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.

Anyone else feel their marriage is not a 'meeting of minds' and does it matter?

(36 Posts)
33goingon64 Wed 20-Feb-13 19:46:05

I have always known DH and I are not 'soul mates' and we didn't fall in love over long conversations about shared interests. There was a very strong physical attraction and a mutual fascination as we are a bit ying and yang, although we share important values like thinking it's important to be a good person, valuing intelligence and not having any religious beliefs, for example. And we are approaching parenting in very similar ways. In many other ways we differ wildly: career, cultural interests, political views to some extent, etc. I have never developed any interests in the things that excite him and although he has tried over the years to sample some of my interests (with some success) he still defaults to his own preferences (why shouldn't he, after all?).

I knew even on our wedding day, that it could be a problem, but I also knew from previous relationships that you can have too much in common and get bored, and what's more the common interest can mask problems as you still have so much to talk about. As I value so highly the more important attributes e.g. He's hard working, loving, a great dad, a caring son, a loyal friend, and he loves me so much, I thought it would be ok. I still think it can be ok, but I am increasingly irritated by the fact that we struggle to have free flowing, stimulating conversations more than about once every few months.

I don't believe that your DH should necessarily be your best friend, but can it last when (apart from a common love of your DC) you get excited by different things?

Casmama Wed 20-Feb-13 19:49:04

You mention that he loves you so much, do you love him?

33goingon64 Wed 20-Feb-13 19:50:28

BTW I shoud add that I am increasingly turning down sex and even kisses with him, and I know it's down to something fundamental about the way we are together out of bed, and not sex per se.

Casmama Wed 20-Feb-13 19:50:38

In answer to your question I think it does matter if you find him a good loving person but are bored by him. Sorry if I have misinterpreted what you said.

33goingon64 Wed 20-Feb-13 19:53:48

No you haven't misinterpreted. We used to talk much more than we do - not sure if it's the novelty wearing off and revealing a gap, or the effort not being made anymore -- mainly by me--

Casmama Wed 20-Feb-13 19:57:20

Could you look at finding a common interest- a new hobby or something? Maybe you have got into a bit of a rutt.
I haven't experienced quite what you are but did have a low point in my marriage where I didn't feel the same about dh but we have come through it and things are great now.

Casmama Wed 20-Feb-13 19:58:47

Do you go out much together say for a meal or a few drinks? It can really help to give you a chance to talk properly without everything else going on.

33goingon64 Wed 20-Feb-13 19:58:59

Glad to hear it Casmama. Did you do anything in particular to help the situation?

I married someone with whom I had far less in common, it was doomed. I am now with someone very different, who is without doubt my destiny, my soulmate and my best friend.

Perhaps time away without DC would help you to recall what brought you together?

Casmama Wed 20-Feb-13 20:05:56

To be honest a lot of it was down to my dh not working. It became better when he got a job but te big thing was making time for each other- going out on dates or even just turning the tv and laptops off to have a chat.

NoisesOff Wed 20-Feb-13 20:54:24

Yes, and yes.
We have very different interests and tastes, from hobbies, to culture, to aesthetics, to... well just about everything. We even have different opinions on whether this is in itself a problem! (He says no, I say yes.) I really do find it a challenge. We have some core personality traits and values in common, but not much else. It's hard.

RememberTheGoodTimes Wed 20-Feb-13 21:03:23

33 but your issue isn't that you have different tastes. This wasn't an issue before and didn't stop you from talking.
So something else has changed. And it can be just that neither of you are making an effort for the other.

33goingon64 Wed 20-Feb-13 21:55:13

NoisesOff, how long have you been together? How much did it bother you when you married (or committed in some way) and is it worse as time goes on?

superstarheartbreaker Wed 20-Feb-13 22:04:00

TBH If there is enough chemistry I don't think it matters what kind of art you like etc. It just sounds that the fundamental spark has govne. I was once lucky enough to meet the one with whom we had a complete meeting of mind, body and soul. We likes the same things, the same books, art and the sex was electric. Sadly we split as we live in different countries and we couldn't be together. I don't think that there has to be a complete meeting of minds; just a meeting of chemistry.

Seriouslysleepdeprived Wed 20-Feb-13 22:09:52

DH & I are definitely not a meeting of minds. In fact I'm not sure we are on the same planet a lot of the time. Sometimes he talks to me and I have absolutely no idea what he's on about. Not because of the topic but his interpretation of it. Left field.

He's a loving, kind man, which is why I married him. I do have to remind myself io this though when he's driving me nuts Sometimes i wish we were more alike, other times our differences make me laugh.

DiscretionAdvised Wed 20-Feb-13 22:14:01

I married someone and could have written much of your post. We drifted into each new phase of our relationship and have three kids. I always thought companionship was enough. I decided to end my marriage, am in a painful affair (described on other threads). Dh moved out two weeks ago.

We were/are good companions and made good parents but the spark was long gone. In fact seeing the comparison in how I feel about the om has made me realise it was never there

Kione Wed 20-Feb-13 22:14:39

marking my place as I have to go to bed but I feel exactly like OP although we are trying to improve

sarahseashell Wed 20-Feb-13 22:22:40

OP I hope you don't mind me asking but is there someone else on the horizon who has sparked off this discontent?
you sound like you have a lot of the fundamentals in place here and have had a good relationship. Do you/can you get intellectual stimulation from other sources?

