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My marriage is draining me

(23 Posts)
rollercoasterlife Mon 05-Oct-09 13:52:48

Have been together 10 years, married for seven.

DH was my first proper long term relationship. I was always quite independent and never one for always needing a man around.

Even on our first date there were a couple of "alarm bell" moments. He made a sarcastic comment because I couldn't read the map and he got really annoyed when he couldn't find his car keys. I remember feeling quite shocked and surprised by his behaviour(especially as it was a first date).

Basically, DH is just like his father. He is charming and good looking. But he can also be hurtful and sarcastic. Over the years, I have fought back and always asked for an apology if he has called me names (including "bitch, miserable cow and c**t"). He doesn't use them very often and they are mostly in the heat of the moment during an argument but I have told him it's not normal or acceptable to be spoken to like that.

He also seems to enjoy telling me to "calm down" when he knows that I hate being told that. Even if I'm trying to talk calmly, he'll say to try and rile me.

We don't really share the same sense of humour. He is very juvenile. We have NEVER really shared a great belly laughed or howled with laughter at ANYTHING the whole time we have been together. I have always relied on my friends for that. I am told that I am funny and have a great personlity but I feel like it's disappearing. I don't even feel like like making an effort with DH. He doesn't laugh at much I say or will say "you think you're so funny don't you?".

We have separate bank accounts. DH pays into my account every month but I'm always overdrawn. He doesn't mind me buying clothes or whatever I want but I feel controlled not having joint finances. He keeps saying he'll sort it out but does nothing. He does give me more money if I need it(I don't ask often as it's not worth the hassle) but always has a moan about it.

Over the years, there have been at least three of four times when I have said I'm off. He always talks me round. I just get to the point where it all builds up and I just can't stand anymore. I feel invisible.

He is very affectionate and our sex life is good. He is always makes me feel attractive and compliments me if we are going out. There is just something missing and if I'm honest with myself, there always was. I don't feel as if he is my soulmate. We bicker constantly and I just feel worn down. Our DS sees this and I desperately don't want him to be affected by it or turn out like his dad.

He is not a bad person. I think I've come to the conclusion, he doesn't realise how he is being and thinks it's normal. He's accused me of exaggerating when I've said he is verbally abusive.

Last night, I had just had enough. He was moaning about all the washing I had to sort out and how I "was never on top of it all". FGS, who is?? He helped me with it but was saying "not many men would do this". I just want him to get off my back. If he wants to help, just do it and stop bloody moaning.

At the moment, I just feel SO SO tired and he told me yesterday "you are a mess". He meant physically, as I've been complaining of feeling tired for years. It suddenly hit me last night, maybe I'm tired because I've had the life sucked out of me. DH DRAINS me when he is around. It's like I've had an epiphany.

This post feels like such a jumble. Not sure if I've put it in any sort of sensible order. If you have read it all and can make out what I am getting at, thank you.

Not even sure what I expect anyone to say. It helps just writing it all down. I know he sounds vile but 75% of the time he is fine. The other 25% of the time I fucking hate him. Is it me? Is it him? Help, I think I going mad. Does anyone else have a similar dysfunctional relationship?

Katisha Mon 05-Oct-09 14:15:36

I think identifying that he drains you is an important moment.

I assume from your post that you do not work? Do you think he is one of those all-too-common men who equate someone's worth with whether or not they are bringing money in?

suwoo Mon 05-Oct-09 14:20:59

Are you me? hmm

I could have written that post. In fact I might show it to DH as you expressed very eloquently and objectively how I feel.

Lolabelle Mon 05-Oct-09 14:27:54

Ditto, seriously thi shas shocked me as i feel the same. We are on a temporary seperation wef from Tuesday and i don't even know what i get to gain from that as teh kids are sooo much harder when there is one of you and i feel no better just sad its come to thins and i can see myself having him back but he too has caled me the 'c' word on occasons and thinks hes a fab husband and dad if he so much as joins in teh household chores and is unbelieveably jeavenile and i'm worried i have to spend the next 30 years with someone that is not my soulmate and doesn't stimulat eme on an emoptional level. I think its hard as some people may advise you to make it work but sometimes deep down you just know, rather than doing anything rtash maybe talk to him and eve suggest soe couple counselling so whatever hapens you feel you have given it teh respect a relationship of this lenth deserves and it may give you a few answers as to what you feel you need to do. Good luck and your not alone, i think this problem is more common than we realise. x

Lolabelle Mon 05-Oct-09 14:29:03

God check the typos!! That is what typing and juggling two small kids does to you!!!

rollercoasterlife Mon 05-Oct-09 14:31:57

Hi suwoo, lol! You mean there are other men like this?!

