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Lost the spark years ago-can you live without it?

(40 Posts)
JudgeRindersMinder Tue 27-Nov-18 18:56:41

dh and I have been together for about 25 years, married for 22. Eldest child has left home now, and youngest is in the last couple of years of school. Complicated situation with us both working, him long hours, me on long shifts, and add an elderly parent with huge care needs and you get the picture.
We very rarely get time together, partly because of work, and partly because I’ve suffered from depression for years and tend to be a loner when I’m low.
We haven’t had sex in 5+years, and to be fair to him, he’s never bugged me about it. It sounds terrible but the thought of him in a sexual way does absolutely nothing for me. We are affectionate and hug, but that’s as far as it goes.
We haven’t been on holiday together for several years, he goes with his friends and I go with mine.
We do have vastly different backgrounds, and I feel it’s really starting to show now-he’s quite happy to have a quiet night at home, and whilst I’m no party animal, I want to do things like go to theatre etc. I know if I asked him he would go, but I also know he’d get nothing out of it and rather not be there.
We have a lovely home, and things are finally starting to ease a bit financially. We pretty much share the same sense of humour, we don’t argue and have much the same goals for retirement etc
I don’t want to end the marriage, but I don’t know if in my late 40s I can spend the rest of my life like this.
Has anyone else managed to carry on living like this?

relationshipwoes Tue 27-Nov-18 19:02:02

Sounds a bit miserable really, but I can see why you’re reluctant to end things too (see my thread about delaying a split).

I don’t really have any advice. My gut says to you, run, run for the hills, life is too short to be unhappy and unfulfilled, but I am not really taking my own advice!

What about counselling?

Or could either or both of you cut down on work?

Dare I say, date night?

JudgeRindersMinder Tue 27-Nov-18 19:54:33

I know what you mean about life being too short, in most other situations I say exactly the same.
It’s maybe me who’s more in need of counselling, he hasn’t changed, and he is a good man, has always been very hands on when the children were younger, supportive of me working part time....he can’t cut down on work unfortunately, it’s the location that makes for his long days, amd there genuinely isn’t anything closer.
I just feel we’re the archetypal couple who’s drifted apart amd I don’t know what to do about it, or can I carry on not doing anything about it?

KnitFastDieWarm Tue 27-Nov-18 19:57:41

This is one situation where an open relationship might work - you are clearly well suited and care for each other, just not in a sexual sense. It seems a shame to throw away the good things in your marriage if there are alternatives you might be able to explore regarding having other casual sexual partners outside the marriage? This obviously isn’t for everyone and requires a lot of trust and communication, but it might be an alternative way of approaching this.

ahola Tue 27-Nov-18 20:01:46

This sounds exactly like my marriage (except are chiare younger, because we had them late).
I have just started reading Andrew Marshall's I Love You But I'm Not In Love With You which is supposed to show you how to get back to how things were earlier in your relationship... We'll see how it goes- it's pretty straight forward and to the point so far.

JudgeRindersMinder Mon 03-Dec-18 09:24:58

@KnitFastDieWarm believe it or not that’s something that’s crossed my mind, but dh has been SO traditional when it comes to relationship matters that I think he’d be devastated by this idea. Mind you it doesn’t help that we’ve never spoken about our marriage, because he’s such a closed book.
@Ahola, I’ll get that book, (to my kindle so he doesn’t see it!), thank you for the suggestion.

I wondered if anyone else might have any thoughts?

rockstarchick Mon 03-Dec-18 10:54:39

Have you thought that if you said you were in your 20's / 30's maybe that the advice you would be getting is to leave ??
So why just because your in your 40's you can't?
Obviously it brings other factors but still your happenings shouldn't suffer

WhyAmISoCold Mon 03-Dec-18 21:35:19

I'm in your situation, although younger. I did suggest an open marriage. DH was horrified and said it's not normal. So I'm still here and unhappy.

Hopoindown31 Tue 04-Dec-18 08:15:48

Sounds to me like you are not really spending much time on your relationship at all. You don't go on holidays together, don't talk about your lack of sex life and have decided that your husband wouldn't like to go out with you to the theatre unilaterally. And it seems he isn't that bothered about it. He has checked out.

You do realise this man is probably waiting until your youngest flies the nest to leave you?

toddman70 Tue 04-Dec-18 18:13:07

May I ask, why did the spark die? And, has it truly died for both of you? My relationship has the same numerical dynamics as yours, but I have the male perspective. I would not be overly pleased to not have a conversation about what's going on. Have you honestly tried that.

madmum5811 Tue 04-Dec-18 18:18:49

Do you want to have sex again because I would have thought in a new relationship that would be an expectation by any future boyfriends.

frazed Tue 04-Dec-18 18:19:45

same here....unfortunately i kissed someone else at weekend (i have a post on here about it) and it has shown me what i am missing ...but not brave enough to leave. i doubt very much we're the odd few living like this

Keepithidden Tue 04-Dec-18 20:10:07

Definitely not unusual, including the lack of talking about it. Not through lack of effort on my part I might add.

I'm in the position of waiting to leave, not sure how long yet due to finances, but it is a comforting thought. DW maybe blindsided but that's what happens when you ignore problem with your spouse.

Adversecamber22 Wed 05-Dec-18 02:53:53

How about actually doing things together? We certainly have time apart with friends without each other but we still do things together.

But the thing you both need to do in the first place is talk about it and one conversation will not be enough.

