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After 20 years, don't find husband attractive..

(47 Posts)
history Sat 05-Sep-20 19:54:30

Hi,
I posted a couple of years ago I think about how I wasn't terribly happy in my marriage. My husband is a lovely kind man but doesn't tend to share his thoughts or feelings and is in my view pretty shut down emotionally. We haven't had ex for a few months, probably only a handful.of times in the last 5 years and to be honest I haven't felt connected to him or that my emotional needs have been met for a long time.
I think it's the old adage of I love him.but am not in love with him any more and as time goes on its getting harder to pretend..
He knows I'm unhappy but he says there's no problem from his perspective and things are fine...
I feel like not only do I mother my 2 kids aged 10 and 13 and gave to a lot to help my elderly mum who has cancer but I also seem to have to mother him in a variety of ways as well and tbh I'm a bit worn down by it all...
I feel like I've been living in limbo for a number of years without feeling fulfilled in my relationship but I'm so worried about splitting and the effect it will have on him and the children and also me..!!
Any words of wisdom welcome...

OP’s posts: |
Torres10 Sat 05-Sep-20 20:56:31

Could have written this relationship story and my kids are the same age too...i want out, i am just struggling with the how, made more difficult by him saying its all fine and only the family unit is important sad Makes me feel such a bad person for wanting something different. So no answers I'm afraid, though plenty of solidarity, and the hope that I can get out at some point!

history Sun 06-Sep-20 07:31:32

Thanks Torres, the issue partly is that on paper I have a good life but it lacks emotional connection and love for me. I need more!!! He us a good kind man but it's almost like death by a thousand cuts as I feel trapped by it by also terrified of throwing everything up into the air. What if I'm wrong and this is the best it can be after 20 years together and I have unrealistic (overly romantic) expectations?
I have tried to work on things, take the initiative re counselling, helpful podcasts etc but it is always me taking the initiative, and he passively accepts as if waiting for me to get over it all. I should just add that 49, probably a bit peri menopausal and little(or a lot?!) bit of mid life crisis going on!
What about you Torres? If you want to message off line to share some thoughts/support am happy to do so although no problems if not..

OP’s posts: |
Sunflowergirl1 Sun 06-Sep-20 07:44:11

@history

I helped a friend of mine through this, but it was the other way around. She had neglected that side of her life and her husband who is a lovely man eventually had enough and left.

She is bitter years later for various reasons but accepts her part in the divorce.

Basically a relationship without intimacy is difficult to sustain

discoveryspoon Sun 06-Sep-20 08:36:30

I'm the same age as you and was married for the same time. My husband went off with an OW and it has been hard and messy for several years, however I can honestly say that I'm happier single. I date when I want, I eat what I want, I do whatever I want ! I think the most important thing I learnt was that I am actually found attractive by other men and have gained huge confidence, had a lot more fun and have regained my mojo.
The OW is welcome to him as I feel like I have a whole new life ahead of me now instead of dull sex, no connection and the occasion "grunt" when asking him a question.
Life is short and I can honestly tell you that there is a whole new world out there to be enjoyed x

meadowmom Sun 06-Sep-20 08:37:59

This is my life exactly. Finding 20 years of marriage boring and mundane and wondering why I married somebody that I’m so incompatible with. Life should be more interesting than this surely!

Torres10 Sun 06-Sep-20 09:18:37

Oh goodness 'Death by a thousand cuts' so very apt!
Our situations sound similar, my H has outright said my feelings are due to a 'mid life' crisis and he is expecting me to feel better soon!
I am having counselling, he thought it would help me, though wasnt so keen on couples counselling to fix what he sees as my problem..Love love my counsellor who says 'what exactly is a mid life crisis anyway, surely it is just an evaluation of your life at a point in your life where you may be in a strong enough position to do something about it!
Basically mid life crisis is given negative connotations but why can it not be seen as you just waking up & realising you want more from your remaining years..that's how I am currently seeing it anyway!
The issue for me is, as always, children, and how I should best deal with this to cause them the least hurt ..thats my sticking point sad What is yours? Also PM me if easier

