How do I make my woman feel happy, secure and needed AND get my needs met ?

This is a book, sorry, and no marriage counselor can help, we tried.

We've been together for 10 years now. We met after I had a medical emergency which left me medically retired. And it now looks like it may be over between us. But this is my last ditch effort to establish some sort of 2 way communication between the two if us. Due to the nature of my injury, I had 2 law suits filed which continued for multiple years. I lost everything during this period. I had sustained myself for over 2 years with no income what-so-ever from anyone, not even family as no family member was capable of helping and finally when I lost my home, I moved into her home at her invitation and request in another state. In the end, I got screwed legally. I did however receive a small settlement after a couple of years of us living together in the amount of $150K which the judge made clear: take that or take nothing.

That is the/our background on how we came together. We have been living as man and wife by mutual agreement since day one. Now I am going to fast forward to today. First off, she IS a wonderful person. She is sweet, pleasant, quiet and giving. If I was asked one question to save my very life and the question was : can I trust her, the answer would be YES, I can trust this person. She CAN be funny, she CAN be considerate, she CAN be depended on by others. She's just not a bad person. I care deeply for her and the hole that will be left if we split will be unfillable.

Now comes the flip side of the coin. There is no 2-way communication what-so-ever. She does not talk. She does not share. She does not express any body language at all. Its a blank look when I talk, there has never been any feed back, its a black-hole nothing ever comes back to me in the way of dialogue. This has made it very difficult to resolve our differences. She listens but NEVER hears the words, and NEVER offers solutions nor does she give feedback. She just goes to bed, wakes the next morning acting as if nothing was wrong: yesterday is a bad memory, don't dwell on it, don't look back. I have actually asked her about this, the response I got was this: “yes, that is correct, I do not think about yesterday today, because that is the past, today is a new day”, but I am left with the problem or fight from yesterday that NEVER got resolved. She says I talk too much, but not one single fight has ever been resolved in our 10 years together. Not one. She just does not talk. It was me, my efforts to get us into see a marriage counselor, she refused to go. I had asked her no fewer than 2 dozen times to get us into see someone. She has ignored my requests, all of them. And yet, all the fights are my fault. In her mind, I won't allow her to express herself. (She's a good woman, I'm not trying to paint a bad picture of her)

One month ago, I was talking to her mother whom I love dearly, She confirmed what I was told the previous day.......”Our family does not confront, we do not talk about our problems, we put them on the back burner and they get resolved thru the magic of time, what-will-be-will-be. If you talk, you might make things worse by saying something you shouldn't have”. Call me dense, call me stupid, call me slow, but that was earth shattering news to me, I had NEVER heard that approach before, how can problems be resolved when talking about them is not allowed ? . And now after 10 years I am hearing this for the first time. Needless to say, I have reached a level of frustration and yes, anger that nothing ever gets resolved. Its an unrelenting pressure that NEVER gets released, NEVER gets resolved, and now I am learning that the one tool used to settling differences, disputes, differences of opinion is no tool at all for her........its an instrument of evil.

It gets worse: Also one month ago, I found out that my wife, my woman, my significant other had NEVER been in any other relationship EVER prior to meeting me. Sure, she had dated, she had had sex also, but she was 36 when we met, I was 44. She had never lived with another man, she had only female collage roommates. She knew nothing about merging two lives into one couple, I however had been married twice prior. I had been determined that I was not going to fail again at marriage. This world shattering revelation after 10 years of playing house together hit me like this: the waters parted, the lord said let there be light, and I finally understood that I had been fighting ghosts for 10 years and I was never going solve our problems. This was literally the same kind of relationship we had as if I was a 50 year old man getting involved with a 20 year old girl. We were on different playing fields. This was exactly the same as if it really was an old man hooking up with a tart young thing. There were no shared life experiences, there were no common expectations, there were no common relationship failures motivating and pushing forward to succeed this time, to be less stubborn, to be more forgiving, to be more tolerant.

(She's a good woman, I'm not trying to paint a bad picture of her)

I had spent every day of our relationship together trying to improve the quality of her life. To make her life better, to take stress off her shoulders, to make it easier for her to be the bread winner. I did not wait till she would ask, I would try to do things before they were ever asked. She owns a 75 year old house that I did a complete remodel of. There was no dishwasher, So I remodeled the kitchen just to install a dishwasher because I was not about to wash dishes by hand and I'm the kind of guy that has no issues cleaning up after dinner since she made dinner- but I'm not washing dishes by hand when they sent men to the moon over 40 years ago. That was a costly dishwasher, it came out of my settlement, not out of her checking account, though she did have to chip in in the end to help complete the job. As I stated, she is our bread winner, and she is a road warrior, making good money, but when she started complaining that her 15 year old car was wearing her out in her driving duties, I went out and bought her a car – CASH out of my settlement. I was trying to improve the quality of her life while working, to make life easier for her, and I didn't want the new financial burden of a car payment resting on her shoulders either. When we met, she was a teacher, we had the same profession – we were computer professionals. She got tired of her profession, and wanted to quit, find something new.....she couldn't wait till she had a new job to quit, she needed to quit without a new job, so I relented and funded the unemployment for the next two months till she landed the job she currently has. I have built two patio decks on the house, I built a 9 foot privacy fence around the property when there was no fence at all. I built an office for her to work out of in the back yard that has A/C, phone, doorbell, Internet, cable and a wall to wall desk because she needs lots of work space. When she comes home, the house is always clean, because I just don't make messes, even tho I am a messy person. I have tried to be considerate every single day I have lived under her roof.

