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The ache of the absence of affection in my marriage is very hard to bear

(25 Posts)
tisrainingagain Sun 10-Aug-14 00:09:59

Has anyone been through this?

So many issues.

I kid myself that I can carry on like this (with no affection between h and I) but it really hurts.

PurpleWithRed Sun 10-Aug-14 00:14:10

Why would you? Do you like him? Love him?

tisrainingagain Sun 10-Aug-14 00:24:10

I really don't know anymore. There is a lot about the way he behaves that I don't like, but it's the fact that we have 3 dc which keeps me where I am. But on nights like tonight I have this ache in my stomach.

He's generally quite a difficult bad tempered person who over the years has often been rude / unpleasant towards me. Our temperaments are different. And yet I end up being jealous of my dc blush because of the amount of affection he shows them confused??

Darkesteyes Sun 10-Aug-14 00:24:36

Ive been through this too OP.

everydayvictimblaming.com/submissions/my-mother-misogyny-men/

Ive lost almost 3 stone since I wrote this and it has upped my confidence but it has also increased my drive.

How long have you been going through this OP wine

tisrainingagain Sun 10-Aug-14 00:37:40

darkesteyes I think what hurts the most is the lack of everyday affection: kind words, a hug, interest in me etc... We were still sleeping together (though not often on average once a month or every 6 weeks) mainly at my instigation. I am sleeping in a different room now because having sex with him made his sometimes angry outbursts harder to bear. I also couldn't comprehend how he could sleep with me and seem to enjoy it but not touch me at all (as in on the arm or wherever) in the days that followed.

tisrainingagain Sun 10-Aug-14 00:39:47

Our relationship has been difficult for a few years now. I don't think he is at all bothered by the lack of day to day touching. In fact I think he really couldn't care less sad.

Darkesteyes Sun 10-Aug-14 00:41:19

Angry outbursts? It sounds like he is being emotionally abusive OP

What happens during these outbursts. Does he end up breaking anything?

tisrainingagain Sun 10-Aug-14 00:47:25

No (he sometimes slams stuff around in the kitchen or kicks something out of his way, he is exasperated by mess and I am messier than him) he will say something hurtful in an angry way and I will be very hurt by it and withdraw.

FrontForward Sun 10-Aug-14 00:50:14

I think counselling is your only way forward. If he won't consider it then I suspect counselling might help you on your own deal with the relationship

tisnotme Sun 10-Aug-14 00:52:35

Yes, I know how you you feel but have no advice because it would be ..well I can't take my own advice xx

tisrainingagain Sun 10-Aug-14 00:54:09

We went to counselling 2 years ago but he stopped coming after roughly 5 sessions. There are so many resentments eating us both up. Mainly I feel hurt sad. I also spent 2 years going to see a counsellor by myself but stopped going last summer.

Gumblossom Sun 10-Aug-14 01:06:52

Itsraining, I am sorry you are going through this.It sounds very difficult. I do not have any experience of this, however, I think you need to consider your children - I know you are and that is why you are staying with your DH. However, do you think it is good for them to see that marriage is an institution where a man shows no affection for his wife, has angry outbursts, and where a woman is deeply unhappy (I think you are)?

Withholding affection, the way your DH does is a form of passive abuse.What has your counsellor said about it all? Have they suggested you need to leave him? I think your happiness is being shoved to the side and in the long run this will not be good for your mental health, nor for your children. I doubt your DH is going to change, especially as you said,"he couldn't care less".

I hope you can find a way forward.

FrontForward Sun 10-Aug-14 01:44:46

I stayed for the children. It is something I regret because they felt the tension and yet couldn't ask.

It's much better now we are divorced and all much happier for it

tisnotme Sun 10-Aug-14 01:57:03

It's so hard seeing someone behave 'normally' towards others, whether that is children or adults, when their behaviour to you is plainly critical. I have experienced this for many years and wish desperately that I had done something positive (towards me) about it. I wish you luck x

tisrainingagain Sun 10-Aug-14 09:22:32

Thanks for your posts. I feel better this morning though still don't know what to do about the state of our relationship. Our relationship counsellor did not get very far with us because h gave up top early. My own counsellor mirrored me mainly and didn't offer advice as to what I should do.

I need to find work and sort my own life out before I make any huge decisions, but the problem I have is that I often feel distracted / depressed / lethargic about the state of things between h and I and then cannot function well enough to change the things I need to change. I basically feel sorry for myself I think confused.

tisrainingagain Sun 10-Aug-14 09:23:09

Too early not top early!

