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How do you deal with feeling like maybe your marriage isn't forever?

(27 Posts)
KatLovesCats Sun 05-Feb-17 14:23:08

DH is mostly great but when he's not he's really not - grumpy, and has two sexual moods which are off or on (when off even if I initiate he'll ignore, when on it's all the time and annoying and inappropriate), and a few other niggles. I know he's trying, but I'm starting to get this sinking feeling that I won't be with him forever unless certain things change completely, which I don't think they will. When we got together certain things didn't bother me as much, or I thought could improve over time, but now I'm older, wiser and just have less patience for it.

I want to be happy, I want our nice life, but I just don't feel fulfilled and happy. It's breaking my heart but I can't lead him by the hand and strong arm him into being what I perceive as a better man and husband. Without going into detail about the issues, has anyone felt like this and things HAVE improved, and you're happier now in the marriage? I feel like such a failure and we're working really hard at things but I think now that I was too young to see this when we got together (23 to his 27) and was blinded by love, but actually in real adult life maybe we're just not compatible  we've had separate counselling over the past few years but not together.

I've been feeling a lot happier recently and thought we were on the right track but something happened today that's making me question things all over again.

Feeling very sad and mixed up today... any advice would be welcome.

KatLovesCats Sun 05-Feb-17 14:31:07

Should have been a sad after 'maybe we're just not compatible', sorry for the bad punctuation and the fact that this is an essay

keepingonrunning Sun 05-Feb-17 18:41:33

I really feel for you Kat. It's such a hard decision - should I stay or should I go.
Do you have DC?

KatLovesCats Sun 05-Feb-17 19:04:53

One, he's 2.5 sad I feel like it's going to be a few years before I'm sure either way but it's crap to even be feeling this way to be honest.

Blackbird82 Sun 05-Feb-17 23:15:40

God I could have written your post, almost word for word (apart from the sexual side of things, he's always on).......

Anyway sorry I have no advice, but lots of empathy sad

Monkeyface45 Sun 05-Feb-17 23:21:43

I'm with you OP and have posted threads similar to this before. Deep down in my heart I don't think DH and I are cut out for the long term, we got together too young and I have changed a lot. But we're in deep now with kids and soon to be a mortgage too. Suddenly real adult life just crept up and overwhelmed me without me really even realising it. I don't know if we will last another 4 years or 40 years but I do know just to take one day at a time and there's no need for any sudden decisions here x

sureitsgrand Sun 05-Feb-17 23:40:46

Yes, me too. I can cope week to week, I do love him. But can we sustain our differences for another 40 odd years?? Probably not. It's hard some days, and fine others. It's certainly not unbearable. But I think about this regularly!

keepingonrunning Sun 05-Feb-17 23:57:54

It's a question of either cutting your losses now, while your DS is very small and wouldn't remember living with daddy, or ploughing on with an uphill struggle to make things work in the hope things will get better.
He sounds controlling and not much fun around sex. He always wants to be the one to decide when you DTD. Is he as keen to meet your needs - in all areas - as he is to meet his own?
Is he essentially quite selfish? Basic attitudes are unlikely to change.
This article called How To Pick Your Life Partner might be interesting.
If you want evidence-based research on how to make a marriage work read John Gottman's books. There's a special chapter for men, the gist of which is "If you want your marriage to be long and happy, don't be a selfish prick".

KatLovesCats Mon 06-Feb-17 09:58:00

He's not selfish outside of sex, no. Generally does more than his share of house stuff (I do admin and cooking and work from home, he does laundry/dishes etc and works out of home). He just always chooses the worst times to want sex/sexual interactions; yesterday I told him it was typical male entitlement to not think for a second about what I was doing and whether it would work for me, that he's only thinking about himself. He's been grovelling since. He has very low self esteem and I find it hard to prop him up a lot of the time.

