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Do all marriages eventually become passionless marriages of convenience?
September 16, 2005
6:54 pm
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Anonymous
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It seems that passion doesn´t wear down with time but can change. Maybe it needs a restart like in the computer. Love and trust is critical so that one doesn´t go on restarting another computer for the sake of restarting fresh. If you do it right away it´s called, I believe, rebound relationship.

I haven´t had a relationship since I separated but couldn´t ask to get back to my xh because I abandoned him because I felt abandoned. So the chicken and egg thing don´t seem to matter because trust (or the predictable thing) was lost for both of us. If a couple has trust, love has chances.

About convenience, it happens to both men and women but it seems IMHO that women lean toward convenience or a situation and men lean toward rebound.

If I had a relationship this is what I believe would happen. I wouldn~t trust my spouse to be on the net whatever the self help group might be. I have been very skeptical about help even from my therapist - so yes, I don´t trust myself either. Maybe this doesn´t validate any of what I said but hope some may help. We´re all conditioned to an extent and to know that I am statistically predictable helps me getting out of some traps I may even set for myself.

Tks for sharing.

September 17, 2005
2:00 am
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luckyguy
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lost and found

What would you like me to clarify for you? I didn't think I was evading anything. And I hold myself accountable for my own mistake of entering into this marriage. I've already paid with a 17 year sentence. Do I deserve more? Perhaps the death penalty for such a horrendous crime?

Mr Niceguy

You do sound a lot like me! A LOT! Trying to force a marriage to work that has no initial foundation to begin with. People keep recommending for me to try to recapture the past passion, but there was none to recapture. Now what?

CAMER

"now is the time to think of yourselves and do what you need to do to keep YOU happy."

I am being told by many people, books, and therapists that I have given up too much trying to make everyone else happy, and that I should now do something for myself. It seems that you are probably right. Except that maybe "lost and found" would not agree.

sininho

But, what if the passion was never there to begin with? What is there to restart, if nothing was ever started?

September 17, 2005
3:36 am
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Lass
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Good sex starts over breakfast in the kitchen. Do you give her a hug and a squeeze? Pat her behind lovingly? Say, "You take such good care of me?" Offer to dry the dishes? Ask, "Is there anything I can do for you, Sweetheart?" Tell her, "I can't wait to get you alone for one hour?" Or "You're on my thoughts all day long?" This is the stuff dreams are made of, not, "Did you do what I asked?"

It's about being loving in the face of the unlovely. That's what heals US for better things... maybe even down the road... but we'll be ready for it if we can love the unloving.

September 17, 2005
3:38 am
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bonita1
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lass,

That was beautiful imagery. Being loving in the face of the unlovely. Thank you.

September 17, 2005
9:05 am
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Lucky Guy,

I feel for you, my friend.

I can see how tortured you are over your situation. I feel badly that you have come here for support and instead are being beaten down by people that are telling you how you SHOULD feel or what you SHOULD do!

I know that you are not a heartless cold person that set out to use, abuse and discard your wife. You are human. You do not love her. You are being honest. I don't think that you can bring a love back that you have admitted was never there to begin with.

I was in your shoes several years ago. I am now divorced. Was it easy? No. Was there a lot of tears and pain? Yes. Was it the right thing to do for everyone involved? Absolutely.

Sometimes (usually) the right thing to do is not the "easy" thing to do. I hope you will still feel free to come here and share your feelings without the fear of being judged. I'm listening.

Best to you.

TC

September 17, 2005
11:49 am
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Mr Niceguy
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Lass: yes your imagery is wonderful, and I applaud it. I cannot bring myself to pat her lovingly in the kitchen, not because I am unable to feel and love and express, but because it would not be a reflection of what is in my heart. Years ago I tried convincing myself and my wife that this was love, but it was hollow and she slowly became depressed because she felt it deep down as well. This is not easy to come to grips with.

Lucky: our stories may be different but we both seem to have come to the same stark realization. Considering after so many years, it's staggering, but it doesn't change the reality. Ideally I want to remain healthy friends without being an emotional drag on my her. Giving up the conveniences, finances, the home,.... difficult to face. It's freaking me out these days, I think about it almost to distraction. It helps me to write it down here. Therapists have been of little use, I must add.

