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Lacking emotional connection(34 Posts)
Been with DW for around 10 years and married for 4. Late 30s. On the face of it everything is ok - both in very well paid jobs, nice house, no kids. We are both the kind of people that put others things first; helping family, work, socialising or improving the house. Does anyone have any advice for when you feel you're at the point where you are just housemates. The relationship has never been full of passion, but we have a lot in common and I put a lot of emphasis on this when I was in my 20s. Yes there is a bit of shouting and we have disagreements quite a bit (steadily increasing) but deep down we love each other.
I know that what I need to do..put emotional energy into the relationship and prioritise that over everything else, but I just cant seem to do it. Sex is like twice a year. I really want to have a family, but I don't enjoy the sex and its eating me up inside. I think the time has likely passed, and I'm not sure she wants to either. When I discussed it (something Im not great at I admit) the talk went to adopting. Aside from more communication ... anything else?
i don't enjoy the sex op, is that generally or with her?
I cant remember - I've had very vey few partners
I dont - that was her suggestion. I know I should have pushed the conversation on from there but I didn't. I've asked again since and the response was "Sometimes I think I do want to have kids, and at other times less so". I worry that she will tell me what she thinks I want to her and not what she wants which will create problems further down the line.
I think you shouldn’t even dream of having kids now , by whatever method.
I think you should go for counselling to work on your marriage and if It can’t be fixed you should separate.
It doesn’t sound like a healthy marriage. What do you want? You don’t enjoy the sex so what’s the point? You’re so young!
Aside from more communication....sorry but that's it there. You are going nowhere until the doors are open. You need to talk. Get help if (as I suspect) you both find this hard to do.
Two things: go for a walk together every day and TALK. About your childhood, about what your family was like, about how you both got to be the people you are.
TWO read up / YouTube whatever on how to communicate without being mean to each other. When something is starting up, just open your mouth, then close it again and think before you speak. Gets easier with practice!
But maybe the two of you aren't right for each other. That still doesn't mean either of you is a bad person or doesn't deserve respect and kindness.
The stress got so much that I went to my GP and have been in CBT for quite a while now. I'm making progress, but I admit communication is a weakness. My upbringing has led me to be very independent and determined - Ive now realised that the cost of this is a lack of emotional development. I've spiralled a bit because I feel like a failure, and I have denied my wife the opportunity to have kids if we did separate. I also think her family and her friends will hate me.
The reason why Im not liking the sex is because its so infrequent it feels like I have to 'perform' every time and generally I don't and I just feel this massive pressure because I want a family. Im now at the point of resent.. and I just don' know how to get back from here..
Outside of that we are a good team in a business sense - we both work hard, we are both career focused and we don't sit around and be lazy. (Is this a way of distracting ourselves from the elephant in the room) But then we probably don't invest a massive amount of time in each other either.
You sound miserable, cut your losses and move on. If your not fulfilled, neither is she.
And "other people" have no bearing on this at all
God leave, this is no way to live.
It was a bit like this between me and my ex husband before we had children. We are divorced now! But communication was a big problem between us. It sounds like you are quite miserable and more friends than anything else. I think not enjoying sex is a big sign. Did you fancy your wife more at the beginning of your marriage? What has changed since then?
This sounds so much like my marriage when we used to live together.
Thanks for everything so far. So in answer to the couple of questions
Did you fancy her more at the beginning. Yes, but as I said before it wasn't driven by the physical side as when I was that age, my beliefs and values were that the physical side wasn't that important. Maybe I was the only 20 something male who paid no attention to the physical side and just assumed it was ok. The attraction was on intelligence and hard working, career driven values. I thought we would both do well, and live in a comfortable house in a nice area etc.
I am ashamed to say I cant recall ever having a conversation about children. I think it was just assumed that one day we would.
What has changed since then - I think one reason why I'm riddled with guilt is that it's me thats changed. I was extremely stressed, exhausted and looked at myself and said I cant go on like this. My wife enjoys going out in the evening, restaurants, theatre etc. I do a lot of work on the house, and I also do a lot of the shopping, ironing etc. I just said that I cant keep doing all this and have the energy to go out. We have arguments because I say that if we had kids that would all stop, so why not stop now and try for a family. It was met with the view that its important to her to go out and socialise, and that was important to her when I met her.
