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Old 04-14-2008, 03:12 AM
 
35 posts, read 166,882 times
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Of cheating? Of leaving? Of just accepting things as they are and living a life largely emotionally and physically independent of my husband for the sake of the children?

I'm not exactly sure what I'm on the verge of; it could be none, one or all of the above. I've been married to my husband for nearly five years; we've known each other for 10. We have a four-year-old and a nine-month-old. We both work full-time. I am also in graduate school. We have no major money problems and, from all appearances, things look rather ideal.

However, for years my husband worked second-shift. This left me alone when I came home from work to care for one - then two - children singlehandedly. Over time, this became difficult to negotiate. My life became simply going to work in the morning to do one job, then coming home in the evening to begin my second shift all by myself. It was a cycle that became demoralizing, boring and led to what I perceive as an incredibly unbalanced life.

Well, this persisted for years, as mentioned. Throughout that time, mmy husband and I's relationship began deteriorating. We no longer dated. No dinners. No lunches. Very little time alone, unless I persuaded my parents to babysit and, even then, oftentimes nothing would happen. He'd spend time trying to work on a household project or something, and I would end up reading a book.

I would look at sites like Marriage Builders for tips. I would pull up articles written by marriage and family therapists to see what we could do. I would share this with my husband, we'd talk, agree that certain issues were present, and then fall back into the same monotonous rhythm.

Recently, my husband finally got moved to first shift. I was very excited at first, thinking this would spell the end of the doldrums our marriage has become. I hoped this would decrease the time we spent discussing baby food and diapers and what's for dinner and how much gas costs and did you get the mail and mess like that. But it hasn't.

We still don't do anything, go anywhere, talk about anything of consequence on a personal level. We have spent, maybe, two hours alone this year so far. I no longer try to arrange for babysitting or plan anything for us to do. That has always fallen in my court and, frankly, I am fatigued of the entire arrangement. Our weekends consists of chores and errands. I have grown less communicative, almost it seems involuntarily; it is as though I am shutting down - closing myself off from him.

The last time he tried to have sex with me, I felt sick. I just wanted him to leave me alone. We spent this weekend doing nothing. We eat meals in silence now, speaking only to the kids.

He shared with me that we just need to have sex more frequently, so that we can get back to where we were when we first met. I'm like, yeah right. First of all, the foundation for intimacy does not exist; intimacy cannot be achieved if two people never spend any time alone together and never laugh, have fun, go anywhere, see anybody or do anything. I haven't had an orgasm with him in at least four months.

I have started thinking about having sex with someone else. My mind wanders, thinking what else could be out there for me. I think, well, I am still relatively young (30), attractive, somewhat accomplished, smart, likeable ... how can I spend the rest of my projected life span like this?

Then, on the other hand, I fiercely love my husband, even though I am feeling increasingly less in love with him.

Any advice? I feel like I've been banging my head against the wall for years, with no results. I am really done. I am tired. I am unfulfilled. This relationship is not meeting my needs or expectations.
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Old 04-14-2008, 03:20 AM
 
253 posts, read 40,203 times
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Sorry you're having a rough time. Sounds like you need to speak to a sound and responsible professional. Always remember the Grass is ussually NOT greener! Hang in their and don't do anything Crazy...O-K??
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Old 04-14-2008, 04:42 AM
 
Location: Beautiful New England
2,412 posts, read 4,658,275 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NativelyNashville View Post
Any advice?
The problems you face are common--the stress of work and family take their toll. But I don't read anything that is especially troublesome or insurmountable. Your situation begs for marriage counseling.
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Old 04-14-2008, 04:52 AM
 
253 posts, read 40,203 times
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Also: Grad school w/o a family can make a person sick and tired...Give yourself a break, things will get better--you're under alot of stress afterall!
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Old 04-14-2008, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Telford, TN
1,065 posts, read 2,598,281 times
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You guys need to pack up the kids to a relative and go on a cruise. Start talking and try having some adventures together. Something for just the two of you. Go hiking, go for a long drive somewhere. One night a week, get a baby sitter and go on a date. My wife and I do all sorts of stuff together. We go to ball games, plays, drives in the mountains, shopping, movies, out to eat, or just send the kids somewhere and have a wild sexy time at home. Remember though, nothing changes if YOU don't make it happen. Not communicating and being alone with bad thoughts is the worst thing you can do short of acting out on the bad thoughts. You guys just need to rediscover why you fell in love in the first place.
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Virginia
6,530 posts, read 9,211,177 times
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Wow this sounds similar to my life except my wife and I do go places and do things (just usually with 4 year old in tow).

