Originally Posted by Anneintherain
I'm pretty sure GG is referring to your husband (that's how I took it at least), but this statement also applies 100% to you. It doesn't sound like you are being present for him anymore...
You are doing everybody a disservice by comparing him against C if your goal is to make your marriage strong.
Point well taken, and I have been asking myself quite often if I'm really being everything I know how to be for him, or giving him everything I long for him to give to me. Part of my struggle all along has been not knowing how. Not knowing what he wants. I've begged and begged for specifics, on what he needs from me in order to feel loved, but even with the therapist assigning it as homework for him to list some things, he hasn't. I try to guess. I've tried watching movies with him (even though I don't really like watching movies), and I've gone out to eat with him (even though I have so many food sensitivities I almost always feel sick for the next 24 hours) because those are things he really likes to do with me. I try to think of things to talk about that might interest him. I've tried sex even though I've had to fake my interest. (I have an honest interest in connecting, so I am only half faking.) I've tried being present for him in every way I can think of.
I know I shouldn't compare him to C, and in general I don't. I'm just frustrated that what comes so easily in one relationship is so perplexingly difficult in the other. It has not
always been this way for us. For 4 years he was playful, lighthearted, emotional, warm, and affectionate. Then we hit a period in which his dad died, our first child was born, he was promoted into management, and his mother came to stay for three months, and everything between us shifted drastically. The tenderness and affection were replaced with a kind of hard work ethic that he applied to himself and to me. I know people change, and I've been trying to love who he is and not just who he used to be. I do want us to stay married, and for our marriage to be strong.
In some ways my relationship with C lets me "escape" my frustration and loneliness at home, but it also makes me more aware of what my marriage could be, and what it used to be, and makes me want to work hard to make it the best it can be. It also takes some of the pressure off, so my husband doesn't have to be everything for me. Maybe these are just justifications, but trying to let go of C has never been helpful to my marriage. I tried in July and again in December, and it just made me feel resentful and sad, not present and loving. I don't think C is causing the distance in our marriage.