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I'm very sorry, but it didn't work out for us. A few weeks later I called him out on his behavior and he admitted he had been "less ambitious" about our relationship for a while. Ouch.

I'm sorry, I feel like this response has become more about me than your problem, but I was just incredibly surprised how similar your husband's behavior and my boyfriend's behavior was, and how similar our own reactions were as well. I too always felt like a "bad child" --I could never tell which of my actions was going to send him into a bad mood, and the more he pulled away the more I craved affection, to no avail. I just didn't GET IT--him, me, what was wrong...anything. I lived in a constant fog of confusion and apprehension.

In my opinion, anyone who tells you--his partner--is a "responsibility" is wielding his honesty as a weapon. Clearly you were vulnerable when you asked him. Similarly, someone who does not give you a straight answer when you tell him you love him....doesn't. I don't get the impression that you are clingy or have low-self esteem. quite the opposite--you seem very reasonable.

I know you have been married for five years--that's not something you just dissolve. But I think this situation needs to be addressed, asap, not waited out. I can't help but be blunt--He's leaving for hours at a time to get away from your HOME. With you in it.

I apologize again--I don't mean to be doomsday-ish, but I think it's really important that you address this. The worst thing in the world is to love someone who doesn't love you back--you try harder and harder, and when you don't get results, you start to feel bad about yourself. All the while, you build up anger towards him for not loving him and yourself for trying to please him. You literally feel like you're sacrificing yourself to his moods. Again, sorry, this is about how I felt. But, maybe it will be helpful to you.

Of course, (I hope) I may be completely wrong. This might be his method of dealing with stress. Maybe there's something going on that you don't even know about--a health concern, anything. I agree with whoever said that men are not natural communicators. One last thing that's worth mentioning--there was an age disparity between my ex and I as well. I'm 23, he's 34. I don't know if that means anything, but there it is.

Good luck. I wish you all the best. Love him, but not at the expense of keeping yourself sane.[/QUOTE]

Wow, you have such amazing insight for a 23 year old! Well, for anyone really. You're so right about the dynamics of a relationship where one person is a lot more invested than the other. The more the distant partner pulls away, the harder we try to please him. It's just a natural reaction. But it hardly ever works. I don't really know what to advise Bobswife, since she's married to this man. It must be hard for her, I can only imagine. The husband has completely shut down emotionally. I don't want to give the wrong advice, but maybe focusing on yourself more would help. Don't give him the attention and ignore his moods for a while. Don't keep asking him what's wrong adn trying to fix the situation. This makes him feel in control. What if you took an exciting class; something that you always wanted to do, and spend LESS time with him? Maybe that would wake him up; maybe he would finally take notice that he can lose his devoted wife? Right now he's the center of your attention and he probably got quite lazy since he knows you're not going anywhere. What do you think? Good luck with it, I hope things work out for you.

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