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Very Confused

First I want to apologize for writing a lot lately. I still havent really told any of my friends my situation and I need to talk about it.

When I first started writing on here I was sure I wanted a divorce. I debated it over a year and I was at the point I knew it was over. And overall I thought it was. I still wanted to try to save my marriage and I continued to try. Deep down though I thought I knew what I really wanted.

I did not give a lot of background on my situation because of that fact. I really thought I could go through with it. So now I'll give just a little background...My husband and I moved across the country five years ago. He did this mainly for me. I hated the cold and snow so we moved South. He said he wanted to but I was the major driving force. Things have not been as good for us here. For me they are fine and my career is going good for him though its been harder. Thats one of the reasons I havent gotten a divorce. I feel I'm to blame for the things that have happened and that I ruined his life so now I owe it to him to stay.

Anyway last night we were talking about our careers and things of that nature. He brought up moving. I told him that at this point I didnt want to because I really dont know if we will be married that much longer. I've told him before I think I want a divorce and hes said he didnt and that was that. We didnt talk futher. After I said that he asked what I meant. And I once again explained how I need certain things and it wasnt just about the sex but that were not touching or kissing. I started to cry and went into the bedroom. A few minutes later my husband came in and asked if i was serious. I said yes and that I need to touched. I need this to feel like a marriage not just a friendship. He started telling me about how much he does for me and that should show me he loves me. I once again brought up how I need more. And he asked if i need validation and if thats what this is about. He went on to say how he thinks he does a lot for me and he likes our marriage so it doesnt or shouldnt matter how otfen we kiss or have sex. I suggested marriage counseling and he asked if I was serious. When I said yes, he said that he couldnt beleive that. He doesnt beat me so why would we need that. And he went on about how I make him out to be a terrible husband and he isnt. At that point i was crying very hard and he doesnt like any emotion being shown so he went into his office.

I started making dinner and started thinking. I started to get very nervous about getting a divorce. I dont know if it was the fact that my husband didnt act at all concerned about me leaving and maybe I did need validation or if I was scared about being alone. Or if I really dont want my marriage to end because I still love him. I started to think about regretting the decision. If I do get a divorce and regret it, then what? So I went into his office and tried talking to him. I basically made excuses to why I said that and practially begged him to forget about what i said. And by the end of the night it was back to normal. We didnt talk about it and I just let it go.

I am very disappointed in myself. I dont know why I got so scared but at the moment when he didnt care and I really thought about being alone I couldnt handle it. When I say these next things I dont mean to sound like I have to validate myself. but..I am pretty strong in every other part of my life. But I cannot bring myself to make this decision. I read stories on here from woman who have had the courage to get a divorce. They have children and still are able to make the decision. I feel very weak when i read those. I dont have children, I wont be breaking up a family but I cant bring myself to do it. I'm not scared about finances, I can support myself just fine but I am scared about going home to any empty house night after night. Having to go to bed alone. And I'm extremely scared of ending up alone.
jencpa jencpa 31-35, F 24 Responses Feb 20, 2013

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YOU SOUND LIKE A VERY CARING AND SWEET LADY! I KNOW DIVORCE IS TUFF AND YOU HAVE TO BE ALONE FOR A LITTLE WHILE...BUT I THINK YOU DESERVE THE TOUCHING AND KISSING TOO...AND JUST BEING HELD!

Thank you

You know, I feel very much the same way but from the male end. We have lots of touching, but not the physical intimacy of sex. And I'm torn. She is otherwise a good person. Do I leave for something better, hurting her, or do I stay loyal because she is a good person.

This HAS to be your decision.
There is a lot of good advice....but eventually it will come down to what you decide is best for you ! And you are fotunate because there are not children to complicate the issues. ( Piece of advice---now would not be a good time to get pregnant)
You will come to a decision eventually...Leave ...stay...something in between.
In the mean time....keep posting and reading.

Hey jen . Im new on da block. Anywayz I think you r very courages)🍀 & all da best)remember our creator is always watching out 4us.

Thank you

Actly 4got 2mention dat every 1 )of us here has got some story or da other. So being new here I gt feelin we have to somehow b there 2help if we can. All wil b ok. God Willing.

Hello Jen,
Your comment about how you told him you needed to be touched to feel loved and his reply that you should know you're loved because of all the things he does for you struck a chord in me like you wouldn't believe.

Have you ever read "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman? If you haven't, it might be worth a look -- for both of you...

If you've already been down that road, well, pardon the interruption.

