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Does she still love me?

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  • Does she still love me?

    Sorry about the long post. Once you get writing more and more things come up....

    We are married for 27 years. For some time I am wondering whether my wife still loves me. She is hypersensitive to every remark I make and interprets everything as negatively as possible.

    But there are also other things I don't get: In bed she virtually never touches or hugs me. I feel like she feels disgusted by me and my body. If I touch her she does not react and I have the feeling she just endures it. Even when I give her a back massage in the morning in bed, there is no reaction at all. She simply gets up and walks away.

    The same with sex, I can't remember when she initiated sex with me. It must have been years. But when I initiate it she almost always goes along with it. I mostly make sure that she has a climax. I don't think she is faking it, but she never told me that it was good. When I ask her she says that of course it was good, and is insulted that I even doubt her.

    Although recently she seems to always find excuses when I approach her for sex ("I want to finish the movie first", "I have to floss my teeth first", "You are too sweaty", etc). And of course she never would come back to me later on.

    For some time there is a pattern that as soon as I enter the same room she immediately closes her laptop and leaves to another room. I don't know whether she thinks that the videos or websites she is watching bother me (They don't and I told her so) or whether she just does not want to be around me.

    Recently - for the last year or so - she does not tell me anymore where she goes when she goes out. I usually don't ask, and when I ask she blocks me off and often gives me a meaningless answer ("I'm going to town"). Some years ago we had a big fight because she felt that I was controlling her by asking these questions. So I don't push it.

    I have recently set up the Google family tracking system for me, so that she always knows where I am. But she did not do that for herself, and I don't want to ask about it because it would probably turn into another huge fight.

    She always tells me that I don't understand and consider her. I should read up on the internet or read John Gray's book. But when I go on the internet and find things about relationship advice that I find useful it does not suit her either.

    She accuses me of gaslighting her for years and that I never loved her anyway and it was all a pretend for the last 27 years. This is of course total nonsense, but it is so hard to always being pushed away and having to make the effort to demonstrate that I love her while always being doubted and mistrusted by her.

    I could go on and on about the hundreds of friction issues. I sometimes feel that there are no topics left we can talk about which don't have some sort of history of conflict. She has a whole list of issues going back for years and years, that she brings up again and again. They may be remarks that I made during an old fight, times when I showed too much consideration to my family or random other women, when the presents I gave her for her birthday were not good enough, etc. etc. So we are not talking a lot anymore.

    On my urging we went to marriage counselling twice to two different counsellors, but each times she felt that the counsellor did not understand her and that they insulted her. So now she does not want to go anymore.

    I am not a perfect husband. I know that. Sometimes I should show her more emotional support rather than being very rational, as I am by nature. But I think that I am a decent husband and father, look after the her and the kids, never had an affair or anything like that, hardly go out with friends, do a reasonable job looking after the house (recently I spend several weeks renovating the kitchen for her. It went well and she was in a good mood, but a few days after the kitchen was finished a fight broke out again over an "inconsiderate" remark of mine, and so there is tension again for the last two months.). I try to be more attentive, buy her flowers for birthays and Christmas, draw little love hearts on her shopping list, touch her gently when she walks past, suggest that we go out for lunch together, suggest that we learn dancing or play music together, or do some sport together, give her compliments about her look, open the door for her in restaurants, painted a portrait of her for Christmas, create a calendar with photos of nice memories for her, set up a romantic candle light get-together etc. But it is so bloody hard when I get constantly pushed back, and being told it is just a fake facade I am putting on. And then I also get angry and shut off. I just don't know what to do.

  • #2
    Allan R I'm sorry you're going through this. Sounds like after 27 years, you're stuck in a rut. Since she won't go to anymore marriage counseling sessions, how about doing something other than for only couples whenever you go out? How about joining a church (if you're religious, that is), getting involved in ministry, group serving or individual serving, Bible study groups if it applies or community or charity work. Or, exercise together or join an exercise club. Perhaps once your wife sees how other married couples are, she might be influenced by how a happy couple should be.

    It sounds like you're doing a lot already as it is and she takes you for granted lately. Question why you two fell in love in the first place? What was the initial attraction while you were dating, engaged and as newlyweds? What were your interests, hobbies, outings, favorite places to dine, vacation and activities? Try to recapture your youth from back in the day with her. Now that you're kids are grown, surely there must be more time and money to do those things so you can reignite the spark you two once had.

    Perhaps she has depression or a medical problem. Has she been diagnosed by a doctor?

