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How many of you would say you are truly happily married?

(184 Posts)
ConfusedishSay Thu 31-Jan-13 15:28:51

I´ve been married 10yrs to a very nice man who loves me and wants us to grow old together. I thought that´s what I wanted too, but lately I think I´m having a midlife-crisis-thingummy and the thought of being with the same person for the next 30-50 years until I die is quite literally depressing the hell out of me.
I´m trying so hard to want this traditional happy ever after, but I´m not sure I still love him and it´s making me feel guilty and hopeless. Should I just stick with it and hope it´s a passing phase?

I definitely am. Sounds twee but my DH is my best friend, the one I turn to when I feel blue for cheering up, the first one I want to tell when something exciting happens... Honestly the person I want to share my entire life with.

I never thought I'd feel like this, never thought contentment was possible, but we've been together for 7 very difficult years and I'd have it no other way smile

ConfusedishSay Thu 07-Feb-13 11:59:37

Thanks for the last few comments too...wise words from everyone really and it is really heartening to hear how many people still have warm and fuzzy feelings towards their spouses!
Deep down, I feel kind of pessimistic for the future of the relationship (wish I didnt and I´m trying to fight that!) but I know I have to have tried everything I possibly can before I can end things and know it is the right thing to do.

nokidshere Tue 05-Feb-13 10:56:09

sorry I dont know how I missed all the pages inbetween page 1 and the end - I thought I was posting quite soon after the OP lol and obviously there have been lots of xposts since then - apologies lol

nokidshere Tue 05-Feb-13 10:53:02

We have been married for 26 years and together for 31 years.

Its better now in a lot of ways. A calm, comfortable love and mutual respect that comes, not only with longevity, but with age. Of course many, many years of fertility treatments, being parents when we were older and other pressures have served to make sure that our lives haven't been dull. And the rows we had when we were younger were something to behold. And sex (for us anyway) has just got better and better over the years.

I think the secret of longevity is peace. If you have a deep feeling of contentment and a truly shared partnership you will want to put your efforts into your relationship. If you find you are longing for more and "looking around" for excitement you need to decide if you want to find those things within your existing relationship or on your own.

Is the fact that you aren['t attracted to your husband anymore down to the MLC feeling or is the MLC feeling because you aren't attracted to him? Either way you need to sit down and talk to your husband because unless you tell him how you are feeling he cant do anything to change it or help.

littlecrystal Tue 05-Feb-13 10:19:54

I am happy in my marriage. A big part of it is played by the fact that I am a loner and I am happy just to be with myself, and as long as DH does not interfere with my space too much or takes a load of DC responsibilities from me, I am happy to be with him. We are both independent, quiet and non-intrusive, so our marriage works. Although I do wonder often that I would like to be close-nit and do everything together, but then I am not sure if this would work.

I don’t believe in soulmates. I don’t trust anyone 100% but myself. How many stories here on MN saying “my lovely DH cheated” etc. There is no marriage without ups and downs. That’s just life.

BigSpork Mon 04-Feb-13 23:35:25

I've been married for almost 10 years and I'm quite happy, more happy now really (and fantasise more about him now than ever).

Relationships tend to go through waves of drifting apart and drifting closer as long as people actively work on it, I find, but from what you've written, you've drifted apart and he's not put any effort in to bring you back together for some reason. Relationships cannot survive let alone thrive on inertia.

For us, finding hobbies we could enjoy doing together again and working on together again was the key to overcoming the comfort doldrums pulling us in different ways. Also setting goals for myself (and asking him his goals) and finding ways we could help each other has brought us together.

Is it just your relationship you're unhappy with? When I have my crisis-es it tends to be a lot of different things at once that I need to fix. We need a crisis area to help each other build ourselves back up again as things so easily pull us down and in every direction until it gets to this crunch point.

ConfusedishSay Mon 04-Feb-13 22:06:50

Eek...sorry, oops....the above was meant to be addressed to scarborough re her "coming clean" discussion...and not even post wine...so no excuse!
Thanks though, stuckintime...a lot of us in the same canoe!