TC66 says they were through it and it worked out. Is that reliable? I don't know. But it does make me feel better.

September 17, 2005
2:14 pm
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I takes courage and a lot of heart to heart talk to confirm that after so long passion wasn´t there to start with. I respect that in you lucky.

As for moving on, in general, I don´t believe there is real friendship when getting loose from a long time marriage. Trust broken or not. Maybe it depends of the definition of friendship which I think includes some compatibilities, respect and admiration. It´s hard to admire your x spouse when they contributed 50% to all the troubles you´re having. It just saves me - may be projection - a lot of pain not believing, expecting much after a relationship is finished. You have a son so maybe you and your wife will be good friends for his sake.

In summary, I don´t think all marriages are bound to be just convenient. But since yours is and there was never passion, move on. But spare your wife of your pity - she´ll do better without that.

September 17, 2005
9:14 pm
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I think I came too strong about 'spare her of your pity'. I meant pity is not a helpful feeling, in general, not just yours.

September 19, 2005
8:32 am
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Lucky,

Have you ever considered she may be feeling exactly the way you are, but is also afraid of giving up the convenience of marriage? You say she is depressed. Who would want to stay in a loveless marriage? What children want to witness that? Is this also the life lesson on love you want your children to know? Moving on is not going to be easy. The fear of the known is easier to bear than the fear of the unknown, but obviously, what you have been doing these great many years is not working. Time to try something new... It will take courage, but in the end, everyone will be better off for realizing the honesty of the situation.

Look at it in this way ~ if you do not love one another, by separating you may be giving one another the greatest gift of all ~ a chance to start over, find a love that is fulfilling, & at the very least, being released from what holds you as depressed - thereby giving you OPTIONS. Options = Freedom to choose your daily life & emotional wellbeing.

September 19, 2005
10:37 am
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thewall
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Nesh,

First of all, I am female. Not a he, a she.

Secondly, my suggestions here are no different than anyone elses here. Just my suggestions, thoughts, feelings, and things I learned along the way, in my own pain and my own walk of life. I am just an avg joe-ette.

And finally, yes I did mention that I used to work in a psych hosp, not to say I have more experience than anyone else, but simply to say that codependency, helping others, and psychology is an interest of mine. Thats one of the reasons I am here-b/c I like helping, bc i like being there for others. I was a psych asst. Helped others. loved it.

So again, I am not doing therapy here anymore than anyone else is doing therapy here. I'm just me. Offering myself, and what I have learned from my own experiences in life.

Take any advice I offer with a grain of salt. Take it or leave it. I am not perferct, nor am all knowing.

peace,
thewall

September 19, 2005
12:24 pm
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taj64
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There are so many issues to deal with on this relationship. Guilt comes to my mind. Unfortunately guilt isn't going to do any good if you are not happy in the marriage. You are not doing her any favors by staying out of guilt. Also, staying with her because you do not want to be alone, is also not a good reason to stay with someone. It is better to be alone and happy than to be in a marraige of convenience. Of course it is hard and frightening because it is major change yet in time you learn to adapt. You also allow for yourself to heal and also for something else that will bring you happiness. Guilt is useless emotion. So is shame.

September 19, 2005
3:46 pm
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luckyguy
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Mr Niceguy

I couldn't have responded better myself. You took the words right out of my mouth. I can't show something that's not in my heart either. I've TRIED, but it's just so empty and meaningless. That's why I've become depressed too.

Lass & Nr. Niceguy

Our marriage councellor had the same idea. He gave us an excercise to do at home to improve our feelings of love. He said, each day, we are to sneak up on our spouse and give them a big hug, when they're least expecting it. So, I asked him, "But what if it's not what I feel in my heart? How can I pretend I want to hug someone when I have no feelings for them?" He told me that studies have shown that simply by demonstrating affection, it can lead to feelings of love. That seems to be basically what Lass is eluding to.

Well, we tried that exercise for 2 weeks. It didn't work. When the marriage councellor asked how well it went, we both said that it was nothing more than a mechanical act. We tried to hug sincerely when we did it. But it didn't lead to any feelings at all. I've been trying to do that our whole marriage. When we hug, it's more like a ceremonial hug than anything else. Or more like when I hug my mother. Not what I had hoped for.

