No Hope

I am a 42 year old male married to a 45 year old woman.  After having been married 9 years, we still don't have a sex life.  It has almost been 6 months since we have last been intimate.  For the sake of our two children (our miracle babies) I feel I cannot leave this marriage.  I just can't break their hearts like that.  So I continue to live in a constant state of functional depression (if that makes sense).  I feel undesired, unloved and unwanted.  After years of this all I feel I can do is to try to foster contempt toward my wife as a way of coping.  After all, if I am angry at her how can I desire her, and if I don't desire her maybe I wont feel the pain of unrequited love.  Of course I try to bury this so I don't act out - I act nice and loving toward my wife in front of the kids.  After the kids are to bed, I just go and do my own thing while she watches TV - she usually ends up going to bed very soon after the kids are down any way.  The funny thing is that she seems pretty ok with how things are. 

I guess this sounds pathetic. I sure feel pathetic.
barelyexisting barelyexisting
11 Responses May 8, 2012

"Once I left I lost tons of weight literally and metaphoricly (spelling) I got more active in hobbies and I am the one with full custody but I found each day was happy..."<br />
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It always amazes me how a poor relationship changes one for the worse. But once out of the marriage, each person does things differently.

How old are your kids? I left my husband for many reasons and this was one of them. I had the lack of desire though leading from his actions and not being an active father or husband. One thing and it took a year of thinking things through, I asked myself, do I want my child to grow up feeling the tension? do I want my daughter to think this is how a marriage is? You can act fine all you want but if there is underlying issues, believe me no matter what age kids will feel it. So going back and forth with myself about it I finally made the best choice, I would rather my girl grow up with two happy parents that are seperate then with two unhappy parents together. Once I left I lost tons of weight literally and metaphoricly (spelling) I got more active in hobbies and I am the one with full custody but I found each day was happy or ended happy no negative so look at what is best for the both of you and your kids, I talked to alot of people whose parents stuck together for the kids and 90% said that they had rather their parents split and be happy, in fact alot of these people blamed theirselves for their parents being unhappy because it was because of them they stayed together

Many of us are in a similar place, with marriages that are really just financial and childraising enterprises. The relationship is a sham marriage, no spark, no communication, no mutual respect, etc, etc. <br />
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I too cannot bear the thought of living without seeing my kids everyday - having them climb on me, play with them, talk to them, have those unexpected moments of joy that randomly happen.<br />
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Take care of yourself, get counseling, do things that make you happy, get in touch with your true self. Only you can change yourself, improve yourself, love yourself. Don't expect happiness to come from your spouse.

Hmmm that is quite sad... So you have stayed in the non working relationship only for kids?

Personally I would never do it... My parents did it, always thought that I did not see that something was wrong.. I really hated that.

They are young (4 and 5.5) so this chapter of the story is still being written. I hate that they are not seeing an example of a loving marriage...

Hopefully the story will be good one :-) I imagine leaving children is very hard... Good friend of mine also lives in very dysfunctional marriage and can not leave... So he got himself a lover, somebody who loves him a who is happy to be with him, when his wife isn't... Maybe not best solution for life, but somehow, I understand him..

Whats the difference between a woman that marries for money without love and a woman who stays for money?<br />
I was you a while back, same age, same kids, same wife.<br />
Challenge some of your thinking and get some perspective, you may be surprised<br />
Good luck

Once I was in similar situation... And I felt unloved and unwanted, much the same way as you have written... And somebody close died around that time and that got me thinking, got me to realize how life is short and that I could really waste my life if I don't do anything fast... <br />
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So I left her... Started living the way I like, started company, got myself motorbike, started really enjoying life, did all the things I always wanted but couldn't... And most importantly I finally stopped living for people that don't deserved it... And never, ever I have regretted that decision ;-)<br />
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And you should do the same in my opinion... You need to find yourself again..Be it with your wife or without her

Pay attention to your feelings. You feel unwanted and unloved. You feel unwanted because you are unwanted. That is the basic reality of your situation. Own that feeling. Think about how you feel when you look at your wife when you desire her. Then put yourself in her shoes. When she looks at you, she thinks "not with a ten foot pole." or "if I hold out longer maybe he will do more things for me." <br />
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I know I did everything, gave everything, trying to win her desire. At some point I had to stop. I could not take it anymore. I felt unwanted BECAUSE I was unwanted. I even felt his way when I never went as long as six months without sex. <br />
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I would encourage you to have a calm discussion with her. Explain how you feel unwanted and unloved, and that it is a VERY serious problem. Ask her what you can do to make her desire you. What she will say will probably suprise you. Most likely she will say "do the dishes more often" or some variation of that. Then you will do those things...and it won't change anything. <br />
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Some members here have had success going to a sex therapist. None have reported that marriage counseling works that I have seen. Some can turn it around, it is a small percentage.

