Naturally

Virgin Therapists: What would you do?

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Theoretical situation:

Jane and Adam are married. Jane works in advertising and landed a major project. Jane works on the project emphatically which sees her arriving home at midnight and leaving for work at 6am for two months straight. Adam works too although barely gets to see Jane in the evenings and on the weekends and when he does she’s always stressed and frustrated about her project. Adam and Jane haven’t had sex in the last two months and he feels disconnected from her both physically and emotionally while Jane has been too stressed with work to notice. Adam discussed this several times with Jane over the last two months although the discussions often ended in an argument about how Adam doesn’t support her in her job and how he doesn’t understand how important it is to her.

Jane is to present her project at a large event which includes dinner and mingling with all members of the company including the executives and clients. Three days before this ostentatious event Jane and Adam fell into another argument about the lack of intimacy in their relationship. Jane shouts that it’s only temporary and that if he really loved her he would be considerate in this stressful time in her life and understand why she’s been too exhausted to get in the mood. Adam shouts back that she’s never in the mood, and that he’s consistently helped out at home while she’s been working and that if she really loved him she would make an effort.

Adam slept on the couch that night and for the next three days both Jane and Adam have been stubbornly ignoring each other. The morning of her event Jane and Adam still weren’t speaking. Jane really wanted Adam to come to her event as they planned weeks ago but she wasn’t sure if he was still going to go, following their argument. Jane really wanted Adam to come so he could see the result of all her work over the last two months. Partners were also invited to the event and it was important to Jane to have Adam by her side.

Swallowing her pride, Jane mustered up the courage to ask Adam whether he would come tonight. She sheepishly walked into the bedroom where he was getting dressed for work. She stood quietly for a moment until Adam noticed her. Tying his tie in the mirror he saw Jane in the background and after 3 days of ignoring his presence he wondered what inspired this bold move.

Jane waited until Adam turned around when she asked dryly “are you still coming tonight?”

 

 

Your move, fellas. If you were Adam, what would be your response and what would you do?

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I wouldn't have married a woman like that in the first place. That's one of the major reasons "career women" have a hard time finding husbands.

EDIT---

I would also like to think that I would be able to screen women like that out... But as I said before, it's all such a big risk, and I am placing a big burden on my judgement...

 

But to answer the question: I'd go to the event with her... I'd probably act like Lester Burnham did in the similar scene from "American Beauty".

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3 hours ago, Dave1985 said:

But to answer the question: I'd go to the event with her... I'd probably act like Lester Burnham did in the similar scene from "American Beauty".

LOL!

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Interesting scenario. I've often thought about situations like this before and frankly, it's part of the reason I'm so scared to finish school (University). I eventually want to become a doctor which means long hours and I would basically be on call all the time. I often wonder how my wife would feel with me coming and going all hours of the day and being at work for extended periods of time. I guess in a sense I view this more from Jane's perspective than I do from Adam's, but being single and being a male I can empathize with Adam's situation a little more because that is also a fear of mine about marriage.

Jane's View: I think if I were a good husband I would attend the event with her. For appearance purposes I would show my support for all her hard work. I know being married to her that her job is demanding and that she has dedicated so much time into this project. I think the big question for me would be how long have we been married to where I would feel comfortable going without sex for so long? If it's been more than 5 years I could totally understand, but if it's been less than a year than I think we would have an issue. I know being a future doctor that I will run into many of the same problems that this couple is experiencing so I will be a lot more understanding. I would also reassure my spouse that there is no cheating going on, which in this scenario I'm sure the husband would have thought at least once or twice.

Adam's View: Now looking at it from Adam's view, I would view it as being neglected. Sex is just one form of love and he is showing all the right signs of a good husband. He is supportive, active around the house, and even points out the issue in a calm manner to his wife (except the yelling). If I were in his shoes I would really want my wife to take a good hard look at the past two months and see just how much her work has affected our marriage (lack of intimacy, arguments, sex, etc.). I don't feel that any job is worth losing a marriage over. And honestly, I would probably sleep on the couch until my wife had fully understood how I felt neglected this whole time and was willing to take some time off of work to reestablish ourselves in one another.

Not sure if that was the kind of answer you were looking for, but I tried to answer it how I would react from both scenarios.

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Of course without a doubt I would attend the event with her. Two big reasons come to mind for why. Being married they're should be supporting everything the other is doing. Her working on this for so long outlasts the three day arguement. Also if he expects her to want to be with him in that way in the future then he should do what she wants because relationships are a two way street. If you want something nice by your partner done for you, you also need to do something nice. 