It's a funny thing and yes, the male mentality is that maybe having sex more often will help us feel closer while the female mentality is that we need to do more romantic things in order to feel closer and then we can have sex (seems that way anyway).

Well in the situation you describe there simply isn't THAT much time for big romance. Kids (love 'em to death, but) get in the way of this.

I understand your frustration from the other side of the coin. Cheating doesn't seem fair. I mean he really hasn't done anything to warrant that. You have needs that aren't being met.

I guess the advice I'd give you is to give your husband more of a road map of what he needs to do to reconnect. I know I could use one.

Of course then the problem becomes that when the husband starts to actually DO all of these things it doesn't work for the woman because "You're only doing it because I told you to do it so it doesn't feel special."..... (Yes, I've been down this road. Sometimes it feels as though there can be no victory).

But for the kids we keep trudging along. I dont' know what the future holds.
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
5,163 posts, read 10,289,568 times
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It's funny how some men think that the sum total of their involvement in a marriage or relationship is, "Well, I'm here, aren't I?" You have children, so I'd advise counseling before you do anything that you might regret later. If your husband won't go with you, then go alone.

I know you're worn out, but it has been my experience that women are the architects of relationships. If men are given what they need (and that's usually easy to figure out, as men are pretty simple, for the most part!), they'll move Heaven and earth to please their women.

Your problem right now seems to be a lack of motivation. If you wait for your husband to figure things out, you could be waiting forever. Men don't think the way women do! I'm sorry this can't be easier.
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:06 AM
 
1,009 posts, read 1,479,450 times
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Never been married here. But most of my friends have, and I can also speak on my parents (who are still together after 25 years).

A guy friend of mine was having the same deal with his wife of 10 years. Except it went on like that a lot longer than in your situation. He met this temp chick at work who was 26 (he's 40). He decided to go for it, and I guess had a wild time with her for a couple months. We had a conversation about the whole thing, and I asked if he still loved his wife, or if he was gonna divorce her. He thought about it, and said that yeah he still loved her, and felt really bad about cheating on her. I have no idea if he told her, but I understand the wife was getting action on the side as well. A month later he went to disneyland with the whole family, and then took a week off work to spend with his wife. Last I heard, they were staying together, and things were improving slightly between him and his wife, they also do marriage counseling now.

If you are (as you say) 30 and attractive, you'll have no problem finding your extracurricular activity. Maybe this is the final wedge that you need to drive between you and him to enable your divorce. However I think you should stick it out, bear in mind you chose to have the 'married w/ kids' lifestyle. Everybody cheats nowadays it seems. I feel much less respect for people who do this, why take the vow in the first place? Just stay single, and have a fun, vibrant life.

Among the four different friends I know who have been married for more than a couple years, they all share one thing in common: They have MAJOR PROBLEMS. Either they don't talk, or they fight constantly, or the kids and stress are ripping them up... And being the only single guy, I get to hear all this bullcrap. I want to scream in their faces: Why the hell did you get married then!?

My parents had the 'silent year' as I will call it, and man did it suck for us kids. Mom reading a book, dad watching tv, they dont speak to eachother, sleep in separate beds, dinnertime we all sit in tense silence and eat. I can't imagine what it was like for them. Finally my mom decided she just didn't care anymore, and she started hanging out with her friends and going to concerts every once in a while, having fun with female coworkers. This, coupled with threats of divorce on both sides, I think finally got them talking again, and they decided that having invested so many years together, and seeing as they were not only husband and wife but best friends, they decided to both take part in keeping the whole thing working. Six years later they are still together, and only death could bring them apart.

