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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I know we all feel very unique in our feelings, especially when they are troubling feelings. However, I am curious if I really am feeling a unique (not normal) desperation and sadness within my marriage.

I have been married for almost 4 years. No kids. Living together for over 8 years. When we met, he opened my mind, we chatted til late hours, we did fun things together.

It seems like its been, well--4 years since we have really had FUN together. It all seems like work. It all revolves around arguments and resentment.
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I have been thinking of divorce for almost a year now.

The main thing holding me back is that I am afraid this is as good as it gets.

So QUESTION:
Is this as good as it gets? Is there hope for a marriage to remain fun, inspiring, respectful and interesting? Did I just find a bad match? How many people have an honestly engaging, fun and enjoyable, steamy and romantic marriage after 10, 15, 20, 30 years? Is this possible?
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(WARNING: Rant ahead. Sorry...need to get it off my chest.)

I can't tell you how many times I have just pleaded with him that, "I just want to have fun with you!" And it never happens. We just argue and go about our days eating, watching TV and fighting. In fact, dining out and shopping are really the only things he will do with me. Even then, he always finds a way to belittle me or make the entire experience sour for me.

I have the most fun while I am with friends. And then, he always tries to turn it around on me, "Oh, you just go off and have fun without me. You are always having fun without me. I never get to do anything fun." It's like he is trying to guilt me out of having a good time. *I travel a lot for my work and have colleague friends who I meet up with once or twice a year.

The things he used to say he liked doing while we were dating are no longer true. I am not sure if he used the bait and switch or what? Maybe I did not even realize it until we are now in the thick of it. He never goes out with me to do things I enjoy with my friends that he, at one point, said he enjoyed. He has even changed his stance on lifestyle choices. Before we were married, he detested fast food for the most part. Now, that is just about all he will eat. He complains about everything I cook and sometimes refuses to eat what I make. Pretty much the only thing he will eat is fast food, pizza (with HIS choice of toppings), tacos and steak. He even taught me to cook many delicious ethnic foods when we were dating. He no longer will eat those things.

I have had a couple milestone events in my life since we have been married and he has not congratulated me in the least. He acts as if it is a chore to attend my special events or anything else that honors my professional accomplishments.

I feel a deep pain in my stomach when I see couples smile and laugh, embracing in joyous hugs at these events as they support one another. I do not have that.

We don't laugh together anymore. At all.

We do not smile at one another. Ever.

When I look at him longingly, he asks me what is wrong and why am I staring at him.

I am not attracted to him in the least anymore. His hygiene has gone to the wayside in the last couple years. I have talked to him about this when he argues with me about intimacy...telling him that I cannot be attracted to him while his poor grooming habits remain inferior. When he does take care of himself, he expects me to jump on him but he never seduces me and then resents me for it. As of this moment, it is Saturday night and he has not showered since at least Tuesday.

I left the country a couple weeks ago for the first time, by myself, for work. He tried to make me feel spoiled about the whole thing, saying it was nothing but a vacation for me (yes, I DID do fun things and stay out of the country for a week to sightsee and make the trip worth my time/money) and how it was unfair and how I was costing him work for him to drop me off and pick me up from the airport. When he picked me up, he was more than an hour late (after my international flight) and then I watched him drive right passed me. He did not even see me. When he finally came back around a second time, he just yelled at me and told me about how there was traffic.

Was I wrong to think he would have been there, waiting for my arrival with a warm and longing embrace? I thought he would have wanted to greet me as soon as I came home.......or maybe I am spoiled?

There is no romance. There is no laughter. There is no respect.

I have tried talking to him about it but he just gets angry and defensive. I asked him to go to counseling with me and he refuses because he thinks it is a waste of money. I feel like that is him saying our marriage is not worth it.


I am sorry this is so long, but I am curious......is this how marriage turns out?


How many of you still feel a fire inside for one another after several or more years? How many of you have an honest to goodness great time with one another?

Is there laughter and fun in your marriages?
 

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Wow, this is not good. I am really sorry you are living like this. Unfortunately, unless some tramatic event happened, other than getting married, I think you did get the "bait and switch".

He certainly is not listening to you, or he really doesn't care. He is showing no respect for you and is boardering on emotional abuse. Either way, you need to decided if this is how you want to live. Fortunatelly for you, you have your own income and can sepparate yourself from this situation. Maybe it would be a good wake up call for him.

As for your question, I think marriage can be good for decades. The trick is finding two emotionally healthy, mature and giving people. Unfortunately, the world is not lacking the opposite - but there are some out there. Are you willing to give it a try and find one?
 

