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Does anyone else have a marriage like mine?

(91 Posts)
manutd Mon 21-Oct-02 03:17:50

together 8 years, 3 great kids .Kind of rumble along reasonably happily in the same household if not really together but have nothing in common but the kids.
Eat separate meals, take separate holidays.
Separate bedrooms, sex about five times a year (my choice, I'd be happy with none)
I'm not thinking about splitting up (would be very hard on him and I don't dislike him sufficiently to do that to him if that makes sense)and I'm not actively miserable.He is basically one of life's "good guys" even if I have gone off him.
I just wondered if many others out there also have "low key" marriages like mine.

spacemonkey Mon 21-Oct-02 14:18:15

Hi manutd - how do you feel about your marriage being as low key as it is? If you are happy with it that way, no problem, but I have to say I wouldn't be satisfied with that sort of situation. Then again, I'm too much of an idealist and have always chased after a relationship straight out of the movies!

Copper Mon 21-Oct-02 14:26:53

I think that probably lots of people do and just keep quiet about it. Having the kids in common is actually quite a lot - and does tend to drive out lots of other activities in common. What (if anything) do you want to be different? If you can identify something, is it realisable in your current situation? In some ways it can be quite comforting to have a settled 'home' if you want to do somthing more stretching outside. Does he want to be more together?

glitterbabe Mon 21-Oct-02 17:06:17

It's ok if he's feeling the same way, but what about when the kids have grown up and left home. It sounds a pretty miserable situation to be in. I don't think that you are being fair to yourself or your husband to stay together for the sake of the kids. I would not want to be in a marriage that had no future. I have a few friends who have been in similar situations to yourself and it has backfired on them as it's their partners who have gone off and had affairs with other women and they have been the ones in the end left at home miserable on their own.

Clarinet60 Mon 21-Oct-02 20:09:51

I feel for you manutd. Marriages go through bad patches, especially when children arrive, so it might be best if you give it a chance to come out of this phase, then re-evaluate. Have you tried discussing it? Men are impossible to change, IME, so I suppose you need to work out why things have got like this - whose idea were the separate holidays / meals, or did they just evolve? What would happen if you arranged a special meal/weekend together? Would you enjoy each others company? If you think some quality time together would be a nice idea, then I think there's hope. If, on the other hand, you really can't stomach the idea of time alone with him, then it might be time to think about some time apart to see if you miss each other.

manutd Tue 22-Oct-02 00:12:31

oh dear, I have laughed and cried at these replies.
The main thing I don't like about him is he is really grumpy. Cant believe I did not notice this at first. I kind of keep out his way as otherwise his negativity really gets to me. He claime he is not really negative, just the way his face is arranged! If you saw it(his face) you would think his dog or best friend had just died.Says he is not depressed either.Hes very moody and sulks a lot which is why I keep out his way - it annoys me too much to see it.
the seperate meals etc just evolved. I don't want to spend more time with him! But to split up would be very traumatic for all concerned and I am not generally unhappy all things considered,(lovely kids, nice job good friends and family, nice house which was mine before I met him) just that my marriage is not a source of joy. It's not like I fancy or want to be with someone else and if we did split up I would still have to see him because of the kids so why go to all that trauma?Oh dear that sounds terrible reading it back.

manutd Tue 22-Oct-02 00:13:32

Droile discussing it is not an option, he gets angry and accuses me of reading too much rubbish on the internet about relationships

Azzie Tue 22-Oct-02 08:52:06

Manutd, it doesn't sound so terrible to me. As you say, at the moment it wouldn't be worth the trauma to split up. You could leave him and discover after all the trauma that it was the best thing you'd ever done, or you could leave him and find that after all the trauma things weren't substantially better, especially for your children.

Many years ago (before kids) I was in quite a long-term living-together relationship. My then boyfriend had a brief fling when away at a conference, and came back and told me that we didn't have a future together. Once I got over the initial shock (and rage) I saw that it was for the best, so we split. However, we carried on living together for about another 6 months, because despite everything we couldn't see the point in having 2 sets of expenses, rent etc, when we still got on quite well. After 6 months I met my (now) dh, so moved out of the flat. Our friends all thought the arrangement between the ex and I very strange, but it worked for us.