Maybe it's the kind of person I am. When I show affection for someone, it has to be sincere. I know, for example, some people can have passionate relationships without feeling love for each other. I never could do that. I have to love someone FIRST, before I can show sincere affection.

September 19, 2005
3:49 pm
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I THINK I JUST HAD A REVELATION!!!

Mr Niceguy

Actually, while reading your words, I think I may have just come to understand something better about myself. I was wondering why I have been losing so many jobs lately. I have no will to try hard and work hard. I really didn't understand why, but a lightbulb just went on when you described "Giving up the conveniences":

If I lose my jobs, then all our finances will get used up, and we eventually lose our house because I will be unable to pay the mortgage. If we lose all our "conveniences", then there will no-longer be any reason to stay together. No more excuses!

I'll have to explore this further with my therapist.

Actually, this just made losing my job sound even more appealing. That can't be good... :s

September 19, 2005
4:10 pm
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luckyguy
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thewall:

Thank you!

I just wanted to say again that I really appreciate all of your advice regardless of your credentials. You have been very supportive and have offered very useful advice to me. You have always tried to maintain your objectivity, which is very much appreciated by me. Thank you so much for all your understanding words. They have really helped to sooth some of the inner turmoil I have been going through lately.

If you're not in the psychiatric profession, maybe you should seriously consider going into that field, because you seem to have a natural talent for it. Some people just seem to have the natural ability to make people feel comfortable while still providing useful advice, and you certainly have demonstrated that ability.

Thanks again! 🙂

September 19, 2005
7:00 pm
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miss_tater_head
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I've been following this particular thread and have even chimed in a bit. I have to say, though, I am so disheartened at the prevailing state of mind. Don't we put any value on the sanctity of marriage anymore? If we are "unhappy" or "unfulfilled" we just bail? Didn't Lucky make a committment to his wife that he must honor? Life isn't always a bed of roses, but if he isn't being abused or mistreated, I feel that he has an obligation to his wife and to God to endure. Find fulfillment in his spiritual things - that's where real peace comes from. Lucky, you mentioned that you didn't feel you needed to serve a "life sentence" for a mistake made 17 years ago. Unfortunately dear, having children and getting married ARE life sentences (assuming, as I stated earlier, that there isn't abuse or adultery going on). Please look into your heart and to your bible and reconnect with your sense of honor. You must focus your attention on working toward a satisfying relationship with your wife. The very fact that you are toying with separation is a signal that you want out. Find strength to take the road less traveled and commit to your family once again.

God bless,
Miss Tater

September 19, 2005
8:55 pm
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Matteo
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miss_tarter_head,

As stated in the guidelines of this site, there is no one "right" religion; Luckyguy or anyone else at that matter, may not necessarily be looking in the bible for a guiding light. There are religions which permit divorce, especially if the couple is not intimate sexually.

If you read another post by Luckyguy, he indeed is quite mistreated by his spouse.

The institution of marriage was established very long time ago, and we seem to keep forgetting that until 18 century at least, the average life expectancy was 30 - 35 years. Indeed, in those times Luckyguy would be already dead. He served his life sentence by now.

No reasonable person expects life to be a bed of roses, but it shouldn't be a bed of thorns, either.

September 19, 2005
9:18 pm
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miss_tater_head - sorry for mispronunciation

September 19, 2005
9:43 pm
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eve
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Luckyguy,

I don't quite understand, why you come here and ask for advice "for" your marriage, when you seem hellbent on arguing that there hasn't been any love ever between the two of you and there is no chance of there ever being any love.

You sound depressed, and depression can make a relationship very difficult. Maybe you should work on yourself, before you unwillingly make the motions of "trying to save" your marriage, struggling all the way to prove that it is useless even to try.

I just imagine how you sit together with your spouse and your marriage therapist, reiterating sentences like "I never loved my wife" "Why should I pretend that I love her" "how can a hug be loving without love". Yikes. I'd rather take a big hammer and bang it on my foot repeatedly. Or if I was your wife, I'd rather be alone than together with someone who can't be bothered to even try and make a mental effort. We can control how and what we think - but the way you try doesn't seem very promising to me.

Sorry if this sounds harsh, but this sounds so strange and hurtful to me, that I really feel pitty for you and your wife.