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Yes, marriage can and should be a great thing for years. I will have been married coming up on 30 years and he is my best friend, the one person I can always count on and he still can make my heart beat fast. You are missing out and you deserve better. Tell him all you have shared here, or even show it to him. Don't live like this any longer, you don't have to and you deserve better, with or without him...his choice.

ETA. And by "his choice", I mean his choice to change and be the man he should be and the husband you need and deserve.
 

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Quick reply, I'm about to board a flight.

This is not how marriage should be, me and my wife (12 years together) have gone through a lot recently - but actually we still enjoy each others company and have fun.

I would advise visiting a MC, you deserve better than this - what's worrying is his reluctance to recognise the obvious problems...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Photek, do you and your wife still have fun together? Do you laugh and create fond memories?

Thanks for your quick reply. I have asked him to do MC and he refuses. I have tried to have in-depth conversations with him about our issues and he just makes it all "well everything is a problem with me then, huh? Nothing is your fault and I just make you unhappy." Unfortunately, MC is not an option seeing as how I have requested it ( knowing marriage is a two-person operation ).

I just get so tired of him saying "You always blame me and why am I the one who always has to apologize?" when I am the one who is willing and asking to go to counseling to figure out where/what the faults are.

I guess I am just curious, honestly, if people have fun in their marriages beyond a certain point. I think I could deal with the ups and downs better if I were having a good time....but honestly, there is no fun at all. There are no good memories from the last couple years.

Have a safe flight! I hope you have a warm welcome and return.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
JustHer---I cannot pinpoint a specific moment this all happened other than when we were married.....but there are, with all things in life, many other elements involved in this I am sure.

Thank you for your words.

NWCooper---Thank you for your words and inspiration! That is the thing....I feel like "I am missing out!" I am still so very young and do not have children. I feel like time is ticking and wasting and there is no hope/fun/laughter/life/love. I do not want life to pass me by and that is how I am currently feeling in my situation. Every time I try to do something exciting....I end up having to do it on my own or with a friend and then I am guilted for it even though he refused to participate.

I think my love for him is getting in the way of my love for myself.
 

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To answer your first question, yes it's possible to be happy, in love and having fun with the person you're married to for decades. My parents still love spending time together after 40 years. My husband and I have been together for more than 20 years and he is my very favourite person. I look forward to seeing him every day, I love talking to him, being physically close to him and doing anything at all with him.

That said, I feel there's something missing from your post. You have dumped a lot of complaints here, from the food he no longer likes to eat to his poor hygiene. And all this suddenly changed after you got married?

Are you interested in someone else? Developed any new good friendships with other men? It seems strange that this would suddenly all start bothering you at once, and the number of complaints suggests you are posting to get us to say, yes, leave him, he sounds terrible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Lyris---

There is no other man, not even a friendship that could be confused as such. There are many power struggles within our relationship that began during the time we married. He finished his college degree almost the same time we married and I finished my terminal one just last year. He constantly reminds me that I should be making more money than him and that my degrees are inferior to his.

Yes. Most all of the problems literally happened after we married.

His attitude changed and I do not know if it is because he is ready to be stable in his career, or if it is the marriage....but it all happened when we married. The exact year before we married was the best and most fun time we ever had. He has since been demeaning towards me and its a whole story.

He did change. I am sure I changed. My mind has opened while his has seemingly closed down.

I am sure there is also no other woman on his end.

He is just bitter and lazy now. He has tons of free time and acts as though the world is on his shoulders. He does not even do house chores when he works around 30 hours a week while I work almost 70. He expects me to do everything the way it was before, when I had more free time and he worked more hours.

I assure you, this is not bothering me all at once, as I stated previously, I have been feeling the rift for almost a year now.

I actually think that if I had an affair, it would be easier to make excuses as why to leave....but I do not even have a friendship with a male, almost at all. On both sides, infidelity is not the issue.
 

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I am wondering if he is suffering from depression. I think he may need help.

The difficulty here of course could be persuading him he needs help. I suffered serious depression once. It took me a while to accept that this was the case (this was 40 years ago when there was still a lot of stigma attached). In my case this was partly because a lot of the symptoms were inexplicable physical pains/aches.

Perhaps a route forward could be to have a gentle heart-to-heart with him (if that is possible), ask him how he feels about the situation, explain that this marriage is not currently giving you what you hoped for, that you want to improve it. See how he reacts. It would help if you could get him to go to a good counsellor. Maybe he has a phobia, sees it as an admission of weakness to go?

Best wishes for the future
 

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I was thinking the same thing as tryintobebetter. Has he seen his physician and maybe talk about depression or lack of interest?

