Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Someone help me save my marriage(20 Posts)
Have namechanged for this.
I have Been married for 3.5 years, together for 10, one DS aged 19 months.
I am unhappy. My husband is helpful round the house, goes to work each day, attractive, practically supportive, always appreciative of what i've done during the day, never moans that I haven't done something and is great with our son and I'm sure he'd make some women very, very happy. But he doesn't make me happy. He wears me down and exhausts me and pushes my buttons and it seems like we have nothing in common. We bicker and argue and most of our conversations consist of snapping and losing our temper and saying "shut up"
He is no longer the person I want to share things with, because the mere act of sharing them and the questions he asks and him not understanding what I'm trying to say makes the whole thing so frustrating and irritating I'd rather just keep it to myself.
Every little thing is a huge deal. It seems we are at loggerheads about everything, and the smallest things seem like a battle. We don't seem to agree on anything, everything seems to be a competition.
I am short-tempered and can say awful, nasty things during arguments (mostly which take place at night when baby is asleep). Words that you can't take back. I have pretty much no respect for him, and I am finding it really hard to get that back. I think I have got marginally better at letting the small things go (socks on the floor, crap everywhere), and he has probably got better at not doing these things. But it's got to the point where I can't seem to say anything to him without him accusing me of nagging and he blows his top.
When I met him, he was calm and placid, wouldn't ever shout at me or say nasty things, he was loving and affectionate. Now, he makes me feel unattractive and unsexy. He never wants to have sex, and when we try, he can't seem to muster up any attraction for me and says things like "it's fine once it gets going." The few times we do have sex it's always exactly the same, because in any other position he says he "can't feel anything." Funny how when we got together we could have sex in any way we wanted.
I am probably the main problem in the relationship (I'd never say that to him!) I think if I changed, he would want to show me more love. He always gives me a hug and kiss when he comes home, and will stroke my hair at night, but it seems to me that there is no real, unadulterated adoration. I believe that he only stays with me because the prospect of leaving his son, and upheaving his life is just too much to bear.
I cannot go on like this for the next ten years. We recently stopped couples counselling after 11 months, and I don't think it did that much. He has started his own counselling as he says he's depressed, and I am going to start my own for my anger issues. (That I only ever seem to express with him.)
When things get bad (after a bad argument, that can sprout out of absolutely nothing) I just want to get in the car with my son and drive away. I want to leave him. But the prospect of not having the family I'd always wanted (my parents have a fantastic, loving marriage), or being a failure, or bringing my son up in a single parent family, or depriving my husband of living with the son he adores is just horrific. I want things to work. I know I need to change, I think more than him, but I don't know how.
I am a horrible nag, I'm aggressive, mean, nasty, say spiteful things, hurt his feelings even though I do care about him. I have told him numerous times we should just split up, and it's reached a crescendo now so many times that nothing I say is taken seriously anymore. He feels it's a storm to weather, and we'll make up, and that's just the ebb and flow of our relationship, but I want something else. I want contentment, adoration, love, sex, the ability to express my feelings in a way he will understand.
Sorry for the essay. I would appreciate any advice. How can you get respect back for your partner??
Some people are lovely apart but terrible together. You and your husband sound like you are an example of that. You both sound angry. You both sound depressed. All the time you persist in flogging this very dead horse you will both be miserable and you will also make your son miserable. I think the only way forward for you is a separation of some kind - either temporary or permanent. You can still be a family.
My initial reaction to your post, was "no. No, it's not what I want." I feel like I'm not ready to pack it in - I want it to get better. I just don't know how. I can't go on like this, but I don't want us to split up. So the only option is for it to improve. I feel so lost.
If the couples' counseling didn't help, are you sure it was good counseling? I think a bad counselor wouldn't help.
Are you going for counseling on your own? You suggest that you have issues of your own to resolve. If you have a small child, has your life changed more than your husband's? It's possible you are having a hard time with motherhood but it is manifesting itself as feelings towards your husband. Please don't think I'm second-guessing you -- I'm just trying to put some ideas out there.
Are you two doing things to have fun together? I have a lot issues in my marriage -- I get worked up over small things, feel disrespected and hopeless about our future -- but I find that having a fun day together makes it all seem a lot better and I don't mind the bad bits as much. Obviously there are some problems/behaviors that are dealbreakers but for the little stuff I think it is more effective to create good experiences to balance them out rather than discuss them to death. I realize your situation may have gone beyond this point but don't underestimate how much it helps to go on a date.