Also I agree with Dave and probably would not marry someone like this in the first place. I would not want my future children to not have their parents around to care for them and help them out all the time. I would want my future wife to be a stay at home mom and i am going to become a teacher so I would have the same hours at work as my kids would at school. I have heard being a stay at home mom is harder than it seems also so i'd for sure be able to help out when i get home. This also falls into what I mean by a two way street. You do nice things, you get them to be happier with you, so they'll want to do more for you too.

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I am not a man. Sorry. But this topic got me thinking and I hope it is okay when I can still share my thoughts on this.

I was a bit confused why people say they wouldn´t like a spouse „like that“. Stressful times can strike anytime and anyone, even outside of work. Or am I getting something way wrong?

So I´ve written my answer thinking that it is only a temporary stressful period (like it was said in the theoretical situation). Not something that is the common standard in the relationship. If I got this wrong, I apologize. But I still would like to share my thoughts, so I haven´t wasted the time in writing all of this. Again, I have written all of this with the premise that the stressful time is only temporary, maybe a couple of months. So here it goes:

I think, it is important to talk with your spouse in advance when you can see such stressful time periods coming up or if you are right at the beginning of one.

So both can prepare for it and see what they can do to not fully neglect the relationship in that time . Will there be neglect? Yeah, of course there will be such periods where the spouses can´t invest that much time in the relationship like they would want to. Life can be messy and overwhelming. Spouses will disappoint eachother and there will be hard times.

I think, the key is to still be a team in this and working together and not against each other.

So in this case, Adam could support Jane by doing things, she might have normally done or done more, but now can´t find the time to do it.

Or be a good listener and there for her when she needs to vent about an awful day or a thing in her project that is difficult right now. Or if there is opportunity to actually participate on an event like in that theoretical situation, just go to it and show that you are actually interested in your spouses work.

So in Adam´s case I would ask myself: What can I do to lower her stress level? What can I do  that can help her to be not so stressed out at home with me? I can´t prevent the stress at her work, but having stress and arguments at home, too, only leads to more stress, which in turn backfires right at our relationship and me. That makes things only worse for everybody involved. So where can I help? What can I do? There must be ANYTHING!

I know in the theoretical situation it is mentioned that Adam is consistently helping out at home. I got the impression that it is more in a „oh man…..everything in this house I have to do by myself…it sucks“- kind of-way. And it definitely sucks, if you are doing that for months and don´t get the feeling of appreciation by your spouse.

I know a couple in which the woman had a real stressful time, because she had difficult exams to pass. She was very stressed out, nervous and huffish. So the man tried to at least support her and take control at least of those things he COULD do to make her feel a bit better. For example, cooking dinner, taking more responsibility in the household, doing MORE chores  in and outside of the home in general than usual, etc. He was excited and happy to support her.

The woman did the same, when he had such a stressful time period. So it isn´t a matter of man or woman. Both people can do it.

In Jane´s situation I would try to at least make time for a couple of date nights in my stressful working period. I would ask myself: What can I do to at least show him that I still care about our relationship and I still want to spend quality time with him? I know, I will neglect our relationship to some degree right now and I don´t like it, but I´m looking forward to when the project is finished. In the meantime, I am going to use the little freetime I have and want to at least have a good and relaxed time with my husband.

Also I think, affirmation and appreciation is important for the man. Showing him that he does a great job in helping out and being patient and also showing him that oneself is also looking forward to the time when the source of stress is over.

Sometimes a spouse needs to take a step back, puts the own needs in the back seat for a while and just be there. Be strong for their spouse and be an awesome team mate.

Me personally I like the idea of a little celebration when the project or whatever it was that needed to be done, is finished.

When I was the one, who was so stressed out and neglected the relationship in some aspects for a while, then I would like to really show my man how awesome he was for being my strong shoulder in this hard time. And affirm him what a great great man he is and what an attractive attribute that is in him. Maybe go for a trip, go out somewhere fancy or just preparing a great evening for the both of us. Something to show him: „Thanks honey, you were such a trooper. Now I am all yours again“.

When I was the one, who got neglected a bit (but I knew it in advance, so why complain?) and my spouse finally finished the project, I would like to be happy with him, showing him that I am proud of him, that he is such a hard worker and is finally done with this project and show him how happy I am that now he got more time for our relationship again. I would be relieved, as well.

Also it is important in my opinion that there is never a tone of: „You owe me now!“ Or guilt-tripping their spouse. That would be an unfair move.

