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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I just found this site. I am going to keep this short so it does not get too emotional.

Where to begin?
My husband and I have been married nearly 18 years. We have one son who is 10.

Like many people on this site we have no sex life. Going on 8 years now. We have no real emotional intimacy. We do not have much day to day agreement on how to run the household.
We do have intellectual compatibility. He is a good friend for surface stuff. We just cant seem to get deeper.

Why are we together? I dont know. I can not financially care for my son on my own. I am sure that is part of it.

I am frustrated. Probably angry. Definately tired.
In all the years we have been together I have not seen my husband step forward to say he sees we have problems. He just goes along with what ever is there - unless I start pushing to talk. If I do he he becomes unapproachable and blames me for everything. the only answer he ever gives is "i dont know what to tell you. you just expect too much and you are crazy.

Early on in our marriage my husband was an abrupt person when it came to sex. He never tried to just ease me into intimacy - no soft kisses or cuddles. Just stick the toungue in and expect we would have sex. I tried teaching him how to touch me. But he took this to mean "dont touch" and calls me an ice queen.

We live in squalor. He is not much for home imporvement and argues with me every time I ask to take the vrap piling up in the back yard "its too expensive", "i dont have have time" "you cant use my truck" or "you can use my truck but not now". If I do any work it gets un-done faster than I can keep up.

I have tried hard to figure out how to make this work. but I hate every minute of it. I have had enough but I dont want to hurt my family or me. Yet I dont know what to do.

I cant fix it - I cant change it and I cant leave it.

Thanks for listening. I have to go now.
 

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OK, that would drive me crazy...I'd have a dumpster dropped off and load up the junk in a day & let him know how much work it was and out of respect for you to keep the junk out of the yard.

Sounds like you both gave up on sex early on, and didn't look back...I guess it's questionable whether either of you want to get that back on track...maybe pick up a Cosmo magazine or something...and read some articles together...get that type of conversation going and see how you are both feeling about things at this point?
 

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I don't believe you can't fix, leave, or change. I believe you need to pick ONE and MAKE it happen.

He is this way for a reason. Many men fail to show emotion to the degree women want. But also, many men stay tough because they fear being "changed". He may fear that if he starts giving in, you will try to change him, and he likes the way he is.

Do you REALLY live in squalor? Do pigs eat out of your trash? I don't mind the hyperbole if its accurate, but realistically what is it you are asking for and what kind of demands are there on his time? I can see getting irritated if he always has 5 hours a day for internet games. But if he works, and then comes home to chores before bed, I can see him being frustrated when his few free moments are annexed for stuff he may not see value in.

As a man who sometimes feels that my gf expects unreasonable things, I can tell you that a lot of it is in how, when, and what you say.

One woman I know, who wanted to have a successful money discussion without it turning into a fight, started using sports terms like "financial grand slam" or "touchdown" or "penalty box" or whatever. It sounds cheezy, but guess what... a productive, positive, successful discussion without a fight was achieved!

Think about it: you try talking to him. He gets defensive and tries to escape, so you try HARDER, and get more upset. He feels caged and cornered, so of COURSE he is going to shut down. When something doesn't work, you don't up the intensity, you try something else.

Does he like sex? Do you have it anymore, or have you shut down? You guys may be caught in a downward spiral each harboring unreasonable beliefs and prejudices about the other. You need to reconnect.

What got you two together in the first place? How can that be rekindled? What do you love about him? What does he love about you?

THESE are the things you should be milling over to find your starting point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
"squalor" is a perfectly valid word. After all it simply means "dirty, disorganized stemming from poverty or neglect"
Lets not start picking on vocabulary as "hyperbole". The only purpose it serves is to make one feel superior.

As for my troubles - yes my husband is lazy. He works 24 hours a week and surfs the net 80. He does do the laundry every 2 or 3 weeks. In his own words he is no good at making a plan. Truth is he is no good at sticking to one. He started custom trim on my house 10 years ago. Yet even now half the windows and doors have no trim at all. It does not matter that I have assured him that custom trim is not important to me. What does he need to get the job done?

