Happily married but I want desperately to be alone.(46 Posts)
DH and I have been together 4 years, married 2.5. We have a 14mo DD. We are in our thirties.
DH is a stand-up guy. Brilliant and loving and hilarious. He does loads around the house, shitwork etc. and co-parents our DD beautifully. We have a laugh and good conversation and get on quite well. I am very lucky I realise.
So why the fuck do I constantly think about leaving? I fantasize about having my own place (sharing care of DD obv). Being single and having my own space again.
I secretly look forward to him going away on work trips, am inwardly relieved when he decamps to the spare bedroom, and often find myself simply seething with irritation with him and have intense desires to run far away. I can't quite put my finger on why these feelings are so intense however:
-Our usually excellent sex life has gone down the tube since having dd. Tough birth, stitches, PIV still uncomfortable for me 14 months on, don't have much desire either as I'm still bfing. I have seen a gynae who said things will improve after I wean. We are still intimate but it's once a month/fortnight atm which isn't great. He's expressed his frustration with this but has never pressured me.
-He sometimes speaks to me like he's my dad teaching me a lesson. It's usually about domestic stuff and he's usually right, but it feels patronising as I do a lot and am generally pretty on top of things--reminders are fine but I don't need a lecture!
-if I show even the slightest hint of irritation at something he absolutely cannot stand it. I never lose my temper at him directly--it's more of a "FFS this stupid thing isnt working" and it's very minor. I'm not going around throwing tantrums. He'll get really upset and tell me to stop being so "aggressive". There have been too many instances where he's snapped at me for getting angry when I haven't even been angry!
So not major things, really. If you've read this far I'm sorry, this is probably really dull. I guess I'm just asking if it's normal to hate your husband even if you love them? Surely it isn't? Maybe I'm just not cut out for relationships and would be happier on my own and wondering if anyone else can relate or maybe has some insight.
I can totally relate. I had real problems in my marriage (including constant escape fantasies, which in the end were the trigger for leaving because it felt so unfair on him) but now we're apart (3+ years) I can see that I am much better suited to complete independence. We co-parent really well now and I can see him getting remarried (although he's currently enjoying a more poly existence) but I genuinely can't see me living with someone again. I love being single and it's impossible to imagine benefits of any instance of that kind of immersive relationship that would be worth the necessary compromises. I also think it's far better for our kids, who get my undivided attention the 60% of the time they are with me, and have a more fluid and social situation with him. It's not a common view but it's how I feel and I got there through interrogating myself and my responses to situations rather than by accepting a cultural norm, which is more comfortable way for me to make decisions.
Its pretty normal for lots of people to have bouts of really wanting to be away from them as far as I can see!
Is there any chance of arranging a weekend away from the home for you on your own every so often? It honestly makes a world of difference.
The main real problem I can see here is the irritation thing. Expressing irritation is pretty normal and most people can tell the difference between it being directed at them, and being directed at the stuck screw.
Is it possible to talk this out with him? It is a problem for you (and a reasonable one) ... so it's a problem for both of you. If so, the best way is to talk this out calmly laying it out as you have here. If not .... well this is actually quite a big problem so it's worth trying to work on over time. Otherwise you'll have to bottle it up which never works longterm. Something gives; affection, closeness, being a genuine team.
The other problems - sex, beign lectured- need to be talked about I think because while they don't sound quite as difficult, they obviously matter to you and him and between you.
It mainly sounds like there are some irritations but that you are also a person who needs their own time alone now and then. If you can arrange that with your husband's support, it might make a world of difference.
Sounds like u test the water verbalising your minor frustrations and u r not heard. So i believe u that u want some time on your own (normal and not necessarily signalling end of relationship) but is he really a standup guy? Or, if he is, r u two really compatible. Not sure it is possible to be happily married or happy full stop with all of that going on.
I can relate to this. Not with ex dp who I have a son with but all my other relationships.
I am always really happy and excited and then all of a sudden and for no reason I start to go the other way. Just today I ended a relationship that I drove forward because he started to irratate me and say stuff that would grate on me. Out of nowhere. I have no idea why I'm like this-I hope it's just a matter of not meeting the right person, but one thing that I do know is I would rather be alone than lie next to someone who I don't want to touch me.
My advise to you is to not be hard on yourself-sometimes you just fall out of love with someone or maybe never truly loved them.
No, it's not that you're not cut out for relationships. The problem is with this relationship.
You aren't enjoying your husband's company; and although you don't give much information, you do give some reasons why.
1- he can't stand you getting angry. This is really not normal. Everyone is irritable sometimes!
I don't know why he has an abnormal reaction to your irritation. But sometimes this happens because one partner is quite controlling. He expects you to play a role - eg, fun wife who laughs at my jokes - and can't stand it when you step outside the role, or have unscripted feelings of your own.
2 - he patronises you as if he was a parent teaching you something. This is fundamentally undermining, and another trait of controlling people.
