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Marriage Is Hard, Is It Worth It?

My husband and I are like every couple, we go through the ups and downs of marriage.  The problem is that the downs out number the ups and are far worse than the ups are good.

I am lonely.  I can't put into words why though.  Other than we don't talk, we never hook up in the bedroom, and he skulks around the house like his life is miserable he is a good person.  He loves our children and is a very interactive father.  He doesn't beat me, have affairs , do drugs, or gamble away our money.  He comes home at night, sits down to dinner, helps with the dishes, homework, and putting the kids to bed.  I don't have a reason to complain.  Why do I feel so lonely then? 

I wish I could explain how it is here.
thunderbird thunderbird 31-35, F 43 Responses Oct 14, 2007

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If like me you've found out that the passion and interest has gone from your marriage, then I understand how you feel! I am still attracted to my wife and want so much more for us in a good sharing marriage but she is content just going through the motions. It is hard to work out what to do. There are so many things she won't speak about or put on the table to sort out which affects the other good areas of our marriage and as the list of taboo subjects grows, the good areas grow smaller and smaller. She won't divorce because she believes what's done is done but what a way to live our lives where she is content for a marriage missing such vital elements and hopes that I will be ok with it too since we never speak about it or what the future holds.

Has he spoken to you about how things are?

I've just seen this post is 7 years old so I hope there has been some great progress for you! So i'll post this anyway

Thunderbird,

Sorry to be off topic, but I love your car.

On topic, may I suggest that you both need a change from everyday life ? Do something different together. Take a vacation, just you two. Put the children elsewhere for a night and surprise him with willing, wanton sex. Have a deep, intense conversation, uninterrupted, and honestly discuss how you feel. The man loves you, he'll listen if you pick the right time and don't slap him upside the head with it.

Why are you settling for this! take your life in your own hands and stir- things up. Start talking to him and tell him you need romance, not just sex, which your aren't getting either, but romance! women need romance. Tell him to start suing his words and don't cut off his balls because he isn't a woman. Study and find out how men are different then women. Melt your life together with activities together. Join a activity together. Get going and get your life back together If he doesn't want to divorce him and find someone else that is alive

I can relate.
perhaps it is the lack of that connection. lack of affection. lack of interest in each other. Maybe you do not purposely set aside time to be alone and be romantic. This is true in my marriage but my wife is not capable of these things due to her mental illnesses and so, I lead a lonely life and have come to the conclusion: is that really so bad ? I can count on myself and do not need anyone else around as they tend to disappoint me, put me down, bring me down, beat me down, or hold me back. I think if I were all alone I could manage to be happy ! I do have my 3 young boys (ages 9, 7 and 4) to think about and they are my world right now. Without them, I know life would not be the same quality it is now.

agree with akscott men are really different than women not always bad but being in a long marriage we are more like casual friends than lifemates.i don't know why this happens,i try not to get my hopes up w/my husband,expect too much and try not too get too close cause I just end up getting hurt everytime.all marriages seems to grow apart its just a matter of time.

Ask him what is bothering him or why he might be unhappy. You might be surprised at the response.

I think I married your husband's twin.

Great guy all around but just a very emotionally distant husband. Am guessing as women, all of this is nice and good, what our husbands do and we are thankful for it but we want something more, an emotional connection, not a whole lot but maybe a little romance, a need to be treated more than a mother, cook, housekeeper etc.

There is something very satisfying to have someone just listen when we talk especially when the talk does not revolve around usual household stuff, kids etc. As for the not hooking up, I live in that town too and I think everyone has a basic need to feel wanted and loved, it's a basic human emotion ...hopefully your hubby wakes up to that 9 so does mine ).

You know what I do everytime I have a girlfriend or boyfriend. I always look at how bad other treat their spouse and then I look at mine. Just sit back and look at it, look at home many times husband disrespect their wife, how many times you see on the news where a man beats his wife, a man has an affair and gets another woman pregnant. Just look at all that and look at your husband and thank God that you have him and he don't treat you like that. Then if you want more sex where the kids are not around out of no where give him a blow job and then ask him to do it to you. I am telling you it works.

