OK.. deep breath taken.. and this is gonna be a rambling post, and maybe doesnt even belong on this board but here goes anyway..
So I'm a 43 year old male.. During this whole journey I've been taking, 10 weeks done, 2 to go, I've been able to do a lot of thinking about my life. Looking back there are many, many things that I've not done... Some of it was I was basically too lazy to do it, or didnt want to put the effort into it. Like getting out of my current job that I've been doing for over 25 years. Should have realized YEARS ago that it was going to be a stagnant position along with the company, but hey, the bills were getting paid, so it's all good right. Of course along the time I really didnt give a crap about what I ate, what I looked like etc etc. Now, dont get me wrong, even though I added the pounds, I always stayed groomed, so I guess I did give somewhat of a crap as to what I looked like, but.. well, I'm sure some of you get it.
I've been married for almost 20 years... Honestly for the vast majority of my marriage I've never really felt the love and affection from my wife. It's hard to explain, nothing bad, but just never really felt that my wife was 'in love with me'..... I was in love with her always... She was self conscious about her looks because she is overweight, but it never mattered to me. But with the changes I've been going thru, and feeling much better about myself, I am starting to realize that I really have fallen out of love with her. I mean, I used to be hurt when I didnt get any affection from her, or I almost had to beg for it... and no, I'm not talking about actual intimate affection, just little things even. We have no kids, recently with the economy her hours have been cut, as have mine (meaning no more overtime).. the bills arent on time, the house needs repairs etc etc.. Now, I understand that everything was in my control, and I blew it. But this last weekend we spent some time with other families watching their kids perform, and I realize how empty my life is, and how sad I am with it, and even though they probably have problems also, you could just see the love, pride and all of that between each other and their children.. I guess all the sudden I'm thinking about ME much more, and wondering if I dont need to make other changes... Now, obviously if anyone has had this happen I'd love to hear from you, and I dont really know what I'm looking for by posting this here, other then it makes me feel better to actually be able to talk to someone about it..
wowza well I am reading your post this morning and thinking you really need to talk to someone!
I think you have to follow your heart. You know what is best for you. Maybe doing the 12 week challenge has awakened you to the real you. The journey you are on is not going to end in a week. Good luck to you and the path that you choose to take.
I'm curious, when you started the challenge, did you talk with your wife and see if she wanted to do it with you? When I decided to do this challenge and make some positive changes in my life I had a long talk with my wife about it and the reasons I wanted to do it. Even though she was not overweight like I was, my wife did the 12 weeks with me. I can honestly say, spending the time together everyday in the gym, actually sitting down with each other to eat instead of eating in from of the tv. Going for extra walks and bike rides and all the other things we do in the challenge really brought us closer together.
You should talk with someone. Life is to short not to figure out what is truly going to make you happy.
Sorry to hear you are in such a tough spot, dburg30. One the one hand, it's tough to turn your back on a 20+ year relationship; on the other hand, it's painful to think about 20 more years in a loveless marriage. My personal belief is that mature love is not something that is fallen in and out of, but rather something that must be nurtured continuously - by both parties - in order to grow. Life is full of circumstances that force our attention away from our mates, and for a while one person can carry the load, but not for an extended period and not forever. So . . . you need to determine how both you and your wife feel about the relationship and whether it can be mended. Would the two of you be amenable to counseling? Do you have a minister you can talk to?
I wish all the best for you and your wife. Take care.
Want it. Plan it. Do it.
Yes, and I think that's what has me at wits end.. She has been supportive, I have to admit that. I talked to her about it and 'she wasnt ready to exercise'.. I know this is something each person has to decide to do on their own. Well, she still hasnt decided to exercise. She's mentioned it, I've been supportive telling her she should just start, even if she doesnt hit it like some of us, something is better then nothing.... but it's still nothing at this point...
dburg, that's a tough situation and I'm sure only adds to your problems. I've seen it here many times when a person starts making positive changes and their spouse or other family members/friends feel threatened by the change. I wish I had better advice for you other than you should look into seeing a councilor. Either on your own or hopefully with your wife.
One thing I will say though, is do not let this derail you. You, like all of us, have made mistakes in our lives. It's great this challenge has enabled you to reflect on that. Now it's time to grab control again. Life is just to short to always live in regret. It's bad enough at our age, but I can only imagine how much worse it will be if we are looking back in another 20 years.
