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Did anyone here leave a perfectly nice, loving, wonderful father and husband . . .

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
Simply because you weren't romantically interested in him anymore? Dh and I have been together almost 20 years (married for 11), and have two great kids. We have a wonderful life - I'm a SAHM homeschooling the kids, he works at a nice stable job. We're best friends, total trust and commitment, he's a wonderful father.

He adores me and finds me sexy and attractive and I just do not. This has been a small issue for many years, but lately it's gotten big. I just don't respect him as a "man" - I don't know how to describe it. He's very insecure in social situations, he has no initiative, I find his body very unattractive . . it all adds up to me having zero sexual interest in him.

Is this really enough to tear our family apart for? Our entire lives would change. We already live paycheck to paycheck, so supporting two residences would require a serious downgrade in our quality of life. I haven't worked in over 10 years. We live in an extremely high cost of living area (one of the highest in the US), but his job is here as well as all our family and friends, so leaving doesn't seem to make sense.

I don't want to be divorced. I don't want to be a single mom. I don't want to date and I don't want my kids to deal with mommy's boyfriend or daddy's girlfriend. But I don't know how long this can go on. I feel worse for him than me - he should be with someone who doesn't cring when he tries to be intimate.

Is this really enough of a reason to leave someone? Has anyone been through this?
post #2 of 62
Hi. I certainly don't know the answer to your question. But I thought I would share some of my thoughts in case they help you.
And you don't have to answer these questions here... just food for thought. How long have you felt this way about your husband? Do you know when it started? Was it gradual? Have you tried going to counseling (not together, just you)?
I honestly don't know if this is something that could change for you. And I don't know what the right thing to do if it can't change for you is. But it might be worth exploring to see if it can possibly change.
My situation was entirely different and I was married for much less time. But over the 10 years that I was with my ex, the lack of sexual attraction on my part was often an issue for us. Now, in hindsight, and having been in another relationship (a few years after our divorce), I can see a lot of reasons for that that I couldn't see then.
So I guess what I'm suggesting is that possibly, with some self work/exploration, you might come to understand why you feel the way you do differently. And maybe it is something that can change. Or maybe it's not. But understanding it better might better help your decision of whether you should stay married or not.

And I don't mean to suggest that this issue/responsibility is all yours. It may be that once you gain some understanding of your feelings there will be work the two of you need to do, or work that you will need him to do, if this has a chance of changing.

I know how hard it can be to feel like you are hurting someone you love and who loves you. Hugs to you.
post #3 of 62
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post #4 of 62
Honestly? This coming from someone who doesn't really believe in marriage. No, I don't think those are reasons to end an otherwise good marriage. You've been together for 20 years, I'd be surprised if you were still having sex more often then once a month if at all. You've both been under a huge amount of stress this year, is it possible your depressed? That can really affect how one feels about there partner. I doubt your DH suddenly became like this, at some point you found these traits endearing or else you wouldn't have married him. Have you thought of counciling for yourself to help work though why you've changed your opinion of him?
post #5 of 62
Saw this on New Posts-- were you on hormonal contraception when you met him and now you're not, or vice versa? That can have that effect.
post #6 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
Saw this on New Posts-- were you on hormonal contraception when you met him and now you're not, or vice versa? That can have that effect.
Thats true, those things need to come with a warning about the pheromone risks with those things. Wonder if there will ever be a lawsuit over those things tricking people into picking the wrong partner/ending relationships because of the pheromone changes.
post #7 of 62
Thread Starter 
Yes, I was on the pill when we met, and have not been for over 9 years (and never will be again). I regret having taken them for so long.

I never found these traits endearing, but when we were in our early 20s, this stuff seemed age appropriate. Now that we're heading into 40 and raising two kids, I find it incredibly irritating and have a hard time respecting him as an adult. I always feel like screaming DO SOMETHING!!!!! It's not that he's lazy - he takes out the garbage and cleans just as much as I do, lawn care, etc. etc. There's just no initiative, no ideas, no take charge, no . . . umph. And yes, his body is an issue. Not just his weight, but the shape, the massive amounts of hair that have appeared - I feel like a terrible person but I can't stand it.

The way he interacts at social events just makes me angry. I used to have compassion for him, but I feel like I've just lost my patience. How long is he going to just stay stuck being the same ole schlump, you know? I've grown, made changes, done a lot of hard personal work, and he just la dee da's along. I mean, on one hand, I'm happy for him - he's a happier person than I am. But I can't help thinking of him as a happy idiot, you know?

