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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My husband and I married almost two years ago and do not have any children yet. We dated for about a year before getting married and had many ups and downs. He is a pessimist (the result of growing up in a rough neighborhood with a single mother- his dad committed suicide when he was 6) while I am an optimist and this is often the source of many of our problems. While dating, he was this intense, super involved guy who would do anything for me.

Over the past two years, it seems like our marriage has gone downhill. Or maybe it has just stayed the same? I'm just not sure! We constantly bicker about everything from who's car to drive to who bought dog food last. Over the course of time, we have lost all respect for each other and this is always apparent when we fight. Every time I ask my husband to do something, he gets upset and accuses me of nagging. When he doesn't try harder to pick up after himself, I get pissed and accuse him of being lazy. I sleep in on the weekend and I'm lazy...the cycle goes on and on and on. We name call, ignore each other, scream at each other and just about everything else that is disrespectful.

Additionally, we rarely, if ever, have sex. Unlike most relationships, this is my husbands choice. He NEVER initiates sex and 9 out of 10 times when I try to initiate it he says he's tired or not in the mood. This always tends to upset me and I can't help but feel rejected by him. He says it's because he has a low sex drive due to his weight, which I understand can be true, but it's been 3 years (with the exception of the first 6 months of dating, it has always been this way). In the last 3 months we have had sex twice and we are only in our early 30s!

I feel like I am at my wits end. I love my husband very much but it's getting more and more difficult to remember why... I have been doing a lot of thinking lately and am not sure what else to do. We tried couples therapy for 6 months but after not seeing many results (it made me feel more hopeless) we slowly stopped going. What else is there?

Yesterday, after my husband got pissed at me for not wanting to go out to brunch with him (I was doing gardening) he again called me a name and stormed out of the house to get himself lunch. I just don't understand this behavior! After thinking about it for awhile, I told him that I wasn't happy and that I think I want a divorce. Even as I said it, I knew it wasn't really true. I still love him very much. We started talking about things and I told him that I just don't feel happy these days and that I don't like the person that I am becoming in our relationship. The constant bickering, anger and lack of intimacy are breaking my heart and I just can't handle them anymore.

My husband said that this was up to me and if this is really what I want then he will "have to be" fine with it but he needs a few months to figure out where he is going to go or live. I told him that it isn't what I want but I don't have any other solutions. I asked him if he had any and he said he didn't know but he didn't want a divorce.

I'm not sure what I was looking for, but I guess I was hoping that he might show a little more passion for our relationship instead of "if that is what you want" sort of thing. He talked a little about feeling that if we were going to divorce now he had just wasted two years where he could have been meeting someone else and getting married and having kids. We don't have kids yet because of job changes and a few health issues we have been dealing with but were hoping to start trying next year. But seriously, what kind of response is that? Why doesn't he want to FIGHT for us?

We left it that we would both think about if there are any other options for our relationship. I told him I would see if there were others I could bring to the table and asked him to do the same. I suspect that this is going to be just another one of those things that he says he will do, but never does because he's too busy taking care of the lawn, playing softball or watching TV. But what should I do? Should I truly look into divorce if I know this is how it is going to be? If we have already tried counseling, what are the other options? I really don't want a divorce but I just don't know what else to do!
 

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He sounds depressed. The first thing I would do is tell him if he doesn't want divorce is to see a psychiatrist and to start losing weight. A sexless marriage with a depressed person will drag anyone down. His background is an excuse for not fixing himself.
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My husband said that this was up to me and if this is really what I want then he will "have to be" fine with it but he needs a few months to figure out where he is going to go or live. I told him that it isn't what I want but I don't have any other solutions. I asked him if he had any and he said he didn't know but he didn't want a divorce.

I'm not sure what I was looking for, but I guess I was hoping that he might show a little more passion for our relationship instead of "if that is what you want" sort of thing. He talked a little about feeling that if we were going to divorce now he had just wasted two years where he could have been meeting someone else and getting married and having kids. ... Why doesn't he want to FIGHT for us?
We could have been married to the same man. I notice that when you hit him with divorce as a possible solution, he went the practical route and started figuring out (aloud, I assume) that he would need to find a place to live. Furthermore, he then turned to other practicalities, as they relate to HIM, about finding someone else to marry and having kids.

After all, this marriage seems to have been a "waste" of "his" time.

WHY won't he fight for his marriage? From what you've posted, it doesn't sound like he has that much invested, emotionally-speaking, in the marriage. He doesn't initiate sex, it sounds like you two argue about everyday things (which are probably covering up some much bigger things), and couples therapy didn't work. But he doesn't want a divorce. On the other hand, it doesn't sound like he wants much of a marriage either. That leaves the two of you kinda living in limbo-land, doesn't it?