There was a couple of years when husband and I argued about everything. I'm normally the type to be okay with everything (the food we eat, places we visit, tv shows/movies we watch, what our kids should/shouldn't do, etc) but I had been very upset about all these things to the point where I'd yell at him. One day it got so bad he said, "This isn't like you. I'm calling your doctor and setting an appt for you." He did and it was the best thing he ever did. My doc said it was my raging hormones and it gets worse as I get older. She didn't prescribe me anything but said if I wanted Zoloft or something similar just let her know. I never did. Just realizing that it was me and that it was hormones, I've been able to control when I get to the point of exploding at him. It's never gotten that bad anymore...or even close to it. I had been depressed too an denied it. I was just not interested in doing anything with anyone and didn't didn't feel excited about doing anything for myself. Then, I got fatter and started feeling palpitations which lead to many doctor visits (they are still ongoing). It hit hard and I stated working out and now I feel so much better. Husband was and is very patient and supportive of all the choices I've made and that has helped immensely.

So, I guess my point is, try to be understanding of him. Ask him if anything is bothering him. Don't get into in-depth discussions about your issues/situation. Try to figure out what he wants out of his life right now and in 3, 5, and 10 years. Why did he change the instant you two married? Ask him why he's bitter and lazy, as you said. Not in those words but in a way where he'd be able to answer you and not feel threatened. When I notice that my husband is doing something out of the ordinary, say he's more quiet then normal, I'll say, "I've notice you've been quiet lately. You usually talk a lot more. What's going on (in half joking half serious tone)?" That usually opens him up. I use a lot of humor to work through our problems. Sometimes, I'll say things like, "Who took off with my husband and replaced him with you. Can you go find him for me, pleasethx." Things like that will usually make him laugh and start another conversation.
 

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I also think your husband may be depressed but only a medical doctor can dx.

He's very passive-aggressive & seems to have a victim mentality. He wants you to feel guilty for having fun & accomplishments.

This may be a bait-and-switch situation. Of course he was different when you were dating or you wouldn't have dated him for very long right?

Talk to him open & honesty about all of the things you have told us. Call him on all passive-aggressive & poor me responses. Ask for the changes you want in him. Give him a chance to implement some or all of them. If he needs medical help for depression, insist that he see a doctor.

In other words, lovingly give him a chance (or 2) to improve your marriage at the same time telling him the possible consequences if nothing changes.
 

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You are both waiting for the other to change... if your husband were here he'd have a laundry list of your issues on you too.

Problem is the problem itself that you two are waiting for the other to change thus extending the negative making everything worse.

When one changes it can be positive....irregardless of the other.
Figure out what you will accept, give a window of time and if change does not occur THEN initiate the consequences of no changes from your partner assuming their actions did not lead to whats acceptable.
YOU control YOU.

The MOMENT you think about you rather than US... there is an issue

Don't accept the unacceptable and do not be a doormat.

Also set realistic expectations... marriage is work it has its rewards and its hardships. You only need WHAT YOU NEED not matching so far off idea people claim to have. Remember people brag and you do not see their day to day life and issues they hide deep down. Their bragging is their illusion...at any moment their life can abruptly change.

A fact of life is all marriages are struggling after a while ether consciously or subconsciously and in at least one partners mind more than the other.... some show it and some hide it.
The problem is two people of the opposite sex are involved. You start to drive each other nuts. You both go into "self-protection" mode which is not suited ideally toward your spouse.

Its sad but true. Over time you CAN guide your spouse back to a better marital state...when THEY are ready to change usually in part to your changes and the threat of inaction on their part.

Its OK to feel upset, save it and USE it IF your partner does not change over time. In the meanwhile do everything you can to give them the opportunity to respond.
 

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I can't tell you how many times I have just pleaded with him that, "I just want to have fun with you!" And it never happens. We just argue and go about our days eating, watching TV and fighting. In fact, dining out and shopping are really the only things he will do with me. Even then, he always finds a way to belittle me or make the entire experience sour for me.
Belittling... Question : Why do People Belittle Others?

Answer: People belittle others in order to make them feel useless, unimportant, tiny and insignificant. It is done to disparage or discourage an individual from something or someone. To belittle someone means a person has no confidence or belief in himself or herself.

I have the most fun while I am with friends. And then, he always tries to turn it around on me, "Oh, you just go off and have fun without me. You are always having fun without me. I never get to do anything fun." It's like he is trying to guilt me out of having a good time. *I travel a lot for my work and have colleague friends who I meet up with once or twice a year.

The things he used to say he liked doing while we were dating are no longer true. I am not sure if he used the bait and switch or what? Maybe I did not even realize it until we are now in the thick of it. He never goes out with me to do things I enjoy with my friends that he, at one point, said he enjoyed. He has even changed his stance on lifestyle choices. Before we were married, he detested fast food for the most part. Now, that is just about all he will eat. He complains about everything I cook and sometimes refuses to eat what I make. Pretty much the only thing he will eat is fast food, pizza (with HIS choice of toppings), tacos and steak. He even taught me to cook many delicious ethnic foods when we were dating. He no longer will eat those things.
WOW... does seem like a total about FACE here.. and you were together a really long time...I seen how you said once you walked down the aisle, he changed !

