might be beyond saving...new to board

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2012
might be beyond saving...new to board
12
Sat, 01-07-2012 - 9:38am
Been married about 20 years with three kids. We share the duties of parenting well but the affection and intimacy has been missing for years....it started slowly prob almost unnoticed but has eroded to the point of being almost completely absent. When I get home from work, there is barely an acknowledgement.by her most days. We don.t say goodbye or goodnight, no snuggling in bed or on couch. We dont hug or talk about us ever. She seems to tolerate me now, but she is.not affectionate. In fairness, we both work. She has demanding job and picks kids up from school most days and supervises homework, after school.activities, etc. I am in charge of morning show, getting all kids up and off to school. She handles cooking and laundry. I am usually not home til 7. But I do help where I can, especially weekends and cleaning.up aftet dinner. But we have really become these people that just avoid.interaction. She fills her free time watching house shows andvreading blogs. I have no inteterest in that whatsoever. I go out with diff friends a couple timed month. She has few friends and almost never goes out. I feel like I need time away to check in with friends and just have fun. I have told her several times over the last couple years that I think we neef counseling or something. She jusy says i'm dramatic and everything.is.fine and this is just how it is 20 years later. I dont accept that. I see friends in the same stage that still show genuine interest and affection for each other and it bothers me that we are in this rut. I am to the point that I dont even want to do anything with her. I dread the days when none of the kids are home and its just us...so awkward. Silent car rides...idle chatter. Shes clattering about doong stuff to the house, and meanwhile our relationship is barely breathing,..no passion....i'm thinking what is the point? I had my advances in bed.rejected so many times that I finally had had it and decided to not even give her the opportunity to reject me again. She never initiates, never compliments me, even though when we go out,.i always say she looks nice. Recently I asked her about this and she actually said something like i'm already too confident. My god, it took her about 6 weeks of me not making advances before her.biological needs kicked in and she initiated with me. on those rare occasions when we're alone it would never cross her.mind to have a quickie or get in bed. Rare sex is.boring and mechanical...no kissing....i hate that. She doesnt want that and doesnt want to do the things I want. I'm just sick of this messed up situation and seeking every opportunity to withdraw and avoid being with her....i want affection and love and sex, but at this point its all essentially non existent. There are a few days a month where shes nice, but not affectionate,and i'm supposed to play along and pretend everything is fine, when we both know its not. Very frustrating. I just dont know what to do at this point. She is in denial.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Sat, 01-07-2012 - 12:09pm
Have you told her just how unhappy you are with things as they are? Sounds like she's convinced herself she's happy with the way things are and thinks this is what ALL marriages are like after 20 years. It does sound like your marriage is in a rut and something needs to be done to pull it out of that rut. Since she feels things are fine and has no interest in marriage counseling then maybe you should go yourself and talk to a MC. You don't have to go as a couple to get some suggestions on how you may be able to fix (or at least improve) this. This is a very common problem in a lot of marriages. The couple stay together (not necessarily happy) mostly to raise the kids, the kids grow up and eventually leave the nest, and the couple see that that they no longer have anything in common anymore now that the kids are gone. That is a very common time for divorces to happen unless the couple can somehow find a way to revive the relationship. So I think your best bet is to go talk to a marriage counselor now. Maybe you also need to make it clear to your wife that you can't go on much longer with the way things are. I think you need to come right out and tell her that you don't see you 2 staying together after the kids are gone with the way things are now. GOOD LUCK.
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-15-2008
Sun, 01-08-2012 - 10:10am

Hi usedtobehappy,

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-29-2002
Sun, 01-08-2012 - 11:39am

I think Ollie2008 has some very good points.

