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How many women are just making do with their partner- is it common?

(246 Posts)
strawpoll Mon 14-Sep-09 08:15:47

I am in a real dliemma. I always knew when I got married that my H was not the "perfect man", not that such a person exists- know that!

However, I chose to go ahead mainly out of fear of being alone, after being hurt a lot in my 20s, endlessly it seemed, and because he gave me some of what I wanted/needed. I did like him, but wasn't sure if it was love. It was a safe option, tbh.

Now, many years on and 2 grown up DCs later, I realise it was a mistake, and I should not have married for those reasons.

Mentally, he doesn't turn me on and I only feel half-alive, if that makes sense- we have a few things in common but not alot and he is a very quiet, solitary person, who doesn't need friends ( has none) or much communication _ I am the opposite- I write and communication is what makes me tick.

He is a good man and I feel very secure, but I can really take him orleave him. My conscience says I should go, but I know heloves me a lot and doesn't want this- if he felt the same, it would be over quickly.

I am weighing up the odds- I'd be a lot poorer, I wouldn't have a "friend" which is really how I see him, my DCs would have divorced parents, and I may never meet anyone else.

I know that no-one can tell me what to do, but so many of my friends say that a lot of marriages are like this and it's "normal". Is it?

bubblagirl Mon 14-Sep-09 08:23:22

is there any way you could maybe find some common ground and maybe reignite something find a hobby to do together tell him how important this is to you and see where you go from there

BonsoirAnna Mon 14-Sep-09 08:26:07

I don't agree - I think that there is a "perfect man" out there - several even, for each of us! But you aren't going to turn Mr Wasn'tPerfectYearsAgo into Mr PerfectManyYearsDownTheLine. You know that.

Hang in there, but keep your eyes open for someone else smile

strawpoll Mon 14-Sep-09 08:27:27

It's not so much what we do it's a lot more to do with what we talk about- or he doesn't talk about IYSWIM.
We can travel for 2 hrs by car and he doesn't speak- unless I do!

We like walking, visitng art galleries, the samekind of places for holidays etc- but then, so do millions of people!

It's not really about having a joint hobby, it's about feeling really alone inside, as you just don't feel that you are on the same wave length.

I just wanted to know if anyone else felt this way and was coping/staying?

strawpoll Mon 14-Sep-09 08:28:52

To make matters worse, I have met someone else, purely as a friend,as he is marrried, and it's a non-starter, but we just click mentally, and it's what I need. It just highlights what's wrong at home now.

OrmIrian Mon 14-Sep-09 08:35:15

Yes. IME it's quite common. Tis the nature of a relationship that lasts forever (in theory). It doesn't have to be unhappy, it doesn't even have to be boring but it's important that you don't rely on your OH to supply all the excitement in your life.

WOuld you be happier alone? Because there is a good chance that you would be alone. I often think I would be but the older I get the more frightening the prospect becomes.

skihorse Mon 14-Sep-09 08:35:25

I think it's quite a modern expectation for us to want a partner who stimulates us mentally, physically, spiritually et al. This is why we have a network - there are not many people out there who will tick all your boxes.

I'm sorry you're feeling low right now but I don't think it's his responsibility to make you feel fulfilled - that must come from within. If you wish to feel mentally stimulated then you must find a hobby/course/cause which stimulates you - not expect your husband to pull a rabbit out of a hat!

I'm afraid I disagree with BonsoirAnna - I think it would be a very nasty and shallow thing to do to stay with your husband but be on an active hunt for a replacement. Whilst your husband and you are currently having troubles communicating - I don't feel he has (who has?) done anything worthy of such a betrayal.

Morally, if you are going to move on you should be kind.

OrmIrian Mon 14-Sep-09 08:35:58

Ohhhhhh... just seen your third post. Yes that will make a difference.

ABetaDad Mon 14-Sep-09 08:37:32

strawpoll - what you are talking about is something which was formalised by Maslow in his Hierachy of Needs.

The basic needs everyone has is for physiologocal security that your husband provided when you were young and had growing children. Now you are older and your DCS are older yur need for security has reduced and your higher needs such as 'Self Actualisation' have come to the fore.

This is very common and nearly everyone (man or woman) finds this to be the case as our 'needs' vary throughout life.

What you are saying is your DH just does not fullfil your higher needs but up until recently you were prepared to trade that against physiologcal security. Indeed, you stil talk about 'being poorer' if you left him so you still have some need for security. One person cannot fullfil all our needs, some of our needs have to be met from within us.

Perhaps you can seek ways from within yourself to meet your higher needs and carry on enjoying the other benefits you enjoy being in a relationship with DH.

strawpoll Mon 14-Sep-09 08:41:02

no, no, no- it's nothing to do with being fulfilled. I am perfectly fulfilled by work and my many diverse friendships. It's more a feeling that on some deep level, this man, this good, solid, reliable man, just doesn't "get me"- and know how I tick! The result of which is that despite being in the same house, room, car, bed, I feel very alone.

Supercherry Mon 14-Sep-09 08:47:40

Agree with the posters that suggest that you shouldn't expect your partner to fulfil your every need.

