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I've shut down on my marriage

(43 Posts)
Whatamiserablemess Tue 09-Oct-12 07:00:20

Short history

We've been together 25 years, 3 kids. I've had periods of feeling 'out of love' with him, have asked for advice on here and things have gone back to being okay.

But the frequency of feeling like that has made me think maybe we've fundamentally grown apart. We've had the 'what if we separated' chat, and its financial reasons , the children, and the reaction it would cause that keep me here. I wouldn't know where to start.

We haven't had sex for...weeks. I was feeling dissatisfaction with our sex life, and now I've shut down there too. I figure what's the point in even starting If I'm only going to feel 'meh' about it. Even sharing a bed with him feels weird.

I feel sad that I can't be the kind of affectionate wife he needs, and he really needs it. He's a solid bloke, but I'd rather be by myself as its not fair to stay with him when I can't give him enough and I feel dead to him. I keep waiting for loving feelings to come back and they won't

I feel so sad about all this.

Helpyourself Tue 09-Oct-12 07:27:04

What else is going on? Is it just your feelings to him that are changing? Or any big life changes? DCs off to university? Retirement looming?

amillionyears Tue 09-Oct-12 07:34:34

What is he like to you?
Is he nice,respectful helpful?

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 09-Oct-12 07:37:52

If it hasn't been right for years, cut your losses. When loving someone is an effort, it's gone. If you separate both of you get to start fresh & make new lives rather than spend the next 20 years in a spiral of resentment and disappointment. It sounds as though he's up for the idea so I'm sure you'd manage the details like finances and children amicably. Don't know what 'reaction it would cause'.... but it's your marriage, no-one else's business. Good luck

CailinDana Tue 09-Oct-12 08:05:57

I disagree with Cogito. I'm not in favour of abandoning a marriage that's basically good but that has lost its essence so to speak. I definitely think it's possible to get that back, though of course it's not guaranteed. You say you've been through similar hard patches before - what have you done in those times to get things back on track?

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 09-Oct-12 08:51:22

I disagree with CailinDana. If the marriage has spent 25 years already going through frequent rocky patches and they are never satisfactorily resolved, why keep flogging a dead horse? What's that definition of madness... doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome?

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 09-Oct-12 08:58:15

"its financial reasons , the children, and the reaction it would cause that keep me here"

OP presumably you're aware that you appear nowhere in that list? Your life is yours, not other people's. If you choose to stay married, do it because it's what you genuinely want. Don't do it in a vain effort to keep other people - the mortgage company, the kids, whoever it is that's likely to react, even your DH - happy.

Whatamiserablemess Tue 09-Oct-12 17:38:23

Thanks for replying everyone. There are changes afoot in our lives, I turned 40 a couple of years ago and am embarking on a new career which involves an intense year of training on the job. He of course is being obliging, flexible and helpful and listens when I moan and worry about work.

We have managed to get the spark back on numerous occasions but I don't know, I'm just tired now.

I feel now is my time to concentrate on me and although he tries to be so accommodating and understanding I know he's just waiting for me to 'feel better' and for things to go back to how they were a long time ago.

He is going through personal reevaluation too because during one of our intense heart to hearts about the state of our marriage I said I was fed up with feeling his happiness depended on me making him happy. So he's doing more outside the house and is trying to less grumpy.

I know he really wants to make it work and is terrified I have given up. And I have effectively , but don't know how to take it to the next step, especially during such a stressful time work wise for me. I feel we are both just biding our time... he's hoping I'll go back to the old me and I'm hoping someone will find me an escape route that hurts the least number of peoplesad

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 09-Oct-12 21:58:24

I think you have to be honest with him if it's over. Next step may be something as simple as one or other of you moving out. Of course it'll be upsetting when it finishes. There is no non-upsetting way of handling a break-up. What will really hurt him, however, is the day he discovers that he's wasted his time making changes and hoping things are going back to normal while you've simply been waiting for your course to finish. That's going to be a cruel realisation.

Helltotheno Tue 09-Oct-12 22:25:52

How old are the kids OP?
I think if you're going to make a break, make it now. To put it another way, do you want to wait another 10 years going through the same thing then wake up and wish you'd left when you'd had a chance?
You might even find that when you do split up, you end up seeing things differently and decide to give it another go....

If you really feel his happiness depends on you making him happy... well that's not good. I'd feel really trapped in that scenario...

The financial issues won't be so bad with you working right?

DippyDoohdah Tue 09-Oct-12 22:43:55

Op...I would look back at your last post and think what your advice would be to someone who had posted that..act in haste....you know how it goes..x

amillionyears Tue 09-Oct-12 22:51:06

Being overworked is going to make a difference to how you feel.
But he does need to know that things cannot go back to how they were.
On the other hand he is trying to change,and has changed some things already.

maggi Wed 10-Oct-12 06:42:53

I sympathize with you Whatamiserablemess.
Been with dh 18yrs and I have lost respect for him due to his tempers, not joining in housework and irrational behaviour eg. he will complain if pedestrians cross our path in a carpark and slow us down, but once out of the car he will complain that cars should watch out for pedestrians!
I know he will completely support me and I him when we have any crisis. We are completely comfortable with each other. But I often wonder if I am still in love when I marvel at his latest display of complete illogical action/comment.
I organize the kids, the house, the hols, day to day stuff, I work from home (50hrs a week), home educate one ds, do lots paperwork etc. He sleeps and goes to work. He wants a medal for his one load of washing up a week which he says he does 'for me'!

Whatamiserablemess Wed 10-Oct-12 06:55:51

You are all being wise and kind and I know we probably don't have a future as husband and wife

I think it's the practicalities that really terrify me. Telling the children, possibly selling the house . I wouldn't even know how to begin to think about all that.

He leans in to kiss me every morning before he goes to work and I freeze and he looks fed up and sad. He's going through a tough time at work at the moment too and I should be able to hug him to make him feel supported but I hold back.

I rang him to ask how his day went yesterday and got a text saying " thanks for asking, I love you x xxx" and that made me want to cry because I thought please don't love me anymore.

It made me think oh stop being so grateful for the slightest bit of attention. It makes me feel like a total bitch and wracked with guilt too

Sorry to blather on here. I've told one friend what's going on but she's not around much

Whatamiserablemess Wed 10-Oct-12 06:57:24

Maggi sorry you h is such a lump! Mine is excellent round the hose and since I've been doing my course has really upped his game. All of which makes me feel even worse

ToothbrushThief Wed 10-Oct-12 07:06:53

How very sad OP

Could counselling help you both? (Even if it's breakup counselling rather than stay together)

To break up well is important when you have DC

I feel for you. Breaking up a family is not an easy step or to be taken lightly

In your shoes I have to be honest I'd explore every avenue before splitting. (I'm normally a leave the bastard kind of poster)

Offred Wed 10-Oct-12 07:13:01

I'm somewhere between cog and cailin. It sounds like you've spent a number of years trying and now you don't want to anymore and that's understandable. You maybe theoretically could make it work but you've tried and it hasn't worked and now you don't want to try anymore, you just want a rest. Money and what people think are not reasons to stay together.

Whatamiserablemess Wed 10-Oct-12 07:24:32

We've had counselling last year which helped for a bit until my feelings 'came back' again.

In many ways I feel guilty about this too, we've usually managed to make a go of it again and H has felt we're back on track but I can't keep going through this roller coaster .

I feel like I'm about to step off a cliff and I don't know what's underneath

amillionyears Wed 10-Oct-12 07:30:13

Have you "met" someone else?

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 10-Oct-12 07:31:26

Have you considered his point of view? At the moment he's full of hope, trying to be affectionate, hoping for the best and fearing the worst. He knows all is not well. He knows he's fighting a losing battle. That's a very stressful position to be in. You're worried about stepping off a cliff, but at least you have the luxury of choosing your moment when it best suits you. He's going to be pushed off the same cliff whether he likes it or not. When there is no happy outcome on the table, go for the least cruel one.

amillionyears Wed 10-Oct-12 07:31:31

Is there something else you are reluctant to say ,such as he has put on weight? You dont have to answer if you dont want to.

ToothbrushThief Wed 10-Oct-12 07:33:11

I usually try to poster same advice to men and women. If you were a man saying this about a wife. I'd tell you you had huge responsibilities to your DC to try everything to make a go of it. If you really couldn't make it work then let your partner move on with self respect. Settle finances fairly and agree where children live etc Do that well

You deserve to be happy but you the one walking out of a 'contract' (IMO) so compensate where you can

panicnotanymore Wed 10-Oct-12 08:32:14

I'd counsel caution as well. He sounds like a decent man, but you sound bored. Is it just boredom with life or boredom with him?! Make sure you are clear on that before you take any action. Leaving a bad marriage can be wonderful, but walking out for the wrong reasons isn't. What will improve if you go? What will you miss?

MeFour Wed 10-Oct-12 08:36:13

I would see how the new job goes. It does sound like you're bored, you're probably both in a rut and maybe having something that makes you feel alive again will help make it feel less like its all the relationships fault.
Worth a try anyway and the reassess

Apocalypto Wed 10-Oct-12 10:12:03

I wouldn't assume that you'll replace him with someone better. If you walk away from your marriage vows on no basis other than you felt like changing your mind, most potential replacement husbands are likely to treat you with considerable caution.

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