You all are great.. Thanks for the support.. I for sure have to figure it out.. And you are right Bill, if it's fixable, no problem (well with the exception of a few things that really arent going to happen as I get into my 40's). But already I'm starting to have regrets about the first 20 years... Always thinking things would change, it was just a phase or section of our relationship.. but sometimes you have to admit you were wrong.. wishing doesnt work in the real world normally..
I have to admit I'm pretty much an emotional wreck after the recent feeling / revelations I've been having..
dburg30, yeah your in a tough spot righ now for sure. In your original post you mention that you have to work hard, even beg for affection. I think what you are feeling right now is a sense of pride and self worth, and it's causing some resentment. The pride and self worth are terrific and you deserve to feel that way. The resentment, however, can lead to justifications, and justifications are extremely dangerous for a marriage.
I've always felt that when a person forces you to work for their affection it's because of their own self worth and image problems. You putting in effort to make her feel loved, well, makes her feel loved. It may be how she was raised and her adult life is now projecting that. 20 years is a long time, and for the last 20 years you've agreed to the arrangement. You may have gotten angry, sad or depressed but you stuck with it and kept trying. You played a part in the arrangement, and now you want to suddenly change it.
I say this only to put it into perspective for you. If you feel this way, and have talked to her about it and nothing changes you are going to have to go to counseling. Just remember, that for the last 20 years she hasn't had to put forth any effort to show you how she felt since you were doing it all, it's going to be a long road to undo a lot of these things and most of it likely doesn't even have anything to do with you. I wish you luck and hope for the best.
((HUGS)) to you. I feel your frustration in your writing. But I totally agree with Bill. You are having your inner transformation rigth now. And that is wonderful. You are re-evaluating everything in your life because you have more confidence in yourself. But you mentioned that you did always love your wife. In my humble opinion, if you do love her in any way, you should seek counseling together. Hopefully you can help her to do the program and have confidence in herself and that may just be the break you need for each of you to begin feeling (and showing) affection again. Or you may both decide in the end that you should split. But either way, you would have helped the person you once loved to have a better life. And isn't that what love is all about??? Sending prayers your way to help you through this difficult time.
I think the biggest thing is, I'm almost looking at this as junk food. If you have it around, you wont go looking for that healthy food. That and I think I'm just to the point where I personally dont know if I care what happens. I'm almost to the point of just making mass changes and saying the hell with it. Now, hopefully I'll digest some of this and wont go with that route, but that's a decision I'll have to make.
And as far as derailing me, dont see that happening, I had one of my best cardio workouts this AM!
WOW...this has turned into a "counseling session", and it's great to hear everyone's different opinion and advice......great support group! :-)
I am also doing this challenge alone, but my husband tells me ALL the time how great I look, how well I'm doing, etc. but I am SO guilty about not giving that in return. I am horrible about not complimenting him, telling him I love him 1st, showing him affection, etc., but it is SO hard to do when you're not used to doing it. (I've NEVER been the affectionate one!) But as we get older we figure out life is TOO short. We have a dear friend (my husbands best friend) who dropped dead (literally), 2 weeks ago and that really hit home! You never know when God is calling you home, so you have to live everyday to the fullest!
If you don't love your wife anymore, then you have to be honest w/her. You don't need any of us to tell you that. Have you tried counseling? Being open & honest w/her?? Giving it to God???
I understand her not wanting to do the challenge, maybe she's not ready to commit to the 12 weeks yet. Maybe she needs support from someone other than you, or a friend to be accountable to. My husband & I did this challenge together last yr., and I decided to do it again on my own (he really didn't want to do it again), so I'm in my 12th week right now and I get on here for questions & support. You could start by suggesting eating the meal plans together, or asking her to do cardio w/you on your cardio days.
Well, good luck to you....wishing you only the best! Tonya
Live TODAY like there's no TOMORROW!
