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.
Not sure what answers I'm looking for but.. here goes..(55 Posts)
So I'm new, and looking at all the good advice that's given here on various things, I thought I'd give it a shot.
I'm married 10 years with two dc 11 and 8. The problem is, although I really like my family life and wouldn't do anything to sacrifice it, I don't fancy my dh. I know it's gone and isn't coming back and I suppose you could say, we're in friend zone (for me anyway). We do still have sex, though not loads and mainly instigated by me cos I don't feel I can shut up shop with no explanation, but I don't want to give an explanation either cos a split is not what I want. In other ways, things are good. I respect my dh as an equal and he's a good dad. We're quite independent and not the type to crowd each other, and we each have hobbies and in general, the family setup is good. I suppose when I look into the future, I don't see us together and I'm wondering if anyone ever did that, ie stayed together until the kids were older, then just parted amicably, or if that's even possible?
I could've written this, no answers though I'm just muddling along. It feels like I have two options separate to make me happy (selfish) or stay & resign myself to a lifetime of not being true to myself
Difficult situation wish I could see into the future too.....
Thing is, it's not that I'm unhappy or want to leave, I'd like us to just be friends but bring up the kids amicably until we can separate, but that's not more important to me than the happiness of my kids, so I guess if I have to go thru the motions, I will...
Anyway, judging by the lack of response, people are either in blissfully happy relationships or abusive ones, with no in-between!
I have quite a few friends living this way. It is low tension, and within their comfort zone. I think some of them will separate once the children are adults (that means about 25 around here). Others i think will just stay this way for the long haul.
I personally would chose this given the chance, if our lights were to fizzle out. Probably because I suffered so much as a consequence of my parents divorce I am very invested in that not happening to my son. It isn't completely rational, nor am i saying it is the one true way. But it would be the best option for me, because it is the one I could live with the least angst.
Of course the above is pure therory, ask me again if it is still my top choice if I have to put it into practice .
I feel you are after the 'high' of the relationship and now that it is 'normal' and mundane you think that is not good enough.
I would suggest you really look at what you want and then accept that and be happy with your decision.
None of us can look into the future - would it help if we could??
I feel that my parents had this type of marriage and always felt they would part at the first chance.
However my mum became ill and my dad was then 'unable' to leave - who leaves a sick partner??
Since then my mum has become dependent of my father and he is now her carer - she will probably live for many more years totally reliant on my father for pretty much everything.
As you can imagine it is not a happy relationship at all.
My mother being cared for by someone she does not respect or love (as i think she knew they were never going to stay together) and my father having to look after her and not have the life he wanted.
They are both miserable and probably will be for years.
I am determined not to ever end up like that.
I can honestly say i am with my h because i want to be.
We dont have what i would call an exciting marriage but we both are able to talk about how we are feeling. I would rather be alone than with someone i did not care about and it would be too upsetting to think he was only with me for the sake of the children.
It may be boring but it works for us.
Good luck with finding what you really want
Sounds like the best possible outcome. If you look at what would be better - a life of endless mutual lust - then look at 50% of marriages ending in divorce, then the first must be vanishingly rare. You might just as well wish to win the lottery.
Be happy with what you have.
What is it you are actually after? It's pretty unrealistic to expect after ten years and 2 kids that your heart will skip a beat when he walks into the room. Personally I'd love to have what you have.
I've been a single parent and it's no fun at all. OK, you wait until the kids are older. Well there's no guarantees you'll find that special someone. Nor that after living with him for a few years that you'll feel exactly the same.
Let me ask a question. Other than the kids, what have you both got in common? You say you have separate hobbies and you are quite independent. What do you do together?
For my partner & I, we go fitness training 1-2 times a week, we regularly get rid of the kids so we can go out with friends, meals, alone whatever. What I've made a conscious effort for this time around is to not only spend time with the kids but just as a couple too.
Happywoman 'I feel you are after the 'high' of the relationship and now that it is 'normal' and mundane you think that is not good enough.'
