Talk About Marriage banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

Came here looking for insight because I'm stuck in true ambivalence about what to do in my marriage. Not interested in venting about him, he's a lovely person, I'm not angry with him, but I am not satisfied in our marriage. I'm in my late 30's, American, he's 40, French, and our styles of communication have become so distant that connection isn't happening...for years. We're great friends. I appreciate him. He doesn't have a real history prior to our relationship in terms of non-one night stand sexual encounters. Longest relationship was 6 months. We've been together for 8 years, 6 of them married, he moved to the states to be with me while I finished school, and we got married as a way to stay together. Long story short, there's no sex. During our relationship my father started sexually harassing me (he was also addicted to prescription pain killers at the time) and a month after getting married in a courthouse, I brought my husband home to meet my father and sister, who he had not met yet (he knew my brother and mother). It was a blow out, my mom broke her ankle missing a stair, my father was too high to help her, we all stayed up with her in the hospital while he stayed in bed sedated. Again, it's a much longer story, but suffice to say, my father got abusive, I drew a boundary about it, and my father flipped out, kicking me out of the house (was essentially the only wedding party we ever had). I became depressed (understandably) and my husband grew distant, completely avoiding me and my feelings. That's the root of where our sex life went off the rails...it stopped. I began therapy, which was great. Husband began working long days, avoiding coming home. He once professed his love and how he wanted to get married the right way after our courthouse marriage, but that faded for him. He has been responsible for more than his share (75/25) in terms of finances, he also makes 6 figures.

His ability to have sex left with the events surrounding our marriage. Can't maintain erections, and orgasms very very quickly. After two years of asking to see a therapist or trying to talk about it (me always initiating the conversation), even just asking what he likes began to make him angry. He never wanted to talk about it. He completely shut down for most of our marriage. He has seen my anger develop into rage and then develop into resignation and disinterest. We had sex twice last year, once this year, and I have lost my desire to reconnect. I guess it's pretty clear I don't trust him sexually anymore. The other side of this is that the lack of connection is preventing us from being able to plan, or even talk about and work towards any goals as a couple. I feel like I am wasting time, as abstract as that sounds.

However...we have a life. We work together occasionally on jobs, he's calm and grounded, and I can't tell how much of this is foreign culture/languages or how much is about us actually not being a good fit for each other despite the love we do share. For me, we are in that classic roommate/family member space. I'd be sad to lose him. Even if he was avoiding me, he was still the only family I had when I stopped speaking to my father because of his drug abuse, and by extension, his abuse of me. I miss a deep conversation, which I can't get with my husband. I go back and forth in therapy about what I want, because I don't want to start over, and I don't want to stay in this version of this marriage at all. We went to therapy once, and we didn't scream or yell, but he did tremble the entire time. I was just defeated by his lack of ability to engage. I fantasize about leaving and going through my own hard time trying to get myself on my feet, and it doesn't sound all that bad. I almost left over the summer. Got real close, but ultimately came home out of a sense of not being reckless. I have never cheated. I'm pretty sure he hasn't either. He's pretty committed and very shy. Anyone see this more clearly than I? Just looking for perspective.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
362 Posts
He's likely avoiding sex because of his sexual dysfunction. PE and ED are extremely difficult on a man (or so I hear BOOM! ;)

Seriously though if he can't get it up then is done in under a minute, sex is likely very stressful and humiliating for him rather than pleasurable.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,213 Posts
Anyone see this more clearly than I? Just looking for perspective.
I think you are seeing the picture as clearly as one can. You have no sex life and your partner refuses to address it. He prefers to ignore the 800 lb gorilla sitting in the room.

You must understand that it takes two people to fix a marriage. One person cannot do it alone. If he's unwilling to even meet you half way, then all you have is a good friendship, a husband in name only.

You are only 30 years old. You didn't mention children but if there are none then this is a good time for a clean break. Divorce. Move on with your life and find someone with whom you can share the intimacy that is exclusive to a loving relationship. Do not let fear of the unknown keep you in a relationship with someone who you will end up resenting in the future.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,232 Posts
Does he know about your father sexually abusing you?
How many sad things did you share with him?

Maybe, he views you as broken, not someone he wishes to be intimate with.
You know, mind movies about your past.

If he knows nothing about what I just wrote, then something in him changed.
Maybe you intimidate him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just to stay clear, my father's abuse was verbal (yes always sexual, but not physical), though awful and constant for awhile. Yes he knows. Not sure if I feel that's what's happening, but I guess it could have, especially in the few months after the blow out. I feel that he's someone who doesn't complain (ever, its so weird, honestly) and seems to not want to deal with anything unpleasant. Chronic avoidance. Constantly smiling. And to marriageontherocks' comment, I absolutely know that's true, but it wasn't like that before our marriage, and he won't try to figure out what it is. Literally only moves forward if he feels he's going to lose me, and then stops making any progress if I look content. That's just unfair, its exhausting to go back and forth like that for me. So there's nothing unclear, and my only option is to leave or stay and endure...I hate those options. They are harsh, but yes, I see how that's relatively true. Maybe he's intimidated, I don't know. I'm clear and confident in my communication, he's not, but we're living more in my first language than his, which I always feel is part of it.

