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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<p>I read the posting guidelines and I hope I am in line with them...</p>
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<p>DH and I have been together for 9 years and married for 7.  We have 2 children, ages 1 and 3.  Things for us have always been "comfortable"- there has never been a big sexual attraction between us (at least for me) and our intimate life is.. well, it has always been lousy for me. He tends to think about himself and not about me being satisfied.  He won't kiss me (even if he is leaving for work, I get a kiss on the cheek).  We have had sex 5 times in the past 27 months.  Yes, I have kept track.  I initiate it once a week or so, but he always has reasons why he doesn't want to.. he is tired, he needs to take a shower- and get this, the other day he told me he wanted to FINISH EATING HIS ORANGE.  Yes, you read that right.  I have chalked it up to the fact that he is not attracted to me.  Even if I am not in the mood, if on the off chance that he initiates it, I will do it. I should point out that DH is 39, if that means anything.</p>
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<p>He works about 55 hours a week and I know he is tired. I am a SAHM.  But what guy do you know who is ALWAYS too tired for intimacy?  I am also feeling like he tunes me out.  When he gets home from work, he plays with the kids for 10-15 min, then immediately puts the TV on and goes on the computer.  And it is like that till bedtime.  I can honestly say, we have no partnership.  I am in therapy, and I love my therapist, she has told me that it sounds like DH and I have a business arrangement. I take care of the house, the kids, the cooking, and the bills, and he makes the money.  We are not a couple.  It is like we are roommates.  I have talked to him about this and he wants to spend his time off relaxing.  I understand that, but I don't have time off!  yes, I am home with the kids all day but I am certainly not "off".   I have talked to him about what my therapist has said.  He not only sees no issue with our marriage, but he doesn't think he needs to go to counseling. I think because he is "winning"- he is not making sacrifices (at least I dont' feel that he is).  I work occasionally, I am starting up a bakery and do farmers markets and stuff, and I thought if he was home with the kids it would give them some quality time, but instead he goes online and puts the kids in front of the TV. <br>
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<p>I am just not happy in my marriage.  The lack of physical attraction is really becoming an issue for me..  I thought we had a good foundation because we had so much in common, and that that was more important than the physical attraction, but the fact that he shoots me down every single time I make a move on him is a blow to my already low self esteem.  I am not perfect, I never claimed to be.  I don't expect him to be either- I just want to feel heard and be told I am beautiful once in a while, or hear "I love you" occasionally.  I get more affection from my friends than my husband.  <span><img alt="shake.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/shake.gif" style="width:15px;height:15px;"></span></p>
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<p>I was considering leaving if he didn't agree to counseling.  I even went to my mom's for a few days a week with the kids, without saying "you need to realize what you have before you lose it" but he didn't get it.  I don't know what to do.  At this point he is a financial contributor and roommate... he has no involvement with the kids other than playing with them about a half hour a day. </p>
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<p>Does anyone have any advice?</p>
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<p>ETA: Things have always been like this (especially the lack of intimacy)- not just since we started having children.</p>
 

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<p>Wow.  I am so sorry you are going through this.  I can't imagine being married with NO physical intimacy, or emotional from the sound of it.  Only you know your true breaking point, but it sounds awful.  I wish you all the best, whatever you choose.  It sounds like a demand for counseling may be your only option.  If you have made every attempt to work on yourself, with no contribution from him, there's not a lot more you can do. </p>
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<p>A lot of your post resonates with me.  Dh and I haven't been intimate in about as long as you posted.  He, at the suggestion of our therapist, is having his hormone levels tested on Friday.  He's 38 and it is apparently not outside the realm of normal for a man's testosterone levels to be dropping.  In our case, my dh also suffers from depression, an anxiety disorder and seasonal effect disorder.  He's also a selfish lover when we're active.</p>
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<p>Thankfully, though, he has agreed to counseling and I do see where it is beginning to help (six months in).  But, I've always felt that we were running on perpendicular tracks and not getting any closer to "oneness".  His lightbulb moment came 2 weeks ago when our therapist asked us to bring in pictures from early in our relationship.  I brought pictures from our engagement period, wedding and family photo with our first born.  Our therapist said he did not expect to see that much emotion and expression given what he'd seen over the past 6 mos.  My husband admitted that he hadn't realized things had changed so much.</p>
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<p>Admittedly then, if you never had a great spark, it is going to be much more difficult to create one.  And certainly close to impossible by yourself.  In your position, I'd be considering the same things.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
<p>Thank you both.  I suspect DH may be depressed but he says he isn't.. I suspected it may be a testosterone thing and I even went so far as to ask him iif he is gay. THAT didn't go over well.  I was pretty persistent in the past to try to get to the real reason and he insists he is just tired.  He once even yelled at me for not accepting that as the reason.  But I just can't figure out what the issue is, it just seems like that can't be the issue.</p>
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<p>When we are intimate, he usually can't "finish" (sorry but I tried to put it delicately).  Which makes me think maybe it is a testosterone thing but he usually just blames it on being tired.  I just don't know.  *sigh*  I am going to try again to get him to counseling for the emotional part of it, that is what is bugging me the most.  Thanks again.</p>
 

