "dead fish" type of situation. I'm well aware of how bad that is and I am desperately seeking to change it but again it is difficult to change how I feel.

You can choose how you feel.

1 Thess 5:16 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

The only difference is that you have to admit that you can't do it yourself and ask the Holy Spirit to help you do it. If you haven't thought about it this way, you're being tempted to continually fall into the trap of being dissatisfied and disrespectful to your husband. You need to actively stop that and do the opposite.

Yes, you might not get out of the funk right away, but you will progress over time.

I don't mind a laid back leadership style. What I've been trying to do is basically "sit down and shut up," in an attempt to be respectful and also to give him room to lead. This is out of character for me and my past behavior and definitely not a normal pattern in our relationship (I was a proud "wearer of the pants" which I'd declare to him and anyone else).

Changing the pattern of behavior takes time. If you had been this way for say 5 year or even 10 years before, changing in 1 month or even 3 months isn't going to do anything but make the other person suspicious. You need consistent positive behavior over the course of several months to often years to rebuild trust.

This is not some short thing where you can want to change and it gets fixed overnight barring signs and wonders from God.

Point blank, I NEED the passion, intimacy and sex issues to resolve one way or another. Just about everything I've changed stems from me doing my best to "force" attraction and chemistry into this relationship. I've sat back and done nothing for a long, long time and that doesn't help either.

My needs in this marriage are going unmet and I've only been able to conclude that one of two things has to change: 1) he meets my needs (and this is what I'm praying for and trying to get to happen) or 2) I disconnect or somehow change what I need (and this is the option that is in my power but I'm struggling with the -how-. Also it's incredibly sad to me.)

Again, you're going about this the wrong way.

For one, you need to reset your expectations on change. If it's been years upon which bad patterns are built it can take a long time to unwind them. Yes, it sucks, but those are the past consequences of your actions that you need to actively work to undo. Trying to force it to go faster only impedes progress and often undoes it.

Next, you need to learn soft skills. Here's an example. My wife commented a couple months ago that when I said she should put on lingerie and dance sexy like a stripper for me that it got her in the mood when she's rarely in the mood without my initiation. Get sexy for him and be enthusiastic. You'll probably be surprised how it gets you in the mood and might press some of his buttons to be more passionate. If you've ever talked about some of your fantasies with each other perhaps try playing some of those out.

Your husband already wants to do you even though you act like a dead fish... so what type of seduction can you do to make him more enthusiastic about that. I'm sure that while the dead fish is meh he'll be excited for something else. If he asks you can say something like "I realized that my dead fish routine in bed is disrespectful to you some I'm trying to get myself and hopefully you more in the mood" or something like that.

Women have enormous influence over the lives of their men through their demeanor and actions especially with their physical body and ability to seduce. Feminine wiles shall we say. Put it to holy use. Work on being sexy, looking sexy, and acting sexy toward your man.

Start working out, losing the weight, eating healthier, etc.

[–]Wistful_wife-0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

Thank you. I appreciate your candor and insight.

[–]Deep_Strength0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

You're welcome. You've already won half the battle by knowing that you have problems and are working on them.

Keep up the good fight.

[–] points  (2 children) | Copy

[permanently deleted]

[–]Deep_Strength2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy

Do not give unScriptural replies.

This is clearly against Ephesians 5 and 1 Peter 3.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

you and i will have to agree to disagree on scriptural interpretation

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

if the captain is plotting course for disaster is it the first mate's responsibility to respect the captain and follow orders?

[–]Deep_Strength0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

if the captain is plotting course for disaster is it the first mate's responsibility to respect the captain and follow orders?

Why ask questions with only black and white thinking?

It's very easy to bring up the issue in a respectful manner (PER THE BIBLE) which shows that you have some issues with it and that they should consider a different course, while still asserting that you will obey even if they decide to continue on it.

Hey husband, I noticed when relooking through our finances, we don't have the money to do this thing that we wanted to do. I can show you the calculations here. Do you still want to do it? I think we can do it if you still wanted to, if we make sacrifices elsewhere. I'll respect your decision whatever you decide."

[–]Red-Curious4 points5 points  (2 children) | Copy

Lots going on here, but I have to hammer this point up-front because it's unbearably often that this happens:

EDIT: Rule 2 as requested

You obviously looked at Rule 2 because you quoted it, but you skipped the "mission" category. That's the single most important thing that affects EVERYTHING you've written here. Everything else is just guess-work without that piece. Nevertheless ...


I do generally agree with (most) of the [RP] ideals, as it pertains to what I personally want in my relationship anyway

Right, because you're a woman designed by God just like every other woman. Your situation here is not unique - you're just frustrated that the power of change most heavily rests on the man's shoulders and you don't have the say or authority.