ConfusedishSay Mon 04-Feb-13 22:00:56

Oh and stuckintime ...sadly I´m getting deja vu with what you wrote about your husband´s reaction to your admitting your feelings. I tried to get my DH to wake up and realise our relationship was unfulfilling and in the doldrums a good 5 or so years ago....back when I still had the energy to care and try and do something about it.
He too just seemed very surprised, stated that he thought everything was fine and I´m fairly sure thought I was probably just being hormonal.
And my reaction was just like yours.....I felt I must be making too much of it and it was all fine......without realising it, I slowly gave up and built a hard emotional shell around myself year after year since. I didn´t fight to make him realise how serious it was because I thought that he must be right and that this was as good as I could expect in a longterm relationship!
Fast forward 5 yrs and I almost embarked on an affair!
Oh and NOW my DH is in crisis mode and is taking me EXTREMELY seriously!! Pity though that this happens so often by all accounts! How do you shake/wake a man up BEFORE it gets to the danger zone? Ho hum hmm

ConfusedishSay Mon 04-Feb-13 21:52:14

Actually, Fluffyraggies that´s a good idea.....anyone else on here care to contribute or shall we start a new thread??!
In answer, basically since my sex drive started to go downhill once the initial enfatuation phase was over....probably about 3 yrs in to the relationship tbh. I had found myself doing this with a previous longterm boyfriend as I also lost interest after the 1st 18m or so with HIM and was thinking initially with hubby: "Oooo, how great, this guy must be Mr Right, as I no longer have to fantasise"....but then mundanity set in. This is why I´m thinking it´s ME not necessarily him at all. I think maybe I´d get bored and lose my libido with ANYONE given sufficient time sad
It DOES give me hope, springdiva that there seem to be plenty on here who still have the hots for their partners...how nice that must be! envy
Until this OM was around, I´d hardly EVER fantasised about anyone real or concrete....just made up people and scenarios in my head that turned me on. Some innocent and romantic, others a little ...erm....shocking...blush
OK....somebody else´s turn to spill now...

katb1973 Mon 04-Feb-13 21:17:22

I had a friend in a similar situation, married for 6 yrs, 1 dc etc. she met someone else and confided in me that she hadn't known what love was until she met him. She acted quickly, they sold their house and shared their child and she moved in with the love of her life..........6 years later she's back with her first husband has had another child and openly admits that the grass was definitely not greener....so happy he took her back. Food for thought.......it may not be perfect, but nothing ever is.

OatcakeCravings Mon 04-Feb-13 17:33:55

Married for 15 years with small children. I'm not happy but not unhappy either. I am bored and I am irritated with my H a lot. We have nothing in common anymore which I think is one of the main problems.

fluffyraggies Mon 04-Feb-13 15:58:03

Just to be clear spring, i meant fantasising that it's someone else you're having sex with.

Honestly i would be v. sad

Swinging from lampshades or not wink

Springdiva Mon 04-Feb-13 15:29:09

I would frankly be devastated if i found out that DH fantasises while having sex with me

Hmm, interesting. I'd assumed most people did it.

Though I probably didn't do it when younger. We are in our sixties now, perhaps the urges aren't as strong and a bit of fantasy spices things up. We are also very reserved and don't swing from the lampshades so perhaps that makes a difference too.

fluffyraggies Mon 04-Feb-13 11:43:34

Fantasising (about someone else) in order to enjoy sex. Can we touch on this a bit more? How many of us do it/did it?

With my XH, who was my first long term partner ( late teens ), i used to fantasise each and every time we had sex. Right from the very first time until the very last. We were together 15 years. I wouldn't say it was a good sign. I'm guessing it's not 'normal'. It was my guilty secret.

Now i'm older and wiser and re-married (to someone with whom i do not have to fantasise) i see it now as an obvious sign that things were wrong. Glaring really.

I would frankly be devastated if i found out that DH fantasises while having sex with me, in the way i had to with XH.

Just interested OP, how long have you been fantasising to get by?

