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The Letter

Written Nov 30, unable to read it to him until Dec 5...

Dear Husband,
Last night I felt it was almost better if I took myself out of the equation... I thought I might rather die, than have this conversation with you.
It was a year ago that I again conveyed my unhappiness to you. I told you “something has to give.” I’ve held off on confronting you about all of this again, because there is never a good time and I don’t want to hurt anyone – but, I can’t hurt anymore either.
I’ve always loved you. I know that I’m not perfect, but I feel like I’ve been a patient, understanding, kind, and supportive wife. I’ve also tried desperately to communicate my needs to you all these years, yet they still go unmet.
This relationship is dysfunctional and our living arrangement is not normal. I have been deeply affected by our situation; mental anguish, loneliness, frustration, anger, resentment, and guilt.
Guilt? What am I guilty of? I have made great efforts to fix our broken marriage. I’ve asked you several times over the years to come with me for counselling. As I told you a couple of months ago, I am seeing a doctor, marriage/sex therapist, and psychiatrist... and I’ve realized I can’t fix our marriage alone and the only thing I can change is myself.
Half of me wants to leave, while the other half has been struggling to stay. I am not just sitting on the fence; rather, I’ve been impaled by it – stabbed in the heart and torn apart.
You have many great qualities: devoted to the family, hard worker, budgets/pays bills, and you don’t abuse alcohol or drugs. All of this being said...You know how much this hurts me, yet it doesn’t seem like you are facing these issues or trying to change (even though you told me this summer you were working on it). The fact is you have not once initiated sex, nor have we been intimate in the last five years!!!
Just because you have no desire and are satisfied without sex, does not make it okay. You’ve made a unilateral decision to live this way.
It was eight years ago that I first made it clear to you that I didn’t sign up for a sexless marriage; however, I am glad I stayed because we added Baby#3 to our family. The children wouldn’t be who they are without you. No matter what happens between us, we will always share in the joy of our children.
All my love,
----
He remained very calm. He didn't go into a rage, nor did he cry. He admitted that I've told him how I've felt before, but he didn't say how this made him feel.
He did, however, share a couple of his thoughts on other subjects... he said he might feel resentment towards me because I spend too much money, and that I often tell him he needs to get in shape, yet I do too. This latter point makes me very upset, because I've asked him to do several health/exercise classes and activites with me, and he's never willing. Although I struggle with my weight, I have taken several steps to become healthier, without his encouragement and support. I didn't want to argue with him, so I didn't respond to these comments.
Overall, he said he thought that we could overcome this... that we are just going through a "rough patch."
A rough patch!?!?!?  Is he delusional, in denial, or both?
I told him that there was no easy fix, and that I expected him to go to therapy. He thought "we should try to work it out on our own first," to which I strongly replied, "Oh no! Therapy/counselling is mandatory!" He said that would have to wait until January, as he wouldn't be able to get time off during in December. I said I understood, and suggested we make the best of the holidays. He replied, "well that doesn't sound very positive, or long term." I made it very clear that I was serious, and told him that I wasn't so sure we could resolve our issues, saying "I've already got one foot out the door!"
Now that we have entered the New Year, awaiting to see if he will mention booking an appointment for the therapist. I am not holding my breath. In fact, I expect that by mid-January I will be formally asking him for a separation.
Unjusted Unjusted 36-40, F 12 Responses Jan 2, 2013

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I really like your letter, it was clearly thought out, kind, acknowledged the good there is in him, but firmly and directly addressed the fact that your situation is not okay. Well done.

Hi unjusted,

Your letter to H could not be more clear. The seriousness of the situation requires radical change and self evaluation on his part as you have already done those things. So it seems the "ball is in his court". If all you see is small gestures of affection from him, then i suspect he just doesn't believe you are serious about divorce. Five years of zero intimacy is dysfunctional in the extreme. If he doesn't recognize that and if he doesn't take ownership of his part of the dysfunction, then you are left little choice. You are the one doing all the work....he seems to be in denial and along for the ride content with the status quo. Perhaps you should prepare to file for divorce and have him served. I know how hard that is because I did just that to my wife last week and I am very very sad about it. But know that you have done everything you could to fix the marriage....now it's time to give up.

The legal filing is a big step, but by doing so - you will gain control and you will finally learn the truth (see the story by Baz about tipping the boat over). To me, saying you want a seperation or divorce do not count as tipping the boat. An actual filing is tipping the boat over and in doing so, like me, I bet your spouse will do nothing to right the boat, so you should just swim to shore.

That letter was brilliant, so respectful and understanding but straight to the point. It has given me some good ideas for the one I need to write to my husband, as I'm in almost the same boat, minus the kids.