You need forced time alone. I agree with the poster who said take a cruise. Force yourselves to be together in a fun setting, where you can talk and sunbathe and flirt, and go down on eachother, and all that other stuff you did before you went stupid and decided to get married. And plan for an ENFORCED date out once a week, take the kids or whatever and be that annoying married couple that still enjoy eachother, while their kids are crying and making life not fun for everyone else. But at least you'll be having fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NativelyNashville View Post
He shared with me that we just need to have sex more frequently, so that we can get back to where we were when we first met. I'm like, yeah right. First of all, the foundation for intimacy does not exist; intimacy cannot be achieved if two people never spend any time alone together and never laugh, have fun, go anywhere, see anybody or do anything. I haven't had an orgasm with him in at least four months.
If only women thought like men, The whole thing could be solved quite easily!
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:29 AM
 
Location: Virginia
6,530 posts, read 9,211,177 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SandyCo View Post
It's funny how some men think that the sum total of their involvement in a marriage or relationship is, "Well, I'm here, aren't I?" You have children, so I'd advise counseling before you do anything that you might regret later. If your husband won't go with you, then go alone.

I know you're worn out, but it has been my experience that women are the architects of relationships. If men are given what they need (and that's usually easy to figure out, as men are pretty simple, for the most part!), they'll move Heaven and earth to please their women.

Your problem right now seems to be a lack of motivation. If you wait for your husband to figure things out, you could be waiting forever. Men don't think the way women do! I'm sorry this can't be easier.
Riiiiiight. You give boinky boinky me give flowers, UGH MMMM UGH UH!!!

Contrary to popular belief men actually have rational thought processes and emotional type reasons that we do (or don't do) things...

I think it might be fair to say that we aren't as in-tuned to our emotions and have no clue that they are the reason that we feel the way we do or get detatched or whatever, but they're there. Just not as easy to articulate the reasons for it.

Sounded like you're attempting to oversimplify the male contributions and feelings toward a relationship.

It isn't fair when a man realizes that he needs to attempt to emotionally reconnect and gets stymied at every turn....

Oh, but then it's the man's fault too because "They have no sense of timing" or whatever.....

IOW if women are going to play by a particular rule book they have to give the husband A COPY OF THE DAMN BOOK!!!!
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Old 04-14-2008, 09:00 AM
 
35 posts, read 166,882 times
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Well, thanks for the responses.


Chiaroscuro,

That's sad, funny and interesting that most of your married friends are miserable. I had to LOL when you mentioned beind stupid by going off and getting married. In my experience, I don't think it's so much marriage itself that might cause a downward slide; it's the introduction of children. With one, it was challenging, but somewhat navigable. She was in daycare full-time and my parents were more inclined to watch her (even though on most of those occasions, we never did anything, re: him working on household projects and me reading books). Now, the older child is in pre-school three days a week and we have an infant; my parents watch them both each day of the week; i am so grateful for their involvement and respectful of their time that I dare not ask them to watch our kids so we can go out. So I now have out the ball in husband's court; I am tired of being the planner, coordinator, organizer and logistics-solver.

Rhett, if a way you are right about being damned if you do and damned if you don't. As women, we want it to come from the heart, not from obligation, duty or guilt. However, in a situation such as mine, I think the necessity for him to be proactive is clear. I wouldn't berate him for it. I would praise him for his efforts, as I do in many areas in which he is not only competent but impressive. It just so happens that he has put this on the backburner for so long that I have become rather apathetic in terms of taking actionable steps.

HTML, yes, a counselor is probably in order. But guess what? I'm not going to look for one. If he finds one, I will go. But otherwise, we are going to up to our own devices.

Sandy, it does appear to be a waiting game, as I'm not going to do much. I re-e-mailed some articles about communication, quality time and child-rearing. He can read them if he wants to; he would be well-advised to do so IMO, because I'm not going to talk about them and pour over them with him to make sure he's done his homework.

To all: This morning, before leaving for work, my husband asked me how long I was going to "play this game." He is accusing me of being silent and giving him the quiet treatment. Frankly, I don't have much to say. I just feel like I keep repeating myself, and I am keeping my more interesting thoughts on life and my own interests in general to myself, because I just don't feel like telling him. He told me that he knows he needs to get a babysitter and that our kids don't need to see us acting like this (agreed). But I am still not moved to do much. I feel like I've been the one keeping it together for this long. I feel like my needs have been neglected for years; it has taken me this long to develop this laissez-faire attitude, after all.
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