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This can't be right can it?(21 Posts)
Me and DH have been together for 4 years, married for 18 months. We have a daughter that's 9 months old.
He is a caring man, very honest and open, works hard and loves our daughter. He had an emotionally abusive father and a mother who continues to be very manipulative now. He models the exact opposite of this - he has lots of insight into what he doesn't want our family to be like.
Writing it down makes me feel even more guilty than I already do but I need some fresh eyes: I am desperately unhappy and I don't understand why.
The things I can pin down and name seem so small and silly that they can't be the reason but it's all I have - for instance, he never seems to enjoy himself. He's never sad or down but he doesn't smile or laugh. It sounds silly but it really affects me - he NEVER smiles. I just want to have a little bit of fun. He provides financially for us but I want to feel as though he wants to be around me and I guess, as selfish as this sounds, I want to feel special and wanted. I just don't.
A big part of it is surely the fact that we don't have sex anymore. We haven't had regular sex since about a year into the relationship. Before this I had a very high sex drive. It's not like he can't keep up with me either; the worrying thing is I don't want it anymore.
I know people are probably thinking "so just leave him then" but I know I would be sad without him. And I do love him. I catch myself fantasising about it being just me and my daughter and I hate myself for it. And I know it is an unrealistic fantasy - I'm sure I would miss him. But what can I do?
I'm sure this seems like a non problem to a lot of people and I do understand that I am in a far better situation than many others. I just want to know how to help us both enjoy life a little more.
It is not a non problem, but you really do need to sit down with him and discuss things.
A lack of sex so early into a relationship and while you are still young is a major problem not a non-problem.
It's not a non-problem!
Have you talked to him about it?
There are lots of recent threads on sexless relationships on here with lots of good advice. I am not an expert but I get from those threads that the issue needs to be tackled head on and if there are no health issues it is a matter of acceptance ie can you live in a sexless relationship? If both partners are happy it can work but with differing sex drives there is a problem. Not clear from your op what the problem is re the sex.
It's not a non-problem. But your baby is only nine months old and your hormones might well still be in chaos, especially if you're breastfeeding. I would talk to him about it, and consider speaking to your GP too. It might well be to do with the stress and hard work of having small children, and nothing to do with your feelings for your partner.
I definitely would not say just leave him. Relationships go through stale phases, they can be salvaged, good communication is required and saying what you have said here with some cushioning of your points would be a good start. Having a child is a huge change in a relationship and it totally resets the dynamics and in my relationship we really had to work at it in the early years.
DH can be a bit unemotional too. It is just who he is but he adores me and the kids and demonstrates that through his actions so maybe look at the little things your DH does for you and focus on those.
As for your sex life, it is not really surprising if you are not feeling particularly 'loved' ,sorry that might not be what you are saying, that you are not feeling like having sex. If you had a good sex life that too can be rekindled.
Thank you for taking the time to reply. I haven't talked to him in an explicit way about it. We've had a few serious chats about how things are changing since the baby and ways to help each other. He is BIG on communication as he saw how a lack of it fucked up his mum and dad. I try my hardest to be open with him but I don't want to hurt him.
I've tried to think over the sex issue a lot as I do still get an extremely high sex drive around ovulation time. I always hate it because it makes me think - great, this is it, you feel like it so go and have sex! But I just don't want to. Not with him.
A pp said that their partner clearly adores them through his actions. I think this is what's hard - I understand he loves me and wants to look after me it just feels like he doesn't particularly like me. It feels as if he's got to do it rather than he wants to do it.
I sound so selfish and spoilt. I'm sure I'm making mistakes in the relationship too. I know talking to him is the sensible answer but how do I do that without hurting him? I don't want to feel even more awful than I already do.
Everything you say - heck even down to your screenname, suggests that you've been beaten into thinking you're a bit crap. You're apologising for feeling unhappy but please don't - you're allowed to be discontented. In fact, sometimes being unhappy and just not knowing why can screw with your head even more than having a real 'issue' to hang your unhappiness on.
Not saying one is better or worse than the other, but I can empathise with your situation in that little things are a bit crap but, certainly to the outside persepctive, you should have 'nothing to complain about'.
I think you absolutely need to talk to him as a matter of urgency. Don't go on the attack, and don't use the phrases 'you always' or 'you never' (or similar versions). Go at it from the 'This is how I feel and sometimes your actions don't help me feel any better' kind of angle.
Really hope you can find some peace and happiness.
You sound like perfect candidates for couples counselling. Would you both be up for that?