No not really; ok yes in one way, I sometimes get a pang that I'll never experience any type of thrill from sex again, but I know too well that that can't be sustained in a long-term rel and tbh, if something happened to DH, I've already decided I wouldn't live with anyone else. So I'm not trying to replace what I have with something else and I don't think what I have isn't good enough. All I'm saying is I just wish there wasn't the constant need to keep sex going when it becomes more a duty, even though all other aspects are good.
niceguy2 we do stuff together, stuff apart and stuff with the family. Broadly speaking, we have interests in common and get on well. What I'm saying is, we are both the type of people that are quite capable of living independently. I'm not looking for a special someone, nor was I ever; I wanted kids and hoped to meet someone who would be interested in bringing them up with me in a pleasurable way. My dh, whether we split or not in the future, will always be special to me and I would have a vested interest in never falling out.
I can see people think I'm being ungrateful but I'm not.
fastweb good to hear that at least people go through similar stuff...
I so feel for you. I won't bore on about my situation but am in similar "ok" marriage after near separation last year, and wonder is it going to be enough. I don't want to spend rest of my life looking for something else. Yet the marriage is a lot to give up if I am just going through some mid-life ennui thing. my therapist (and that's another story) says you will never find certainty in situations like this, so don't look for it. If you stay together you will be missing out on some things, but equally if you part there are major sacrifices too. I do still keep hoping something will happen to make it all seem a bit more clear.....
Dunno. My parents were married for 41 years but hadn't had sex since, pretty much, my siblings were born. So - a sexless marriage for over 35 years. They got on ok, had similar interests but rubbed each other up the wrong way quite a lot. I know my mum wound my Dad up and I know she found him bloody annoying - but they stuck it out until she died 4y ago, quite young (63). Dad is still upset about it and wouldn't dream of trying to find someone else (ok, he's older but it doesn't stop some people!).
I don't know if either of them would have been happier if they'd split - I know my Dad took his wedding vows absolutely seriously and I'm pretty sure my Mum wouldn't have known where to start in terms of living on her own (she never had) and probably didn't want to (she never said and she used to talk a lot about pretty much everything else she thought/felt).
My marriage is ok - but it's not brilliant, and it's far from perfect. However, I expect to stay in it for the long haul as well - although I do wonder what I'd do were anything (God forbid!) to happen to DS. No sense in borrowing trouble though!
Hope you find some resolution for yourself.
Thanks to the last two posters for those posts...
ducati what your therapist said is to true: 'If you stay together you will be missing out on some things, but equally if you part there are major sacrifices too.' I know the sacrifice would be too big in my case but I think I just needed to know there are other people in the same situation.
Thumbsnose our relationship isn't sexless, I make sure of that even though, like I said, my heart isn't in it. Luckily I feel v positively towards dh, which makes it easier.
You're kind of damned if you do and damned if you don't! I feel at least I'm making an effort to keep things at a level, unlike the wives of guys who post saying their wives won't have sex with them and won't talk about it
(mainly by the way, it's cos they don't fancy you but nobody seems to want to confront that reality/possibility any more). Yet the general consensus here it that I'm ungrateful for what I have
I am wondering why you are so sure it can't come back
Sorry, clicked post too soon. Is it some change in his appearance, did you never fancy him that much? Or do you fancy him but could do without sex, or the other way round. Sorry for the questions
Definitely no change in him, this is entirely down to me and yes, I did fancy him at the start. I know it won't come back because it's never come back with previous boyfriends, even though I'm still friendly with them all.
Could I do without sex? In this rel, yes. In general with anyone? Well I suppose I could... the reality is anyone could - sex is not a prerequisite to survival. But I wouldn't like to have to. The best way I can explain it is to compare sex to alcohol: I don't drink a huge amount but love to have a few enjoyable beers now and again, and wouldn't like if I had to give that simple pleasure up.
I know that for many when this happens, it can be down to something in particular (the pill, tiredness, dh not doing enough in house, etc etc), but nobody will ever convince me that it's not sometimes just not having any more physical attraction to someone. The problem is you just can't say that to someone you're married to unless you clearly intend to leave cos that's ... well it's the bloody end isn't it?
Was in similar situation to OP for about 4 years of a 18 year marriage. The relationship was essentially good (kindness and mutual caring) and actually it would be easier to stay and sort out then start out all over again. It's early days...
We hadn't had sex for years, communication was (is) a problem. Counselling did not work for us. We are very independent and have separate friends, hobbies etc. But we things are slowly getting better.