September 19, 2005
9:58 pm
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Anonymous
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I think we all see the same thing.

and we are all letting our own codependency kick in a little bit on this thread.

luckyguy has been told countless times by numerous people that he is responsible for his own happiness, and he is responsible for not being irresponsible with his family's feelings.

he knows the path she should follow - based on what he has said countless times - he is not looking to save his marriage - he doesn't want to - but to find a way out - without the exit being painful or stressful or hard on him - or he wants to know how to love someone he never loved when he isn't open to the idea that he could love her (which is damn near impossible if you are not open to the idea that it could happen)

but we all know, and he knows, that you can't have your cake and eat it too.

leaving is painful...for a multitude of reasons...including alot of fear of the unknown.

he knows that staying isn't going to solve anything - but he is unwilling to leave at this point - he is searching for an answer that doesn't exist.

I think that overall, we are all trying to beat him over the head, knock some sense into him, change his mind, make him see the right way, see the light...yada yada yada.

we can't.

I think we should all do ourselves a good bit of 12 stepping and detach from this - and let it go.

we can't give him the answers he seems to be in search of - and we can't make him do anything he doesn't want to do.

let's just all pray to our own higher power, let it go, detach, and give it over to the higher power and let "him/her/it/them" handle it.

we all seem to have our own judgement of this situation, myself included, but in the end, it is not up to us...

September 19, 2005
11:04 pm
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Mr Niceguy
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This is all so ....interesting. I'm going through some really similar feelings in my marriage right now, but with some significant differences. I'm nowhere feeling suicidal, I don't want to quit my job because I just know I'll need the security down the road, so I'm not feeling as desperate in my situation. But like Lucky, it seems obvious to me that the marriage is devoid of a solid healthy foundation. The hugging type exercises won't work. If I sincerely don't want them to work, they never will. That doesn't make me evil, it means I don't truly love her. But anyway, what I find so interesting here is what Ali just wrote: trying to knock SENSE into him?? CHANGE his mind? ...see the RIGHT way? What do you mean do some 12 stepping, detach and let go? That's no frigging support! Are the 12-steppers here feeling a bit ....a bit challenged by Mr Lucky here? I have real respect for Codep groups and support, in the last short while on this site I've seen sincere anonymous support. This thread has how many entries now? It's attracted a lot of attention. Why? Maybe Mr Lucky is demonstrating something that others don't want to admit, like nice people can make dreadful mistakes that are very hard to face up to and resolve. Just imagine a fundamental mistake in judgement, costing say half the years of your life, no physical abuse say, just a big friggin mistake. A life sentence? Sustaining depression in either yourself and/or your spouse? How could you suggest withdrawing support for this "Lucky guy"! Hey, if you can't or don't want to face up to what he's crying out and saying, then just stop reading and writing in the thread. Would you (anyone, not directed at Ali or Tater or Eve personally) ....would one suggest detaching and having others detach and abandon this lucky guy if instead he were being abused and threatened by a spouse and he continued to declare his everlasting LOVE of the abuser? That would neatly fall into the codependence scenario, loving your abuser. (By the way, this has nothing to do with being a guy, I'd say the same thing if Lucky were a woman.) For me the essential theme here is how to recognize a very bad past judgement and move to correct it. Is it possible to do so without profoundly hurting or damaging the other person(s)? How do you juxtapose your own feelings and yearning for correction and freedom against the other person's false expectations? It's BECAUSE we are human that we have choices, that we make mistakes, that we take risks, that we can derive great satisfaction from accomplishments. SO, my new friends, what should Mr Luckyguy be doing? Ran out of suggestions for him?

PS Inasmuch as an anonymous support group can be supportive, for those who suggest that prayer and acceptance of Lucky's marriage contract is the answer, there ARE others who really don't see it that way. It ain't easy to make the big painful moves when you're not forced to. It actually takes real guts to NOT fake the hug that you don't feel. But to correct the root cause, what steps to correct the root cause...that's what has me saying "Yikes!".

September 19, 2005
11:26 pm
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I won't take your post personally -

but I will maintain my thoughts that some of us here are slipping into codependent behaviour by trying to make this guy see how wrong he is and trying to make him see the right answer to what he is asking.

the answers all have the similar common threads - that he is not doing anyone, himself, his wife or his child, a favor by sticking around and that he could do each of them more love by taking a leap of faith and getting out of an obvious dead end situation.

most of us here are telling him to love himself, his wife and his child enough to face his fears and give them all freedom. Only a handful have other thoughts, including resigning himself to the fact that he got into it and has to suck it up and face the commitment...of which, I don't agree.

