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Is there any coming back from this?(28 Posts)
Married to DH 12.5 years, together 15. I'm 36 he's 45. 3dc 9, 6, 2.
I'm not sure how we got here but,
- we don't talk about anything
- I don't want to have sex with him ever (don't want to have it with anyone else though), I have been going through the motions
- I've come to realise he's very very self absorbed
- I don't feel a desire to spend time with him
- he can be a bit of a 'sulker' about things, I used to 'mind' and agonise about how to make things up but now I find I just don't care and eg. Am pleased if he goes off to sleep downstairs
- I enjoy it when he's away with Work
- i don't think I'd mind if he had an affair and wouldn't blame him (prepared to accept I may feel differently in the event)
- I haven't always felt like this obviously but can't pinpoint when or why I changed. I do know I always have made the effort in our relationship in terms of making up after an argument/general making conversation etc and just got tired of it I guess.
Is there any coming back from this?
I have tried to acknowledge and broach our differences in libido & suggest we go to talk to someone but he dismissed the idea. Thinks everything is fine and I should go myself if I want to.
I don't want to break up our family and disrupt my children's childhood. There's a chance I'm having a sort of mid life crisis and don't know how lucky I am/am taking things for granted. And how could I break up their family just because I've 'changed my mind' about their dad?
Just to add:
He works v long hours with a commute so is out of the house 6.30am til about 8.30pm. So could be forgiven for being a bit grumpy sometimes.
Also as a result I have had to be totally self sufficient with all childcare stuff and manage well without him there.
I work 3 days pw.
Looks like your marriage has run its course. I was in a similar position several years ago. We split and are now really good friends.
Do you have kids together 7seas? If so how have they adjusted?
Do you want to come back from this or would you rather split and co-parent really well. It does sound like the end of the road for your marriage but could be the start of the rest of your life
Well I guess it depends where you want to get back to.
Are you happy and is DH happy with the current situation? If you are why change it. If not then you need to sit down and have a frank discussion about what you want to change and what you want to get back to.
Have you had a holiday recently? How were things then? Better or same?
Yes 3 kids who all adjusted well due to a nin acrimonious split and full input into their uobringing by both parents. They were the utmost priority throughout. It can work very well
I do not think there is any coming back from this; he thinks everything is fine and will not go to counselling. If he had an affair you would use that as a definitive reason to leave him; that is how bad things are now. You're unhappy in this marriage and have been so for some considerable time; that is in itself enough.
What do you get out of this relationship now; that is a question I would be asking you.
This comment of yours is also telling:-
"I do know I always have made the effort in our relationship in terms of making up after an argument/general making conversation etc and just got tired of it I guess"
I think you have got tired and on a wider level have come to see that he does not put the same efforts in.
What do you think your children are learning about relationships here and what do you want to teach them about same?. All they are seeing from the two of you now is that a seemingly loveless marriage is their norm too. Being with someone who is both self absorbed and a sulker is not a good thing for you being on the receiving end. Also sulking behaviours anyway are a further example of emotional abuse; sulking is never about silence.
I wouldn't say I'm happy with the situation but sort of toddle along in the busy-ness of life trying not to think about it quite a lot if the time. Mostly we are not in conflict we are just not communicating v much but I'm not sure he even notices (see earlier point about self absorption!)
The thing that causes me most unhappiness at the moment is the physical side of things. As in I would love not to have to worry about it at all and could do without it.
We had a family holiday in the summer that I was not looking forward to because we can often argue more when away. But it was better than expected. He wasn't too grumpy and withdrawn (my fear) but still didn't make conversation with me though - that's just how he is. It wasn't a particularly relaxing holiday because of the ages of the children. It we had some fun and made some memories with them.
It sounds like you don't actually spend much time together. He has long hours, you work, and obviously the day to day of life with kids. What are your feelings towards him when you are on holiday ? Could you perhaps try a child free weekend away ? Not saying this will 'Fix ' anything but maybe you need to find the man you fell in love with.
I guess what I get out of it now is stability and security - financial and general security. And company.
Trying not to jump the gun but I think I need to factor in that because of his pride and how he's not on the same page at all, an unacrimonious split would seem quite unlikely.
And co parenting would not be straightforward. He struggles at the moment to manage all 3dc alone and our eldest is emotionally quite challenging.
Add into the mix some Christian guilt - I made a vow and do not want to throw that away lightly.
I guess I was hoping that someone might have been through a similar phase and then found their feelings changing and things getting better again....
Forget Christian guilt. Think about your kids growing up in a dysfunctional marriage and what that currently demonstrates to them.
When they are older they will respect your decision. I'm a single mum so I understand your worries but honestly being a single parent is way easier that being in a shit relationship
Just because the people who have replied on here haven't been through the same thing doesn't mean it can't happen for you! Is there anyway you can spend some time together without the DC? What about a date night once a month and see how that goes? Get dressed up and spend some quality time together?
