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Okay... Here It Goes

So I originally posted in the sexless marriage group when I joined EP. I will update on that here. There are actually a few reasons outside of our sex life as to why our marriage is suffering and I'm posting here.

My husband has some wonderful qualities. He is very giving and patient. He is a very nurturing father. He always thinks of others before himself and he lets me make all the decisions for our family. He does much of the cleaning and he even likes to cook. I have no doubt someone would find him a great catch if I leave.

All that said, we are very different. While I admire him for those good qualities of his and I have come to feel more safe and trusting with him than anyone else in the world... the romance is not there. It is hard but I am coming to face the possibility that while I love my husband, I am not IN love with him. The definition of love in our marriage is that of a very good friendship. I don't enjoy sitting and watching sports the way he does. He is not academically motivated the way I am. He is content with little and I am ambitious. His sex style is very simplistic and I would like to change it up and add new positions and role play. My sex drive is very high, but sex has been in bursts, with weeks to even a month or two of time in between and he rarely used to initiate. He has some medical concerns that I have been continuing to help him address and find out about. He has sleep apnea and he has low testosterone which both play into his sex drive issues.

It has been interesting though that the more time I spend here and just online and with people I have met, he has started wanting sex more. He knows I’ve been drifting away. The sex is still nothing like what it could be but again this is just one area. He is not good at managing money. I pay the bills; I manage the money. It gets tiring after awhile feeling like I have to keep everything afloat. I make all the decisions from what we eat to what we buy and where we go. He sometimes gives ideas but it's usually all me. It makes me feel like I'm doing this alone. It feels like there really isn't a partnership. For once I would like him to just take lead and take some of that burden off of me. Perhaps I lead naturally but it doesn't mean that I don't get tired of it.

I had a talk with him last year. A very straightforward talk…my friends here will confirm that’s my nature lol. Anyway I just told him that his lack of motivation for sex and to move up career wise was a turn off. He asked if I was seeing anyone and I told him no at that point. I told him I do have online friends and that was enough to get him asking what he could do to change? What did I want to see him change? So I just laid it out for him. At that point I hadn’t faced the idea that I might just not be in love. This would be the hardest thing to say. I have broached the topic of divorce; the reaction was not good. He wasn’t able to even really talk about it.

As said in my sexless marriage story, we have two kids, both toddlers right now. Having kids certainly makes this decision harder but the thoughts are there nonetheless. I feel that my husband and I could maintain a good friendship even if we were divorced and that would help the kids a lot. That said, I’m still stuck in thought over this and I agreed last year to give him 3 years to make changes and for us to get help. One year down and I’m thinking I need to see some type of marriage counselor to help me sort through these thoughts.
LadyCheshireCat LadyCheshireCat 22-25, F 26 Responses May 5, 2011

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Has your husband checked if he has Aspergers?

Hello TheMadLady, I'm so sorry to hear about your current situation. Not sure what exactly has come of your situation, but if you did decide to pursue divorce and need a bit of help, I am offering free mediation and professional asset appraisal from a high end divorce lawyer and mediator for a new television show. I know that divorce can be a very personal and sensitive time but please let me know if you'd be interested in hearing more, no obligation to participate. There is compensation involved.

I got through almost four years with my gf, since it was interupted I still havent' gotten over her but it is true it is like a drug and we burn out on love. We must become practical at that point and Love the person for all the great qualities and if we have good sex it can last.
I believe in polyamory but it is messy and hard to deal with. We were in one relationship which almost became sexual but no cigar as they say, I would say it was a 4 way love realationship tho. read my story almost swapped in the RV.

You can only really be IN love with someone for 1-2 years max, that's when the brain chemicals that cause the IN LOVE feeling wear off.

What have you decided? Divorce or not?

so are u actually going to go for a divorce or what is the thing?

Your situation sounds like mine in reverse. we had a rough time in our fourtys, lots of stress, I was ill for a couple of years, we both had affairs, I found out I have low T which I do injections for and it has saved our marriage. We are very happy now. Only problem is although my wife loves sex I am more adventurous and would have liked to explore a more open sex life, try swinging or something but at least she likes **** and toys, anything with me so I get a lot of enjoyment from my friends here on EP I would like you to add me. Thanks either way.

What sort of man are you looking for?

Update?

Hey ana

I guess it's year 2 down and less than one to go... an outside set of eyes... marriage counselor or close confidante that doesn't just automatically agree with you... is a good choice. Honestly, not a lot will be accomplished even with this in a few short months. I hope you're seeing the end of the tunnel.

