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.
Yet another male wanting some advice(89 Posts)
I have read on these threads that living in a bad relationship for the sake of children is generally a recipe for disaster as children have problems in their relationships when they grow old. I want to know how much can that affect children in the long run.
A bit of background, I have been in a pretty cold and sexless life for last eight years which has only changed us for worse over this period. We have a two years old child and we are living together for the sake of our child now mainly because we don't have any close friends of family here and we both want to play an active role in his life.
We are never abusive or shouting at each other but this sexless marriage has started to crack my nerves now. We even sleep in different rooms.
We never argue much with each other as we don't happen to discuss much. Though sometimes when my wife is agitated she can be a bit loud. I need some realistic advice regarding this as I don't want my child to go through the same issues we have been facing.
jingleallthespringy You are right, it will take both of us to be committed. She seems least interested to change the status-quo though. What maximum we both can get from each other is an amicable relationship and nothing like exciting or romantic.
It takes two though SD. I don't want to rain on your parade but it will take both of you being committed to whatever work needs doing to address the difficulties between you. It sounds, however, that she is prepared to address things re the long talk.
Happy New Year to you SD. I hope this is going to be a turnaround year for you
Zazzles007 things are really changing for better now, would be difficult to describe everything here what I have changed because I don't want to be flamed for such a knob at certain things
Happy new year to you all !
Summerdad its great that there is a positive post from you, and you are starting in the right place - by figuring yourself out first, and bringing about changes in you.
As you may well be learning, each of us is only responsible for ourselves - we are all on our 'own' at the end of the day, and we must all save ourselves. I too am encouraged that your wife has finally opened up to you and explained her side. Please keep posting, its great to see the progress happening.
Hope you are having a great New Year as well
marriedandwreathedinholly , MiniLovesMinxPies and jingleallthespringy
Thanks for your comments again. I agree with most of what you say. I have found a lot of insight about relationships and I am already trying to bring some changes on my behalf which won't warrant any active participation on her behalf but I can see the positive results so far.
I feel mentally so messed up that I need to sort out my own thoughts first, counselling is the first stop. Before starting this thread, I was feeling so lost and in pain but now I feel a lot better.
Let's hope the new year brings about a lot of hope and happiness for us all. I wish you all kind souls a lot of prosperity and happiness in the new year.
I don't necessarily agree that your wife would be 'incapable' of intimacy (physical and emotional) - you can't know until/unless you do the work. I too am getting the sense of a very repressed family/childhood (or culture?) and that she could be extremely shut down. HOwever, we are reading snippets in an internet account and, although the pain you are experiencing is very clear, we aren't professionals and can't possibly know the true components of what may be going on here. That would take time and the 'work' I referred to earlier. The fact that your wife was recently able to talk to you at length is imo a good sign - at least you have something to go on and she is prepared on some level to address what may be going on between you.
My first thoughts are that your wife has unresolved issues from her own upbringing that she is unable and unwilling to address. She is rather "self-sufficient" she has no need of emotional support, no need of intimacy and has reduced her expectation of others down to just practical necessity. In short she is repressed, emotionally and physically and I would think that comes from a rather "dry" and joyless childhood. Her early experiences of watching the dialectic btw her parents is what she has internalised as normal. She may even feel that all her emotional needs are being met......so assumes yours are too.
I would go to the counselling individually. I don't know whether you can resolve the issues together, I think your wife would at first need to acknowledge that she has a problem, when in fact she probably won't perceive let alone accept that she has some sort of issue, hmmm It will be almost impossible for a self sufficient repressed person to generate the desire for intimacy and emotional support. It may simply not exist. That isn't her fault and suffice to say she may feel very scared because she feels unable to cope with demands for intimacy and affection. Terribly sad for both of you.
Would you consider just living together as friends? You clearly are very supportive in a practical sense which suits her but as evidenced by your near breakdown, you are being lost in this.
Where are you both from OP? Reading between the lines it sounds as though you are both a long way from your own culture and are both struggling to fit into a slightly alien environment where you are unsure of the "rules" - using that word reservedly, as well as struggling as a discrete partnership/unit within it.
Seconds counselling but I suspect there is more to this than just the relationship between you and your wife. FWIW I think you both need help either as a couple or separately and I'm not sure whether what will help your son to grow up in a functional environment is enirely about splitting up or staying together. It sounds as thouh even if you split up that year son is likely to grow up in a very isolated way.
I hope you all find a way through this. Could you go back to your families where there might be a support network for you all. Why are you both so alone?
That's not a particularly helpful comment Sandra442.
Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.
SummerDad, I would also recommend that both you and your wife read Nathanial Branden's other book, "The Six Pillars of Self Esteem". This book is essential reading for those who are trying to heal both past and current hurts, no matter who they are, or the nature of the hurt.
I have been using the self esteem book as my bible, as a guide to how to live my life as a real adult. In my opinion, the above 2 books I have recommended go hand in hand. I hope that with all the different things you (and your wife) are doing will help the relationship.
jingleallthespringy thanks for your comment, it really helps a lot. Well, when I spoke to her about the counselling I said politely that we really need to do something about our life as we can't keep our heads buried in the sand pretending all is well. I told her how I have found by doing so much research on the internet this environment could be detrimental for our son in the later life so we can't afford to live like house mates, we really need to do something about it. She did not reply to this and went quiet for a few hours until our son slept.