I'm not talking about packing it in.... I'm talking about spending some time apart. If you are thrown together with anyone 24/7 you can very easily get into behaviour patterns where X always turns into Y and when someone says "A" the reaction is always "B". A vicious circle where no-one's thinking anyone more and everyone is on auto-pilot. By putting a break in the circle... by taking some time out from each other... you can sometimes kick the habitual element that leads to constant sniping.
If you take a break and find things are better you can then work on how to keep that going when you get back together.
You sound as though you really want to improve your relationship. You acknowledge that both of you are unhappy, and both of you are behaving badly with each other. I am impressed that despite this, you still value your marriage and the family life that goes with it.
Tell your DH that you are also going to try individual counselling to help you find your balance between new mum, wife and as an individual. Your life has changed a lot since the arrival of your DS, and maybe you need some time to look at that. Try to find out the basis of your anger - is there a part of it that relates to you being a mum now, having to make so many changes to manage your new role, and you don't see your DH having to make the same changes? It's hard work, this mum business, so don't beat yourself up too much. Not everyone can do it with a happy smiley face.
But to go back to your wish to save your marriage, I think Teapot has a good suggestion. Have an ideas list in the kitchen - stuff you can do for one hour, stuff you can do for an afternoon. Encourage your DH to add to it too, and try and get out of the house to do things together. But maybe also look at doing things for yourselves as well. How often do you get a chance to get out with girlfriends, or go to the gym or shopping by yourself? Can you make an agreement that once every 2-3 weeks you'll have some "me" time, and then at another agreed time, your DH will have some "me" time? It sounds as though you have both become stuck in a rut, and you need to jolt yourselves out of it, and to stop the behaviour that goes with it.
Thank you for all the replies.
I'm not sure it's a case of not having enough time to myself - I try and get to the gym and my DH is very good about encouraging me to go out and see friends. We don't do a lot of social things together - babysitters are expensive and my husband would always rather stay in, even if I go out. It feels like we are either alone (ie when baby goes to bed) or with our son. It feels that we never do anything as a couple with other people. I I mention this to DH he just says it doesn't matter and he'd rather just do something the two if us. I'm convinced this is more to do with a natural hatred of socialising or talking to groups of people rather than loving "us time."
I feel our relationship is boring, stagnant and festering in not a good place.
Cogito, I never thought about a separation like that. However, I have mentioned taking time apart before (usually in heat of argument) and DH always says it wouldn't help, or that means the break is forever.
Oh, and Teapot, you're right about a good day out having fun making everything seem not as bad. We need to do this more.
It feels that we never do anything as a couple with other people. I I mention this to DH he just says it doesn't matter and he'd rather just do something the two if us. I'm convinced this is more to do with a natural hatred of socialising or talking to groups of people rather than loving us time
I think it's quite hard to find other couples where you BOTH get on with the other two.
ARe you comparing your married life with your parents'? And they do lots of fun things and socialising together?
He accuses you of nagging - annoying because it gives him an excuse not to listen - but do you ever say anything admiring or grateful to him?
Your rows sound horrendous but you don't really say what they are about. As if you don't know why you are so unhappy. You need to work out what you really want in life first.
Spend some time apart to both see if it's what you still want.
No one can save your marriage, only suggest ways round things OP.
I argue with my partner a lot, it's part of our make up but I wouldn't swap him the for world
the lottery maybe the world no
Take some time out here.
Arguments don't need to be "solved" either. Agree to disagree and move on.
Sounds really tough.
It does feel like you have the reality of how you and he are together, and then the ideal in your head of what you want the relationship to be like. And you want to turn the reality into the ideal without knowing how the hell to start.
It's pretty damn impossible to turn how things are into how we really, really want them to be if there is very little to connect those states.
It sounds like your relationship isn't working, even after lots of counselling, and unfortunately you can't force it to work if you're both unhappy.
Maybe space apart, with time to reflect, is the only way forwards.
There's that old adage that the definition of irrationality is to keep doing things in exactly the same way, but hoping for a different outcome each time.
Not criticising you for irrationality or anything like that, it's really clear that you are desperate to save your marriage and preserve the family unit.