ScarboroughFayre Mon 04-Feb-13 10:27:36

Morning all! I hope everyone had a good weekend - I couldn't get to the computer to post but was thinking about this a lot and doing my best to focus on DH's good points.

Stuckintime I know how you feel, I don't want anyone else, I don't want another DH, I don't ever want to be apart from DH I just wish I could feel excited and lustful towards him again, and that's what I don't know how to change. But I did make a real effort this weekend to consciously view him with new eyes, and to make sure that my communication towards him was respectful and considerate, and his behaviour changed accordingly too.

On Sat eve (after quite a few wine wine) I did have a bit of a try at talking to him more directly about the whole "I can't fancy you if I feel like your mother" thing. Should have done it sober but there you go. It didn't go brilliantly but it did start the conversation - interestingly he had NO IDEA what the hell I was on about, and said he didn't think there was anything wrong in our marriage either. I would have thought he'd have jumped at the chance to have a conversation about things that would make me more likely to want sex but he didn't seem remotely bothered, which was a real surprise to me. Maybe I worry about things that are actually fine. Maybe he is quite happy with the way things are and I should just be grateful that he doesn't mind me not wanting sex?! I have been known to over-think things.

Two things that I did find helpful, however, were a) not calling him 'Daddy' when the children were around, instead using his name - the whole Freudian thing of calling him 'Daddy' reinforces the fact in my mind that he is family and therefore sex would be incest. I must remember to use his name! And b) being more assertive, straightforward and clear when asking for help, so that I didn't feel like a nagging mother. Instead of "someone needs to put the bins out" with rolling eyes I said things along the lines of "darling, I'm going to put the washing out, could you please empty the bins while I do that?", which felt much more 'equal'. It really helped - much less resentment and therefore contempt / lack of respect on my part.

But most importantly since coming on this thread and thinking deeply about the whole familiarity / contempt vs excitement / respect thing, I have turned a corner in my mind. I do want things to work and while I can't change his behaviour, I can change my own, and see how things respond to that. I already feel more positive, which is a start. I also had a rather fruity dream blush on Friday night which is presumably my subconscious responding to all of this and saying "come on girl, you've still got it in you, we just need to find it and give it a jump start!" grin

twoboyslater Sun 03-Feb-13 22:04:55

Not married yet but engaged for a while. And not one day goes past where I don't think how lucky I am to have such a wonderful, supportive, loving fiancé smile He is the best father that I could have ever wished for my children to have, and every day that I spend with him will just be another day that I am in love with him. Sure, we have our tiffs like everybody else, but there is never a second where I don't love him.

Bloody pregnancy hormones.

stuckintime Sun 03-Feb-13 17:01:11

<Isn't it within your power to change the way things are so you aren't resentful.>

Not sure to be honest. I do what I can to have my own life and to a certain extent it works. I have my own interests and friends. Perhaps I could do more.

I'm not thinking of leaving for someone else, at all. I'm not even sure I want a new DP.

To be frank, I'm not sure of anything.

Springdiva Sun 03-Feb-13 14:20:58

reply above was to stuckintime

Springdiva Sun 03-Feb-13 14:19:10

I don't think telling DP you are constantly tired helps. Telling DP that he must see to DCs every Saturday because you are taking up mountain climbing/ tennis / a foreign language or whatever takes your fancy sounds a better idea.

Leaving DP so that you can spend your days in supposed sexual bliss with new DP, plus his DTs, plus part share of your DCs, plus your pt job sounds fanciful and unlikely to me.

If you are resentful of DP's life then seems likely there will be little respect for him. Isn't it within your power to change the way things are so you aren't resentful.

You want DP to change into something, you're not sure what. Better that you make the changes to your life yourself to improve it, and then see if a new DP is what you want instead of taking the easy way out expecting some new DP to transform it to bliss.

stuckintime Sun 03-Feb-13 11:13:23

Confused - you could be me. Watching the replies to this thread with interest. Me and DP have been together 10 years, one DS, 3. Nothing at all is wrong with him or the relationship (on the surface). We get on well, cooperate, have a laugh.