Also stay away from those „If you really loved me, then you would [fill in blank space].“ That´s toxic.

I think such phases of stress can actually lead to growth in a relationship. And walking out the principle of :

„If you are in trouble I got your back, if I am in trouble you got my back! You got this, I got that! Go!“

Doesn´t have to be solely in regards to work matters. Can be anything. Stress with children, a sick family member that needs intense attention and care (for example the own parents, so one spouse invests a lot of time in taking care for, let´s say the sick mother and spends many hours a week in her house), helping friends or family members for a certain amount of time that requires not being home that much. Or whatever. There definitely will be times like that in a marriage, so be prepared.

In this particular scenario I would suggest that Jane could at least free up ONE evening a week, at least. Right, stress at work is a drain, the pressure is real and you don´t want to feel guilty leaving work, although there is still so much to be done. I understand that feeling.

But neglecting relationships for MONTHS is not okay, either. It seems like Jane could really use some practice in time- and stress management. Also for her own sanity and health. This situation she is in doesn´t sound healthy, at all. Take a step back, Jane. Only if it´s for one evening a week. She must go crazy in her situation, I imagine. Lack of sleep probably, as well. Awful.

If she gets more clarity for herself, she probably has more power, strength and the concentration needed to give more of her attention to her husband and show him appreciation, at least. But in a such awful situation (arriving at home at midnight, leaving at 6 in the morning, working also on the weekends; so she probably has a sleep of 4 hours when subtracting the time for getting to bed, actually falling asleep, getting ready the next morning?) it is actually no wonder that Jane neglects her husband, the more I think about it. Of course, it is not okay, but she needs to take care of herself, honestly. She doesn´t only neglect her husband, but herself, as well.

I think in Adam´s situation I would also be quite worried for her health and well-being. She must look very exhausted, tired, big dark circles around her eyes and probably looking weak and unhealthy. Nobody can endure that in the long run. Short-term yes. Long-run no (meaning a couple of months).

 Yes, I would be very worried and would communicate to my spouse that I am worried very much and would encourage my spouse to do something relaxing or at least to get more sleep. This wouldn´t be about me feeling neglected anymore though, this would be about a deep worry that my spouse is not taking care of himself for months now and is probably digging his own grave by not paying attention to his body anymore. In Japan they have a word for death by overworking: Karōshi.

It is a real problem and there are even around 40 clinics in Japan that have specialized in this. People simply work too much. Heart attack and stroke are the consequence. Or suicide attempts. Take care of you, people. No work in the world is worth neglecting your health and your relationships to a level where they are falling apart.

Okay, those were my thoughts. Thanks.

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Quote

"Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don't have for something they don't need." - Will Rogers

Sorry if I'm not supposed to respond because I'm a woman, but I'm having trouble getting past your choice of career in this theoretical situation. I don't consider advertising a profession worth pursuing much less potentially losing a marriage over. Perhaps if Jane's work were more beneficial to society than harmful, it would make the scenario more debatable. I like how @WakeUp&BeAwesome responded to it as a generic period of stress which could happen on either side.

Here is my initial response to your hypothetical situation:

I would never choose a career over my husband, much less an ad!

During the presentation, I'd hate for my husband to look at the advertisement and think "this was more important than me." So shallow and short-sighted!

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LOL @Naturally, is this an actual hypothetical question or is it another one of your friend's situations? :P 

 

1 hour ago, redgrapes said:

I would never choose a career over my husband, much less an ad!

During the presentation, I'd hate for my husband to look at the advertisement and think "this was more important than me." So shallow and short-sighted!

This is pretty much my view. My marriage comes first. I married a woman, not a career. Sure there may be some short periods where work may be crazy and prevent me from spending as much time with my wife and kids. But these periods shouldn't be frequent if at all possible. For me, it would never come from a place of ambition, but rather from a place of providing for the family. When things die down, I fully intend to make it up to the family somehow.

It is my preference that my future wife stay home with the kids. But I would be fine if she had her own career provided she was also of the mindset that the marriage comes first. I will not marry a "career first" woman because I'm a "family man" to the core. Therefore depending on our situation, one of us will stay home with the kids.

To answer the question at hand, I would still attend her presentation since it's something that's very important to her. Whatever conflict I may have with her, I would still feel it is my duty to support her for better or for worse. I would definitely handle the situation differently than Adam did. First off, I wouldn't give the silent treatment as I believe that is just immature and juvenile. I would try my best not to yell or be accusatory towards her either. That only makes the other person be even more defensive. Once her presentation is over, I would try to communicate to her in a loving way that this distance between us cannot continue and that we need to work on the marriage.