Have you talked to him about it?? Just be like, "I've noticed that you seem unhappy, what can I do to help? or Do you want to talk about it?" But, don't push! If he feels like you're pushing or pressuring him, he'll withdraw farther. I hope things work out for you.

I lived that life for a long time, until I found someone temporarly. Didn't change anything but how much I truly liked my life with my hubby. Fast forward 15 years and was faithful that whole time. Well he found my best friend. Or should I say she became my friend to take my hubby. He left me for her. He regrets it. My advice marriage is not a life sentence but it is worth working your butt off to keep it going. If I could do it all over again I would be celebrating my 30th anniversary instead of only 28. Hang in there, talk talk talk. the grass in never greener on the other side.

You feel lonely because you and your hubby no longer, er, stimulate each other. It might be that you have just became busier people, and while you don't mean too, you just take each other from granted.

You need to try and talk to him and see whether you can get the communication and the spark back....I am sure it existed at some point. Last resort you could always get a sitter for the kids, and take yourselves away for a weekend. ;-)

Best of luck! xoxo

Wow, maybe you guys got too busy with work and kids that forgot about the two of you as a couple. Have you talked to him?? My husband is totally opposite, no work, no help with kids, no help w the house. Hope it gets better.

ThAt guy sounds a lot like me. For me it is simple. My wife treats me with no respect. She is controlling and abusive. I get blamed for everything. All I do is work while she runs around with her girlfriends and spends us into debt. So I work more. So she spends more. Now she threatens divorce constantly. It's a power thing. I get no affection. Not even a kiss. Never a thank you. Yet I keep trying. I don't know why. Over the years I've just grown numb. Girls if you are reading this. Save your marriage by respecting your hard working man. Thank him often encourage and support him. Have great sex often and at least pretend to want and desire him. We aren't stupid just different. Sorry for the rant. I had a bad day

i spend alot of time working while he hasnt had a job in 5 years and loves spending his time on tv............how do you respect a guy like that?

sonds like hes being everything but your friend and husband,your being neglected,he sounds like a good guy,and is probably tired if hes working and doing all thatstuff at home to,he seems to half kind of left you to yourself,

Your missing the time out together, so schedule it and see if he will agree, at least once a month. With my marriage, we went out every Friday night, for the last 30 years, so that works.

because their is no intimacy no quality time. he is providing all the basic means for the family and household but forgetting the private needs of the woman he is suppose to love and make feel beautiful and safe...I know because I have your same cry. you want to know that your wanted and appreciated you want to be physically LOVED!.....me too and because that desire for you he use to have is not there you feel lonely! they think providing is enough!

Does not sound like like together time because of work or kids. All couples have to have time out even if someone baby sits two hours a week. Set a date, order tickets and child care. Yea it cost but you can fine a way if you care about keeping your marriage another 50 years.

I don't know what your marital situation is now (since you wrote this back in 2007) but try bringing the affection back into your marriage. Maybe it's too soon for sex, (since it's been so long), but try hugging, holding hands, etc. Thank him for being a good husband and father. It sounds like he loves you and the kids and he probably feels lonely too. It sounds like you both need to be more affectionate and maybe that will lead to more spice in the bedroom. :)

Sounds like the emotional bond is broken between the two of you. We all need to feel wanted and loved. To just cuddle and be hugged sometimes. Sure, sex is important....but shouldn't it be Making Love, not just sex? My wife and I have lost that emotional bond.....it's just two people living in the same house.

Just my 2 cents

because a woman needs to ravaged sexually from time to time.... just to remind her that she's a woman.

same here ...a lack of passion and fun. everything too proper...but hubby seems perfectly happy with things that way. if i try to talk to him, hes offended. seems what makes him happy should be all i need too. it is lonely. i feel for you x

I can tell you that there are two possible explanations.

1). You have fallen into a routine and have ignored each others needs. You don't communicate about it, and just let it be. This leads to complacency, which leads to boredom, which leads to dissatisfaction, and that leads to badness.

2). You love each other but aren't in love with each other.

