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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My wife and I have been married for 16 years. Throughout the whole marriage she has been apathetic towards our relationship, apathetic towards life. We have no intimacy at all; once I decided to see how long we could go without sex before she made a comment about it. I stood my ground and didn't initiate anything or say anything; a year went by and she said nothing at all, and never gave any indication that something was wrong. After the year I finally said something, and she didn't have any answer. This was 5 years ago, and since then I ask her every day to communicate about our marriage. Literally every day. She always says she doesn't have time. I asked her for ten minutes every morning, and she won't give that; the rare times she gives in and talks, all she says is that she "doesn't have the answers". I tried planning getaways, she shows no interest; once I planned something and she actually forgot about it, made other plans the same weekend (I cancelled the trip). We have no intimacy in our marriage at all; its not just no sex, there are none of the interactions that make a couple a couple. She acts like we are just friends (and not even close friends). She is also apathetic towards friendships and her family. We have a wonderful teen daughter (my wife is a good mother), she is the only thing that keeps me in the marriage. If not for her I would leave with no regrets whatsoever. But I am at the end of the line, I am exhausted trying to save the marriage, life is going by (I am 44), and I want to love and be loved. Am I selfish to leave the marriage? We always say we would do anything for our children's happiness, which is what makes me stay. But I'm miserable and now starting to get depressed, I'm beginning to detach from life. I need advice.
 

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John,

Look, you withheld sex for a year. It didn't bother her because that is what she wanted. She's happy with out intimacy of any kind. She was probably relived that you took that off the table. (IMO, very passive aggressive on your part) Have you tried MC?

This has gone on a long time. She likes the relationship this way. I'm sure you have discussed leaving the marriage with her, but you're still there. She has no reason to change.

You can't change her. You can only change you. It's time to detach from her, not life. You need to start doing things for you. Start going out with friends, get a hobby, do things you like. Let her see you can and are willing to move on with out her. Some call it the 180. If she sees you change she will have to decide what to do, but you'll be prepared to leave if that's what it comes to.
 

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I agree, this is no way to live. Definitely pick up divorce busters by michelle weiner and implement the 180. I'm working on re-discovering myself right now, and learning to believe that I deserve more than a spouse who cares more about himself than anyone else. Love yourself, find your passion, and if your wife doesn't want to love you back, that'll be her loss.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good advice anchor. And yes, I have started doing things on my own. I joined a running club, getting together with friends now and then. But, I'm not looking forward to living the rest of my life like a priest. Not talking just physically, but also emotionally.
 

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I'm sorry, but I don't see any hope for this marriage. You're a convenience. I would make moves to separate so you don't waste the NEXT 20 years of your life.
 

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Good advice anchor. And yes, I have started doing things on my own. I joined a running club, getting together with friends now and then. But, I'm not looking forward to living the rest of my life like a priest. Not talking just physically, but also emotionally.
John,

There is little reason anyone should live that type of life. You should have the life you want, not giving into others at your expense. Filling others needs as they fill your's, that's the way. Let me recommend a read for you.

No More Mr. Nice Guy Take the quiz. See if it applies.

Here's the 180 from the forum.

180 List - No More Mr. Nice Guy Online Support Group
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
John,

There is little reason anyone should live that type of life. You should have the life you want, not giving into others at your expense. Filling others needs as they fill your's, that's the way. Let me recommend a read for you.

No More Mr. Nice Guy Take the quiz. See if it applies.

Here's the 180 from the forum.

180 List - No More Mr. Nice Guy Online Support Group
Anchor, I took this test and got a very low score. Guess I'm not a nice guy LOL. I actually have it together on the rest if my life; great job, good friends, good physical shape, and (I think) a successful father. It's losing that last one that has me worried.
 

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You will still be her father. You just won't be with her 24/7. But in your case, I consider it a blessing. You see, she is watching you two to see how couples should be. She's learning from her mom to be cold and inattentive and unloving. SHE will be like that with her husband, if you don't move out and find a woman full of love and passion. If she sees you with a woman like that, she'll see the joy in such a relationship and she MAY choose to follow THAT path.

And of course, she will always love you. And think of how much happier she'll be with you when YOU are happy. She likely rarely sees any joy in YOU because you're so defeated at home. Trust me, she'll be ok once you get happier.
 

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Plus, there's always the chance that, once you state your intention to leave, your wife will wake up from her coma and realize what she's about to lose. But it will never happen if you stay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have been talking divorce for a year, she is very firm she does not want one. Yeah she is very comfortable with the situation. Question: I leave work every night about 5:00, and always call at that time to check in. She is always disinterested but I do it anyway. Tonight I worked late and didn't call until 6:45. She didn't call or text to see if I was working late. Is that apathy or am I just being overly sensitive?
 

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It's apathy. She couldn't care less if you were around.

Has she been like this your whole marriage? Why did she get married, if so? Were you convenient?

Has she been tested for depression?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
She has been like this the whole marriage. I believe she got married because she felt that it was an obligation. She wants to "be married", but does not want to engage in marriage. She does not seem depressed, she actually seems content.

Whether its a phone call to say I'm on my way home, or making plans for a getaway, or anything in between, I'm always trying to do something to make this a relationship. But I never get a response back, we have none if the interactions that make a relationship. It's like getting dressed up for a party that I'm not invited to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
she is apathetic towards all her relationships. Her parents neglected her emotional needs growing up, and in the few times she has opened up, she says her apathy is a defense she built against that.
 

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Best to move on, then. She will never change - unless she hits rock bottom, goes to therapy, and unlocks the key to that 10-foot-thick wall she built around herself.
 

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John,

From what you describe, she needs professional help. You can't give her that. She needs to see that for herself. The only way she might be awakened is if you destabilize the relationship and she sees reason to attempt change. What do you think she would do if she knew you were moving on or you served her with D papers?

Best to keep to the 180 and start your detachment from her.
 

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John,

I just would say one thing. I hope it doesn't cause you more confusion. It is likely that she does love you, as she does chose you. Yet she is incapable of showing it. Her childhood has everything to do with it. She puts up a wall around her so she can't be hurt others. She doesn't have other tools to deal with it, so this is her survival tool. Her fault? No.

Good luck. Wish you and your family well.
 

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fwiw, I am just like her. I've been numb my whole life. I remember thinking at my wedding and at my DD's birth why I didn't feel excited. I now know it's because I've got a titanium shield, even for ME. The only reason I give more than your wife is I also have low self esteem and toxic shame and I'm conflict avoidant, and I'm too worried about people thinking badly of me or causing a ruckus, so I give and give and give.

If you were to leave her, or make plans to leave, she just might get the push she needs to face it.
 

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fwiw, I am just like her. I've been numb my whole life. I remember thinking at my wedding and at my DD's birth why I didn't feel excited. I now know it's because I've got a titanium shield, even for ME. The only reason I give more than your wife is I also have low self esteem and toxic shame and I'm conflict avoidant, and I'm too worried about people thinking badly of me or causing a ruckus, so I give and give and give.

If you were to leave her, or make plans to leave, she just might get the push she needs to face it.
Turnera, my wife is almost axactly like you to the T.. I'm at a complete loss. We've been through thick and thin and everytime we talk, things will be ok for a few weeks even a months, then she sinks back to this person you just described. Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Sorry to hijack your thread OP.. But i can relate. Hope everything works out for you but I know axactly how you feel..
 
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