Tough conversation with my wife coming up. How should I handle it?

January 6, 2017

UPDATE: Well, that didn't turn out as planned.

After reading the many, any comments and pieces of advice in this thread, I went into this conversation in a COMPLETELY different frame. This conversation went from a fraught and tense "confrontation" about how I live my life into a conversation with someone who was simply being irrational. Every bit of my stress drained away.

Got home, ate, did our usual routines with the kids, etc. She moped around the house and gave me one-word answers, but I simply ignored it and had fun with the kids. The effect on the whole house was palpable; the kids and I had a blast.

I put the kids down each night (some of the best quality time I get with them), and instead of running downstairs to have this "conversation" I just took a shower, shaved, and got some of my own shit done. When I did get downstairs, I made myself "available" if she wanted to bring it up - read, watched TV, etc - but didn't initiate any conversation at all. I had a great "night alone" while she dicked around on Facebook.

Finally I said I was going to bed and she followed me up. As we turned off the light, I reached out and firmly held her hand. She started crying, and I held her until she calmed down.

And then, we had sex....for the first time in a year and a half.

So. This is obviously not the end - when I started here, all I wanted was to have sex with my wife again. Now, I see it as much more than that...a long road towards reclaiming a side of my personality that's been long repressed.

But this is a major milestone for me, and I couldn't have done it without all the comments, tough love, and support from everyone who bothered to put in their two cents.

So, thanks, everyone. It's much appreciated.

Context: 36, married for 4 years. Two kids, 2.5 years and 10 months. I own my own business, my wife is a SAHM. I work four days a week and handle the kids on Monday. Every morning I get up with the kids, make breakfast, clean them up, change diapers, do as many dishes as possible, etc, before getting out the door for gym/work at 8AM.

I'm a few months into MRP - started lifting (Mondays after the kids are in bed, W/F in the mornings, before work) and going to BJJ classes (Tu/Th evenings. I leave work early, which means I am home at 5:30pm instead of my usual 5pm). Lost about 10 lbs, adding muscle. Generally working on being more assertive (I'm a life-long people pleaser), typical MRP stuff, but trying to take things slow.

My wife and I have not had sex in over a year in half. There is very little affectionate touch, etc. She says this is because she is/was depressed (she went through a tough post-partum period), because of some post-pregnancy physical complications (bothers her in terms of her self-image, but is not painful in any way), because she is exhausted from the kids, etc).

This summer, before I discovered MRP and desperate for any sort of change, I broached the subject with her. She said my initiations made her stressed, and suggested a temporary "Moratorium" on sex. I eagerly agreed, because I was an idiot. The subject has not come up since then, and I have not initiated.

The Issue At Hand: Today I did the morning routine and got the kids up as normal. Did all the dishes, but didn't have time to get to cleaning off the breakfast table, so there's a small amount of oatmeal/etc on there.

At the gym, start getting texts from my wife:

Her: (some complaints about the oatmeal, etc) I feel like since you started gym and jujitsu at home stuff has suffered. We need to reevaluate because now I feel like I'm sacrificing and nut getting my time even more so and you get your stuff.

Not to say you don't deserve your time. It's just not even and I've been trying to get personal time for months to no avail.

Me: Thats fine. I have organized my work and exercise around being home to help with the kids. As I have always said, I will be flexible in the same way to help you get your time in. So let me know what you have planned.

Her: Not to mention we are drifting apart even more so. You've been very focused on yourself.

Me: I have been focusing on myself, more, yes. Does it bother you?

Her: Only if it feels like I'm being left behind. Which it does. You have to rush out the door so the kitchen is left a mess when before you would get it back to normal before leaving.

You are too tired when you come home so you don't help with night clean up as much.

You don't really ask me how I'm doing. Just focus on yourself. I want to be happy for you. I really do, but it's hard given the circumstances and I don't want to be resentful. I'm trying not to. You deserve to have what you want.

Me: Hmm. I would disagree on some of that. But let's have this conversation in person. We'll talk tonight.

Her: So it doesn't bother you that we are drifting apart?

Me: It does. I'd just rather talk about it face to face so we can actually connect.

I will point out her complaints about not cleaning up are patently untrue; I literally clean up the entire downstairs every night after the kids are in bed. But that's neither here nor there.

Any thoughts on how I should handle this/what I'm walking into? Is this a fitness test (trying to bring my SMV, which has always been lower than hers, down again)? Or is it a comfort test ("I see you doing all this stuff and I'm getting nervous")?

Any advice is appreciated.

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Title Tough conversation with my wife coming up. How should I handle it?
Author resolutions316
Upvotes 11
Comments 96
Date January 6, 2017 3:45 PM UTC (4 years ago)
Subreddit /r/askMRP
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