Maybe what I'm saying is why rock the boat until you have a definite and positive reason to do so?

BTW, I have two pairs of very happily married friends who sleep in separate bedrooms due to incompatible sleeping hours and habits!

ticklebyday Tue 22-Oct-02 09:44:52

I know a couple of relationships that sound v. similar - one of which has split up recently (v. amicably), they got to the point where they felt (well, mainly she felt) that she deserved better.

The other relationship, well - they spend their lives bickering at each other but they are too tied financial together to break free (coming towards retirement age) - but I do wonder what will happen when all the policies mature and the mortgage is paid off.

Personally, I think it is very difficult to make that break when there is so much at sake (especially when children come along). IMO most people split up when someone else is involved, and that tends to happen when a relationship gets so stale that someone will look elsewhere for love. Life is not a dress rehersal and IMO believe that everyone deserves the best of life, and it's up to you how to get it.

Would it be possible to raise your relationship to another level? Or is it past that stage.

bundle Tue 22-Oct-02 10:09:07

I know someone who literally got divorced 'overnight' because they'd sort of been separated - but living under the same roof - for two years, just after their 5th child was born. no one in the family knew and it's reasonably amicable.

kkgirl Tue 22-Oct-02 12:41:27

For what its worth I have a similar sort of marriage. We have three children, both work and the kids although lovely are very demanding and lively and by the time they go to bed (late) we are too tired to bother with each other.
He spends all his time on the computer and I spend all my time ironing and clearing up.
Unfortunately I don't have separate holidays, in fact we have only had one holiday this year.
But even though it doesn't sound ideal, we love each other and although we have been close to the big split, things would be worse, less money all round and like manutd said, we would have to see each other for the kids, so I would rather put up with it.
As far as the future goes I have worried what will happen when the kids go, but what is the point of worrying about that, who knows what the future will be.
My feeling is make the best of each and every day, because things can always be worse, and on this site, I have realised how lucky I am when I see such traumatic situations other people are facing

dcolagirl Tue 29-Oct-02 10:33:44

I was jogging along too. Something big usually happens which forces one or the other of you to do something about it. For me it was going for a drink with an ex. Nothing happened and nothing will but it made me realise I'm not prepared to carry on like this. It IS hard on dh but he'll get over it and might even find someone else as he is only 28.

Lambchops Fri 01-Nov-02 22:18:08

I have exactly the same arrangement, Manutd, except no sex at all. Separate living rooms aswell. Not ideal but got used to it. One huge advantage for me is that I have freedom to do things without worrying what his reaction will be. We care about one another but there is no sexual jealousy, almost like a brother/sister relationship. It is an arrangement that suits us and the kids are happy with us both under one roof. There is a long story about how we got to this stage but it's all water under the bridge now and sadly we will never retrieve the early days of the relationship. It used to upset me but before I was married, I had little success with men and relationships so I'm convinced the grass is probably greener on this side of the fence. I think I'm probably better living celibate in the family home than alone in a flat. By the way, he does car maintenance, puts up shelves, cuts the grass, does homework and baths the kids and remembers to book the after school club. So, not such a bad deal.

manutd Sat 02-Nov-02 00:31:25

gosh I don't get to the computer too often and am imensely pleased some of you have commented.
Lambchop you describe it very well I suppose I am not HAPPY about my (non) marriage but I have sort of got over being actively unhappy about it. If I had heard someon say this ten years ago I would have been full ofthe womens mag type advice like "you deserve better" but honestly I am not looking for anybody. Good to see some others understand. Such a lot is placed on happy trelationships these days that I have to remingd myself that overall I have a happy life.
I do think if one of us met someone else it might well trigger the end. If dh told me he had fallen in love with someone else and wanted to leave I would feel a degree of relief and would wish him well. I don't dislike him you see, I just don't love him in the movies sense!
It would be so disruptive to split and we would both see less of our children if they had to divide their time between us.
Okay, I admit I can get a bit sad about the lack of romance in my life, in exactly the same way you can feel like that when you are single while at the same time realising having a man is not the be all and end all.

Lara2 Wed 13-Nov-02 22:16:55

I've changed my nickname for this post as DH often comes in. I can't tell you what a relief it was to read this thread - I thought I was the only person who had a marriage like this. I don't know why I stay - it's easier than breaking up my family, if I'm honest, it's easier to stay all round than go. I do get the feeling that this isn't a rehersal, and I should bloody well change things, but really can't bear the thought of what it would do to my kids.