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On 10/23/2016 at 0:28 PM, WakeUp&BeAwesome said:

I was a bit confused why people say they wouldn´t like a spouse „like that“. Stressful times can strike anytime and anyone, even outside of work. Or am I getting something way wrong?

The reason I say I wouldn't marry a woman "like that" is because a working man marrying a "career woman" is like 2 companies merging. If we are both going to be dedicated to work, who exactly is going to be raising the kids? I'd be fully supportive of my wife having a job, but something like the scenario that was posted is just ridiculous.

I sometimes work overtime at work, but there are many times I turn down the chance. Why? Because there is so much more to life than going to work everyday... I can do something fun, or just relax. What good is the extra money if you are a slave to your job?

The feminist "career woman" is very toxic to a marriage. During her months of overtime, she'd be neglecting her husband and her kids. And, as I said with the "companies merging" idea, it is also putting her into a scheme where she would be rewarded for filing for divorce... Just like a company splitting up. I would never be so obsessed with work to neglect my wife or kids, but sadly, that is the goal that mainstream feminism is pushing women toward. 

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I also don't really have a good reply as I don't see myself marrying into situations like this. Quality time is one of my top love languages and I don't plan on marrying someone with the type of job/career that dictates when I'm allowed to see them. Fields such as doctors, military, business  with lots of travel etc. are the types of fields I'd just stay clear of for potential dating partners. Doctors who are always on call and can be whisked away at any time on a moments notice are not what I want for my future marriage. Someone in the military who is basically owned by the government and can be told to ship off for 6 months or move to the other side of the world at the drop of a hat with no say in the matter isn't the type of situation I want to be married to. Someone whose work life kind of dictates when and if we see each other is something I'd purposefully look for and look to avoid when meeting potential dating partners.

Because of that I wouldn't be in the described situation, nor would I want to be. I want my future wife to enjoy what they do but not have it dictate our lives and also when/if we can ever spend time together.

I'm home in the evenings and I don't work on the weekend. I anticipate marrying someone similar.

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On ‎27‎.‎10‎.‎2016 at 7:25 AM, Dave1985 said:

The reason I say I wouldn't marry a woman "like that" is because a working man marrying a "career woman" is like 2 companies merging. If we are both going to be dedicated to work, who exactly is going to be raising the kids? I'd be fully supportive of my wife having a job, but something like the scenario that was posted is just ridiculous.

I sometimes work overtime at work, but there are many times I turn down the chance. Why? Because there is so much more to life than going to work everyday... I can do something fun, or just relax. What good is the extra money if you are a slave to your job?

The feminist "career woman" is very toxic to a marriage. During her months of overtime, she'd be neglecting her husband and her kids. And, as I said with the "companies merging" idea, it is also putting her into a scheme where she would be rewarded for filing for divorce... Just like a company splitting up. I would never be so obsessed with work to neglect my wife or kids, but sadly, that is the goal that mainstream feminism is pushing women toward. 

I totally understand where you are coming from and also think that there is so much more to life than your work place.

I wouldn´t like a "career first" man, either.

I guess, we approached the theoretical situation that is stated above by "Naturally" just different. I understood it as a temporary stressful time and didn´t restrict stressful time periods solely to work (although in this particular theoretical situation the source of stress is work, I know. But stressful times can have many sources and reasons, not always work, so I expanded my response accordingly).

You, on the other hand seemed to understand it as a permanent condition like others did, as well and soley applied it to work and profession.

Our approach to this was just different.

Hmm...I am not sure what your experience is when you say that the goal of mainstream feminism is pushing women toward an obsession with work to neglect family and kids.

I never felt pushed or pressured toward anything.

I think, the sad thing is still, that women do not have the same chances as men in many areas in life. Above all in some careers. For example, the salary. Often women still get paid less.

I think, if a woman wants to put her career first and doesn´t even want kids, then it is her choice and it certainly would be great if she has the possibility to take the career path she wants to take. It´s okay.

Like you said, the key is just finding someone with a career choice and all its consequences you can see fitting and working out for a future together.

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On 10/27/2016 at 10:48 AM, redgrapes said:

Sorry if I'm not supposed to respond because I'm a woman, but I'm having trouble getting past your choice of career in this theoretical situation. I don't consider advertising a profession worth pursuing much less potentially losing a marriage over. Perhaps if Jane's work were more beneficial to society than harmful, it would make the scenario more debatable. I like how @WakeUp&BeAwesome responded to it as a generic period of stress which could happen on either side.

