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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My husband asked me this last night before we had sex. The quick background is, we've been going through a lot. Or, I've been going through a lot in the relationship. He's done things that have left me feeling abandoned (the usual things mostly, not meeting needs, love busting, and then some unusual things like saying insane things, neglecting the kids, and lying constantly). I've continued to have sex with him even though I'm not feeling any desire because I want to make this work.

So last night he asks me that question, and I just feel utterly defeated. He's so immature and self-centered, I don't think he even gets that I have feelings or feels any obligation to give me what I need. As long as I'm cooking dinner, cleaning, raising the kids, and giving him sex twice a week, things are perfect as far as he's concerned. But how can things be perfect if I'm in so much pain? I feel like he just doesn't care.

I've told him this, we've talked. None of it seems to make an impression on him. I tried writing, no response. I've bought and read so many of the books recommended here, and he'll read maybe 20 pages and then quit. When we talk, he says he does care and he'll start showing me, but the actions say otherwise. He doesn't even try for a few weeks and then revert back. He never even tries!

Ugh, if it weren't for the kids, I'd give up. Do you guys have any advice??
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I want him to care about how I feel, both physically and emotionally. I want him to care about our family and have goals and ideas. I want him to give the kids energy and attention, without me having to initiate every positive interaction for him.

We've seen a few professionals to try to figure out what's going on with him (a neurological illness was suspected at first), but the doctor who did his testing said it looks like a maturity issue to her, not a cognitive one, and she referred us to marriage counseling.

I just don't know how to fix it. How do you make a 38 year old grow up??
 

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"Pure physical relationship" Only time I ever used those words was when I was letting women know where they stood with me - in that I was only interested in friends with benefits and nothing else.

Looks like he no longer loves you. He's not interested in your needs except for one. He doesn't care, you're the last thing on his mind, he wants you to become his friend with benefits and that's it.

If that's not what you want; stop the sex -> now.
I suggest you toughen up, he's made a doormat out of you.
 

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I want him to care about how I feel, both physically and emotionally. I want him to care about our family and have goals and ideas. I want him to give the kids energy and attention, without me having to initiate every positive interaction for him.

We've seen a few professionals to try to figure out what's going on with him (a neurological illness was suspected at first), but the doctor who did his testing said it looks like a maturity issue to her, not a cognitive one, and she referred us to marriage counseling.

I just don't know how to fix it. How do you make a 38 year old grow up??
So, how did the marriage counselling go?

You can want those things till the cows come home, but I suspect he doesn't give a flying fig about that. And that's what you can expect to continue to see from him. Your choices are to accept the way things are, or start making changes to improve the situation.

C
 

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northernlights, it sounds like you are in a similar relationship to mine.
Only difference is I'm now single after twenty years of "marriage".
 

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You cannot force someone to change. They have to want to change. Any attempt to do this will likely result in you feeling like you are bashing your head on a wall. The only thing you have control over is yourself. Do what makes you happy for you. You can allow consequences for his actions. if his behavior makes you unhappy, you are not required to cater to him. If there is no reason for him to grow up, why would he. At least seek counseling for yourself as an outlet. HTH
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've been afraid that if I stopped having sex with him, that would be an unhealthy way getting his attention. It seems like it goes against all the advice I've read online. But, the sex does feel me leaving resentful, and if there's any chance cutting it off would be a wake up call, I'll take it.

Happysnappy, I feel exactly like I'm bashing my head against a wall. It's awful.

PBear, I get what you're saying. I've spent 3 years having heart to hearts, crying, and asking for changes. We haven't started counseling (together) yet. He went once without me, then cancelled the next session when I told him I wanted to come. We're in his home country right now and I don't speak the language, so I'm kind of dependent on him for setting that up.

I know I look like a total doormat in this situation. I'm just really hesitant to put my foot down because of the kids. And out of fear... I'm not prepared to actually leave him, so I don't want to put it on the table. As it stands, he knows I'll put up with this until the kids are big, so I think he has little motivation to change. I think I need to get myself into a place where I am willing to leave, even though I don't want to. That requires me valuing my happiness over a stable family for my kids, and I'm just not sure I can do it. Well that's not exactly right... I'm very happy with every area of my life except my marriage. So it feels like if I were to leave, or seriously allow myself to consider leaving, then I'm valuing my happiness in a relationship with a man over my kids' happiness.
 

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So last night he asks me that question, and I just feel utterly defeated.

Ugh, if it weren't for the kids, I'd give up. Do you guys have any advice??
Not much to say, your husband sounds selfish, but we are only hearing one side. He sounds like he wants a FWB that keeps his house clean and food on the table, that is a relationship, just not very emotional or meaningful.

Ask him if that is what he wants can you get a FWB outside of your home, that may start him thinking. After you mention that tell him you think you two need to seek counseling.

Good luck, sounds like a long term struggle.
 

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First, do the 180.

That means a non-friend without benefits. If you are cooking dinner anyway, make enough for him too. If he's working late, too bad.

Don't be interested in his stuff. This is not to get him back. This is to train your mind at how to live alone without beating your head against the wall.

You may not get him back...but you won't waste any more effort on him. Stop dragging him along in your marriage.

I would seriously suggest a two week vacation alone. Leave the kids with him.

He might have a renewed appreciation of your contribution...
 

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Sorry to say but your husband has checked out of the marriage, if he was truly ever in the marriage. No spouse can ask a question like this and truly have love in their heart for their mate. His statement is also a confirmation of your fears that he is unwilling to make any changes. You said that you have talked and talked and he has promised to change but he never has. This question is his answer to your hopes about him changing. It is not going to happen. As much as I hate to say it, your marriage is, in effect, already over. Regardless if it is formally over.
I know that your current situation being in a foreign country with children and with a minimal support structure is difficult, but you need to begin laying the groundwork and preparing for the time (hopefully soon) where you will be able to leave this dead end relationship.
 

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I think he's a narcissist or sociopath and has no empathy at all. I'm afraid you are going to have to get rid of him, he doesn't care. He can't care, he doesn't know how.
 
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