You have been more than understanding, he is not willing to help himself, so he will not be willing to help your relationship.

It sounds like the last drop of hope has gone, and none of it is your own doing.

Your struggle with your weight resonates with me. With the lack of intimacy and respect, you kind of let yourself go without realising it. You think "well, ify own HUSBAND doesn't want to come near me, who will?" This too applies to me.

I wish you all the very best, you deserve to be happy.

Wow that's very well written how is there so many sexless marriages
I do understand where your at I'm in the same place but haven't gathered the strength
But soon though I feel

Thanks for sharing. You seem to be so young to be going through this for so long. 5 years - really? Wow!

How old is your husband? Are you attracted to him if he were interested? Vice versa?

This is a question a friend asked me a while ago. Made me think.

You're welcome. I shared in case somebody had something to add/critique, and that it may helpful to someone else.
I was 19 and refuser was 24 when we met. He is almost 6 years my senior. We had sex once after our third child was born, I was 31.
Now that I read him the letter, and he knows from previous talks etc that I'm serious about him seeking therapy he has made an effort to hold my hand or put his hand on my leg while we watch tv. He even put his arm around me when he came home from work. I am trying to accept these small steps, but part of me know they aren't permenant fixtures. I have a hard time trusting him now, and I am not attracted to him anymore - partly because he has let hiself go, and partly because we've been leaving as brother and sister for too long.

To my EP friends... I'm sorry I'm so self absorbed right now. I know all I talk about is me, me, me. I hope when my situation finally breaks, that I will be able to give back to everyone by reading, responding and messaging to all of your stories. I truly appreciate everyones opinions, feedback, and advice.

Best of luck to you and i admire your courage.

Thanks for your response, but I don't feel courageous. I appreciate your support.

Either leave him or find a lover on the side.

As others have articulated - standby for heavy rolls with the high probability that your spouse will engage in a variety of strange behavior as you move into the execution phase of your plan.

See, he has nothing to lose (and it costs him nothing) by throwing everything at you just to see if anything sticks. By engaging in delaying tactics he buys the most precious commodity: time.

So beware, stick with your plan and move forward.

You are right! He is putting his arm around me, and seems more attentive. I hate it when he asks me whats wrong though, because I already told him - duh! Why do I still feel like he might be making a sincere effort? I don't want to fall for it!

Gosh, you might finally have caught his attention. Be prepared for last minute desperate attempts at reset. Well, pretty much what LT said below.
Stay strong, keep walking.

Thanks Chai. I have to remember what I said yesterday...
This should be my mantra, "I just have to keep telling myself these two things: I can not and will not live like this anymore, and I am certain he will not change. These two statements drive me forward, because I know removing myself from the equation is not an option :)"

Breathe and keep moving forward. You are entering the gauntlet. You can do this. Your spouse will pull all sorts of tricks out of the bag now. Brace yourself. My guess is that he'll do and say anything to string you along - he will be intent on time now, your time. View all he says calmly and you will notice the desperation and inconsistency - promises to change, then accusations or attempts to guilt you, and excuses for delays, and painting a bleak picture for you of life without him, all thrown together.

It is still so overwhelming, but I feel like I am in the eye of the tornado. Thanks for your reminder that his affections are likely false. I'm so confused - banging head against wall!

<p>Back in October you said you'd seen a lawyer, had set up a support network, and ticked all the other boxes relevant to an exit strategy.</p><p>Now comes the execution of the plan.</p><p>You've done excellently well up to this point. I can't see any reason why you won't do just as well at this part of the process.</p><p>Beware of a flurry of intense leg clinging as it plays out.</p><p>Incidently, that bit about "formerly asking him for a separation" is bullshit. It is a statement of intent, as in "we are separating"<br />
<br />
Tread your own path.</p>

Yep, you are right... I won't be "asking" him for a separation, I will be telling him we are separating. I just want to touch base with the lawyer, to let her know I will be proceeding, and talk to the therapist or shrink about how to best discuss this with the children. In relation to my exit strategy, I haven't been able to save any money, but I guess that's why he resents me.
I just have to keep telling myself these two things: I can not and will not live like this anymore, and I am certain he will not change. These two statements drive me forward, because I know removing myself from the equation is not an option :)

good for you. making this decision is so very hard, especially with kids. if he is unwilling to change or hear you out on your needs, and be willing to meet them, then it is not going to get better. if he is unwilling to do therapy with you, then that is another sign that he is not going to change. keep on with your plan, use your team of doctors and therapist to your utmost advantage to formulate a plan that will be in both yours and the kids' best interests. do this to take care of you. put you first. (((hugs)))