Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Married but lonely- any survival tips

(32 Posts)
Marriedbutsingle Sun 21-Jan-18 21:39:59

Anyone else resigned themselves to this ‘married but lonely’ situation? If so how have you coped so far? I’ve got a distant relationship with my husband. There is little intimacy/closeness , either emotional or physical. Have tried to address it for several years, with no success. He’s not abusive or anything, we are just incompatible. He accepts that he’s emotionally distant but doesn’t see it as a problem, as it’s his personality, and I shouldn’t take it personally. He thinks I should just live with the status quo, as it doesn’t bother him. We’ve got 2 children together (teens). He’s a good dad to them. On the surface we have a good life. Financially very comfortable, nice house, good jobs etc etc. Please don’t tell me to leave as for reasons too complex to explain here, it’s not a good option for me at all. I’d be exchanging one set of problems with another. I’m in my 40s, and I used to have friends many years ago, but have drifted away from them, which looking back, I think is because of my circumstances. Not been able to open up to anyone really, and kept people at arms length for the last decade. Am slowly starting to accept my reality now though. Want to start connecting with people again

Goldmonday Sun 21-Jan-18 21:42:55

Accept that it's over and move on. What are you getting out of your marriage?

NotSureThisIsWhatIWant Sun 21-Jan-18 21:45:50

Divorce. That is the solution.

You are not in a better or worse position than any other person, whatever people say, most people who stay in unhappy/dead relationship stay because they don’t have the courage to change.

Personally, it was far more difficult to take the decision to leave than dealing with the consequences of it.

sourpatchkid Sun 21-Jan-18 21:47:32

In the long run you'd be happier if you left but if you really can't then think which friends may be up for you reconnecting with them (Facebook maybe?) start socialising, take a class, join a book club. Possibly also consider therapy - it's a space to really be listened to

Slanetylor Sun 21-Jan-18 21:51:52

If you are comfortably off could you have 2 living rooms or a den. So you can invite friends over for tea/ wine/ movie? Your home needs to be a safe and welcoming place for you and for friends. It's time to get back to making and keeping friends. Get out there as much as you can and get busy moving people back into your life. Grieve for your lost relationship. You know it's over and is beyond rescue. He now needs to give you space to carve out your own life. Give up any boring habits you have. Don't think you need to be home for Sunday lunch etc or anything like that. You need to be free to make new habits and routines that include other people.

StargazyDrifter Sun 21-Jan-18 21:53:49

I don't have any advice as such, but didn't want to read and run. That sounds tough and lonely, sorry to hear it 💐🍷🍰. Before I married DH, an old friend of my parents' said 'define a dream together', didn't mean much at the time, but I think what he meant was that some kind of joint enterprise keeps people close. If there's anything you can do together, is it worth a try? Having said that, if it's been ages maybe the answer is to bolster your life in its own right?

IcanMooCanYou Sun 21-Jan-18 21:58:51

If you're certain you're not going to leave, I'd try building up a friendship group and/or developing interests outside work/home. Evening class? Walking group? is a great place to start

Marriedbutsingle Sun 21-Jan-18 22:10:00

Thanks for suggestions. Part of me worries whether it’s possible to make new connections now. I’ve lost so many years of my life devoted to trying to make this marriage work. If it was 10 years ago, and known what I know now I would’ve walked out no question!
To those who are asking why divorce is not a possibility, DC1 has high functioning ASD. (I think DH may be on the spectrum too, hence some of the difficulties)
We’ve had a difficult few years with him, having only been diagnosed a few years ago. Things are only settling now. We are both devoted to him (and out other DC!). I’m terrified of the disruption a divorce w

NoMudNoLotus Sun 21-Jan-18 22:12:14

thanks for you OP.

I think you are very strong.

Marriedbutsingle Sun 21-Jan-18 22:13:41

Sorry, pressed early! I think a divorce would cause massive disruption for my eldest and really destabilise him. I would probably rather deal with a lonely unsatisfactory marriage then deal with the pain of that. I do worry what will happen when DC leave home though (not sure if DC1 will manage fully independent living though)

Slanetylor Sun 21-Jan-18 22:18:00

I was absolutely certain you were going to say that. I get you have difficulties but you definately need to carve out a life now. You've a long long life ahead of you. You need to stay away from your husband and child even and take some life for just you. It's not too late to make friends at all. You'll find many women with children getting that bit more independent. And they are only now getting back their social lives. Join them.