NoisesOff Wed 20-Feb-13 22:33:00

33, about six years. Yes, it's bothered me more as time has gone on, because now we have children, we really ought to function more as a combined unit.

Moanranger Thu 21-Feb-13 09:31:00

I think the sharing of values is most critical. You can be happy with not sharing a lot of the same interests, as long as one partner is not threatened by it.
I found out several years into my marriage that STBXH & I did not share values re honesty, and this caused me to lose respect for him. His lack of honesty & duplicitousness eventually caused too many problems & we are now ending it. Lack of shared interests (& we did share some) was not a factor.
Looking back, my "grand passions" were usually with highly unsuitable men. I had no GP for STBXH, and I envy couples that I know ( not many!) who have this.

venusandmars Thu 21-Feb-13 10:55:01

What do you imagine to be 'a meeting of minds' or 'soul mates'? Is it something real, or something mythical and unobtainable and unrealistic?

I think most relationships are a balance of many differing needs and preferences. Personally I think that no ONE person is likely to exactly meet my many different interests, values, preferences (and my own ideas and interests have changed over the past 20 years so someone who was an exact match 20 years ago may not be an exact match now). For me it's about working out what is a good match, and what is a deal breaker.

For example, before dp, I was with a man who was 'soul-mate' material, free-flowing stimulating conversation, shared approach, made each other happy, and he made my legs go weak with desire. But we had one fundamental difference - our approach to money. It became a deal-breaker.

I also have a fabulous (male) friend. We share a particular interest, go on trips together, and could talk about this interest (and other related things) for days. But there is no physical chemistry / spark between us, there is no way that we could co-exist in a shared space (he is massively untidy), and he has a remarkable difficulty in committing to relationships with women.

And then there's dp. On the face of it we are very different - different interests, different career motivations, different approaches to life. But fundamentally we have the same values about love, family, commitment, responsibility, respect, honesty, money. And that makes it all work and hold together. At times if I'm feeling dissatisfied or bored (and I guess most of get a little bored at times in long-term relationships) then it would be easy to focus on the differences between us and see them as a problem. Or I can choose to see them in a different way: it is dp's stability and logical approach that enables me to take risks and follow my flights of fancy (rather than finding him a stick-in-the-mud holding me back); it is dp's passion for a particular hobby that gives me time/space on my own to do what I what (rather than moaning about him spending time away from me); it is dp's interest for physical adventure that encourages me to be to try some new things too; it is my career driven approach that helped get him out of a depressing rut at work etc.

And over the years we have both put an effort into finding area where we overlap most, and making the best of those. That includes finding a new shared interest (which will never be the greatest hobby for either of us, but definitely a way in which we do connect). I don't think it is about accepting something a mediocre life, it's about loving and accepting him for who he is, and loving and accepting myself for who I am.

33goingon64 Thu 21-Feb-13 11:39:41

Venus, that's such a positive response, thank you. It sounds very similar to us - the fundamental values are there. And what you say about seeing the differences in a positive light is really helpful - some of the examples you give are actually very similar in our situation and until recently I have been thinking about it in the same way as you.

It's just that the last few months we have become markedly less relaxed around each other and I suspect that me not feeling close to him in my mind is affecting my desire to be close to him physically. If we could only talk more and feel more free flowing and on the same wavelength, I feel that there's a chance we could recover some of the old physical intimacy.

33goingon64 Thu 21-Feb-13 11:46:35

Sarahseashell, no there isn't anyone else and yes I do have friends with common interests - I probably don't see enough of them though, and I don't work currently, which might mean I'm missing out on some intellectual stimulation.

Seriouslysleepdeprived, that sounds very familiar! Sometimes I think 'was that a joke or do you actually believe what you just said?. Because it wasn't funny and you sound like an idiot'.

venusandmars Thu 21-Feb-13 12:51:26

33 I suppose that fundamentally I see it as my responsibility to make myself feel happy and fulfilled (and dp enhances that - rather than causes it, iyswim) So there have been times when I've found our times together a bit flat and dull, and I've been bored with his apparent lack of stimulating conversation. So I wonder what I'm bored with in myself, and I've studied for something new, or followed a passion for cooking to do some voluntary work. And then because I'm feeling more fulfilled I think I have more interesting things to talk about (and even if they're not interesting to dp I'm going to talk about them anyway blush). And then mid-conversation he comes out with something helpful or supportive or insightful or controversial, and we're back on track with communicating.

And I have been know to give him a big kick up the arse too. A couple of years ago we were in a bit of a rut and one weekend I told him that I was planning to go and see a film and a concert (ones that we'd been talking about for ages but hadn't done anything about), and that he could either come with me or he could sit at home and mess about on his pc. But I also told him that I was expecting him to take responsibility for arranging something the next weekend. And that if he chose to do neither, and spend both weekends disengaged from me, then we would have to sit down and have a long 'relationship' talk. Tbh his fear of having to have a long discussion about our relationship is always enough to get him motivated into doing something grin.

33goingon64 Thu 21-Feb-13 13:44:57

Thanks Venus. I can definitely identify with what you say. I plan to take more responsibility for doing what interests me and not worry that DH doesn't get as excited by it as I do. I have been doing this but could do it with more vigour. Hopefully this will help. Did you find it helped your sex life too?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now