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Is it common to feel very little for someone after 15 years of marriage? (long sorry)

(18 Posts)
TiredAndTroubled Sun 26-May-13 13:34:03

Because sometimes I look at Dh and would quite happily never see him again sad

We have been very distant with eachother since a row a few weeks ago, not helped by the fact his working hours start after I've come home so we hardly see each other.

He is a very black/white person. Always has been, I know I'm not going to change him. He shows no emotion. No affection then expects sex on tap. That's my fault actually because I've allowed it to happen.
At the minute it feels like we're housemates.

I work PT, he works FT and we have two school aged children.

I tried to explain to him after the arguement how he made me feel useless, like I contributed nothing to this relationship but then he turned it around to himself feeling under pressure to keep a roof over our heads.

I know none of this makes sense. I do love the person I married, there's but parts of his personality I thought I could live with and realise as times goes on, I'm struggling.

I'm a very sociable person, he's extremely quiet. I love talking to people, learning new things, he's happy to stay indoors, just us and never change anything. I was 16 when we met and he was 19, I don't know if we've grown up or grown apart.

His family are all hermits, his parents live a stones throw away from us. They light a fire every day and stay indoors, they're in their 50s for christ sake, hardly ancient!! They would never dream of popping in and seeing the kids, and if we pop in there we're made to feel like we're not wanted.

My family welcome you with open arms whatever time of day/night with no advance phone call - I get it's just different upbringings but we've been together 15 years, why is it becoming too much for me now?

wordyBird Sun 26-May-13 13:46:06

That's very sad. So he's not affectionate, shows no emotion, you rarely see each other, and you like variety and a social life, whereas he doesn't.
I hear that you love him, but you don't sound very compatible.... and it sounds as if you don't feel loved yourself.

Could you picture your life in 5 or 10 years time? Does that give any helpful perspective for you?

TiredAndTroubled Sun 26-May-13 14:13:32

I just don't know.

I am in the process of applying for other jobs (have one interview this week) and maybe this will be the catalyst for some change?

He wants me to be in FT work, or at least a PT role where I'm earning more than I currently do.

I feel like he is giving me a time limit to get a different job or he will have a breakdown.

He's not good at talking to me - the only reason I know he wants me to be earning more is because after a week of him huffing and wakening up at night we had an explosive row where he said I needed to earn more as the pressure of bringing in the main income was too much for him.

I fully understand that - and had been applying for job, just not the ones he wanted me to apply for!! ie: £45,000 a year senior management roles when my background is the furthest away from that!!

I feel like I'm treading on eggshells and am always awaiting him to explode. Which is bloody stupid as he's incredibly laid back, never ever would dream of being abusive, I just think he worries a lot.

I am a hard worker, I love my PT job but I do agree the earnings aren't enough to carry us through at the minute.

But even the worries about money aside, I just see little bits of him I don't like.

Stupid things - someone poured four coffes out at a do we were at, handed one to a friend's dh who passed it to his wife, handed one to dh, who took it and drank it... yet it was obvious they were given to be passed to the other side of the table - me!

Dessert was self service, the ladies at the table were all chatting so the men went for dessert - they all brought their wives back some, except dh. The friend we were sitting beside said "Why'd you not bring XX back a dessert?" He said he didn't think I'd want one.

No biggie, but 15 years of trying to teach him the correct way to be have got me nowhere. Can I do it another 5 or 10? I don't know.

My sister finds his lack of social skills hilarious. I reckon she should live with him a while and see how she feels then.

scaevola Sun 26-May-13 14:22:56

Treading on eggshells is usually a bad indicator. How long has that feeling been goin on for?

In a longer marriage, you do get very flat bits. I'd say that you need to be thinking about whether you can see a way to a contented relationship with him, or whether you are recognising the signs that you have grown irretrievably apart.

ILikeToClean Sun 26-May-13 14:32:42

Sounds like he may have Aspbergers, probably mildly, but a lot of what you are saying rings true of this syndrome (DH has it mildly). Lack of social skills, lack of empathy and affection, might be something to look into, I was very relieved when DH was diagnosed as I realised it wasn't me, and it wasn't really his fault.

TiredAndTroubled Sun 26-May-13 14:46:53

Thank you all for taking the time to help me work through this.

Iliketoclean, you're correct. Any online tests he has done have scored him highly, but I'm incredibly reluctant to say "Oh that's just the way he is" and let him continue. He has never ever had any formal diagnosis although when I broached it with his mum (in a general way) she said he was exactly like his father and uncle (his uncle sweeps his coal shed out and polishes his spades and other tools)...

That comment is true for his family - we invited them to an event which was very important to dd (their only granddaughter) and they refused. When I said to dh it was a shame as dd had been crying over it (12 and hormonal grin) he said "That's just the way they are." And this excuse has covered them for so much over the past 15 years.