It's likely there is more. The intense desire to run away, and the relief in his absence, tells you that something is very wrong. What happens when you talk to him about your concerns?
I've found myself getting claustrophobic and irritable sometimes in an otherwise happy marriage since we had kids. Particularly if you're breastfeeding, you're so needed, it's hard to find physical and emotional space for yourself. I find it better now that my kids are older and it's easier to get time for myself.
There may be other issues here as previous posters have suggested but it might be a factor. I used to daydream of having a little studio flat of my own to run to for solitude ...
Thanks so much for your replies!
avrilinca that's really interesting. I've often questioned society's obsession with marriage and pairing up, and have considered that I'm maybe just someone who prefers to be 'unobserved' as it were--it seems like every move I make needs to be explained or discussed and it feels bloody suffocating! But then I think, is it immature of me to feel that..hmm.
meerka yes, carving out alone time with DHs support is possible, he has no qualms with me having it and I do get it sometimes. But the feelings are still..there. I've spoken to him calmly about the expressing my frustration thing but I don't really get anywhere. Apparently I should just rein it in because it's "contagious".
Another niggle: I'm from overseas and my DM works for an airline so I get very cheap flights. In the past I've had opportunities to visit my family but DH has had to work so was unable to join, therefore DM suggests I come on my own(or with dd since she's been on the scene) for a brief time, a week at most, and DH can join us at a later date. DH has had problems with this. He seems to think we should travel together as a family, and if he can't go then why should I be able to? It's not like it would cost him anything or interfere with his life in any negative way if I went--he thinks nothing of going away for a weekend, eg. to play in a tournament for his sport (doesn't happen often but still)..it makes me feel a bit under the thumb, you know?
I think you have a 14-month old. I can't believe that's not the main factor. I don't want to moan about parenthood per se
because I do it far too much but tbh if anyone had asked me what I honestly wanted at any point in the first 3.5 years the answer would have been 'go to bed, alone' and occasionally 'for everyone else to leave the house for several days'. Or both.
He sounds as if he has quite a hard time dealing with anger - I sympathise - I find it really hard and scary if my dh is irritated, though it's slowly got better as we have been together longer and I know that he would never threaten me and it isn't a sign he's fed up with me
more than usual You could suggest to him that when you are irritated, he asks you directly 'are you angry with me' and allow you to reassure him, while still being able to express your irritation!
Start teasing him more about the lectures - just laugh and tell him to join the Blue Peter team if he wants to tell people how to do stuff. In a nice way.
Then sex - once a month/fortnight is as much as I ever manage. What do you mean when he 'expresses his frustration'?
I think the demands of a 14 month old you still breastfeed leave you feeling like you have no space, which is probably making this seem worse (I have a baby the same age and don't bf anymore)
I have to have time on my own - not meeting friends but totally on my own, I go to a coffee shop for an hour on a sat morning if I can with the paper. It is a recent thing but it has helped me a lot. My dh will explain basic things t me even though I am highly qualified and love reading and I tell him straight not to do it again.
Last weekend I got up and dressed end left them to it for a whole day.
Is that an option? I think I you are irritated but can work through this by having more alone time
I was going to say tht 14 months baby demands a lot of attention so it's easy to get down about stuff and wnt to run away
it isn't normal for him to be so odd about you expressing frustration/ irritation. * Is* he controlling on other ways? or is this the main problem?
I sort of get that he thinks you should travel as a family, though I don't agree with him. But I can understand it. I do think that he has to put up with it (is he afraid that you won't come back??); on the other hand he is ok with you taking some time alone ... weekends alone, like he has now and then? is he ok with that?
If quite a bit of it comes down to the baby then it's only going to get worse not better for a while until they go to school. YOu might need to plan how to handle it.
I agree that this is mostly to do with having a (still very) young baby.
Your DH sounds a lot like mine - even down to the lecturing over kitchen/ chore stuff (which he claims is not lecturing) and the getting really annoyed if I speak sharply. It was almost uncanny reading your post. But I love DH dearly and things have definitely improved as our DC have got older and I've had more time to myself. (Youngest is nearly two but a great sleeper).
To be fair, DH is very good at taking the children off and giving me time to myself, say on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. I relish these periods, and I also enjoy work partly because it's 'me' time.
Your sex life will pick up again, I promise.
It is normal to go threw these phases specially with young toddlers around. Try to invest time in your relationship and you'll be back to normal.
I found keeping someone alive radically altered my patience. Dh isn't stupid. However not spending near the same time with dds his observations of needs can be slower. It's like being a fly and seeing in slo mo some hulking human try to swat you. I'm moving at 100miles an hour. He is slow sluggish inert.
His thought processes are also different. Mine now work on routines. (God I'm sure this sounds ridiculous) but if certain things get done in certain orders it frees up time to get other things done. Bath and beds would be prime examples. I go round and put the "house to bed". I pull the curtains, tidy up, pre empt things like towels pjs etc. DH neither does this or acknowledges I do. In my head it makes things simpler. But does it matter in the Real world? Probs not. But I can seethe over it.
