It's been a while since I've posted here.
Hi mc001, and welcome back! I'm sorry it's not under the best circumstances.
I don't blame you for feeling hurt, and being insecure is not always irrational. Your insecurity is a reaction to how she is treating other men, and whether she is in denial or not, her actions have a big effect on how you feel about yourself and your relationship. This is a marriage, where you are supposed to trust one another and be faithful to one another. You're not supposed to live separate lives and be completely unaffected by one another. So, I do want to validate your feelings first and foremost because I do not think you are being at all unreasonable.
I also hope you understand that these men who laugh at you are reacting out of their own insecurity, and therefore, attempting to undermine you and hurt your ego. It's a game, don't play their game. These men are not a part of your marriage; at the very most they are senseless idiots who have been duped into thinking that your wife is attracted to them.
Your wife may not be a stupid person in general, but everyone has facets of life in which they act ignorantly. Your wife is ignorant of the effect she has on other people.
I think that without counseling, a mediator to help you both understand what you need from one another and how you affect one another, this marriage will continue to spiral downward. You obviously need a third party to help make your requests known in a language that makes sense to her. If you broach the idea of talking to a marriage counselor, you might be successful if you say something like "I want to help understand what you need from me and I want to communicate better with one another because things feel out of control lately", rather than making it a request to get what you want (love and affection and the desire to get rid of these other men who think they are in competition with you). Anything you can do to get her in the door with you will be worth it.
Thanks for your response.
>>It could be anything: farting under the bed sheets. If I say "That bothers me." and you say "So?" we have a problem. My problem is the lack of respect that my wife shows me. I didn't take vows with those guys. I EXPECT strangers to not care about my feelings. My vows are with my wife, not them.......My lack of understanding is "How do you profess to love someone, and their feelings, words are unimportant to you?"<<
If my husband expresses that something I do bothers him, I will listen to him and change my ways IF I agree with him.
Sorry I didn't give you any insight... I agree with true.blue though. And this isn't a "woman's perspective" thing, it's a matter of doing things or not based on what we, as individual human beings, feel is right or wrong. If your wife doesn't really believe what she's doing is wrong, then even if you did get her to respect you more, she would be doing so very grudgingly and she would grow very resentful of you.
If you're seeing to understand then I would hope even more that you are willing to talk to a professional so that you can both hear what one another has to say without immediately running it through a "right vs wrong" filter. I don't think your requests are unreasonable, and I never said that other men were the problem. Your wife is the problem. She wants to do what she thinks is fun, even if it hurts you, because she sees it as an issue of "this is who I am, get over it". I could tell you how *I* would deal with the situation, but a) It wouldn't be helpful because I wouldn't treat you the way your wife is treating you, and b) it wouldn't be helpful because I'm not your wife. There usually are correlations between who we choose as a partner, and emulating our parents' relarionship. But this information doesn't really help you to do anything, because you're not a psychologist and you don't have psychological authority to make changes in her life, and because it doesn't really matter what her relationship with her father was like. She can't change that relationship, she can only change her relationship with you.
Her definition of "love" isn't the same as yours, and she may have loving feelings for you but she doesn't have a lot of respect for you. Or, she is feeling as though she needs to rebel against her relationship with you and act like a teenager because something has been making her feel stifled. Has she always been flirty with other men? Or is it just the past five years that she has been "acting out" in this way?
Of course I was being silly when I said fart in the bed, of course we all fart.
Actually I am a psych major; 4th year, just enough to make me dangerous!
MC, I agree that your wife's flirtatious behaviour is out of line.
Have you told her flat out that her disregard for your feelings/opinions is affecting your opinion of the marriage, in a negative way.
You can say "I understand and accept that we may not always agree"
thinking further on our differing approaches (you'd change to keep a partner happy - whereas I want to be loved for who I am), it all goes back to those languages of love.
You give love by being
Parts of your story just don't sit right here.