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I think our marriage is over

(32 Posts)
Owlwing Sat 17-Nov-12 19:39:35

Have namechanged for this. It is long, sorry in advance.

I met my husband eleven years ago, and he asked me to move in with him almost immediately. I had just turned 21, he was 28, we met through a mutual hobby.

He was the first person that I had ever had sex with, btw, so I had/have no one to compare him to. I found sex to be painful, and was always very nervous about it. He said it was just me. Maybe this is true. I'm not sure. He used to want sex all the time - every night. I was uncomfortable with the idea of giving him oral sex. He said I would have to do it eventually. I was embarrassed by this and went along with him. (I still hate oral sex, btw. I don't like receiving it either.)

We lived with his parents at first, then after six months he proposed. I had doubts at the time, but I was scared he would attempt suicide if I turned him down - he had told me that he had tried to kill himself before, but had survived. He said no one else knew he was depressed, and that I was his lifeline, had changed his world. So I said yes.

We moved into a rented house near to where his parents lived. He promised we would move closer to my side of the family in a few years. He has since refused to do this several times. I only get to see them once a month at most because of distance. We see his relations regularly. In fact, we ended up moving even closer to his parents.

I cannot have children, due to fertility issues. When we found out, I told him I would understand if he wanted to split up so that he could have a family with someone else. He told me he would rather castrate himself than cheat on me. Then he said he knew I didn't enjoy sex because I was asexual, and that he wouldn't pressure me.

Apparently this meant that he wouldn't ever initiate sex again. Or be intimate at all. Well, except when he was in the mood. Every so often he insists on sex. I never say no as it's the only time he touches me now. So for the past three years, we haven't done it more than once every couple of months. And only if I dress up - he expects me to seduce him but he never attempts this in return.

At first I was glad he wasn't wanting sex every night. But I missed being cuddled, kissed, etc. And I hated the fact that he only seemed to want anal or oral sex now. Ever since we found out I can't have children, normal intercourse just doesn't happen.

I tried to dissuade him from anal sex once or twice, but he ignored me and did it anyway. So now I just let him do what he wants, in the hope that it won't hurt too much, and that he might bother to give me an orgasm afterwards. Usually he goes to sleep instead.

I told him I wasn't happy in our relationship. He assured me that it was because I was asexual. I insisted that no, I deserved affection outside of sex, and that he needed to be more considerate during sex anyway. He apologised and promised he would change.

That was a month ago. He was affectionate for maybe a week, if that. Then he stopped again. He has gone back to ignoring me. No affection or sex. I don't mind anymore, tbh. I no longer want him to touch me. I dislike even sharing a bed with him.

I want out. But here is my difficulty. Due to us both being disabled, we are on benefits. I would love to be fit to work, and to be fair so would he. We have tried to get back into work, but have so far been turned away as unfit.

So we have a low income, and our rent is covered by housing benefit. We are lucky that we are in a nice area, with good neighbours. But it makes saving difficult - financially, I am not sure I can afford to divorce him. Although my dad might give me some money if I tell him. I don't want to worry him though, as he has a heart condition and lives alone. My mum died suddenly a couple of years ago, just as I was getting up the nerve to tell them about my marriage. I kept it to myself instead.

After mum died I had counselling. I told the counsellor some of my concerns - not the sex stuff, I was too embarrased. But I told her about the way my husband hordes stuff, including rubbish. And how he spends hours playing on his computer, and never lifts a finger to do any housework. But still controls exactly what we eat, as he insists that I am incapable of cooking.

Oh, and if he sees me doing any cleaning he at once makes me stop and sit down! Apparently this is his job - but he lets it all pile up and if I say anything I am nagging him?! I hate this! I would rather do everything myself, because then it gets done. He won't let me. He even hid my alarm clock so that I would sleep in whenever I tried to get a normal routine going.

My counsellor asked me what I wanted to do. I told her I wanted to leave him, but I wasn't ready yet. I wanted to save up some money first. I actually managed to save several hundred, but then one of our pets had to have emergency surgery and the car needed work done...guess who paid for everything?

I don't mind paying the vet bill, but my husband owns the car and he is meant to have the money to maintain it. He had spent it on other things. So now I am penniless again. And he is resisting my efforts to clear out all the junk that he has horded - I am making him do it though.

I am a horrible person. I am making him help me get the house sorted out so that I am not ashamed to let people in to visit. I want to get this done now, before I tell him to go. I know my family will insist on visiting when that happens and I don't want to be humiliated when they see the house.