I can make a very long list of wonderful things about my husband

Great. I can make the same list of Hitler. All this tells me is that you use the positive recognition of his attributes as an excuse to let your hamster keep complaining because you tell yourself: "It's not all hate - I have a fair evaluation of him." Don't couch anything. Tell it like it is and let that be that. Stuff like this makes you lose credibility, not gain it.

I am grateful for him, I appreciate him, I love him, and I make sure he knows this often.

How much rationalizing did you have to do to write this? Be honest. You're talking divorce and serious frustrations and yet at the same time you're saying you're grateful? That's like when your grandma gives you an ugly sweater for Christmas and you say, "Oh, thank you. I'm so grateful for this wonderful gift" that you wish you could throw in the trash but you know she's going to want to see you wearing it next year. You rationalize, "I'm grateful that she cared enough to give me a gift that she thought I would like," but in reality you're not grateful for what you actually have in front of you.

You're not grateful for your husband. You don't appreciate him - you appreciate some of the things he does for you. Big difference. When you say you love him, what does that mean to you? Because what you're describing doesn't sound like love - it sounds like emotional effort.

Also, /u/Deep_Strength hit the nail on the head with respect not being in this list.

our relationship is seriously devoid of passion, physical affection, sexual chemistry, and attraction

coupled with:

I'm 5'4" and in the 180s ... He's 5'11" 250s-260s ... he does not lift or exercise. I am also not actively working out.

So you want sex like you see on TV, but you don't want the bodily chemistry of the people you see on TV. You understand how testosterone works, right? It's what fuels our sex drives - men and women alike. Do you know what increases it in a person's body more than anything else you can naturally do? Work out.

I can't force my feelings and he knows this

Yes you can. You can absolutely force feelings. What you can't force is attraction.

I don't enjoy it, he knows I don't enjoy it, and everyone is feeling pretty hopeless

Are you kidding? Hopeless? You're going to use that word? Do you have any hope that if either or both of you got in 6-pack abs shape then maybe your sex drives would be restored? Let me indent your obvious thought process for emphasis:

  • MY HUSBAND AND I ARE MAKING AN ACTIVE CHOICE THAT WE ARE MORE INTERESTED IN OVER-EATING AND AVOIDING THE GYM THAN HAVING A PASSIONATE SEX LIFE

  • My husband and I are making an active choice that we are more interested in over-eating and avoiding the gym than having a passionate sex life.

  • My husband and I are making an active choice that we are more interested in over-eating and avoiding the gym than having a passionate sex life.

I want you to memorize this line and recite it every time you get seconds at dinner. Every time you buy a dessert from the grocery store. Every time you drive by a gym and see their deal of the month. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Right now you're living in passivity. BOTH of you. Not just him. Here's another point that needs emphasis:

  • If passable mediocrity is your goal, you'll never put in the work to get it.

Everyone wants the best - a 10. That's a fact of life. I'm not talking about SMV - I'm just saying the quality of any result they're looking for in life. People who compromise their desires say, "I would be happy even if I only got a 4. That's better than the 1 or 2 I have now." They make this compromise because they realize getting a 10 would be a heck of a lot of work. They don't want to do that work. They just want better. But they've already decided they don't want to do the work. They're asking for better results without actually having to change anything. As a result, they're never going to bump from a 2 to a 4. They'll stay at 2 forever.

Now, the one who wants a 10 might not be capable of actually putting in enough effort to get a 10. But by making a 10 their target, they put in a butt ton of effort and end up getting an 8. Solid. But the lazy people are motivated for a short while. They have 10 in their sights, 8 is realistically attainable quite soon, but they finally get their 4 and think, "Well, that's better. This is hard work. I'll settle for the 4 I just got." Then they stop. Then they regress because they don't put in the maintenance work. Then they slide back to a 2 and think to themselves, "Well, I already tried putting in a lot of effort and yet we still ended up right back here, so that didn't work. I guess my situation is hopeless." See how foolish this sounds?

Imagine my internet sucks. It keeps losing connection when I'm using it. Videos have to buffer all the time. I can barely even stream music because it takes 2 minutes to load the next song. Now, I'm paying for the absolute lowest speed service, and I know this. But it would take work to pick up the phone and call the internet company to discuss plans to upgrade my service. It would also cost more money. That's a lot of effort. So, instead, I say, "Look how hopeless my situation is. My internet will never get better! I might as well just change internet companies because maybe they'll be better than this garbage I have right now." But if you change companies, you're going to be out a bunch of money because you haven't finished your current contract yet. The other companies are also more expensive than what you have now because they don't even like offering plans that crappy. So, even if you did change companies, you're going to have to pony up some more cash and put in the work to shop around and get something better set up anyway. Or ... you can just put in the time and cash to get a better plan with the company you have now. But by telling yourself, "Things are HOPELESS with this current company" is just absurd.

