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Please help - on the brink of a divorce(39 Posts)
To keep a long story short (ish) - DH and I got married last year after 3 years together and are quite well-matched in some ways but have now drifted so far apart that I'm considering divorce. A few things have cropped up or gotten worse since the wedding, like his need to be left alone and not do anything after work (and yet he wants to have a child!), treating me like a housemate - we both have quite low sex drives but he's literally always too tired and doesn't show any affection which doesn't make me feel great. Last time we had sex was on our honeymoon. We tried a few months ago; he couldn't get an erection but has not seen a doctor about it. I can't think about spending the rest of my life with someone who doesn't want me that way.
He also refuses to apologise for anything - from little things to big stuff like embarrassing me and being very rude in front of my friend. I am quite a gentle person and probably apologise a little too much but his inability to do it really bothers me.
I feel like he wants to stay with me because he doesn't want to deal with the fallout of telling his family, friends, looking for a new home etc. In all our conversations about the current situation, he hasn't told me he wants to stay because he loves me once. I appreciate that romantic feelings fade in long-term relationships but shouldn't we at least want to be around each other? If this is the rest of our lives now, I feel really sorry for us both.
Sorry for the essay! I guess I'm looking for some opinions on whether falling out of love is reason enough to get a divorce?
Yes, it is a good enough reason for divorce. However, before going down that route, would it be worth considering relationship counselling? Do you want to save your marriage? Does your husband; and would he be willing to attend counselling?
I think that a marriage without physical intimacy would be a very sad, lonely place to be; and it would be a deal breaker for me. Only you can decide if it's a deal breaker for you.
My OH is rubbish at apologising and it drives me nuts as well; I wonder if the lack of libido and affection is partly down to all these little resentments building up and festering. Four years together is fairly short, and whilst you'd be past the first flush of love, I wouldn't expect things to have become so jaded already (IMHO).
My OH and I have been together over 16yrs and we've had our ups and downs wrt our differing sex drives, but we've been able to sit down and work through it. I've found that when there's a lack of physical intimacy we don't get on as well, and we bicker and argue more. I have less patience with him and he gets on my nerves easily. We're also less affectionate in general (cuddling, holding hands, etc) so we become more distant and so the cycle carries on.
Thank you for replying, wishitwasntme - I appreciate it.
He would never have counselling - he doesn't see the need to discuss our issues with a third person. I would, on the other hand,but it's kind of irrelevant if he doesn't participate. When I think about whether I want to save my marriage, I genuinely don't know. I'm not more enthusiastic about it because my every thought is already tainted with the fact that he's probably only with me because I was just good enough to not bother looking for anyone else, if you see what I mean. I'm convenient. He hasn't denied this.
When I think about what it would be like to get a divorce, my only reservations are about our friends who will be shocked, relatives who will want to know why and that beautiful wedding we had, which has come to mean nothing in the end
I'm guessing marriage for him, means not trying. Given his attitude, I would take a break from the relationship to demonstrate that you're serious. Self interest is a good motivator and if a split won't motivate his ass, then nothing will.
Yes, I agree with Isetan. I would tell him you are initiating a trial separation, are you able to move out for a few months? I suspect you would find that you are a great deal happier on your own, which will tell you everything you need to know.
Friends and relatives will react in a variety of different ways whatever the circumstances of your split. In the end this is your life to live as you see fit. Your description of the relationship is very sad. Is this what you would want for a friend, for the rest of her life?
How old are you both? It might help to make sense of what is going on.
tribpot - I wish I was able to move out! I don't have any family nearby and I wouldn't impose on a friend for that long. I'm currently away for the weekend, as I really needed to think about things without him there. Re being on my own - I do want a relationship but this particular one is not making me very happy so in that sense, yes, I'd be happier out of it. But then I think about all the great things we've experienced together and I don't know whether I should throw that away? If I knew he wanted to stay married because he loved me instead of any practical considerations, I would stay, no question. But I don't know that.
Fireshidechat - I'm 29 and he's 34. He already has one divorce behind him and I suspect he just doesn't want it to happen again.
Walk This many issues after only one year of marriage and he can't be asked?
This is way too soon to be having all these issues. Having great times together doesn't mean you're necessarily compatible enough to spend the rest of your lives together.
Don't let the thought of all the hard work you've put into the relationship stop you from ending it. You have still learned valuable lessons to take to another better relationship. Next time you know what personality traits to look for and avoid in a future life partner. Respect being foremost.
