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Is there any hope for my marriage?(37 Posts)
If so, how on earth can we go about salvaging it?
My counsellor suggested I write a letter to DH to express my feelings about our relationship. I wrote it in December but haven't given it to him. I've copied out below, sorry it's quite long.
My counsellor asked me what would happen, how you would react, if I wrote you a letter explaining how I was feeling about our relationship. I thought you wouldn't read it all, and wouldn't respond. You would perhaps say that you couldn't be arsed with it, and ignore it.
However, you said: no, to write it. That you would respond.
This is the hardest of letters to write. I know so much of it will hurt you, but my feelings are what they are, and I have felt this way for quite some time. In some ways it is good to write them down and get them off my chest, but I am worried that you knowing the whole truth about how I am feeling will have an irreversible, damaging effect on the status quo.
Mind you, I am not happy with the status quo.
Be prepared for a very honest, raw account.
I think you probably are aware that I have thought seriously, for a long time, about ending our marriage. The times you have crossed the line with your behaviour to the kids particularly, but also the longstanding lack of any sort of relationship between us leaves me sad and lonely.
I think the heart of the matter for me is respect.
I have lost a lot of respect for you, for many reasons, including
-debt : racking it up, not knowing or disclosing what on, and not telling me
-failure to take any responsibilty for the debt or any attempt to pay it off, other than using money I earn
-that you seem content to be sitting at home, not contributing fully at home, and not contributing financially at all.
It puts me in mind of your mum and dad's relationship. I used to wonder why on earth she was in a relationship with a man sitting at home, while she worked and did most of the housework, and he ran up debts! And here I am now , wondering why I am doing the same.
I am supporting the family and have so much responsibility and you are so passive. I need you to step up and take responsibility for finding some work, providing for us and contributing.
I am working in a job causing me stress and making me unwell, and you sit around a lot, spending a lot of time on your computer and your hobby. You get 4 child free mornings per week. You have a lot of time. I spend my work free days tidying up too often instead of spending quality time with DS. I feel like a fool, being taken advantage of.
There is a huge imbalance here. It makes me feel resentment.
I find it hard to believe that in over 2 years you have been unable to find any work at all. You can't afford to be choosy. The right thing to do here is not rest until you have something, whilst continuing to work towards your dream career.
It's difficult to be attracted to someone you don't respect.
In addition, the 'look' you choose is not attractive to me (old,scruffy clothes and long, untidy hair). There are days you don't wash. Sometimes, I am embarrased to go out with you.
At the moment, I find it hard to find you physically attractive.
When we have been intimate, it has been disappointing. Not always, but when we have sex it is. You know there is a problem there - losing your erection/premature ejaculation. We have spoken about you talking to the doctor, but it seems you don't want to address it. That leaves me...well, frustrated. I miss sex. I want sex.
I don't want to remain in an attractionless, sexless marriage but the power to do anything about this seems to be entirely yours. If you don't want to address it, it seems my choices are accept this and live an asexual life, or find another partner. What a choice! My first choice would actually be fix the problems in our sex life, but that is not within my power.
Someone asked me: if I left, what would I most look forward to. It was easy to answer. A partner. Someone who took equal responsibility and made equal contribution.
You used to be such a patient, affectionate, fun father. There are still glimpses of that, but much of the time you are exasperated, snappy distant. Another thing which adds to my sadness is that I want another child. I can see that, in this state, this relationship is not one to bring another child into. You have been clear that you don't want more children. I would definitely have another child in a happier relationship.
I honestly am not sure whether I love you any more. I want to. I hope we can resolve some problems and find love again. I know I love the man you were, and that is what I am clinging to. I hoped the man you had become was a temporary persona while you were ill. I am not sure if you are still depressed or something else. You seem flat. Lost. Drifting. The longer you do the further we drift apart. I would not have chosen a partner with these characteristics and feel as if I am living with someone I would not have chosen. Please step up before it is too late. Find yourself again. This situation can't continue indefinitely.
Love from me x
Why haven't you sent it? There's no point tip toeing around issues like these. Does he really not know that his non-contribution is a problem?
God, what a dreadfully unhappy situation to be in. You say that you think he'd not read it all or not respond. Has that been his reaction when you've tried to discuss it with him before? It also sounds like you're having counselling by yourself. Did he not want to do it?
If you are who I think you are then no, no point giving him the letter as you already know he won't change.
If I have it wrong then sorry Op. Yes give it to him, it says all he needs to know but if I was you I'd need an amazing response to stop me from telling him to naff off. Actions mainly.
I expected his reaction would be dismissive, but I told him my counsellor's suggestion and he told me to write it and that he would respond.
I am having counselling at work due to work related stress.
I thought you might be someone I know as well heather but I don't think you are.
You give him the letter, what result or change do you want from it?
Give it to him and see what his reaction is.
What's the alternative? Years and years of what you have described (which I have interpreted as abject misery).
Actions always speak louder than words OP...yours (in giving him this letter, him having been warned and him having encouraged it) and his (his chosen response).
I really hope you manage to find a happier life, whether with or without him.
I am worried that giving it to him will mean the end.
