Doc Love Dating Advice
CAN THE PATTERN OF A RELATIONSHIP EVER BE CHANGED?
Women Don’t Lie - Men Don’t Listen
Success Coach - Doc Love
I’ve been in this relationship with my wife, Meredith, for 18 years now. I met her when I was 13 years old, and she was the same age. Back then she had very high Interest Level in me. All throughout my teenage years our pattern was to break up for a few months, find other relationships, then, when I wanted her back, she would leave her current friend for me.
We’ve now been married for 10 years and have three kids, and after reading your articles on askmen.com, I’ve come to the realization that her Interest Level in me is low (very low). This year she decided she wanted a divorce and took interest in a family friend (my old navy buddy) and they decided they were going to move in together. They were even making wedding plans.
I was heartbroken for about three months. Depressed, I stayed home with the kids on the weekends while Meredith was out doing the town. Finally I decided to take my wedding band off, and when I did, women came at me from everywhere. I started dating too and leaving Meredith with the kids on weekends.
Women were sending me cards, watches, and other gifts. When this happened, Meredith’s Interest Level in me began to rise again. I slept in the guest bedroom, and one morning I caught her sneaking around in there reading the cards and going through my pockets checking for women’s telephone numbers. When she realized I was awake, she threw a fit. She said I had the smell of other women on me, castigated me for being out late, and accused me of being loose. Her Interest Level was high again. We made up and I took her back.
Now, with predictability and the passage of a little time, her Interest Level is low again. I can’t say anything without her getting offended. Every now and then I do something special for her, and she doesn’t appreciate it at all. It seems like she actually hates me. Do I have to cheat again to raise her Interest Level? Should I send myself some flowers to spark her Interest Level? I refuse to let her see my concern, and act as though I’m not even bothered by her loss of interest. What do I do? It seems that we can’t escape the pattern we established when we first met as kids.
Lee - who wants to break the vicious cycle
Here’s your problem in a nutshell. You and Meredith started out on the wrong foot. It’s not as if you two were on the same page from day one, that you never had any problems until now, that you never had to break up, and so forth. The deadly pattern you find yourself mired in right now kicked in when you were 13 years old. So guy, you have to ask yourself this question: WHY?
All this agonizing back-and-forth stuff that you put yourself through is simply an extension of what happened between you and Meredith at the very beginning. If that weren’t the case, we’d have a different diagnosis for your problem. But like a dog chasing after its own tail, you two are lost in a nasty cycle of breaking up and getting back together. What it tells me is that you probably really didn’t dig Meredith that much in the first place. At any rate, this has been a longstanding pattern. And the pattern says that you guys were never meant for each other despite the fact that you had three kids.
But let’s give you the benefit of the doubt anyway, and examine some of the specifics of your dilemma.
First of all, Meredith might have gone after your buddy just because he was your buddy. She might not really even like the guy, have you thought of that? It’s a strong possibility that she might just have been rubbing that relationship in your face. After all, you and she have been good at tormenting each other over the years, right? (And by the way -- it’s okay for her to run around; even to get it on with one of your old friends, but when you do the same thing, it’s HORRIBLE. Whatever happened to what’s good for the goose is good for the gander? As my cousin “Fast Eddie” Love would say, “So much for a fair fight!”)
Taking Meredith back was basically a mistake, dude. It was okay to make up with her for the sake of the kids you brought into the world, but you were way too easy. When you take a woman back after she’s making time with your best buddy, she knows she can get away with anything in the future and she has no respect for you whatsoever. And Interest Level is built on RESPECT.
You see, pal, Meredith’s Interest Level plummeted all over again because you always go back to your old ways. If you would have been a Challenge to your wife, then maybe you could have kept her Interest Level up. Her interest dips more times than a yo-yo because you don’t continue doing the things that bring her back. You keep reverting to your old ways again and again, thereby perpetuating the mutually destructive pattern.
Lee, I have to tell you that you’re a real glutton for punishment. Didn’t I once see your picture next to the word “masochist” in Webster’s Dictionary? Once you do something special for a woman and she doesn’t appreciate it -- and this goes for any woman, not just your wife – why in the world would you do it again? “If you don’t get a sugar-sweet thank-you for your romantic gestures,” as Sal “The Fish” Love says, “FUH-GET ABOUT IT!”
And forget too about continuing to cheat, Lee. By being a cheat, you wear yourself down, and in that mode you’re being a negative challenge. What you need to be -- and what you’ve never been throughout this excruciating process of torture -- is a POSITIVE CHALLENGE. You don’t have to imitate Hugh Hefner and run around with 10 women to raise Meredith’s interest, but you can keep your hands to yourself and keep the conversation light and funny and let her initiate intimacy. If you study my principles, you’ll know that’s the way to do it! This advice applies whether it’s your first date or after 18 years of marriage.
You have done one thing right, though, and this might be something you can build on if there’s any hope left for the two of you: it’s great that you’re not letting Meredith see your concern over her loss of interest. That’s where you should be at all times. (And yes, mail yourself some flowers once a week for a month, or send yourself some candy and sign the cards with the names of different girls, with notes like “Your secret admirer,” and “I love you for your mind,” and “You’re the greatest thing since popcorn!” That sort of thing.
So here’s the Doctor’s prognosis: if Meredith’s Interest Level hasn’t dropped into the forties, you have a shot at salvaging the marriage. You say you love your wife, but Lee, I have to ask you this question: Are you IN LOVE with your wife? Even though I counsel you guys never to consider your own Interest Level in a woman, in this case I have to ask: What do you want? You’ve got to be introspective and brutally honest as far as what’s going on inside your psyche. Where’s your Interest Level in Meredith? Exactly why are you going back and forth with this gal? That’s what has to be delved into here. That’s the question that’s begging for an answer, and at the end of the day only you can provide it, even if you don’t like what the answer is.
But as with anything in life, as my Uncle Jethro Love once wisely observed, “When you’re off on the wrong foot, boy, you’re gonna have a hard road ahead of you!”
Remember, guys: when you break up, don’t waste your time by going back.
To send me your love questions or to find out more about “The System,” visit me at http://www.doclove.com or call (800) 404-2644.
Doc Love is a talk show host and entertainment speaker who coaches men in his seminars. For the past 30 years he has asked thousands of women, “Why do you stay with one man versus another?”
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