I never advise people on MN to leave their marriages lightly. I think people are often way too quick to tell people to chuck it in. But in this case, the fact that things have already gone so far south in just over a year tells me you shouldn't waste another day of your thirties (your potential childbearing years) on this one.
You can do better than this. No sex since the honeymoon is a clear signal. And that's just one of them.
Walk on sister.
Antique - thank you. I hadn't thought of it that way. A relationship with his much emotional investment (not just from me but friends, family etc) ending always screams FAILURE to me. Maybe it isn't...
I agree with all the sentiments above, it isn't right to be feeling like this. Do you think in hindsight you may have got married too quickly?
I don't think it was a case of too quickly as such - I was ready for a commitment. I think I maybe wanted to get married and didn't pay enough attention to the fact that it might have not been the right person.
I've been away from our home for 24 hrs now and he hasn't even contacted me to see if I'm ok. That's quite sad, isn't it.
It's sad, rude & not what a husband should be doing.
Yes it's sad op but it seems to be confirming that you have been correct in thinking your marriage may not be upto scratch.
Might he be thinking that you haven't contacted him? Serious question.
So he met you when he was 29/30 and he'd already been divorced already?
Do you know anything about why it failed? Objectively, I mean. Not just what words he used as he'd hardly have said "I was useless". For example, have you any idea if his low sex drive was a factor there too?
I'm sorry OP, I think you're flogging a dead horse.
It would be interesting to know why his first wife left him - although I'm sure he's only told you his version.
I've messaged him and he hasn't replied. I appreciate I might be a bit hard-headed in not trying him again but I want to feel like I'm not the only one who is involved here...
His ex wife's reasons for leaving were probably complex (as ending a marriage is) but I know from a few remarks that one of the reasons was that she felt like she was being treated like a friend instead of a wife ie no or little romantic/sexual interest. I didn't really pay attention to it at the time as we had just got together and things were fine in that aspect.
He's said he doesn't want to divorce but doesn't know how to make things better either. He won't address any of my questions about our sex life, general lack of affection or him only wanting a child with me because his parents really want a grandchild.
I just can't see a single reason why you should stay with this man. You're worried about what others think - such a shame you can't just say, "Well, the last time we had sex was on our honeymoon" because virtually everyone would think that was a good enough reason alone.
He's not a good friend to you, he's not a good husband to you. He wants you to stay so that the boat isn't rocked and so that his parents have a grandchild. It'd be interesting to know how he thinks that would happen.
You're lucky you're still so young. I would end the marriage and try to find someone who's your best friend and your lover.
That sounds very like he had no sexual interest in her either. I imagine she was feeling exactly what you are - how do I divorce so young? But how can I live like this forever?
It's not you, or her, it's him.
I expect, given his youth, that there is a third unsuccessful marriage in his future. At least as long as his family expect a grandchild.
I'm sorry, OP. It sounds like a horrible situation. But it also seems like far too early into the relationship for things to be this bad. It seems like he was putting in just enough effort to get to the stage of being married and now that you are he has no interest in any further input. It's puzzling that he has done this twice in a row and I suspect that there is more to it then simply having a low sex drive - there should still be friendship and love, in that case, even without sex. I can see that you don't want to give up on things just yet but do you want to live like this for the next how ever many years?
Imperial - there are qualities in him that I like, otherwise we wouldn't have got this far. We usually get on well, and he is a determined, macho-type man who loves children and puts family above all else. Although I'm typing this and I can see that I'm talking about a friendly colleague, not a husband All I keep thinking about is how disappointed our families and close friends will be. And I'll want to return the wedding presents. Everyone thinks we're a great couple - we put on a good front. I can't help but feel like I've failed, which my mother will take great delight in pointing out to me.
Misnomer- that's exactly it, I don't want to be trapped in this for the next 40 or whatever years. Thing is, I keep hearing people talking about how intimacy isn't the most important thing, we should accept others for who they are etc. But I want my husband to think I'm attractive and show it every now and then. Maybe I want too much? I'm seriously willing to accept that I might have expectations that can't be met.
Well, you need to distance yourself from your mum, for one thing. If one of my family had a marriage breakdown I might be sad or upset for them, but I wouldn't be disappointed. It's a strange way to describe someone's feelings about your marriage.
You can't stay together just because of your friends and family. You know that!
It's odd you think he's macho when he has such a low sex drive. What does he say when you talk to him about it?
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