Rainbowsandflowers78 Sun 21-Jan-18 22:26:05

I would go with a slow burner - slowly build up your friends again. Develop your hobbies, go on solo holidays doing them, think about what you might like/love to do.
I would think the stress of your Child’s Asd contributed a large chunk of the problems within your marriage. It’s a well known fact the divorce rate for parents of disabled (sorry if that’s the wrong word) or ill children is much much higher than the general average for parents.
Give your marriage time and space to recover from the difficult few years you’ve had before making any big decisions

accessorizequeen Sun 21-Jan-18 22:27:30

I have just split from my partner and my eldest has Aspergers, my two younger boys are being assessed for ASD at present (14/11/9) but I’ve been told they’re on the spectrum too. I’ve been in a distant relationship more housemates than anything else for five years (together 19) and I’m 48. I want more from life than this, I deserve it and my children do also. Yes it will be disruptive for all of us but I matter too - you matter. Our happiness is worth something. I have three very challenging children who need extra support but this is my life too and I’ve spent 5 years not wanting to be in this relationship. A weight has come off my shoulders since we split although we are yet to tell the children. Just please bear in mind that you too are entitled to happiness.

Marriedbutsingle Sun 21-Jan-18 22:35:33

Loving these ideas. They give me a flicker of hope that I can carve out a life for myself, irrespective of whether I remain married or not!

Marriedbutsingle Sun 21-Jan-18 22:37:38

Thanks for sharing your experience accesorisequeen flowersWe absolutely are entitled to our own happiness

Sumo1 Sun 21-Jan-18 22:46:39

Having an unhappy DM can’t be good for your DCs.
I would get some counselling, if you can afford it, to give you a chance to discuss you life and get some different perspectives. So you can hopefully find ways to improve it. With no close friends you are not getting support.

BackInTheRoom Mon 22-Jan-18 11:03:53

Maybe you mistake your DH distance? Maybe he is on the spectrum too?

I'm reading a very good book atm called 'The Human Magnet Syndrome' and the author theorise how we chose somebody opposite to ourself eg Codependent/Manipulators. It's on YouTube go have a look.

rhubarbandcustardcrumble Mon 22-Jan-18 11:14:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thiswas Mon 22-Jan-18 11:57:55

Keep a diary in view of writing a book

Marriedbutsingle Mon 22-Jan-18 19:19:25

It’s strange but just the act of writing it all down, and sharing OL, has started to make me feel more hopefulr/confident! (That’s the power of mumsnet!). There’s only a very few handful of people who know my situation in RL and I think for so many years I have carried this as some kind of secret burden. I think I have been in denial even with myself! It feels good to start opening up
So yes I think investing more into reclaiming my lost sense of self, building some social life for me is definitely the answer.....the suggestions on here really help. Who knows where that will lead to? It may lead to me picking up the courage to go it alone, or as some of you have implied, there’s a small chance it could lead to positive change in my marriage. Either way, it’s going to be better hopefully

accessorizequeen Mon 22-Jan-18 19:23:44

Thank you marriedbutsingle, I hope you will find some happiness in friends and hobbies in due course. It takes time, but certainly hope it will help you feel less lonely.

rebelrebel3 Mon 22-Jan-18 19:32:46

My advice is to have a very discreet affair if you really do have to stay put. I know many people will be judgey about this but why oh why do people stay faithful to one another if there's no sex or intimacy and no chance of changing this.

username7979 Mon 22-Jan-18 19:45:32

You are modelling a loveless relationship as acceptable for your children.
you can be much happier and that's contagious for the children.

Rainbowsandflowers78 Mon 22-Jan-18 20:33:33

User - it’s a fine balance isn’t it because shouldn’t she also model that commitment means commitment to her children and that you have to work at things to improve them? Now I’m not saying op should definately stay but I don’t think it’s always right to show kids That promises don’t matter

Rainbowsandflowers78 Mon 22-Jan-18 20:35:22

I agree the best thing op is focus on yourself and see where you end up

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: