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You can't advise me, obviously, but I'd love some insight if you can get through the post!

(32 Posts)
phantasmagoria Tue 07-Oct-08 15:14:11

OK. Long story short. I used to be a regular until, in fact, this stuff all hit the fan.

Marriage - we have been together 14 years, married 8, have two dds, 9 and 7, one has SN, marriage has been ropy for a while. Really ropy. Tried hard over several years - perhaps 5 or 6 - to call him on it, but he was workaholic, often absent, shit or no sex, always took discussion off table, and we hardly ever saw each other. I looked after kids, my career suffered as I supported his, very glamourous one. I was lonely .Called him on it severely 2 years ago by fessing up that I had fallen for someone and nearly slept with them. It was a distress call. He ignored and again refused to discuss. I went to RELATE alone, gained clarity and strength, he was unavailable for discussion for the whole of the rest of the year. The person I nearly slept with was around again at Christmas and I fell even more badly. I kissed him, did not sleep with him, spent several months completely cut up about him. Am only just over him. Told dh that things were at a pretty pass. He kept fobbing me off, not interested, terrible Christmas, until this January I told him I was thinking of leaving and it was the first time he actually heard me.

Cut to 9 months later, we are still not having sex, he is still in the spare room, actually the living room, we are in RELATE and although I feel I understand him better and feel more compassion for him and the way he is and his reasons for being so absent, so uncompassionate, and so blind - my soul - at risk of sounding uberwank - went ages ago. The kids are aware he is in the spare room and we keep inventing excuses. He passionately wants to get US back, but my feeling is that there has not been an US for so long that I don't really know what he means.

I am wildly attracted to other people, and not remotely to him, but that is not the point. The point is I have a choice between investing LOADS of energy into completely rebuilding, from the foundations upwards, our relationship, or choosing to say no, enough is enough.

ANy clarity would be really welcome. Thank you.

TillyScoutsmum Tue 07-Oct-08 15:19:45

Gosh - sounds tough sad

Ok - my twopenneth - FWIW - relationships do have to be worked at but if after genuinely trying for 5-6 years, things are still fairly crap, then I would be tempted to think its time to move on.

beanieb Tue 07-Oct-08 15:24:31

What Tilly said. It doesn't really sound to me like he has really heard you. He is doing the counselling but apart from that what is he doing for you to work towards making things work?

Is it possible that he only went to counselling to stall you again from making the decision? Maybe you need to bring all you have said here up in counselling.

If you really feel you have been trying for 5-6 years then maybe it is time to leave?

HappyWoman Tue 07-Oct-08 16:05:01

from your post i cant see any reason to stay - except out of some sort of loyalty, which is no reason to stay at all imo.

MrsMattie Tue 07-Oct-08 16:06:35

Sounds like your relationship is well and truly over.

more Tue 07-Oct-08 16:19:44

You have not been happy for years now.
You are still not happy.
You are not happy with your husband, his behaviour or his commitment to the relationship.
Do you honestly see yourself becoming happy if you stay in this relationship?
How does he have to change in order for you to be happy?
Even if he did do everything you wanted him to do, and he changed his way of being would you be happy staying in a relationship with him?

It just sounds to me like you are not happy in this relationship and that you have already given up on it.
It sounds like you feel that he pushed it too far and now you just want out, but am (justifiably) finding it hard to actually walk out the door/kick him out the door.

phantasmagoria Tue 07-Oct-08 18:39:13

He has changed though, since this January. He is going to RELATE, that is a big change, he seems to have found the washing machine and occasionally uses it, likewise the dishwasher, and he is changing his job next year - it is better paid and exactly what he wants to do but it is also slightly less insane than the one he has been doing for the past 4 years. He claims, and I believe him, that he wants to support me and help me and do more childcare. He feels that now he is ready to change I should be accepting of that and should embrace it. But the switch has gone to OFF and I don't know if I can be arsed to do the work to make it go on again. He is not a wanker, far from it, he is funny, charming, very clever, kind to the kids, a proper human being, and shouldn't that be enough? Why isn't it? I feel like such a twunt for not being able to welcome him back, for not being able to say YEH baby let's work this thing out.

