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To stay in a just alright marriage - anyone ever done this and had it improve?

12 replies

Timeandtimeagaaain · 06/09/2022 15:40

I've been married for 6 years to DH. He's a good man and he loves our DC. There are a few issues like I feel we don't really do anything together as a family, we don't go out and spend quality time together as much as I'd like and basically I feel he can be a bit on the boring side which is probably unfair but that's how I feel.

We have a nice house, money in the bank, lovely DC and we do get along well. He's faithful and works hard. But lately I'm just not sure I'm in love with him. I fantasize a lot about being single and living in my home just me and the DC.

But it would throw a massive grenade into our lives for not really any huge reason so I don't say anything and I just go along as normal.

It's not even really a hardship but I worry that this seed will just grow and grow.

I feel like there's not really any way for me to leave and be in a good position. I'd be giving up everything. Time with DC, our house (unlikely to be able to afford it alone) even my job because we own a property business together.

I feel like I don't really have anything that's not tangled with DH, even work.

Has anyone stayed when they've felt like things are alright but not as good as they'd like because it seems worse to leave? Has this feeling improved for anyone?

OP posts:
Timeandtimeagaaain · 06/09/2022 15:43

I've even found myself wishing I'd catch him having an affair or something so I have a valid reason.

OP posts:
DonnaBanana · 06/09/2022 15:47

But lately I'm just not sure I'm in love with him.

Have you got your eye on someone else? If so, leave. If not, then unless you are particularly keen to find someone else, I'd sit tight for practical reasons as long as you're getting on. Most relationships aren't particularly romantic years in.

Jizzle · 06/09/2022 15:47

I left in a similar position OP.

The way I looked at it was, how would 20 year old me react seeing me in such a loveless marriage, staying with a boring DH simply because it was 'easier' or allowed me to live 'comfortably'?

20 year old me was bubbly, fun, interesting, all things I have tried to maintain in to older age. How could I seriously be happy with myself if I settled for less as I grew up?

I decided I would far rather be all of those things whilst being single, after all, you only get to live once, why the hell would anyone throw that away just to have a little more money in the bank or to keep up appearances?? Me and exDP co-parent really well together and we are both able to move forward in happier relationships that mean we can remain true to ourselves.

BigEnergy · 06/09/2022 15:48

Have you discussed the idea of date nights and such with your DH? I had a similar experience in my marriage and we tried all the usual cliches and in the end there wasn't one big catalyst, but I felt life was too short to keep plugging away at something so draining and I satisfying. He was very boring, also very lazy, never wanted to do much either as a couple or a family just stay in and watch online gamers or football, and I felt like it was all give from me and nothing in return from him. Like you I almost wished for him to be having an affair or something so I had a crystal clear reason to justify leaving. In the end i decided I didn't need to justify anything, and his version of 'trying' was about 50% less effort than I hoped to see. I am much happier on my own with dc now and have the freedom to do as I want on the dc contact weekends with their dad. He does more activities with them now than he ever did so the positive is they're getting more attention and time than when he lived at home with us.

Timeandtimeagaaain · 06/09/2022 15:50

DonnaBanana · 06/09/2022 15:47

But lately I'm just not sure I'm in love with him.

Have you got your eye on someone else? If so, leave. If not, then unless you are particularly keen to find someone else, I'd sit tight for practical reasons as long as you're getting on. Most relationships aren't particularly romantic years in.

No, nothing like this. No one else.

It's exactly what I feel like doing, just staying because of the practicalities rather than anything else.

OP posts:
Forgotthebins · 06/09/2022 15:51

Was there ever a spark? And do you feel committed enough to try counselling? Is there anything else in your life going on like depression/stress that mean that your relationship is suffering? If you feel there is nothing there though, then don’t both you and him deserve the chance to be with someone else where it’s the real thing?

Twizbe · 06/09/2022 15:59

How old are the kids.

It's really not uncommon for couples to sleepwalk into quite a boring life when the kids come along. Especially in the early years where sleep is rare.

Nothing sounds totally unfixable yet so if you want to (and tbh I suggest you do) it's time for an honest chat and a plan of action.

Tell him how you feel. Tell him what you want. Together agree how to plan family days out. What lead do you each want to take.

Find time together. If the kids are at school, both take a day off without them. Connect as adults not as parents.

See if kids can have a sleep over and you two get a night or two together.

Nothing will get fixed overnight, but putting in some time and effort could change things.

DeepDown12 · 06/09/2022 16:00

We went through a patch like this and we are better now though I wondered during that period if I should just start over. I think part of it is misconception that it will always be sparks and butterflies like at the beginning and the fact that routine kills romance. The second bit was that we got so sucked into routine that we stopped trying with each other and just took our relationship for granted.

What helped was:

  1. make sure you both have something that's just your own (a hobby, some passion outside of routine)
  2. talk to each other - even if you have to force it at the start - but switch the TV off and really TALK to each other, like you did at the beginning when you were trying to get to know each other. Ask a lot of 'Why's !
  3. take time for just the two of you to do something spontaneous. 'Say Yes' Saturday evening or something like this - it can be small - try an exotic new drink or dish or something like that

    It really helped us connect again and I wish you the same.
gingertoast · 06/09/2022 16:06

You can stay, many do, but ultimately those little niggles grow and grow until you end up intensely disliking someone.

It sounds like you're in a position to turn things around if you are so inclined

Long term relationships with kids are monotonous and not exciting in the main. That's the reality of life. It's doubtful if you left you'd have an exciting, sparkly single life again, more likely less money and a need to co parent with your ex.

Lavendersummer · 06/09/2022 16:09

6 years really isn’t very long in a marriage. But it’s long enough for like to start to feel mundane. Especially with DC
Im a strong believer that after the first excitement dims that love is a choice. To continue your marriage you need to choose to love.
Talk to your DH about finding things to do together. Change the family dynamic a bit.
There is a lot to be said for a kind DH who treats you well. The grass most definitely isn’t greener. You need to find ways to reconnect.
Been married nearly 20 years. The intensity of feelings can go up and down. Most important is to spend time with your spouse and keep getting to know them.

AndSoFinally · 06/09/2022 17:51

There's a book called Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay that I found very helpful in your situation. Helped me work through the issues in a structured way and make an informed (rather than gut) decision

howdoesatoastermaketoast · 06/09/2022 18:59

yes is the simple answer. It is possible for relationships to improve as well as deteriorate. The key for me, was emotionally accepting that it was my house, my family, my relationship. And I didn't 'have' to do anything to disrupt or sabotage it because it wasn't living upto some kind of romantic ideal. It wasn't perfect (some days it was horrible) but it was mine.

@twizbe 's advice seems really good to me. It's hard to overstate just how tired a human being can get when the kids are small. Looking back I feel like I was like a zombie for years.

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