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.
So what do you do when you've been together with someone for 12 years and no longer find them attractive,(74 Posts)
and there's no passion or lust on the rare occasions you kiss, you've ran out of things to say other then trivia crap. The relationship is more of a good friendship. Is this the end of the marriage can it be saved. This feeling of awkwardness with him and pretending especially in the bed room.
I agree with brettgirl2, also, you sound ground down. What can you do to make your own life more fun, can you do stuff outside the home that would give you a break from squabbling DH and DCs. You are the exhausted DM in the home but there is no rule that says that you must also be the doormat. Can you change things for yourself?
You need to try counselling. Any relationship can start to go stale. You need him to grow up, you need to rekindle the spark by having a laugh and finding stuff you both enjoy. Don't end it till you've tried is my advice, then you can be sure it's the right thing to do.
I dont think its normal to feel like this at only 12 years in. You havent been together that long if you think how long your life is. It doesnt sound like you are getting much out of the relationship.
those who say 'try for the kids' - you think it's a good atmoshpere for them to live in, loveless marriage and actually OP doesn;t even LIKE him, and says she feels like hurting him. You've just drifted well apart, OP, so best to separate and see whether you feel that you miss him. Atm you are not going to find that drive that's needed to change things with him, as you are just fed up with his presence. It may be that you feel a lot better as a free and single, so then you can go on and divorce.
Is he the same sort of age as you?
When did you last have a heart to heart with him?
The more I read about this, the more it seems that actually he's given up making any effort towards either family life or you and yet seems to expect normal service from you (i.e. sex, a well-run life and home, nicely brought up children). I'm not surprised you've gone off him. Sounds to me like being taken for granted for so long has resulted in you feeling less like a desirable woman and more like a mousy wife, mother and housekeeper. It's not surprising your libido has nosedived and you've ceased to find him attractive.
OP, that sound a bit different. Of course you should not have sex with him if you don't want to.
To a degree I think what you describe is normal, but there are so many aspects (toxic family, disagreements about parenting, the attraction issue, your tiredness...) that I would consider professional help if you are willing to put the effort in.
Particularly in times of stress the grass is very much greener, but you don't know how knackering it is to maintain it at this level of green-ness (or how high the weed is growing in the borders).
Talking to a professional can help take stock and find out if you (both) can save this marriage. I'd be the last person to urge anyone to stay in an unbearable situation.
Infidelity is a completely different matter because it's a gross loss of trust and the breaking of promises. Few relationships can split amicably after something like that and it's the betray that tends to 'rip apart' families, force people to take sides etc.
Two grown-ups reluctantly accepting that a relationship is unhappy and isn't working any more, and then parting on reasonably good terms, ensuring the DCs are disrupted as little as possible, can potentially create a healthier, happier two-centre family.
Can I just ask something in general. All the advice about leaving if you're unhappy, don't waste your life, etc etc. How does this sit alongside the usual invective on threads about infidelity where children are involved, ie the crime of ripping apart a family?
Where are the kids needs in this?
" I am just wondering how normal it is to feel like your not attracted to your partner or to feel you've drifted apart."
It's normal. If it wasn't normal, organisations like Relate wouldn't flourish and there wouldn't be a substantial percentage of marriages ending up in the divorce courts. Those aside, I'm sure there is another substantial percentage of relationships where people (for whatever reason) choose to stay together and endure the feeling you're describing. You see these (often quite old) couples out and about from time to time, snapping at each other, rolling their eyes and generally acting like they really don't like each other. What a miserable waste of a life.
Being 'a wife' shouldn't make any difference. If you don't want to have sex with someone, don't do it. It's not your responsibility to make him happy just because he put a ring on your finger once.
