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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, where to start? I have been married to my husband for 14 years. We have had problems in our relationship since before marriage and now looking back on things I wonder if our marriage was just the confortable, safe thing to do or if I was ever truely in love with him. When we argue it's always the same thing, sometimes almost verbatum, and nothing ever changes. I have recently told him I was unhappy and did not think I was in love with him. Yes it was the "love, but not in love" conversation. It got really emotional and he told me how much he loves me and how painful it is for him to hear me say those things to him. As usual, I ended up feeling guilty and trying to comfort him. I feel like such a horrible person for feeling this way, I don't want to hurt him or the kids, but I really have no desire to be in a relationship with him. I go through the motions for the sake of doing so, but I don't remember when I have felt an emotional connection other than pain with him. We get along pretty well on a platonic level, but I really want the chance to feel happy. He is very attentive, emotional, and protective towards me. However, while I know most women would love to have someone dote on them the way he does me, I simply feel smothered. I actually enjoy going to work or him going to work just so I feel I have some space. I just can't seem to muster up the ability to walk away. I would rather be miserable for the sake of the children and to keep from having to deal with the situation. If I could just get him to see my side this would all be much easier. I have basically given the "I want out" speech several time, I just never follow through. It's easier to be unhappy and stick with the status quo. What's wrong with me?!
 

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Nothing is wrong with you, Many people want security in a relationship and it is hard to let go when everything isn't bad. Try to write a letter to him and see if that communication works better and he understands more.

draconis
 

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Lostluv

I agree there is nothing wrong with you. But I do see there are some strong points in your marriage. I would encourage you both to seek counsel to see if things can be salvaged. If he started doting on you after he realized the marriage was in trouble, that is a common reaction from a spouse when they fear the relationship might end. It is also a common mistake. One that I made myself. If the emotional support comes on in a rush you may not be ready to accept it all. If you wish to work on the marriage, gently tell him you need some space and that the heavy attention makes you uncomfortable at this time. Let him know things need to take a natural course and give it time for you both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The doting is not anything new, he's done it for years and it has annoyed me for as many. I'm truely not sure I want counceling. I have had several happy visions of being on my own and living my life the way I want to. Not having to explain myself constantly, feel like I have to ask permission for every move, and constantly be under a microscope. The problem is I am afraid of hurting the kids, afraid of what it will do to me financially, and always cave in to his desire to "work it out" because he loves and needs me (his words). However, as I have said...nothing changes, including my feelings.
 

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Understood but I would still encourage counseling. Spouses stay in trouble marriages under two sets of reasons. Emotional and logical. Emotional would include loyalty and caring feelings which you have for your husband. Logical include for the good of the kids, financial and the like. If he has always doted and you can’t get him to stop then I see counseling to be a good avenue. If he can discontinue the behaviors that make you uncomfortable you have a better chance to recover your deeper feelings for him. It is for him as well as you. I hope you can give things a chance to recover. 14 years is a long relationship, I hope you can find the tools to improve it for you both. Bless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Status update...
things have been status quo since I last wrote...two days ago I finally felt the need to bring up our relationship issues again. The first thing he asked was there someone else (expected that), I tried to have a conversation and explain that it is just that I need to be happy in my marriage. I need to be able to communicate honestly with my spouse and not feel that I need to hide how I feel in order to protect the peace.Long story short he told me that I have played him for a fool for the last 14 years and the decission is mine. He then basically refused to talk about it any more. For two days we have communicated on a casual level at best and have not touched. Today I had basically decided I was going to call it quits and end the misery for all involved (niether of us have been happy with the last two days). Then suddenly this afternoon he starts telling me he loves me (to which I have responded "love you too") and acting like everything is perfectly normal (though we still aren't touching). Needless to say I am now once again second guessing myself and have placed myself and our relationship back into limbo. This is driving me nuts! I know he is still not going to talk openly about the issues... Advice PLEASE!!!
 

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My two cents worth: you seem to me to be vascillating between a passive approach to your marriage (you don't know if you were ever really in love, there were problems from the start, it was the easy thing to do, etc.) to then entertaining fantasies about leaving, living your own life without having to explain yourself. etc. This is an active step, but one you never take. What about taking active steps to improve what you have (which is your life, too, after all.)

On your husband's part, he is mixing together loving you and needing you, which I imagine makes you feel more pressured and less free. So neither one of you is acting freely, or thinks of themselses as able to act freely.

Do you remember a time when the thought occurred to either one of you that your relationship could be about learning from one another, and growing emotionally? Instead of having to "explain yourself", wouldn't it be nice to say how you feel and just be listened to with acceptance?

This is where a counselor can come in to play, facilitating new ways of communicating. I have been through this with my wife. I would have to say that my marriage sounds a lot like yours. Counseling has helped. But it has to be taken seriously by both parties.

It sounds to me like you feel like your husband says he loves you when he means that he needs you. And it sounds like your wanting to get away from the marriage more means wanting to be able to be yourself. wouldn't it be nice if your husband didn't need you - but just appreciated you?

I think if he learned to listen better without gettng anxious about abandonment, and you got a little more assertive about your needs, you could begin to have fun with your relationship again. For instance, instead of dutifully responding to his "needs", why not tease him a little? Make him want you instead of need you.
 
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