(Closed) Have any bees gone through marriage ambivalence?

posted 6 years ago in Relationships
Post # 2
Member
3866 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - City, State

Please take what I say with a grain of salt, because I haven’t been in your position which is what you are really looking for advicie wise, and my view/opinion is coming from a place of assumption and not experience. 

It sounds like your DH has always been the way that he is now. It’s possible that as time has gone on and nothing has improved despite many talks and many requests, that you may just be tired of dealing with it. It is a long time to go through that cycle of communicating to yourself with him nodding on the other end of the couch. Also, you mention that as you’ve gotten older and are starting to consider children more, you realize that it could be difficult undertaking with insufficient support from him. I think all these things added together are making it harder for you to just get over things.

I don’t think you are too old to start over. You can absolutely find someone who you can effectively communicate with, get support and comfort from, and rely on. I am not, however, suggesting that leaving your DH is the right move. I have no clue if that’s right or not. I think if you can honestly say this is the life you want in 5-10 years, then you should try everything in your power to work it through. But you can’t do it on your own. It’s not for you to get over everything. It’s not for you to handle all the responsibility. He doesn’t get to “check out” of the marriage just because he knows you’ll pick up the ever-growing slack.

Marriage shouldn’t make either partner miserable. If he doesn’t know how serious things have become, as in leaving has crossed your mind, you should tell him. If that doesn’t give him reason to work with you towards fixing the relationship then I don’t know what will.

Post # 3
Member
557 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I think it’s time to let him know that he can either make some serious changes or risk losing you. 

Post # 4
Member
1269 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

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ellieopie:  I found your post to be very (for lack of a better word) interesting. You are clearly a very thoughtful and analytical person, and I can definitely find myself relating to many aspects of what you said, although not necessarily the overall situation that you find yourself in right now. I’m sorry that you’re having a difficult time. I had a few thoughts, any of which could be waaaay off track, but that I thought I’d just put out there for you to consider.

First off, do you think there’s a possibility that you might be depressed? It’s understandable that the differences between you and your DH might cause some unhappiness, but seems unusual that this would only develop after being together for quite some time. Although people often associate depression with low mood, one of the major and most distressing effects can actually be feeling apathetic or indifferent. To feel nothing can be really difficult to deal with, and isolating when it’s not your norm. Do you think that your own personal mood could be a key difference between when life with your DH was ‘normal’ and how you feel about it currently?

I’ve been there. I had severe depression and it took a massive toll on my relationship, which was already strained from some similar personal differences to those you describe in your marriage. I feel guilty even saying it now, but the truth is that I became completely ambivalent about my relationship, despite knowing on a rational level how much I loved my partner.

There were two things that completely turned it around. The first was working on myself with medication and the most amazing counsellor I could have asked for. Finding the right fit with a therapist is so important. I’ve been to sessions in the past where I just talked about my feelings and those just felt like they exhausted me more. Working with this counsellor was focused more on mindfulness and behavioural therapies that were practical and useful. I can’t believe how much it turned my entire life around to find such simple ways to focus my thought patterns and find the way to be the person I wanted. The second aspect was couples counselling. Again, the first therapist we went to was awful – when we left my partner (FI at the time, DH now) went back to work and I went home and cried and cried and cried. We moved on and the next person was a much better fit and focused on attachment therapy (there’s a great book called ‘Hold me Tight’ that describes this).

The main reason I am writing this post back to you is because I think attachment therapy could be exactly what you need to get over the hurdles you are describing. It’s not about changing you or your partner or teaching you cliché communication techniques, but rather about strengthening your connection so that when you do have differences or arguments, they hurt you less, and you recover from them much more quickly. It’s about creating a bond that gives you both what you need from a loving partnership, in your own ways. It’s hard to explain, but I believe it is something that you may wish to look a little further into. I know your DH wasn’t interested in counselling, but you’re at a bit of a crossroads here. He may change his mind if you (gently) explain that the alternative might be that your marriage cannot move forward.

In answer to your specific questions: Yes, I’ve been there before and I’m sure this sort of experience is far far more common than we hear about. In my experience, finding a way to emotionally reconnect with my partner was crucial, and we achieved that with personal therapy for my depression, and attachment therapy as a couple (which only took 3 sessions and reading a book together, by the way!). It is definitely possible to repair a relationship in your situation and I want you to have hope about that. I promise that if it’s what you both truly want then you can get there. On the other side of this, I have to tell you that if your DH isn’t open to therapy (assuming that’s what you feel is needed) then you have to do what is right for you. I wholeheartedly agree that the problems you’ve identified with your relationship would make parenting together extremely difficult and that’s a situation you don’t want to get into lightly. If things stay exactly the same way as they are now, I think you already know that you could be happier elsewhere. 