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<p>*HUGS* I am also sorry you are going through this. I have no direct advise but wanted to offer a link to symptoms of male depression. I guess they look different from women's depression and can be missed or misunderstood. Hope this helps:</p>
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<p><a href="http://www.webmd.com/depression/depression-men" target="_blank">http://www.webmd.com/depression/depression-men</a></p>
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<p>Rhianna</p>
 

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<p>I also wonder whether you noticed any more of a decline after the loss of your baby?  I wonder whether he dealt with/processed all of his grief?  When my husband was an early teen, his father was murdered in their family's home by the police.  So, our therapist has suggested that he might have some PTSD from that as well.  Prayerfully, your persistence will pay off for your husband.  The way I think about my situation is that, as my husband's helpmeet, this is part of my responsibility, to help him to heal.  Of course, you can take a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.  You can only do what you can do.  Again, prayerfully, he will respond.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
<p>I have been wondering if he is depressed... his father, brother, and sister are all on antidepressants so it could very well be.  I asked him a few weeks ago and he said he isn't, but I used to say I wasn't but I just didn't recognize it.  He was sorta odd when we lost our babies- especially our first baby who was stillborn.  He was sad, but he was more concerned about me.  And with the subsequent losses.. it was like it didn't phase him in the least other than that my being sad and laid up on the couch meant more work for him with our other kids.  He said he felt bad for me though.. but he said he deals with death differently.</p>
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<p>I just don't know.  I have therapy in 2 weeks, I think I will ask him to come with me.</p>
 

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<p>I would consider finding a marriage therapist (not your therapist - sometimes it's hard for the other party to come and join in with someone who is on "your side" kwim?), making an appointment, and letting DH know you have - that you are doing it with or without him, but with him would be more likely to be successful.</p>
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<p>I feel for you on not getting what you need.  Keep in mind, though, that you are wanting your DH to change how he has always been in the relationship, while you have young kids, and he is the sole provider who works long hours.  It's an uphill task for sure.  </p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
<p>Dahlialia, you are right.  Wow, it is a little upsetting to read that but it is true- I am trying to change him from being how he has always been into what I want him to be.  I agree with what you said about finding a marriage counselor aside from my regular therapist.  Thanks very much. I am going to look into it today.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>maisiedotes</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1291261/feeling-ignored-and-nelected#post_16186519"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Dahlialia, you are right.  Wow, it is a little upsetting to read that but it is true- I am trying to change him from being how he has always been into what I want him to be.  I agree with what you said about finding a marriage counselor aside from my regular therapist.  Thanks very much. I am going to look into it today.</p>
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Which, from our marriage counselor's perspective is a harder road.  I don't say that to be negative, but, realistic.  And this comment was made after the review of the pictures and acknowledging that we obviously once had quite a spark - and that was the good news - because he has people sit across from him who never had it and are now trying to create it.  Not impossible, but definitely harder.  At the end of the day, when you're in it, a hard road is a hard road.  If you are in a town with a university, check to see if they have a family insitute (there is one affiliated with Northwestern here in Chicago and Evanston and our therapist works through them).  Or call your husband's employer if they offer an EPA program for a referral.  Obviously, your own therapist is a great place to start, too.  Holding good thoughts for you!</p>
 

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<p>Maybe a part of his inability to be intimate is that he feels inadequate because he can't "finish". Maybe he is worried there is something wrong with him and so he just shuts himself off sexually instead of being disappointed and disappointing you in the process. Maybe he doesn't only have a hard time physically finishing, but physically starting too and instead of admitting he can't get it started he just says he is tired. Or maybe the loss of your babies took a bigger toll on him than even he realizes. Some men have a hard time physically following through with sex after the birth or death of a child. Or maybe it is physical, has he had his prostate checked lately? Or maybe he really is tired and exhausted. It takes a toll working and providing for a family. Maybe he is burned out and tired.</p>
<p>Maybe instead of sex, maybe start with telling him you know he is tired and so giving him a relaxing massage. Tell him you want him to relax, that he can fall asleep if he wants, etc. And then follow through. Give him a relaxing massage, relax his muscles etc. Maybe the physical intimacy of a massage will eventually lead to other forms of physical intimacy.</p>
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<p>Good luck.</p>
 

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<p>I would guess that it is depression - the shutting down (computer, tv), distancing himself. However, one of the first signs of heart disease is ed - the inability to finish. And heart disease can also cause/mimic depression. Has he had a regular physical lately? That might be a good first step. I'm sorry you're in such a difficult situation. When we want changes in our relationships it almost always takes both partners to make it happen. Hopefully, you can ge him on board with trying for change.</p>
 