There is no man on the scene and I'm not looking for validation to leave. I am just wondering how normal it is to feel like your not attracted to your partner or to feel you've drifted apart. It's hard to write lots on here as I've got my children home etc and there's 12 years history to write about. Sex is important to most men and he does have a high sex drive. If I don't want sex he gets a bit moody maybe he takes it personally. Most of the time I am just knackered but even so I go along with it I guess to try and help the marriage , closeness. Dh has always been a bit Kiddish sometimes he doesn't read situations well and I get a bit fed up with being the serious one. He is grumpy with kids or perhaps strict we have different upbringings. He does however clash with ds1 in a big way and mainly because they are so similar, tiring and frustrating.
I've been with the guy for 12 years and have had ups and downs before and I've stayed and worked at it. His family are toxic and caused stress in the passed. Perhaps I do think the grass is greener and do not realise what I already have.
The way I felt the other night was awful and what I didn't say because it sounds absolutely awful is that at times because there is no attraction, lust or whatever you want to call it I feel like I am prostituting myself in the bedroom. And that's an awful thing to say or feel. I am trying to keep him happy and to be a wife but its hard when you feel like that. He doesn't put the pressure on anymore and rarely initiates it but when he does I feel like I should go along with.
Think you are getting some harsh comments here! It seems entirely understandable that you wouldn't feel excited about a grumpy man who makes no effort to appear attractive to you.
How grumpy is he?
I agree with previous posters that Relate might be a good idea...
Are you reluctant to talk to him because you don't believe he can change?
It seems that its not really advice you are looking for, more validation that your decision to leave is o.k
My impression too. There is more to this. My antennae tell me there is a new man on the scene.
AAaah! Have you met someone you fancy?
I read somewhere that men in a marriage need a happy wife to make them feel successful and happy, if you see what I mean, that is what makes them successful in their own eyes. So your lack of interest and criticism could be getting picked up by him and making him worse company.
I wonder what you are really looking for, separation so that some dreamboat can move in? Separation so that you can live an exciting part-time single life?
Imagine that you split and he finds someone new very quickly, how would you feel?
If you don't really want to stay with this man then continue as you are but it would be interesting if you changed and became more vivacious in his company and paid more attention to how you looked and gave him more attention. Will he change to match you???
Three's more to this than meets the eye, as Cinnamon says.
You seem to be telling us nothing. That is your prerogative, it is your thread. Or is this a sign of you yourself being emotionally guarded?Maybe this explains why you act the way you do, to a man who seems perfectly pleasant. A man, who it would appear deserves some effort and better treatment, from you. But you seems unable/unprepared to give.
No point any of us wasting our time, giving our advice, if deep down you really don't want it. Just say!!
I agree with Caster8. You have had great advice, but none of it seems to be helping you, hitting home with you.
All your posts, especially the last one, show that in actual fact, you seem to have already 'checked out'.
It seems that its not really advice you are looking for, more validation that your decision to leave is o.k.
I think there is way more than you tell us. Why has he not grown up, why is sex more important to him, why is he grumpy with the kids. etc.
"I'd rather be here than alone"
Alone isn't as bad as you make it sound....
I could almost write your words myself, I am in the exact same situation with my DH except if we ever have sex it's boring (only done twice this year).
It is really hard because I would rather be here than alone but I do feel trapped.
I wish I had the answer!
I know this isn't the point so sorry for digressing but I always wonder why so many posters seem to recommend someone who is having relationship problems/general disillusionment have CBT? These type of issues are much more suited to less brief, goal focused approaches that are more explorative and less directive. CBT is great for some things but its not always the best option. I would look for a good integrative counsellor/psychotherapist.
I sort of get the impression that you have already emotionally checked out, without talking to him at all.
Perhaps you dont want him, or you, to come up with ideas to save the relationship?
And if so, I am wondering why.
Go to Relate!
Sounds like you are both in a rut and could do with support/new ideas/kick up backside.
I think the awkwardness is from the fact he is still attracted to me and shows affection whereas I can't or find it more false. I know the grass isn't greener and i know nothing or no one can replace being with the father of your children and growing old together. Part of it is I've grown up and he hasn't so much we are the same age. He can be very grumpy especially with the kids at times. We are just so so different. Sex isn't overly important but it is to him so the fact I don't find him attractive makes it difficult for 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.