I think there's some difference in "taste" of what we each want in bed

Yep. He wants a hot girl in bed and you want a hot man in bed. These are extremely different from what you have now. Your tastes are certainly different from what you're each getting right now.

I honestly believe 80% of our problems boil down to the fact I badly need him to lead both me and our family in just about all aspects of our lives (including faith), and that he needs to develop some self respect

Let me venture a guess - projecting a bit from my fatter days. He doesn't respect himself because he doesn't think his life is something worth respecting. Yeah, he's got decent income, but he knows other high-earning people who have better bodies, hotter wives, and more passionate sex lives. He doesn't want to put in the work to get in shape because (1) he loves his laziness and (2) he doesn't believe you'd put in the work to get in shape, and then he'd have done all that work and still come home to the same old same old, so what's the point? He probably even remembers a few times where he did make an effort for like 3 weeks to get in better shape and not much improved, so he tested that theory and it's gone.

But really, your saying this is just deluding yourself. 80% of your problems are him not leading? Try 80% of your problems are that neither of you are in shape, and getting in shape will almost certainly solve the leadership as a byproduct, as he develops more confidence and is more able to process the (apparently appropriate numerical levels of) testosterone he's already got. Just because the numbers are there doesn't mean his body is doing with it what it's supposed to.

I know my part in this is in submission and respect.

Deflecting much? This obviously isn't the real issue. There are easy and obvious answers if that's the problem.

Consider: He never asks you to do anything directly. So, you stop doing anything at all. Period. Is that a submissive attitude? No. Of course not. Why not? Because you know he wants things even if he hasn't said it. You're submitting to his unspoken desires and expectations.

Ask him: "Do you want me to get in better shape and look more physically attractive?" Do you think he would honestly say no? If you know the answer is already yes, then this is simply an unspoken mandate, and you're hamstering away that you don't need to follow it because he never said it out loud. And you don't want him to say it out loud because then you'll have to submit on something you don't actually want to do. Ouch. As a pastor once said, "It's not submission until you disagree."

Point being: you're only "submitting" to those things that you already want to do anyway and not willing to submit in the areas that he's not yet man enough to say out loud - probably because he's got some feminist juju running through his head about never talking to a woman about her weight. And how could he? He's big enough as is that he has no room to talk. So, he's just given up.

I'm out of space. You know what you need to do. Lose 25lbs then update us with an FR.

[–]Wistful_wife-0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

I did miss the mission when editing in my rule 2. My mission is to be in a fully fulfilling marriage with my husband where intimacy is concerned.

The weight (and laziness) is definitely a contributing issue and I'll go so far as to say we enable each others bad behaviors here. And that both of us are pretty resistant to changing what's comfortable.

I do think it's an oversimplification of the issues at hand but at the same time I don't see how improving our physical condition would not improve the rest of the situation. I am certain there are fat couples still having passion and intimacy in their lives. And speaking for myself I don't mind a little (or even a lot) of extra weight. And again, speaking for myself, attraction is a large part mind game

I do love and appreciate my husband. There is a wealth of genuine relationship between us even if it's not where it should be in a marriage. I am not talking divorce. And I emphasize things like my choosing and expressing gratitude in this Christian subreddit as that is common advice for people in situations like these - particularly Christian women - to focus on the good and positive. It's big in Laura Doyle's work and she is also very popular around trp. I'm trying to show that I'm trying my best to live that, and also show where I've not been successful.

Regardless there's a very simple path to action in this which is well within my power. Duly noted and I appreciate the insight. I hope to come back and post the FR.

[–]Red-Curious0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

And speaking for myself I don't mind a little (or even a lot) of extra weight. And again, speaking for myself, attraction is a large part mind game

But that's just the thing - you're only thinking for yourself here. Are you so sure that he thinks the same way on this? If he's at all like 99.999% of other men, he doesn't. He might make you think he does because he's too afraid to disappoint you or to sound shallow in any way. Culture has conditioned him to give these types of responses. But you're not dealing with what he says; you're dealing with his biological impulses and how to trigger them.

I am not talking divorce

You said this to someone else too. Whenever you say, "I know we're not supposed to divorce, but ..." it doesn't matter what follows the but. You're talking divorce. The thought is running through your head. You wish you could divorce. If it wasn't unscriptural, you'd already be gone. Kind of like when a guy is tempted to lust - he sees another girl. If he wasn't bound by marriage, he'd be gone. Jesus says he has committed adultery in his heart when he's hit that point. You've committed divorce in your heart, hence the second of the two options you gave to /u/Deep_Strength - "2) I disconnect."