It might be a good idea to look at what your daily routine is like, compared to your wifes.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2012
Sun, 01-08-2012 - 2:36pm
I should clarify, while she does mire than me, she is a teacher and is home @ 230, has summers off yadda, yadda. She is just as "disinterested" in mid summer as she is during the school year. And I do much morevthan I let on earlier. I do quite a bit of helping out when i'm home, and its not uncommon for mevto spend 8 to 10 hours in the summer months working outside the house. She actually went on a work trip for several days last summer. When she came home, the house was immaculate from top to bottom, never a "thank you" or a" so good to be home"...not even a passing tbought about so much as a hand job for the guy who spent three fays while she was gone rescreening tbe patio, a.huge, dirty, messy job. work and chores i'm sure may overwhelm her but she overcommits, volunteers for stuff for the hell of it....i think she likes being a martyr so she can have an excuse. no matter what I do, its not enough....i'm tired of trying to earn sex with good deeds....fk that.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Sun, 01-08-2012 - 2:54pm

I can hear your resentment of her loud and clear. It really is time to sit her down and tell her that you can't go on anymore with things as they are. Tell her that something has got to change or the marriage isn't going to last much longer, before you go out and do something you'll regret, and THAT something will just make things worse.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-09-2012
Tue, 01-10-2012 - 9:49am
It's eerie how similar our stories are. I am new to this board, I just signed up yesterday, and I read your story first and wow... it's like you're in my head. I am in no position to give advice but I can tell you how I feel and it might help. I've been married for almost 15 years with 3 kids. Things started going downhill after our 3rd child was born. We didn't have any time alone to connect. We didn't try to make time to be alone. I had a poor body image. I didn't feel attractive. He never complimented me when I did make changes. The kids took full attention. I felt pushed to the side. He's go out with his friends and never encouraged me to go out with mine. The cuddling and kissing only came when he wanted sex. I love kissing. I love the connection. I'm emotional. When I feel loved and appreciated I am more affectionate and attentive. I started feeling resentful. When he would do things around the house to "help" me I would see it as he was doing them because I wasn't doing them well enough. It was unspoken criticism. I started over-committing to my kids school. I ran fundraiser after fundraiser. I was praised and thanked and appreciated and I loved it. I craved it. People wanted and needed me. We never talked about us. HUGE MISTAKE. Our friends would never know that there was a problem. From the outside it looks like we are the model family. Most are shocked that we are separating. He is moving out this weekend. We (meaning men and women) are not mind readers. There are things going on in her head that she needs to communicate to you without fear of being taken lightly or laughed at. Communication is the key and it is something that most of us are not good at. I wish I could have figured all of this out sooner. Now it might be too late for me to save my marriage but it sounds like you haven't made that decision to leave yet. The big question is Do you still love her?

I wish you luck. This is the hardest thing that I have ever had to do.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-21-2011
Tue, 01-10-2012 - 3:29pm

Its very difficult to break up a marriage, espcially when kids are involved, but sometimes it is our only resort.

Have you tried counseling with her? I really beleive in at least trying to salvage it. It did not work for my marriage (actually I don't know of any it has) but I was able to leave with a clear conscience (still not easy).

We only get one shot at this game, don;t settle for less

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-23-2011
Tue, 01-10-2012 - 4:51pm

You are also telling my story too, and unfortunatly I am in the middle of divorce now. I was with my ex 15 years, 4 children. My advice to you would be to get yourself into counseling, and ask her to go. if she won't, then at least you tried & it will help you to talk to someone. Also, you need to really ask yourself if you really

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2012
Mon, 01-16-2012 - 10:18am
Had a date night sat, and sat in garage afterwards and had long talk. We kept it as objective as possible and I think we both laid our cards on table and admitted our own failings...neither of us blamed the other. I knew that I was not without fault, and it was good to hear her acknowledge the same. I let her know how I felt, and it was a difficult, but very needed conversation. I dont know if we will beat the odds and stay together forever, but at least for now we have broken through a wall of hurt and resentment, and we both acknowledged areas that we need to work on to stay above water. It felt really good to talk again, and to be able to hug and kiss a bit. Had a nice goodbye before heading to work today. I know the shine could wear off when things get stressful, but at least for the moment we have a cease fire, and I am very thankful for that.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Mon, 01-16-2012 - 3:29pm
Hopefully things are on the road to recovery if you both keep working at it. GOOD LUCK.

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