Here is my initial response to your hypothetical situation:

I would never choose a career over my husband, much less an ad!

During the presentation, I'd hate for my husband to look at the advertisement and think "this was more important than me." So shallow and short-sighted!

But but but...what if it was a public interest ad?! :(

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On 10/27/2016 at 1:19 PM, Invincible said:

LOL @Naturally, is this an actual hypothetical question or is it another one of your friend's situations? :P 

+1! Oddly specific... :lol: Then again she is female and thus a more natural storyteller than us male counterparts :D

 

I'm planning to reply to the OP...eventually...

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1 hour ago, 'tis the Bearded One said:

But but but...what if it was a public interest ad?! :(

That's an oxymoron. :lol: Nah, just kidding. I think I can safely speak for 99%+ of ads here. You always like pointing out minute exceptions, don't you Bearded One? And once again, it doesn't change my answer. ;)

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29 minutes ago, redgrapes said:

That's an oxymoron. :lol: Nah, just kidding. I think I can safely speak for 99%+ of ads here. You always like pointing out minute exceptions, don't you Bearded One? And once again, it doesn't change my answer. ;)

Minute exceptions?! :angry: Expanding horizons! Magnificent contributions! Unparaaaaalleled insight!! :lol::lol:<_<:superwaiter:  Aaaaaand I agree with you about advertisement in general. Horrible stuff...

It's probably my legal mind popping up...lol it can be a terrible thing :rolleyes:

image.jpg

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15 minutes ago, 'tis the Bearded One said:

Minute exceptions?! :angry: Expanding horizons! Magnificent contributions! Unparaaaaalleled insight!! :lol::lol:<_<:superwaiter:  Aaaaaand I agree with you about advertisement in general. Horrible stuff...

It's probably my legal mind popping up...lol it can be a terrible thing :rolleyes:

Hahahhaahhaa! Bearded One, you literally made me laugh out loud! :lol::lol::lol:

Funny, I was going to end my last post with "let me know when you get your law degree ;)" but now I'm curious if you've been educated (Pavlovian style) into being this way or if this is just your natural state. :P 

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I'm going to be short : "Yes."

Well, I couldn't do less... ^^'

I mean, if Adam and Jane are married, it's for the worst and for the best. Until death! :)

Turmoil awaits, but who cares?

 

Maybe I'm too idealistic. ^^'

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On 11/4/2016 at 6:51 PM, redgrapes said:

Funny, I was going to end my last post with "let me know when you get your law degree ;)" but now I'm curious if you've been educated (Pavlovian style) into being this way or if this is just your natural state. :P 

Already have it, though technically waiting for one more mark....I do remember being accused as a kid for "splitting hairs" but then that might just be the last resort of someone losing an argument :lol:! I do believe legal education has affected the way I see and think about things in a far more precise manner. Not in Pavlovian style though, that would be weird... You may see something as minute but in the legal sphere there can be truly massive implications for seemingly minute things and you need to be aware of "somethings" implication on seemingly unrelated issues - little point to "fixing" something in one instance that creates massive contradictions and inconsistencies in another. Using a term in the wrong way can help set a detrimental precedent that is entrenched for 100s of years or into the foreseeable future. I like things to fit in a holistic manner. No doubt my personality plays into that too. Then there's the aspect of something simply being incorrect no matter how much you try and maximise its correctness and minimise any incorrectness. 

I haven't noticed any pattern on my part of "pointing out minute exceptions" so I'm a little curious as to your other examples....

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On 11/9/2016 at 8:19 PM, 'tis the Bearded One said:

Already have it, though technically waiting for one more mark....I do remember being accused as a kid for "splitting hairs" but then that might just be the last resort of someone losing an argument :lol:! I do believe legal education has affected the way I see and think about things in a far more precise manner. Not in Pavlovian style though, that would be weird... You may see something as minute but in the legal sphere there can be truly massive implications for seemingly minute things and you need to be aware of "somethings" implication on seemingly unrelated issues - little point to "fixing" something in one instance that creates massive contradictions and inconsistencies in another. Using a term in the wrong way can help set a detrimental precedent that is entrenched for 100s of years or into the foreseeable future. I like things to fit in a holistic manner. No doubt my personality plays into that too. Then there's the aspect of something simply being incorrect no matter how much you try and maximise its correctness and minimise any incorrectness. 