Half times It's like dh's tuned out of any conversation and is intent on studying the lining on the tiles, or the pattern on a brick.. and he is, totally immersed in the tiles/bricks - not listening or taking part in any conversation. I don't know if deep down I thought I'd get used to it and whilst everything else was great it was something I could cope with, but it's becoming more and more glaringly obvious.

I don't even know what advice I wanted from this thread, but it's doing me good to write it all down.

He is a kind hearted man, he cooks all the time, he does all the things he knows I hate doing - I am so unhappy right now.

TiredAndTroubled Sun 26-May-13 14:49:28

The eggshells feeling has been for about a month now. But that followed on from an argument we had - again he was showing me a job that I didn't 1) want and 2) wasn't qualified for.

He started saying "You're doing nothing" when I had sent off two job applications and registered with three recruitment agencies.

He thinks I can just apply on a Monday and be employed in a well paying full time role by the Tuesday!

I feel I always have to be online job hunting or filling in applications, he hates to see me sitting idle.

Cerisier Sun 26-May-13 14:56:40

It sounds like you are a bit embarrassed by him out and about when he doesn't behave like the other DH's. He is stressed by money worries and how he is going to provide for the family.

Ilike has an interesting perspective there, would you be interested in looking at trying to get a diagnosis for DH? If he could be shown to have AS would it help you to deal with DH?

wordyBird Sun 26-May-13 15:03:40

I would be unhappy too.

His expectations are unrealistic, putting you under a lot of pressure. He isn't paying attention to your needs and wishes, whether it's about dessert or work you feel qualified to do. With the dessert: ok, maybe you can excuse his behaviour as poor social skills - but people with poor social skills who care about you will surely step up to rectify their mistake.

Otherwise it's just about being unapologetically self centred, expecting to shrug it off with 'can't help it, it's just how I am.'

Expecting you to be constantly active and productive is also quite controlling. I don't like the sound of you walking on eggshells waiting for him to explode either. That sounds as though his needs have to be attended to, whereas yours can go hang. sad

TiredAndTroubled Sun 26-May-13 15:25:00

No, I'm no embarrassed by him, I am always proud to be with him. He's my husband.

I don't feel controlled, I'm too independent to be controlled but my sister has said before we all (including her and our other sister) married men who control to a certain extent - I discuss this with her from time to time as she lives nearby and has quite a good grasp of our relationship.

He can be stressed about money - but my point is, would it not have been better sitting me down and saying we have X amount of incoming money, X amount of outgoing bills, we need to earn more. I would have loved him to have had this discussion with me.

Instead we had a massive row with him shouting that I was doing nothing (despite me having been working two jobs and I only quit one about 2 weeks before this accusation as it was stressful and intruded on our family life - he agreed to this, in fact it was he who suggested I drop one of the PT jobs. I kept on the one I had more of a future in.)

No, he isn't paying attention to my wants or my needs but to be fair I don't really have any massive wants or needs, just conversation in the evening, a 'how are you?' or a cuddle without me having to go to him like a cat wrapping its-self around their owners legs for attention.

I feel like I've opened a can of worms here.

I don't know if any formal diagnosis would change anything. Because whether he's diagnosed or not it's part of who he is. I have done all I can to make our children be outgoing and chat to people, be polite and well mannered - I actually joke to dh I hope they're both like me as their lives will be easier. And that's not fair if he can't change how he is.

ILikeToClean Sun 26-May-13 15:47:45

All sounds so familiar when you talk about DCs. I too make sure they have lots of friends and do lots of things and to be fair, DH encourages this as he doesn't want them to be like him! Just as long as he's not too involved! I basically got to a stage where I told him that some of his comments (he could be very rude and negative to my DDs and rude to me in front of them) were unacceptable, and I would not have them growing up thinking this is how men behave, he needed to get a firm diagnosis so we could all understand it more, and help him, but it didn't mean he could use it as an excuse to duck out of family life, or be uncaring and rude, he had to help himself, so basically he realised that if he wanted us to stay together it would take work on all our parts. So far so good but it's ongoing. My DDs understand that sometimes he might want to spend a lot of time on his own, might snap but not to take it personally, and I'm the enthusiastic one who'll praise them and encourage, it's hard for him to do but he definitely tries harder these days. I too don't push him too much on things and just get on with it but then he knows that when I do ask for support or ask him to come to a social thing I mean business. Helps that I'm independent and have friends, he is not controlling at all about anything like that. Sounds like a major issue here for you is the job thing, he doesn't get that it takes time, I'm not sure what advice to give you, only you know how much you are willing to take, can only tell you about my experience so sorry if this is all garbled and doesn't offer constructive advice, but you are not alone and people on here give great advice - just not me!

Cerisier Sun 26-May-13 15:52:44

It really doesn't sound like much fun for you OP. You sound pretty fed up so something needs to change.

What does DH say when you suggest the two of you discuss the money situation calmly? Did he explain why he just started arguing with you?