Everywhere we go, I see other men our age taking on more adult roles. Our neighbor will mention in passing how her dh forwarded her a spanish class he found for their kids. We went to a swim team info night for the kids, and the guy who was the board president was a straight forward, confident, take charge guy. These are just two examples, but it's everywhere. I know it's not fair to compare - they might be horrible husbands or mean or whatever, but I just don't know how much longer I can take feeling like the only adult.

We just have a really bad dynamic where I am in charge of everything and he does what I tell him. It's not as simple as that, but in many cases that's how it works out. And the rare times he does take initiative about something, like putting in the lawn in the backyard, he's so freaking stressed about it that it ends up being a nightmare for all of us.

I can't count on him being thorough about anything he does. Like a few months ago he declared that he was going to start locking all the doors at night, and even made a big announcement like "This house will never be left unlocked at night again!" And for awhile he did - he locked all the doors at night, and it made me feel good that he had thought of something and then did it. But like everything else, it eventually fell by the wayside, and he doesn't do it anymore. He went to talk to the swim coach last night (something I was shocked by!) and came back to tell me that practices were every day. I was suspicious - it didn't sound right. I told him he should probably clarify that with the coach, but he just kept saying "Well, he's the coach, he should know." I later went up and talked to some of the people running the group, and it turns out practices are offered 5 days a week, but you are only required to attend 2 days a week.

He just does the most annoying things. Like when he stubs his toe he'll fall down on the floor writhing in pain. He has a nervous laugh when talking to waitstaff in restaurants. At parties he either doesn't engage with anyone or else he talks like a frat boy (which he never was, but somehow decided that this is how to connect with people).

I don't know. It all sounds very petty and shallow when I write it out. But it doesn't change the fact that I just have no romantic interest in him at all, and don't feel like I have an equal, adult partner.
post #8 of 62
I *so* know how you feel, and have no idea what is right or wrong in that situation.
post #9 of 62
You say that he is happier than you, but it doesn't sound like he's happy, either. From your description, it sounds like he's either stuck in a rut, or is fearful of change/growth.

My own personal and spiritual belief is that we are here on this earth to experience, change, evolve and grow. It is a fundamental belief, and something that I strive for, every moment of my life. My stbxh does not have this core belief. He used to speak with such disdain about how much I changed. Meanwhile, I was like..."THANK GODDESS I changed!"

At the same time, one is not more "right" than the other. They are different. And for the most part, they're not compatible when one party resists and/or rejects the other's philosophy.

If, as part of your own path of growth and change, you can accept your husband for who and what he is, and to give him the space to walk his own path then it is possible to resolve this. Can you take a few moments to write, either here or for yourself, some of the qualities that you really like, respect and appreciate about him?

Also, in this time of change while going through this divorce, I've been doing a lot of thinking and meditating on our shadow selves. Debbie Ford has some great resources and books about that if you look it up. Most of the time, the things that annoy us the most about others is a mirror of something about ourselves that we reject. And somehow, when we see this and acknowledge this within ourselves, it allows the charge to dissipate.

Hugs to you, mama. Kudos to you for reaching out and for taking this line of inquiry...it takes a lot of courage.
post #10 of 62
Hi I couldn't help but notice that you mention several things called "emotional needs" in the book, "His Needs, Her Needs."

Perhaps before considering the last resort, you could check out his website:

www.marriagebuilders.com

All his books are at my local library so probably will find the same.

Also, maybe a check up is in order to rule out other things?
post #11 of 62
You've gotten some really good advice here but I wanted to repeat others (especially robinchap1) have said: you focused in your initial post on his good qualities yet said you are unhappy. It's like you weren't letting yourself acknowledge what he does that makes you feel the way you do because you don't think the reasons are good enough. In your second post you go into the reasons why you think you aren't happy and that is GREAT that you can do that!

My situation was so similar to yours. I just felt like I was drifting from my then-dh...like I had this path and I had to follow it and dh wasn't part of it and *couldn't* be part of it because it's not who he is. I agree with what runes said; one is not better than the other, necessarily. But it doesn't change the fact that it creates for you (and perhaps for your dh but perhaps not) REAL UNHAPPINESS.