Fudgeytastic Sun 06-Sep-20 10:22:27

After years of being unhappy I finally told my husband last night. He hasn't pulled his weight around the house or with the kids and just has no life skills. I do care for him (actually I feel like his career at times confused) but I just have no romantic feelings for him and I have no desire to sleep with him. And I feel suffocated by him, he doesn't like me seeing friends and will always tell me how much he loves me, how beautiful I am. I told him I don't want to hear it, I need space but he won't leave me alone now 🙁 he's trying to be more involved with the house and kids today but for me it's all for nothing because I just can't be with him. Which sounds awful because he's not a bad bloke really.
My head is a bit jumbled up because I'm torn between wanting to make sure he's ok but really I just want to be happy.

clairesy1 Sun 06-Sep-20 17:00:36

Following this as in exactly the same boat confused

Torres10 Sun 06-Sep-20 19:17:41

We might need a bigger boat sad

history Sun 06-Sep-20 19:59:58

Thanks all for sharing. It's really comforting to know you're not alone although I'm sorry you're all not as happy as we all deserve to be!
The sticking points for me are the kids- 2 boys who really love us both and he's a good dad and also that nagging feeling at times of am I just expecting too much from any relationship as it's always going to be a compromise and maybe I should count my blessings! At other times I know that's a cop out as I haven't felt emotionally fulfilled in the relationship for years- probably as many as 10...
Torres I like your insight about mid life crisis, I lost my dad 2 years ago, my mum is ill and I'm 50 next year. Such things along with all the upheaval of 2020 does make you think life is short and for living and enjoying as much as you can!

OP’s posts: |
Torres10 Mon 07-Sep-20 11:06:07

I think I am just coming to question if I have to compromise.

I have gotten to the point in my life where I am ok with being on my own, and don't need a partner. I am not sure I could have said that even 5 years ago, so maybe its a maturity thing.

I guess its stick with what I have and know what the future looks like.. but I'm not keen on the view, especially as my kids grow and become increasingly independent..or take my chances on building my own future, which I sometimes dream about

BDC68 Mon 07-Sep-20 13:18:35

This is my life too but I’m male.

It eats away at you. My wife is happy with how things are but I think how can you be? How can you be happy with such a mundane life? No passion, no shared interest, no emotional connection any more.

It’s just dejavu every single day. I now have an elderly parent to deal with too due to Covid and feel that my whole life is just running to stand still.

Lack of connection is such a big thing for me but doesn’t seem to bother her or if it does, she hides it well.

We have a good life and a child and the thought of breaking it all up for my selfish needs just doesn’t seem right so we plod on but god it’s hard at times.

I fear this is it for me. I need to just accept this is my life. Maybe it is a mid life crisis but if it is, it’s one that has been going on for some time!

Deux Mon 07-Sep-20 13:43:17

Another one in the same boat here. Husband quite happy, has no sex drive, not willing to do anything about it. I find myself increasingly realising that we are just not compatible. Married 20 years and 2 teenagers. I feel trapped and torn but I’m not sure I can continue like this.

I realise also that I’m highly vulnerable to any kind of male attention. I’ve never been unfaithful and don’t intend to be. I’ve been having lascivious thoughts about a lovely man at church of all places 🤦🏻‍♀️

WakingUp55643 Mon 07-Sep-20 14:44:21

@history Your original post and every single reply is EXACTLY the position I am in. I too feel so unfulfilled, but also as if this is a selfish feeling and it's far more important to keep the family together. But it eats me up inside and I feel like a mum and nothing else. I'm sitting here watching the clock both looking forward to picking my son up from school, but also dreading having to go home and face yet another evening of uncomfortable avoidance, looking for little jobs to do to keep me out of DH's way. I just don't want to be with him, but feel awful that I feel this way. No sex for almost ten years and he's ok with that. I'm not. But I could never ever be intimate with him again, and I've told him so. I absolutely crave intimacy, I'm so tired with all the responsibilities I have, and I just want a proper loving hug and all the rest of it at the end of the day. How do I get this without throwing everything in the air? I can't, is the answer. All of us here know what we should do for our own sanity, but that doesn't make it any easier to do. Love to all, it's so hard.

