Career beta - 53 - Married 23 years, 2 kids, 12 months in therapy by myself 2 months in therapy with her... 4 months in... lifting... eating right... owning my shit around the house and with the kids. Stepping up in ways I've never done before. Working on getting busy with dread level 3. Wife has responded some...
The issue here is that she's got her own really deep emotional problems. It's not mental illness but it's deep dark shit that keeps her from behaving like the women in her in the field reports. I'm far too ashamed to describe things in more detail but it's not my fault. All the years in this marriage, she's had some really strong emotional reactions that I've never told anyone about. I didn't understand what was going on and felt powerless that there was anything that would help. I've hidden it from friends and family out of shame. Only recently, have I been able to tell my therapist. It's hard for me right now to write this out. I know most MRP's are going to say eject but I'm not there yet.
She doesn't get worried that I'll leave her and try to get close to me. She pulls back and goes into an almost catatonic shell. There is very little emotional or sexual intimacy. MRP has helped us to have more sex but it's very restricted and almost always the same, safe PIV with no foreplay or anything. It didn't always used to be that way but I think I might have gotten overly aggressive in bed and triggered something. There was a period of about 5 years where we started to get things back on track with sex and were able to enjoy and experiment and really have fun. That was good even if it wasn't frequent.
The sex was good before we moved in together, but once we did, she got really weird about it and so most of our married life sex was duty once or twice a month if that. At one point, after kids, we went a year and half without sex. Our interactions over the years, have gotten to the point where we could hardly get along for a few minutes to do anything together. For most of the month, we'd avoid each other. She built a life around the kids and her interests. I disconnect behind work, porn and dreams of making money. For years, she was rightfully angry for abandoning her to do all the hard stuff. Honestly, I avoided working with on just about anything because she is so difficult and controlling. For years, we basically took any opportunity to spend time apart.
I plated 3 different girls at one point and have various no strings sex. That's fun enough but doesn't help the problem. I still want my wife.
I'm not bad looking and I have game. I can talk to anyone. It's not difficult for me to get IOI but I don't bother closing.
I've always been the worst kind of Mr. Nice Guy until recently reading the sidebar books and working with great progress with a therapist I trust. I'm finally coming to terms with somethings about myself and I'm moving forward in my life. Wife has joined me in therapy but considers all the issues my problems and absolutely none of hers. She's happy they way things are. She doesn't know what more I could possible want from me and is afraid that I'll never be satisfied.
Doing therapy and MRP at the same time is a little odd. MRP is something you don't talk about while therapy is the opposite. I think if I had the run of the mill issues I see posted here, I 'd just stick with MRP. I've made progress but also colossally fucked up. Progress isn't easy. Therapy and MRP have helped me see my side of the issue and I'm working my ass off to work on myself. There are days where I've had too much and just want to be away from her.
This weekend, I was planning my escape from there when we got some emotional texts from daughter who's away for her first year of school. We've been though this and it's exhausting for both of us. I didn't want to deal with it and was having thoughts of just getting away from all this when it hit me that this, all this, was my making and that I could make a difference by leading the wife and family. I stepped up the best I could and realized that everyone is just trying to do the best they can. My daughter doesn't want to be an emotional mess. My wife doesn't want to be a wounded, hurt pile of anxiety. She's doing the best she can.
I occurred to me that how I behave in this situation will shape my children's lives forever. If I crumble when things get tough, they will learn to do the same. I'm responsible for the good lives these people have. I've helped her parents. I am the center of this family even if they may not really understand that. I still think I can lead all these people to better times.
My fear is that while I'm able to improve myself, she will never be able to examine herself and change how she is. I know I'm only 4 months in so bailing now is just stupid. I intend to work MRP and therapy until the bitter fucking end.
We've done couples therapy for 2 months and it's done us good. We've made progress on being able to be in the same room together. We cook together. We work on the house and bills. We do things now together that we've never been able to do. The sex is improving slightly but ever so slightly. MRP alone isn't going to fix that.
I say I'm on step 3 but I'm all wrapped up in my sad sack life. I think of almost nothing but how can I fix this. I read. I do therapy once, sometimes twice a week. Fuck sometimes do therapy three times a week if you count couples therapy. I've given up hobbies and any friends. I'm consumed but this which makes it hard to get busy.
We have a couples therapy appointment this week and I'm just about at the point of saying that she has to admit that there is more going her than just me and that she has to work on her own problems or I'm done. I'm afraid to do that but I don't see any other way at this point. I could spend the time talking about how to resolve some trivial household issue but that just doesn't feel honest and doesn't really address the real fucking issue.