Human beings live by the hedenic principle. Big events tend to degrade aggressively in our mind, for example the day you get married. If that truly made is happy, no one would get divorced. It's the little things that make us happy. Platonic relationships, small displays of affection, and tiny daily events. These things define happiness for us.

So if we don't put the effort to do more than the routine then we will not be happy. And this goes for any marriage. This isn't Disney and most of us don't just love happily ever after. It requires patience and work.

I think you need to have some fun together without the children if possible. It sounds like from what you are saying the marriage is a little stuck and its easy to get into unhealthy habits - believe me I know. Also maybe meet with your own friends and have some fun!

You do not have any intimacy in your life, something that everyone needs. You want to feel like you are desired and wanted and to be kissed and feel like a woman.

I don't know why you are lonely but you should consider yourself lucky. He helps with the kids and helps around the house as well as going to work that is truly a blessing. Maybe you should plan a date night once a month with him, get a baby sitter and you guys go out on a date. Or plan a weekend get away some times when we are married our relationship becomes too routine. Try something different you both might need some excitement.

Perhaps he's lonely, too. Knowing what little I do about your marriage, this looks fixable. For your sake I pray I am right. Some of us here aren't so lucky.

I wish you would be more specific, why do you not talk? Is it because he doesn't want to or because he doesn't hear what you are saying, or maybe because you both don't want to. Why do you not hook up in the bedroom? Because, a lack of turn on, no one is trying, or maybe because he is not interested. I am sorry you are not happy, however it sounds like nothing that can not be changed.

You need more from life. There is no passion. Life is passing by...

I agree, you only go around once and this isn't practice.

For the most part the parts about marriage that are bad overshadow the good that should be there. The day after day heatrbreak and lonliness out weigh the good feelings that once were there. I have found that there is a place in marriage where even having sex does no touch the deep down sadness of realizing you are in a dead end relationship that has a 1 % chance of making you really happy or fulfilled. Why stay married if you have to drink, drug, cheat, hoard, become a shopaholic or some other crazy coping mechanism just to survive in it? What is the point anyway, when the love is gone and the sex is old/bad/uninspired/stale?

I agree if the love is gone it is not fair to you or the person that loves you to stay. Except make sure the love is gone, before you give up.

Have u guys tride a date night with just u two no talk about kids or work just u two.I know with me and my husben we try to do this one a mouth sometims we cant but it has help use alot.I think every one need that sometime

break the routine. You need life to have a bit of a spark and a surprise. Do something together that you have not done before or at least not for a long time. When I say you, I mean both of you.

I have no idea what a good marriage feels like. i've had three and this one is the longest prolonged agony. i definitely want out, but the economy is awful.

Is nice to hear that I am not along. On the outside my husband will be perfect for anybody, but in our marriage, I've been feeling miserable, like I don't matter at all. His friends are a priority, and he spends time on the phone hearing the problems of a female realtor, but has no time for us.<br />
Aniversaries, birthdays etc are not important for him. I cought him cheating a couple of times, and I don't have the energy or stamina to be searching telephone bills, checking e-mails etc. I am really tired of trying. We have been marry 20 years, but almost 30 that we we know each other. We have two girls, 8 and 14. Like I said , I am tired, he is not the kind that likes to talk about his feelings etc. so that's it in a nutshell.

I am in the same situation.. I would never try to offer advice when I'm in the same place.. good man, no cheating blah blah blah.. but I feel totally alone also... I think he cares,, but then again, I'm not sure.. <br />
this may not make you feel any better, but its good to know there are others out there like me. <br />
tomorrow why not try to do ONE thing that will make you feel great!? focus of happiness.. focus on YOU... we spend so much time trying to make THEM happy...Dont give up if you love him...good men are hard to find.. .. if you dont believe me, just read posts...

I understand. Could it be that your marriage lacks intimacy? emotional and sexual intimacy are the two main things that keep a couple in love. My marriage lacked that for the 4 of out 5 years that I have been married.<br />
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Two weeks ago, I threw in the towel. We are now putting things in place to go our separate ways.<br />
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Of note, my H is a wonderful guy, nice, strong decent....any woman would be so very happy to have him. BUT he and I just did not have that emotional and sexual "connection". We lost it along the way.<br />
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Of note also, we still love each other very much and are parting as friends. We look at it as setting each other free.<br />
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Please read my stories....