I am not worrying about the money side anymore. If I keep putting this off until I have savings, I will never do it. I realise this now. If I get really stuck, I will ask my dad for help, or apply for a loan. I have never applied for a loan before.

I am scared. I am really alone and scared. My husband has worked his way into every angle of my life - I no longer have any friends of my own. Just mutual friends, and they prefer him as he turns on the charm around other people. He is very charismatic when it suits him. I am quite reserved in comparison, but before I knew him I was good at socialising! I still am until he arrives and takes over. He does this every time I meet new people, btw.

Please don't let me back out of this. There is a small, stupid part of me that is still addicted to him. Please tell me not to let that part control me.

Thanks if you are still here.

Abitwobblynow Tue 20-Nov-12 07:32:28

Remember the other definition of nagging Ccarpenton: how a [destructive] man describes a woman asking him to uphold his responsiblilities (Lundy Bancroft)

Abitwobblynow Tue 20-Nov-12 07:30:21

Owl, you were abused and controlled from the word go. What a pity we don't teach girls more about what red flags to look out for. If a person ever threatens (however subtly) suicide, it is THEIR CHOICE what they do and you are not responsible. You are never responsible for another person.

You are NOT asexual! If you had had a man who was gentle, sensitive, thought of your feelings, loved your body and led you gently into the world of touching and sex, you would be swinging off the chandeliers by now! Your physical reaction to how you are treated is completely NORMAL.

How wonderful that you are determined not to live like this any more. Good luck.

Ccarpenton ... OK. Quite a robust reponse from Owl though, so she does sound she has a good sense of self.

DistanceCall Tue 20-Nov-12 03:36:14

You may have a point, ccarpenton. But I tend to think it's generally best to give the benefit of the doubt. If you're right, no harm done, really. If you're wrong, however...

ccarpenton Mon 19-Nov-12 22:53:04

Like I said, the actual things the OP mentioned are a a real shame. I don't have "toxic beliefs". You're making out that I'm unsympathetic to real victims too or that I'm ranting against battered women.

READ HER POSTS. Spouting words about being terrified then confidently saying that she's not scared of him. Whining about him draining HER money. Happy to criticise his lack of housework to his face and all he does is call it nagging. This is no victim talking here. She is totally in control but claiming the complete opposite i.e. = the reason I used the word martyr.

She said her husband was selfish about sex, that he didn't do things he said he would, that they had money problems and infertility problems. All those things are terrible, sure. I never said the opposite.

I resent her using words deliberately to make her husband sound abusive and the whole problem, and therefore she is a victim. Some of you joined in, calling her husband things like "manipulative". There certainly has been manipulation here. I'd agree with that! She even confesses to it with manipulating him to get the house ready for her before kicking him out and having kept a secret bank account with savings in it despite their money problems.

You're all quite content to just spout that I'm terrible. Calling me toxic and everything else. At least I have the decency to back up my reasons for what I'm saying about another person.

kittybiscuits Mon 19-Nov-12 20:59:21

Good luck to you OP. ccarpenton, I'm appalled by the idea that you might volunteer in a setting where vulnerable adults might be exposed to your toxic beliefs. I hope you can seek help for yourself too. shock

ccarpenton Mon 19-Nov-12 20:15:10

"Guessing ccarpenton has never found him or herself in an abusive relationship"

No, I haven't. (and it's herself) But my involvement with Refuge and various suicide help facilities has let me hear and read a wide range of language and experiences from people in abusive relationships. People who are really trapped and frightened.

If she'd come on here saying what a miserable marriage she'd had. Talked about her disappointment over infertility. How she felt she'd made mistakes and some terrible choices. Then stated that she was taking control of her life now ... then I'd have sympathy and be cheering her life-change right along with you. But she didn't. She came on here with an excessive victim's attitude where I don't think one is warranted.

Loads of relationships have a bad sex life with a selfish husband. Load of relationships have husbands that say they're going to do the dishes and they don't. Loads of married people see their old friends fall away. Loads of relationships suffer due to infertility problems.

But no. When it is happening to this poster, it apparently means the husband is abusive. And she is a victim.

I think the OPs response to my post and her subsequent comments proves my point. She was using all the right words for someone in an abusive relationship but her actions and the scenario just doesn't add up.