Does he really think good jobs are that easy to come by and you can apply for one and be in it in days? I think that is really odd, most ten year olds would have a better grasp of the job market than that.

TiredAndTroubled Sun 26-May-13 16:07:31

Thankyou. I don't even know if I want/need advice, just want to get it all down and get other persepctives.

He's working today which is why I decided to name change and go for it.

The thing is, he has such high expectations of me - he thinks I can do anything. And whilst this is nice in some ways it also leads me to feel pressurised to be the one who can do anything.

About 9 years ago I undertook a degree course with him as the only wage earner - we managed. Fair enough we had fewer outgoings then, but this is what I mean about him being a nice man - in the three years of degree he never once said anything about my lack of contribution.

It was only after I worked for a while and then dropped one job it became an issue.

He knows what the job market is like, but reckons I can 'talk' myself into any job... which is just total nonsense.

After the argument (quite a few days as I couldn't discuss it without getting angry or frustrated) he said he was just showing me the job and didn't expect me to react the way I did.

The job was for a sales position in a clothing company - and the deadline was for the next day!!!! I don't want to work in a sales role and it was 11pm on a Sunday night - I work on a Monday... when did he expect me to have the time to fill in the form? He said he would do it for me.

I tried to leave the room and he stood in front of me saying please, please dont away, im just trying to help you. I asked him to move, he wouldn;t, he's tall, i'm not - I felt like he was bullying me. From this I just haven't felt the same about him, even though he has apologised and explained he had had too much to drink and shouldn't have reacted like that but that I was out of order for reacting the way I did.

ILikeToClean Sun 26-May-13 16:19:15

Sounds like he is trying to be encouraging but it's just coming across completely wrong. He's trying to make you think you can do anything and trying to help you apply for a job, no matter that it's the wrong job! If he does have Aspbergers then he can't quite see that it's not helpful and is making you feel pressured, but it's a big positive that he apologised. My dh hardly ever says sorry. Can you not sit down and talk about finances? Will he not? Can you ask him to trust you to find the right job yourself and to "leave you to it" as you are so capable?!

TiredAndTroubled Sun 26-May-13 16:30:33

I have asked him that we sit down and go through finances, see where we can change some things.

He said he doesn't want me to worry about it, which is total crap as I worry now all the time anyway and previously, I didn't.

I have started to keep an eye on our balance but as I'm not certain of all the direct debits I'm not fully up to speed.

He was delighted last week when I was offered a days work at a friends business, already planning in his head it would be permanent, full time etc... hmm It was just what I say it was, a days work as her assistant had let her down!!

This is what I mean, even when the letter came in yesterday for the interview later this week he was running away with himself!!

He's home now so will probably be tomorrow before I'm back. Thanks for reading and listening!!

marriedinwhiteagain Sun 26-May-13 16:48:30

Oh dear.

He sounds very like my late fil. My mil just put up with it and let the family be dysfunctional. Both her daughters went to live on different continents when they were in the their 20s (nearly 30 years ago now). DH did not have a normal family life and has had to learn a lot about emotional involvement and spontaneity. MIL never questioned fil; just went along with all his odd ways pandering to every single one.

If you love him and you probably do I think you both need a diagnosis and some techniques to manage this; also you need to be pro-active with the children about having your own life and building your own social space alongside him not necessary always with him but you need something for you too if you are going to be able to manage his traits for a life time.

You were also terribly young when you met him and even if everything was perfect you might have reached a point where you outgrew each other.

What does he do by the say? I bet he does something technical and is very very good at but has reached a ceiling because his social skills won't carry him into management. I can also see that he has supported you to take quals and work part-time and perhaps in a way he can't communicate well because of the disability he can't explain this rationally to you but is feeling pressured and out of his depth.

TiredAndTroubled Mon 27-May-13 12:11:31


Well, we had a long (2/3 hours) calm discussion last night and we talked about a lot of things.

It seems he has been trying to make me believe in myself but going about it all the wrong way.

I suggested we have grown up and grown apart but he says he has saw my confidence dented do many times he needed me to believe I could get any job.... Apparently he's frustrated at the way I'm treated in my current job and knows I'm worth far more than they give me.
To be fair, I was full time and changed to part time when ds started school, but am still doing the workload if a full time person for a part time wage, so I can kind if understand what he means...

He admitted slight control, but said he just went about it all the wrong way, he wante to protect me and not worry me as I had family problems and he went about it the wrong way.

We're going to sit down and go through finances later this week when we're both at home.

I do love him, he loves me, we just need to make time for each other.

I also discussed getting an official diagnosis but he said he didn't feel he needed that and didn't think it would make much difference.

Thanks all, if I hadn't posted here yesterday I wouldn't have built up courage to talk to him. He had noticed how we were & seemed genuinely shocked when I said I feel like I'm on egg shells. He said he loves me, loves the children & just wants us to be happy.

ILikeToClean Mon 27-May-13 13:40:58

So glad for you grin

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