It is good that he wants to be a good husband and father and puts effort into it. It is hard when you have only had bad role models. It sounds like he knows "don't do this" but hasn't properly got "do this instead".
9 months old is a tricky stage. You start to come out of the baby fog and see how your life and relationship has changed. You feel ready to get back to being your old self, back to having your pre-baby relationship, but everything has changed and it can be depressing.
I had the fear that "this is it": me and my relationship have turned into something I never wanted and never believed it could ever be. Turns out DH had similar fears. He felt like a bastard for having those thoughts, so didn't talk about it until I raised the subject.
We used that fear to make changes to make things be the way we wanted them to be, which fortunately was pretty much the same for each of us. It worked.
If you are both fundamentally nice, compatible people then counselling and open conversation can be extremely useful.
I agree. Don't waste your life feeling like rubbish.
Either sort it out or end if and find someone who you can be happy with.
Settling for this just isn't worth it.
Thank you. You've given me lots to think about. Couple counselling might be good for us. I guess I'm a bit sceptical of it but I'm not sure why.
I will try and talk about things with him tonight. He is so understanding I don't know why I'm so scared. I just don't want to hurt him but my main difficulties are bound to be painful for him to hear.
Going out on a limb here, I think you should stop feeling sooo scared of hurting him and give him a chance by being clear about what you want. Absolutely agree with PPs who said express it as your issue, i feel you don't love me, i feel you are just getting through it and aren't interested in me or whatever.
If you are both brave enough to be clear about your appreciation of each other, and are not just using the other to make up for your own lack of self esteem... you have the basis of a great relationship.
Sorry posted without getting to my whole point: can you get to the bottom of why you feel so scared? What experiences have you had, that brings this up for you? Is it a true reaction to your partner, or something hanging around unresolved from a previous relationship or family relationships?
You need to talk to him and then look at counselling for both of you. What do you have to lose?
Would you miss him if you split up, or would you miss having someone?
Finallyhere - I've had a think and I'm probably so scared of hurting him due to the break up of the relationship before we got together. It was a very passionate relationship, lots of emotion but with that came drama. I was definitely 2nd best to a whole host of things (probably more like 10th best) and I ended the relationship. I'd tried to talk to my bf but he hadn't heard me. I ended it and it broke him. He became very depressed. I'm still good friends with his sister and I don't think he's ever got over it. I don't mean he hasn't got over me! I mean the whole ordeal. I still have a lot of guilt for being the instigator there.
As for whether I would miss my DH I just don't know. I don't think I would terribly but I don't want to hurt him. I have a very supportive family and he doesn't. He loves being a part of my family and they love him. I don't want to take that away from him.
There's you're answer then, you need to think of you rather than him. Not easy when you're a lovely caring person
He's big on communication but never smiles. That's a massive part of communication missing. He almost certainly doesn't realise this is even happening and how it makes you feel ie as if he doesn't like you. Would he be receptive to this from you? Does he smile and engage with the baby appropriately? If so he can build on it.
I think that if he could learn to engage with you better using expression, gestures and words things might improve a lot. As it stands he sounds like a little boy trying very hard to act the good husband and dad. He's learning the lines but not actually very convincing. Doesn't mean he doesn't love you to bits, just not good at making himself understood.
Sounds like there's potentially all sorts going on here. Do you think he got married and had a baby because his parents expected him to? Is he fulfilled in other areas of his life?
Is he depressed?
I have mentioned the smiling thing before. We were out and had got separated. As we found each other I smiled and waved at him and he just stared blankly and walked towards me. It doesn't sound like much but it hurt me so much. I thought it was natural to just return a smile when you saw one...especially one from your wife. He was so apologetic and kept saying "I'll try to smile more, I'm sorry" which made me feel horrible. I don't want him to feel bad or just smile more if he doesn't want to - I want to know why he doesn't feel like smiling.
In fairness as well, he does interact beautifully with the baby. He can sometimes be a bit over zealous and behave as though she is 3 or 4 but apart from that he is wonderful with her. So it isn't true when I say he never smiles.
I think he is struggling a lot with his relationship with his mum at the moment. Since the baby came she has taken her craziness to a whole new level. And when I think about it, this has become worse from my perspective since the baby too. I try and support him with the interactions he has with his mum but it is all very ingrained (understandably). She is able to control him a lot and makes him feel like shit. I want to be the wife that helps him through that and doesn't abandon him. But I also need to feel loved.
It's been a big help pulling things apart like this so thank you for everyone's thoughts.
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