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 10-Aug-14 09:30:08

You're describing an emotionally abusive relationship. Withdrawal of affection, unkindness and nitpicking are all very common controlling techniques. Slamming and kicking things is aggressive behaviour, designed to intimidate, and is classed as Domestic Abuse. The reason you feel the way you do is that being the victim of a bully leads to low confidence, self-esteem and depression. Quite normal but all of which makes it difficult to act

It is NOT recommended to engage in joint counselling when there is abuse or bullying in a relationship. The abuser never believes they are in the wrong and therefore is not prepared to change. Instead they will attempt to manipulate the sessions or dismiss the outcome..... which is precisely what he's done. Personal counsellors will rarely, if ever, say 'do this'.... they allow you to explore the facts and reach your own conclusions instead

The only answers to a bully are to stand up to them at every turn (exhausting) or to reject them out of hand (LTB). There's no middle ground.

tisrainingagain Sun 10-Aug-14 09:46:31

Based on your analysis cogito then is it safe to think that it is not that I am intrinsically unattractive or unlovable? Coming to this conclusion would make it easier for me to function.

I desperately need to start doing stuff - anything to shift the feeling of being in a stagnant rut.

Don't know how to stop feeling sorry for myself? ?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 10-Aug-14 09:58:40

I think no-one is intrinsically unattractive or unloveable... but it suits bullies to grind their confidence down until they believe that. 'No-one else would want you so you'd better stay with me'... is the effect.

Some ideas on how to stop feeling sorry for yourself
1. Emotionally detach. Tell yourself that you do not need your DH to love or even like you. Observe his behaviour in the detached way you'd observe a stranger. What do you notice? What happens when you stop caring?
2. Remain emotionally detached but stand up to any and all examples of rudeness, unpleasantness, put-downs, nit-picking, aggression. Use assertive statements rather than engaging in an argument. 'I am not happy with that attitude'... 'I will not tolerate that behaviour'....
3. Acknowledge that you cannot change another person, only yourself. Make small plans of things to do that are just for you and which make you less reliant. A job. A hobby. A regular social life. A new skill. Small steps of separation so that you live alongside rather than with your partner.
4. Get legal and other practical advice. This may sound shocking but part of the depression of being in an abusive relationship is the trapped feeling that you have no choices. See what your choices are - even if you never act on them - and you will gain strength

Stupidhead Sun 10-Aug-14 10:03:02

My exH sounds like him and that was EA relationship. No hugs, cuddles, kind words. We'd go out as a couple once a year to his Christmas 'do', no other nights out. He'd get angry,, we (me and 3 children), would walk on eggshells. We had sex every 4-6 months. He'd hit walls and then tell me how lucky I was as some men hit women - I'd pray that he would hit me so I had physical proof tbh. I'd feel lonelier if he was in a room with me than if I was by myself if that makes sense?

Fast forward 8 years, the children have no respect for him, he rarely bothers with them but tries to 'buy' their love. I'm engaged to my soulmate, we hold hands, hug and are stupidly soppy - even around asda! My previous life was killing me.

My eldest once asked if I'd ever go back to ex, I said 'no, sorry' - he said 'good, as I'd run away'.

Please get out xxx

mammadiggingdeep Sun 10-Aug-14 10:06:27

I experienced this. It's soul destroying. Somebody on here likened it to 'death by a 1000 cuts'. So true.

You will feel less lonely being alone. I promise.

FrontForward Sun 10-Aug-14 10:51:11

Yes the feeling less lonely when alone was a revelation post divorce

Pre divorce I started my escape (without actually realising that's what I was doing) by setting myself new goals....I started running, took up cooking as a hobby as opposed to producing a family meal that everyone would moan about. I dressed better, lost weight and looked in a mirror before leaving the house.

I then attracted lots of attention...except ExH

Suddenly I started to value myself.

Stupidhead Sun 10-Aug-14 11:17:00

Oh another thing, I visited my best friend (I had moved with ex miles away) got drunk and blurted out my woes. Felt awful and stupid the next morning, I mean he pays bills etc what do I have to moan about?! On the train home I got something out of my handbag and she'd (best pal) had put an envelope with £100 in it for 'emergency escape'. I hung onto to that envelope and put it in every bag I had over the next few years, it kept me sane and meant someone cared. And I did use it when I got out x

Snootyfox Sun 10-Aug-14 23:36:53

I don't have any advice but I could have written your post sad My husband is loving to the children which is the way it should be- but doesn't want to be affectionate with me. There is no love between us. It's exhausting. I hope you find a way through this. I know how you feel

Scarletohello Mon 11-Aug-14 00:09:45

My dad sounds like your husband. Please don't stay with him 'for the sake of the children'. I would have loved my mum to have divorced my dad. Sadly she never did. It gave me a terrible role model for relationships and I have never wanted to get married as a result.

He sounds like a bully and it's not surprising you feel depressed. You are loveable and worthwhile just as you are and the way he treats you is his own choice.

Please stand up for yourself. Hugs

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