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Please help - think my marriage is over

(6 Posts)
brook1 Fri 02-Oct-09 23:20:32

Bit of background - met DH around 15 years ago after being with ex-bf for 2 years. Ex-bf was unfaithful & treated me terribly but was very affectionate and exciting. When it ended, I met DH a few years later & he was a breath of fresh air, completely honest, reliable and faithful, but totally unromantic.

After a few years of being with him I hinted at getting married and eventually he "suggested" we get engaged. Thats as romantic as it got, but, it didnt matter at the time. We got married, then 5 years later we started a family and now have 3 DC.

We havent had the easiest of times, problems with DH family, my mum an alcoholic, severe health problems with one of our DC.

DH has never been comfortable with showing his feelings and has admitted in the past that his family dont show their feelings (as if I didnt know, they are the coldest people on earth).

Anyway, to the outside world, we appear to be the perfect family. We go on lots of family holidays, DH is a brilliant dad and the DC are very happy. However, behind closed doors, it is horrible. DH works shifts and every evening we are in seperate rooms watching tv. We dont like the same things and DH sees no problem with this.

We barely communicate and when I do try to start up a conversation he is either too tired or not interested. We have no sex-life at all and this has gradually dwindled over the last few years. I am 99.9% certain his is NOT having an affair.

I did put this all down to the fact that we are just going thru a bad patch but, DH had a special birthday a few weeks ago and I decided to surprise him with a few days away. Mainly because I wanted a chance to re-ignite our marriage.

However, whilst we had a lovely time (the DC were looked after by GParents) we had no affection whatsoever. No hugs, kisses, sex, words of affection, anything. We didnt argue, we had a nice time, but were more like mates than husband/wife.

This has gutted me. Admittedly, I didnt make any moves with DH but I thought that he would have made the 1st move, especially as this was a surprise holiday from me and I have no wage as I am a SAHM but I have been saving my "keep" in order to pay for this as a big surprise for him.

I know that sex does matter to him because he is alway making "jokey" remarks that we never have it anymore. But, surely he cant expect me to just switch it on when there is no affection whatsoever.

Ive tried to talk to him about this in the past and he just thinks that because his is not abusive or unfaithful then he is a good husband and I'm naive about how most peoples marriages are. He reckons that its all rubbish and that any of my friends who tell me that their husbands say they love them are probably lying.

I feel so unloved and fed up. In 15 years he has said "I love you" 5 times. The last one being on our wedding day 10 years ago.

If I'm honest, I dont want to be with him any more, but the DC adore him (and he adores them) and I cant break up their world. I really wish things could be different and if I knew how to change things then I would. I really dont think he loves me, if he did then I think I could work at things.

Sorry, I am waffling. I really dont know how to deal with this.

winnybella Fri 02-Oct-09 23:36:15

Do you think if he started showing you affection it would change the way you see this relationship?
Is he making jokey remarks about lack of sex because he is feeling bad as he never initiates it or because he's trying to tell you that he thinks you don't want to have sex anymore?
Do you have any fun at all together?

Sazisi Fri 02-Oct-09 23:43:08

It sounds like you felt rejected that he didn't make any romantic 'moves' on your weekend away? But maybe he's feeling the same way, ie rejected that you didn't either? It can be so hard to get out of that rut of no sex once you get into it.

I'd like to think there is something to salvage here <--encouraging smile you guys need to talk, even if it takes a professional to help you get started.

brook1 Fri 02-Oct-09 23:52:27

Yes we do have fun together as a family with the DC, but not as a couple. I do think that if he showed me some affection then it would change the way our relationship is.

But, surely if he loved me then after 15 years he would be able to show this naturally. I honestly, hand on heart, cannot say that I think he loves me. He gives me no indication at all that he does.

Sazie, yes I do feel rejected. Completely rejected and lonely. I didnt even get a peck on the cheek and a thank you for organising and paying for it. On the plane on the way home I did say that I felt upset that he couldnt even thank me for the surprise and he just laughed nervously and said thank you then slipped back into his seat and went to sleep until we landed.

sayithowitis Sat 03-Oct-09 00:03:57

Sometimes I think you have to give it in order to get it. In other words, if you want affection from him, you have to give it to him. If he comes from such a 'cold' family, he may never have learnt what affection is and how to show it. You need to teach him. Don't just tell him, do the things to him, that you want him to do to/for you. I would suggest you start 'small' with a quick peck on the cheek or a nuzzle up on the sofa. It won't happen immediately, but if he enjoys it you may find he will do it back.

Maybe his jokey remarks are his way of letting you know that he does want to have sex with you and that he is putting the ball in your court. I am sure that not being able to 'turn it on without affection' cuts both ways. Not all men are just rampant sex machines, shagging anything that stands still for five seconds. Many, if not most like to feel desired and loved by their partners just as we women tend to.

Sometimes men are afraid to say 'I love you', particularly when they come from the type of background you indicate for your DH. They are also, often, just not as comfortable with expressing their feelings verbally as women.

I suppose ultimately it depends whether you love him and want to work at improving your marriage. If as you suggest, you don't, then I do think it would be unfair to everyone to continue in a relationship that will ultimately fail and cause a great deal of heartache. If, on the other hand, you think there is something worth saving, and if he is of the same opinion, you can rescue things with hard work and determination on both sides.

I wish you luck whatever you decide.

skihorse Sat 03-Oct-09 07:55:55

Sorry it's so basic, but have you actually talked to him? Walked in to his TV room and said "darling, we've been together 15 years and you haven't told me you loved me since 1999"?

There must be something there affection wise unless I'm misinterpreting how you get pregnant. Three times.

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