(She's a good woman, I'm not trying to paint a bad picture of her)

So here we are, whats the rub ? The rub is simple. She has posted a question, how do I make my man happy ? I have asked her over and over to start treating me like she trusts me. I have asked her why she has NEVER done one thing to improve the quality of MY life. When I ask her if she thinks she has improved the quality of my, I ask her to give an example of how or where she did. I never get a response beyond black-hole silence or “I don't know”. In HER question, she implies she supports me financially. She does not, I have a source of income. I have tried for ten years to get our bills down so that in the event of her losing work, my disability income would float our boat as long as was needed. She fights me on this. She stated : “I make sure the bills are paid on time.” that because she refuses to leave me in-charge of doing this chore. She says she cook 3 or 4 times a week, she does not. She says she shops for cloths for me to wear, I only need socks and underwear, my cloths are still in great shape I need very little in the way of cloths, but I allow/encourage her to do this so that I am wearing what she wants to see me in, its not an issue for me, I don't and never did need her to buy cloths for me. She says I work when I can, but she has never ever had to pay for car repairs anywhere due to my work. She walks in and the owned of the car repair shop stops what he is doing and grabs several of his employees to jump on her car repair needs ON THE SPOT !!!! and no bill is ever given to her for the services rendered, she does not even have to wait her turn. She is treated like a queen. I paid off several of her credit cards to further reduce the financial strain she is operating under, credit cards that existed long before I arrived on the scene. She states in her question that I do help with the household chores......yet 5 years ago when she was complaining that I didn't do enough....we sat down made a list, each of us of what we do....then we gave the items importance factors, then we made a list of what the other does around the house and placed importance values on them also.....turns out that our lists actually matched !!!! (I told you she is honest) and it also turned out that I was doing 65% of all household chores.....with no complaints to her at all. I have transformed her house into a home, a home where everyone who enters gushes with praise on how nice it looks. People stop in the street when driving by to praise the home and yard, they even knock on the door to delivery that message.

Her posted question : “How do I make my man feel happy, secure and needed? What do you do that works?”

She treats me like a person, not a man. The Chinese call it the ying and the yang. There are two yang's here, I don't experience a woman here, I experience a person. She treats me like a person, there are no male/female genders here. And she states she trusts me, but then I found an email she sent to a friend of mine where she was asking him for help to do and end-run around me on the next project I was about to start to complete the final task to complete the house make over. I would point out that all that changes I have completed have resulted in a tripling of the value of a house that is still in her name only, and every job was flawlessly perfect.

She's a good woman, I'm not trying to paint a bad picture of her. But nothing I do matters, she does not trust me, or share ANYTHING with me. She refuses to turn over to me financial responsibility even though I am better at it than she is. I really dread having that chore added to my task list, I really really do place high value on her handling finances, but its taking too long to achieve goals. I have now made more deposits in her retirement account than she has, and I have more sweat equity in this house than she does.

We are on the verge of breaking up, I have life experiences that could lead us out of this mess. But they mean nothing to her. No marriage counselor can help, she does not talk, and all she wants and all that matters to her is that I conduct myself as if I was Ward Cleaver, and she was June Clever and pick wild flowers for her and hold her hand, that is all that matters. What I need and want is just not important. I want to be trusted, I want to be appreciated, I want to feel needed, not second guessed as if I was a child on everything I do. I have spent my entire settlement on her and her house and her family, I bought one lousy xbox for myself out of my settlement. I spent more on her family for computers than I spent on myself, I just do not ask for much at all. Read her question, it says nothing about me supporting her in everything she does. How do you make peace with someone who does not see value in the gestures I make ? She says she supports me.....but she still to this day has to call me and ask me what size I wear on any garment I might need that she is trying to buy for me because she thinks I need a new shirt. I buy cloths for her and never ask her her size. The picture she tried to paint with her question is that she does everything. Her question is directly below this post. The picture she paints is vastly different than what I paint.

Opps, almost forgot, I paid for her to go on several vacations, one was a cruise ship vacation in the Caribbean even with her fellow co-workers. I have tried relentlessly to improve the quality of her life. She has never shown that she appreciates the things I do around the house, she always finds something critical to say about the latest task I have completed, she finds the flaw, she focuses on the blemish not on the new kitchen she has. I can not do anything good enough for her. She will always point out the flaw - but she says I'm the one who is critical of her. But then she says that recipes are general guidelines, not instructions to be followed and when it does not turn out right, or taste right, its because something was wrong with the recipe - that she did not follow(after all, they're just guidelines, right ?) I do not know how to deal with this outlook.
By HeyMeToo 7 years ago :: Marriage
  • Robert Betancourt
    MA, Professional Counseling,Therapist
    Emotional Healing-25+ years experience in helping people find solutions that work. "one of the best therapists here" $2.49/minute
       4.93/5
  • Milton Mankoff
    Ph.D.; LMSW
    Misunderstandings can create or escalate conflicts, but genuine incompatibility can also exist within relationships. Non-judgmental. LGHBTQIA-supportive. $2.75/minute
       4.92/5
  • View More Experts
    4