I haven't noticed any pattern on my part of "pointing out minute exceptions" so I'm a little curious as to your other examples....

Congrats on your law degree, Bearded One! :DB)

I can see how important it is to be detail oriented in your profession. Though in an online forum I think there should be some liberty in an informal discussion allowing people to neglect minute exceptions for the sake of saving time and energy. It would be a lot of work if every thread was treated like a court case. It's nice to have your corrections all the same. ^_^ 

Haha, I'm sure I could find some more examples but I was just referring to the VDA thread I was a part of that you commented in addressing presumptions.

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One thing I don't get. If she does good on the project isn't it also better for him as well?

why would he be upset?

i would never have been upset at the lack of intimacy in the first place

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I personally wouldn't mind a career woman and I also consider what it would be like if roles were reversed. The project was only temporary and other situations may arise where a spouse has to go away or is sick for a period. It sounds like he was being too needy and didn't look at the big picture and I think he would later regret acting out and not going to the event. I would definitely go, seeing as how important it is to my spouse.

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The fact that this is (currently) temporary is not ameliorating. 2 months is a long time and if she does great on this project she might be promoted/given more similar work demanding similar hours. The problem is that it does not seem that she discussed this change in her available time for the relationship beforehand. It seems to simply have been thrust upon him with little consideration of his plight or input beforehand (arguably she may not have known the future timedrain) or during.

On 10/23/2016 at 2:44 AM, Naturally said:

Adam shouts back that she’s never in the mood, that he’s consistently helped out at home while she’s been working and that if she really loved him she would make an effort!


I see hints of a transactional relationship arising here (?). This ties in a bit about the whole withholding sex thing. To what extent can we expect a return on our services/investment? He has helped around the house etc fulfilling his side of the deal; in not reciprocating sexually she is not upholding hers (so he says). This creates problems. If sex is only available because XYZ was done then if XYZ has been done but no sex.... Certainly to some degree, loving someone when you aren't feeling loved can be difficult and how long would any of us last fulfilling acts of love for someone who is not reciprocating in the way we need to feel loved? 

Before I become Adam I'll turn to Jane. It seems she has done a pretty crap job. They have been ignoring each other for 3 days. I'm guessing she hasn't been working because because otherwise she wouldn't have days to ignore him. She has been neglecting him for 2 months and now she can't move past herself and not ignore Adam? Come on. She can swallow her pride to confirm whether or not Adam is coming to the event but she can't do it to restore the relationship directly?  Come. On. This risks communicating that she values his attendance at the event more than quickly restoring the relationship; only now that she has something to lose (him not coming) is she choosing to try and break the ice. Not good if its not her intention. Pro-tip 1 (hehehe oh the irony): even if they aren't talking simply because Adam refuses to engage she can still interact indirectly e.g. lay out his work clothes. Instead of waiting for him to notice her she could have offered to tie his tie or better yet "Please let me tie your tie" and go for it. This would ensure she has his attention more because he can't do anything while she's tying it, they are in intimate proximity making it easier to make eye contact and positive touch. Pro-tip 2: 'asks dryly "are you still coming tonight?"' Aren't women supposed to be the better communicators? This is the point to at least acknowledge the relational problems (if she can't accept at least partial responsibility at this point it would be best to ignore the cause or blame of the problems), how much the project means to her, how much it would mean to her for him to attend this event with her - how much she has been looking forward to it/what she would feel if he decided not to come, recall that he had agreed to attend but that she would understand that he may not want to considering the recent strife but that she would greatly value his presence nonetheless, that regardless of the reasons for 2 months of strife she realises that in the future such project commitments must be thoroughly vetted together so they can prepare/have appropriate expectations etc etc. Of course she needs to be concise because the man is getting ready for work! haha

Adam. If I've been deprived and neglected for 2 months in what seems to be every facet of an intimate relationship (not just sexual), hardly any positive interactions with my spouse, had heaps of dragging unresolved conflicts, and been (mutually) ignoring Jane for 3 days...Things are bad. I would like to say that I would say yes and attend the event with her but.... considering my introversion, the neglect, and that I would not be feeling kindly to socialising with my spouse's work mates I probably hardly know...also if I've picked up on the timing issue of her pride swallowing and think she is prioritizing the event over restoring the relationship...then there is the issue that our conflict is so dysfunctional we've been ignoring each other for 3 days yet at the event there would be the expectation to put on a show or at least be civil (oh the hypocrisy of the public image management) so what we couldn't do for eachother we can do for strangers....there might be the temptation to use not going to the event to practical demonstrate the rift that has developed (but it might make it worse depending on the stubbornness involved) and going may also be a catalyst to overcoming the rift...then again, I did say I was going and I find it quite sad picturing Jane (in whatever sad state she would be in considering the last 2 months) going alone to what should be a happy celebratory time and hopefully realising further the damage and dysfunction the relationship has come to, it would be like rubbing salt in a wound...difficult to say that if I was in such a dysfunctional relationship to begin with that we would nonetheless have learnt to support each other in such a way despite the dysfunction or to love painfully and sacrificially. 