When you decide to share a life with someone and expect it to work successfully it does mean sharing everything...if you hold some part of it back it is separation and opens an opportunity for that part to grow...however there is always the opportunity in every relationship to change the way it has been to something different and you have taken the first steps in doing that....<br />
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1. You have recognised your own unhappiness the result of loneliness..<br />
2. You have expressed it which is the first step to finding a solution..<br />
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Next step is to realise that running away from a situation is never the answer to unhappiness unless you are in physical danger, which you are not...<br />
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Recovery lies in communication...if you do not express to each other how you are feeling with the intention of improving your relationship with each other then your lives with each other cannot change for the better....<br />
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He is probably feeling the same way.....and wishes it were different too ... make the first move express how you feel without blaming him ...he sounds like a good man and husband....help him nurture that...by telling him what his good points are....and how good a husband you think he is....and see this as something that is not difficult to fix if you both work together to fix it....<br />
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Next step is communication with yourself.... nothing outside of yourself is causing your loneliness.... loneliness like all other negative feelings are your own work through your thoughts and perceptions... your outside environment helps to mould your perceptions of how things are....there is always another way of looking at your outside world and you always have the power to change it ... begin to look for positive outcomes from negative situations...they are always there constantly if you look hard enough.....teach yourself to believe that and you will train yourself to look for them...and walla you have re-created your own future....and your belief in yourself grows and so does your wisdom and everything around seems to change for the better just how you saw it....<br />
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If you would like your husband to change then think of one small thing that is nice about him and or what he does...and tell him....dont make a big deal out of it.... just mention it...one every day and it wont be long he will start to look for things he can compliment you on....and will start doing it back....and happiness will begin to grow in both your worlds...<br />
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You will gradually start doing that with stuff around you too... you will start saying to him things maybe like... look at how vibrant that flower is etc etc... you are very creative it is your feminine nature so you wont have to try very hard to do this....just decide to do it...

great advice.. but what about what I need? why am I the one who has to tell him how great he is? and how long do I do this with no response? most of your post is very thought provoking. I'm saving it.. thanks..

I totally understand how you feel. I feel the same many times. Just not connected like we once were for whatever reason. Just this deep sense of abandonment

Wow... Just when you think you're alone. This was the story of my life, before my husband almost killed himself. I am telling you. My husband DID everything for me, he is the best husband a woman could ask for. Always put me first, always planned trips and vacations, always was the one wanting to be intimate with me. ME never wanting $ex.... <br />
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I think when you get married, you have expectations, and when you buy the house and the dog and the kids come, everything changes. You financial freedom changes. It becomes a totally different life, then when you guys were just in love and having a good time. I dont have children yet, but I have enough friends who do, and see how crazy their lives are. Children are a blessing and hopefully one day I will have them. However , feeling lonely in a marriage has to do with the individual. The fact that you " dont talk and are not having an kind of intimacy is a HUGE red flag. You are both walking around the house being miserable people. I suggest if you havent already try counseling. Do you still love him?? Do you want to be with him ? Can you see yourself growing old with him? Ask yourself these answers... and if most of them are no. Dont even bother with the counseling because it would seem that your mind is set. <br />
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Listen it's hard to leave a mariage when kids are involved. However, you shouldn't stay in a marriage if you are unhappy either. Children sense everything. <br />
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I am currently getting seperated from my husband, because he and I have a lot of work to do. On ourselves and with one another. I know he is the man for me, and I love him with all my heart, however there are issue's that need to be address and I just got tired of being unhappy, drinking everynight because I hated my life. <br />
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Don't wait until it's too late to leave. Be fare to him too. He is unhappy, wouldn't you want him to be happy as well. <br />
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Good Luck! <br />
Magic25

Is this my wife because the man you are describing sounds just like me... I might be able to shed some light on it for you.