Are you sure you're not just territorial? Also yes muttering under breath fucking idiot loud enough to hear would, if reversed, be hurtful. Wouldn't it?
Thanks all. I appreciate the replies, there are so many women on this board with way worse problems than mine so thank you.
I have suspected it's the demands of a little one that are making this worse--but I am back to work part time and have night weaned so have been bfing a lot less and getting more time on my own for sure but it doesn't seem to mitigate the negative feelings towards DH. It's true he is very uncomfortable with anger. I've explained to him calmly that I'm not angry at HIM, I'm just irritated at the stupid thing spilling all over the floor or the odd night of crap sleep! It's not like I'm shouting in his face, you'd think I was with the way he reacts.
trackr you hit a nerve with the "unscripted feelings" comment, it's hard to read but I think you might have a point.
I can't fully understand what you are going through, as I don't have DC's to add into the equation, but I'm an introvert - I need my own space. Thankfully DP works odd shift patterns, which mean that I get weekends to myself more often than not. This time is spent 50% sorting Thunkit Towers out, and 50% decompressing from the rigours of interacting with people during the day, and in the evening when DP is at home.
Don't get me wrong, I love the bones of him, but I do need my space. He was horrified when I first broached the subject with him, when I packed him off on his own for a day when we went on holiday together this year, but I explained it to him, and sent him a few links to read, and he got it quite quickly.
In terms of the things that bother you, the way that he reads your annoyance about stuff concerns me the most - I occasionally blow up about trivial things (when they come in a stream - for instance, hauling a bundle of stuff from the car to the flat, hearing the phone going as I'm putting the keys in, missing the call, then the doorbell goes, then I end up belting my head on the shelves in the kitchen because I'm trying to sidestep the laundry basket that I left in a not great position - the swearyness was quite creative!). If DP hears this happening, he knows it's not directed at him, and that if he leaves it 5 minutes, it will have blown over.
The pair of you seem to be a little "off" on your communication and understanding of each other. Why do you think your DP is so defensive to the point of offensive about you blowing up occasionally? I'm not trying to make excuses for him - I've been on the other side of things in the past where if I grump about something (for instance treading in cat puke), it turns into a massive battle, where I'm the wicked witch of the west for expressing disgust.
I guess you need to decide whether the communication is worth working on, or whether to cut your losses.
OP not wanting you to travel without him is a red flag and cruel. My DH is a softie and likes to be with me but never indicates i can't be free to travel if a good opportunity presents itself. He seems to guilt trip you a lot. Why do you have to explain where you are and what you are doing so much?
When he expresses his frustration at our lack of sex, it's just him talking about how sad he feels about it and what can we do? Nothing bad but I can't help feeling like I'm a bit broken. But I know I'll heal, a million women have had the same issues and I can't just magic my fanjo into being like it was before!
In the time it took me to put together a response to your initial post, you mentioned the thing about him not liking you to do things not "as a family" i.e. seeing your family. I had an ex like that - it was horrifically stifling. Couldn't do anything without him. I'm not sure if he was clingy or controlling, but I don't think it's healthy, either way.
You are trying to find a practical solution to a logistical issue, and he just chucks in an emotional / unreasonable response. Surely he can't expect the three of you to only do stuff together forever and ever?
wh0dathunkit I had a therapist say to me that it sounded like DH was quite "needy" so your post makes sense.
francis it's not like he keeps tabs on me but I feel like if I forget to mention, say, that I had lunch with so-and-so and it comes up randomly a week later he says "oh, you never mentioned that". He wouldn't have a problem with it but it's like he's implying that I should always communicate my plans to him because it's what partners "do" or something, ah I don't know. Maybe it is controlling and I can't see it conciously? He was quite jealous when we first started going out but then that just vanished.
That " being made to feel guilty when u have done mothing wrong" Chestnut.
Lots of different types of men have this trick
Hmmm. actually I do think you should communicate your plans with him.
it may be that as someone said, you are a person who needs time and space and finds it hard to have to self-clip your wings. If it's any help, I get that ...
the irritation/anger thing is difficult though. It sounds like you have to censor yoruself a lot.
He isn't keeping tabs on you....but actually he is. He seems to have given you the message that he needs to know where you are. "Oh, you never mentioned that," sounds innocent enough: but to you, it's come across as "you should have."
have considered that I'm maybe just someone who prefers to be 'unobserved' as it were--it seems like every move I make needs to be explained or discussed and it feels bloody suffocating!
It IS suffocating because again, it isn't normal to have to explain or discuss every move you make, or even to feel as if you should. It's controlling: and it shouldn't be that interesting to him! Does he not have a life of his own, and does he have to explain every move he makes?
So he's allowed to 'express frustration' with e.g. sex, which IS personal to you and something you might conceivably be upset by, but you aren't allowed to do the same, even for totally impersonal things that don't 'reflect' on him at all - e.g. something breaking.
I think you should point that out to him VERY clearly and make him explain his position.
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