Post # 1
My husabnd and I got married a little more than a year and a half ago in septemeber 2017. I am very, very unhappy. We’ve had alot of intense issues come up (a miscarraige, alot of deaths in the family, money issues, ect) but most of all he doesn’t try anymore. I let it slide for the first year thinking it was all the things that had come up but we are going on 6 months or so now without any major problems and I am still waiting for any kind of effort into the relationship. You should know, this man was extremely romantic at one time which is one of the numours reasons I married him. He regularly made an effort to show that he loved me and made sure I knew… But now its like living with a male roommate. Theres no romance apart form when he wants to have sex, which feels like more like i’m appeasing his you-know-what more than his emotions. I feel slightly used and very distant from my husband. I recently brought these concerns up to him and explaining how unhappy I am and he has been trying now, but all I can think is why do I have to threaten our marriage to recieve any kind of display of affection? While hes doing all the things I craved now, it feels forced and does not feel real to me. I have become extremely depressed and want out of this marriage. There are also other problems (money spending habits, laziness with chores) that every marriage deals with and arent deal breakers when experienced alone. Combined, however, it leaves me thinking about divorce way more than I feel I should. I want to go to therapy, but we work different schedules and dont have the extra funds to do it right now. I need some advice, maybe some of you have some experience with this? Help!
Post # 2
- Wedding: September 2018 - City, State
Counseling. Stat. Try to find a sliding scale practitioner, or go to a university that has a training clinic for people in their last year of their PhDs (those are often free but you still get quality care). I know that’s a cliched answer, but if talking to him over the course of the last 18 months hasn’t been the kick in the rear he needed to truly turn things around, then there’s no magic words we can tell you or magic wand we can wave to make it better. At least he’s willing to try – get to counseling sooner rather than later BEFORE you both resent each other and it’s too late.
In the meantime, would he be willing to read a couples’ book with you and do some exercises? Just as a way of starting to get reconnected? Does he feel distant, too?
You may be able to find these cheap on Amazon or free at your local public library:
Good luck, bee.
Post # 3
So sorry you are dealing with this.
There is a saying “fake it til you make it” and I have heard of couples counselors recommending doing the “things” even if they feel forced bc eventually they may start to feel more normal again.
Since you talked with him and he is somewhat trying I would try to build on that. Encourage him, show appreciation for the effort and hopefully that motivates him to keep trying.
The other issues (chores/etc) I would say try to sit down and have a talk about how “we” divy up chores and that you’d like to discuss a rotation/something that would help things to be more balanced. My fiance is more messy than me so before we moved in we made a chore rotation including what our kids would do. He’s still messier than Id like but it helps me to not feel like Im the only one always cleaning.
Resentment is a marriage killer. You may already have decided to leave and thats certainly your choice to make. However since you’re here asking I think there is some part of you who still hopes it can work. Lean into that hope.
Men often rise to what we ask of them because they want to be the hero/provider make stereotype so try to work with him. You get more with honey than vinegar, so while you have very real and legitimate frustrations, try to let that go as much as possible for the moment and reconect with him.
Plan a fun date night on a regular schedule (weekly/biweekly). Do things with friends and together. It sounds like you guys have had a rough patch and are maybe in a rut. It doesnt have to stay this way. But you do both have to choose to take those steps to move forward together.
Post # 4
mollywobbles : One thing that stood out to me is that you are being stubborn right now. You mention that he has started to do everything that you wanted him to do but that now you think it is forced. That is really the wrong attitude, you can’t expect to never have to communicate your needs or wants to your partner. Your partner isn’t a mind reader and will not go through life always knowing exactly what you need them to do and you shouldn’t expect that.
If he has started doing what you wanted you need to view it as a positives, he is doing all these things with purpose and to make you happy. Surely there is romance in that?
Have you tried being the one to make things more romantic also? You should also be planning dates and being affectionate rather than just waiting for him to, it takes both people being an active participant to make a marriage work.