You all really are great support. I cant express how much your words have helped today. Not saying anything is decided of course, but feels tons better just having some other opinions and ideas, and well, encouragement and a virtual 'shoulder to cry on'.... And by the way.. those shoulders are toning up nicely! lol
dburg30, rest assured you're not the only that has gone through this. This may sound harsh to people, but a couple of months ago my husband told me in so many words that part of the reason he was thinking we should separate was because he was fed up with me not taking care of myself and being okay (or acting like I was okay) with being so overweight. Lots of other little things led to our big argument when I asked him to just tell me--just tell me!--what he felt and was thinking and saw when he looked at me. I had already been self-loathing due to the weight but to hear it from him was like a slap in the face. (Turned out to be a good slap in the face.)
Today we are better that we've ever been...after being THIIISS close to calling it quits. What I realized is that I was being unfair to him (not to mention myself) by not looking good and feeling good. That may sound vane, but I didn't feel pretty, I felt ugly, disgusted, etc, and in turn it got me in a really bad mood and I never wanted to go out, never wanted to be affectionate, never wanted to take pictures, just all around a grumpy person. I mentioned to him that it's not like he really helps me by eating ice cream at night in front of me and he said well why should I care if you don't. I'm over it. Wow!. It was harsh, very harsh, but it had to be said. I realized that I was being selfish...seriously, if I wasn't happy with myself, how can I possibly expect him to be...or expect my feelings not to rub off on him.
So we started fresh, that night we decided that we really loved each other enough to just try working thru this. Because it was worth it. Because when we put everything else aside (stress from work, kids, money, etc...) we smile. And laugh, and just enjoy each other's presence.
So not that I'm recommending it, but it sounds like you too are at a breaking point with your wife's unhealthy lifestyle. Sometimes getting down to the real issue is what it will take. That's what did it to me...shook me right out of that and made me realize I was this close to losing my marriage, my health, my sanity...just because I wasn't strong enough to make changes.
So good luck to you friend. May you wake up and know exactly what you want and need to make you happy.
Dburg30, I don't know you, but I feel really compelled to chime in here, sorry if this is long!
First off - Congrats on making it 10 weeks and the transformation going on inside and outside of you, that is wonderful! It's amazing how BFL opens our eyes to what else can be improved on in our lives once we see the physical transformation that can take place.
You sound very motivated to make changes - sounds like you are very frustrated with both your job situation and your marriage. I would highly recommend making the job changes before looking at ending your 20 year marriage, the 10 hours a day at the job you aren't thrilled with probably spills over into the home life, whether you realize it or not. Sounds like you have a lot of insight into the different forces at work in your life right now.
I do think over the course of many years we can be more or less "in love" with our spouses at different times, and sometimes you have to do more of the "heavy lifting" than at others. You say you have been in love with your wife "always", and the fact that you have been together this long says much. I DEFINITELY think work on the relationship, and if she is agreeable to counseling, run (HIIT style if you must!) to get this started. I would also recommend the book "The 5 Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. I definitely respond best to kind words from my husband, I couldn't care less about expensive gifts........he was raised in an environment where more emphasis was placed on gift-giving; this book has made a huge difference for us. The way one person expresses their love may be completely missed by the other, it's worth considering. You sound like such a great guy, and I really think give a full effort before considering this drastic of a life change after just 10 weeks.
Speaking from a purely female perspective, she may also feel a bit insecure with the changes you have made, even though it doesn't sound like she is quite ready to make them herself. We all know that no one can force us to start this program, we have to be ready inside to make the changes. You did say she has been supportive of your challenge, which I think says a lot.
If I can offer some unsolicited advice, I would say to be very candid with her, tell her this challenge has opened your eyes to the fact that your marriage could be so much more than what it has settled into, and ask her if she would be willing to work on it with you. I would not pester her about starting BFL until she is ready, but simply show here the same love and affection you would your best friend. Tell yourself that for the next 12 weeks you will simply love her, refrain from any pushing to start BFL, and get some marriage counseling going if possible. If she is unwilling to participate in working on the marriage, or if nothing changes over the 12 weeks, then maybe you need to look at another tactic. But at least give your marriage the same 12 weeks consideration you did your physical transformation, and put forth the same effort as well.
Sorry this is long, I just think it is so easy sometimes to think "what if" when married life feels tough (trust me, we've all been there!) but rash decisions usually aren't the best. If you can handle a somewhat sappy movie, the movie "Fireproof" may also be an eye-opener.
Good luck dburg30, I'm saying a prayer for you!
wow confident... thank you... thank you all again. but yours seems to hit pretty close to home... thank you for letting me see there is still hope...
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