He has had 8 years to approach me for sex. He does not. i have assured him I want him. I have bought lingerie and encourage porn. I have tried teasing, directly asking and begging. I have even shaved my .....
He says he is not gay. He says "it is in-appropriate" but does not say what he means or what is appropriate. I have done what I know to do. NOPE - I dont bring it up any more. Give me a friggin break.

Listen, no matter what I personally do - he has to step up at some point in our marriage. I am not a harpy. Or sex crazed or overly demanding. But no matter how much resposnibility I am willing to take - and look for my own errors to make corrections, he has to step up. Marriage is a two way street. he is a parked car facing the wrong direction with a stalled transmission. But no matter what I do or say or do not do or say his response is always the same. The mistake are all mine, the lacck of love is all my fault and all I want is for him to jump hoops

What I want is a husband who chooses to participate in our marriage because it is his marriage too. He will never buy a book, talk to a friend or join a forum hoping to find answers. God knows he does not talk to me.

I do appreciate that you have taken the time to answer my message. It was full of self pity. Not a pretty moment.
Pick one - hm....i have no money. Leaving is pretty much out.

change? I have tried making changes alone for 18 years.

Fix? That is obviously no optional at this point in the game.

I want to leave. That is my choice. Actually I mostly want him to leave. But that does not seem possible either.

How do you kick out a 6 foot tall, 200 lbs man while your 10 year old son looks on? How do you leave with no money and a 10 year old son? Where do you go? and how do you get there?
 

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Sorry to hear this...

Sounds like your marriage is dead. Time to move on and find happiness.

Do you have any family? Do you have any skills to gain employment? Ie degree of some sort, any employment back round?

When you file for a divorce, A police officer will deliver the papers to him, and the police will be there when he "leaves the house" He will have to vacate the premise when the papers are delivered. Your bank account will be split 50/50 from the moment of the filing.

I recommend, finding a lawyer, tell him your situation, and go from there.

My father died when i was 1 year old, my mother had No Job, never worked, and had 5 kids, this was in the 1970's so there was no day care, no other support out there. If she survived, you can as well, I grew up in a happy household, you can provide the same for your son.

Tell your husband you want a divorce, but you want to be civil for your son's sake.

Take it from there.

as I tell my kids, you always have an option, you always have a choice, there is No, I can't, you can, make it happen.

do what is BEST FOR YOU!

Good luck

Plus I don't think "chop" was picking on your vocabulary, i think he was just tryingt o get a better understanding of what you were describing. IE making sure he read it right.
 

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I'm so sorry that you've got to this stage and feel that you have no options.

However, you always have options. If you feel that your marraige is dead and you can't expect it to improve whatever you do then you need to make the decision to end it, or put up with it for the next 18. You might decide to stick it out till your child is old enough to fly the nest, but I personally think you'd be better to quit now, before relations between his parents start to affect his own happiness.

What would happen if you told your husband you wanted to seperate? He may be as unhappy as you are. You're assuming that you'll have to make it on your own, but you might find that he'd be happy to help you. If he cares at all for his child, then he's going to want to see him comfortable at the very least.

I don't know the ins and outs of child support, but I'd get yourself some legal advice asap so that you know where to start.

good luck, you'll make it if you want to.
 

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I was not picking on you, I'm not here to feel superior. Lets move on to what you've said

**"I want to leave. That is my choice."

OK, having made that choice, lets figure out how to make it happen.

The first thing to do is to be familiar with the laws of your state. A lot of the stuff that GASoccermom said may or may not be true where you are -- you need to be certain of what your rights are.

Talk to as many attorneys as you can before serving your husband with papers. I believe once you speak to an attorney, that attorney cannot speak to your husband -- at least not right away. It ensures you get the best pick.

Once you've talked to attorneys, ask your husband if the divorce can be amiable. You say you don't have much, but after a divorce you'll have absolutely nothing. If you guys can separate without it being too costly, so much the better.