There are also other problems (money spending habits, laziness with chores) that every marriage deals with and arent deal breakers when experienced alone.
Think very carefully about all these issues, you are downplaying your problems by telling yourself that everyone has them but that just isn’t true.
Post # 5
zzar45 : I have tried being the more “romantic” one for a while now… so many times I’ve set something up at home or made a special dinner or took him out on a date–and its nice but its hard to feel appriciated when you’re the only one putting in time and effort to a relationship. I am grateful he’s willing to try and be more romantic, but its hard for me to feel like its genuinely due to his desire to make me happy rather than just appese me to stay married. Its more of a “oh crap, she’s mad” type of reaction than “I miss spending time with her, I should try harder” which doesn’t make me feel much better. Its like I am at a roadblock and I can’t find my way around… Or I’m just too tired to look for a way around, I’m not sure. I dont want to be stubborn, I really truely do not want that. I just can’t get around it right now, and I dont know why.
Post # 6
I second everything what PP’s said.
Try to be more patient with him. It is normal that when daily life is settling in and the honeymoon phase is over that one begins to take things for granted. I don’t know if you’ve lived with someone before and how long before getting married you’ve been together/living together, but to some degree it’s normal. I think this is what happend to him.
I don’t want to say that it’s ok to take your partner for granted and not be romantic anymore, but you talked to him and he reacted which shows that he cares. Try to let him have a chance to change things. And I think your partner being romantic shouldn’t be the main base your building a relationship on.
Post # 7
mollywobbles : I guess I don’t understand why you are differentiating between him wanting to keep you happy and wanting to stay married. He wants to stay married presumably because he loves you, therefore he is doing XYZ to make you happy. You are creating issues by doubting his intentions even when he does things.
Right now what do you truly feel is lacking? Is it the amount of time you are spending together? Is it the quality of the time you are spending together?
Post # 8
mollywobbles : With everything that’s happened, could your hubby be depressed? Excessive spending, no interest in chores; no interest in showing affection…if you both have health insurance, it should cover you if you want to speak with a psychologist. You may not be able to afford couples counseling at the moment, but maybe you both can speak to someone separately for now. It couldn’t hurt, and it just may help him face what it sounds like he’s avoiding.
Post # 9
mollywobbles : So basically he cant win for losing. Marriage ebbs and flow. Sometimes its gonna feel like one partner is pulling more than the other, sometimes its the other way around, sometimes it meshes and everything is perfect.
The honeymoon phase has worn off. Now you are seeing what marriage is all about. I second others that he cant read your mind and know exactly what you are feeling. I have been married a long time. Over the years Darling Husband and I have both sat down and had conversations about what we both need from each other. Thats not a do or die or forced thing. Life gets in the way and sometimes you get so caught up in it that, that you forget the things that mean something to someone else.
It happens. The fact that you brought it up and he understands your feelings now and is trying means a great deal. If he just blew you off and told you to suck it up it would be a huge red flag. Do you know how many posters come here and write on the boards that they expressed their feelings to their SO or spouse and their concerns and feelings were blown off and disregarded?
A number of posters would love to have your problem: You expressed your feelings, he heard you out, and is doing everything he can to make it right.
Post # 10
mollywobbles : It sounds like the two of you have had a really intense and challenging first year of marriage. My heart goes out to both of you. I agree with what others have said about counseling.
Also, though, are you familiar with Alison Armstrong’s work? You sound you might be doing some “frog farming” (in her terms) with your husband. Go check it out. She’s got some great books and interviews as well as online courses that have really benefitted me and my relationship (as well as many others). If you have a chance to work with her, you definitely should.
It might be true that something is happening that isn’t working for you and maybe you need to figure out how to leave. It may also be true that you have been in a really challenging time, your marriage is new and not yet prepared to weather this magnitude of storms and the stories you are currently telling yourself about your marriage and your husband aren’t entirely accurate.