I am not a natural fit for married life, (like my space, too independent) and would more than likely have been happier single but I am going to make the best of the relationship I have.
Think about what you want, what you think is realistic (in terms of changes in your relationship) and what the realities of starting over would be for you (finances, etc).
Sexwise, if you are convinced that it won't get better, it won't. Yes it didn't happen with previous relationships, but this is the first time with your Dh.
Maybe talking about change (in the bedroom and out), define what good sex/a good relationship means for you.
It might be that a tiny bit of tweeking/fine tuning may be sufficient to significantly improve your whole outlook of the state of your relationship.
Look, ten years in a marriage is not the same as ten months where the love is there. You are entering a different phase in life. Perhaps talk about it and see how he feels. Look at your marriage life from a different perspective and you might find contentment.
Payne1234 it did happen with previous relationships, so the prob is mine not in any way his. Good sex to me stems from a basic desire to actually want sex with someone for a start. I know my libido is fine though. It's not that I'm convinced it won't get better, I would love more than anything for things to be different. But you can't make yourself fancy someone, that's the bottom line. Surely this must have happened to other people? Apart from this one issue, I am content. I guess I feel guilty about keeping up a pretence, apart from anything else.
Payne1234 like you, I don't think I'm a natural fit for married life. But that's the way things are set up, if you want kids, you have to get into a situation that may not be the situation most suited to you, in order to provide a stable framework for the kids to be brought up in.
Anyway thanks for all the insights.
Tellmethefuture I did understand that it happened in former relationships (you going off partner, not finding them sexually attractive), this is similar to me in the past and usually I would end the relationship too.
Crucially I assumed that once it (sexual attraction) had gone it wouldn't be coming back. I think whether it comes back depends on many things:
1. Are there any unresolved issues? I didn't find Dh sexually attractive when we had problems we were ignoring/not dealing with.
2. How do you feel about your body and your sexuality?
3. How often do you think about sex?
At the time I got married I believed that I needed to be married to feel comfortable/secure. I don't believe that now
If you are the one instigating the sex that you don't really feel like having, isn't it possible that your H would be quite happy to do without it as well? You don't have to have sex with each other if neither of you is keen on the idea.
'I think its an incredibly unfair decision unless both parties are aware and know, I would be devasted to find out after DCs have grown up DH doesnt really want to be with me and was just sitting out time.'
I get that view, but clearly it's happening a certain amount with couples. Sometimes it's not practical to split and sometimes it's not the right thing for the children. I know both of those apply to my situation. My dh isn't under any illusion that we're soulmates or anything; we both believe that not everyone is looking for or needs a soulmate. For all I know, maybe he's thinking the same thing as I am, it's just I don't really want to be the one to broach it. I know he wouldn't do anything to jeopardise the kids' happy lives.
Payne1234 No, Good and Relatively Often (depends how busy I am) in answer to your questions. OK for the first question, of course there are times when disagreements happen but I'd say nothing beyond the norm.
SCGB I feel I can't go that route in case it forces a split. Right now, I know a split is not the right thing and I'm not financially independent, having spent a number of years working on and off/sahm. I re-trained while taking time off work but it'll take me time to build up experience.
TMTF: Look, if you can't talk to your H things are not going to get any better. Repeatedly having sex that you don't really want, just to keep your H 'contented' is going to make you hate and resent him in the long run. You say he is 'under no illusion' that we're soulmates' - he sounds just as pleasant and practical as you, so why do you think acknowledging the changes in your marriage will 'force a split'? You don't have to start by saying 'I don't fancy you so we're never going to have sex again, cup of tea?' after all. But a general chat about expectations in marriage might actually help you feel a lot better about yours.
How do you feel about affairs and an honest marriage? If you are both friends, and both happy to be friends and remain married it might work very well. As springchicken says, having sex when you don't want to can build resentment.
OP - you come across as quite self-indulgent. This comment from you "Thing is, it's not that I'm unhappy or want to leave, I'd like us to just be friends but bring up the kids amicably until we can separate", followed by you stating that you don't want to talk to your husband about your true feelings in case it forces a split, is grossly unfair to him.
You have a responsibility within your relationship to discuss this with him. If doing so means that he wishes to separate from you then so be it, at least he will be acting with knowledge rather than being towed along in the dark until it suits you to have the conversation.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.