And Katisha, thank you for your post. I gave up my job a couple of years ago. I was fed up anyway and DH supported me in this. I do miss working and now DS is in school and looking to get back out there again. DH is happy for me to happy at home BUT he moans at me if the house isn't tidy or I get behind. He is sarcastic and says things like "I know you're really busy" or "if you could spare the time"....

TBH, I not the most organised but neither am I the worst. He's never given me the impression that he thinks I'm worthless because I don't work or bring money in but I have told him that I feel like the money we have is his and not OURS. He denies this and says if I need anything, I just need to ask. I say "why should I need to ASK?-I don't feel equal to you not having a joint account" and on it goes...

rollercoasterlife Mon 05-Oct-09 14:35:47

Hi Lolabelle. So sorry to hear about your situation. Thanks for your post. You sound much stronger than me.

I have to go out now but will try and post later.

Snowtiger Mon 05-Oct-09 14:38:09

You said it yourself, my dear. He drains you. You deserve better than that. Epiphany is the right word - sounds like the scales have fallen from your eyes.

Consider yourself very lucky you are someone who has been on their own in the past and been quite happy that way - it gives you a real advantage in life as you know you don't 'need' to be with a husband who sucks the life out of you. I know plenty of people who've never had the balls to get out of an unhappy relationship becaues they don't feel they can live / cope / function on their own, and that's a hellishly disempowering way to be. 9 times out of 10, in my experience, it's better to be on your own than in a relationship that tramples on your soul and makes you feel less than you are.

Obviously I don't know the ins and outs of the practicalities (i.e. with children, money, home etc) but it sounds to me that you might be a lot better off, and happier, without someone who has taken the sparkle from you. Easy to say, of course.

So to answer your question, IMHO, it's not you, and it's probably not him as such (ie he's probably not doing it intentionally), but the dynamic between you that's the problem. If there's no way to change that to one that's more positive and supportive, then it doesn't sound like the right relationship for you.

Sourdough Mon 05-Oct-09 14:41:35

Oh there are other men like this. Trust me, you are not alone. It's up to you to decide whether or not living like this is worth it. You can adapt to certain situations, make resolutions with yourself to let some of it over your head. But only you know if you want to try or not.

FWIW, my DH and I were apart (through necessity - he was working abroad) for about a year once. During that time I was the happiest, most fulfilled and organised I have ever been since we married. I am sticking with him though because I do love him and we do have a proper connection, even though he has, as you put it, 'drained' me of myself in almost every other way.

thesame Mon 05-Oct-09 14:43:50

Wow- have namechanged cos I think dh has been reading my posts.

This could have been me too.

My DH loves me but he does little to show me that he reallly cares despite lots of arguements/talks/reminders/prompts etc of what I would like him to do. I take care of everyone in the family and noone takes care of me. I don't feel special.

Over the last year I have been just getting on with stuff, telling myself it will get better, trying not to moan and just accepting that I have to do housework/childcare on my own. Only thing is I have realised that I feel really numb inside and really scared that I will have to spend the next 30 years like this.

I feel like I got married to young and didn't really think about it. We have had a big chat about it and he is really sorry and really scared of losing me. Thing is I don't think I could ever bring myself to split us up as a family so I feel trapped anyway.