I probably overthunk it but it was an entertaining thought experiment. :blush:

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After much thought and considering everyone else's views, I have decided to re-answer this question. I apologize ahead of time for those of you who may not be religious in any way, I by no means mean to 'preach' to you. These are just my thoughts. I also have not read all of the other comments so I apologize if I am simply repeating someone else's words and thoughts. 

The first thing they comes to mind is 1Corinthians 13:4-8 "Love is long suffering and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself; is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek it's own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in jniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails."

From the situation it sounds like both people are at fault, but if I were in that situation I would be more supportive of my wife in her work. I understand that marriage is not easy and there are times where both of us will be caught up in the monotony of married life, but above all else love should be bestowed as a gift - freely, willingly, and without expectation. I'm sure that my wife would be VERY appreciative if I were to do all the house duties like make dinner, clean the house, bathe the children and set them to bed, etc. so she wouldn't have to worry about those things getting home so late. Two months is a very long time to go without sex or intimacy, but placing it in comparison to how long of a marriage I want to have it seems rather trivial. 

I understand how important this is to her and prior to marriage, we would have discussed situations like this popping up based on both of the professions that we want to pursue. I myself want to be a doctor and they don't have the best hours available for marriage or child rearing. There will be moments where her and I will have to sacrifice our careers for one another and for our children, and I would hope that she would agree to that. That being said, as her husband it is my DUTY to support her in all endeavors and responsibilities. It is also my DUTY to love her in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, till death do us part.  

I would absolutely attend her event with her not just for appearances, but also because as a loving husband I would want to show my support for all the hard work that she has put into her project. I know how stressful and difficult it was for her to put so much time into her project, and I can only imagine how hard it was for her to be away from me and our children for so long. It's never easy for a parent to put aside someone like that. Ask any mother how difficult ito is being away from her child for just one day and she will tell you. 

My sleeping on the couch and us ignoring one another is just pride getting in the way of us being loving, and supportive spouses. This could have been a project that was passed to her last minute without her even knowing and she jumped at the chance to show her bosses what she can really do. How could I ever be unsupportive of her in that situation? The Bible also tells us that we should never go to bed still angry at our spouse, something neither of us seem to be doing well. As human beings, we have a habit of holding grudges towards one another and that is something that should never be experienced when dealing with a spouse. It solves no issues and only creates more problems. 

None of this is by any means only Adam's fault. There are numerous ways that Jane could have been more communicative in her appreciation of all the Adam has done so far. I think we all seem to forget at times the power that a simple 'thank you' can have on a person. Before bed every night she can wake him up to tell him how much she appreciates all the hard work he does and how supportive he is in picking up her 'slack' around the house and with the kids. Ignoring one another is never the solution. She also could have made subtle hints during the 3 days where they ignored one another that she wanted to initiate a conversation. 

Women are supposed to be so much better at communicating things than men are, yet she seems to break down when the stress levels are at their max. Communication and kindness are the two most important things in any successful marriage. Yet those are the two things that seem to be missing from this situation. So like I said earlier, both parties are at fault here. But nothing in this situation is even remotely close to being beyond repair. 

Hope that helped a little. 

Edited by ??????

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On 10/27/2016 at 1:19 PM, Invincible said:

LOL @Naturally, is this an actual hypothetical question or is it another one of your friend's situations? :P 

Very astute as always, my friend :P. In all honesty many of the themes in this scenario were extracted from observations of my friends' relationships.

 

On 1/27/2017 at 7:49 PM, 'tis the Bearded One said:

She has been neglecting him for 2 months and now she can't move past herself and not ignore Adam? Come on. She can swallow her pride to confirm whether or not Adam is coming to the event but she can't do it to restore the relationship directly?  Come. On. This risks communicating that she values his attendance at the event more than quickly restoring the relationship; only now that she has something to lose (him not coming) is she choosing to try and break the ice. Not good if its not her intention.