My last thought is that you’re thinking too much, which I’m an utter hypocrit for saying as I’m completely guilty of doing the same. Maybe try to focus on one thing at a time and not get bogged down in all the ‘what ifs’ such as whether you could find someone else or what would happen with the dog if you were to separate. All these things will work out if they need to, but thinking about them all right now must be very overwhelming and also distracting. Stay present in your marriage right now, and think about what your next steps are to get yourself happier tomorrow and the next day and the one after that.

My apologies for the super long post. Hope you are being your own best friend during this tricky time. Sending you my warmest wishes.

Post # 5
Member
354 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

I left my first husband after a lot of tears and therapy because, though we got along well and he was a good provider, he was a terrible partner for me. He didn’t treat me as an equal, was emotionally neglectful, and an absolute workaholic. If we had dated as adults, I may have been smarter and picked up on it, but we foolishly got married right after college so I had no idea what his working habits would be like. He would not budge, so I left on my 27th birthday. 

I went back to school and got my absolute dream job, and was never happier. Then I met Fiance and after a lot of lovely, tough conversations about what marriage means, what we want ours to look like, what partnership looks like, etc., we decided to get married. We’ll be 31, and I feel tremendously more confident about this marriage, in part because I know who I am and what I want so much better than I did at 22. 

Do what’s right for you. You don’t want to wake up in 40 years with regrets, and you’re right that anything will be easier before you have children. One thing I thought about my ex was that if he was a neglectful, inattentive husband, what kind of father could I possibly expect him to be?

Best of luck to you. 

Post # 6
Member
4233 posts
Honey bee

 

My $0.02? Seek counseling, preferably the both of you together. You would go to rehab for a broken leg, wouldn’t you?

Best wishes, Bee!

 

Post # 7
Member
547 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

Your DH sounds just like my ex-SO (right before FI), and you seem a lot like me. It was frustrating and exhausting to feel like a person that claimed they loved me more than anything seemed completely unable to make any extra effort (for more than like a week) no matter how many times we talked about our issues. I ended things after 2.5 years; but I think it would have dragged on longer had there not been other more acute issues (lying, etc) going on. If he hadn’t had a problem lying, I would have probably stayed with him for a lot longer – possibly even married him. But eventually, it would have ended up in heartbreak nonetheless. We just weren’t a good match. And it sounds like you are a very take-charge person, and as a close friend told me after my breakup: “You were too much woman for him.” I think you know what you want and need in your heart. Life is too short to stay in an unhappy relationship, and you would be doing him a disservice in the long run to stay out of obligation. You can always give therapy a shot first, but from my experience you can’t make a square peg fit in a round hole.

Post # 8
Member
1156 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

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ellieopie:  Agree with PP about looking into depression. I can relate to a lot of the feelings in your post. I get seasonal depression. In the winter (especially around Christmas time) I get really said and irritated with DH. For months at a time. And really for no reason. Luckily we both know this and we ride it out. Knowing that it’s irrational helps me put it on the back burner and not treat him badly. It makes me judge my thoughts more than I used to. I find that getting out of the house helped me immensely. I joined indoor volleyball, made weekly date nights, started going to the gym regularly, went bowling with friends, etc.

However, if it were to go on for a year straight, I don’t know how we’d deal with that. It may be that you’re just not happy in the relationship and need to leave. It may be that you’re just not happy in life and taking it out on your relationship. I recommend trying to figure it out (through counceling, personal hobbies, gym time, etc.) before doing anything rash.

Post # 10
Member
209 posts
Helper bee

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ellieopie:  I read a lot on here about how staying in a marriage and making it work is a choice. Whilst I agree to an extent, sometimes we just owe it to ourselves to leave. 

I could have wrote your post two years ago. I left my partner of 10 years when I was 25. I was totally neglected in our relationship.. my Ex wasn’t capable of communicating either, and I felt the responsibility of everything on my shoulders. I was working long days with an hours commute each way, and even on days when he had been home all day, I would get home and he would have left a mess and be sitting there waiting for me to cook dinner when I got home. I am a worrier and just being surrounded by his mess and knowing I had a million things to do when I got home had me feeling stressed on the commute every night. I tried speaking to him so many times about the way I felt, I’d sit down and try to talk but that was like talking to a brick wall. So then I would bottle it all up and it would explode into a big fight. I had cried myself to sleep more times that I can count, and he would lay beside me, knowing what I was upset about, but yet not willing to do anything about it. 

