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How do you know if your marriage is over

(29 Posts)
thecatsm0ther Fri 12-Jun-15 22:08:58

We've been together 20 years this summer and married 8 years in September. Our daughter is 14.

I don't feel anything other than friendship for my husband, although I am very fond of him.

Recently someone else has been paying me a lot of attention and I've realised how much I've missed the chat, flirting, feeling special.

I'm not planning on ending my marriage because of this person or planning to have an affair.

My husband has put on a lot of weight, now weighs 20 stone and is not interested in losing weight. He loves junk, crisps, chocolate, McDonald's, hates any sort of exercise. He showers only every third day, only shaves for work and doesnt wear aftershave or EDT, just deodorant (cheap). His clothes are all band t-shirts and jeans.

I knew he was like this when we met, but he seems to care less now. I feel no physical attraction for him, but feel like something is missing.

He wants to watch tv all the time, rubbish geeky stuff that doesn't interest me really.

He was out of work for quite a while and didn't try to earn money in any way, I am full of resentment and anger for being left alone to deal with it - I worked and still did all the cleaning, gardening, cooking etc.

Yesterday I tried to tell him all this, now he won't speak to me. I tried to be kind, not get angry, but to be honest.

I can't leave, we have a lot of debt, our house won't sell, Im self employed and don't earn enough to pay rent and to live off.

I don't know what to do. How can I make this work if he thinks nothing is wrong? He said to me he thought we were "doing ok for our age"! Is that enough?

I don't want to upset my daughter, she loves him. He's not been a great dad, no energy to do anything much with her other than watch tv.

Sorry for rambling on. I've no one to talk to. My mum has cancer so I dont want to worry her and I don't really have friends.

MatildaTheCat Fri 12-Jun-15 22:17:43

Why won't your house sell? It may be that you are being too gloomy. It does sound as if the marriage is over and you need to make a clean break.

ALaughAMinute Fri 12-Jun-15 22:29:35

There's always a way to get out of a marriage so don't talk yourself into believing that you're stuck with him forever.

I suggest you pay a visit to the CAB or get a free half hour with a solicitor to find out what you're entitled to and where you stand legally.

Dowser Fri 12-Jun-15 22:34:46

In answer to your question

When the other woman is sat outside in a car waiting for your husband to come out!

I realise it was a rhetorical question. Just couldn't resist but yes it was as clear cut as that.

When someone isn't investing in themselves it feels like they are not investing in the relationship. He's not keeping himself clean enough. He's let his body go to pot. If he doesn't care about himself then why should he care about you is how I see it.

Intimacy is such an important part of a loving relationship but he seems to have built himself a barrier with his body ( weight and going unwashed) in order to keep you out.

It feels like he has checked out to be honest.

Sorry to hear about your mum and cancer ...such a terrible illness. Maybe it's enough to focus on that for the time being . Can you continue to coast along while you see what is going to happen to your mum.

Maybe not a good idea to rock the boat and have two area of your life disrupted.

glitteryflange Fri 12-Jun-15 23:52:49

Sounds like you have checked out emotionally and he has checked out physically.

I definitely think this is salvageable.

You both need to make more effort with each other and yourselves.

I put on a lot of weight when I was depressed and was on AD's. Could he be as miserable in your marriage as you?

Would you consider relate?

Lovingfreedom Sat 13-Jun-15 00:01:39

Go ahead have the affair...you deserve it. Your husband sounds like a fat, geeky loser...oh hang on you need to stay with him for the money...

Lovingfreedom Sat 13-Jun-15 00:07:37

Sorry...My mistake I jumped in too fast...So you earn the money and he doesn't contribute anything but runs up the debts?

FairyBiker Sat 13-Jun-15 00:15:34

Sorry to hear about your mum. Do you think her illness has made you look at your relationship closer?
my dad was ill a couple of years ago and and since then I've looked far more closely at mine and dp relationship, we too have been together for 20 years. No intimacy either emotionally or physically and I'm not sure whether I want another 20 years of where we are but am not sure how to change it?

thecatsm0ther Mon 15-Jun-15 08:43:45

Sorry for the delaying in getting back, had no pc access this weekend.

Wow, quite varied replies!

We tried selling the house last year when dh had been out of work for over 18 months, we had just three viewings. It wasn't overpriced as such, but just down the road they are building lots of new houses, ours was much cheaper, but I guess people want a new one. Ours is just ten years old, desperately needs painting throughout and new carpet and there is no way we can afford to do that. If we sell we won't get another mortgage so would have to rent, which I don't really want to do.

