An I The One Who Needs A Sanity Check?

I thought I would share an update today or non update to ease some frustration. Frankly I am not sure if I even should be frustrated or feel anything anymore.

I am not one to give up easily. I believe in setting realistic and challenging goals and working towards them. I am by no means perfect but after today I wonder if I am the one who needs a reality check!

I woke up early this morning and set out on putting a romantic night that I have been planning for a few days in motion. Being an early riser I went for a swim and then off to buy a nice outfit for the evening. A few hours later I get a text from my husband asking where I am and what I am up to. I asked him if he checked the note hanging from the door of his bedroom (sadly its been separate bedrooms for over 4 years). Here u had the whole day planned out: a romantic scavenger hunt throughout our home and vast acreage. Yesterday I created numerous hearts that when put together form a rose. 12 pieces all together and he didn't even bother reading the first one that literally had to have been right in front of his eyes. So here I an thinking ... Ok minor setback no problem we can get back on track. By this time I have ground an tasteful and yet accentuating dress and associated accessories and was off to the next stop on my list. Another text comes in ... I found your note but why didn't you tell me where you were going (hmm I left at 7in the morning and wanted to let him sleep in? He asked me to come home so we could spend the afternoon together. I get home and well one plus ... Someone is shaven, dressed and ready for a fun day. While he is playing with our kitten I ask if he had found the next two clues to our evening. Well the answer cones back that he didn't know there were more. Gee the first one did say check your phone at 1pm. So yes I programmed certain texts to be sent at specific hours that required knowing some really basic things like his birthday our anniversary etc in order to unlock the location of the next clue (they were all within about 200m not 2 acres!

So back to the story ... Ever the optimist I say ok well let's call plan a a disaster and go to plan b. one of the later clues would have led him to figure out that i arranged a couples massage and spa treatments yada yada. So off we go to the spa together. He tells me that what I did was very sweet but that I know he hates surprises and that he thought that when I left to go shopping that I was taken somewhere. I find that a little odd since we live in a very safe community and seriously? I may have just had my back fused but I am no pushover.

Anyway the spa and massage was great but then I had planned for us to run a little intimate errand to buy some massage oil for home to continue the theme. I was told that I don't need to buy fancy lingerie and intimate oils to be with him ... Plain old canola oil would do. At this point I think ok it's just his odd sence of humor but he was actually serious.

So I thought ok we've been together for over 12 years married for close to ten lets go for broke and move to plan c. I told him that I have dessert all planned out but would like to take him out to dinner first to anywhere he would like. He says he has no idea where to go so why don't we just stop at the grocery store and pick up a few things to make dinner together. While not quite the plan I go along with it; who can complain about a romantic dinner at home. I get a call from one if my parents so he decided to go inside the store on his own to pick up a few items. Fast forward 20 min and he comes back with a ore cooked dinner ham and animal crackers. I didnt quite get it so I asked him what he would like me to make with these items. "just throw the ham in the oven and we can eat it" he says. At this pint I am somewhere between bewildered and shocked. I thought well at least we could watch a movie together something to resurrect this day. Nope we sat there watching food shows recorded on the dvr.

Suffice it to say I am beyond the end of my ripe by now. Since I don't want to say something I will regret I opt to keep quiet. He asks me what is wrong as if this whole day didn't blow up in my face. I was close to fuming and so just ignored him. He said well if I wanted him to make love to me that we could do that any time ... Really so what have the last 4 + years been ? It would also be nice to know that WE wanted to do so.

Hours pass and as if nothing has happened he says out of the blue let's plan a rv trip to the Rockies because we never do anything ... What??? Finally we go to bed separately. After handling all of the medical things that need doing just as I was about to turn in he again says why don't you plan a trip for us. So I bluntly say that every trip that I have planned hasn't turned out so well. (there were a few medivacs from the islands a couple of years ago to mention only one disaster of many ). But I try to look at this as an opportunity and ask him to plan something. His comment was "do you want me too?" ... No I just said that for the heck of it!

So here I am slapped in the face, frustrated with nowhere to turn. My self esteem is somewhere between the a deep hole and quicksand.

Seriously I didn't know romance died after marriage. Oh and apparently he is afraid of having sex because he doesn't want to hurt my back. Gee a more creative excuse would seem fitting after today!

I am officially out of ideas. I love my husband but don't know where to go from here. U know he loves me too but a brief kiss and watching tv just first dms it for me.

I was hoping to be physically exhausted today not emotionally drained.
Lonelyleo Lonelyleo
31-35, F
12 Responses Sep 17, 2012

Well, when reading of your day, my inner Sistah rose up, "talk to the hand" attitude engaged, and said

"Girl, you gotta stop making a fool of yo'self for this man! How many times does he have to tell you he not IN-TO you? "

I have also been known to go to extraordinary lengths to ignite a spark.