For a start, I've never, ever seen an "abusive relationship" end this way - with the woman tricking the man into fixing things before kicking HIM out, showing the man a thread on a forum and him quietly packing up his stuff and signing a no-contest divorce thing immediately?

"what an odd, insensitive post ccarpeton..."

Yes. It would be if I actually thought that this was a helpless woman. But the whole post enraged me. I found it insulting to those I've known that have been in truly abusive relationships. It was self-indulgent and inconsistent. "I can't ask my dad, he has a bad heart" then a few paragraphs later "I'll ask my dad for help". She even talked about having control of her own money -- "I don't mind paying the vets bill" .. seriously? And could any of you truly make sense of the bit about their sex life? He never initiates sex, but also insists on it? He's not interested, but demands she dress up? It was like she was trying to provide as much evidence of him being an arse as possible. Proving some case, not asking for help.

And this section:

I am scared. I am really alone and scared. My husband has worked his way into every angle of my life - I no longer have any friends of my own. Just mutual friends, and they prefer him as he turns on the charm around other people. He is very charismatic when it suits him. I am quite reserved in comparison, but before I knew him I was good at socialising! I still am until he arrives and takes over. He does this every time I meet new people, btw.

Again, it's like she's swallowed an "abused person" textbook and is trying to spit it out at us. But it's missing any indication of sincere fear, hesitation or self-deprecation. Anything at all to suggest a real, frightened and put down woman.

Please don't let me back out of this. There is a small, stupid part of me that is still addicted to him. Please tell me not to let that part control me.

No, there is just a small part of you that dislikes the idea of change. You just threw that word "addicted" in there because you felt it was necessary to make your case. It's something an abused woman would say, right?

"ccarpenton - you are way of out of order mate"

So yes. Have a go at me all you like. Say I'm wrong. But I've heard this before. This poster clearly doesn't need your help. She doesn't need anyone's help. She just wants you to agree that she's a victim.

Again. This certainly sounds like a rough time for this poster. I won't deny that. Especially the infertility issues which I know all too well can crush you. But any sympathy or empathy I could have had simply evaporated during paragraph 4 and it got worse after that.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sat 17-Nov-12 23:56:36

I don't know if I've just spent too long on MN but I got a massive sense of deja vu reading this. Have you posted before, OP?

It's not that important, your life sounds dreadful and I hope you will find a way out.

Just asking, as this sounded so familiar I'm wondering if it's just me and I'm going mad

Ullena Sat 17-Nov-12 23:44:00

Good for you, op smile thanks

Owlwing Sat 17-Nov-12 23:35:53

I really do need to get to sleep but first of all I am not a martyr! I was naieve and too trusting, and I didn't have the confidence or the sexual experience to recognise my relationship as abusive. I have changed since then. And my counsellor was with the NHS, btw. I didn't tell her about the sex stuff because I was embarrassed! I don't want to share that with anyone. I just want to move on, thank you.

I have told my husband that I won't be sharing a bed with him anymore. He asked why and I showed him this thread. He was very quiet for a while, and then he asked me if I wanted him to go. I told him he can stay in the spare room for now, but that we are finished as a couple. He has agreed to this. He is going to see about getting some professional help himself regarding his depression and the hording of things. And to rethink his attitudes regarding women and sex. At the moment, he is boxing up old magazines ready to take them to the recycling centre on Monday while I am at my dad's house.

So we are finished. But practically speaking we will be sharing a house for a while. It isn't perfect, but it is the only way this will work financially. I am going to speak to a solicitor on Thursday about getting a divorce. I will ask my dad to lend me the money for this - I will tell him what I need to and no more.

My husband has written and signed a letter stating that he agrees to the divorce and that he will not contest it. I think he has had a short sharp shock tonight. I should have talked it through with him years ago, I know, but I was never confident enough. I am now though.

I'm signing off now, but wanted to thank you all again. I will still be on the forum under my usual name.

RSVPentathlon Sat 17-Nov-12 23:22:25

what an odd, insensitive post ccarpeton... hmm

Ullena Sat 17-Nov-12 22:48:24

Here's hoping the op comes back at all after that!

Anniegetyourgun Sat 17-Nov-12 22:19:08

Guessing ccarpenton has never found him or herself in an abusive relationship hmm I suppose it is hard for someone who hasn't been there to realise it's surprisingly easy to sleepwalk into something you thought was perhaps not perfect, but decent enough; only to find a few years later the goalposts have subtly shifted until you're on another pitch altogether. And then find circumstances have been so manipulated that it's really difficult to get out, plus confidence eroded so you don't even believe you could manage on your own. There's an awful lot of it about.