Don't be afraid to look into shelters and other support groups available for women in your position. There is no shame in seeking help.

Best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
GAsoccermom,
I work full time. I just don't earn enough to pay for everything on my own.

You know what really bugs me is that if I dont think about the problems we get along OK. Turn a blind eye to the dirt, accept that there is no sex and that the house is falling apart and the day to day is OK.

I finally realized that he is the master of telling me what I want to hear and does just enough to make me think he is sincere. After a while though the excusess pile up in excess. By that time I am sincerely tired of arguing and so give up. Which is exactly his plan. If he can mollify me a bit that is all he needs. Right now I pay most of the bills, take care of our son on weekends (and after work too) so he can work. I cook and do the shopping. I also do the cleaning and some of the laundry. To be fair, he does the laundry too and helps our son with math homework (my son responds better to his dad than me with math.) Also he does cook dinner a day or two a week.

We have just started round 19 of the same old stuff. I told him I can not live like this any more (the dirt and junk) and when I came home from work he was cleaning the bedroom. But as soon as I walked in the door I became an excuse to stop cleaning and have some dinner.

It all feels so overwhelming. To top it off I really do not get a lot of support from my family. When I have come to this point before they start behaving as though I am a home wrecker with the sole purpose of damaging my son and husband. I become the bad guy. When I point out the problems we have in our marriage and the lack of support I have in it - I get treated like I am lying.

I have also tried talking to his parents. Letting them know we have some problems and asking them if they can help me figure out how to get him to go to couseling etc. Their response was "what did you do to him'?

Why is it, when there is trouble, the person actively trying to fix the problems is the bad guy?

I am not sure I can do this without some sort of support from my family. Do dont have any friends.

Also, because my husband is good with our son, I don't know what a divorce would do to my son. The last thing I want to do is hurt him and make his life miserable. He struggles a bit anyway. I don't know how I can say - oh and I dont love your father any more so I am divorcing him.

Also, and this is a very real thing, in my state (I believe) it is normal for there to be a home welfare visit from child services when there is a divorce. Right now, I would be afraid they would take my son away because of sub standard living conditions. (oh it really isnt all that bad) but its bad enough I dont have friends over. I feel so embarrassed. There is just way too much for me to do alone in the time I have every day. It gets undone faster than I can make headway.

Soot - its late and I have to go to work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
ps chop - when I have asked for a divorce before my husband has made it clear he will make it as nasty and degrading as possible.

That is why I am so scared. I could lose my son just because my husband is an a-hole. I am not sure it is worth it. My son is all I really have.
 

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***Why is it, when there is trouble, the person actively trying to fix the problems is the bad guy?

I submit the possibility that the others may not "believe" there is trouble, and they interpret your "fixing" as creating said trouble. I'm not siding against you, just exploring a different POV.

***(oh it really isnt all that bad)

This is why I asked about exaggeration. You are backpaddling. Clearly, it is bad enough for you, and that means something. By itself, a messy man is not the end of the world. But a messy man who is also selfish, manipulative, and rules through fear... now THAT is significant.

***That is why I am so scared...I am not sure it is worth it.

Kind of a "die on your feet or live on your knees" type of situation. You paint him as a puppet master who seems to have you right where he wants you. He can do the bare minimum, make the grand gesture, deal with your yappin' and life goes on. Some might say that if this is true, then he has life figured out quite well.

I say this, because he has you believing it, and I can see your gut instincts are starting to clue you in.

I will say this: with divorce, you have to want it and go for it. Its not a word you throw around like dropping names, hoping it will shock things back to normal.

I am very sorry to hear you don't have a support network in place, as that is a major stumbling point. Isn't there anyone you can get on "your side"? Thats why I suggested shelters and counselors who will take a neutral stance.

Like I said though: you told us your choice of the options was to leave. Keep that in mind and explore "how" instead of just saying you "can't". Yes it will be brutally uncomfortable for a while, living like a peasant or homeless or in shelters with your possessions in a bag. You would be doing it with the goal of being in a better place a few months or years from now.