You've probably already figured out that there's no perfect guy out there (even me! :D)... In fact I remember a woman half a world away moving out from her husband, crying her eyes out, moving all of her furniture back into her house with him, then telling me she listened to her mother's advice, "better the devil you know, than the devil you don't know." I was the unknown devil in that story.

I just watched a movie last night... 360. It was about the forks in the road that greet us, the choices we make, and the consequences we live with. Certainly I agree that having small children can make those choices more difficult. I also agree that if the two parting parents can keep the children's best interests at the centre of their interaction following a separation, that can make all the difference in terms of how it impacts the kids (yes, once again, experience tells me this.)

Anyways, enough ramble. I wish you and yours the best.

Max

Hey ana, I'm sorry you've had to go through all of this, I can only imagine how hard it must be for both you and for your husband. How has it turned out in the end - almost a year on?

While our friendship is still good, I am not sure how long I can continue in the marriage with the other issues. Some things have improved but the romantic, emotional connection has been fading for me. Thank you for the concern and your post. It is a tough place to be in but we're taking it a step and a day at a time.

You're very welcome, I'm usually around if you ever feel you want to vent to someone or just have someone to talk to. I wish you all the best in your marriage Ana, and I hope you'll be able to sort it out in the end.

I'm in the same place as you are ana. I'm just a step ahead of you. I've done the talking, given timelines, nothing changed. This week, I've told him that the marriage is over. Now he's bartering. A lot of your problems are the same as the problems here.
I wish you luck and I hope that you find peace...

pinkoh I do get what you're saying and you're right ;-) focusing on what he does or doesn't do or does or doesn't have would just frustrate me, so I do focus on things I can change about myself. I consider myself in an introspective season. I'm constantly seeing how I can grow and it is not always an easy process. I am still ever-learning about who I am and what my goals are as well. Thank you for your insight.

There's a lot of pain around these postings.I hope my comment doesn't sound to flip but I really believe that it is often better to focus on yourself rather than on your partner. You can change yourself, take responsibility for finding more joy in your own life. Your partner can't satisfy all your needs. If you are more satisfied, it can change the dynamic. You know what I'm saying?

A good marriage counselor can help a lot in identifying the particular challenges in your marriage, and each partner's role in those issues. My H and I are on our second marriage counselor, who is vastly better than the first. Do give counseling a try, understanding that it may take some shopping around. Asking questions beforehand (as you said) will help. My advice in this arena is to make sure you hire a counselor who will talk openly and frankly about your sex life. Confronting the dissatisfaction in your relationship in the context of your sex life can cut to the chase and save a lot of time and bullshit "talking about talking".<br />
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You are a year into this; you are clearly committed to your marriage and that is commendable. I understand the feelings you are experiencing, and it is a terrible place to be stuck. Know yourself. Hold on to yourself. Keep seeking joy in the midst of it all. I wish you the best of luck with this, and hope you find the answers you seek. &lt;3 Lulu

I think, despite what anyone says to the contrary, there are just certain roles that men have to step up to. I'm not surprised at what you say ana (may I call you that?) and I do hope things work out for you both when you try counselling. I think it's important to express your needs, both of you, openly, so that you are able to work things out, hopefully, and a good counsellor could hopefully facilitate that.

Justmeonline, I agree sex is an important part in a marriage. I also expect that we might have to try several counselors to get anywhere or make progress; I intend to ask plenty of questions over the phone before we go in.. no sense wasting time in the wrong place you know? I may also just leave the task of finding the counselor and asking questions to him as Psyche suggested so that it is his step forward, not just mine. <br />
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Psycheforeverinmyheart, thank you very much for your post and support.. I can relate to much of what you said. I have to say that sometimes I do get frustrated and what you said in your second paragraph certainly comes to mind. It is difficult for me as a woman "to get Hot for him" knowing he doesn't take the lead... I do. It is a turn off that I cannot lean into him and feel like he is leading.