phantasmagoria Tue 07-Oct-08 18:47:25

talking to myself now, but I think one of the reasons might be that our sex life has never been very good, and I have never really fancied him. I know of friends who have crazy workaholic husbands but because they still shag a lot, and want to, they somehow manage to keep the communication going, the intimacy, and some sense of relationship. We didn't have that - sex has been infrequent and rubbish for many many years - and totally absent for 9 months, which was my call,because I didn't want to go through the painful motions any more.

beanieb Tue 07-Oct-08 18:50:46

could you do more to turn the switch back on? Do you want to?

phantasmagoria Wed 08-Oct-08 09:01:34

That, beanieb, is the big problem. At the moment I can't be bothered to do more to try and switch the switch. Going to RELATE every week is enough for me.

He wants to fight for us, but is not sure what to do.

And I am just ill and tired and have loads of work on and want to just get on with my life, without having to factor in rebuilding a whole relationship.

Anna8888 Wed 08-Oct-08 09:04:38

"I am wildly attracted to other people, and not remotely to him, but that is not the point."

Oh yes, that is very much the point. You are not remotely interested in your DH. I think you should find another one. Your marriage is crap for everyone (including your children). And you cannot "rebuild" a relationship that it is as dead as this one.

BecauseImAWitch Wed 08-Oct-08 09:06:06

Sounds like he needs to court you - in the true, old fashioned sense of the word. Make you feel special, treat you, think about you - in short, put his needs second and think about you.

IMO sex is the last thing he or you should be thinking/talking about right now - he should be working at rekindling the intimacy, respect and love that you once had between you. Once that is there, sex will become more inevitable and therefore enjoyable.

But if he's not prepared to put the work in, why should you bother? Sounds like you have been working really hard for a long time, to no avail.

BecauseImAWitch Wed 08-Oct-08 09:06:08

Sounds like he needs to court you - in the true, old fashioned sense of the word. Make you feel special, treat you, think about you - in short, put his needs second and think about you.

IMO sex is the last thing he or you should be thinking/talking about right now - he should be working at rekindling the intimacy, respect and love that you once had between you. Once that is there, sex will become more inevitable and therefore enjoyable.

But if he's not prepared to put the work in, why should you bother? Sounds like you have been working really hard for a long time, to no avail.

Freckle Wed 08-Oct-08 09:15:00

It sounds like everything has to be as he wants it. All those years that you were trying to get him to address what was wrong in your marriage, he ignored you and pushed you to the brink of an affair. Now that he has decided he ought to make some sort of effort, you have to embrace that and work hard to get the relationship back. And he only made that decision when you threatened to leave. Was it out of a true desire to make your marriage work or more from a realisation that his family life was heading out the door and he would be alone?

You work hard for years to try to make the marriage work and he isn't interested. The minute he decides that perhaps it is worth saving after all (under real threat of losing everything), you are expected to put in the effort. Is it you he really wants or his comfortable family home life?

phantasmagoria Wed 08-Oct-08 09:18:51

I think he is terrified of being a part time Dad. Ironic, really.

Anna8888 Wed 08-Oct-08 09:21:37

It seems as if he has a lot more to lose than you - so is reluctant to give up on the relationship.

This is what happened to my DP - he did all the running in his relationship with his ex-wife. She didn't want a divorce - she was happy with the status quo - he was knackered from running around after her and doing everything her way...

SammyK Wed 08-Oct-08 09:24:51

Great post freckle.

Sorry phantasmagoria, but I agree with the majority here, you have been unhappy so long, you only get one life, don't waste anothr few years with someone you are unhappy wiht.

PeterCushi0n Wed 08-Oct-08 09:38:12

I think the fact that you have been telling your husband for years that you are unhappy, and he has only chosen to address that and take it seriously now that you are threatening to leave, speaks volumes.

You were lonely, you nearly had an affair, you went to Relate alone - and he was not there for you.

You are his wife, the mother of his children; you should have been his top priority.

It sounds like you don't love him anymore.

So even if you can make the relationship work again on a practical level, surely you'll be back to square one re your emotional well-being?

Is a trial separation possible?

He will clearly founder without your support, but you need to consider your feelings before his for once, I think.

