Wife doesn’t know me anymore
We are celebrating our 25th anniversary this year but the last few years have been strained because I am very quiet and she wants me to share my hopes and dreams with her. I share about work and health issues but more intimate things I can’t think of to share. Intimacy has all but dried up and I am finding it extremely difficult to even want to share. Any suggestions would be helpful so I can put the anger and bitterness aside. I just want to be able to make her heart smile again.
Are you better at writing? This could be a way to baby step in. Share a journal with your wife. Write down your thoughts and leave it on her pillow.
Praying together every morning and evening is another important thing.
Ask each morning what you can do that day to make your wife feel loved and share what would make you feel loved
I think it is easier to establish day to day intimacy than to jump into giant share conversations right away
I think you have a common enough problem. Guys tend not to be as vocal about some things. It takes practice and lots of baby steps, but you can get there.
Having a good understanding of your own feelings is important to true intimacy, and then there is learning to express them. It is all pretty overwhelming. You mentioned anger and bitterness. Where are those feelings rooted?
What are you truly feeling? Fear, disapointment, saddness. Sometimes anger is a true feeling all by itself, but it is usually masking something else. If you can learn to identify those feelings and express them, then you can begin to cultivate intimacy.
Me personally, I have gotten pretty good at the hopes and dreams parts, but still struggle to be open with the hurts and fears stuff, so I have a ways to go. Intimacy is knowing and being known. Sometimes our biggest fears are to be known for who we really are.
Finding a list of questions for you both to answer might be a great baby step to take.
If you need more intensive steps to work through things, the book, “I Don’t Want a Divorce: a 90 Day Guide to Saving Your Marriage” by Dr David Clarke, is a great step by step process. (Don’t let the title repel you.)
It sounds like you not connecting with her heart and that’s what she wants. She wants to work as a team towards something. She wants to talk about the future…about more than just the mundane and basics. Here’s a post on the 5 LEVELS OF COMMUNICATION with a link to an article to read. It sounds like your wife wants to go deeper.
5 LEVELS OF COMMUNICATION
Asking questions and dreaming together is great because it draws out values, principles, and a whole lot of other emotions. Because of my DW & I age difference, we’re dreaming and planning for her full employment and my retirement. Will she do contract work after I retire so we can winter in a warmer state and return in the Summer to our home? Will she do travel contracting so we can visit other places in the country before settling in somewhere near the kids or at least some grandkids we like better? (LOL!!! Don’t lie, you know you have that one or even two that won’t think twice about shipping you off to the nursing home. We’ve got 5 between us and we each have one we know wouldn’t think twice about doing that. Well, at least to me, they’d probably all take her. She the better half in this family! That’s why I married up!) 😀
Dreaming together brings up all sorts of things, my fear of not providing for her after I die and how much that drives me, my love for her and how I want to provide, this can lead to spiritual conversations about faith & trust in God, about future couples and family ministries together before and after my retirement and her eventual one, dreams of housing, dreams of trips, dreams of trips and holidays with kids and grandkids, how we want to provide experiences and not gifts for them.
Can you see how talking about some of those things help deepen your relationship with your wife? What about planning a special or dinner to celebrate something? What about talking with her about what you want the next 25 years to look like with her? What has been a highlight the past 25 years? Why? What was a low time? Why? Favorite time you made love? What was special about it? Etc. (See posts below for more ideas for communication. The apps are great to generate questions and conversation.)
My wife just loved planning and dreaming about the vacation we took at the end of August/Sept. She looked forward to our time together and away. She loves it when I plan a get away and initiate something. I promised her a Brazilian steakhouse celebration after she passes her last Kinesiology test and class this coming Monday because it’s a MAJOR accomplishment. (It looks like she’ll finish with an A which she never expected when she started in January and especially after Covid hit and they postponed the class all till Fall…and it’s pass with a good grade or you’re out of the program and a bunch of money.) We’ll go and talk about what’s to come. What scares her? What we look forward to giving and saving for our future.
Which brings to mind another idea, what can you do together in your community to serve or help someone or some organization?
I posted the following response under a previous post which it may be helpful to view because the poster was having a hard time connecting with their spouse as well. (Yes, there was another dynamic involved too but the connection to the heart issue and intimacy is still the same.)
SOME HELP PLEASE
“The apps ULTIMATE INTIMACY, INTIMATELY US & JUST BETWEEN US and free with basic services which are great to use as a starter with more features or “fun” with a paid subscription. We utilized ULTIMATE INTIMACY without paying anything for more than a year. I did pay for a subscription to that one. We used it to just set a timer and answer questions in the car or in bed. It has a timer you can set and it has multiple topics.
The 2nd and 3rd one just came out this year but I have been using the daily challenge on the one and we’ve utilized the JUST BETWEEN US app for certain “communications”. All of which have been free…but I’m probably gonna subscribe as I’m a fan.
I’m a fan because all of them give the opportunity to connect with your spouse’s heart and as a man, it makes it easy do so.”
I just want to be able to make her heart smile again.
This is nice brother!
Intimacy has all but dried up and I am finding it extremely difficult to even want to share. Any suggestions would be helpful so I can put the anger and bitterness aside
Is the anger and bitterness about the lack of intimacy? Or something else? This is the place to start.
Thanks for the responses. Since I can’t comment, I’ll try to address the points that have been raised here. I have written journals and read them to her and it is like talking to a rock, there is no response. On our 20th anniversary I wrote her a letter a day for the entire month of December. Used funky pens and cool writing paper. They were then all collated in a silver album and presented on our anniversary. She did not seem to react favorably, like a “that’s nice” reaction. I felt like I gave a piece of my heart to her and it was rejected. This constant reaction is a fuel for my bitterness and anger. I keep saying the words forgive me, I pray for her and remind myself to forgive her for constant refusals. I’m just feeling stuck, and scared to share.