I don't think I've checked out emotionally really, I want to feel the passion I used to feel, but he feels just like a friend now.

Lovingfreedom, not sure how to take that, sarcasm doesnt come across well when typed sometimes ...

He is now earning, but for 18 months he didn't and I was earning. Unfortunately I'm not a high earner, but I have always tried to contribute as best I could in the circumstances.

I tried to talk to him about things this weekend. He thinks things are fine, nothing to change. Showering every 2 to 3 days is fine for him - he showers every two days for work, usually, sometimes he'll just use dry shampoo though, and doesn't wash inbetween, just sprays more deodorant on. The rest, the lack of intimacy, he thinks is normal for our age.

I'm sad about it. I don't want to have an affair. I want to feel loved, desirable and wanted. The other man makes me feel like that. Nothing has happened yet, don't think it will either, but he makes me feel good.

mrsdavidbowie Mon 15-Jun-15 08:47:04

I couldn't live with a slob.
You sound as if you can't either.

Georgethesecond Mon 15-Jun-15 08:47:42

Start doing things together.

And get some friends! You can't expect one person to fulfil all your emotional needs and then complain when they don't. No one can do that for you.

(I know that is easier said than done. But it's still a fact flowers)

twistletonsmythe Mon 15-Jun-15 08:50:21

if you are self employed you get working tax and child credits and maybe housing benefit too. I don't see why you would stay with someone you don't even like any more.

MrsBennetsEldest Mon 15-Jun-15 09:01:12

Mid life crisis? Grass greener on the other side?

I'm wondering if you started to feel like this AFTER you started talking to the other man. You sound bored with your relationship and are listing all the reasons you can to blame your husband and excuse yourself.

I'm sure your husband didn't get that heavy overnight. He sounds as if he's become comfortable with the life you have, one way or another that's what we all want, to be comfortable with someone. Are you exactly the same size as when you first met?

If the grass does seem greener on the other side OP, try tending to your own grass.

wallypops Mon 15-Jun-15 09:52:07

The not washing would be a deal breaker for me. My partner doesn't wear deodorant - which I admire - but the result doesn't always smell great!! But he washes loads and if I say you whiff he deals with it immediately. (We live in France so the whiffiness is pretty acceptable to others!) Honestly being intimate with someone whose nob hadn't been washed that day would be really not ok.

Anniegetyourgun Mon 15-Jun-15 09:57:23

MrsBennet, there's getting older, perhaps with more sedate ways and middle-aged spread, which is pretty usual, and there's just not bothering any more. I suspect it's right the OP didn't notice quite how unsatisfactory it all was until the OM came along, but that doesn't mean she's reinventing anything or looking for reasons to be dissatisfied. The reasons were there before; the attention from someone else just shone a light on them. It reminded her that she's not quite ready to climb into a nice comfy coffin and pull the lid down. It would be crazy to dump a good, settled thing with someone you are fond of and have a child with - and let's face it, it's not completely reprehensible to think about the economics for all parties should it come to a split - for some novelty ego boost, but the OP has said she has no intention of either dumping him or having a bit on the side.

Sadly, OP, I don't think there is such a thing as the magic form of words that will suddenly make a staid middle-aged man get off his butt and change the habits of a lifetime. He knows you aren't going anywhere any time soon; ok, you're frustrated, you may have a bit of a go every now and then, but he knows it'll blow over. As I see it there are several options including:

1) LTB. This is always an option although not always the most desirable, even when he's not really a B. It would I think be worthwhile to research the options and find out how it could work rather than assuming you can't.

2) Tell him you will leave if nothing changes. Cruel, but may be what it takes. Having researched your options as in 1) above means you can negotiate from a position of strength. He can either do whatever it is that's your bottom line - wash every other day without fail, be responsible for one major item of house or garden work, go on x number of holidays a year etc - or stay in his comfortable fug on his own.

3) Start making life what you want it, leaving the slob guy at home. Go on holidays with DD or friends. Take up a hobby that gets you out of the house. Leave him to cook for himself once in a while (I can't imagine leaving the cleaning or laundry for him to do will have a happy outcome).

4) Have the affair, on the grounds that if you can't get what you are looking for at home you have the right to look elsewhere. I do not recommend this. But like anything else it is a kind of option.

wallypops Mon 15-Jun-15 11:06:02

A very sensible post from Annie.