I knew nothing else, and frankly the thought of facing single life was terrifying. I knew I didn’t want this for the rest of my life, it felt like we didn’t want the same things, and weren’t a team. The responsibility of everything was crushing for me. 

As many times as I had thought about leaving, the thing that really tipped me over was the thought that  I definitely wanted kids, but I knew I couldn’t do it with him. I could’t be the ‘90% parent’, the one that is ultimately responsible for everything. So one night he threw a tantrum (not one of his worst mind you) and I just left. I packed a bag, got in the car and went to my sisters. I cried my eyes out that night, and that was the last time I really cried for that relationship. The weight off my shoulders was amazing. My future was completely uncertain, as I had left pretty much my whole life as I knew it- my job was basically the only thing that stayed the same.

I had wondered if I was depressed also, but the moment I was out from under all that responsiblity, I was happy again. It was completely situational. 

He did promise to change etc and finally seemed to get what I was saying, but for me it was too late. I couldn’t trust him to keep up the changes he promised to make. I felt like having kids would trap me in the situation, and he would go back to what he was like once I was trapped. How terrible is that, when the kids I have always wanted began to look like a trap? 

So as hard as it was, I didn’t go back. After 8 months I had come to love my new life (and myself, for that matter), and then I met my amazing SO. We haven’t been together that long; about 6 months. But the thing is, we are on the same page. We know each other is ‘the one’, and we both want the same things in life. We are adults who communicate accordingly, which after being with a ‘man-child’ for 10 years (who was 33 by the time we broke up) is such a relief. 

It’s such a wonderful feeling having a true partner in life. There are so many little things I now appreciate that he does for me, that no one has ever done before. There are the small daily things, like tidying up, leaving the lights on if I’m out late, warming my car up for me, and making an effort with my family and friends. He budgets, buys groceries and is just as responsible for deciding what we are eating for the week as I am. He mows the lawns, I do the garden beds. But if I am sick/busy etc, he does the garden beds too. If he is sick or busy, I mow. These may seem like small things, but when you have been souly responsible for everything in the past, to have daily support is wonderful.  

But more importantly, he has my back and I have his. We are working at things together, and heading in the same direction.  Each others happiness is paramount, and if I am upset for any reason (which is very rarely now) then he wants to know and talk it through. He is the person I want to be the father of my kids, and I know it will be a joint decision and effort when it does happen. 

Goodluck Bee. Please keep us posted with what you decide. xx

 

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 7 months ago by  rosalind. Reason: typos
Post # 11
Member
860 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

I’m sorry you’re going through this. Your husband sounds like my ex-boyfriend. Nice enough but a useless little boy who was incapable of doing things on his own. And for a long time I thought I was ok with it but long-term I wasn’t. I wanted a man who was an adult who had control of his own life, someone who was my equal, who could take care of me sometimes and support me when I needed it. He did not.

i finally realized I wasn’t happy that way. I was constantly frustrated, asking for change and not getting it. For years I just ‘got over things.’ Until one day I couldn’t. At that point I lost respect for him, became unhappy and fell out of love. And frankly at that point there was just no fixing it. I ended it.

at first it was scary being 27 and single. But I was so much happier without his dead weight. A year later I met my husband. Responsible, independent, ambitious and valued the same things I did (like going to bed together!) couldn’t be happier.

im very surprised you say all the things bothering you are little issues. Because they’re not!! They are major incompatibilities that based on your attempts and his lack of effort are irreconcilable. I mean honestly…What ARE YOU getting out of this relationship? He has a personal assistant, maid, travel agent, accountant…and you’re getting NOTHING. No intimacy, no conversation, no emotional support, no household help, no career support. He’s a parasite.

I’m sorry but youve tried. You even warned him. Cut your losses and end it. You’ll be so much happier and can find a true partner you can love and respect.

Post # 13
Member
860 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

View original reply
ellieopie:  I’m sorry if it was harsh ik sometimes overly blunt. But i think you are being too hard on yourself! Him not supporting you is not a minor marriage issue its a huge lack of him providing for you. The positives you mentioned are basic human skills that a friend or random stranger would be able to provide. Not something to base a marriage on

Post # 15
Member
321 posts
Helper bee

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ellieopie:  I don’t agree with giving up on your marriage. You clearly have been giving this some thought, but you owe it to yourself and your partner to work hard to save your marriage. Remember the vows you took, and don’t treat them lightly. I believe you can work through this.

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