Current Situation With Unhappy Marriage - Advice AppreciatedI am now aged 54 and have been married for 28 years. In many ways my wife is a wonderful woman. She is kind and caring, but there have always been issues which have blighted our marriage.
I think when I went into the marriage at the age of 26 I was still very naive. I really liked my wife, but I cannot in all truth say I ever felt a real passion for her. I just assumed that this would come in time – but it never really has.
Even before we were married my wife began to suffer from a good deal of ill health. She had (and still has) intense and regular migraines, which typically put her in bed for three days at a time. She has had many other illnesses and has simply been a sickly person.
This put great strain on me when our children were younger, as I often had to look after them as well as trying to balance a stressful job. Also my wife gave up work as soon as she got pregnant the first time and I have had to be the sole breadwinner ever since.
Another result of the ill health is that she has never been very interested in the sexual aspect of marriage. In the early years sex was sporadic to say the least - although we did have two children - as she conceived both times as soon as we tried for a child. But as soon as she was pregnant there was little more interest in sex again. Sex was always sporadic and then stopped completely.
Up to last autumn I had endured nearly 5 years without sexual contact. I eventually go so fed up that I decided to raise the issue more vociferously than ever before - even if it meant separation. We discussed it and eventually she apologised to me and we began to have a sex life again in December.
However, this did not last long as (completely unrelated) she has developed a prolapse and is waiting for an operation and a couple of months ago she lost all interest again – although she has apologised a few times. I cannot be sure if this medical condition is sufficiently serious to stop sexual activity or not – or is it just another excuse?
However, the events of the last year have made me realise it is not just about sex. We also have little in common and really don’t do much together. I am very active whereas my wife would rather just read a book. I want to travel and experience news things - but she has no such desire.
I know that she really loves me and would be devastated if I were to leave the marriage, but I feel increasingly trapped and unhappy. I told her how I was feeling earlier this week and she just said that I was being very selfish and dissatisfied with my lot. She said that I should be more grateful and thankful and not complain so much.
I truthfully just don’t know what to do. I went into marriage with the naïve view that it was about doing things together and having fun together and that by doing this you would grow together. Now - more and more - I find myself having fun with other people (work colleagues etc) and making excuses to work late because I just don’t want to go home.
I have put up with this unhappiness for so many years – for the sake of the (now grown up) children and now I just wonder if I can stand living like this for maybe another 25-30 years.
Also I am more and more aware of my mortality – not just dying, but concerned that if I don’t do some of the travelling and things I have always wanted to do soon, I will never do it as I get older and perhaps more infirm. I have friends my age who have already had health issues which preclude them from doing a lot.
I would just love to be with someone who I could really share my life with and not just a small part of my life. It is so frustrating every day.
This has been exacerbated in the last couple of years by me working with a younger woman who has the same interest as me. I am sure she is not in the least interested in me other than as a friend (but that doesn’t stop me fantasising that she could be). I doubt anything will ever happen between us, but it has opened my eyes to possibility. What if there is someone out there who would want to do the things I want to do and would want to share what remains of life with me.
So there you have it. Am I just extremely selfish? Should I just accept a small life for the sake of my wife? Or should I say enough is enough?
I know things can never change because of my wife’s ailments, so I either have to put up with it or get out of the marriage and into the unknown. I really feel torn to shreds inside. Can anyone else relate to this?