Post # 11
For further information: we were together for 4 years before getting married, and lived together for two and a half of those years. We have been through much worse than what we’ve experienced in the last year (as far as outside uncontrollable events go) I am fully aware that the “honeymoon phase” is bound to fizzle out at some point, but when I mean he makes no effort romantically, I mean he makes NONE except for when he wants some action, and even then its mostly he just grabs my boobs to make his intent clear. I’m not saying I’m not responsible for part of this–I know my feelings of hopelessness even after he has begun to try are misguided. I dont want these feelings. I want to be happy that hes trying, and I’m trying to see it in a positive way but my first reactionto any of it makes me more sad than it does happy. Its just like, “why did it have to come to this? What happened to the man I married?” Its like i’m FWB. We get along great, we like the same things. Its not a compatability issue. I just can’t get out of my own head. For all of you that say I’m in the wrong too… Trust me, I’m not blind to my own faults. It actually took me a while to convince myself I was doing enough and it wasnt my fault he was ignoring me. And to the question is he depressed: we are both severly depressed, and I’ve been trying to get him to see a therapist for ages. He keeps agreeing, but never makes an effort to find one with me (i’ve given him doctors names). I can’t run his life more than I already do. I have him on a weekly allowance so that I know we can pay the bills, I feel like booking his doctors appointments is just a step too far for me, espcially when he was able to book an eye appointment and a dental appointment on his own just last month. I was seeing a therapist, but I had to stop temporarily when switching jobs because I didnt have access to health insurance. That will be starting up again soon. I’m really not looking for people to tell me what I’m doing wrong–I know I’m not perfect and I know what my faults are. I’m looking for advice on what I can do to make it right. Please try not to be negative, its already very difficult for me not to blame myself for all of this.
Post # 12
I think you should take the opportunity to help your husband and book the appointment for him. Marriage is about compromise and choosing to do the hard things – even if you don’t think they deserve it. Mentally, it is hard to seek professional help for some people. You may be more mentally able to accept help, but he may not be. Also, please don’t assume someone’s intentions for doing something. It never ends well. If he is depressed and trying to be more affectionate anyway, he loves you – that is clear.
Post # 13
But here we are again–Why me? Why am I still the only one putting in the effort? I’m depressed as well, I have problems too. It just feels like this is going to be the rest of my life now and I dont want to be the mother of a 30 year old man that is supposed to be my partner. Its not like I havent tried. I’ve tried offering books, sending him articles, talking to my therapist about us. Hes not ashamed of therapy, he’s made that very clear. He just wont. I dont know why. I understand that some people might think I should baby him and take care of him and make sure he’s well cared for but that is a two way street, and I can only help him like that for so long before it takes a toll on me. I am tapped out on my efforts in being the only means of emotional support. I feel like I am drained of all my efforts after trying so hard for so long without any kind of change on his end. “Try harder” I dont have “try harder” left. I have sit in a corner and cry left, that’s what I’ve got left in me. And if anyone has had depression on here you’ll know how it isnt just a matter of trying harder sometimes.. Sorry for the rant and everything. This is just a very emotional situation for me.
Post # 14
mollywobbles : I don’t understand. You told him you wanted more affection and he’s been trying to do so from your other posts… how is that equaling you being the only one trying?
It doen’t seem like you want advice, you want someone to say you’re right. If you’re so intent on divorce, then no one will be able to fix that but you.
Post # 15
I really wasn’t trying to blame you when I was asking what you want, I genuinely think you need to figure it what your want from your husband. You complain that there is no romance, but what do you mean by that? Do you not spent enough time together? Do you not do date nights? Do you need flowers? What does romance actually mean to you?
Then you complain that he isn’t affectionate enough and he listens and he addresses it, but that feels fake so you don’t count it and still want to wallow and feel like you are doing everything. Is he making an effort now or not because your posts are all over the place so I’m honestly not sure how to help you.