But maybe the only way to do things differently and give yourselves a chance to either reconnect or part amicably is to have a break?
Good luck OP.
I am short-tempered and can say awful, nasty things during arguments (mostly which take place at night when baby is asleep). Words that you can't take back. I have pretty much no respect for him, and I am finding it really hard to get that back
And you wonder why he isn't attracted to you?!! And is intolerant towards you?!! And why there's no 'adoration' of you?!!
Really??! I think you need to grow up a bit tbh. Poor guy.
It's strange because I sway drastically between despairing of our entire relationship and future together to feeling blissfully happy and secure and loved and positive. I am starting to realise that maybe this is my problem. I shouldn't take every argument as The End Of The World and proof that everything in our relationship is awful. I need to learn how to express myself better (my horrible words are born out of a frustration to express things verbally), and also that real life relationships are not cookie cutter movie ones. I know that sounds naive and childish and obvious. There seems to never be a medium ground with me, it's always all the way one way or all the way the other. It's desperately exhausting for me, and must be for my Poor DH. I wish I could sort my head, tell myself it doesn't matter, relinquish control. I can tell myself this now with a clear calm head, but how do I remember when we have argued about something and I'm spiralling down to the depths of despair?
I tend to take a lot of things to heart, and let small things eat me up. A little comment from a friend or parents that may have been made innocently I go over and over it in my head and beat myself up. It's horrible and tiring and depressing.
I don't really have any advice but just wanted to say I understand exactly what you mean,when I read your post I almost could imagine myself writing it, apart from the arguments as we just don't argue, I seethe and get fed up and make catty comments, he ignores them. I think it has a lot to do with becoming a mother, for us, because I feel like I am always being pulled in different directions by everyone, it feels like he hasn't made any changes an I have made all of them. We are trying for number 2, and the comment you made about swinging from blissfully happy to miserable is what I feel, I sometimes just want to stop trying and think I want to run away, but then we do something nice together and I think its all fine actually. I do think putting aside time for yourselves is important, we try to just spend the evening on a Sunday with no tv, a bath and just time to chat.sometimes I cannot be bothered though and just want to mn and not say a word, I do think it can sometimes seem like everyone else you know has a perfect relationship, but I don't think theres any such thing really.the fact you are willing to try to make things work is good though, as long as he is too you have a chance.does he know how you feel? Apologies for typos, on phone.
Could you have depression with anxiety? What you say in your last post sounds an awful lot like that. I know, I've been there, taken the tablets for 18 months & came out the other side. I was short-tempered & unpleasant, but once treated the symptoms disappeared. If you think that could be the case, discuss with GP.
What you said in your last post makes me think very much of borderline personality disorder. Perhaps have a look at some of the signs of this online. Even if you don't think that this is you, some of the advice available on how to deal with that will certainly be relevant for you.
I would think some individual counselling for yourself would be very helpful.
I think you sound a bit depressed. Go and talk to your doctor. Once you have peace and equanimity restored within yourself you may be able to then focus on what's wrong within your family unit, if anything.
To me, OP, you sound like you have undiagnosed ADHD or similar. I can also change from blissfully happy and hopeful to filled with anger and end of the world thingy in seconds. My parents remember me like that since I was little, and I am the same now, just little calmed down and all the pressure goes to my own family. I am the shouty one in my family, and used to threaten my DH with divorce after each argument. I am often angry at virtually nothing. Feeling that I have to run away and start over used to visit me quite often, too.
What helped me.. 1) that my DH does not engage in arguments, otherwise it would go on and on and on. 2) it gets better with age, now as I am in my mid-30ies. 3) It helps to find focus on something else for example I am in search of my ideal house and it preoccupies me quite a bit. 4) Learning calming techniques, leaving the room, anger management.
Your husband seems quite a lovely chap. Do not make anger-based decisions. Step back, calm down, perhaps take a break on your own, think about it.
PM me if you want.
Thank you for the replies - it makes me feel less alone. I am the most together person on the surface and to other people probably. My husband gets the worst of me and I just don't want him to. I had problems as a child, and was on Ritalin for awhile, but I definitely grew out of my childhood problems.
I'm disappointed as my first counselling session was cancelled yesterday, but maybe this has helped me get things clear in my head. Maybe it's less about my marriage than I thought, and more about me...
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.