Lolabelle Mon 05-Oct-09 14:50:53

rollercoasterlife i am not strong! I spent sat evening watching the Xfactor, drinking wine and crying as he had the kids at his mums and i felt so alone! Thesame its identical to you, feel i look after everyone else and noone looks after me, got so much to say but noone listens and the one person i am meant to be growing old with doesn't even seem t o know the real me despite me trying to show him. Always wondered how you can live day in day out with someone and feel so alone?! I think sometimes its hard to know at what stage you walk away, no right answer so maybe counseling might help you get there as i think thats what i need to do. DH says he adores me and wants to make it work so i figure its worth a try but i can't help wondering what other future is out there for me and being a little intrigued/excited at that thought..

citronella Mon 05-Oct-09 14:57:05

Hmm you are not alone.
"75% of the time he is fine the other 25%..."

It was the other 25% that did it for me in the end.

I think the fact that you feel 'drained', like your personality is being eroded and that you are contemplating the prospect of the next 30yrs together, is a very important turning point.

You need a long hard think about your options and a serious conversation with H methinks.

rollercoasterlife Mon 05-Oct-09 17:34:07

Sourdough-yes, I know what you mean about not missing him while you are apart. I am happy in my own little routine during the week as he works long hours.

If I go and see my parents who live abroad I do miss him after a few days but I think it's probably just because my parents are getting on my nerves, but that's another story(sigh!). If I've gone to stay with a friend for a couple of days, I hardly think about him.

thesame, very similar to you. Have said so many times that I don't feel "cherised"(hope that doesn't sound too bleeughblush. The one and only time I feel like he really really loves me is during sex(sorry, hope not TMIblush). He is so affectionate and caring and loving. I have spoken to him about this and tried to explain I'm not after gifts, just things that make me know he cares, cup of tea in bed, run a bath, back massage, little surprise notes etc. etc. Am I expecting too much? I know there are men like this but maybe it's not the norm??

He does try and has come home with flowers a couple of times recently. When I have told him before that I wasn't happy he was genuinely terrified and said he would do anything. But then it all goes back to how it was before very quickly.

Lolabelle, I understand what you are saying perfectly. I feel like my DH doesn't seem to "get" the real me at all(or actually can't be bothered to try) and I certainly don't feel as if I know him. I said to him once "Either you just hide your feelings very deeply or you are really shallow". He replied "I'm just really shallow". I don't believe him though-I just can't get him to open up. I think the real him has only come out when I said I wanted to leave. I think counselling might be worth a go-it sounds as if your DH is willing. I have mentioned it but I think my DH would only go if I told him I wanted a divorce. He HATES talking about his feelings.

Have you ever met another man, the husband of a friend(strictly innocent of course!) or a workmate who shares your sense of humour and you could sit and talk for hours about everything and anything? I have quite a few times and at the end of an evening I feel empty knowing that the person I'm going home with will never connect with me on that kind of level.

mathanxiety Mon 05-Oct-09 19:13:54

He's getting exactly what he wants from you and in exchange you're getting the feeling that your life is being drained out of you. The whole 75/25 thing is like saying there would be a lot more room in the house if it weren't for the elephant, isn't it?

rollercoasterlife Mon 05-Oct-09 19:44:51

He has just phoned to say he will be home shortly. Always feel pissed off when he comes home before ten. It means I have to talk to him! That sounds terrible-he is (usually) quite pleasant when he gets home.

mathanxiety, you are probably quite right. I think what he wants (and I have said this to him) is some sort of "Stepford Wife"-clean, tidy house/sex siren-up-for-it-all-the-time/thin(am size 12 but he has made comments but is then all "what are you talking about, you are fine")saintly mother that never shouts/yes woman. You should see how happy he is when the house is all tidy-it's almost funny.

I have tried and tried to be all these things but then I feel resentful because I knowtell I am trying to be something at the risk of completely changing who I am and not knowing myself. And TBH, why the hell is who I am not enough? Yes, I am some of these some of time but not all and nor do I want to be. Perfect is boring but I feel that's what he wants me to be. He's not interested in ME, just the perfect version of me.

Will have to log off now and cook a lovely mealwink.

Will be back tomorrow.

rollercoasterlife Mon 05-Oct-09 19:46:52

know not knowtell

sincitylover Mon 05-Oct-09 20:08:09

without wishing to sound like a real bitter old cynic I think in many marriages the woman is drained by her role as caretaker and nuturer. And that marriage is a better deal for men than women.