Whatnowffs Sat 17-Nov-12 22:11:07

ccarpenton - you are way of out of order mate hmm

Greymalken Sat 17-Nov-12 22:04:32

I am really sorry to hear about your circumstances I recommend getting aid speak to Women's Aid there is help out there take advantage of it.

ccarpenton Sat 17-Nov-12 21:43:21

You walked into a relationship you didn't want because you thought he might kill himself? You didn't bring up your feelings about sex for years? You wanted to move nearer your parents but moved nearer his instead? You don't want to ask your dad for money because he has a weak heart? And on, and on, and on ...

You're right. You don't have stockholm syndrome. You have "martyr" syndrome and are with a "user" who can feed that need. Your counsellor has never mentioned that to you? By counsellor, do you mean telephone psychic by any chance?

I'm amazed that you are actually getting out. You've described a textbook "martyr". Amazed. Absolutely amazed ... unless you come back in a couple of month's time saying "I couldn't do it ..."

Ullena Sat 17-Nov-12 20:49:26

That really is horrible, op sad

All the best and don't be ashamed to tell people!

Owlwing Sat 17-Nov-12 20:41:23

Iron bridge? No, sorry.

Owlwing Sat 17-Nov-12 20:40:38

Thanks again. I am seeing my dad on Monday, and I will ask him if I can borrow some money then. I will try not to bring up the details if possible.

I will update again tomorrow.

marriedinwhite Sat 17-Nov-12 20:40:28

Oh gosh OP it all sounds outrageously awful for you and yet you have suffered such awfulness for 11 years. Glad you seem to know what you are entitled to and what you need though - make sure you get to CAB to make sure you do exactly the right thing.

Glad you are in a nice area - is there a little iron bridge close by?

RSVPentathlon Sat 17-Nov-12 20:37:00

No advice really.
Just wanted to say that you are NOT a horrible person.
Best of luck and stay strong!

Owlwing Sat 17-Nov-12 20:22:22

I am trembling now that this thread is up. A mix of nerves and elation. Not fear though. I'm not afraid of him. Just determined to get this done properly. I don't want to end up worse off - homeless, etc.

We have lived here for seven years. It is a council house, both our names are on the tenancy. This may be in my favour, as it would cost about the same to rent a room. So hopefully I will just have to cover the under occupancy charge. That will be about £80 a month. I can manage to find that much. I can do this.

I have a savings account that is in my name only. And we have a joint account that all the bills come out of. I would need to sort that out. Get broadband in my name too. I have a mobile, so I don't need to sort out a landline.

Have to go plug in. I will be back.

Owlwing Sat 17-Nov-12 20:12:19

I don't have stockholm syndrome. I just hate the idea of being financially dependent on my dad! Also I have a dog and dad really doesn't like pets.

I refuse to let myself be utterly dependent on anyone from now on. I am moving into the spare room tonight. With the dog, btw. He's very loyal. I know I can protect myself physically and tbh I don't think my husband would hit me. But I'm not putting myself into a situation where sex could feasibly occur. So I won't be sharing a bed with him anymore.

Is it wrong that I am waiting until he finishes painting the kitchen ceiling to tell him that I want a divorce? I think he owes me that ceiling.

Owlwing Sat 17-Nov-12 20:06:09

I don't want to leave as although I am not near my family, I like my neighbours. I like the area. This is my home and I won't give it up. He can go back to his parents if need be until he finds somewhere else.

I am worried about housing benefit though. I am 32; as a single woman under 35 I would only be entitled to rent a room, not even to get a flat. And if I move back in with dad, I would probably lose any right to benefits at all. I think I will contact citizen's advice too.

Guiltypleasures001 Sat 17-Nov-12 20:02:03

You need to leave op he has imprisoned you, sounds like you might have a little bit of something they call stockholm sydrome, go google it. Dont think it through just go to your family.

HavingALittleFaithBaby Sat 17-Nov-12 20:01:44

You're not a horrible person! You're someone who has been stuck in a difficult marriage for a long time. It's not unreasonable to get him to help you clean up if the house is a mess! But there's obviously deeper issues.
It doesn't sound like he's going to change. I agree with contacting women's aid to talk things through and plan how to leave, how you'll manage financially if you do go.
Honestly? It's sounds like your marriage has been over for a long time. Good luck sorting things out.

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