    She sounds bored. Try to switch it up by making life more interesting so there is something to look forward to. Weekend getaways are fun and can be local without breaking the bank. Does she like to sight see, take tours, go to museums, do something around holiday time and such? Try to get inventive and think of new activities so it won't be the same old same old all the time.

    I don't think the tracking system is a good idea because both of you will feel as if you're on a ball 'n chain. There should be a level of intuitive trust between you two without tracking to monitor your every move.

    Even though your wife refuses to attend future marriage counseling sessions, make appointments for yourself and seek professional advice from a marriage counselor. He or she can give you suggestions after you tell him or her your situation.
    "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."


    • #3
      Thanks a lot for your advice, Chanelle. I really appreciate it.

      I could not suggest that she may have medical problems. When one of the marriage counselors suggested that there may be some childhood reasons (father relationship or similar things) why she behaves like this, she got very upset and felt insulted and refused to visit that counselor again.

      We are not particularly religious, but maybe your suggestion of other activities works.

      I kind of feel that we are doing most of the activities for her. Like last years we were lucky that we could visit Paris. I was not very interested in it (I'm more of an outdoor nature person) but I went with her and it was good. But a few years earlier we went to Sweden, which I wanted to visit and at that time she hardly made any effort to look at the country with me and most days didn't even leave the camper van because she was angry with me.

      When some years ago I gave her a romantic weekend away in a country cabin as a birthday present she was not interested, and rather wanted to visit a big city somewhere. But when for her 50th birthday I gave her a long weekend away in a larger city that she wanted to visit for a long time she afterward complained to my brother in law that she did not get any "real" present for her birthday from me.

      For me one of the big issues is also the physical contact and that I feel that she does not find me attractive, and that she hardly ever proactively makes contact or initiates sex with me. I feel like I am constantly the one having to ask for it. When she did hug me in bed about six months ago when I felt really down I even thanked her later for it! It feels so denigrating.

      I think that trust is in fact one of the main issues. She never seemed to have trusted me and hid some secrets from me from the very start which I only found out many years later. And I sometimes think that she is projecting the same issues on me: Because she behaved that way it is natural that I would behave the same and therefore she naturally can't trust me. But that's just my amateur psychoanalyst theory...

      Anyway, that's just my gripe and she would probably have all sorts of reasons - some probably quite valid - why her behavior was normal and it was my fault. And as I said there are lots of issues behind all this and it would take at least a good dozen counselling sessions to sort all this out.

      But I'll try to come up with some more common activities for us. Both counsellors who we visited suggested that the most effective way is to get counselling as a couple, but maybe I'll nevertheless go there myself. She says anyway that I am the one who needs help, not her.

      Good to be able to vent some of these things with someone else. So thanks again for taking the time and trying to help us with our problems, Chanelle.


      • #4
        Allan R You're welcome Allan.

        Well, if you're not religious, glad you can try other suggestions.

        Since she's not attracted to you physically, how are you? Do you workout? Have you kept your weight down? Are you healthy and fit? Are you on a health conscious diet? Some women, just like men, look upon the ill-kept with disdain. Like women, men also don't like it when their partner / spouse allows their looks to go. It's not just appearance but a reflection of internal health, too. Hope you are taking good care of yourself.

        Sounds like there are some major trust issues going on between you two. Both of you don't trust each other. Hope both of you can discuss this and earn each others trust over time. It's wishful thinking but I hope it can be a reality someday.

        Glad you can think of activities to do with your wife.

        Since your wife refuses to attend professional marriage counseling sessions or appointments with you, going by yourself is better than nothing. Your wife is in denial if she thinks only you need to go.

        If your marriage continues on this same track for however long you can remain patient, you'll have to ask yourself someday if your marriage had run its course. Of course, I want your marriage to succeed but if your wife continues to be uncooperative with you at every turn, you'll have to ask yourself how much longer you can tolerate and remain patient. Only you will know the answer.

        "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."


        • #5
          Her behavior is sketchy and that of an unfaithful wife. Closing the laptop quick so you cant see what she's doing. Wont tell you where she's going when she goes out and gets defensive when you ask. Wont allow herself to be on the google family tracking. Lost all interest in you and is just going through the motions. All screams that she is seeing someone else. She is also trying to turn it all around on you making you believe its your fault when it isn't. You are doing to much for her and she doesn't care. She already see's your marriage as over if she thinks its all a facade. I wouldn't bother doing anything for her if she doesn't appreciate it. Don't waste your time and energy anymore. You need to find out what she is up to.
          Last edited by Dazed & Confused; December 3rd, 2018, 05:57 AM.
          I say it as I see it. Don't take it personally!