-buying a following the directions of the book 101Nights of Great Sex, he wouldnt do his part, so I threw away the book

-buying provocative, risque lingerie and sex toys

-silly fun like filling the bedroom with balloons, buying edible paint, sexy board games

-mood creating with candles, smoke machine, decore

-Costumes, wigs, mardi-gras mask......

-Buying and burning book 101 nights of Great sex a second time when he promised to participate, but did so in a lukewarm fashion


When I did these things, I told myself it's what any good sex partner would do. Well, in a healthy relationship, I would get top points in all categories! But in the context of our relationship, it spoke of a sad desperation, was pathetic, and ultimately deeply humiliating!

Now, I can look back, feel sad for who I had become. Now I've suppressed this fun creative side of me, I cannot risk being that vulnerable again.

Not unless it's with a healthy specimen of manhood, that is!

Damm... I had the same book... and had to rhrow it away too...

There is a kernel of hope that has emerged.

That being that you have gone from an absolute position - "I would never leave my husband", to an open position - "As I think about it it is not inconceivable but it is definitely scary".

If you get nothing else out of the comments here other than that critical shift in thinking, you'll have got a bargain.

Because now, with an open attitude to all the options, you are playing with a full deck, and that's the only way you are going to work you way through this. That, and the judicous use of choice.

Tread your own path.

Forget that you had a wedding a number of years ago, and focus on what's real. You two have been sleeping seperately for several years and do not have an intimate relationship.

I'm not clear on what you expected here - are you trying to prove something to yourself, to him, or was it actually to woo a romantic evening out of him? While I understand that you are kicking in the afterburners here to woo him, these actions would be more effective in the context of a more functional intimate relationship, rather than in getting someone TOWARD that stage.

Lemme 'splain. If you asked ME out on a first date, and went to those lengths, I might think you were sweet, but I'd also think it was overkill and I'd wonder if you were crazy. That's because I don't know you and have little emotional investment in you, and more importantly, I don't believe you have any such investment in me. So I'd look sideways at these actions and think you were crazy, because we don't yet have that kind of relationship.

The two of you might have had a wedding a long time ago, but you presently don't have the kind of relationship where actions like this make sense to him. You would have to develop a relationship with him, find out who he is, who you are, and see if you dig each other first.

Thank you for the analysis here. When I look at it from this perspective the result makes more sense. However to answer your initial question I was trying to bring back what we once had. I guess I didn't think that a decade would erase the close and physically intimate relationship I once had with my husband. This is definitely a sobering post and I need to think my situation through before proceeding.
Unfortunately I am facing surgery late this week and he will be as well in the not too distant future. I had hoped that we could begin resolving our issues and moving forward before then but I have maybe approached it the wrong way.

It sounds like the two of you are going to face a reckoning, one way or another.

I don't know if you get that home renovation reality show "Holmes on Homes" where you are, but the format is that this contractor comes in to fix something in a house. They start pulling up boards and looking at plumbing, electrical, furnace, etc. They end up ripping out walls and sewer and the homeowners are always surprised at how extensive the damage is, or the construction flaws. Often enough, the ***** the thing down to the wood skeleton and even load bearing beams are buttressed or even moved, outright. Then they put it back together. By the end of it, the only thing that's the same is the footprint of the house and sometimes the foundation. They always stand, mouth agape as Holmes explains the ruin in which they were existing. But the implied lesson to homeowners is that this reckoning is always hard to hear but necessary remedy the situation. I think a lot of us, myself included, start with a water leak and they come into this thinking they just need a pipe fixed and a wall patched to be as good as when we got married. It just seems so easy, just do me if you love me, and quit holding out ---and so we bang heads on desks because it's just effing crazy and hateful that our spouses won't. But the reality is that to get to a stage of wanting someone again when the habits are so entrenched, you really need to ***** everything down and expose it. If you have accepted sleeping apart for that long, then you no longer have a fixer-upper. The mold has set in and you have a tear down.

He has given up with respect to your relationship. He is unhappy, but unwilling to move because he cannot face the tear down. That's going to be up to you to set fire to the place you are in, and run out the door. He will either follow or won't -- you can't carry him. I'm not going to tell you what to do, because nobody ever does what they are told to do here. I'll just offer a way of thinking about it - a more fertile ground from which your seeds will grow.
Consider your surgeries to be your tipping point. You have proven to YOURSELF, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you do not have a sexual relationship with the man you live with. In terms that you recognize, your relationship with him no longer exhibits the defining prerequisites of what a marriage is. So let go that rope. There's nothing at the end of it anymore.

