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Happy with everything in life apart from my shit marriage. Can it change?(9 Posts)
I've got a lovely house, a lovely toddler, I'm fairly happy with my job, no money worries, I'm happy with the way I look and I've got just enough friends to fend off loneliness.
But I'm so unhappy in my marriage.
Firstly I'm not really that attracted to DH anymore (not sure if I ever was to be honest) although I do manage to get the fires burning every week or so, so thinks haven't completely dried up in the bedroom but it's not exactly brilliant.
DH is a lovely guy but I don't get much emotional warmth from him. It's always been something he really struggles with, possibly due to his upbringing. He puts so much more effort into his job and hobbies than he does our marriage, if he put as much passion into making me happy as he does with making his boss/colleagues happy, I'd probably be the happiest woman on the planet.
I long for emotional closeness and affection, if I get good attention from other men I find myself wishing I wasn't married. But I don't want to ruin our happy life, DH is a great dad and I look forward to him coming home on my days off so I can chat to him about our day. We've got to a point now where the chores are fairly evenly split, so that's not an issue. But we fight a lot, sometimes pretty badly in front of DS, and our marriage is just totally lacking in the emotional department. I feel like he makes no effort. But maybe I'm not making enough of an effort either?
Can things change? Is there anything I can do?
You describe the problems as longstanding and permanent: you're not sure you were ever attracted to him, he has always struggled to show emotion.
So no, these things won't change. They are what they are. The only question is whether you can accept 2, 10, 20, 40 more years of this, or not.
I'd like to say "well you can't have everything!" but I think your relationship with your DH is one thing you can't compromise on.
I'd describe it like a solar system, with your partnership being the Sun. If the sun stops burning, sooner or later all the orbiting 'planets' will suffer - jobs, friendships, children etc.
So firstly, your concern is very reasonable even if everything else seems perfect.
However, if you can't make change happen (through talking or marriage counselling) maybe it's time to consider being your own Sun.
OP, you posted about this useless man
child recently in AIBU. Clearly you aren't ready to LTB.
DrGoogle provides a little clarity there.
You are settling. And could do much better
on your own
No I don't think it will change. My relationship with my husband is the most important one in my life for my own happiness (OK, so it's on par with my kids!) and if we aren't right, nothing is. I would be devastated if he didn't show me lots of affection and attention.
Im really sorry for your situation it must be so hard. I don't know what to suggest because it doesn't sound like your marriage has ever been quite right
redteddy I love your analogy. It's true, everything in my life is perfect on paper but the marriage issue just seems to cast a grey cloud over everything and makes me feel so depressed. Lots of my friends and family are really envious of my life. I'm a living example of others not knowing what happens behind closed doors. Sometimes I fantasise about being my own Sun, as you put it. But then I realise the whole solar system would become so much smaller.
Handywoman You're right. I forget about past threads I've made. My emotions change one week to the next. Having left DS with him for a night recently (I had an extremely rare night out with some friends), I came back and realised he's not totally incompetent at domestic stuff in my absence. So things have improved in that area I suppose. Or at least, I'm trying to be more chilled out about it, and I've made it clear to him that if I forget something or do a shoddy job sometimes, he should either pick up the slack or don't complain as I just have too much on my plate to run a perfectly tight ship.
I am so not ready to LTB although a couple of months ago I even got to the point of emailing an estate agent about a flat to rent! I just can't go through with it, and I don't know how it would even work, we own a house together, we work together, we have a child together, everything is so tied up it feels like it's impossible to split. I don't know how people do it. My mum broke up with my dad when I was 6 and it totally broke my heart.
Sometimes I just think I should ride this out, but I'll be riding it out for the rest of my life! A whole life of wondering if I'd be happier alone or with someone else! And I wonder if I'd be equally unhappy with anyone else, eventually. Maybe this is just me having too high expectations.
I keep bringing this up with DH, I've told him so many times I'm unhappy with the marriage, it seems to upset or anger him temporarily, but then he seems to just sweep it under the rug and forget about it, acting like everything is fine all the time. Sometimes I simply tell him "I feel sad", instead of asking why I'm feeling sad he just says "Aww, don't be sad", then carries on as if I never mentioned it!
I wonder if marriage counselling is any good. (Going to google marriage counselling now...)
I think you need to put aside the material things in your life and also your toddler, ask yourself, would you want to be with him if it was just the two of you, if the answer is no, then you know you need to split, it's no big deal nowadays, perhaps you are beginning to realise this and will get there soon.
Some people are just fundamentally incompatible.
Leaving will be difficult and chuck you some challenges, but I'd bet you'll be happier in the long term.
One thing to mull over. Imagine, yourself in the same situ in 5... 10... 20... 30 years time??
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