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Kind husband , but troubles are huge .

(109 Posts)
Ursula555 Thu 17-Oct-19 22:30:13

Have been married 30 years . When we met I was attracted to him as he was kind , loyal and adventurous . We travelled a lot together and had good careers , then became parents . We had got used to being just us and some deepish issues arose .
For example , I didn’t realise that once I had dc I wanted to be a stay at home mum . He resented this . He wanted an ‘ equal ‘ partnering terms of work outside the home , and wanted to each work part time and did not want to be the bread winner . On my part , having been brought up by relatives not my parents , I didn’t realise until after I had our first dc that I would feel I strongly wanted to stay at home . We went to counselling and appeared to sort things . I was still at the tail end of breastfeeding dc 1 and got pregnant with dc two. Dh did not tell me at the time , but he felt upset and angry because he felt “ totally fucked “ and would still have to be the breadwinner as we would have a toddler and a baby . He became withdrawn , quiet and I sensed anger but he said things were fine when asked . He , years later told me that he was in fact depressed at this prospect and felt angry and helpless but couldn’t tell “ a pregnant woman that “ .
So on we go .. after dc2 was born I stayed at home and he got promoted .
He said , again retrospectively , that he felt very apart from me at this time . He looked at a porn mag and I must admit I was so upset . I know a lot of people would say this is fine but as a mother with two tiny dc I felt humiliated . I have ( this so difficult to say ) a history of being sexually abused by a family member which made me feel a female used as an object and the porn use left me feeling that my dh used another female for gratification on a similar continuum .
I know my feelings may not be ‘ normal ‘. I said that I couldn’t cope with it .. it was k bottom line . He said he used it was he felt away from me .- which I utterly don’t understand .
I said of course he had the choice to use it but it wasn’t ok with me , bottom line . He said he decided not to use it again . I said if he did wish to then tell me but I had to be honest that it would be the end for me if he did .
A couple of years later I find a mag ( just a normal one ,) with a pic of a bare breasted woman in - my magazine in fact . .. some tissues next to it above the loo. Open and left there .
I know it wasn’t porn but I felt lied to as it felt similar .
It has affected my trust in him
I feel I should in some ways have left him
But I didn’t as two small dc and no job .
It’s harmed our relationship as I feel so fragile about it and that he would risk our relationship for that - I tried and tried to rationalise it and we also had counselling .
Since then it’s like the elephant in the room in our relationship . He says he genuinely didn’t consider it as porn .
I feel so terrible because the effects of the abuse is probably affecting and distorting something that other women would not see as a problem . Yes , we and I had counselling . It feels like a wound still . He has withdrawn as he used to and seems to have lost confidence . We have tried and tried . He says he loves me and wants us to be happy yet he won’t cuddle me or anything as he feels anxious now .
We are like flat mates.
I know we are both decent people who used to have fun and share things . We both feel sad .
We don’t know wether to split up or to try , somehow to improve things . We are not going to counselling again .

snottysystem Thu 17-Oct-19 22:54:30

do you have a sexual relationship or did you at the time of the magazines?

tbh whilst I wouldn't like to find a porno, I don't think it's a marriage ending issue. It sounds like he is very resentful about being the breadwinner. Are you working now? I'm assuming you will be if you divorce? Something has to change in your relationship if you want to move on.

Ursula555 Thu 17-Oct-19 23:03:56

We don’t now
. At the time we did off an on . He felt overwhelmed and left out as I was tired and grumpy at lot .!
Something needs to change but I don’t know how !

Ursula555 Thu 17-Oct-19 23:04:51

Ps we both work part time now and the dc are older . Thanks for reply .

Ursula555 Thu 17-Oct-19 23:06:09

It’s like we are both sad .
Too good to leave too bad to stay type of feeling .

snottysystem Thu 17-Oct-19 23:07:26

I'm not sure what to suggest as you mentioned no more counselling. What about starting to do things together eg a walk, sport, activity etc as it may help you discover each other again

snottysystem Thu 17-Oct-19 23:08:35

if you do decide to stay you both have to let go of past hurt/resentment, draw a line under them & start afresh.