What's up with ED anyway when it's not a medical issue??? This part of the question is driving me absolutely batty. It's so much to ask of me to just grin and bear it. I suppose that's why he never complains about anything?? That's such a huge trade off for him...ugh.

Also, I'm in my late 30's, which is to say I just turned 38. We married when I was 32. We were pregnant once, and chose to end the pregnancy because I was still in school and we still had two different countries to deal with. He mentioned wanting to try again in a year. If only I knew how that would actually turn out...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think you are seeing the picture as clearly as one can. You have no sex life and your partner refuses to address it. He prefers to ignore the 800 lb gorilla sitting in the room.

You must understand that it takes two people to fix a marriage. One person cannot do it alone. If he's unwilling to even meet you half way, then all you have is a good friendship, a husband in name only.

You are only 30 years old. You didn't mention children but if there are none then this is a good time for a clean break. Divorce. Move on with your life and find someone with whom you can share the intimacy that is exclusive to a loving relationship. Do not let fear of the unknown keep you in a relationship with someone who you will end up resenting in the future.

Thanks for the support, Lila. I feel that I have to (for my own sake) try all the options I can think of before divorcing, because of fear, most likely...but I get over pieces of the fear at a time. Maybe this year I'll be able to do it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,213 Posts
Thanks for the support, Lila. I feel that I have to (for my own sake) try all the options I can think of before divorcing, because of fear, most likely...but I get over pieces of the fear at a time. Maybe this year I'll be able to do it.
You need to ask yourself "What am I afraid of and why?" then go break down those fears one by one. I have found that having a plan of action helps keep the fears at bay. If you start planning for a divorce, everything from splitting financials to finding another place to live, then you won't be so scared of being on your own.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You need to ask yourself "What am I afraid of and why?" then go break down those fears one by one. I have found that having a plan of action helps keep the fears at bay. If you start planning for a divorce, everything from splitting financials to finding another place to live, then you won't be so scared of being on your own.
What I'm scared of is the process more than being on my own. I love being alone, to a fault maybe even. At this point it sounds like bliss to not have to negotiate language constantly. But the process, the hurt he'll likely feel, the loss of, at very least, the best friend I've had in ages...that's what I'm most afraid of I think. A plan, yes, this is true. Sometimes I begin to think about it. I look at my house as full of far too much stuff for being able to move quickly, etc, and I begin organizing and throwing things out. But then he comes home and there is a feeling of comfort on the family level. I guess that's it. I'm afraid of losing my sense of home. Bingo.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,213 Posts
What I'm scared of is the process more than being on my own. I love being alone, to a fault maybe even. At this point it sounds like bliss to not have to negotiate language constantly. But the process, the hurt he'll likely feel, the loss of, at very least, the best friend I've had in ages...that's what I'm most afraid of I think. A plan, yes, this is true. Sometimes I begin to think about it. I look at my house as full of far too much stuff for being able to move quickly, etc, and I begin organizing and throwing things out. But then he comes home and there is a feeling of comfort on the family level. I guess that's it. I'm afraid of losing my sense of home. Bingo.

@ladyG, your plans should also include self improvement. Individual counseling to address your separation anxiety or FOO issues; socializing more (developing your support network); career development; physical fitness; etc... Once you stop relying on your husband for that "feeling", you'll find you can create your home anywhere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I am actively doing all of those things. I know you're right about the last bit. It doesn't make me jump to divorce as a conclusion though (at least not yet) hence my post. I also think that it's relatively backwards, right...we don't live without someone and their role in our lives until we make the move to not have them in our lives...but I hear what you are trying to say. This year I finished my first feature documentary, finished my grad degree, began teaching at a local college, took up bodysurfing, and continued a medium format photography practice (landscape, mostly deserts), and I continue to discuss this issue (along with others) with my therapist. Also, with a big loss of home in my own family, the need for it, or the fear of losing it (a sense of family) is a bigger deal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
I can completely understand what you're dealing with. Some parts of your story are the same as mine. My H and I are friends, roommates, more than anything. He and his family are my only family. If I proceed with divorce I would lose it all, my stepchildren that I have helped raise since they were 2&3, my grandchildren, everyone in my life. But I am lonely even though I am not really ever alone. I want to feel something again.
You are not alone! I wish I had solid advice for you. If I were your age and without children, I would say go find happiness.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top