Spouse Or Friend?

not sure where I need to place this posting. I just need some help to understand what is going on in my life....sounds crazy but I am at my wits end here.
I have been married for 4 yrs. 2nd for me and 3rd for him. we are in our early 50's and have been active but it seems that we are more like friends than anything else. When we met I had been divorced for 4 plus years and he had just got divorced. That is all I heard all the time we were dating, what a horrible person she was, she was this and that. I thought that would end soon, but no it went on and on and he still feels the need to talk about her. Just the other evening when Dr. Phil was on the couple on that day was having trouble because the wife was doing emotional cheating, phone calls, etc. he sat and listened and had a comment about everything that was said, such as "the b_ _ _ _ did the same thing, she would go into the bathroom and call him while the family was playing games, etc." or "she would call her lover while she was in the car waiting on her son to get out of school"  she would do this or that, things that I have heard about 1000 time already so I just ignored him totally. 
Okay from the start, on our wedding night he invited his 3 kids (all adults) to come back to our hotel to play games, etc. they stayed all night. We didn't even have sex on our wedding night. We went on a cruise the next week for our honeymoon again the whole cruise no sex at all.  We do not have sex more than 6/8 times a year. He will hardly even kiss me except a peck on the lips.
I know he loved his ex-wife, he worshiped her. He did not want the divorce even after he knew that she had an affair he begged her to give it another chance and not divorce him. He had pictures everywhere of her as a matter of fact I found a notebook filled with her pictures that he had hid from me. We were engaged when I found this book, he had well over 100 pictures of her all fixed it looked like a models portfolio. When I confronted him about this he threw the whole book away and swore to me there was no more anywhere.....well guess what......a few months later I found a disk with all those pictures plus more that he had hidden.
He broke it and begged me to forgive him, I did but I still do not trust him when he tells me he is over her totally. He has to always bring her name up for one reason or another almost daily and I am getting sick of it. We never have sex unless I start it and I am sick of that as well. I just need to know if this sounds like a man that is still in love with his ex-wife? He swore to me that he has no feelings for her except hate...... he said he could not stand her at all. But on the other hand he does not treat me as a wife at all. He is wonderful to me as far as taking me out to dinner, talking good to me, being good to me and wanting to do things with me just as any good friend would want to do. He tells me that he loves me all the time and I think he does love me but NOT IN love with me is how I feel. I think being married only 4 years you would want to have sex with your spouse more than we do or am I just crazy? The first 7 months of our marriage we has no sex at all due to me having major back surgery and being in a cast. This happened 3 weeks after the wedding. So this has been on going since the start. Please give me some answers.....I feel as if I am second fiddle to his ex-wife. I feel that he still loves her but he was very hurt by her that is why he hates her so much (as he tels me all the time). I think he was and is hurt but the love he had for her is still there that is why he can not have sex with me, his feelings for her gets in the way of that. Please tell me how you feel about this mess......

ohiogal ohiogal
46-50, F
9 Responses Mar 7, 2009

I feel very sorry for him, your husband. He is missing out on what could be a wonderful life with a wonderful wife, but he is blinded by the past and what coulda, shoulda been. Unfortunately, I can relate to him a bit, which is why I can be somewhat sympathetic. I have left my husband/sexless marriage; but I love the man so. I wonder sometimes if I will ever be able to love another like that.<br />
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I would put the therapy suggestion on the table. If he isn't willing to save this marriage, I would say it's time to save yourself.<br />
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Best wishes.

I would have left after the notebook full of ex-wife's pics was discovered.

Good comments above. It seems like he married you on the rebound. I'm sorry to be so cruelly blunt, but it sounds a little bit as if he married you to show his ex wife that HE was still attractive to other women - rather than for the right reasons about YOU as a person.<br />
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I'm afraid I don't hold much hope for your future but counselling could be the way. As discretejones says, IF he is willing to go . . . <br />
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Wishing you a better future.

You have two problems going on... first of all obviously he is not over his previous wife...<br />
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Secondly he doesn't share you sex drive. <br />
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I'd say, as hard as it may be, you need to get yourself free and clear of this guy... he's just using you. He is not being your life partner... which is what a spouse should be.<br />
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I am so sorry for you,<br />
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james<br />

Kids at the honeymoon...what the???? No, no, no. I understand the pressure on people that have been married multiple times. It is a public and personal failure to suffer yet another separation. But you know, it is a greater failure to willingly accept what you know to be farce. Do not exhibit "paralysis of analysis" because you have to chose between two undesirable options. Accept the lesser evil and save yourself.

Sorry for your situation. I suggest you move on. He did not have enough time to deal with the ex before u got married. He is struggling and most likely will drag u down with him if u stick around. If u continue to enable him by not demanding what fulfills your needs 4 years will turn into 10. U can try marriage counseling but my guess is he won't go. That is a very good sign that he is not able to or not willing to move on with u. His baggage is so heavy that he expects u to stick around and help him with it. There are no good choices but u myst think about what is "best" for u. Good luck

You have to take care of you.. I lost a first wife to the reemergence of an old boyfriend. It sounds like he has a problem and he has to solve it.<br />
You are not alone! <br />
We are all here for you..

There is nothing like the pain of rejection and we all feel it in this forum. We are eternal optomists when we want to believe in someone .... we hope for the best.<br />
Your husband would benefit from living in the present and put the past to rest. Perhaps a counselor or a therapist might be able to help both of you. <br />
Unresolved regrets are entering your marriage via his ex-wife. This is unhealthy behavior and will slow down your happiness meter. <br />
If he won't or can't budge out of the past, you have to become emotional strong in your determination to do what is best for your own happiness.<br />
Blessings for a healthy outcome

I hate to say it but I believe you are right. My sister has been married a few times and she divorced one of her husband because during sex he called out his ex-wife's name. It broke her heart and my sister said she was too good to live in another woman's shadow.