First time in eight years, she came to me and said lets talk. Then for more than an hour, she kept talking me about her POV in our relationship. I did not interrupt her even for once and only listened. After she finished speaking, I explained things she raised one by one taking responsibility where I was wrong or not mindful or simply ignorant.
I am not sure what lies ahead but we both felt rather relieved though I am still determined to go for counselling because I need to sort out the mess in my head. I did not ask her again what she thinks about going there.
She has a genuine problem with sharing with anybody even with her close friends. I am glad that she opened up first time in our relationship. I would give the credit to lovely and supportive posters on MN whose posts encouraged me to address this issue openly with her.
Zazzles007 The EAP counselling sessions would be arranged face to face and not via chat, sorry for making it confusing. Though telephone option was available, I preferred the initial contact via online chat just to confirm how does the system work in terms of confidentiality with the employer, payments, number of sessions etc.
This service is confidential and employer does not know who is attending it. The employers are billed according to the number of people receiving these services. Once you call them and fill up a questionnaire, they send you to one their counselors for face to face sessions.
Thanks for recommending the book, I have gone through its contents on amazon it really looks good. Please feel free to share any links/books which you may find relevant. I want to do my best, don't want to live with any repentance.
Hi SummerDad, the EAP sessions with the counsellor sound like a good idea. I am interested in knowing why they are online rather than in person. Without the physical cues (mannerisms, voice, facial expressions etc) it can be harder to click with someone. You don't seem to have a problem bring up things with your wife and I am wondering if the online method of communication is contributing to this uneasiness in opening up.
Also if you are searching for more information, there is a really good book that I read earlier this year. The book is "The Psychology of Romantic Love" by Nathaniel Branden. This book opened my eyes as to what a real relationship should be. I am a product of a dysfunctional family, where my father would have these silences - the longest one I can remember last 5 months. As a result, I have trouble engaging with men in the right way, and am only just re-learning and undoing my past habits. Please get this book (or one similar) so that you can reset what you will and will not accept in a relationship.
Hope this helps.
She seems to control you with what she doesn't do, by an absence of what should be there but isn't. A withholding somehow. It makes me feel quite ill to read it. As I said, it's extraordinarily painful to be on the end of, truly agonising.
here are some of the proverbs I referred to (above):
Better to have a dish of vegetables where there is love than juicy steaks where there is hate.
Love unexpressed is like a slap in the face.
A counsellor will support you in making sense of what is going on (yes, it is hard to get started with a counsellor. Perhaps write something down to get it clear in your head? You could also present what you've written to the counsellor to save explaining it all. You could use this thread..?).
When you said your wife remained quiet, what do you mean - did she say nothing at all, no reply at all? Do you also mean she hasn't spoken to you at all since, or hasn't spoken to you about this since you mentioned it?
YOu have said that she does what she wants to do without discussing it with you eg she transferred the funds from your joint account to her account. Either she is chronically incapable of speaking to you or she is controlling you. Both are desperately painful for you.
You may not be able to figure out what's in a woman's head - most men wail about this btw! - but your wife is being particularly opaque.
What scares me more that it would be either make or a break. If it was only in my hands, I would do everything to make it work but not sure where would it lead to. I have talked to my wife about going for counselling but she remained quiet, hasn't said anything to me since. Sometimes, I feel I have zero emotional intelligence, can't ever figure out what's going on in a woman's head.
Your relationship sounds very similar to the one I had with my STBXH. We ended up in quite a cold, unloving relationship with both of us wanting more but not really from each other. We were moving in different directions and although we really wanted it to work we just passed each other by.
We went to relate as a make or break, try everything for the sake of our DS. It ended with us separating but I feel like it was worth it as we know we tried our best and it was the right decision for us both. It meant the split was amicable so we can still speak to each other easily and make joint decisions about our DS.
I think you are very brave for trying to resolve your relationship issues, so many people bury their head in the sand and hope it will just sort itself out.
yes, it's completely normal to feel v wary of opening up to a counsellor. Give it a go though, it's better than waiting to have a breakdown.
I have identified an employee assistance programme at my work and have had an initial confidential online chat with them. Though it was just an online chat, the experience was quite exhausting. I am supposed to call in for further discussion but I am not sure if I have courage to be open about my personal issues to someone in the real life, is this normal ?
A fate worse than death tbf. There's a proverb about it somewhere...
2712 It was me who initiated it whenever we had it. I never felt wanted and slowly I just withdrew myself too.
I'm a bit confused reading this thread.
You claimed that you were unhappy as it was a sexless marriage. But later in the thread you said she never refused to have sex with you but that you found it repulsive.
So is it sexless or not?
I am not bothered about my family/culture any more. I just want to be there with my son every day and want to see him grow every day, it is such a joy
jingleallthespringy First thing in the morning I see this message and it makes me smile. Posting on here has restored my confidence in women a lot. Thanks very much for such lovely words, I am sure I am going to have a wonderful day
Join the discussion
Please login first.