And I emphasize things like my choosing and expressing gratitude in this Christian subreddit as that is common advice for people in situations like these - particularly Christian women - to focus on the good and positive.

Ah yes, the typical Christian advice that works so well for most couples. Laura Doyle has some good stuff, for sure. And I'm not saying it's bad advice. But, as with most Christian advice - while good, it's utterly incomplete and only accounts for the way things should be without considering how they actually are.

That advice assumes a woman's inner character and attitude toward her husband should be the most important thing to solve every problem for her in marriage. Why? Because they (mistakenly) think that's what the Bible says should be true. But the fact is that weight issues, for example, are not "contributing issues." They are foundational. That's why the only bolded post on our sidebar is "Lifting is Not A Suggestion."

I am certain there are fat couples still having passion and intimacy in their lives

You may be right. There are also people under 6'0" who are good enough to play in the NBA. So yes, there are overweight people who are exceptionally skilled enough in other areas to maintain physical passion. If you're not there, start with the low-hanging fruit first. Rather than trying to up your respect/submission game from an 8 to a 9 and hope that solves all your problems, try upping your physical appearance game, as that's where most of your easy improvements will come from. Not to say it will be easy. It won't be. Losing weight is HARD work. I know first-hand. And when you start to see some results, you'll be tempted to get complacent and quit. Don't.

To be clear: I do get what you're saying. This isn't the only issue. There will be other things that need addressed. Other insights you're getting here are good too. But, in my candid opinion, you're wasting your time working on things you're already competent at. Could you get better? Absolutely. But start with your weakest areas first. This is not one of those situations where you play to your strengths - especially if doing so hasn't been working for you so far.

[–]RedPillWonder4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy

I'd love for your husband to post a reply here, so we can get his perspective.

[–]CarelessBowler5 1 points [recovered]  (1 child) | Copy

There was a time when my wife was a bit like this. She dragged me to the gym for a short while.

It wasn't until I was fed up that I got gazelle intense (to steal a Dave Ramsey term), found RPC, and started working.

"The husband is the head of his wife."

A teacher once pointed out to me that it doesn't say 'should be' or 'ought to be.' It says "is."

Wives face the conundrum that unless a marital or family initiative is the husband's idea (so to speak, obviously not only the husband/father has good ideas) it won't last.

I've seen this among my friends and at church. This applies to everything from budgeting to adoption.

I know of one family where the wife had the idea to adopt children, and the husband assented to it and only provides moderate support. They adopted five kids, and one day, to the woman's surprise, the husband up and left.

If she could have known in advance that adopting all these kids, without the husband's leadership of the initiative, would have cost her the marriage, she might not have gotten started. It was rough. It still is rough.

Finally, I'll say there are three practical steps you can take in the meantime:

  1. Pray about this - a lot. Don't beg your husband to change. Privately beg God to change your husband.

  2. Do what you can to involve the two of you (or the whole family) in church. Small group, Sunday school, whatever to be with other Christian couples under the Word and fellowshipping (not just the Sunday service, where we can kinda just follow the script). I know I was greatly motivated by being closer to good men with strong marriages. I envied them somewhat, and I was willing to do whatever it took to improve my own situation.

  3. Give him space to do activities with other men. Give him space to get a gym membership to go work out. One reason I gave up fitness and social activities early in my marriage was my wife's desire to dominate my time. She thought she wanted me around all the time (because she LOVEs me, don't ya know!). Well, when I got flabby and lost all my social connections, suddenly she wasn't as impressed. I didn't know that I was supposed to tell her to step aside so I could do the things I needed to do to be a better man (and she didn't know that she'd rather have less time with a better man than more time with a disappointing one).

[–]Wistful_wife-0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Your anecdote resonates with me a lot because that is more or less the issue with our dynamic now, although I do not think my husband will leave.

I don't want to make a laundry list of things he doesn't do but I do feel that I give him ample opportunity to do things on his own and/or with other men. Sometimes I'm too forceful even trying to get him out of the house because he works from home and honestly I need some space that I cannot get without him getting offended. But we have the gym membership of his choosing. He knows I'm more than happy to take over at home so he can do things. I don't know if he doesn't think I'm capable or what. I even kind of got him some friends in my friends' husbands and a couple of my brothers. But nothing happens without me orchestrating it.

I will try to get us more involved with church and church activities. We were in small group before my 2nd baby was born but had to quit because of bedtime and childcare. Might be time to try to get something else working.