Thank you for the suggestion. I will look at that book....thanks

I don't know about him being passive aggressive, but he is certainly selfish! Sharing his body with you is something that does not fit within his plan for his life, so he sees no reason to do it. My wife is the same way. Its not that she dislikes sex, she does not want it, and its not worth going out of her way for. Translation: I am not worth going out of her way for. That is the same message he is sending you.

Whether it is worth leaving him over is completely your decision, and nobody should judge you for it. I have decided to stay in my sexless marriage for my own reasons that I dont want people to pass judgement on either. I wish you peace and clarity and freedom from fear.

Your husband is being passive aggresive. He is unhappy with the move you both made years ago and wanted to move again.
Instead of telling you honestly his feelings, he is doing cruel things (witholding sex and affection) to punish you.

EXACTLY.

Thank you all for taking the time to reply. I value your opinions and thoughts. I now need to find the strength to do what I know I have to do in order to have the kind of life I want.

he's afraid what "others" will think of him -- that he beats you, that he abuses you, that he's a bad husband who deserves to be treated as a pariah. many men see marriage counseling as a "win/loss" with a tally of who's for them and who's against, and the counselor (being hired by the wife) can seem to be on the "other" team.

you played the divorce threat card, and then you withdrew. that's okay, because this isn't a game. if he is unwilling to show affection, that doesn't mean he doesn't love you. and stop thinking in terms of you "deserve" cuddling, etc. no one deserves it -- no one deserves a relationship, loneliness, abuse, affection, etc. work with what you have, even if it means working with something else. if you cannot communicate (meaning, he doesn't get your gripes, and you cry through his discussion attempts), then you can learn to live with that, too, if you want.

my two pennies worth ... because i live with what i have and am happy and grateful for it. :) it's possible!

I understand. it is hard. but I go to bed ALONE, he comes to bed SOMETIMES, and his hands rarely touch me, sexually or nonsexually.

I have slept alone before. honestly the best cuddles I get are from my kidz. their love is sincere.my husband does not and can not love me like a man, he doesn't have capacity, he doesn't know how.

and he talks about how abnormal it is to want love andsex in marriage, and how women in American is abnormal, and that the idea of romance and love in relationships/marriage is from the illuminati, blah blah blah.

so yeah. I understand how weak you feel when confronting him. but the longer you wait, the harder it is.

why not seperate, temporarily, and then NOT come back home?

Hi Jen:

While reading your story I pictured a middle-aged woman. I was surprised to see how young you actually are. I mention this because you might be wise to imagine yourself in 10 or 15 years - still married to your H. If you are honest, that future looks to be even worse than the lonely future you fear if you divorce now. You were very clear with your H about your emotional needs and he basically said your needs are not valid and he retreated to his office. You, feeling his indifference became scared and went to talk to him a second time, but now you also dismissed your own emotional needs. It should not matter that he made a sacrifice for you in the move. What does matter is that you are hurting terribly and you told him why...very clearly and he left you to deal with it on your own. Which is the more loving thing to do...to move to a warmer climate with your spouse or to move emotionally closer to your spouse when she says she needs more from you to feel loved?

Your first conversation with H was the truth.
Your second conversation with H was not truthful and seems based on fear.

You hopefully have a long life ahead of you.....dont waste it in a relationship you know is making you miserable. Love yourself first....then you will know what to do.

Some people just ARE like that. What Einstein said:
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

My wife also can't stand heavy emotions. We watched the film "Head in the Clouds" together and she could not sleep for 3 nights, because it brought about a strong emotional response in her.

That does not make her an abuser, I would say to Chai, Zsuzsi and Gypsy ... it does make her a person not to try and watch strong emotionally moving films with though.
If I drop a fencepost on my toe and she's near by I'd better not cuss, because she feels threatened or feels discomforted at least by my strong emotion.

This man does not seem to UNDERSTAND just what it is that you want from him, Jencpa, the way I read your story. It is not how he sees marriage, that cuddling, affection is an essential part of it, and strong emotions are too painful for him to even watch yours ... what's more, he seems unquestioning with regard to this, his premise. Not willing, or able to empathize with you. Might be too scary. Might be too intense. Some people are very very frightened of letting go, and experiencing deep emotions.

What Changewilldoyougood said: basic incompatibility. The ball is in your court: what are you going to do about it? Sure doesn't look to me as if there's anything you can do inside the marriage to change the dynamic if he can't see the need for change, if he can't even see or feel what needs changing. He's happy without affectionate contact, for him love is defined by doing stuff for you.