I really don't want to sleep with him - I thought it was me, until I met a very old friend, who I have always been incredibly attracted to and realised that given half the chance I would have lept into bed with him!! I almost wish DH would sleep with someone else - not to give me a tit for tat excuse, but so I wouldn't feel guilty about not wanting to sleep with him. Seperate sides of the bed with a big gap in between gets wearing!

So it's the old Catch 22 situation. I have no idea what to do - have spent the last 6 months giving it lots of thought and am no nearer making a decision then I was in the first place!

Lambchops Wed 13-Nov-02 22:35:34

Although I didn't start this thread, I have taken great comfort from it. We are long past the stage of being unhappy, more a resigned acceptance. I hasten to add, it has taken a lot of agonising to reach this status quo, it was not always thus and the terrible, terrible rows in the early days completely killed any love I had for DH. I know, because I sought outside professional help, that the problems were mostly his responsibility. However, as I,ve said on other threads, Dh is a fabulous father and in the end, as Lara2 says I couldn't bear the thought of ripping the kids lives apart. Even his own solicitor gave him a kick up the pants, sent him back and told him to mend his ways. So it has all settled down and most of the time I am contented but occasionally I REALLY WANT SOME RIP-ROARING SEX!

Rhubarb Wed 13-Nov-02 22:41:24

Just wondering, as most of you seem to be staying with your marriages for the sake of your children, whether or not you are wise in doing this? Your children will surely pick up your unhappy vibes? If they do not see love between yourselves and your dh's, no cuddles or kisses, no laughs, no making up after arguments, etc, how are they to view relationships when they are older? Would you not be better in getting out of a bad relationship and starting afresh? Affairs will only make a messy situation messier, and again it doesn't set a good precedent for your children does it? If your partners are such good fathers then they will stay that way even if you are apart. Surely you will function better as mothers if you are happier and more content, either in a relationship or out of one and on your own. At least then there is honesty, no-one is going behind another's back to have an one night stand or an affair, there are no accusations.

Sorry if any of you take offence at this, it's just an observation. Why not look at your situation from a third party viewpoint, what would you advise a friend to do in your situation?

Lambchops Wed 13-Nov-02 22:56:29

I don't know, Rhubarb, what is best. We don't fight there is no atmosphere, and we behave like civilised adults to one another. The kids are happy and content and thriving. We rub along well enough. As for the cuddles and kisses, I never ever saw my parents display any affection to one another and they have now been together for over 50 years since they were 14 and 15. I think I made a concious decision to make the best of the situation, which I have done, the kids after all, did not ask to be born and I honestly think we are better off financially and socially staying together. I had absolutely disasterous boyfriends when I was younger and I know that I will never play the dating game again so it's unlikely that I would be moving on to a better life, unless, of course, George Clooney came along!

Lindy Thu 14-Nov-02 20:26:56

My opinion - FWIW - is that unless there are very, very serious problems, I think it is best to stick together for the sake of the children. I know that it an incredibly old fashioned point of view (& I personally already have one failed marriage behind me!) but from studies I have read (don't ask me to quote from them, can' remember!) & just seeing the results of friends' marriages that break up - children do seem to suffer if marriages fail - not always, I know. My DH's father died when he was 12 & I appreciate it is not the same as divorce, but he still says it is the most devastating thing that ever happened to him.

I think loads of marriages 'just rub along' - I know when I was going to relate & had some pretty serious marital problems, lots of other people who you assume have the most amazing marriages, really opened up to me about the state of their marriages.

