Dear DSO: “Can I Become The Lover To My Wife After Always Being a Provider?”

Dear DSO,

I read your book, and it was really good but also really depressing. I realize now that I’m the provider and I always have been. I’ve never seen what it’s like to be the Lover. Ever. I was a virgin when I met my wife (she wasn’t). I was lucky to have her. Everyone told me I was lucky to have her. All of my friends and her friends couldn’t believe that somebody like me could get somebody like her. I felt good about being able to get a woman like my wife, but now I realize what everyone was telling me. They expected somebody like my wife to be with somebody way more attractive and more of a Lover. Everyone knows I’m a pushover provider.

After I read your book I actually felt sick to my stomach. It’s like everything I always knew came out. My wife and I haven’t had any sex for 19 months. I caught her last year texting another guy. I didn’t see everything they said, but I saw enough to know it was not good. We went to counseling over that but I don’t feel like we ever really dealt with it properly. What did come out in counseling was that my wife felt like she was trapped in our marriage. She felt like I was the safe bet as a husband and she agreed that I’m a really great dad and that I’m faithful and good to her. She just needs more. The counselor suggested I start leading more and being more proactive and fun, but at the time I was insulted and still really hurting from my wife’s emotional affair. Now that I read your book all of those things are coming back at me and I realize how dumb I was.

Nothing changed for either of us after counseling. I have a feeling she’s probably still texting that guy or maybe worse. Probably worse. She’s away from the house a lot more and goes out with friends every Friday. She’s sometimes gone until Saturday night and she leaves me with our son. I know what you’re going to say because everyone says it. She’s cheating. I don’t know that for sure and I’m holding out hope that it’s not too late and that we can save the marriage.

Is there any chance for a guy like me? Can I go from Provider to Lover with my wife or should I start over with somebody else?


Your situation is VERY VERY common. Women like your wife have two sets of needs that are at odds with each other:

1.    The need for comfort and safety.
2.    The need for excitement, fun and adventure.

Your wife was at a point in her life where she probably had a lot of fun and adventure, but it didn’t get her very far in life (yes, I’m making assumptions here). She probably told you of abusive and terrible boyfriends in her past. “You’re the first good guy in my life, ever”. Sound familiar? Everything in her brain was telling her to cut it out with the crazy dudes and go for a safe and sane one. Time to make babies. Time to play the part of wife and mom. For broken women, this change of course doesn’t work out too well.

Yes, you were the provider. That’s why she picked you. Can you switch things up and become Mr. Lover Man and get that much-needed rise of excitement and sexual energy out of your wife? Well… let me answer that question with another question:

Why the hell would you want to?

If you were just meeting this woman and casually dating, my advice would be to have fun and “You can be whoever the hell you want to be”. The fact is that you are married and have a kid with this woman. By saying, “I do” and getting pregnant, your wife has signed up for a job. She’s supposed to be faithful to you. She’s supposed to bring that sexual energy home. She’s supposed to work with her husband to get her emotional and physical needs met, and vice-versa. She’s supposed to be your damn wife.
Your wife has failed miserably at the job. Repeatedly.

Your entire persona is now, “What can I do to win her back?”… as opposed to, “What criteria need to be in place for this woman to remain with me?”

I think you have a long and awesome road of change ahead of you… but I think that long road will be better without being confined by the marriage to your wife. Yes, you need to work on your Lover qualities… but why waste that time and energy on her? It’s a gift… and one that she, frankly, doesn’t deserve.


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