Why not try another couples therapist? Suggest that the two of you make a commitment to your marriage and give it all you've got to work things out with a competent, well-qualified marriage counselor?

If he still acts like he can take-it-or-leave-it as far as your marriage goes, then at least you can say you gave it your all.

P.S. - Both of you need to step back and take possession of your own contributions to the problems in your marriage. Finger-pointing gets nowhere fast. Own up to your share of the problem. Then leave his share for him to pick up. It can be done, with the help of a trained professional.
 

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You may need a different marriage counselor and ClipClop may be right...maybe he is depressed and in need of some medication. I would see if he is willing to go to the Dr. and see what his testosterone level is. That may be low. You and he may need to see an individual/marriage counselor who is in an office with a psychiatrist so that if medication is needed, the transition to see the psychiatrist will be easier and he can start on some medications.

Fighting all of the time saps the love away...that is sure. If you love him and there is no one in between you, you may be able to work on how he feels and then how you are together and your problems may not seem so insurmountable.

Best of luck to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the input. My husband is already on anti-depressants after I gave him an ultimatum a few months ago. He has been taking them pretty regularly and I have seen a huge difference but unfortunately not enough.

We had a big talk the other night and he said that although he doesn't want a divorce he does wonder if it might be the only route to go. As he says it, he doesn't ever think he'll be able to make me happy. He thinks that the changes I need him to make are too far against his way of being.

I know I do ask some difficult things of him, but he isn't always considerate of my feelings. Yelling at a sales clerk because she corrected his error or flicking off and tailgating every driver who cuts in front of him just isn't ok with me. Especially when I'm with. He did anger management counseling for awhile and it helped a little but maybe he's right...maybe some of these things are just too ingrained. Or maybe I am asking him to change too much and we are just incompatible.

I was also so disappointed that he didn't see willing to fight for our marriage. His "it's up to you" response was so depressing and just felt like more of the rejection I have been getting for the past year.

Any more suggestions? Also, has anyone tried Retrouvaille? I have heard it's worth a try but am skeptical as my husband doesn't want to go to a "religious" retreat or talk about things with other couples around.
 

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He just means that if you're running toward something, then you're excited about a fresh start, turning over a new leaf--it's about doing it for you. If you're running away, it's more about looking over your shoulder with regret or fear.

It's like the stories you hear about kids that grow up in homes where everyone yells or drinks and it's just a miserable environment to be in--half the time you hear about the ones that work hard and get these fabulous scholarships against all odds and head off to college and then the other half of the time, you hear about the ones that get crappy jobs right out of school and marry the first person they date just to get out of that house. They both leave, but one is running to the future and the second one is running from her past.
 

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My advice would be to get a solution oriented counselor. This kind of counselor can offer you solutions about how to deal with your problems with the future in mind, and not just unproductively rehash prior issues. It will involve both of you wanting to work on it though. Finding a good counselor is key. For an explanation on solution based therapy, go find the book 'divorce busting'. You should try this before you seriously consider divorce. It probably will not be the escape you're hoping for. It sounds like you both have issues communicating your true desires for your relationship, and perhaps went into the marriage with expectations that haven't been met and now you're both disillusioned. Also, your husband sounds like he has depression. While doing marriage counseling and individual counseling together can be tough, I think he should seek help. See if you can facilitate this in a loving way (I know this will be hard). Once he has started to come out of his own world, he may start doing things to improve his health. Most people don't realize how hard it is for someone who has depression to get help, or sometimes to even recognize that they need it. IF he really doesn't want divorce, you could say that you've decided to work on it if you see a new MC and he sees someone individually. It might take the support of an MC to get him to agree, but its worth a try.
 

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I've recently started reading the book "Too good to leave, too bad to stay" about being ambivalent in a marriage. I've been "on the fence" for years about staying with my husband or leaving. So far the book has been an eye-opener for me, in truly seeing what makes a marriage worth trying to save, and what things make it really time to decide that it's over. Just a thought... it might help to clarify things for you, or help you to see things from a different perspective.
 

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some good advice here, and i agree your husband seems to be dealing with depression that is bringing you down, but to shed light on a possible reason for why he didn't 'fight' for you - i think sometimes the valiant response we have come to expect from men simply doesn't exist. I think he responded the way he did because he was hurt that you initiated the conversation. i think for him, that meant that you had already come to the point in your mind to decide that that was what you wanted, because that is what he would say to you if he had already made that decision. i think that if he made a statement like that to you, it would probably mean that that is what he wanted. so in not responding, he was probably just trying to respect what he interpreted to be your wishes.

if neither of you really wants a divorce, then i think you guys should consider having an honest conversation about doing things differently and making conscious changes - but you both really have to want it.
 
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