And I'm scared of it ending, even when continuing the same way is miserable.
Stupid, I know.
I am so sorry OP but everything you have wrote is ALL ABOUT YOU. If a man had wrote this he would immediately be uncaring, non supportive, do you have any understanding what happens when a man loses his status of the earner? you sound like a complete ball breaker, in the sense you only see him as a wage earner,. Is he clinacaly depressed? put yourself in his shoes for a min and realise this attitude from you is very damaging, Partners are supposed to SUPPORT each other not list a long line of grievences . If you want to save your relationship start listening to him rather than blaming.
Well, it is about me, because it is a letter about how I feel
I don't believe in such sexist bullshit as "man's status as wage earner" and neither has DH ever bought into it. I have always earned more than him.
You have a point about the long list of greivances which another thing stopping me from sending it.
For goodness sake your partner said yes, hes would respond which says to me he loves you and wants to repair your relationship, please ,please give him some empathy and time to do this. Give him a break fgs.
I have cut him a lot of slack. Believe me. Nearly 3 years ago he suffered a mental breakdown, when he went back to work he took voluntary redunancy (without discussing it with me) and hasn't worked since. Hasn't really looked properly for work.
He is not in the role as SAHP either.
I am trying to explore whether it is possible to repair the marriage or if it is irrepairable.
I am not sure whether my loss of respect for him (for reasons in the letter, not for MH reasons) and the fact I am not attracted to him physically mean we can't get back to where we were.
I don't necessarily think giving it to him written in a letter like this is the best way to approach it. It does read a bit like '50 things I hate about you'.
Can you say it all to him in a frank and open discussion HeatherMoor?
If the answer is no, then the letter (which you have talked to him about and he has encouraged you to write and give to him) is the perfect solution.
It gives him the opportunity to quietly reflect upon your thoughts and feelings and to formulate a response in his own time...it is a generous way to move forward for each of you.
A ball breaker??? That made me laugh out loud. You are very far from a ball breaker. He doesn't work or contribute to the house for 3 years. Send the letter. Wouldn't expect a lot to change but you never know.
I don't like how you look - that sounds so shallow! God forbid it was the other way round and he made a list of all your faults and how unattractive you've become!
I think the letter needs a lot of rephasing! But yes, I think you should give him a letter, he deserves to know how you feel, maybe you could also even ask him to write you a letter he might find it easier to open up to you about his problems that way.
If you want it to work, you fight for it. Good luck.
For God's sake, of course how you choose to look affects your attractiveness. Otherwise no - one would make an effort ever. It's not shallow, it's nature. There is a tipping point for us all. My husband watches his weight, hair, hygiene etc. He's certainly not high fashion nor a gym bunny, but he respects himself and that keeps him attractive to me. If he put on 3 stone, was dirty and grew his hair, he wouldn't attract me. I may still love and care for him but I know I wouldn't fancy him.
I never said it isn't! Jesus christ. I meant there's less harsher ways of putting it across but putting like that sounds shallow.
I think how you have written it is fair and you should definitely give it as it is.
The husband doesn't seem to be considering his wife's feelings and there is no need to consider his with regards to the letter as it is fine as it is. No point pussy footing around things when there are so many issues that need addressing.
Life is too long to live it miserably and you would be doing you children no favours at all doing so.
OP I think that the letter is a very kind way of communicating with him and moving the situation forwards. The 'I' statements are appropriate, because the letter is about your feelings. Your feelings are equally important so please send the letter. Yes it says a lot of bad stuff. That's because a lot of things are wrong. Please be brave and send him the letter. I promise it is a positive step. In the long term nothing will be as bad as a continuation of this status quo. Wishing you luck OP
Lack of honest communication will kill a marriage as fast as anything - so if you want to save the marriage you need to communicate with him, and that's what giving him the letter is all about. Do it.
Whatever the rights and wrongs of the actual situation you clearly have huge issues with communication if he doesn't already know that you are not happy with him racking up debts, not pulling his weight around the home, and not having the courtesy or respect to keep himself acceptably clean.
It may be that he is depressed rather than lazy, and a classic symptom of depression is denial, but either way your part in all this is to start some honest communication.
Poor you. He sounds like a child and you're the parent
Are you a solicitor op? This is really familiar.
Thank you for all your honest opinions.
I am not a solicitor, no. I think it must be someone else with a similar story you are remembering.
Something I didn't mention before because I didn't think it was relevant, but now I see that is : communication between us has always been hard because he has mild Asperger's type tendancies. Not diagnosed, or probably not sufficient to be diagnosed, but I believe (and he does) that there are some traits. Our son has autism and the more I learn about it, the more I see it in DH. However, the relevance is that I need to be very direct in any communication because he may, or may not get inferences and implication in my meaning. This does make the letter sound somewhat blunt, I fear.
For those who think it needs rephrasing, have you any suggestions? Genuinely. I have spent a long time phrasing it.
One option I am considering, rather than giving the letter, is to go to couples counselling and discuss the letter with the consellor. Perhaps then, going through the points separately as part of counselling, rather than whamming it all on him in one go. Any thoughts?
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