I think that the idea that you cannot change anything is a very depressing thought and that getting advice about your options is really a good idea. You are not obliged to put up with status quo. But living the life you want in other areas seems like a really good plan. I would say that he probably needs some kind of kick up the butt - unless you are in your 80s.

thecatsm0ther Mon 15-Jun-15 11:45:26

There is never time to do stuff together - he practices with his band at weekends. Also we have no money to go out much. He doesn't want to go for walks with me.

Making friends isn't easy in a village where everyone knows everyone and looks down on outsiders. I have a couple of friends I try to see regularly, I'm not asking my dh to be everything to me confused

Mid life crisis? Grass greener on the other side? I'm wondering if you started to feel like this AFTER you started talking to the other man. You sound bored with your relationship and are listing all the reasons you can to blame your husband and excuse yourself. I'm sure your husband didn't get that heavy overnight. He sounds as if he's become comfortable with the life you have, one way or another that's what we all want, to be comfortable with someone. Are you exactly the same size as when you first met? If the grass does seem greener on the other side OP, try tending to your own grass

MrsBennet, no this has been like this for a while, way before meeting the other guy. I'm mad at dh for how he has behaved over the past few years, but he won't accept that he's done anything wrong.

Yes, I am bored, I don't think my life should be over because my husband can't be bothered?? confused I'm trying to change it, but he just wants to sit in front of the TV [shrugs]

I'm not trying to blame my husband, everything I listed was true. I know I'm not perfect, I've put on a stone and a half too, but I'm still presentable, clean and try hard. I work hard, keep the house reasonably clean and cook healthy food most of the time.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 15-Jun-15 11:53:36

What do you think you are both teaching your DD about relationships here?.

Your DD may well wonder why the two of you are together at all given the ongoing misery and perhaps even worse blames her own self for her parents marital problems. Her dad is a slob who has checked out of this physically and her mum is stressed out mentally and miserable. When she looks at the two of you what does she see?. Look at this from her point of view, it looks pretty miserable doesn't it.

Would you want her to have a relationship like yours is when she is an adult; currently you're showing her that all this is acceptable to you.

thecatsm0ther Mon 15-Jun-15 12:02:06

I'm fairly sure our daughter doesn't see any misery, we are kind to each other and pleasant and friendly. He is my friend.

But no I wouldn't want her to have a relationship like this. But it's very different giving yourself permission to leave isn't it?

thecatsm0ther Wed 17-Jun-15 08:39:00

This morning he's told me he's lost his job - again sad

shovetheholly Wed 17-Jun-15 08:53:15

I suspect that in your case, the moment you knew it was over may have been the moment you formulated the question about it potentially being over on this site!

The first thing I wanted to say is that it is exhausting living with someone who doesn't pull their weight financially or around the house. You are lifting the weight of two adults singlehandedly, so you must feel so tired and so burdened. I promise you, life doesn't have to be that way. Once you're through the howling tunnel of fear that is making the initial break, you will emerge the other side and find that you have more reserves and more resilience than you ever knew.

I think it's probably time for you to start figuring out the practicalities of a split. This may help to give you a clearer picture of where you stand. You may well be much better off as a single mother than you think. You may find that the debt, the house sale can be sorted out more readily than you think. There is something incredibly empowering about getting the facts of your situation straight, instead of dealing with the vague, half-formed fears that inevitably float through your mind when faced with a huge decision like this.

Sending you flowers.

PurpleWithRed Wed 17-Jun-15 08:55:58

Does he have any idea you are on the verge of leaving him?
But if you aren't going to leave him he's got no incentive to change - he's obviously happy as things are. Could you really do another 40 years of this?

HellKitty Wed 17-Jun-15 09:03:28

He's lost his job again?
Get him down to Wilkos, buy some decent (works out cheaper as you use less) white paint and some cheap wallpaper scrapers/plaster fillers. HE can bring the house up to scratch room by room as and when you can afford to. Wallowing isn't doing him any good. He objects? Then tell him to get to the doctor (possibly depressed) as you can't carry on living with him like this. Still objecting? Game over.

thecatsm0ther Wed 17-Jun-15 12:00:21

I can't even think about decorating right now. I need him working asap.

plainjanine Wed 17-Jun-15 12:06:14

thecatsm0ther, do you think he lost his job on purpose? Or is this a regular thing? Short term contracts / casual work of some sort?

Genuine question.

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