We've lost our sparkle for life

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2014
We've lost our sparkle for life
Thu, 05-29-2014 - 5:12am

Hi everyone,

So here's the issue - my husband and I have been together for 8 years and married for 1.  Although we're very much in love we seem to have lost our spark and meaning for life and it's really getting me down.  We're irritable, tired, lazy and can't seem to find joy in anything , go through the motions of life and sit at home watching telly.  

We both work full-time and my husband works late and weekends so we don't get to spend that much time together but even when we do we can't be bothered to do anything.  I think a lot of this stems from money issues in the sense that we've run up debts and don't really have any spare cash to do things - then when we do something we feel guilty and stressed for spending money we don't have.  

I have hobbies but because of my husbands job he doesn't get time to do things and he doesn't have a group of friends to spend time with.  Then when he is off he's very tired and has lost his drive to go out and do things, so then I feel guilty going out with my friends when he's home alone or working late which stops me doing things too.  I would love to do more things together but it feels like pulling teeth sometimes getting him out to do stuff!  

To be fair we've both been under a lot of stress the last few years with getting married, moving house, changing jobs and money worries.  I just think it's so sad that a year into our marriage we're so unhappy with life.  We're supposed to be trying for a baby but our sex life is all but non-existent and although we've talked about making more effort nothing changes and to be honest I don't want to bring a baby into an unhappy life anyway.  

I suffer from depression and was pretty low early this year after the stress of a busy year plus breaking up with a best friend but I'm trying to get out of my darkness.  I'm worried that my depression has rubbed off on my husband and that I'm bringing him down.  He struggles to talk about his feelings and doesn't really have anyone to talk to and I don't like to talk to friends or family about my/our problems either so we just end up bottling everything up and going round in a vicious cycle.  He's also not open to councselling or speaking to the Dr.  

I've put on weight, lost interest in looking nice or going out with friends.  I come home to an empty house and watch telly and eat.  This sounds crazy but I know what I need to do to pick myself up but I feel like I'll be leaving my husband behind - like if I go away with my friends or go to the gym and eat healthily, he'll be stuck at home alone eating rubbish or at work.  I don't know how to help him and by not helping him I've given up on myself.  

Sometimes I think I should leave to sort myself out and hopefully he'll find himself again too.  Then we can come back together as our true selves.  

Please help!  How can we get out of this rut, find the fun and meaning of life again and get our sparkle back?!

PL xxx

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 05-29-2014 - 10:47am

If you've lost interest in doing things and can't even be bothered to look nice, then it does sound like you are depressed?  That's the first thing you need to take care of--are you seeing a counselor?  are you on medication?  It's ridiculous to think that you should not take care of yourself--that has to be the first priority to have a commitment to  your health.  Of course you should eat healthy and exercise.  If you are eating healthy and buying healthy food to have around the house, then your DH will naturally be eating healthy too, at least at home.  If he is working late, there is no reason for you not to go out with your friends.  It doesn't help him at all for you to be sitting home being miserable.

Since you said that finances and debt are an issue, you should think of how to tackle that problem.  A lot of people just do nothing and let their debts pile up.  So you & your DH need to look at your budget and figure out how to get out of debt.  The fact that you don't have money for extras doesn't mean that you have to sit in the house & watch TV all the time.  Going for a walk in the park is free.  If you live in any kind of good sized place, there are probably free things to do. I live near a big city and just for one example, all the museums have a free night, frequently there are free outdoor movies, concerts, etc in the summer.

I agree that you should definitely not even be thinking about having a baby while you both feel like this--a baby is an added expense and stress, in addition to all the good things, so you need to have your life going better before you add a baby to it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2013
Thu, 05-29-2014 - 4:44pm

Musiclover has given you great advice. To add on to that, some free things you can do to reestablish your emotional connection is to give each other foot and/or backrubs. Leave him a romantic or sexy note and put it in his lunchbag or coat pocket. Make him his favorite meal or cookies. Give him an extra long hug and kiss when he gets home. Leave him a funny, loving voicemail. Write him a letter telling him all the things you appreciate about him. It's okay to wear comfy clothes in the house, but also make an effort in your appearance part of the time. With you making these efforts, he should also start showing some effort back. Marriage takes a daily effort. Just like a plant, if you don't regularly tend to it, it'll die.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 05-29-2014 - 5:41pm

You know what the flight attendent always says?

"Put the oxygen mask on yourself first before helping anyone else put theirs on."  

You have been together 8 years and I totally get what you are describing.  Although my details are different, I get the general feeling.  Like Safire says, a marriage really does need tending like a garden.  I have also been with DH 8 years and married for 1.  We are still kind of in the mushy husband and wife thing, but we also have similar struggles that you describe.  

Some think this is a great idea, some think it is horrible that I would consider this, but I heard someone say that they had to set a reminder on their phone to say something nice to their wife.  Whether it be in person, phone call or text.  I thought it was a great idea and a GF of mine thought it was horrible that this man needed a reminder.  

Anyways, like I mentioned above, regardless of where your DH is, you need to take care of yourself.  Hard to take care of a marriage if you don't even like yourself right now.  The balance can be tricky.  This is my 3rd marriage, so my R with DH is really important to me.  I truly want to live the rest of my life with him.  So learning how to tend my own garden, and our garden together, can have its challenging moments.  

You absolutely have to find someone you can talk to in real life.  We are helpful here, but talking to a real person is vital, whoever that may be.

Good luck and keep us posted!

Serenity CL making a marriage work

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2014
Fri, 05-30-2014 - 4:53am

Thanks everyone for the advice - aiming to make a step in the right direction today.  Will keep you posted!