However I do still think that some couples do really get each other and take care of each other. I would love one like that (am divorced).

Sorry to hear you are going through this.

ninja Mon 05-Oct-09 20:12:15

You're me too sad

Lolabelle Mon 05-Oct-09 20:13:43

Yes I have spent all evening with numerous other men (platonic not trying anything honest!) and felt saddened that the one i am going home with can't stimulate me on any sort of deep level emotionally, i really do think my Dh is one dimensional but then again i remind myself is anyone one dimensional?! I have tried getting him to open up but its not in his dna, my sis reckons i need to realise this is him, either accept or realise that i can't live the rest of my life like this but its not that easy. Hes only willing to try counselling because i've asked, i have no doubt he'll say nothing and even the counsellor won't be able to penetrate the surface - are some people just happy being closed books??! I'm not suggesting we have to sit every night talking about our feelings buit he loves the happy few-glaasses-of-wine me or the look-what-i've-cooked-shall-we-get some-wine-in-me but when i am low and need to talk he just rubs my shoulder and makes things light hearted when i want to talk. Maybe its why i liked him at first, happy dh, no worries but life is a lot deeper than that at times and a one dimensional relationship can be lonely. Of course they come alive with sex, they are men after all...wink Happy willy = happy man...

Katisha Mon 05-Oct-09 20:52:01

I do wonder how many women do come home to a soul-mate at night though. I bet not all that many really.

I think that historically it's only fairly recently that a married couple have been expected to be all in all to each other in a tight little family unit. Until fairly recently there were extended families and more emphasis on living in a community where women probably got their emotional support from other women much more readily. Now we are all in our houses hardly seeing anyone except the partner.

Just musing really. Among the people I know I'm not sure that I can identify many emotionally literate, empathetic DHs...

rollercoasterlife Tue 06-Oct-09 19:49:24

Katisha, I think you are right. There are lots of relationships out there that aren't that great but some people don't seem to mind and are happy rubbing along.

I just know that I need a deeper connection. My DH says I "want him to be all girly". I just want him to open up a bit and let me know he loves me. I feel like he loves his blackberry more than me...

Had a talk with DH last night and he admitted he knew that I was pissed off with him the night before. I asked him why he was just pretending everything was ok-he replied he was racking his brains to think what he could have done and just didn't want to get into a argument. At the moment, we are fine again. We always are after we have a proper talk because I feel as if I have some sort of connection with him.

I just feel as if our relationship is a series of ups and downs and the downs are just unbearable.

Sorry if I'm rambling.

Hi ninja-are you willing to talk about your situation?

DrunkenDaisy Wed 07-Oct-09 12:35:01

Why don't you get a job and split the household duties with him. It might make you understand eachother a bit more.

Also, I think it's easy to blame the person closest to you for how you're feeling, but if you feel drained it's up to you to do something about it.

Would you feel less drained as a single mum?

And forget the 'soulmate' guff. it's always like that in the begining - you'll end up with the same problems when things get boring.

rollercoasterlife Wed 07-Oct-09 16:10:50

Hi DrunkenDaisy.

I am starting to look for work now. I do want to work and am looking forward to it. As for splitting household duties. There is no way-DH leaves at 7ish and gets home 8-9ish. He is knackered. He does do the odd thing at weekends though.

As for feeling drained. I feel mentally drained and I am sure that manifests itself in a physical tiredness IYSWIM.

I know how I probably sound talking about "a connection and soulmates". I'm not naive, I know men and women are wired differently. I'm not expecting deep and meaningful conversations every evening and staring into each others eyes etc.

I would just like to be listened to, instead of DH's eyes glazing over or him trying to tear his eyes away from the paper or talking over me.

I don't appreciate being called names. I would never mind constructive criticism said in a loving (or joking) way but being told I'm stupid or have no taste etc. has eroded my confidence and it's got to the stage I can't take any criticism now-I just feel got at.

We go round in circles. I get upset and explain how I feel, he apologises and says that he "knows he can be difficult to live with", we are friends again until the next time.

I just don't know how many more times I can explain how he is making me feel or hurting my feelings before I just want to walk out the door. It's eroding what I feel for DH.

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