          • #6
            Thanks to both of you for your advice.

            Yes, I am quite fit and healthy. That is actually another tension point. We used to go hiking together regularly and enjoyed that. But for some time we have problems with our knees. So one day she just told me that it was over in terms of hiking. I was so shocked that she simply took that as a fact, as if there is nothing she can do about it and I felt that it did not really matter to her anyway.

            I do exercises and remain quite active with cycling to keep my knees fine, whereas she does not. She is not obese or anything like that and looks very good (in my eyes at least) but she does not work out at all. She said that her physio told her that she can't do anything about her knee, not even exercises. But I don't believe that. She hasn't even seen a doctor about it either, which I only recently found out.

            We took a short walk recently and suddenly she held her chest and said that she did not feel well. I was a bit annoyed because I thought that it has to do with the fact that she is unfit and asked in a not very nice tone "What's the story?". Later it turned out that the reason was that she simply had a coffee earlier in the morning. But my unfriendly words are the reason that she is mad at me for the last two month because I was inconsiderate with my question (I even apologiesed, but she did not accept my apology).

            Anyway, I will try to come up with some other activities and try to join her more with the things that she is doing. I hope in the end that will also help that she would attend the things I am interested in. And over time her trust in me becomes strong.

            @Dazed&Confused: I actually don't think that she has an affair. I don't think she would do that to me. But maybe I'm just naive. I don't know.


            • #7
              I am going away for a couple of weeks and won't be able to go on the internet. So please don't think that I am ignoring any other posts. Thanks


              • #8
                I read your post twice. She checked out of your marriage a long time ago. I think you just don't want to believe it or want to accept the possibility that there is another man because of how much you still love her. You're a good guy with so much to offer and you deserve so much better than the way she is treating you.
                I say it as I see it. Don't take it personally!


                • #9
                  Something strange is really going on with her. I agree with the suggestion that there might be infidelity involved. Or if not yet, the relationship has unraveled to a point of repulsion instead of attraction, and it could be just a matter of time. What you can consider is go to a weekend marriage getaway like A Weekend to Remember which you can check out at My friends and I attest to the effectiveness of the program, and there were cases where couples were actually at each others throat but got reconciled after the event. It takes place at different locations all over the country at different scheduled weekends. The organizer is faith-based but the seminar has a lot of practical suggestions and eye opening truths that are not even related to religion. Another program is called Hope Restored at It has fewer locations but one location might be close to where you are.


                  • #10
                    Allan, first of all, congrats on trying to keep up with yout relationship even with so many problems. Your wife is a really lucky girl! Second, sorry for my english. Now, to the advice.
                    I recently read a book about a smiliar relationship, where the man was always trying to talk to his wife, but she was acting like a cactus, always protective and all, making sometimes people feel sad and all. I think that maybe her problem is something bigger, but perhaps it's a thing with her own self, "inside "things. Maybe she is sad because the life is not a fairy tale, or maybe she is starting to realize that the years are passing, and her life is a little bit meh. The passion for living and the passion with people, lovers or not, are always connected. Does she acts the same with your kids? She seems happy with other people? She only acts like this when you're around? If she is like this with everyone, then the problem is inside her. I would love to know more, because you seem to love her a lot, and I too love someone very similiar.
                    Last edited by kanashimi; December 7th, 2018, 06:12 PM.


                    • #11
                      Thanks for your suggestion about the Weekened to Remember, El. I'll have a look whether they offer something like that where we live (Australia). Sounds like a good idea.

                      Kanashimi, thank you for your thoughts. My wife is very warm and close to our kids who are pretty much grown up (26 and 20) but still live at home on and off, although there have been some rough years with our daughter when she did not approve her friends and boyfriend at the time. With other people it is a bit mixed. She feels offended quite easily - at least that's how I see it. If someone looks at her in a funny way or makes an unfriendly remark I usually just put it down to them having a bad day, but she mosly perceives it as a personal attack and often sees some hidden racism behind it (my wife is Asian). And if I don't agree with her opinion it turns into a big fight that "I never support her". But I feel that it would be insincere if I would superficially agree with her whereas in reality I don't see it that way.

                      In a sense she treats them similar to me. I usually try to approach new relationships or people I meet in everyday situations with kindness and a positive attitude and only when they return this with coldness or rejection I consider them unkind. For her she will approach a new person initially with scepticism and only if they first demonstrate that they are friendly to her she may return the kindness. That often also leads to jealousy issues, that she says that I am "overly friendly" to strangers (could be men or women).