Jen, this sounds exactly like my STBX. He can't handle any emotion and neither can his family. He's extremely passive aggressive and thinks that because he wrote a song about me, that that equals the love I've deserved all these years. He'll, he even told me "I'm sorry I can't love you the way you need to be loved." With men like this, passive/aggressive, emotionally frozen, avoidant, etc., it means that unless they are willing to change, they will never change. It doesn't mean they ate bad guys, I mean, my STBX is the most stand up guy put there. Calm, cool and collected. But deathly afraid of intimacy and expressing emotions. I did not enter into a decision to divorce lightly, especially sine I have kids. But I cannot, with a good conscience, live with a husband who will not love me the way I deserve. And that is not asking too much!! That is expecting what the covenant of marriage is supposed to provide to us as partners!! You, I, and so many others here have suffered from an abusive spouse. No he doesn't beat you, but what he is doing is emotionally and psychologically abusive. So he IS being abusive. And it's up to you as to how much more you want to take. (((Hugs)))

It actually means that they are unable to change, and they will never change.

Exactly, thank you for clarifying. :)

You have actually made a bad tactical error.
It IS redeemable - if you want to go that way - but you have definitely put yourself backward, by trashing your credibility with your about face.

There is no reason why you can't pick this up and run with it again - if that's what you choose to do - but you now start from well behind the starting line. You can't play the "I want a divorce card" again. It is a one time thing in any negotiating sense.

Next time - if there is to be a next time, it has to be real. Don't threaten it ever again. Simply DO IT when the situation becomes intolerable.

One last thing. If you are not prepared to do it, then don't bullshit yourself that you are ready. Your spouse has your number now, if he didn't have it before.

Tread your own path.

I think you have an unfinished conversation on your hands. Do you?

It's difficult to avoid the possibility of projecting onto others. I'll say that up-front. However, I will pose a number of questions to you.

Would you say you feel somewhat guilty about thinking about divorce because you think you created the context in which it has arisen? Did he object to moving originally or did you sense that he was uneasy but persisted anyway? Or do you think he was fine with it originally and has only had misgivings and resentment subsequently?

A question about his emotional responses. Do you think he retreated to his study because he was being passive-aggressive, cold, dispassionate or because watching you get upset was upsetting to him and the best way to either hide it or suppress his feelings was to withdraw from the emotionally-charged situation?

He has basically said to you "Do I not do enough? Have I not sacrificed enough? This smacks perhaps of resentment and with-holding further 'reward'. Is that something you can understand without at the same time condoning it? It also smacks of 'substitution', ie here are all these other things I do, have done for you, in lieu of what you really want. Do you know what his personal ambitions are? Do you know what would make him fulfilled as a person? Do you know whether he wants you to be happy, even if the intimacy is beyond him?

He needs a sound and urgent education about the intent or purpose behind marriage counselling. Beaten women don't seek marriage guidance, they seek an exit and protection, not necessarily in that order. Do you suppose that he doesn't see marriage counselling as a potentially useful thing, a potential leg-up to amateurs who are struggling but rather the ultimate admission, expression of utter and total personal failure?

It seems to me, albeit with the typical level of speculation, that you both have significant unresolved issues that really should be addressed no matter what either or both of you end up doing with the rest of your lives. Both your levels of understanding could benefit with being raised. There is nothing bad in contemplating and dealing with that. The whole of life, from birth to death is just one big lesson or maybe a series of rolling lessons. You are only guilty of failure if you fail to accept that and deal with it.

And probably, in the end, there is only a prospect of dealing with the significance and complexity of the difficulties between you if you can approach it on a collaborative basis, rather than a coercive basis.

Do you think psychologically and emotionally he is beyond redemption? More importantly, I wonder whether he thinks he is psychologically and emotionally either beyond reproach or beyond helping?

I don't know why, because I was never much of a fan of the Beatles' music but I am reminded of McCartney's composition:

"Money Can't Buy Me Love". Interpret it as you see fit.

"I'm extremely scared of ending up alone."

But, you ARE alone. Alone with an emotionally distant, abusive, vacant spouse.

Life can be so much better.

I certainly think YOU need to get to a counsellor ASAP and work on why you think this type of relationship is better even than being alone.

odd how some men think.... oh i dont hit you, so that means, you are not being abused...

I stopped reading at "...i was crying very hard and he doesnt like any emotion being shown...".
My ex did this. In fact, he would get angry about it. He even had our marriage counselor convinced I was "too emotional" when we discussed our marriage, and that I should work on that. Later I privately told the marriage counselor that we hadn't had sex/made love whatever in, at that point, 8 years and she said "But ... but ... that's emotional abuse!"

Keep reading here. Especially, look up posts about emotional abuse (there are several included in my stories). Read everything that Enna30 has posted (and Bazzar, too).

I have been out of the SM for more than 3 years now, and 2 years into a new relationship. My only regret is not leaving sooner. You may have noticed people posting here about "opposite land". Here in my opposite land, if I get emotional and cry, my partner holds me (or whatever I need) and murmurs comforting words until I'm calm again.