I wasn't suggesting anyone abandon this guy - I was suggesting that some of us are having more than normal emotional reactions and getting a little too attached to the outcome.

sometimes 12 steps in codependency includes leaving a guy to his own devices, to figure out the answer to his own problem, to let them figure out what to do - cuz in the end, we canNOT give him the answers that are right for him.

yes, there is alot of attention to this thread - but so did the thread where the trucker wanted everyone to encourage him and his wife to work things out because he believed he had found the right answers to his anger problem and she agreed to meet him and then he kidnapped her, raped her and threatened her life with a knife to her throat before releasing her - then came back a week later and wanted to let us all know he had found the REAL answer to his problems - but this time the thread didn't get so long.

lucky guy is begging for all the codependent people out there to fix his problem - and some of us are getting sucked in - and that's why I made the point I did.

are you in therapy or 12 step for codependency? a little research might show you that what I suggested is not all that unusual, although to outsiders, it appears kind of harsh.

I never said to abandon this guy - but to be careful we aren't trying to "rescue" the situation...that's all.

September 19, 2005
11:42 pm
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alicat,

How are you, how are you doing? I didn't see many of your posts lately?

You know that I greatly appreciate you and your opinion and input. You are kind, eloquent, and very perceptive.

But I think each and every of us has a right to their personal opinion, and each person who posts should talk about themselves only, and only in their own name. I remember my strong reaction when someone used "we" instead of "I" in my thread, when I was asking for help. Who are "we"? "We" are all trying to help someone, who experiences great pain in his life, nevertheless each of us is a different person, with different experience, perspective and a way of thinking; and this is what makes this site so wonderful. Using a word "we" creates the impression of a distance, and superiority, it is not helpful - I know it from my own experience. Nothing personal, alicat, I hope you understand what I am trying to say. Hugs.

September 19, 2005
11:47 pm
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Anonymous
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I understand totally.

just came back from taking a breather here and saw alot of people saying the same thing - and some emotions getting entangled in it too.

I will be more careful how I word things - I am tired and realize I shouldn't post when this tired...just trying to catch up before I miss too much.

see my post about good progress - posted tonite...things are better...long road still...but better than they were a few days ago...and that's all I can ask for.

September 20, 2005
12:04 am
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thewall
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But being a supportive person means walking with someone, beside someone thru the wilderness, regardless of their waxing and waning, indecisiveness, confusing and their mixed up emotions.

Its walking beside them in the moment, not trying to change their mind.

Its not getting angry at them if they make a decision that you dont agree with.

Its accepting them and being there for them, regardless of the decisions they make.

Its handing them a kleenex,being there when they cry so they dont have to cry alone.

Its not fixing the problem for them. Its being there as they try new things and try to fix their own problems.

Its dusting off their skinned knee when they fall down and get hurt again, even when it was their own doing.

And its being patient when they are stuck or indecisive. They'll make a move, eventually. But it has to be on their own time, not ours. And In their own way. We just have to sit back and wait, listen as they talk out loud, give advice when it is asked and be quiet when it isnt. and let them come to their own decisions in their own way and in their own time.

Thats what we all need here. Including myself. .

Sometimes it helps to get others opinions bc it can trigger an "aha moment" by what someone else has said or gone thru. And that happened here-- how awesome!! Something someone said "clicked" for him, in how it was said. Sometimes thats all it takes for one to finally "get it". I cant count how many times that has happened to me.

just something to think about as we all continue to come here for support and offer our 2 cents worth.

September 20, 2005
12:53 am
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Neshie
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thewall-

Thanks for clarifying you lack credentials. You stated you work in the psych field, but you lack any credentials...i appreciate the honesty. Now, that is in the open, we can read your posts understanding your angle.

As for you most recent statement, while support is a great thing, enabling self-defeating behavior, in my opinion, is not. It only endorses perpetuation of the problematic behavior. By the time the so-called aha effect comes about, more damage has been done. Cognitive restructuring of the problem may be of more benefit to all parties. Just my 2 cents. You wouldn't support any and all problematic behavior, now would you?

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