Lonely Marriage

I have been married for 24 years and sexless for 20 years. I'm at the point that I don't know what to do anymore. I don't want to keep living my life like this. I don't think that it is ever going to change for the better. No matter how hard I try it doesn't make any difference. I am the only one trying. We are two people who live in the same house but have no relationship at all. We don't spend much time together including talking or sharing meals. I moved upstairs because I would rather be totally alone than feel all alone when my spouse is in the same room.

Last year was the worst year of my life. I was having some serious health issues, dealing with constant severe pain, and went through menopause at the same time. I had no help or support from my spouse or friends. I ended up very depressed. I decided that no one understood what I was going through and no one was going to help me. The only thing that I could do was to help myself. That is when things really started going downhill in our relationship. I started thinking about myself and what I needed to do to get healthy. I tried to open up to my husband about my feelings and unhappiness which I always held inside. That's when I was told that I was being selfish.

I went to counceling by myself to try to figure things out on my own. Then I asked my husband to go to marriage counceling, he refused, said it wasn't necessary. He did go to counceling once on his own. He told me that the counselor said he didn't need it because everything was my fault not his. Funny thing is I've never heard of a therapist say that before. Either he did not see a qualified therapist or he didn't tell the whole story. So we are back to everything being my fault.

I believe that marriage should be a partnership with both parties having equal responsibility. Relationships need to grow and change. Each partner needs to help the other. Maybe that is just my fantasy. I do know that I didn't get married to spend my life alone. How can you work on making it better when one person is in denial that anything is wrong or that any fault is theirs? All I am in this marriage is the housekeeper, cook, handyman, and second income. He has never taken any responsibility to help take care of anything. He only comes home to eat, sleep, watch tv and use the computer.

I am taking this entire year as my own personal journey to make myself a better person. I decided to make productive use of my time alone in my room upstairs. I went back to school for something that I have always been passionate about. I am working vey hard to get myself healthy. I have lost 25 pounds so far and feel much better physically. I still struggle mentally and emotionally. I have always struggled with low self esteem. That is the hardest thing to overcome and probably the root of my issues. The constant rejection, denial and blame from my husband only makes how I feel about myself worse. No matter what I do it will never be good enough.

All I want to do is to laugh and have fun again. I want to share my life with someone who truly cares about me and wants to spend time with me. Is that too much to ask? Is that being selfish? I don't know if I can ever let go of the anger, resentment, and pain. I was denied the chance of ever being a mother. That would have required sex or a miracle. My husband has had erectile dysfunction for 20 years and not willing to seek help for it. Somehow that is my fault too. I don't want to be alone anymore. I've already missed out on the best years of my life. I don't know what to do anymore. Can anyone give me some advice?
SunflowerSue SunflowerSue
46-50, F
13 Responses Jul 8, 2012

Oh Sue, I was told I was being selfish as well. {hug}<br />
I was also in a 20+ year relationship. Publicly, everyone thought we were doing well. Privately, we were a mess.<br />
You're doing great. The self-improvement, the analyzation of priorities...keep it up!<br />
I'm relatively confident on the path your relationship is heading down, but you need to discover that for yourself. Keep doing what you're doing, and continue to access the advice of the ILIASM folks...they are/were a life-enabler for me.

Thanks for the positive support. I think this is the only place I'm going to receive any support at all. Same with me, everyone else thinks our relationship is just fine including my husband. Are you still together? I have a tough decision to make which involves giving up everything that I've worked so hard for. But a house is just a frame of wood when it's not filled with love.

You are so right...
So, are we still together? I am in the process of divorcing him. He moves out next week. In the end, it came down to weighing my personal happiness against creature comforts. It proved to be a no-contest decision.

If you're curious about taking that path, do your research before you write off certain outcomes. There are lots of websites and many bright folks right here within the ILIASM group that can help.

{dancing a near-freedom jig}

Sue, I see you just joined EP. Welcome to ILIASM. In case you think the advice you've received (Leave!) is a bit harsh, please keep reading here. Read a lot (hundreds) of the stories here, and the comments, and things will become crystal clear. <br />
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As people have noted here, read up on narcissism and emotional abuse. Read up on "The Talk" and the "Exit Plan". <br />
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I was married 27 years, the last 12 years sexless and without physical affection. I left in 2009. Three years later, my life is so completely different I can hardly believe it. <br />
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Trying to survive is not selfish. Taking care of your health is not selfish. And he lied about what the therapist told him. You must think of yourself, or doom yourself to a life of misery. Sounds like you are off to a great start. Keep doing all that you have begun, always with an eye to the future. What you are wishing for is not too much to ask, it is what we all want. I hope you get it someday soon.

Time to start preparing yourself to live without him. You know what your life will be like if you stay. You only get one shot at life, half of yours has been screwed up but you still have a lot of life to live. Dont make the same mistake twice. Enjoy life and do what is best for YOU.

Why you, women tie themselves up with a men?<br />
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Being alone is hard, but being with someone like that is one hundred times worst<br />
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You are blind, seriously, there is a serious problem in you becouse so many years of pain...<br />
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Ask God that find a good men for you, he is the only one that can do it.

If this is your position (Quoting you here) - "I believe that marriage should be a partnership with both parties having equal responsibility. Relationships need to grow and change. Each partner needs to help the other"<br />
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Then you choice is clear.<br />
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Wind this union up. Now.<br />
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It does not blow a breeze up the arse of what you describe as the characteristics of a marriage you want to be in.<br />
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Tread your own path.

I started joining clubs and groups, even going to church, just to get away from the house and be open to people. I work each day but that is not enough, knowing I go home to nothing. If I have a flinge that is fine. I won't start it but sure know how to work it.

It sounds like you've already taken some positive steps in your life. Keep distancing yourself from him and work on you. Develop your exit strategy. I just don't think after this long he is ever going to be willing to change. Why should he? It sounds like he is getting what he wants out of the relationship. Don't be his "blamee" for everything anymore. You DO deserve better.

This is a case where I have to say: there is no "marriage" to save. Save yourself. You already tried to save him too, and he refused. Life's too precious. Go have a life. You deserve to be appreciated.

I'm a professional psychologist. Your Husband was lying when he said the counsellor told him everything was you fault.

"He told me that the counselor said he didn't need it because everything was my fault not his."<br />
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That pretty much clinches it for me. Your husband is not only hopeless, he takes you for an imbecile.<br />
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I can't offer you any advice other than the glaringly obvious, which is to leave him and begin living your life to the fullest. You still have plenty years ahead of you.

you and TxDad need to get together, ditch your spouses, and run for the g*dmned hills!

Those were not the best years of your life, they were your 20's and 30's. How about making the next 20plus years of your life fantastic? You've endured enough. Low self esteem got you this man, lets see how well you'll choose when you hold yourself in healthy esteem! <br />
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If nothing else, this new path should at the very least prove much more fun than beating your head against a wall of indifference and apathy.