What you are feeling is not abnormal. I battle with this often. My husband is a great person, but I agree that I am lonely as well. The reason for my loneliness is that we are just not as connected as I hoped for. Just because the negative things don't take place in your marriage, doesn't mean things should be great. There is a such things are growing apart or not being equally yoked.

I think the therapy answer was good and the talking. You don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Sometimes we need to talk with someone like a counselor because they are not so close to us that they cant see. Good luck. I feel lonely too. I think I am not communicating my needs or maybe not aware enough of them till I 'feel ' something or am aggrravated. H e has needs too that I need to respect as equal as my own.

"I can't put into words why though. Other than we don't talk, we never hook up in the bedroom, and he skulks around the house like his life is miserable he is a good person. "<br />
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That's a little like the question asked by a news reporter after Lincoln was shot: "Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?" <br />
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Don't settle for a painful relationship. You were not created to be a lonely person. So don't give in to the lethargy - don't squander your life. Do something about it. Your post states that "I don't have a reason to complain." WTF? You have every reason to complain. You agreed to marriage vows about love and cherishing your spouse. Is that happening? No. If he has turned away from you and won't say why, how is that any less a betrayal of the promise he made to you than an affair would be? It goes to the heart of your promises to each other. If he doesn't love you any more, make him say it - or choose not to say it. Either way, force him to deal with it head on. It is that important. <br />
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I would expect that the first thing to do is talk with him. I think the only way you can do that and communicate well is if you prepare yourself to talk about the unthinkable - that you could leave him over this. If you prepare yourself to go there, then the "untalkable" becomes something you can actually discuss. It might be a relief to him to hear you raise it, as he might well feel compelled to keep it inside for fear of hurting or "betraying" you. You could also learn that he feels he has lost you, and he is hurting and lonely inside just as much as you are. If that is the case he might be anxious about actually talking with you about it; as long as it stays inside, you haven't said "No" to him. So don't be surprised if this has evolved from years with poor communication, fatigue, maybe depression etc., where a grey world somehow became the norm. <br />
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You must communicate with him or this prison of the heart will be yours to live in for the rest of your life.

WOW! i feel your story but the funny thing is im the husband - i cant stand to be at home and i feel so depressed. my wife looks at me and can see that im tired of life. i believe it is because we are two different people and dont have much in common. But i love her dearly, and would do anything for her. We have one kid that is the world to me and it seems that he is the only one keeping me together. Me and the wife have no spark in the bed and it kills me just the same old thing. I use to be a wild guy and get down when it came to the bed now its dead. Her sexual drive is zombie and so then she boars me - to the point of me finding intrest in other girls - and it hurts my heart to feel this way but i do. My wife has a friend that is always around and at time i see myself and her friend flirting with eachother - you can tell that nothing will ever happen but when we look at eachother you can see that (only if)... I start thinking about old girl friends and other wemon i could have been with and it depress me cause i love my wife. My boy once told me once a wolf always a wolf i dont want to think like that. I think that for you girls and wemon if you could buy something sexy suprise your man in the bed room not just once in awhile but here and there, dont make it like he always has to make the moves, your married now and its 50-50 you dig. I hate feeling this way if you guys have any advice for me please dont be scared to share thank you.

I appreciate your advise "in the bedroom" stuff to make it more exciting for Him. As a woman, I would want to know how my man is "feeling" about things. I would take a chance and talk to her about it and furthermore you buy her something sexy..write her a romantic letter and tell her all the naughty things you want to do to her... But most important .... Make her feel like she is the sexiest most beautiful woman you have ever seen and you want to give her the world. Good luck ;) I hope this helps!

I too can relate. My wife is not some awful person that everyone would tell me to leave, but there is an emptiness. An emptiness that just seems to get deeper everyday. Selfishly, I just want to feel wanted here and there. I am so tired of 'hooking up' being an item that is checked off of a mental checklist. My advice is to confront it with him. Talk about it. Get counseling if necessary. Hopefully, that will shed some light on what you are feeling so it can be worked on together. And if that all fails, I am sorry because I do not have any other advice besides pray and pray and pray. Unfortunately that is where I am at and I wish a had a better ending to give, but like you I want more that just a cooperation of two people. I want to feel and be loved.