Sex has diminished to once per month ever since DS was born and lately I've been struggling even with that.

I've had the odd crush ever since we've been together but have never acted on it and they've always fizzled out and away leaving me glad that I didn't act and glad to be with DP. A few months ago though I saw and spoke to an old friend at a party (DP was there as well). 20 years ago me and this friend nearly got together but didn't because I was seeing someone else and thought I owed it to him to see where it went. The relationship broke up after 5 years and by this time this guy was with someone with a baby on the way. He now has two teenage DCs. I've always wondered if I did the right thing but kind of accepted that's the way it was. Met DP and got on with life.

We've seen each other here and there over the years and there's always been "something" but tbh, I thought he didn't like me and was offended by me choosing someone else over him 20 years ago. At this party though it was pretty clear he and me were both still attracted.

ANYWAY, since then I've been crushing like mad and it is having a detrimental affect on my relationship with DP, which I feel awful about.

Before this even happened I had told DP I was unhappy - mainly because I commute and work 4 days a week and do childcare the rest of the time and he has a much easier life - working freelance here and there and having days to himself when DS is at the childminder. I felt I was always stressed and busy whereas he was coasting. Although he does contribute to childcare and housework so I haven't got that much to complain about - apart from being constantly tired!

I also felt that the necessary respect wasn't there. I have a lot of respect for the old friend.

Sorry, bit of a vent but I'm really feeling this myself at the moment. Thinking that perhaps I should come clean with DP about the crush but wouldn't want to reveal who it was as they do know each other and it would make things very awkward.

:-(

Springdiva Sun 03-Feb-13 10:55:31

I think you said that you had to fantasise during sex to get any thrill from it.

I do this and thought it was normal.

DH and I are getting on a bit, flabby (me), bald (him), do long-term marrieds really lust after their wrinkly ageing partners? I lust because that is who I have sex with but wouldn't stick a poster of him on the wall (as he is now)and have erotic fantasies about him.

ConfusedishSay Sun 03-Feb-13 10:10:10

That´s a very interesting idea. I think you are right- it´s probably all too safe and familiar.
It is a big worry though that if I am brutally honest it could be potentially devastating to his self-esteem and cause a whole bunch of new issues that he might never fully recover from.
I don´t want to jeopardise his future sex life whether with me or with someone else eventually- it would be a horrible blow

Charbon Sat 02-Feb-13 22:33:20

One of the things that Esther Perel mentions I think (as have other relationship 'commentators') is that safety and security are often the enemy of eroticism. This is especially so for people who, when forming early sexual relationships learnt to associate sex with something that was naughty, hidden from view and kept a delicious secret. For example, women who had early illicit relationships with teachers or older possibly married partners have often found that this has cast a shadow over mature relationships. So, when they get into relationships that are safe havens and the danger isn't present, the eroticism vanishes.

This is one of the reasons behind the 'hysterical bonding' phenomenon after an affair is dicovered. The threat to safety posed by an affair kickstarts the eroticism again.

How would you feel about having a truly honest, no-holds-barred chat with your husband about your feelings. Give him permission to be honest about his own erotic needs and talk to him about your near-miss with the OM.

It occurs that as the danger is currently silent and seething, it could be more productive if it were brought into the open.

If you think about it, not telling your partner about the OM and your lack of physical chemistry is not just because you don't want to hurt him. It's also because of your own safety and security and not wanting those things taken away before you yourself are willing to surrender them. I think you need to have a dangerous conversation.

ConfusedishSay Sat 02-Feb-13 18:44:17

Sorry, charbon that came across like I was saying that YOU were not helping me much! On the contrary, I appreciate your input very much... I just meant that my ability to see things fairly rationally is not helping me at this moment!

ConfusedishSay Sat 02-Feb-13 18:05:00

And I don't doubt that if another woman came along and showered adoration on my DH, he would not be quite so adamant that he would never ever in a million years want someone else! I think I AM able to see things with at least an ounce of objectivity! However.... Not helping me actually WANTING him any more. Not sure one's heart and sexual feelings are things one can jump start through rationalizing though, unfortunately sad

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