Can I ask.. who was MORE in love with whom back then? Did he feel like you was a Prize, had you on a pedestal by any chance, why he may have downplayed who he was, so you would stay with him, he didn't want you to see his "disagreeable - ugly" side?

I have had a couple milestone events in my life since we have been married and he has not congratulated me in the least. He acts as if it is a chore to attend my special events or anything else that honors my professional accomplishments.
It is sounding to me your husband is feeling "less than you"- left out, you have more friends, more accomplishments, some jealousy at play here..this shouldn't BE in a marriage...but if one's self esteem is dragging on the ground....for whatever reason, it can make it's way in...and grow.....is he the more introverted partner who struggles with friends... who hasn't realized his own successes in life ?


I feel a deep pain in my stomach when I see couples smile and laugh, embracing in joyous hugs at these events as they support one another. I do not have that.
I too, feel he sounds depressed, down on himself... how do YOU support and uplift him, what has he done that makes you proud....if anything .... how we are with our partners... our spirit... is often catchy. But I can see how his -could put a damper on yours...though in your situation, it sounds YOU are the high spirited one who can CARRY him through this...if you want it bad enough, he needs your support....but he has to give a little too - for something to latch on too.

When I look at him longingly, he asks me what is wrong and why am I staring at him.
Not sure what you mean by longingly... I was thinking ..."Jump his bones, flirt, make it FUN"... but then you say you are not attracted to him anymore at all... so I guess this is not what you meant!

I am not attracted to him in the least anymore. His hygiene has gone to the wayside in the last couple years. I have talked to him about this when he argues with me about intimacy...telling him that I cannot be attracted to him while his poor grooming habits remain inferior. When he does take care of himself, he expects me to jump on him but he never seduces me and then resents me for it. As of this moment, it is Saturday night and he has not showered since at least Tuesday.
Oh my ! He needs to go half way here, he is giving you nothing to work with, defeating himself and causing you both to remain STUCK.

I have tried talking to him about it but he just gets angry and defensive. I asked him to go to counseling with me and he refuses because he thinks it is a waste of money. I feel like that is him saying our marriage is not worth it.
One can not WORK with the UNworkable - a stubborn MULE who wants to lay in his crap... honestly.. you will have to play hard ball... it may take hitting the gutter, to get his attention... when you go to walk out that door.. he may change his tune, reality hit him like a brick up side the head.

You can only shoulder your own LACK in this breakdown, seems he is causing 90% of it -with his stubborn unwilling to bend / hear you, come half way "attitude".


How many of you still feel a fire inside for one another after several or more years? How many of you have an honest to goodness great time with one another?

Is there laughter and fun in your marriages?
Me & mine has been together for 31 yrs , 23 married... we are as happy , if not more so than we were when we met in our teens, the FIRE , the passion, the intimacy, the touchy feely, the communication, the laughter... It keeps me on a daily high.. he has forever been my best friend....

My husband has never been the jealous type, the depressed type...he is a carefree giving man in every way...just his overall temperament... I can be more of a handful - with the bad attitude..if my apple cart is overturned.... but because HE is the WAY he is... I've always felt very blessed & happiness flows.

But as in all things...it will always TAKE 2... whatever you do, don't get pregnant ! Marriage was not meant to be like this... You sound like a "giving" woman with much to offer in a relationship to another who wants the same things - to love , be loved, to laugh, sing & dance together... May you find this one day...with him (if he wakes up) ...or with another.
 

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In general it is exactly the same pattern my husband has shown. We have been together 13 years / married for 8 years. You would think after 5 years living with someone daily you would know them pretty well before getting married.

Over the past 4 years my husband has been getting worse and worse. Although, I have lots of other issues within the relationship I believe that my husband fits into the following:

Toxic Man / Angry & Controlling / Narcissistic

Toxic man is a man that elicits negative emotions from you / behaves badly towards you or doesn't treat you right / makes you feel poorly about yourself, thereby affecting your behavior and your self-esteem.

Here are 2 books that I have read and maybe they will help you with your marriage. They might give you ideas on how to talk to him to see what you are feeling or they may help you see he may never change. For me it has helped me understand more of what he is doing and why I feel the way I do. Overall - follow your heart, it is always right. I am starting to see that now for myself. =)

Toxic Men: 10 ways to Identify, Deal with and Heal from ...
by Glass Lillian

Another Book (may not be the case for you)
Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft
 
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