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No affection in marriage. So sad and lonely.

(64 Posts)
MadameFeuveral Wed 10-Jul-19 11:51:13

Hi everyone. I’d be very grateful for any advice you can give me.

I’m in my early thirties with three D.C. I’m so unhappy but I don’t know how to turn things around, or accept them as they are.

We’ve been married for nine years. Since we married he’s become less and less affectionate. He no longer kisses me or hugs me, and we haven’t had sex in months. Since we married and I had the children I have put on weight, which I think is a big problem for him, although he won’t admit it. I used to have time for the gym and the hairdresser, and I used to look lovely - now all my time is spent looking after the home and children. I have no time for myself, and he won’t come near me. Because I feel so repulsive and lonely I comfort eat, which I know doesn’t help, but I don’t know any other way of coping.

We’re very polite to each other on a surface level - both of us hate confrontation and there are no arguments. But every six months or so the loneliness gets too much and I break down - I tell him how unhappy I am, he takes pity on me and will make an effort to hug and kiss me for a few days, and then we’re back to living as housemates again. I don’t know if he’s unhappy- he won’t talk to me or tell me so.

I feel misled, like he married me under false pretences. Before we were married we was the most affectionate, loving, caring, generous man - but he’s since told me he doesn’t like talking about his emotions or feelings, finds my desire to show him affection suffocating and finds me boring. I don’t have any input into our finances at all. I don’t even know how much he earns. I can’t plan birthdays or holidays or buy birthday presents.

I’ve begun to think that he knows what he’s doing. He knows exactly how to hurt me - because I’ve broken down and told him - and now he’s doing it purposely. If I cry, he ignores me. If I try to talk to him, he leaves the room. I have so much love to give him,
but he doesn’t seem to want it.

I have to accept this though, don’t I? I made this bed - I must lie in it. I can’t leave him, I won’t do it to my children. I want them to have the stable home and parents I didn’t have. I just wish acceptance came more easily, that’s all.

Joyfulnanna Wed 10-Jul-19 13:48:44

Olderthanmost, I ha r noticed that men are happiest being the provider, hence my generalisation. Apologies for any upset

glammanana Wed 10-Jul-19 13:53:46

What would worry me if you where my DD is the fact you have no knowledge of your finances in any way.
Do you get your house keeping allowance via cash or does he go with you and pay from his account this would also worry me if he did that,how do you pay for your personal bits and pieces etc.
How old are your children if they are all at school can you not get a part time job,maybe within a school so you are off at school holidays,what you earn could be put away for emergencies if ever you it.
Marriage is two ways give and take and you are certainly not being dealt a fair deal at the moment from this man,going to your Dr about possible depression could make you stronger and able to confront him about his behaviour,also your Dr, will direct you to a dietition to get you back on track with your weight.Be strong x

GillT57 Wed 10-Jul-19 13:56:27

I assumd that you do not wish your children to be in the same relationship as you are when they are adults but this is what will happen if you do not take some control of the very out of balance relationship. If you do not wish your sons to treat their partners as you are being treated you must do something. If you do not wish your daughters to be in miserable unhappy relationships with uncommunicative partners you must do something. Firstly do not blame yourself; you are the mother of three children and it is difficult if not impossible to keep your pre baby figure. Secondly if a man trusts you enough to bare and raise his beloved children why can he not trust you with money? Thirdly, don't let anyone tell you to stay for the sake of the children, I have family members who are truly screwed up adults due to the atmosphere and tension they grew up in with parents who no longer loved each other. Finally never ever beg anyone for affection or sex, if it isn't given willingly and with love then it means nothing. Tell him you will no longer live in this loveless relationship unless he steps up. I suspect he won't so get to a solicitor and protect your children and yourself future. You have a long life ahead don't waste it.

3dognight Wed 10-Jul-19 13:57:15

you do seem to be going through a particularly bad patch at the moment. I'm not sure if this is coercive control to a certain extent? In any case to ignore your tears, walk away when you are talking to him, and to tell you that you are boring, etc is bang out of order in my book.

He is wearing your confidence away; can you take the children to relatives for a few days over the school holidays, you will be able to think about what you really want for you and the children. I walked away from a man similar to your husband after 18 years, I probably should have gone after 12, as things just went from bad to worse. I did not realise how much he had skewed my perspective of myself till I got out.

All I would say is that children don't necessarily need two together parents, just two happy parents.

Olderthanmost Wed 10-Jul-19 13:57:40

Not upset joyful

merlotgran Wed 10-Jul-19 14:03:17

I've only had time to skim through this thread so sorry if this has already been mentioned but do you have a job?