DH and I broke up it was a complex situation involving his sister, we rebuilt and it took a few months but was worth it. We had many difficult conversations.

VirtuallyConfused Wed 05-Dec-18 08:58:13

I am like this - or was.

Then i met someone on the internet, my cyber bf.

He's just what I need. Same interests and hobbies, strong sexual connection. We provide each other with what our spouses can't or aren't.

Is it disloyal? Cheating? Yes but i dont want to break my family up either. This makes life so much better, brings us both joy. Selfish maybe...

JudgeRindersMinder Wed 05-Dec-18 17:35:56

Hi have tried to bring the subject up on various occasions over the years, but he is an absolutely closed book, he really will not talk. It’s very rare for us to argue, much as I don’t want to be having rows every 10 minutes, I don’t think our way is overly healthy either, he absolutely clams up and walks away.
What doesn’t help is that he has a long ish commute to work Mon-Fri amd I work shifts amd a lot of weekends. We often don’t see each other for 3 days due to my shifts On working evenings he’s in his bed at pm, and at weekends he doesn’t want to go anywhere as he does a 120 mile round trip for work
You do realise this man is probably waiting until your youngest flies the nest to leave you?
I really don’t think this is the case(although never say never) due to things he’s said faitly recently about “our retirement” -I’m still in my 40s!
What really hasn’t helped is that since this time last year I’ve also been caring for an elderly parent with dementia and health issues and that’s almost a full time job itself

. i doubt very much we're the odd few living like this from what I’ve heard other people, both men and women, say, I think you’re absolutely right.

I don’t want to live without sex for the rest of my life!

Adora10 Wed 05-Dec-18 17:44:08

How bloody boring, I'd have died of boredom by now, I would say get out whilst you are still young enough to meet someone with a bit of fire in their belly, sorry but no sex, no dates, no going out for meals, theatre, whatever, how absolutely depressing, not a life I would be satisfied with even if we were comfortably well off.

Don't be too complacent re him maybe pissing off himself in the future, it's always the ones you would never dream would do it that are caught on dating sites, sex forums etc; even the nice quiet ones. I just don't understand how two young adults go five years without sex, that's shocked me.

Sorry but something is going to have to give, or you are going to be old one day and full of resentment at what you missed out on, just because you are married so long doesn't mean no romance or sex.

If he is not wiling to even discuss, I'd seriously be looking to splitting up.

HollowTalk Wed 05-Dec-18 17:47:39

My blood ran cold when I realised how young you were!

I think I'd be very pragmatic and stay as long as my youngest child was at home and as long as the elderly relative needed caring for. After that I'd be off.

ISdads Wed 05-Dec-18 17:54:06

Up to you.
It's fine - companionship, someone who has 'got your back' can be worth a lot in life.
But just late 40s .... doesn't your heart sink at the thought of the next 40?
I just left. Late 40s. Right decision for me.

Beansandcoffee Wed 05-Dec-18 17:56:16

You have a long life ahead to live like that OP. Sounds like neither of you are trying, or care, or even bothered. Be careful you never know who/what is round the corner so I wouldn’t assume that your H is happy with the situation or take him for granted. You are far too young to live a life like this. I’m 53 and my BF and I see each other fortnightly for the weekend and each time is a date. We have fun, theatre trips, meals out etc etc. We both have kids so our time together is precious. My mum died in her 40s so I’ve always been aware of one life, and how quickly it goes.

lifebegins50 Wed 05-Dec-18 17:56:44

I can see how a marriage gets like this and you seem to have a solid basis so I would not suggest walking away.

I think lack of sex comes from lack of connecting.You both seem very busy and then add in your 40s, which is a time to reevaluate life.

Why do you not go on holidays together? What do the children do with holidays? I would start by planning a joint holiday, make it somewhere that you would all enjoy. Invest in the relationship and see of you can affect a might be surprised.

3luckystars Wed 05-Dec-18 17:57:32

I'm not an expert, but when we got married, a friend who had been married for 100 years gave us a beautiful Waterford Glass bowl. She wrote me a letter and said ' marriage is like a bowl, you have to fill it up with good stuff, or there won't be anything in it'

I was like, 'yeah yeah, but the bowl is nice!'

years later, I realise that she was right.

There is nothing wrong here, he is a good guy and you do love each other. Before you give up on it, first give a full year of giving it everything.
Fill it back up with good stuff.
Go 12 places together, one a month for the next year. Go to marriage counselling, clear out the bad stuff and the cobwebs and try to forgive if you need to.

Give it everything for one year, and decide what to do then. ( I know you have a lot on your plate, but if it is something worth saving then put it first)

Best wishes and you are not alone.

TakeAWalkOnTheWildSide Wed 05-Dec-18 18:04:40

In your situation I would work on getting the spark back with your DH, the grass isn't greener.

madmum5811 Wed 05-Dec-18 19:03:43

How would you feel if he came home one day and told you he had met someone and fallen in love with them so wanted to separate and divorce.

This happened to a friend of mine and looking back she says she really did not care enough, oh she was mad, upset, etc. at the time, but realised the marriage was dead. She did remarry happily.

busybarbara Wed 05-Dec-18 19:58:57

You do realise this man is probably waiting until your youngest flies the nest to leave you?

What a horrible thing to say. The OP has not expressed that this man has done anything wrong and if the relationship is in any way lacking it seems to be down to the both of them. A lot of people are very happy with a mixture of companionship and independence in a long term marriage.

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