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Relationship a bit, well, mundane.(10 Posts)
Hi, DH and I had a talk last night about how we feel about our relationship. I love him and I know he loves me but it's just all a bit meh really. We have 3 young children, I am a SAHM. He has quite a full on job but it's going really well at the moment.
I just feel like when things are going badly, we pull together and work well as a couple and when things are essentially going well, job good, kids happy, have a reasonable standard of living, we drift apart.
I feel like we have lost the spark. We have been together 8 years and when we used to argue, it was like a full on screaming row but when we disagree lately I just can't be arsed to really and just go to bed and when we wake up, we just kind of get on with things. It feels a bit like there is no passion anymore.
I don't want to leave him but I worry that too much of the reason why is because life is easy and comfortable. We are quite similar in a lot of ways but don't have much in common. I like to cook and go out for dinner, he doesn't really get enthusiastic about food. I said last week, ok I'm going to cook us something lovely for dinner, what would you like? His response was just, I don't know, I'm not really bothered. So I thought fuck you then, I won't bother.
I feel like all he thinks about is work. I feel more and more like a unit with the kids and that I'm just a mom really.
He has always had a lower sex drive than me and that has caused lots of arguements, with me feeling unloved and unwanted. Lately I'm starting to not really be bothered by it. I'm starting to lose my sexual attraction to him. I suppose I have sex with him really because I feel like we should. I want some passion, I want to want him to rip my clothes off but it all feels a bit inconvenient at the moment.
We don't have any hobbies, we rarely go out. I don't know if finding outside interests would make us closer or drift further apart.
His job went badly about six months ago and we had to move house and jobs and it was a very difficult time and his lack of capability and ambition was quite a turn off. i'm n ot sure I can chasnge feeling like that. When we met he was different, I have always followed him around, packing us and the kids up at very short notice, organising everything to enable him to follow his career, I do almost everything in the house, I don't complain when he works 90+ hour weeks and I feel like he hasn't really kept up his end of the bargain. I know that makes me sound like a cold hearted bitch but I almost feel like I was madly in love with someone he used to be. I helped him when it all went wrong and things are good again now but I don't think i realised how much i resented it until I started typing this.
He is a lovely husband and father but I'm only 26 and i don't think i can be happy with 'plodding along' for the rest of my life. I worry that we have nothing to talk to each other about. we used to spend hours having the most stupid discussions about nothing. if i make a silly comment he just kind of looks at me like i'm being an idiot. We don't laugh anymore. I worry he is getting grumpier and grumpier and turing in to his Dad.
I'm sorry this is so long, I didn't mean it to be but it's just all come flooding out. if anyone can offer any advice I would be very grateful.
I'm sorry I don't have any great advice, but just wanted to say I can understand why you feel so frustrated. Is relationship counseling an option? Or do you have anyone that could watch the DC so that the two of you could spend some time on your own together?
I do think it's possible to regain that spark, but you need to give yourself the time and space and effort to do it. You can't 'talk' the spark back into existence, you have to actually do some things together.
You said you talked last night -- did you both say you're feeling meh? Did you talk about any options?
With a few minor tweaks I think what you're experiencing is 'real life' to a large extent. It is often a case of plodding along. Few people sustain the grand passion of the early days of the romance, things get more comfortable, jobs/mortgages/children get in the way and, without some specific effort all around, hum-drum is often the name of the game. Welcome to suburban living.
I wonder if you're not just bored. SAHM is fine as far as it goes but, if you're missing adult company, you can become unduly reliant on your partner to provide what's missing. If what you do all day is boring you, then you'll resent your status and it'll also be boring for the man with the fun job that he chooses to do 90+ hours a week (and, when it's that long a working week, it is a choice trust me). If you have nothing interesting to say and nothing in common then the silly chats etc are going to fall by the wayside.
I think some outside interests on your part would mean you had more to talk about when you're together. 'Driven' men who value work and earning money often don't value SAHM as much as you think .... so consider getting a job. Find something else you can do as a family so that you have more in common.
I think your best bet is to sit your DH down and tell him exactly what you've put in your OP, followed by a statement that while you love him and are committed to making it work at this point in time, you feel very strongly that if nothing changes you will eventually reach a point where you feel you have no option to leave. If he can't commit to working on things with you, then he is basically saying that he wants the marriage to end.
Regarding the sex thing, if you're both just going through the motions a bit, try implementing a complete sex ban for a set period. It's surprising how being denied it can bring back the spark.
One thing I think it's with mulling over though is your perception of what works well in your relationship. It's interesting that you feel it only works well when you're in crisis, and that you equate passion with screaming rows. Every couple is different and arguments are not always a bad thing, but screaming matches sound very unhealthy IMO. Maybe it's worth looking at your history of relationships (not just sexual ones, but familial ones too) and seeing if there are any patterns there that jump out. Love and sexual passion do not have to be mirrored by big emotional highs and lows.
The feeling OP I have is around taking responsibility for yourself and your own feelings and asserting them, including in the relationship. Perhaps that is why you are sounding a bit down and lost in the relationship and have kind of resigned yourself e.g. to not feeling sexually appreciated? This is hard to do at any age - but you sound very mature at only 26.
Taking responsibility for yourself means having grown up conversations with your husband too. If one person does that, then sometimes weirdly, the other is forced to up their game (unless things are really going downhill). I don't know if you can both do this. I hope you both can. And if not, I guess you'll have to figure out something else.
Thanks for your responses and well done for getting through my bloody essay
I do think that some of it is just 'real life' but i do still feel like we should be able to have a laugh along the way. One of DHs biggest attractions was his sense of humour and how we laughed so much. i do think that working and the kids etc has got in the way of that.
You're right dreaming we do need some space and time together, I also think we need some time alone. I don't feel comfortable with the idea of counseling really.
Cogito I get what you're saying and I suppose I am a bit bored. He doesn't always work that many hours, it is less lately. I don't want to work with the kids being so young (baby has just turned one, DS2 preschool, DS1 yr1) and I was in the same kind of work he is now and the intention is that we will do it together when the kids are bigger.
Dahlen I like the idea of a sex ban. I have to admit that my first serious relationship was a very turbulent one with lots of ups and downs and dv and maybe I do equate that with passion. I don't want a homelife like that and i suppose me walking away form a row is me growing up a little. Thank you for that perspective, that's really made me think.
This site is incredible. Being about to pour your heart out and get people who can help you see it rationally is such a help. I've been meaning to join a gym for ages, think i will go today. I will also
force encourage DH to get a hobby or something and I will sort out a babysitter and think of somewhere we can go out this week. We will also have a sex ban and see if that helps.
p.s. Just to add, I know the sex ban sounds weird but I have a certain belief in that that too. Not as a game or manipulative thing, but I think it puts a renewed value and passion into it for both parties. I think lots of cultures do have restraints and periods of no-sex and its seen as a positive thing. Who wants your favourite meal every night?! Restraint does equal passion sometimes . Sorry just wanted to comment on that one point, OP, but sounds you have got lots of other ideas here too.
I agree with Cogito. I also think bringing up young children is bloody hard work, whether or not you do it full time. It's like running a small business in itself, and I think everyone feels dragged down by it periodically (maybe every day!).
Also, your relationship changes as you get older, you will never replicate what you had when you were younger - certainly I went through a period of missing those old days. But you know, life grinds on and so do you.
I think when your children are older you will find that your life starts to come back to you again.
Perhaps you can think about the future, to a time when you will have more time to yourself, and together as a couple. Maybe start thinking about what you might want to do if you were planning to go back to work, say in 5 or 10 years time either in business with your H or in employment. Have a look at distance learning courses, do a few tasters, explore courses at your local college?
You're young, believe me you have plenty of time to start living again, and you will be able to look back with a real sense of accomplishment, having had your family early.
Thanks olgaga. I have spoken to DH and told him that we have to try harder to make this better. I have just been to join the gym and he is having a think about what he wants to do once/twice a week on his own.
I have suggested that we have one night a month when I organise something for us to do, either go out or do something different together and one night when he does.
He is not overly impressed with the sex ban but I have insisted!
I feel so much better for just getting it all out and getting things straight in my head.
The working thing will happen at some point but when I was a child my parents ran their own business and I had a nanny and while I can still afford to be a sahm, that's what I want to do full time. Thank you all for advice.
Good stuff! I had my DD very late in life and there was so much that I missed - I had periods when I would be very sad indeed at how mundane life seemed, and the tiresome relentlessness of keeping it all going.
I am very lucky with the work I do, I've been able to do just enough to keep that added dimension while also being a SAHM. DD recently started secondary school and I can look back and think "I wouldn't have done it any other way".
It's not easy though. The thing that kept me going was how it would always change and evolve.
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