Would she be open to going to marriage counselling, so that you could try to communicate in a safe environment and with someone who might help you both to try to be as honest as possible. I think you need to talk about how your wants and needs may have changed since you first got married. If you both know what each other wants then there may be a way to work towards a happier relationship. As other posters have said, communicate is key here, just doing what your currently doing isn't working.
Have you considered seeing your GP?
Because its quite unusual not to have any interest in sex in your 20s.
And also most healthy people in their 30s with no kids manage to work, do housework and have a social life as well. The fact that you are too tired to go out is concerning.
We have arguments because I say that if we had kids that would all stop, so why not stop now and try for a family. It was met with the view that its important to her to go out and socialise, and that was important to her when I met her
I can see your wife’s point. She enjoys going out and you Don’t . So you want her to have a child so she can stay at home like you. That’s unreasonable.
Anyway if you like to stay home, why would you wife also have to stay home in the evenings if you had a child? It doesn’t take two adults to look after one baby. Why would she have to give up her social life if she became a parent? All the men at my work with young children still go to the gym / do sport/ have hobbies / go for drinks with the boys.
It does sound like the marriage has run its course. Life shouldn't be this much of a grind. You can still be terrific friends but with new partners who excite and with whom you can explore true intimacy - that's the point you have children.
Does she even want kids? Because she sounds pretty content with the lifestyle you have.
Sounds like this has run its course and you're both in it because it was familiar and comfortable. Except, for you, it isn't that way any longer.
Thanks for all the messages. It's been useful.
So I said we should consider couples counselling and she said she would agree. I would rather do it in person so I want to wait till normality resumes.
So to put the exhaustion in context. We both leave the house around 6.30am and usually not home till 7.30 to 8.30pm. Sometimes later when we have deadlines. At the weekend I spend 2 full days doing ironing / cooking cleaning and then renovation work. Yes we do get builders in but theres a massive list of jobs and it feels endless. I wonder whether I do this to distract myself from reality... my wife often works at weekends as well and travels with work a lot. Shes says she doesnt really enjoy her job at times.. I suggested she quit but that didnt go down to well. My work is quite flat in structure. I've just worked hard for 2 years to get promoted. I love my job and reluctant to quit. We could easily live of one salary.
Regarding the sex - when we first went out it was probably once a month maybe less. I was fine with it. I guess I just was happy with everything else that I realised perfection didnt exist. Its slowly decreased in frequency. I think I feel like its be missing all my life and now I'm desperate. My wife has strong views, never backs down and sometimes it comes across as quite cold. I've been in tears over this but she does t put her arm round me and say it will be ok.
Regarding the kids .. my massive worry is that as Mae said, does she really want kids as she has never pressurised me at all. It's me who brings up the conversation. My worry is that she will say yes simply to keep me happy and not disrupt things. How can I be truly sure that's what she wants and not telling me what I want to hear.
How can you have kids if you have no spare time now ?
And if you are reluctant to quit your work, what will happen when you have a baby ? Are you going to put it straight into full time childcare ? Or do you plan to go part time ?
If you are the one who is so keen to have kids then it seems only fair that you are the one to take a career break to care for your child. Also it wouldn’t fit in with your wife’s job if she travels a lot.
0Dette - I would happily take the full amount as paternity leave yes. My work would be supportive of that, and we have had 2 Dads now who have taken 9 months off.
The tension was building a bit and it came to a head - but the positive side was that it generated a lot of communication. It was good because I learnt that she values her independence massively - she says that is how she was brought up. We've never had to rely on each other financially and we both can survive without one another (we both know how to do everything around the house etc).
I've been digesting everything that was said - I do feel a lot of guilt because it is me basically that is saying he is not happy with the status quo. I find it hard to tell someone that you love that you're unhappy. But I feel a lot of time that we are in the friend zone, so maybe the love I feel is more philia and not eros.
Because we have no kids, and quite a few mutual friends then I currently don't see separation as that different. We don't have an intense physical relationship anyway, financially independent etc. I am telling myself to remain open minded however until we do get into counselling together.
It doesn't sound like much of a marriage, and certainly not one where you should be considering bringing a child into.
I think you should separate and find someone you actually love, and want to have sex with. Your wife too, she would benefit from being free from this non-relationship.
Have you spoken to your GP yet? They are still working and do telephone consultations .
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