I wouldn't throw it all away just yet...once you do that it will be tricky to go back!
What about having an open an Frank conversation about the way that you're feeling? Although i would leave out the part about leaving him. He may be mortified and want to fix things or he may say that he feels the same?
Hope you manage to find a way
Looking quite objectively you both want different things, you wan closeness, companionship, joy, someone you either feel a desire to be intimate with or take it off the table. Where as he wants nothing to change. You sound like a single parent anyway, what happens at weekends? Is there any spark of anything about him that could be re-kindled?
If you think it wouldn't be amicable, then I suggest this marriage meets his needs and not yours. So it's time to think now about what you want your life to look and feel like for the next forty years.
When I split from my ExH I then realised how important it is for your kids to see you happy. It's such an important example to set. In contrast to my own mother who had been stressed and miserable a lot of the time and I almost replicated that but not any more.
Ok. So I guess I can:
- carry on as we are, not rock the boat, not have any difficult conversations. Be physical as much as I feel able to even if that's not enough for him. Almost be passively aggressively challenging him to instigate a conversation about how things are not right (I think there's an element of that now).
- tackle how I'm feeling head an and try to work through it so we can move on. Have difficult conversation, ask again about couples counseling or go alone. Try to have date nights/weekend away without kids to see if that helps.
- check out. Get my 'ducks in a row' (already helped by going back to work). Would still involve a very difficult conversation at some point I guess but without the trying bit.
I guess option 2 has to be the way to go. But it's scary because once I put it out there with him I'll lose control about where it might end up. I'm scared I'll regret rocking the boat.
Hipsterassassin - at weekends he's here generally. We do stuff as a family if I plan it and he will be helpful taking D.C. To activities and doing some things round the house like washing & dishwasher. He will help with bath/bedtime if I ask him specifically but sometimes there's an eye roll. Which I pick him up on!
My marriage seems to have peaks and troughs and when there's a trough I feel much as you describe. In my case my feelings for him have come back from several periods where I really didn't think they would.
It takes effort each time, talking, making time for each other etc but the problem does seem to be a loss of connection with us rather than anything more complex so it doesn't take that much to get it back, only you know whether it would be similar for you.
At the worst points I really have felt as though my feelings for him have died completely though and then it's turned out they've just been hiding under the debris of day to day life. We have a fairly similar set up in that DH works long hours and is often away mon-fri and I do think we get so embroiled in our individual routines we lose sight of each other sometimes.
It's a matter of whether you want to try and reconnect really, and then whether he does, once you've worked that out the way forward should be clearer to you
That's something to think about, thank you. I do feel totally disconnected from him.
I think I have to wait it out or better still try to make things better. I'll be doing my children a disservice if I don't make an effort to see if things can improve.
Why on earth would he think you would be into it physically, if the emotional closeness isn’t there at all? I’m not very physical I must admit but I can’t say it’s because we don’t communicate, do things together etc , he has to make an effort in general teamwork/communication /laughs together, or there is no way you will feel inclined that way
"I think I have to wait it out or better still try to make things better. I'll be doing my children a disservice if I don't make an effort to see if things can improve"
What efforts has he made to make things better, why is this seemingly all down to you?. That is what your above comment implies.
You cannot improve things/try to make things better on your own and if he does not want to try you are flogging a dead horse.
I think you have this the wrong way around. Waiting it out; for how long exactly?. Many years will perhaps pass with your children leaving home before that may happen and the damage will be truly done to you all by then.
Your children are perceptive and know that things between you and dad are not great. They may even wonder why you are together at all now. It could well do your children a disservice to keep on showing them that this model of a relationship could well become their norm too. After all, we learn about relationships first and foremost from our parents and what are they learning here?.
Do not get stuck either on guilt (I bet he does not feel at all guilty) or on sunk costs either (all this nonsense about throwing a relationship away); a bad investment is not going to suddenly become good.
Thank you for the comments. I am trying to be mindful of the example we're giving the D.C. I think whether we stay together or not has potential to harm them.
OP the concept that a marriage as 'run it's course' as PP suggest just doesn't make sense. Marriage takes work, in fact being single even takes work.
There needs to be open and honest communication between partners. If something isn't working well, talk and change it. As you state you didn't always feel this way, life happened and it's stressful but that doesn't mean the marriage is finished.
Too many MN posters propose ending marriages, it's becoming ridiculous.
So - quick update.
Not sure where we go from here.
Last night I had decided to go along with DTD because it had been so long. Physically I was about as into it as I always have been lately.
But it wasn't working for DH. He wasn't 'into it' because he was questioning if I was.
I didn't know what to say.
He said something along the lines of maybe it won't work out between us. And that the physical side is v important to him. Tried to explain that the talking bit is important to me but didn't get that across v well.
It felt like a big moment because it was the first time we had acknowledged together that all was not well and it might not work out. We didn't have sex and I felt very sad.
He's gone away with Work now for a couple of days.
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