Get your mental stimulation elsewhere, join a writing group, start a university course in English Literature, whatever you think will satisfy your desire to communicate on a deeper level with others.

This is just a hunch but I should imagine, if you left your husband you might just find that the grass isn't always greener. Sometimes people only appreciate what they've had when they lose it.

kalo12 Mon 14-Sep-09 08:47:48

mmm, watching with interest.

Supercherry Mon 14-Sep-09 08:49:46

But how does happiness and fulfillment stem from one man 'getting you'?

Do you think you would automatically be fulfilled and happy because of a partner 'getting you'?

ItsAllaBitNoisy Mon 14-Sep-09 08:53:32

Do you laugh together?

strawpoll Mon 14-Sep-09 08:56:07

super- thanks for the suggestion- but if you read my last post, it's not about being fulfilled by other activities-I have in fact done all the things you suggest and all is does is highlight the gap and how we have less in common.

I have never in theses posts said anything about being fulfilled- I am fulfilled, I just don't feel that I feel as much for my DH as I should and wondered if anyone else has stayed in a marriage feeling like this.

missingtheaction Mon 14-Sep-09 08:58:15

I was in a fairly similar situation to yourself - maybe less generally positive but an arrangement that worked domestically and for the children, and where leaving caused DH a lot of distress.

I have now met someone new who does indeed 'get' me, and I 'get' him. And it is different, and it is better. So I do know what you mean.

I do think millions of people rub along in OK marriages, unfulfilled and unsatisfied.

Where it gets dangerous is where you start looking round - your eyes will light on someone more in tune with you, it will start with a couple of lunches, next thing you are having an affair and have caused even more damage than just leaving would have in the first place.

For everyone's sake, whatever else happens, guard against that.

NewPenName Mon 14-Sep-09 08:59:57

isn't this overanalysis? Isn't it chemistry (hugely important), good friendship etc?? yes, of course this can ebb and flow over the yrs, no-one can provide for all our needs etc etc but it comes down to simple compatability. Sorry, got no real advice, but can understand where you're coming from - in a not dissimilar position myself. will also watch with interest. Hope you find a way forward.

strawpoll Mon 14-Sep-09 09:00:05

Can I just add, please don't take this the wrong way as I appreciate all your replies, that this is nothing to do with not being fulfilled, in a way that can be remedied by joining a course etc etc. I have met all those needs. Neither is it a case of finding someone who will tick all the boxes as I know that person does not exist.

I am sorry that I can't explain exactly what it feels like, other than to feel "alone" which cannot be remedied by joining groups or getting mental stimualtion from other people, but if you read this and feel the same in your marriage, let me know, and let me know if you have stayed or gone.

skihorse Mon 14-Sep-09 09:00:52

Nobody is responsible for your happiness but YOU!.

Mr "married man" does not and will not suddenly make you happy. I feel you're looking for someone to say "yes, you'll be happy ever after and there will be roses around the door" - but most of us are grounded in reality.

Do you actually communicate with your partner or just let seethe with resentment perpetually blaming him for your lack of happiness? On those long car journeys do you instigate a conversation? Do you open a book and think "good, 30 minutes reading time for me" or do you just sit there getting angrier and angrier?

It's all well and good saying "oh but I am fulfilled, I have done x, y and z" but this directly contradicts your saying that you're not fulfilled.

NewPenName Mon 14-Sep-09 09:02:34

strawpoll - i really get where you're coming from! I have stayed, so far but then my kids are much younger.

hohummum Mon 14-Sep-09 09:02:34

I am a bit rushed at the moment but wanted to say I could have written your post word for word I know what you mean, the natural progression of a relationship would be fine if the initial chemistry had been there.

I have been married for only 6 years but have regretted it for all that time, I have no idea what to do.

strawpoll Mon 14-Sep-09 09:04:11

Ski- sorry, but you are misinterpreting me. I fully agree with all you say- I don't believe in roses round the door etc etc- I am too old and been round the block too much for that!

Sorry, but I feel you are having a go at me- not what I really need or asked for- just wanted to know how others manage.

Merrylegs Mon 14-Sep-09 09:04:45

Have you told him all this?

Have you said to him exactly what you said in your first post?

His reaction might surprise you.

He might say "Yeah, I feel the same way. You just don't 'get' me, either."

Then you have a question to explore together- what shall we do about it?

If you don't speak out, you'll never know. Sure, it will rock the boat, but it sounds as if your boat needs rocking - for good or bad.

strawpoll Mon 14-Sep-09 09:10:10

we have talked, yes, many many times. He says he really loves me, and wants to make it work.

Sorry, but so much of what has been written, except for a couple of you who are in the same boat, is stating the obvious, and has been chewed over many many times.

If you feel that joining a class or doing a course- all of which I have done anyway, is oging to make any difference, then you are not in the same place as me- and can't really empathise.

If you are in the same place, have maybe left and realised the it was right thing to do - or wrong- then let me know!

hohummum Mon 14-Sep-09 09:15:28

I have a friend, Strawpoll, who got married last year to a man she has known for ten years. She has recently admitted that she married him knowing he was not the perfect man and that they were more friends than anything else. She was very upset and agonised over what to do for ages but has decided to leave him. However there are no kids involved so less messy.

I envy her.

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