You also keep mentioning your son and his well being. What does it do for him to see Mommy being controlled by Daddy? What might he learn from Mommy standing up and saying "no more"?
 

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to add to Chops solid reply...

Do you want him seeing a "weak mother" who obey's her husband? or a strong woman?

As I said my father died when I was 1 year old, I grew up with a "weak mother" that became strong because she was thrusted into the life. Apparently my dad took care of everything.

But my mother kept it together and took care of us, I always viewed her as a strong woman and did what was right for her kids.

I view my wife as a strong person with a good career and I want my kids to see that, especially my daughter.

I want my kids to be strong independent people when they get older, do what is best for them.

Best way to lead is by example. If you are not happy, then leave, he will not change his ways.

If he makes it nasty, just be good to your son, Down the line your son will see what type of man he is and that you left to make life better for HIM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Is the marriage REALLY dead?

Which is why I waffle. I do not want the marriage to be dead. I like my husband when I am not thinking of him as a husband.

Then I start thinking, am I REALLY doing all I think I am to save our marriage myself?

Several years ago I asked him to go to a marriage counselor with me. The way I approached it was to say "When ever we try to talk we end up arguing. This makes me feel bad because I can not talk to you. I would really like it if we went to see a marriage couselor. A counselor could help us learn to talk to one another"

It ended up in a nasty fight. He basically told me that I was a crazy b**** and if he had known I had so many mental problems he would not have married me. He also insisted that I just expected him to jump through hoops to prove his love.

I did go alone for a while. It felt useless to do it alone and that all I was doing was paying someone to listen to a diatribe. I never mentioned couseling with hubby again until last year.

In the mean time I found a web site that detailed verbal and emotional abuse. One day I casually asked my husband "come here, I want you to see something". I kind of tricked him into reading it. For the very first time ever he admitted his behavior was not right. He recognized his behavior. That seemed so promising. He assured me that he would do "anything" to make our marriage work.

This is where I made MY mistake. I said that what bothers me most is that he does not participate. That he leaves so much up to me. Because this was huge for me then there was only one thing I wanted him to do. I wanted him to find a couselor and make the first appointment. He seemed OK with this and, once again, promised.

The months have gone by and he never did make the appointment. I never asked about it either. I am tired of nagging and pulling him along to be a partner in marriage.

Yesterday I did ask and his reply was "how am I supposed to know who to call or what kind of counselor?" My first thought was - gee you are lame, you could have just asked.

Later it hit me how absurd his excuse is. "marriage counselor" is the type (duh) and phone book and google are your friends.

But that is my mistake. The only thing I want is for him to participate. Expecting him to do so is crazy.

You know what is really funny - I would rather he argue with me (constructively and non-abusively) every day if that just ment he was participating.

This summer my mom suggested we take a family vacation to Disney Land. Great! (I can pay for at the end of the summer)
My husband is his usual "that sounds fine to me"

When do you want to go "when ever", Do you want to look at these hotels with me? "you pick one"

How many days do you think we can afford? "how should I know?"

On and on it goes.

Before I really start persuing divorce I have to know - Do I expect too much? IS this relationship dead?
 

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Trust me my wife and I both put a lot more into our marriage then you and your husband combined times ten. What you are asking is a fraction of what he SHOULD be doing. Marriage does take work and dedication. I would describe my marriage as "perfect" but it doesn't just float along, it is because the wife and I do so much for each other everyday.

We don't have cable so the tv we watch are movies or series we buy. Today when I get home we are going to cuddle and watch the next episode of one of those series together, since we promised to watch this one together before we can just watch it anytime, but it makes it so we experience it together.

draconis
 

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**Is the marriage REALLY dead?

It depends on whether or not you want to continue doing everything on his terms and getting nothing you want, or trying to start over with someone who will BE there because he WANTS to be.