I think the only way forward for you and your self esteem is to take control of your life. Don't let him back you into a corner. If you don't have a job - get one, even if it's part-time to fit in with the children and open a bank account of your own. Sign up to Weight Watchers, buy some new clothes and make him realise you are not a push over!

Make it all about you from now on. This happened to a friend of mine many years ago and all it took for her to change her life was a complimentary remark from a man she met at a concert who was there with her friends. He was only flirting with her but it woke her up and it woke her bloody awful husband up as well when he realised he could no longer bully her.

HildaW Wed 10-Jul-19 14:33:36

If you are married to this man and his children are his.....please do not view any money he earns as 'his' money. Any money earned by a committed couple should be viewed as being for the whole family. I do understand that many families amicably agree to have individual 'pots' of money for personal mad moments or for particular projects. In my marriage my DH was always the majority earner.....I had part-time jobs from time to time and some were pretty full on despite being so called part-time. However, all monies were seen as family money to be spent or saved as mutually agreed. I think the only exception were any birthday monies from parents. If you are in a committed partnership with anyone there should be mutually agreed financial arrangements even if one of you technically pays most of the bills. Its not 'for Richer or Poorer' for nothing.
And you are NOT pathetic, I believe you are being deliberately worn down by someone who knows how to do it.

eazybee Wed 10-Jul-19 14:41:54

One small step.
If he adores the children, then arrange some sessions at a gym, or exercise classes, when he is at home and tell him, don't ask, that he is looking after the children.
Exercise will make you feel better and you will be with other people; don't think about losing weight just concentrate on getting out and being you for a few hours. Exercise does make you feel better, even if you don't enjoy it at the time, and it will help clear your head, so you can think what you want to do next.

Razzy Wed 10-Jul-19 14:47:13

It sounds to me like he is controlling you. Putting you down, withholding money, etc. sounds like abuse. Google it. Yes he has a job, but he can only do that job if he has childcare for his kids. He could pay for this and then you could go and earn your own money and pay half. He needs to see it like this. If as a family you decide that instead of both working and kids in childcare, you will stay home, then he needs to give you half his wages. You should be entitled to some free childcare - use the time to do what YOU want! And dig around and find out how much the bills are and if they are being paid.

Coolgran65 Wed 10-Jul-19 15:32:43

When my child was 9 months in a carry cot in the back of the car, we were in a car park overlooking the city and I didn't want to go home. I did go home and stayed another 20 years. One night, 22 years ago, I did it. We parted next day, he went to his father's house and I out the house on the market that day.

There months later myself and my student son were in our own house.
I could breathe again.

You have no reason to stay.
The message you are giving your children is that it's ok to put up with crap.
Or The other message to them could be that it's ok to treat people like crap.

Septimia Wed 10-Jul-19 15:56:22

There are a lot of good ideas on here, and good advice as always.
Perhaps you could pick one small thing that you think you could manage to change things, and start there.
Are your children at school? How about a little part-time job (my mum got one in the local chemists' - very respectable) for 'pin money' or volunteering in a charity shop, as a start?

Joyfulnanna Wed 10-Jul-19 17:13:49

I think having 3 children and running a home is enough work! Why use up your spare energy on working outside the home for pin money, talk to your DH about it and what it would mean for him in terms of childcare. You shouldn't have to fit it in around school, that's not fair on you.

Alexa Wed 10-Jul-19 17:20:09

MadameFeuveral, you need to look after yourself now, and your children. I do hope you can see a lawyer soon. Instead of worrying like you have been doing you need to act as if you are independent and don't tell him you have seen a lawyer. He does not need to know everything you do. He is probably a nice enough man but that is not going to be enough for you.

M0nica Wed 10-Jul-19 18:14:51

I do not disagree with most of the things said above, but that is only looking at one side of the story.

Perhaps we should look at what may be MF's husbands view of the situation. He married a lively young woman, presumably with lots of interests. You have been married 9 years and have three children assuming they have all been born during the marriage the youngest is probably only 2 or 3. While children always changes the way life goes, you have on your own admission
I have put on weight, which I think is a big problem for him, although he won’t admit it. I used to have time for the gym and the hairdresser, and I used to look lovely - now all my time is spent looking after the home and children. I have no time for myself.

I actually have some sympathy (note, only_some_) for your husband. You do not say you work. I assume you do not. He comes home each night to an overweight woman who is harassed by small children and probably has nothing to talk about but children and domestic matters. I can understand, to a certain extent why (he)finds my desire to show him affection suffocating and finds me boring.

He may want to do something to change the situation, but given that both of you are non-confrontational doesn't know how to broach the subject. I am sorry to say but while excess weight would never stop me loving someone, as far as I am concerned it is a bit of a passion killer.