[–]RedPillWonder1 point2 points  (3 children) | Copy

There is a lot here.

Let's just dive in and pick one at a time.

In a comment, you replied:

We have a history/dynamic where "if I want it, I got it" and he never pushes back on anything at all.

This reply was in relation to finances, but usually, if a man does this in an area of this significance, it likely shows up in many others.

But obviously, it's not.

Because if you want everything you state in the post, why aren't you getting it?

This seems odd to me. He's willing to go along with whatever you want financially but tells you no so to speak (or just doesn't act) in other areas, even after in depth conversations with him?

On one hand you say you don't like it because you always get your way and he just gives in, but then you turn around and say or imply that you're not getting your way or getting what you want because he refuses to do or change "abc" or "xyz" about himself or the relationship or some area of aspect of the marriage.

Which is it?

I get that you want him to be more forceful and assertive while hearing and respecting your opinions, but as u/Deep_Strength alluded to, maybe this is his leadership style, that he gives "soft no's" or votes with his feet and just does (or doesn't do) certain actions, or allows things to happen instead of telling you straight up "Here's where we're going, what we're doing, this is my decision on 'x', etc."

I can make a very long list of wonderful things about my husband. He treats me and our children wonderfully and is in many ways a dream man. I am grateful for him, I appreciate him, I love him, and I make sure he knows this often.

But does he know?

You're pretty sure he does, but if he read that sentence, would he wholeheartedly agree and nod his head or would he push back a little, or explain things in more context or outright disagree? Be sure.

Tell him in words and more importantly, show him in actions. Consistently.

It takes time to fix things like this. Be in it for the long haul.

our relationship is seriously devoid of passion, physical affection, sexual chemistry, and attraction.

You're way overweight. I know you're working on it. I say this to encourage, and not hurt you. But if you were rocking an amazing body that was fit and toned, with sensuous curves and dressing in seductive ways around your husband, do you honestly think this wouldn't change?

My bet is it would! Significantly. And yes, I know he has a lot of room to shape up himself, but you can only control you, and influence him.

So if you want to get all the passion and more in and out of the bedroom, work like crazy on you and getting in the best shape you can. You don't need to be perfect, just be fit. That is very, very doable.

And he'll want to do you a lot more often and with a lot more passion than you're currently experiencing.

We've talked on RPC about the "Brad Pitt" experiment (or Chris Hemsworth, etc) and whether a woman would feel differently toward them in given situations. Well, imagine your husband's dream woman was in his life and she was enthusiastically into him and desired him greatly, do you think he'd feel toward her the same way he does toward you? Or do you think it'd be different and he'd start displaying thoughts, feelings and tendencies that are more in line with what you want from him?

If the former, then what you wrote here has merit.

If the latter, then a very large part of the problem is you.

So work on you and you may find you get what you want a lot sooner as you progress.

I'll quote this part again:

our relationship is seriously devoid of passion, physical affection, sexual chemistry, and attraction.

and

he knows I don't enjoy it

and

I think there's some difference in "taste" of what we each want in bed

What expressions of passion, physical affection and sexual chemistry do you want?

And does he know (in detail) exactly what you want and desire? What would you enjoy? What bedroom "tastes" are you preferring?

You said you "think" there's a difference in tastes, but if you two have had this conversation and answered these questions, you would know with no doubts, you wouldn't be thinking or wondering.

And if you have clearly expressed your specific desires in this area, what was his answer(s)?

Did he attempt to act on any of them? And did you work on fulfilling his?

From reading your post, and the reference to wanting him more RP aware as it were, and the sex section, I'm guessing what you really want is a dominant husband who strips you down, pins you down and has his way with you and gets a little rough, and you're couching it in overall terms of wanting a better leader. I'm sure you want that as well, but it looks like your sex life has you so frustrated that it's spilling over into other areas and magnifying them more than they otherwise would be.

It's not that they don't need serious work. Or that you have valid concerns or legitimate issues in other areas. But this is what I'm getting from your post.

my question would be: how can I encourage my husband to "swallow the pill" or at least parts of it..

You don't want this.

He could go into an anger phase or misapply principles or any number of things that would have you putting up new posts and liking your life less.

Focus on winning him over by your actions. Be a godly woman. Pray earnestly and stop when you get your answer. Surround yourself with godly women (and avoid those who aren't, even if it costs you friends, because you don't want to be unduly influenced by ungodly advice).

Work hard on losing weight. Keep your mind focused on good things about your husband and the relationship.

I know we are not to divorce but this has gone on so long and it is just this impasse.

This reads like an open door to divorce and a cry for empathy and validation. Close that door completely.