Some people are passive when it comes to plans ("you take care of those details") but this goes beyond that. Until he wants to change he won't, and you don't have to wait around for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You know I am smart enough to realize that for all my hubbys failings - I don't help the situation. I mean, in a way, I enable the behavior. It is not that I like the way it is. it is that, in a warped way, it is easier for me to scream foul than it is to actually do something about it.

But it has taken me a very long time to see this is true.
It was interesting today. I get home and he had done a few chores and seemed interested in my ideas on what to do about the house. He participated for a while.

And there it was, I found myself thinking "oh maybe he has finally gotten it" and yet It was as though i was looking at myself from the outside and I could see the fall coming.
It actually felt good - I noticed the fall before it happened. Detached. And having noticed the same old stuff as it occurs it is very humorous. Sad too. But if my marriage was a skit on Saturday Night Live it would be really funny.

I have been really dumb. Still the thought of breaking up the family leaves me feeling cold and nauseous.
 

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What happened? It sounds like he's making some effort. I wouldn't expect any drastic change overnight as he's built up his habits over several years...baby steps? Or did something major happen that 'un-did' the positive things?
 

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Wow, what a lump he must be. I can tell you are frustrated b/c at one moment you're saying "I want to leave" and the next moment you say "Is my marriage really dead? I don't want it to be"

I'm just going to put some suggestions out there, please don't take them the wrong way:

You say there are only so many hours in a day for you to work, keep house and spend time with your son. Consider staying home. Then you will have time to keep house, spend time with your son and do a lot of the things that evidently bother you that you expect your husband to care about when he doesn't.

Secondly, you can always leave your husband. My mother left my dad with 3 small children at a time when women did not have nearly as much support as they do now. You have one 10 yro and plenty of resources.

Please do not be fooled into thinking your husband has anymore power in a divorce than you do. He can lie all he wants, he won't be the first person to exaggerate or lie in a divorce court. They've heard it before and can see right through it.

By the way, has your husband always told you sex is inappropriate? I mean before your son? Was he raised super religious? Tell him how hurtful that rejection is and that an explanation would help you understand instead of getting your feelings hurt. I think the lack of sex is the crux of your problems.

One thing you might be doing without realizing it is when your husband does start to show some affection, you might meet it with resentment... upon being reminded how few and far between those things happen..., which in turn, make him feel stupid for even trying. I'm not saying you are doing this, I'm just saying check yourself for it. I think men learn from rewarding good behaviour, so remember "it's hard to kiss the mouth that just got done chewing my butt"

Also too, it's easy to get hung up in being a perpetual victim. Turning down any possible solution and making excuses as to why it is and always will be hopeless will definitely keep you in the victim seat ...but it will never heal your marriage. Are you truly happy with yourself? Do you like the person you are? Do you think you are easy to live with? Sometimes to get another person to change, we have to make some changes in ourselves.

Start living around him. Go out with your friends and have fun, take your son to a movie without your husband, continue to be as sexy as possible around your husband. Create your own happiness instead of moping around waiting on your slug of a husband to do it for you. He'll either come around or he won't, regardless, you'll stilll be having a marvelous time!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Cindy these are all good suggestions.

Living around my husband - I have been doing that for a long time. I just continue to invite my husband along.

Stay at home isnt an option. I did that for several years, working part time and eventually we began to get into financial trouble. I went back to work full time to help stem the financial stress. At this time we also refinanced the house. I thought we were finally comeing together to make changes for the benefit of the family.
But less than 4 months after I started my new job and a week after we refinanced my husband quit his job to be a full time artist.

I could support that - except that he was an rank amateur and had only been painting a year with no stellar talent. He had sold just $400 worth of paintings when he quit. He did tell me he wanted to and I suggested he wait a while until I knew my job would be OK and we had beefed up the family finances better. He did not wait. 6 months later we had accumulated as much debit as we had tried to pay off at our refinancing. He finally gets a part time job. But now we earn even less money than before and have about twice the debit. (stemming from never having enough to make our ends meet) At least now we can meet our daily living needs.

There is more here but I have to go to work.
 
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