If you aren't ready to leave yet, then focus on being the better you. Consider what you would do with your life if he died, or if you got divorced. What changes would you make in all areas? Then start doing them, NOW. Don't wait for him. Be your own person.

Instead of a "marriage" - which implies a set of conditions that you both are presently failing to meet, you have a "relationship". Consider what you have, and who you are. Consider that this is a person who divorced and moved in next door, or, even better, into your vacant apt.

You sound, to me, like you are a person with interests and passions that might go beyond your roommate, and the gumption to explore them. I suggest you get yourself on a program to do so right now. Your roommate will notice that you are leaving this miserable place you have been reserving for each other, and will eventually come to his own reckoning. Let him.

I cannot "like" this because the "like" function has mysteriously disappeared! But If I could, I would LIKE +++++++++++++++
Excellent analogy and very wise advice.

You make a lot of good points. While I am not ready to leave and the reality is that with my husband's condition he actually could very easily not come away from the next infection alive. This will sound bad but I feel the only times that I have been myself and proud of who I am is when he was in the hospital for weeks/month and I suddenly had time to myself.

I need to remind myself that I once enjoyed so many things and still would if I could. Now I just need to work on changing could to will. Easier said then done. I wish my friends frankly weren't 1000's of km away. Perhaps the first step is learning to enjoy one's own company.

On a different note it's funny you mention Holmes on Homes. I am very familiar with the show as I used to live in one of the developments that he redid a few years back. Wasn't our house but I remember watching it and realizing that it was the house 3 doors down!

While I know your analogy is true it's just do hard to accept when I feel that I have invested so much into the relationship.

Just a quick note regarding the thing about the ham, and his attempts to sabotage your efforts to make a nice evening. Why would a sane person try to stop you from going to the trouble? It's because he sensed the web you were spinning, and wanted to head you off at the pass. In the same way, a beautiful stranger might not accept my diamond ring, or invitation to a cruise, out of fear of what her obligation might be.

"Perhaps the first step is learning to enjoy one's own company."

It certainly is one of the first ones. Expand out from there. Pretend you are divorced. The first step is to recognize that you no longer set an expectation for your ex-husband to meet. Thus it is less likely you will be dissappointed.

You remove the emblems of marriage from your environment - your ring, for instance. It shines up at you and others. Put it away for a while and see how you feel when you interact with strangers.

You already sleep in a seperate room. You might, if you were single, want to attend to your entertainment. You might want to learn certain skills or roles that he handles routinely. You would no longer have an assumed date on the weekend, but I have a hunch, in your case, it's simply a matter of considering going out on the weekend. You can try going alone if you want - to a movie is a good alone date, or a coffee shop with a book. These are great places where it actually doesn't feel awkward and it is, in fact, enjoyable.

You can also go with other people, you know. You could go with a friend, as well.

You might account for general whereabouts, but I don't think if I would go out of my way to assure hubby that I wasn't out with someone.

A lot of divorced people end up going on a program to fill their social lives, taking up new interests and meeting new people - groups sharing those interests. Fitness, fashion, hair, health, even education and hobbies - all these things tend to get an update, once you realize it's just you again. Not a bad idea to get started early if any of those interest you.

The health situation is terrible, but it sounds as though that is a different situation.

That is also a good point though it is so hard for me to think that way.

In terms of interests etc. the only difficulty is that I have no friends locally they are all in various areas which makes it hard. I will take some time to decide which interests to pursue first though and see what I can do from that front.

5 More Responses

Get a divorce.

I stopped reading your post when I came to the word ROSE. You made me cry.

A woman should NOT have to work that hard for her husband's love and affection. My gut tells me that after 4 years of separate bedrooms, you situation is past hopeless and you are only going to bury your soul.

Should I have read past the word ROSE?

Thanks and if only that desired effect would have been my husband's reaction :(. But believe me it gets worse beyond that. I am surprised I kept my composure through the rest of the day.

I am so terribly sorry. I lost my mind after 3 years of neglect. Just be certain that there are LOTS of good people here who have suffered a lot just like you have. Lean on them for help. Stay away from refusers.

It's terrible...I think the fact that you sleep in separate rooms and he accepts that,says a lot.The fact that you planned something romantic and his reaction to it,screams that he's not that into you...It's just a shame,that in a marriage we forget those basic rules of knowing when someone wants you and wants to be with you in every way.You are young,just think about what you want in this life..We only have one,is this what you want to settle for and then ask yourself why ?