At the beginning, while my marriage was unravelling, I focused a lot on why my reasons for being unhappy weren't enough: he was a loving father, fairly ambitious, wasn't he? He didn't abuse me, didn't he? There came a point--after LOTS of therapy, meditation, introspection, talking with people, couple's therapy, journaling-all of which I recommend!--where I realized: it doesn't matter if my reasons for being unhappy don't seem like enough. I'd tried so hard to be happy with him and I just wasn't so I accepted it. I accepted that it wasn't going to happen, no matter how many good things about him I could point out. (FWIW, I had also long since lost all sexual attraction to him and felt both guilty and depressed about it!) I decided to honor my feelings, because they weren't going away and by suppressing them I was only making things so much worse for myself--and for him, too, ultimately.

That's NOT to say that my path is the same as yours. Like I said, I recommend therapy--individual and couples--or at least some sort of practice that gets you in touch with what is going on inside yourself and what your true desires are. Maybe therapy will get you both connected in a way that you didn't think possible, and on a shared path.

But whatever you do, DON'T discredit that voice inside you by thinking that it doesn't have a right to think and feel what it does. This is your spirit and it will not be ignored. You will be much happier in the long run, and I truly believe this, if you honor it and learn to listen to it instead of second-guessing it. It will tell you when you are on the right path if you really learn to listen to it.

Best of luck on your journey and be proud of yourself for being open enough to face these feelings and fears!!!
post #12 of 62
Counseling for you solo, for you both ... and whatever other reflective processes help you look deeply, consider the consequences of staying or leaving and arrive a a truly "best" decision.

I do not believe adults' "happiness" should trump the stability, security and general happiness of the children for whom we have voluntarily taken responsibility.

My stbx (don't I wish) -- now lives "his way" -- sleeping late, living in squalor, playing computer games all night while his children are in childcare before he is even awake and are in institutional care 11 hours a day; we can no long afford those activities that would truly enrich their lives; even their home is in jeopardy ... all for his "happiness."

Not saying that is your situation, just that I feel a lot of adults rationalize tremendous selfishness with very real negative consequence visited on their children as a result.

Otoh, a home were there is hatred or gut ripping depression. and disfunction are not good for children -- those are situations where the children would be better off in a divorce. And, of course in the case of abuse.


M
post #13 of 62
I don't think your children should suffer because of your marriage. There doesn't seem to be any abuse and you can "work" to iron some things out.

How old your kids?
post #14 of 62
I think its flawed thinking that all people should be happy with one partner for the majority of their life. If you've gone down a path that is far from the one he is on, why try so hard to live together? In your situation, it seems like your kids and you will have alot more positive experiences if you are free to keep changing and growing without guilt or feeling irritated every day. Your dh will also be free to be himself and grow if he chooses too, if you live separately. I'm not knocking lifelong commitments, because some people thrive within that setting. In your situation tho, it seems like your partnership is holding you back because you're distracted by his way of life. jmo. I wish you peace & inspiration.
post #15 of 62
Can you still live with him and parent with him and be friends with him - but- both see other people romantically? I know that is a long shot for some and for others I think it could work well if both people were in agreement.
post #16 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
Saw this on New Posts-- were you on hormonal contraception when you met him and now you're not, or vice versa? That can have that effect.
I was going to say the same thing.
post #17 of 62
But how old are your kids? Honestly I'd wait until they're older than 10 to get divorced. At that point, though, you may want to seriously consider making some changes.

Developmentally, the 7--10 age range is a really hard range to have divorced parents. (And I know this is the Single Parenting forum and I'm NOT judging anyone, but just trying to give the OP my 2 cents.)
post #18 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanbaby View Post
Yes, I was on the pill when we met, and have not been for over 9 years (and never will be again). I regret having taken them for so long.
OK, you understand that taking the pill changes your sense of smell so that you are most sexually attracted to people who are genetically similar to you? And that when you go off the pill, your sense of smell reverts to being sexually attracted to people who are genetically dissimilar, while those who are genetically similar become sexually repulsive? Regardless of personality traits?
post #19 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
OK, you understand that taking the pill changes your sense of smell so that you are most sexually attracted to people who are genetically similar to you? And that when you go off the pill, your sense of smell reverts to being sexually attracted to people who are genetically dissimilar, while those who are genetically similar become sexually repulsive? Regardless of personality traits?
Which brings to question, how long has the OP been unhappy with her DH?
post #20 of 62
Is there any chance at having an open relationship?
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