GrabShellDude Wed 08-Oct-08 09:52:40

With feelings as absent as yours are for him, I really don't think you can resuscitate this relationship. Although, part of me thinks you do sound a little unsure about ending things.

Is there any possibility of living seperately for a while? I just wondered about that because a rl friend of mine sounded exactly like you. They separated 12 months ago and have recently started dating. Things are going really well for them.

Time apart has really helped them see each other as people again and not just a shadowy,irritating and annoying figure that lives in the house with them.

tis horrible to be in a crap relationship I know.

phantasmagoria Wed 08-Oct-08 12:09:08

These are great, and supportive, posts. Thank you.

I think I am just SO tired that the idea of having to put the work in to restructure my life - sell the house, find a flat, close the joint accounts, get legal advice, and make sure the girls are not permanently scarred and damaged - is also scaring me. I just want some time to live my life, which is very demanding and full on, without having to think about him at all, either to repair or to separate.I have 4 major work deadlines in the next 3 months, my daughter has been very ill, I have been very ill and am having ongoing treatment, etc. I really feel S T R E T C H E D beyond belief.

I think when I have vaulted this insane period I might have a better perspective. But he is all lonely and sexually frustrated and in the living room, and is putting pressure on me to sort things out NOW, and it is exploding my head.

TheProvincialLady Wed 08-Oct-08 12:17:37

But he is all lonely and sexually frustrated and in the living room, and is putting pressure on me to sort things out NOW

Until I read this I was thinking that you could rekindle things if you wanted to, only it would time and effort on both your parts. But now I see that actually, it is all about him. He could have chosen to sort thigs out at any time in the last few years and didn't - it is not up to him to put pressure on you to sort anything NOW. he sounds very self centred.

But I don't think you should make a decision while you have all this other stuff going on. If you can keep going to Relate you will be able to talk through your feelings about leaving him and hopefully when you have got through this difficult time you can make up your mind.

LostHorizon Wed 08-Oct-08 13:00:51

What does he want out of your relationship? How does he see it proceeding?

BandofMothers Wed 08-Oct-08 13:17:53

Men always seem to think that once help has been sought that it is a simple 123 and everything is magically fixed. WHY do they think it will take a couple of months to fix what has been destroyed over several years. My relationship has declined over the last 3 yrs and I am also thinking it may be time to call it a day. I also find both ways, ie the enormous task of trying to fix things (if that is possible at this point) and moving on and sorting everything that entails as hugely overwhelming. It is horrible to stay in teh limbo of making the decision and also tempting to stay there as you then dont really have to deal with either reality.
I feel for you adn hope you can sort it all out with the minimum of pain esp for your dc's.

fluxy3 Wed 08-Oct-08 13:49:13

I could have written this post, the only difference being my H knows how to use the dishwasher, hoover and washing machine. Also together similar amounts of time, 16 yrs and married 5.
Don't want to hijack your thread... but I have just back from relate this morning and my H walked out because I had said I had had enough and couldn't see a future with him at the moment, we are just too different and separate emotionally from each other.
Totally agree with Band of Mothers with her comments about men thinking 2-3 weeks/ months of OK, and it's all fixed.
You are not alone in this one phanta! Big hugs.

phantasmagoria Thu 09-Oct-08 09:18:53

Fluxy, BOM, I'm really sorry to hear you are in a similar situation. Are you any more resolved than I am? Do you still love your respective dhs? Or, are you, like me, confused about whether you really ever did?

He texted me yesterday - very unusual, unless it's to say he's going to be late/absent - to say he is determined to fight for us. I realised that I have been carrying all this extra pressure to try and sort US out for him because he seems to not know what to do. I have been staying up late into the night reading improving books on relationships, trying to get myself to accept equal responsibility for the state we're in - finding it impossible - and I have been totally exhausted by it. So I texted him back to say that he should expect NOTHING from me until January, accept grudging relate attendance. He says he understands and won't pressurise me.

So I am simply going to get on with my life until this crazy period is over and I can reassess properly. He doesn't like that and he doesn't like that he will be in the living room at least until January, but I said he would have to suck it up since he chose to ignore me for so many years. And if he gets fed up in the meantime, the front door is quite easy to find.

You know, I hate sounding like this bitter, angry old cunt, but I really wasn't, for so long - I just seem to have broken.

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