I can see us limping on for a few years. We're supposed to be saving for a mortgage: when the time comes that we have all those savings - in about 6/7 years - I think I'll have to make a decision whether to lock myself into a house purchase (which I will if things are good and I'm happy) or to split the savings and split up. It's so hard, that I'm even thinking like this makes me so sad sad but I'm glad I'm not alone. It sucks.

Blackbird82 Mon 06-Feb-17 10:51:36

Do you think your issues are mostly centred around sex and his lack of understanding? Do you think he is emotionally immature?

Is he still having individual therapy? If so could he start talking to the therapist about learning to be more emotionally supportive?

Re sex, I think a lot of men just don't pick up on the cues. They don't think the same way as us. For them, sex is functional so if he has a spare 30 mins then in his head surely that's good enough to jump into bed? Whereas for most women we need things to be right emotionally.

6-7 years is a long time to limp on in an unhappy marriage though. No judgement at all though, I'm in a pretty shitty place myself.....,.

KatLovesCats Mon 06-Feb-17 11:39:02

Blackbird those are the issues I can't live with/overlook. I'm far from perfect, in fact I can be a total pain in the arse, but I'm aware of that and compensate for it. If I fuck up I own it and apologise and mean it. His non-sexual imperfections I am fine with, no one is perfect and they annoy me for a second and then I move on. But for various reasons I can't overlook the sex-based ones. I'm more annoyed by his seeming refusal to think about and examine his own behaviour, but I may be being unfair as I'm a very introspective and self-aware person who does that habitually. He is not naturally like this and not naturally inclined to self-examination so trying to get him to do this is like pulling teeth. It does feel more like he struggles to do it than he doesn't want to - but then equally he could subconsciously not want to and it would present the same way. In which case there's no difference.

KatLovesCats Mon 06-Feb-17 22:39:34

I feel like he's more my best friend than my husband. I don't know how to return to not feeling that way. This is awful.

happyvalley4 Mon 06-Feb-17 22:48:05

It's the same with my dh. I felt like you do about 3 or 4 years ago. In the end we had several conversations about how we felt. We acknowledged that we were both annoying. But we also acknowledged that we have a great life together and we do get on. We also have a 7 yo DD and we both want to stay living as a family.

And since then things have been a lot better. He's still the same (and I'm sure I am too) but he doesn't irritate me like he used to because I'm feeling less trapped by it all. I'm happy for the moment but still I sometimes feel that forever is a long long time.

Expat38matt Tue 07-Feb-17 06:09:53

It sounds like there's a lot of positive things in the relationship but I don't really understand what's going on with the sex issue . Sorry for being dense but can you explain. ?

KatLovesCats Tue 07-Feb-17 08:12:13

It's hard to explain, that's why I haven't gone into detail. I'll try and do an "in a nutshell" version. This isn't the only thing bothering me but it adds to little things that I otherwise wouldn't mind, making them seem worse if you see what I mean?

Before having DC, we did it most days and were adventurous. This stopped during pregnancy as I had low drive and hip pain. I had some damage during birth that put a stop to it resuming for the first 9-10 months of DS's life. DS is still a terrible sleeper and we're both exhausted. However since we started trying to get "back on the horse", it's either:

a) He 'turns off' his sex drive and doesn't put any pressure on me at all but also never initiates and if I try to he doesn't seem to get that that's what I'm doing confused this has been it until recently.

b) He 'allows himself to feel into sex again' which means he wants it every day and struggles with me only wanting sexual contact a couple of times a week (even though we're still both exhausted). He recently asked if I could tell him one of my fantasies, I said I'd think about it then later said I'd chosen one to tell him, in a wink-wink way. Since then, rather than asking me to tell him when we're in bed or whatever, he's bringing it up at weird times - alluding to it while DS is awake and in the room angry or asking me to tell him about it when I'm in my PJs on the sofa during DS's nap time when I'm just trying to eat toast and read my book. This has been going on about a week. That kind of thing. I find it intrusive and annoying.