Hi there. You know I thought I knew what I wanted in life. I have a great educationfrom good schools, a great career, since home ... To bad it's not so rosy on the inside of that bubble I created :(. I have worked too hard to lose everything I put into this life. But you are right in that I need to figure out what I want in life again. The only problem is that the physical intimacy is all that is missing and that is what makes it so hard. And yet ... I wonder what else I might be missing. Here I am sitting by the pool while he is playing computer games inside. Something doesn't jive here!

Physical intimacy is only ONE thing missing here! You do not have emotional intimacy. You do not have a genuine sense of connection with your husband. He is (intentionally or unwittingly) unable to understand your need for intimacy of all types.
He is SO "not on your wave length". If he once was, then telling him very honestly and clearly how he is seriously threatening his marriage by his behaviour or non-behaviour just MIGHT trigger a real response . . . But don't count on it.

Thanks everyone for your responses. I don't know why I keep trying to make things work but yes it has become completely obvious that he won't change. It's just hard to think that I literally wasted 12+ years of my life.

I seem to be a glutton for punishment. Thanks letting view my story from the outside looking in. I have a lot of serious thinking to do. It just hurts so much to give up.

My question is what are you giving up on? More of the same slow death? If everything else is more important than sexually connecting with you, then I would question the value your spouse places on that connection with you. Take care.

Living life is NEVER a waste. It teaches you what you don't want as well as what you do. It educates you to better understand yourself and your needs. All these lessons are invaluable for your future - IF you choose to heed them.

yeah, giving up on a dream is difficult. Maybe creating a successful new relationship with an active participant is scary or inconceivable to you?

As I think about it it is not inconceivable but it is definitely scary. It's a feeling I am not used to as a person since outside my personal life I thrive on change. It's a new challenge in some big or even tiny way.

1 More Response

If you read your story, there is a dramatic difference between what you want and what you're going to get from your H, and it's not just that. It's that at every turn,you aren't honest with him. You spent all that time trying to be cute and coy to entice someone who is incapable of being enticed. It sounds like he experiened some signifcant trauma in his life that keeps him from being close.

My guess is he has no close friends; he goes to work and comes home. You are the center of his world despite your lack of intimacy. He knows it's there and bringing it up just makes him feel guiltier - it's a slow cirlcle of the "marriage drain".

The truth is, the notes should have come from him. He is the one who's got the problem and needs to make the effort. But here you are, yet again, setting yourself up for disappointment. It's hard to be honest with yourself, but that's the place you have to start.

You're not happy. The lack of intimacy is damaging to you. You are worth loving, and he's not able to meet your most basic human needs. What's going to change? You are the only one you can change.

Keep reading here....reach out to those who can offer specific support. It's time to believe you are worth the effort and the kind of love you need and want in your life.

All I can say is thank you. I dont know if I am in denial or worse but I just want to have my pre marriage life back and a partner to enjoy it with. I want to be able to go somewhere for the weekend on the spur of the moment and not have to worry about the details. I would like to go back to enjoying skiing and other sports I l love. Yet I am tired of doing this alone. But more importantly I am tired of having to explain myself when I do want to go and enjoy something alone.

He was your partner in these things? Why can't you take time for yourself to go out and do those things with other people, rather than sitting home alone? Why do you have to explain wanting to do things that interest you? Do you avoid doing them, to avoid the explanation?

Just my two cents - since you have taken the option of leaving off the table, it seems you have resigned yourself to your own groundhog day. Don't be surprised that it or variants of it will continue to repeat themselves. The only anticipated changes are the days of the week, the months, the seasons and the years, as your spirit dies slowly. In the end, we know the score and have to acknowledge that we have choices, albeit not great ones. We pay the price in pain for the choice we make.

This guy is never going to change---you think he's passively not getting it, but in actuality he's actively trying to thwart your every attempt at intimacy. Seems completely hopeless to me---I'm sorry. Get out while you are still young!

Yes. You are the one who needs a sanity check.

All that is just...overwhelming. You keep trying and he keeps telling you in a thousand ways that he just isn't interested.

What Elkclan said.....listen to your husband.

I guess it just hurts that he is not interested. I am by nature a take charge and fix it person. But to fix it you need to identify the issue and solve the puzzle. But life is not an equation as such. I just don't understand WHY he is not interested especially dince when I ask he insists that he is in fact interested.

I was always told that if you can`t say anything nice you should`nt say anything.

I know from your previous story that you are "never going to leave your husband" so this comment is probably one to put away for a while, until a few more years of this **** shifts your thinking.

"When" you get around to considering that which is inconceivable to you presently, you will need an exit strategy. And, judged by the logistic and thinking skills you demonstrated in managing this aborted "scented candles" strategy (which has an abject failure rate in ILIASM marriages) - I am betting you will put together one of the best exit strategies ever seen on this board.

Tread your own path.