YouI feel undesired, unloved and unwanted. Because you are undesired, unloved, unwanted. Unilateral decision on your sex life, great example of loving behavior. Hmm.<br />
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One of the big predictors of divorce that John Gottman studied - there were 4 - the biggest was contempt. You've got that as part of your coping strategy.<br />
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Whatever you would like some fairy to bestow, the most likely outcome here is divorce. Even if you don't "want" it, either your wife will do it, or your unconscious mind will do what it needs to do.<br />
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Because staying in the current circumstances is harming you, and no matter what you may think you will do for the kids, you will likely find that you have no choice but to change the situation.

It breaks children's hearts to grow up around parents who harbor secret resentments towards each other. Also, you have a full-time job? Right, so how many hours are you really spending with your children? What about living under the same roof but legally separated? Living under the same roof with an open-marriage aggrement. Sounds like the wife is very, very comfortable living like brother and sister. She is also using some weird reasoning to get you to buy into maintaining her comfort zone. Think for yourself, and stay for your own reasons at the very least, not some nutty logic that people are loved who waste their lives in dysfunctional marriages. Maybe that is what she is replicating, what her parents had, that was her model? Right? Both of you could use some therapy, together or separately, doesn't matter. Personal growth is needed here.

If it actually mattered to your problem it would be ironic to reflect that your wife is her mother by all accounts, and she would appear to be aware of the fact. It's almost as if she raised the issue of her father deliberately to point that out. I wonder whether it is genetic or learned behaviour or a combination of the two?<br />
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If you are absolutely determined to stick it out because of the children may I suggest that you show them plenty of physical affection, to show them that it perfectly normal and nothing to be apprehensive or afraid of. It also makes a point to your wife too. As therapy it may well be beneficial to you too. Oh, take charge of their education as far as relationships and sex education is concerned as well. It does not matter whether it is the father or mother does it, just that it is the right person does it.

Right now, the children are young (3 and 8) and very happy. The only joy in my life is their laughter. Maybe I'm making it sound like some sort of self sacrifice that I'm staying in it for the kids - but I don't want to have them only half of the time. Also, my wife has often told of how much she loved and respected her father for not separating from her mom until the kids were grown.

Have I got this right ? If you stay, your missus will 'love and respect you', but will not act lovingly and respectfully toward you while you stay ??

That last line raises enormous alarm bells. She's well aware of what she's doing.

"Also, my wife has often told of how much she loved and respected her father for not separating from her mom until the kids were grown."

So she knows what she is doing and is pre-emptively trying to stop you taking action!

...and, of course, your wife would see that as excellent behaviour, because it plays into exactly what she wants from you... that's called "conflict of interest" in the business world...

Wow, as others have said that last line speaks volumes. A woman often uses her father as a template for what a man should be. You are not her father. Your desire to protect the kids is a good one. But if it is a dysfunctional marriage what do the kids learn from it? Before the lawyer see a therapist. I know I say this every time, but a therapist helped me get out of bad marriage with my sanity intact. Good Luck whatever path you choose.

2 More Responses

You are new on here "barely". <br />
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I figure you probably read a story or two before joining, and posting, so you have a bit of a heads up as to the responses you'll attract.<br />
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I'll stick to my hackneyed old line that you need to see a lawyer in your jurisdiction to see how a divorce would shake out. And from that information, knock an exit strategy into do-able shape.<br />
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There, will be your alternative to remaining in this situation. You might decide to use it, you might have that decision thrust upon you. Or you might never use it. But if you have that do-able exit strategy, you will start making your choices ba<x>sed on YOUR best interests.<br />
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There is no point in making YOUR choices on a basis of "what's good for the marriage", as in truth, there is no marriage. Your spouse checked out a while back. The co-habitation exists in its' present form for the benefit of just one of the spouses. And you, are not that spouse.<br />
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Tread your own path.