Ranunculi Mon 07-Sep-20 14:57:18

I’ve had similar thoughts but sadly I don’t think I have alternative options. If I couldn’t find love with a desirable man when I was young and single, I have no chance of finding it as a fat forty something with wrinkles and children.

I have a nice home and financial security but not love or attraction. Leaving wouldn’t guarantee I’d find love though. The most likely outcome is that I’d end up with nothing. That’s why I stay despite being unhappy - because I’m not convinced that leaving would be any better.

nochange7 Mon 07-Sep-20 16:07:04

So many in the same boat sad except you are some years ahead of me. We’ve only been together for three years, I fell pregnant unexpectedly early on and now I feel trapped as I don’t want to break up a family unit for our DS as it’s something I never had growing up. I have financial security and a nice home on the outside we have the perfect life but my relationship feels soulless and hallow I long for connection and true intimacy. Looking back he’s never been emotionally engaging and there has never been any true connection but the relationship felt safe and he’s a good man so I wanted to make it work. I cannot imagine this being my life for the next 30 + years (I’ve just turned 30) but at the same time I’m worried I’ll never find what I really long for from a relationship, the grass won be greener and I’ll breakup my family and stable home life all for nothing.

Reflection2 Mon 07-Sep-20 21:37:29

I'm in the same boat except together 11 years and one child.
My H is fundamentally a good man but has chipped away at my love for him year by year. He has some drinking/addiction issues which crop up rarely these days but I think I hold onto a lot of resentment for the many times hes let me down over the years.
Emotionally I crave a deeper connection than we have (or have ever had) and just feel so unfulfilled. He on the other hand says he couldnt be happier - his needs are met by me but not vice versa. My dc would be devestated if we split and financially both h and I would be screwed (we earn similar amounts but neither of us would be able to afford to stay in our current home.) Sorry, no answers but fully empathise.

MsGillis Mon 07-Sep-20 23:08:21

Reflection2 - I could have written your post word for word, especially about the resentments lingering. Only I don’t reckon he’s happy either. sad

Daphnesmate01 Tue 08-Sep-20 19:33:09

Ranunculi, I've taken the same view as you about the grass being greener etc and also the likelihood that I would end up on my own anyway (there are advantages to my current situation). So much on here resonates and unfortunately my dh has eroded my respect for him over the past 18 months.

I have no-one in real life who I can talk to about all of this, no extended family and basically, isolated, with very little adult company, so really, I live in a bubble and I am alone for most of the time. I have dcs of varying ages including a young one and I am a sahm.

I am waiting for some therapy, didn't want it via zoom, so still on the waiting list but I desperately need to just pour everything out somewhere.

Sorry to hear there are others in the same situation but at the same time, it is comforting to discover that I am not alone.

history Tue 08-Sep-20 19:40:26

So many similar worries and situations. I listened to a life coaching podcast yesterday which really helped in that however we anticipate our future to be may or may not come to fruition ie whether it's better or worse the other side.. I guess there's no way of knowing but the podcast was saying that we have to believe that whatever happens you/we/one will be ok..
I'm trying to hold onto that and yes I know believing that in relation to kids, finances etc is easier said than done!

OP’s posts: |
FippertyGibbett Tue 08-Sep-20 19:42:06

I’m the same.
If I could flick I switch and be out and sorted I would.

TheWashingMachine Tue 08-Sep-20 19:47:19

My dad always says a marriage is actually a bit like a small business, you need to manage it and work at it in the same way. Not romantic but companionship counts for a lot, good sex fades and being in love all the time is unrealistic.

TheWashingMachine Tue 08-Sep-20 19:53:39

There is also that other controversial thing, have an affair, but know your boundaries, it might make you appreciate what you have but this is a high risk strategy.

Torres10 Tue 08-Sep-20 21:08:15

See i am not bothered about the sex so much, I get that passion fades, but I do believe a life without intimacy is soul destroying.
And yes I also agree with companionship being valuable but that only holds if my partner is my best friend and not just my safety net.
I think it takes a brave person to walk away and accept that you may be alone rather than stay in a relationship that doesn't enrich you because its safer..

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