Ana, <br />
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I find myself in your words... just many many years ago. I, however, did not speak to my H about my issues with him at first. I stayed miserable and depressed and BUSY with our children, work.... anything that I could find to keep me busy. That is NOT the preferred route. <br />
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I agree with my dear 2SpecialFeelings that it seems too early to write the marriage off and he is right on target noting that you wish your H would "man up". You've lost interest in him because you don't feel that he is a strong enough partner. Who wants to have to control EVERYTHING while H sits and says, "OK Dear?!" Whether in the bedroom or making decisions for the family.... you NEED to be able to get HOT for him and know that he will not only catch you if you fall, but LEAD YOUR FAMILY! <br />
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It IS time to take action as a couple to seek counseling. It is true that you shouldn't give up with the first therapist if you don't recognize any progress... keep at it. Also, be honest w/ H and tell him that you need him to STEP UP. If he wants the marriage to last, to not wait for YOU to find the therapist... you NEED to see him take action in many areas, and if he is truly willing to work to stay together, then please start by taking charge looking for the therapist. <br />
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Don't look elsewhere, stay focused on your family... be careful to use EP for the support instead of escaping.... It is really hard to look back into your marriage with clear eyes and sincerity once you've been seduced by what SEEMS to be perfect..... as true love is a rarity on EP (I can vouch for the possibility to find it) but most often is NOT what you will find. <br />
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My prayer for you is peace in your heart and home! Please keep us posted and feel free to write via PM anytime~

This is the first of your stories that I am reading, actuallyana723. You come across as someone really sincere. It sounds like your husband has some strong qualities, but also needs to understand your needs and manage finances better, and of course improve his interactions with you with regard to the critical sexual element of marriage, which has to be a key part if partners are expected to remain faithful.<br />
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I think finding a good marriage counsellor is probably hard, like finding a good counsellor for anything I guess. You might have to try a session with a few before one fits, or maybe the first you try will be helpful. In any case I hope things work out for you and your family.

Interesting story you shared, actuallyana723. I am one that believes that if there is any hope at all, every effort should be made to identify each others needs, dreams, wants and desires, and do everything possible to fulfill them.<br />
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You two sound far from time to throw in the towel. The key here is that you both have an apparently strong desire to make things work. So many wander in here after one has lost any desire to fix things. You have a good chance of falling back in love.<br />
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To summarize what I am hearing from you; You have been carrying more than your share of the leadership in the family. You, like most women, want a man that will take the lead, be assertive, from planning activities, being career driven, and yes…. Initiating sex, being the man in bed and exploring new and exciting things, etc.<br />
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Basically you want him to “man up”. You have your work cut out for you. But there is hope, and I am happy you are here asking these questions. I agree that the vast majority of marriage counselors are very poor, and often make things worse. (I beg your forgiveness if any of you readers are Therapists…lol) There are a couple of good books I suggest for him. I don’t want to plug things here, but please message me and I will give you some ideas.<br />
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Seek and find your path, you do deserve… happily ever after.

So you talked to him one good talk about a year ago? Am I correct in understanding that your issues is that th eromance is gone? Was is ever there? If you ahd passion once, if you couldnt stand to keep your ahnd off each other at one time...then you may be able to find that again. I never had that with my husband. We've had sex 2 times in 5 years. He didnt but me a 6 yr anniversary card or present today. If my story sheds any light on your situation please feel free to read it. So you only talked to him seriously one itme last year? You havent sought out counseling? Do that first. Pelase, dont rush this. Get counseling, try a few of them if you dont like the first one...but give it a go. I believe that our spouses can sense us drifitn and that creates insecurities. There is nothing less attractive to me personally than an insecure man. If he is doing all these things for you except the decisions around the house, he is trying. Maybe he just needs better instructions. Maybe you're not in love with him...I have no clue. I personally am doing work on myself to get in line with the spirit of the universe or God or what have you, before I make my decision. I have to look at my part and make sure that I feel like I have given it a fair shot before I go. Maybe you have looked at your part in things and maybe you really arent in love. I just know that I have been going through this for years and have consulted many people. The one thing that people in long h=lasitn marriages tell me is that they often hate their spouses and they are not always in love with them. sometimes they barely like them but in the end, it comes back around. It ebs and flows.... mine never flowed. Did yours?

Thank you for your feedback gentleman1, it is appreciated. Your advice was sincere and is certainly something I need to do. I will be taking this slowly. I am glad to know I am not the only one going through this. And yes, the unknown ahead is scary but I am optimistic that though this may present many challenges and pain, we will get through it and adjust to whatever the new "normal" will be.

GET THE HELL OUT WHILE THE GETTING IS GOOD. THIS KIND OF THING VERY SELDOM WORKS OUT AND YOU ARE HOPING OT WILL CHANGE BUT IT WONT, I HAVE GONE THRU IT TWICE. SET YOUR MIND TO GET YOUR FREEDOM BACK AND ENJOY YOUR LIFE WHILE YOU CAN.. JUST TAKE CARE OF THE KIDS SINCE THEY COME FIRST AS MINE DID TO ME. ITS A BIG WORLD OUT THERE. GET OUT AND SEE SOME OF IT BUT DONT GET INTO A REBOUND TYPE RELATIONSHIP.