Ursula555 Thu 17-Oct-19 23:12:45

Thanks for reply . We do have days off together now . We do nice things . It’s just like friends tho as he has lost confidence in sex related things . I suggested that I just lie next to him and cuddle him
. He said he didn’t want to as it was too anxiety making for him plus reminded him of what he didn’t have anymore .
He badly wants that side Of relationship but lacks confidence now as he feels guilty . It’s sad . It’s like he has not forgiven himself . He says he wishes it could be different “ but I kno it can’t be ..”
it’s as if he dare not approach me but hints but won’t “ do “
Like in the lying together example I gave .

Ursula555 Thu 17-Oct-19 23:13:55

I agree with your comment
I’ve said similar
He says he utterly lacks confidence
He shares very little .

Ursula555 Thu 17-Oct-19 23:16:33

For eg
Last night went to bed
This am got up
He had gone out
I got a text saying he had gone off for the day
I questioned what was a matter
He said he feels a great sense of loss as he feels he hoped our relationship would improve but he realises it hasn’t and he feels bereaved .

Ursula555 Thu 17-Oct-19 23:19:08

I mean he shares very little verbally
But said the above in a text

Geppili Thu 17-Oct-19 23:20:33

You wanted to stay at home because you were the best protector of your tiny babies in the context of your historic SA. I am so sorry you are suffering. I really understand about porn being triggering. Does he understand about your childhood?

Ursula555 Thu 17-Oct-19 23:22:34

Yes he does .
Thank you for understanding .
He said he never thought about it the first time . It was the second time that really hurt as I was clear how much it hurt .

olivetreelane Thu 17-Oct-19 23:23:12

Op, how many years ago were the magazine incidents?

Ursula555 Thu 17-Oct-19 23:25:13

I want to see him as a “ good man “ again
But struggle how to do so in this context He has spent several years trying to prove it and. Feel sad for him and us .
I feel he is under much pressure . He knows that this has really affected me but doesn’t know what else to do and neither do I . Struggle to trust him

Ursula555 Thu 17-Oct-19 23:27:41

Olive a long time ago - 20 years . In that time I had individual counselling and we had couple counselling . There were always reasons to get on with things .. such as new schools , a sensitive dc , exams . Time has passed .

Ursula555 Thu 17-Oct-19 23:30:22

we had send to really like each other
He struggles with the idea of not having sex but he can’t hug me
He feels scared to get close
Plus a hug makes him want sex I imagine
He just closed down I think

Hidingtonothing Thu 17-Oct-19 23:32:05

I'm not surprised you're sad OP, it's a terribly sad situation because it really isn't either of you at fault or to blame. Have you had any individual therapy to deal with the childhood abuse?

Ursula555 Thu 17-Oct-19 23:32:45

Geppili thanks for saying that you understand about the triggering
He gets it .. it’s just we are at a loss what to do about it .

olivetreelane Thu 17-Oct-19 23:34:16

What else has happened in two decades that leaves you feeling so untrusting of him? You have mentioned him looking at porn but some people (men and women) find this acceptable in a relationship whereas it's a dealbreaker for others- this would be a boundary learning curve in counselling. It seems so sad that these incidents alone have been the cause of all of this.

Ursula555 Thu 17-Oct-19 23:35:04

Hiding .
Yes more than once . I had trauma therapy at a hospital also due to the effects . They understand more about how it can affect the brain now - a good thing .

Joe2019 Thu 17-Oct-19 23:35:06

Sorry to be blunt, and I do understand porn can be a trigger, but i think you need to put some things into perspective and see it as your husband fulfilling a need. Women also masturbate too, and is a very normal part of life. If you won't go to counselling, there isn't much hope of reserrecting the marriage. And why would you want to, if you are unhappy?

Ursula555 Thu 17-Oct-19 23:37:02

It’s because he closed down
Out of guilt I think
It’s hard to trust or love someone who doesn’t share their thoughts and feelings
For eg today he told me - after his text - that he has no confidence in himself now

Ursula555 Thu 17-Oct-19 23:37:57

Because we used to really like each other and I guess we have not given up hope

Ursula555 Thu 17-Oct-19 23:39:59

Joe I don’t have a problem with masturbation
I have a issue with using the image of a female to do so .ie treating a female as a commodity

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