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<p>DH and I are struggling with similar issues as well regarding intimacy.  We're working through them now, but it's hard. </p>
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<p>I'm so sorry for your losses.  Has your DH gone to counseling on his own to deal with the losses? </p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Skippy918</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1291261/feeling-ignored-and-nelected#post_16188207"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>DH and I are struggling with similar issues as well regarding intimacy.  We're working through them now, but it's hard. </p>
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<p>I'm so sorry for your losses.  Has your DH gone to counseling on his own to deal with the losses? </p>
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<br><br><p>DH has what I would consider a "different" take on our losses.  He has been almost cold about it... he seems to have to feelings of his own on the 2 miscarriages, he figures if we miscarried, chances are the baby would not have been well... would have had problems, birth defects, etc. He says he views death differently than I do. he did say he feels bad for me... I think he falls into the "typical male" category.. I hate to use that term but it seems to be that every man I know is the same way- he doesn't show his feelings, tends to keep everything in... I have been taking a long hard look at his parents.  This may shed some light into the whole situation.. his parents are both retired.  His father has an office that he hibernates in.  I have never EVER seen his parents kiss, hug, or be otherwise affectionate in any manner.  Come to think of it, they are like roommates too!  This is making me a little bit panicky.  Obviously they were, at one time,. affectionate on some level since they had 3 children...</p>
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<p>I am just so tired of being pushed away. It is such a blow to my self esteem.  I just wish he would talk to me.  I am starving for affection. </p>
 

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I'm so sorry you are feeling this way right now. I can relate somewhat. My dh and I are definitely not as close and connected and intimate as we used to be.<br><br>
May I say one thing, though? I know that you have suffered a loss very recently in addition to your previous losses. Miscarriages can tear marriages apart. I know. I've had 7 and when I really think about it I can see how the way we both handled those has contributed greatly to me feeling neglected by my dh. Anyway, my suggestion is that you don't make any big decisions about anything right now. You need to process your grief and maybe your dh does, too. <img alt="hug.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif"><p> </p>
 

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<p> </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
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<div>I have never EVER seen his parents kiss, hug, or be otherwise affectionate in any manner.  Come to think of it, they are like roommates too!  This is making me a little bit panicky.</div>
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<p>My in-laws are like this too.  They even sleep in separate bedrooms.  His mother has battled depression.  Her upbringing was really bad.  But I wouldn't necessarily see that as a foreshadowing of what your marriage will do. </p>
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<div>I hate to use that term but it seems to be that every man I know is the same way- he doesn't show his feelings, tends to keep everything in.</div>
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<p>My DH is like this too.  I hate when he does this cause then I wonder what's bugging him and then I start drawing these awful conclusions.  He says it's because I get too emotional when he talks to me about his issues.  But that's how I am. </p>
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<p>Have you tried writing letters to one another about how you are feeling?  We're trying this approach to see how it works.  That way we read the letters when the other isn't around and have time to digest what's in them before talking about it. </p>
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<p>I hope things work out for you. </p>
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<p><span><img alt="hug.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif"></span></p>
 
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I have a book suggestion that a friend suggested. I haven't gotten to the part about what to do yet so I can't vouch for that, but it might give you a different perspective on the silent male.<br><br><i>How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It</i>. Sorry I don't have the authors off the top of my head.
 

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<p><span><img alt="hug.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif"></span></p>
<p>The first thing I want to say is that, don't think that all men always want to have sex and therefore, if your husband doesn't, there is something wrong with YOU. The truth is that, in fact, there are many many men who suffer from low sex drive for a variety of reasons (depression, hormonal issues, lifestyle--drinking, smoking, drugs, etc., side-effect of medication, medical issues, obesity, also, yes, relationship issues etc. etc.) and it has nothing whatsoever to do with how physically attractive you are.</p>
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<p>But I know it's hard not to FEEL so hurt and rejected!</p>
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<p>Your sexual/emotional needs are REAL and I agree that you guys absolutely need to get to the bottom of whatever is going on with him. I agree that "I'm tired" is not a valid excuse--not for the kind of track record that you are describing, no way.</p>
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<p>I think the only important thing that I could say to you, without knowing the cause of your husband's lack of interest in sex, is that you would be ABSOLUTELY JUSTIFIED in demanding that he work with you to figure out his lack of interest in sex. By not working to resolve whatever is rendering him incapable of maintaining intimacy with you (and not just sexual intimacy--but also telling you you are beautiful, touching you at all, etc. etc.)...he is refusing to honor your needs. Which is what a husband must do. Isn't that one of the things we promise each other when we get married?</p>
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<p>Good luck to you!</p>
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
<p>Thank you all so much. As MarineWife said, I suffered a miscarriage last week (I have a D&E tomorrow) and part of this was brought on by my husband seeming unfazed by this loss.  The issues go way back but I think his not showing his emotions about it hurt me.  Honestly, I asked if he was upset and he said "no, the baby would have had issues if he lived, that is why miscarriages happen".  UGH.  Then again he himself has never carried a baby.</p>
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<p>I am defintely checking out the books mentioned.  Thank you all so much.. deep down I know my body is not the root of the problem.. I keep trying to remind myself that if I am unhappy, we need to work on it together. </p>
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<p>Thanks again everyone.</p>
 
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