Charlie, from everything you wrote, this really is a HER issue and not a YOU issue. You may actually be trying too hard. You have to accept that even leaving her alone may or may not work at this point, but smothering her doesn't seem to be working either. I'm sure part of what makes this all very hard is that she IS thinking of the kids and it just fuels the depression and she would certainly feel confusion and may even feel stuck. I am very sorry she has hit this point and that you are going through this with her. Perhaps this all makes women like me and her very selfish to want something different. I cannot speak for her, but in my case I feel like the things I need and want in a man are not the same as who my husband is. I know it is my fault for not taking more time before we married. In my case, I am not a good match for a passive man or a man without a little spice and boldness to him. It doesn't mean my husband is any less a man for not being those things; he is an excellent man, just maybe not the right match for me. Yes, naturally we want someone we trust and get along well with to grow old beside, but we also want to feel romantically connected. I cannot speak for your situation though... this is just how I feel. I am so sorry and I wish you the best. <br />
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Another consideration: She may actually be having personal issues that are impacting the marriage and really have nothing to do with you. Counseling might be an option... if there is anything going on emotionally for her that has not been dealt with, it could be keeping her from experiencing joy in the marriage and again, may have nothing to do with you.

So how does one go about changing so that his wife does fall back in love with him? My wife recently told me the same. We get along absolutely great! We can talk about and agree on anything and we are best friends. But she said she is so confused, and that she isn't sure if she wants to be married anymore. She says she wants to work on it - but rather than marriage counseling she and I are seeing our own separate therapists.<br />
Now it has been 3 weeks and she won't talk about the marriage or our future at all. If I try to, she closes up, cries and starts rocking while tuning me out. As long as we don't do anything that remotely resembles a marriage, we get along great. We have 4 kids, who all sense that something is going on and that "mom is depressed again" (she goes through these bouts of depression for a month or two every couple of years - but this is the first time she has placed her unhappiness on our marriage).<br />
When someone says that they love you but aren't IN love with you - what exactly does that mean? Isn't someone to grow old with and watch your kids accomplish great things together - someone you love and respect and trust and can tell anything to - isn't that what life is about? Is she saying "I care for you, but you don't excite me anymore?" Well I will do anything ANYTHING she wants to excite her again. I give her everything - a good home, all the clothes and jewelry she could want, freedom to go to school or get a job if she wants (but she hasn't wanted to until now). So what can I do? How do I convince her to stay and not destroy our family? I love her more than anything in this world - and I love her enough to let her leave, except that it will totally crush our kids. What does she say to them if she leaves? I am just not excited by your father anymore, and I need more excitement in my life, so I will destroy yours to get it?<br />
This isn't about sex - we have done plenty of exploring and she knows I am open to even more. This isn't about any kind of disagreement - no cheating (at least by me), no abuse, no more than typical small marital arguments.<br />
This isn't about neglect - I work a normal 8-5 monday through friday job and am home every evening and weekend. I help out around the house - so my part for the kids sport and school events - cook (mostly bbq).<br />
I constantly tell her how absolutely beautiful and wonderful she is. I tell her how in love with her I am and how lucky I am to have her. I adore her.<br />
This is actually one of her complaints - she says I put her on a pedastal and she is not the perfect person I think she is. She complains that I am obsessed with her and smothering her with my love, and she just can't match it and doesn't feel it that way. So for 3 weeks, I have given her the space she asked for - don't go near her, and instead let her come to me. For 3 weeks, no sex or affection at all (no hand holding, cuddling, sitting together on the couch to watch TV, nothing).<br />
What do I do? I leave her alone - I give her the space she asks for. But as far as I know, she is still going to leave. Any advice at all???

Thank you accomplice for your post. I'm sorry you have had bad experiences with four counselors.. it says a lot though that you are both still trying. Best wishes to you.

Have you two ever tried marriage counseling before?<br />
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Some people report it has helped give them tools to make their marriage work. My experience has been different. Over the last 18 years we have been to four different marriage counselors, and each experience has actually hurt the relationship. As proof of my insanity ( :) ) we're trying a fifth one now and I'm still hopeful that this will be succesful in resuscitating the relationship.<br />
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It does sound like you two have good and open communication and also a desire to make the marriage work. With both of those, one might think you have the ingredients for success.<br />
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Good luck.