                      I feel that she needs constant affirmation and that I am constantly tested by her in the sense that she pushes me away or runs away from me and I have to prove my love by chasing after her. Maybe it has something to do with self esteem but it is simply so hard for me. It also feels unfair. If I would push her away or run away from her like she does from me she would never make the thirst step to reconcile with me, but rather the opposite, she would see it as evidence that I don't love her.

                      It was interesting when I asked her some time ago for situations where she showed her love to me she only listed several events when she got terribly jealous. So that was in her eyes her way of showing me that she loves me.


                      • #12
                        Hi Allan,

                        A couples weekend might help both of you. However, it seems like your wife has self-confidence issues. Try complimenting her. I applaud you for trying to find things to do together. As far as trust issues go, you went out of the way to show you are trustworthy. Hopefully a couples weekend like the ones suggested by El Bibeth will cement your relationship. You are in my thoughts.


                        • #13
                          Her behaviour suggests deep resentment being married to you. You haven't talked about your relationship with your in-laws or parents or any extended family relationships and you have also not addressed your careers. Has she been a stay at home wife/mother most of her life? There's something critically wrong and damaged about her self-image and critically flawed in that union/marriage that the both of you have. The resentment is incredibly deep and extremely broken. I'm seeing mostly lost opportunities or stunted growth (ie years lost and happiness gone from deep inside her, like her spirit is totally lost). A lot of what you are writing are minor surface scrapings on the top: minor things she's said, what she feels, how irritable she is towards you, no me these are just smoke screens. There's something very wrong about your marriage and her behaviour is extremely alarming. If you don't feel opening up or facing that here on a public forum, really do go see a professional (or try different ones out) if you both are open to it now or at a later point. Venting about it here about the superficial arguments you both have is not going to fix this.

                          Your over-friendliness with strangers and her being prone to skepticism is a problem. Unless you recognize and respect each others insecurities and work through that together, this isn't going to go away. You must learn to see both sides of the coin at all times. I am one side, my husband is another and we are radically different people. Our characters are very different. He is more open and friendly and I am very reserved and a bit sharp (more in person than on the forum!). I see perspectives he doesn't see and vice versa. We come together and a multi-dimensional picture is formed because I fill in where his perceptions stop and he fills in where my perceptions are not so clear. You must learn to see the world together while living in your differences.


                          • #14
                            Thanks Rose and Lovetowrite,

                            Yes, I agree that some of the issues I wrote about are just "surface issues" and I believe that there are underlying deeper issues there. These are just examples where the conflicts are manifest. But the point is that I don't see any effort from her to work and improve our relationship, but instead constant blame and avoidance of me.

                            To answer your specific questions: I get along well with her relatives, although we have little contact (They are overseas). She had a lot of conflicts with her brothers although that seems to be improving recently. I also get along well with my own family (we also have little contact because they also live overseas). That also causes a lot of jealousy issues with her.

                            I have my own business working on my own. She looks after a couple of rental properties we have and after a small stock investment. Another point of conflict....

                            As I mentioned before she is not prepared to go to any relationship counselling although I usually found it useful. Over the years we tried three different counsellors but she always felt misunderstood or insulted by them. I will probably try to go there alone and see whether it helps.

                            The "over friendliness" is a matter of degree and interpretation, isn't it. I am usually very cautious that I don't do anything that could be interpreted as inappropriate. For example when I was working in a previous job I even rejected a job application from an attractive young woman who was best qualified for the job and picked a young man instead. But there is probably no point describing any examples, because without being there and actually seeing how I and how she behaves on a case by case basis it won't be useful.

                            We have a long holiday planned together with the children early next year. Maybe that's an opportunity to come together and work on the relationship. I will also try the counselling on my own and see whether that helps. I'll also try again finding more activities together and will have a look into the couples weekend which some have suggested.

                            Thanks again to all of you for the time and effort of writing and trying to help.


                            • #15
                              I think she has cashed out. Marriage is bullshit to me because no man wins that contract. There is absolutely no advantage to marriage except material things and tax breaks but is it worth the cost? Marriage is a fools paradise where women can run off with half your shit. What stops someone from marrying waiting a year and be like "I don't love you anymore". Maybe when people had morals it was a sign of commitment but these days nothing is really sacred anymore. A ring and the government condoning it really doesn't mean anything. Love is love if it is not there it's not there. Can't really force someone to love you.

                              Sounds like you are the only one putting in effort.... takes 50/50. Marriage used to be sharing of assets anyway not about love... I doubt the legality change much but our perception of it did. Perception is not reality.