Pro-tip 1 (hehehe oh the irony): even if they aren't talking simply because Adam refuses to engage she can still interact indirectly e.g. lay out his work clothes. Instead of waiting for him to notice her she could have offered to tie his tie or better yet "Please let me tie your tie" and go for it. This would ensure she has his attention more because he can't do anything while she's tying it, they are in intimate proximity making it easier to make eye contact and positive touch.

Pro-tip 2: 'asks dryly "are you still coming tonight?"' Aren't women supposed to be the better communicators? This is the point to at least acknowledge the relational problems (if she can't accept at least partial responsibility at this point it would be best to ignore the cause or blame of the problems), how much the project means to her, how much it would mean to her for him to attend this event with her - how much she has been looking forward to it/what she would feel if he decided not to come, recall that he had agreed to attend but that she would understand that he may not want to considering the recent strife but that she would greatly value his presence nonetheless, that regardless of the reasons for 2 months of strife she realises that in the future such project commitments must be thoroughly vetted together so they can prepare/have appropriate expectations etc

Great analysis, TBO.

You're right about Jane ignoring Adam. Being aware of the neglect she's been forcing him to endure, she should be more empathetic towards him and validate his feelings rather than getting annoyed and avoiding him. This suggests poor communication and responsiveness on her part.

ALTHOUGH, putting myself in Jane's position, I can kind of understand why she would, in the first instance, ask Adam if he would still come to her event rather than trying to restore the relationship at that moment. Hear me out... Jane knows she's been neglectful, Jane knows she's hurt him, Jane knows he has every right to be angry, and Jane knows she has no right to be asking him to do something for her when she has done little to consider him in the last two months. Her lack of consideration for their relationship over the last 2 months is so blatantly obvious to the both of them that Jane wouldn't have the audacity to try and repair the relationship on the day of her event because it would be patronizing Adam to act all "lovey" suddenly. She will appear false and not genuine in her desire to repair the relationship and only interested because she has an ulterior motive - which is to get him to come to her event.

Wouldn't Adam feel like Jane is being false if she tried to repair their relationship the day of? Wouldn't he be suspicious that she only wants to 'make up' now for appearances sake? (even though it's not for appearances but rather because it would mean a lot to have him there) Therefore, asking Adam straight out if he would still come to her event would be less patronizing and less insulting to his intelligence. She can then work on restoring the relationship tomorrow when Adam knows she has no ulterior motive and would therefore appear that she genuinely wants to repair the situation. What are your thoughts on this?

Also, I adore Pro-tip 1. Doing these things even when you're not on speaking terms are a subtle way of showing your spouse you still care despite the current turbulence in the relationship. Although I doubt I'd have the confidence to say to my husband something like "Please let me tie your tie" when I know he's angry with me. Perhaps it's the fear of rejection...

 

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On 2/3/2017 at 6:45 PM, Jorge said:

None of this is by any means only Adam's fault. There are numerous ways that Jane could have been more communicative in her appreciation of all the Adam has done so far. I think we all seem to forget at times the power that a simple 'thank you' can have on a person. Before bed every night she can wake him up to tell him how much she appreciates all the hard work he does and how supportive he is in picking up her 'slack' around the house and with the kids. Ignoring one another is never the solution. She also could have made subtle hints during the 3 days where they ignored one another that she wanted to initiate a conversation. 

Women are supposed to be so much better at communicating things than men are, yet she seems to break down when the stress levels are at their max. Communication and kindness are the two most important things in any successful marriage. Yet those are the two things that seem to be missing from this situation. So like I said earlier, both parties are at fault here. But nothing in this situation is even remotely close to being beyond repair. 

Hope that helped a little. 

It's been said that resentment is the cancer of a relationship. With everything you've said in your response I think your approach will ensure your relationship will be cancer-free. Despite being unhappy that your wife is working all the time and has little time for you, if you want your marriage to survive you need to be supportive and help out during this critical period or it will breed resentment in her. This busy time in her life will pass, resentment may not. 

You're correct about the breakdown in communication here. She may be super busy, but as you've intimated, how much time does it take to say "thank you for supporting me, you're a wonderful husband" or "I love you for all you're doing, I'm so lucky to have you" or "You're my motivation to get this done as quickly as possible, I miss you like crazy!" - Like two seconds! Say it as you're running out the door, scribble it on a note and stick it on the bathroom mirror, text it from your phone when you're at the office - however! just make sure your spouse has the reassurance of your words at times when it's difficult to get the reassurance from your actions.

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