I've been working on my issues with intimacy and trying to let him in more, but it feels like when I do I lose all my boundaries because he doesn't understand them. I feel like we're both equally in the wrong about different things at the moment. I hope that makes sense. I'm very mixed up about it.

KatLovesCats Tue 07-Feb-17 08:13:31

That reply was to Expat38 obviously.

happy feeling trapped sums it up at the moment, I'm glad things have gotten better for you though smile

Slimmingsnake Tue 07-Feb-17 08:20:00

Once kids and mortgage come along the yrs fly by ,then exams ,and you've 4 one after the other going through GCSES then alevels,that's a lot of yrs where they need to stay in same house,area school.for their which point the youngest is in secondary,and you never moved the others during secondary because you put them first and felt it was more important to have stability during secondary yr the only person out of 6 who wants anything to wake up one morning and think did I get here...

Slimmingsnake Tue 07-Feb-17 08:21:45,you wake up EVERY morning thinking fuck how did I get here.

KatLovesCats Tue 07-Feb-17 08:31:32

We won't be having any more children thankfully. One is quite enough to be feeling guilty about sad it must be so much harder with multiple DC

AllTheLight Tue 07-Feb-17 08:32:16

I had 3 DC within 4 years, which affected our sex life as I wasn't keen on sex in the last three months or so of each pregnancy, or while sleep deprived with a newborn. When things started getting back to normal, we found that DH had reached a similar place to what you describe as your DH's 'off' switch - never expecting sex, never initiating - as it had helped him 'cope' with less sex than he wanted. He was sort of up for it when I initiated, but it proved surprisingly hard for us to return to a 'normal' sex life when I was ready to do so - I had expected it to happen naturally. So I do recognise the on/off thing you describe. We got there eventually, and things are really good now. So it may be worth hanging in there if this is the main issue.

KatLovesCats Tue 07-Feb-17 08:36:49

That's really good to hear AllTheLight - especially that it's not just him! Thank you flowers

I guess it's a case of you're still in love with him and would gladly grow old with him if certain issues were ironed out or whether it's a case of you want different things in life and don't see yourself growing old together.

I was with my husband for 25 years all in, and looking back now I don't think I was ever in love with him although I did and always will love him. I realised as the years went on we grew into different people who didn't want the same things in life and the thought of my DS growing up and leaving home and then it just being me and him scared me. I wanted to leave for a long time but finally did when DS was 11......a very bad age for a kid and I wish I had done it either years earlier or years later.

I find it sad that so many people make do. Hard as my life is at the moment I just tell myself one day it will all be worth it. We only get one life, we got to live it as best and be as happy as we can.

KatLovesCats Tue 07-Feb-17 10:21:26

Betty I totally agree, I just have no idea which of the two options it is at the moment. Only time will tell. I just feel terrible that I'm even wondering about this as I don't want to hurt him sad

Kat the main reason I stayed so long was because I didn't want to hurt him. I felt responsible for him which looking back now is crazy. Guilt has been a big factor for me and even 2.5 years later I still feel horrendous guilt but I still know it's better for us all in the long run. He deserves to be loved wholeheartedly and one day he will be and then that is when I will truely be set free.

Just take your time, don't make rash decisions. I don't regret leaving but it's been bloody hard

Expat38matt Tue 07-Feb-17 13:42:49

Thanks for explaining a bit ! That sounds really quite irritating I can totally understand why it's doing your head in!
It sounds like a situation I was in with my DH which I'd describe as being a massive disconnect. Like you we have a "nice life" but I started to really think about life after the marriage ended for a good while.
I let it go on for ages feeling really miserable. In the end we did work it out when I finally broke down and he realized I was eyeing the exit but it took him really listening to me (like you husband he doesn't really "do" feelings but he took me by surprise big time here by taking my unhappiness onboard )
I do feel like life is too short to stay in an unhappy relationship but also feel happy I didn't end up walking away as it has got 100% better for me. I always said give it a really good go to sort out so if you do end up walking away at least you can say you tried .
Good luck x

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