Yes, things may be bad or not where you want them.

They can get better.

A lot depends on you, so that's within your control.

God answers prayer.

In the middle of all this, a "frowning," unhappy, joy-less woman who does the right things and working on the right actions is not as good as a happy warrior woman who also does the right actions,but who is cheerful, upbeat and optimistic things will change because she serves a mighty God!

God loves a cheerful giver. As one preacher said, that doesn't mean he dislikes those who give anyway. :)

So yes, keep "giving" but do your best to do so with a happy heart that radiates in your actions. I think you'll find you get results sooner than you otherwise would!

[–]Wistful_wife-1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

You are correct on just about everything you've written. To the point where it's a little uncomfortable and now I feel a bit cliche, haha.

I'm not a serious spender and we see eye to eye on nearly everything else. "I want it, I got it" for me usually means I want a safer car to drive the kids in and to please let's replace the broken tile in the master shower. Or spending on mutually shared hobbies. He's financially quite capable. So maybe that accounts for the discrepancy, I get whatever I ask for where he's comfortable to provide it. But where I want things that are less comfortable.. Like riskier investment plans or more involved intimacy.. That's where things get dicey.

Regarding the "brad Pitt" experiment I honestly don't know what he'd do. I suspect the key would be in the enthusiasm. I think my lack of enthusiasm has squashed whatever confidence he did have. I feel (really) bad about that. That's kinda what I'm after here though - getting myself into a place of genuine enthusiasm, whatever that means doing, because I suck at faking it.

He knows about my "tastes" but is generally uncomfortable /unwilling to be in that role (and by extension, not convincing). It feels.. Icky..dirty.. For lack of a better word.. to ask him to do things in bed he doesn't really feel good or enthusiastic about.

I do genuinely need his leadership in other areas. I badly want to see him living his faith that he says he has and teaching it to our kids. I want him to pray with me. I haven't tried to broach this much because I want to see it coming from him and I figure that particular issue is way out of my court and between him and God. Also I am genuinely tired of carrying the burdens and responsibility. He's flat out said that he doesn't like making decisions because he's afraid to fail. And that failure still happens sometimes except the responsibility /guilt is on me. I don't think he means it but it hurts.

I also am very hopeful that if I saw those leadership and dominance qualities in him that I might just start to feel a little more toward him because it's inherently attractive to me. Which is why I'm trying to encourage it or give it room to grow. And I like the new, less argumentative, more respectful me. I don't want to be nasty or unpleasant over stuff that doesn't even matter, I don't want to be controlling. I believe you when you say I don't really want him to "swallow the pill" but I do want some changes to stick.

But you are probably right that I am frustrated and maybe magnifying how upsetting the other issues are. Everything else is happy or at least workable without seeking random internet counsel except the intimacy. That's the pain point.

It's blatantly obvious I need to pray harder and kick my own health into gear. Tbh there is a lot of advice here that I need to read and digest and work through but it is appreciated.

[–]RedPillWonder0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

But you are probably right that I am frustrated and maybe magnifying how upsetting the other issues are. Everything else is happy or at least workable without seeking random internet counsel except the intimacy. That's the pain point.

So focus on that.

And to get what you want there, lose the weight and get fit and toned. As a man, he'll likely respond to the increased attraction. Just start where you are and keep making progress.

You mentioned testosterone in your post or replies, and said his numbers are normal. Let me copy what I said to someone else.

As the late Charles Poliquin used to say, "To increase T, lower C."

C is cortisol, a stress hormone, and it can wreck havoc on testosterone.

In addition to checking his cortisol levels, take a second look at his testosterone numbers.

The thing is, lab ranges for testosterone go from about 300 to 1200 ng/dL (depending on the lab). A man could be, say, 350 ng/dL and his doctor will say he's "in range" and his T level is normal.

Another man could be at 850 and also be in range.

But there is a huge difference is how a man will look and feel and how healthy his libido is when you're at 350 vs 850. A man will have a much higher sex drive, burn fat and build muscle easier, be more assertive in life, etc with higher testosterone levels.

So check and see where exactly he is with his T level. And check his cortisol, because cortisol can cause all kinds of problems if he's under chronic stress.

The same goes for thyroid numbers. TSH usually ranges from 0.5 to 4.5. That's a large range. Generally, you want to be less than 2, and some functional healthcare practitioners argue for less than that.

Same principle applies to T3, reverse T3, T4 and other thyroid markers.

For those, the optimal ranges vary, but this comment is already getting long. Just check his numbers.

Also, to help with communication and influence, here's an old post of mine that may be of value to you.