Hi Jencpa -- go with your feelings. My relationship with my wife sounds similar. We get along great and she's the best roommate I've ever had, but there's no intimacy and hasn't been for a long time. And, she hasn't wanted to see a counselor -- she hasn't really seen this as a problem. The thing that's kept us together is I didn't want to leave while our kids were in the house. The youngest is just about gone now and it's time for things to change. I understand your hesitation, but if you've really tried to fix the problem, recognize it's not going to work and move on. It's a lot easier to be a divorced, childless woman in her 30s than in your 40s or 50s if you're wanting to find another relationship. I know it's hard. It's hard even to find anyone you can talk with about this (I'll talk with you if you want to chat about it). Good luck.

"At that point i was crying very hard and he doesnt like any emotion being shown so he went into his office."

You have a basic mismatch. You are expressing genuine emotion, he has a personal shortcoming and can't handle genuine emotion. You hurt, he withdraws. He does not plan to change that about himself. He does not see a reason to. You will never feel truly loved in this relationship. He will always feel like you want something he is incapable of giving.

Impasse. Mismatch. You can't change him any more than he can change you. Marital counseling is not for changing a partner, it's really only effective with minor problems in communication, disagreements and the like. Your mismatch is much bigger than what counseling can provide.

Despite the subject matter sucking, thanks for sharing. Your situation is similar to mine in a few ways. As such, it's tough for me to give much advice. The only thing I could say is that it makes complete sense not to want to admit your marriage is a failure. It also is natural not to want to be alone. Perhaps your H isn't giving you the romance you want, but you've stated more than once that you're friends. People grieve over losing longterm friends *all the time* and that's when they haven't walked down the aisle with them.

Here's the question I ask of myself. Maybe it will help you with perspective? Maybe not, but here it is:

Can you deal with the status quo for the next 5 years? How about the next 10? Next 25? If 60 year old Jen came back and informed 31 year old Jen that she and H never had another romantic night, would that scare you?

Often I think I can deal with this, it's not so bad. But can I deal with a few decades of this? That's a different answer.

your husband's response to your saying you want a divorce, then suggesting marital counseling crying your eyes out, obviously in severe emotional and psychological pain is:

*you're serious? (because to him, nothing is wrong)

and

*well, i don't beat you

jen---do i need to point out to you how brutally painfully abusive his attitude is? honey--you're so young. read my story from today about breaking the cycles of abuse. that's what is going on here. there is plenty of emotional abuse of you by your husband.

please go for counseling--alone. it will be a giant step in the right direction for you.

((((((hugs)))))))

Hi Jennifer, I agree with the previosu post mostly. And, I applaud you fro discussing it again !

This will not get better without BOTH of you wanting to work on it and try to improve things. Right now, only one of you does (YOU). It does not mean he is a bad person at all - but, he maybe just doesn't know how to handle these emotional issues and does not know what to do and he might be thinking it is just "how you are" and that it will all blow over.

Jennifer - there is no way you would EVER be alone. There are thousands of guys that would LOVE and ENJOY to be with a woman such as yourself. I have told you sound like a gold nugget in a coal field - you simply outshine the rest and there is no reason you have to live like this. Yes, I am against divorce too and don't agree with it - so, that is why you should try counseling first. Maybe, you could just schedule an appointment just for yourself and get all the initial issues out that you are feeling - then have your husband join and present how and waht you are feeling in a non confrintational way. Also, maybe he has some things he would like to get off his chest too. Maybe, just maybe.... if the both of you worked together - I bet you could turn this whole thing around and have a great marriage. Let's face it - there are good aspects to it in which to build on !

I do pray for things to work out and for your hapiness as your friend,

Jason

This isn't going to help much I'm afraid, it's just to give you a navigation point.



If someone you loved, your intimate, romantic, sexual partner, was upset, in a bit of an emotional state, and said they were feeling desperate, unattractive and undesirable, and could you please touch, kiss and hold them. You'd likely wrap them in your arms, hug them as tight as you could, kiss them and hold them, and I suspect cry with them. And that's because that's what most normal people do in these types of situations - not always, admittedly, if it's been a humdinger of a blazing row, or if a truly serious line has been crossed. What you're experiencing is dysfunctional, and your instincts are right. That doesn't mean he's a bad person, just that, by the sound of it, there really is something wrong in your marriage. We've all been there (well... most of us), it's confusing and you lose direction and rationality. I'm just trying to give you my take on which direction 'up' is in.

exactly, when someone you love is hurting it should be an automatic response to try and comfort them