How many of you stayed together and have a friendship instead of love?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-09-2010
How many of you stayed together and have a friendship instead of love?
Mon, 04-16-2012 - 3:00am


maybe this question sounds weird but it is what keeps me head turning. My DDay was almost 2 years ago, I went through a lot of disappointment regarding his working on our marriage (it seems we have totally different views on how a cheater should show his wife his lofe and devotion), we did no counselling, it was only me who read many self-help books. He just didn't want to or didn't see the sense in it or whatever.

Our daily life is quiet, friendly, funny, harmonious. As long as I don't reflect on our status as couple. In fact I mustn't think at all about our marriage because it is then I feel most rootless and alone.

You don't have to misunderstand me: my husband is a loving father, a caring man, he helps me so much with the household, is backing and supporting everything I do. But I never had the feeling that it is really me as a woman he desires and loves. It is rather me as his friend, his children's mother, an ally, someone he spent his last 20 years with. Someone you are so used to you don't want to give up that familiarity. Meanwhile I guess I feel the same way, too. I told him long ago that my love for him has died. We don't have sex anymore, not because he doesn't want to, it is me who just cannot stand the thought of sleeping with him. It is out of hurt, of anger but also because there is no more physical attraction there.

Some months ago I developed kind of a little crush for a man who is much younger than me. It is merely for my imagination, something to dream about, and it will never become anything real because he just cannot be interested in someone like me, but it helps me to live my life and gives me a bit of romance, even if it is only in my head. My husband doesn't know, he never would be suspicious because he just cannot imagine I could be interesting for somebody else, I think.

As having no sex at all for almost one year and guessing that it must be harder for him than it is for me (even though it IS hard for me I have to say) I suggested him to have sex with someone else if he got the chance to do so. A kind of open marriage, so to say. I didn't lie when I said I understood that it must be very hard to live without 'real' sex (masturbation excluded of course) and that even for me it was really hard, but that I just wasn't in a state to sleep with him, that there was still too much anger, hurt. His reaction was weird. He said that he hasn't thought about something like that, that he didn't think it would work because in his opinion there would always be some emotions invested if you sleep with somebody and that he feared that he got in trouble if he really did something like that. Interesting. I told him that he always swore that the other woman he cheated me with was absolutely meaningless to him, that he wasn't interested in her and that it was only the occasion for having sex. So with what he told me today he was contradicting himself. No answer from him.

I went on by saying that it would be a game with unequal chances for us because he wouldn't have any problems finding somebody for this special purpose whereas I didn't have that chance at all because of my looks, weight. etc. He didn't even make the effort to give me a polite answer like "But you ARE attractive!" or something like that. I thought maybe once he would tell me that I'm beautiful for him. From the day on when I discovered what happened he hasn't said anything like that. He never gave me the impression that I was a beautiful woman.During the last few weeks I assumed he must have noticed something about me behaving different: I'm putting on make-up, dress a bit prettier, especially when I'm going to meet my young guy. He sees me talking a lot and getting along really well with this man. Yesterday I even forgot (I really did) to put a book away I'm reading at the moment: 'The good girl's guide to bad girl sex'. I guess he just doesn't put me past something like that, getting interest from other men.

He says that he wants to go on like we do at the moment. Why? Does he really think I believe him when he says he never thought of getting sex somewhere else during the last months? That he is totally satisfied with masturbation when even I am totally unsatisfied by now? I think he just wants the comfortable family package and doesn't want to think about such issues. In fact he didn't say a lot during our conversation. I fought for words to describe how I feel, he didn't. The talking ended without any decision, I was feeling worse again because he confirmed what I feel about myself with what he said or didn't say: I'm just an overweight unattractive woman.

I'm sure my husband doesn't tell me the truth about his feelings. I have this feeling since I got to know about his cheating. Last year I tried to handle it, but today I just don't know what he wants. I just don't get it. He is a bigger stranger to me than ever before, I feel I don't know this person at all. Of course his cheating made me call everything he says into question, I don't trust him at all, but now I notice that I really don't know if he's telling me lies or not. It is weird however that I don't care about it as much as I used to.

I feel alone, like I had no husband at all. It scares me a bit, on the other hand I feel more free. I don't know where all this will lead, I guess we are both scared to do the decisive move. I know I need him to be here with the family because I couldn't handle it on my own, I'm still much too ill for such a situation. Maybe he waits until something new happens in his life. The on course he could and would say that he found someone new he wants to spend his life with. Fine with me, and worst case ever as well.

My private life - not my family life, this is something completely different - my life as a woman, a sexual, emotional being, is a scrapheap. At the moment I have no idea how I could change something and I feel really weak.

But what makes me almost suffocate is this silence between my husband and me. This short conversation today ended so soon because he obviously didn't have to say anything. He never had since the day I found out about him and the OW. He thinks if he says nothing and goes on with our everyday life everything is fine. There is so much unspoken between us, the air is burning, but he would never start talking about it all. That is why I gave up on our marriage in the end, because even in the acute state he never said anything besides meaningless things. It was all too much work, I guess. and it still is, obviously. But it makes me see again why we didn't manage working it out.

I really don't know how to heal, but I urge to do so. I want to have my family without being hurt, angry, anything like that. Counselling is no option, at least not for us as a couple, he didn't want to. Maybe for me alone to get my mind emancipated from this former relationship, my marriage. I really wanted our marriage to work again, but it seems it is too late for that. So the next best thing seems to be friends, but I fear I am still too entangled in all this mess of hatred, anger, hurt, disappointment that it would be devastating for me if I found out he really has sex with other women.

Confusing, isn't it? Yes, but that is how I feel every day. I don't really know how to feel. Sometimes I think my life is over and that I have to endure the remaining years, no matter what.

Anybody who can relate to this?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-22-1999
I too am in a sort of friends place with my H. Its been months since we have had sex and most days I don't care if we ever do. I would suggest you seek some IC. more so to help you overcome these negative thoughts you have about yourself. Maybe you could forget about the marriage and focus on you and your self worth. And I would imagine if you see yourself as attractive others will too. Good luck.