[–]Wistful_wife-1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

In the middle of all this, a "frowning," unhappy, joy-less woman who does the right things and working on the right actions is not as good as a happy warrior woman who also does the right actions,but who is cheerful, upbeat and optimistic things will change because she serves a mighty God!

God loves a cheerful giver. As one preacher said, that doesn't mean he dislikes those who give anyway. :)

So yes, keep "giving" but do your best to do so with a happy heart that radiates in your actions. I think you'll find you get results sooner than you otherwise would!

Also this really hits home for me. I think God has been trying to teach me lately about finding joy during the storms instead of sitting around waiting them out. Being happy with what IS in the moment instead of holding out for things to get better. I'm going to try to go forward here really freely enjoying what we do have going for us - which is quite a lot.

[–]macmeeler0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

However, our relationship is seriously devoid of passion, physical affection, sexual chemistry, and attraction.

Does he lift? Is he in touch with his primal self?

Unfortunately this has gone on a very long time and we're in a vicious cycle where I don't enjoy it, he knows I don't enjoy it, and everyone is feeling pretty hopeless.

In my opinion it's mostly on him to generate attraction by being the type of man that has passion for you and who excites you emotionally. Maybe a break is needed, maybe he just needs to get in touch with his sexual energy better.

we had quite a long conversation yesterday that amounted to him being beyond frustrated with me basically noping out of running the show

It might be useful to hear more details about this. What exactly is he requesting of you? What are his expectations? Try to share his perspective on this

I told him I would tell him if I wanted or didn't want something, and I'd share my opinion if asked and if I had a strong opinion but that I am tired of metaphorically "driving" everything in our marriage and that I had complete confidence he could do it and that I was fine not going anywhere until that happened.

His mother probably coddled him and he hasn't worked out in himself how to truly separate from that ideal he has for a female partner

or further reading that I can do that is appropriate for a wife.

I'd say, be understanding first and foremost. And forgiving. Don't make him feel like you're coming from a place of resentment/judging. As you talk through these things with him, just adopt a standpoint of listening and understanding first. Don't focus so much on arguing or getting your point across, just let him work through these thoughts in his head and just work through all the points of contention by questioning him on exactly the things he needs to think about.

I can't offer much more advice because I think there are more qualified people around here who will point you in the right direction, but overall all I can say is be patient and continue on your mission to make the situation better for the both of you.

[–]Wistful_wife-0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

Does he lift? Is he in touch with his primal self?

No, he does not lift. He is quite overweight - not disabled, but affected physically. However, on my list of improvements is my own weight too, especially after my last baby (that is still breastfeeding). Worth noting that these issues between us were long before kids, and, like many relationship issues, just got worse after kids.

In my opinion it's mostly on him to generate attraction by being the type of man that has passion for you and who excites you emotionally. Maybe a break is needed, maybe he just needs to get in touch with his sexual energy better.

We've had breaks. Months long breaks. He just kinda waits for me to change my mind I guess? I'm mixed on this. I think it might making things worse -for me- to continue in this condition but there's a lot of advice, particularly aimed at Christian women, to just "do it anyway" basically

It might be useful to hear more details about this. What exactly is he requesting of you? What are his expectations? Try to share his perspective on this

To give a recent, concrete example, we've been discussing goals concerning financial future and possibilities for investing. Or, I have been trying to. He goes along with this, is on board ,says we share a lot of goals. I'm doing lots of researching, suggestions, in my eyes I'm trying to have a discussion and I'm kind of excited but I realize the entire conversation is rather one sided. I tell him that I'm probably going on talking a lot and I'm not comfortable making these decisions anyway because I only earn about 25% of our income and he's better with the finances anyway. I tell him I trust his decisions. And I do. He gets mad at me and tells me that he wants to have a discussion and he wants my opinion.

From his perspective - I get it, we are both educated and both do generally have similar goals and desires in life. And I'm a major stakeholder. And he wants me to be happy. I'm a good person for him to bounce ideas off of and discuss. But that's not what we have. We have a history/dynamic where "if I want it, I got it" and he never pushes back on anything at all. Granted that is pretty awesome A LOT of the time but I don't want the weight of making all of our financial decisions. I can't name a major life decision that hasn't been my decision and him going along for the ride - stupid things like furniture, but also massive things like where we live, what houses we've bought, where our kids go to school, the very existence of our children, even. I have NO IDEA what he actually thinks about anything. Frankly I don't mind having discussions and sharing ideas and I think that is healthy but a) that is not what we have and b) I do think only one person can "take point" or "drive" and it's me and I don't want to do it.

Again from his perspective he is extremely risk-averse and failure-averse. We've discussed this because it's something I have to a lesser extent too and it's an issue we want to try to avoid raising our sons with.