Lambchops - perhaps we should 'swop' husbands, I have the opposite 'problem' to you!!

manutd Thu 14-Nov-02 23:24:06

Lara and Lambchop I am struck by the similarities in our situations.
We too used to have blazing rows and he called me such horrible names I can barely get them out my head and I lost respect for him.
Once in the middle of a row I asked him to leave, something he usually threatened to do during a row. He refused and said "no, YOU leave"and physically manhandled/shoved me out the door and locked me out.
Nowadays I know what his "triggers" are so we don't really fight. I think he is basically a great big baby who you cannot contradict or enter into a discussion with, because if you do he will get angry or at the very least, huffy.
If we had no kids I would have left him by now.
The thought of splitting up is very hard because I just can't see how I could manage the day to day running of thye home and looking after the kids without him(we share care of the children quite equally). Also it would just be so disruptive and as I have said before I would still have to see him.
The other thing is I was married before (no kids) so am very familiar with that whole should I stay or should I go thing and the idea life is not a rehearsal. I don't really believe ther is any way we can rekindle our love because basically I don't respect or particularly like him. Rhubarb I agree with all your concernd regards the message we are giving our kids, but the barriers to splitting are so great and I do not know if we would all be better off or not.
I cope best by sort of ignoring the situation and concentrating on the things in my life which give me great joy. If I think too much about it all it gets me really down so there is not much point in that.
Glad some of you understand but am sorry you are going through it too.

sister Fri 15-Nov-02 09:23:15

manutd, as a last resort at gaining repect for each other would Relate be able to help. If you have an arguement it is easy to stew on all the bad things that have been said and done and blow them out of proportion. I agree that you need to think even more seriously about splitting up when children are involved but if you are unhappy with your relationship with their daddy they may pick up on it. At least if you suggested seeing
Relate you would be able to see if he would like to mend the relationship? When you argue with someone you love it is very easy to really hate them at the same time and the longer it goes on the more you will hate each other. I can't believe that the two of you can live the rest of your lifes not experiencing a loving relationship either together or with different partners so I think you are kidding yourself if you think things will last as they are, but what do I know?

Clarinet60 Fri 15-Nov-02 11:39:37

So much great sense has been posted on this thread. I agree with all of you, even though some of it is contradictory! Some days I'm all for staying, and have a stack of good reasons why, other days I'm on the verge of leaving, with equally valid reasons ........
I have no answers and am in a similar situation, although we do still have some good times so I'm hanging on for now, but I'm constantly reviewing the situation.

Bellyjean Fri 15-Nov-02 17:09:46

I'm in the same boat. My dh never wants to have sex with me because I am a little bigger than he likes me to be. I am only a size 12, but need to lose around a stone. I recently lost 1 stone 5 lbs, and things did get marginally better, although I always had to instigate sex, but I have now put 8 lbs back on, and things have gone belly up (no pun intended!) again.

Dh is so bossy and controlling that sometimes it drives me mad. I feel like I have lost all respect for him. I do love him, but don't like him very much any more. The other day he really p***ed me off, and I found myself mouthing "F*** off" really violently behind his back. That really worried me, so I left the room, and went upstairs to watch TV.

I think that having ds didn't help things very much, as we were better together before we had him. However, we did have bad patches all the time, and I nearly left him once, before we got married. Sometimes I wish I had, because then I might be happier.

All I want is a man who finds me sexy, and wants to have sex with that too much to ask? People tell me I'm attractive, and I have never had any problem meeting and attracting men (not meant big-headedly, just to emphasise that I think the problem is with him, not me) I had a man at work who was always asking me out, and I did fancy him, but he had had a bad divorce and was really anti marriage, and also already had a child and I don't think that he wanted any more. I knew that I would eventually want to get married and have children, so that put me off a bit. Also, I had been with dh (then dp) for a long time and making the breaK was really scary. I wish I had now though, as this man really fancied me, and still thought that I was attractive when a bit overweight.

Sorry to go on, but I don't know if my marriage is over in all but name. Sometimes we do have a laugh together, but then he'll do or say something to really wind me up and I go off him again. Also, there are only so many times that I can be rejected in the bedroom before I totally give up trying. I just want to be fancied and have a passionate man.

sister Fri 15-Nov-02 17:32:47

Bellyjean, would I be way off the mark to ask if he is a jealous person?? Would he allow you to get dressed up to feel good about yourself and go out without him???
Is dh jealous of your relationship with ds?
Does he see you as an inpedendant person who can have fun without him???

Scatterbrain Fri 15-Nov-02 19:13:26

Goodness me Bellyjean - it's not you who has a problem !! Size 12 is SMALL - and being a stone overweight is NO reason to stop sleeping with you ! - I think your dh has a problem not you and if you're not happy with the situation you should have it out with him.

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