There's some truth to that old joke that a man marries a woman hoping that she'll never change and a woman marries a man hoping that he will. The problem is that everyone changes some but in others we're pretty set in our ways. Physically we change obviously just do to age. Our interests and activities may shift about with time but in general our core values don't shift very much.
Think about what it was that you fell in love with your husband for in the first place. Have those core values shifted? Or has what you value changed? Have you added more things that you are seeking from him?
Another thing that I think you should really look into is where this "desire" (because I hate using the word "need" for things that aren't strictly survival is coming from? You've been together for 32 years but it sounds like this restlessness and neediness is a relatively recent development. Or did you just hide it better in the past because you were focused on other things?
Expectations are the enemy of happiness, because they are by nature fantasies. They are idealized visions of how you want your future to be and when they don't come out just the way you want them you will be disappointed. So the question is are you setting unrealistic expectations for your husband? For yourself and you life in general? Are you missing the good because you are pining for something different?
Let's examine a few things that you are upset with your husband for doing or not doing. You are upset that he's putting his mother ahead of you. That he's spending time and effort doing things for her rather than around your house, have you talked to him about that? Have you expressed how that makes you feel devalued?
On the lawn work and car washing, is there anything preventing you from doing that work? This is 2017, gender roles are not set in stone. A woman can work a week eater just as well as a man can and I'm pretty sure that you can buy a water hose from a hardware store if it was really important to you.
A lot of times it's our perceptions that are off. When my wife cheated she rationalized it based on some things that I wasn't changing that she wanted, some chores or things that she wanted me to do but that I didn't. Those were legitimate concerns however she discounted all of the things that I did do. The fact that I was working full time spending 2 hours a day commuting. That I was taking the kids to school and picking them up, that yeah I didn't do some of the chores she thought I should be doing but ignored the stone patio that I spent a week re-building so that she could have a birthday party concert in our back yard.
That while yes she was depressed and having issues dealing with life, it's not like I was living some sort of blessed life of happiness and leisure either. I too was dealing with the stress involved in having a special needs child, getting the calls from the school and having to take off to deal with emergencies. I wasn't unsympathetic to her problems but I also had a limited amount of bandwidth and had my own shit to deal with as well as the basic fact that I'm not a professional therapist so I didn't have the tools to help her learn to deal with her problems.
Now maybe you and your husband have grown too far apart to find common ground. But obviously you still want to find some. But remember that common ground doesn't mean you getting your way all the time nor him getting his way wall the time. It's finding a compromise where sometimes you each get what you want and ideally you both get what you want.
Take this exchange for example.
First remember what I said about expectations? That line about expecting it to be different next time is what I'm talking about. You are idealizing how you want things to go probably running through the dialogues in your mind and thinking up the kinds of results you want in return. Then when it doesn't happen exactly like you desired you are disappointed. And why would you think things would be different? He's a grown man and likely set in his ways and it's probably going to take more than a couple conversations to get it right. You have to expect for him to get it wrong and learn to look for the things that he's doing that are right, and provide feedback. When he says something that bothers you, don't clam up and get resentful. Use your words and tell him. Tell him that "when you say 'blah blah' " it makes me feel like (what ever it makes you feel like). And yeah you might have to do it more than once bad habits take time to break and good habits take time to build.AMA210 wrote: ↑Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:22 pmIt improves and then the beginnings of that emotional connection and then it's gone. I always think that it will be different next time, just like with LO, and it never is/was. So this afternoon, before I left, questions galore--where you going, when you be back, how much money you take, what are you buying, don't forget the milk, and if you come back without it, then I will send you back out to get it. Goodbye.
Next the questions could be because he's feeling insecure about what you are doing, He already knows that you are emotionally involved with other men and so he isn't comfortable with it so he wants to know the details about where you are going what you are doing and how long you will be gone. The milk part and the part about sending you back could have been a joke or not it's hard to tell not having the non verbal cues that don't come across in text.
Now this one, so he says that he wants to talk and you start to get excited because you get your hopes up that maybe just maybe this time he'll get it. The problem is that he doesn't and he has his own ideas and priorities and even if he didn't unless you handed him a script to read from the odds of him doing exactly what you were hoping for would be remote at best.AMA210 wrote: ↑Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:22 pmWhen I returned, DH wanted to talk to me. I thought ok, we are going to make plans for some activity and we will talk about things that matter. Nope. He talked about the bills that need to paid this week and the amount of each one and then about the boards that need to be replaced in his mom's garage and that if nothing is going on, then he is going over there. Wow. I gave him a look and he said well, maybe I should stay here and keep you company. Do you want that? Do you mind if I watch tv? So my two choices were him going by his mom to work OR have him watch tv here.
He decided to go by his mom.
So then he talks about what he's decided that he wants to talk about and tells you what he thinks needs to be done and what he wants to do. Then you give him "a look" he panics and figures out that he's done something wrong so tries to find another option.
But do you know what I don't see in this conversation? You using your words, you offering your own alternatives. You taking any proactive action of any kind.
I'm not pointing this out to make you feel bad or slam you in anyway but rather to point out places where you can actually assert your own agency in your life and relationship. When he offered up the two options of either going to help his mother or watching TV with you, you are well within your right to offer up an alternative. In fact you should be offering up an alternative.
You could have for example suggested that you both go work on his mothers how or on your lawn together, or go to the hardware store to buy a water hose or spend the afternoon in bed getting frisky. Maybe he would have jumped at one of those options, maybe not but it would be an actual conversation and a point from which you could find a compromise. It would also give him a better idea of what you want out of the relationship.
Stop waiting for him to figure out what you are wanting and start telling him. Stop being resentful about him not figuring out what you want and start actually communicating and finding a joint solution.
The critical thing here is to stop expecting others to fulfill you and start figuring out how to fulfill yourself.