His mother probably coddled him and he hasn't worked out in himself how to truly separate from that ideal he has for a female partner

Probably relevant but not that helpful, he was raised an only child by a single mother and other female relatives. They aren't on that good of terms now, largely due to MIL's frequent disrespect and infantilizing him (and me). Ironically I feel responsible for that relationship collapse too :/

[–]macmeeler0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

No, he does not lift. He is quite overweight - not disabled, but affected physically.

He needs to get in the gym. He has no discipline, no sense of urgency, no frame, no self-sufficiency, no testosterone...

We've had breaks. Months long breaks. He just kinda waits for me to change my mind I guess? I'm mixed on this. I think it might making things worse -for me- to continue in this condition but there's a lot of advice, particularly aimed at Christian women, to just "do it anyway" basically

Hmm. I'll leave that decision up to you. In my opinion your choice won't solve the deeper problem- a man out of touch with his manhood.

As to the bit about how you're responsible for every major decision... tell him you need him to make the decision. If he says he wants your input, give him your input but let the final say be up to him. If he wants to go with what you think is best, that's his decision. If you want him to make a decision and he decides to agree with your best guess as to what should happen, be fine with exactly that.

I'm guessing these conversations are a little too uncomfortable and weighty for any smooth, real discussion. You're in your head frustrated about the nature of his decision-making process; he's not a natural leader and you're asking him to be- it's tough. So try to keep these conversations as mutually considerate as possible. Really listen. Really understand and think through what he's saying and offer your responses expecting the same in return. Let go of who's deciding what and collaborate with joy like a husband and wife who value each other's brains.

MIL's frequent disrespect and infantilizing him (and me)

So he hasn't been at all acquainted with a positive female relationship in which he holds frame. He's familiar with being the victim of a dominant female. Thus, your marriage situation.

[–]Rifleshoot0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Try to get him to the gym. Working out increases testosterone, which increases a man's boldness and drive in every aspect of his life. I literally feel like a different man after I've had a really good lifting session: more energetic, more assertive, just all-around more powerful. There's a reason we put lifting as such a major focus here.

[–]ruizbujc0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

Please edit with both his and your rule 2 information. The mods have that there for a reason and this type of post would greatly benefit from that knowledge.

[–]Wistful_wife-0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

edited

[–]Cloudy_Pirate0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

It's hard to give red-pill advice to women. You might like the /r/redpillwives or /r/RedPillWomen reddits although they are secular. Not to take away from the excellent advice already coming from DeepStrength and RedCurious, but there is only so much that you can do. You cannot change your husband, you can only pray and work on yourself. Become more and more feminine to draw out the masculine within him.

But I wanted to chime in and thank you for your honesty. In all likelihood you speak for many, many women. My wife probably could have said many of the same things that you did.

Especially:

We are having somewhat scheduled sex but it is very difficult for me to force myself into it and honestly that gets worse every time I "muscle" through it. I make an effort to always say yes, but I can't force my feelings and he knows this. Unfortunately this has gone on a very long time and we're in a vicious cycle where I don't enjoy it, he knows I don't enjoy it, and everyone is feeling pretty hopeless. I am (secretly) shocked and appalled that he continues to want to have sex with me in this state and at this point I can barely stomach being touched sometimes.

It is a good reminder to men who expect/demand sex from their wives that Every Unhappy wife is a rape victim (secular quarantined link) even if she doesn't want to be.

[–]Willow-girl0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

The problems are obvious (and ugly, lol) when two leaders get together, but I think it's just as bad when two followers get together. They're both looking for the other person to run the show.

Here's the thing, though. You are an adult with agency. You really don't need anyone to "lead" you! In fact, I would say this desire is counterproductive, like a desire to return to childhood where your parents made all of the big decisions and you were safe and protected from the harsh world. But you're not a kid anymore; you're a grownup and it's your job to take on the world yourself. Accept the mantle of responsibility. Don't pay attention to what your husband is or isn't doing; stay in your own lane. Set goals for your life and work on achieving them. Instead of being resentful toward your husband for coming up short, focus on your own flaws and work to overcome them. Remember that at the end of the day, you can't change anyone but yourself.

BTW this is not a covert contract -- there is no guarantee that if you up your game, he will follow suit. However, sometimes if you shake up the dynamics of a relationship, it opens the door to change. And even if he doesn't step up, you will be better and stronger for the self-improvement.

Personally I like the model of the Proverbs 31 woman, who is out there wheeling and dealing! You don't see her looking to her man for every little thing. She is out there exercising her agency and using the brain her good God gave her!



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