I think that the first thing you need to do is gain some agancy over your own life. By posting on GN you are starting to do that, but I feel that much of the advice being given is very negative and assumes the only answer is to leave your husband and separate your children from their father - and I am not sure life will be much better foryou as a single mother. I think that before your do that you should see what you can do to resolve the problems you have.

The first thing is, as others have said to go to your doctor, speak about depression and ask for counselling. I think that getting counselling, which will mean you needing to organise an hour when you can visit the Counsellor, will be the first step of a new life you control.

While the first years with young children can be overwhelming, for you that must already be easing a bit. Your eldest child must be at school now and the others at nursery a few mornings a week. Next time they are all off your hands, instead of trudging home and immersing yourself in housework, go for a walk. The exercise will do you good. Find out where the nearest gym is, possibly one with a creche, where you can start doing a class again. This will get you out of the house and meeting other people.

As you take more control of your life through counselling and getting exercise, you will then be able to address your weight problems, You were slim, not that long ago. You can make decisions about not snacking, not eating what the children leave. The moment they stop eating douse their plates with washing up liquid. You won't eat the remains if you do that!

Once you are slimmer and fitter and less depressed you will have more confidence and feel in more control of your life. You will then be in a better position to address the real problems in your marriage. I quote:
I don’t have any input into our finances at all. I don’t even know how much he earns. I can’t plan birthdays or holidays or buy birthday presents.

Marriage is the coming together of two equal individuals and where all the financial power is in the hands of one member there is no equality.

It may be in the end that there is no way out but separation, but I would still start to see if your relationship can be revived and put on a better footing. If you can return to your old self, you will feel much better and can then address the imbalances in your marriage. If your husband will not do that then you need to look atother options.

MadameFeuveral Wed 10-Jul-19 18:26:04

Gosh, thank you so much everyone for your advice. Thank you for taking the time! I have so much to think about.

You clearly do not feel valued or worthwhile and even after you have laid your soul bare you don't feel any better you sound as if you feel worse. Seems as if you are picked up by the improvement then dropped lower than before once his behaviour drops off again

That’s exactly what happens. I know I’ve lost myself over the years and I’m not the same person he married, so I probably brought this on myself... I know I’m a lot less interesting these days. I don’t have hobbies anymore, don’t have the time to look after myself, don’t even have time to read the news... I do all the childcare and everything around the home, and we have no family support, so it’s difficult to see how I could do things differently, but I must try.

I dropped out of university to get married and have our eldest, and I’ve been a stay at home mum ever since. I haven’t had a job for a decade. My youngest is still a baby, so won’t be in school for another few years. I made a big mistake in not finishing my education, I know. I’d caution any woman against doing what I did. I now have a progressive autoimmune disease and my memory is bad, so won’t be able to return to it. Anyway, I’m too old. My eldest will be at university a few years!

My husband has no interest in me now - he won’t want to care for me if I end up in a wheelchair. Someone mentioned upthread about being useful and valuable (apologies, I can’t see your name as I’m typing this!) - this is what I’m trying to tell myself. I’m not valuable, I know that, but I can be useful for as long as possible. I need to get the children on the right path into adulthood. And not lumber anyone with my care once I’ve outlived that usefulness.

MadameFeuveral Wed 10-Jul-19 18:31:15

He comes home each night to an overweight woman who is harassed by small children and probably has nothing to talk about but children and domestic matters

Absolutely true sad

Thank you for all your good advice Monica.

sharon103 Wed 10-Jul-19 19:07:23

I totally agree with Monica.

annep1 Wed 10-Jul-19 20:29:07

I do though. I do. My unhappiness shouldn’t be their unhappiness. Maybe it’s because I had an unstable childhood that I feel this way, but I won’t do it to my children
But your unhappiness willbe their unhappiness. They will see the marriage for what it is eventually and that it is not a close happy family. Unless you are going to put on an act the whole time and what will that do to you? You can give your children a stable one parent home. Lots of people do.
However if you want to make the marriage work in a way that satisfies you then you must do something about it. You sound too accepting of everything. You sound worn down and depressed.
Allsortsofbags has given you lots of good advice as have others. It will take a lot of effort so get some people on your side to support you.

Minniemoo Wed 10-Jul-19 20:39:07

So sorry to read of your position, MadameFeuveral. It sounds awful for you and depressing. Have you actually told him that you are thinking of leaving? How would he respond to that? If he's all 'ha, you'd never manage without me', just put him straight. Be firm. Tell him you would (and you would). Sorry if this point has been mentioned, I too have just skimmed. All the best and just remember that you are worthy of having a happy and decent relationship

M0nica Wed 10-Jul-19 21:09:24

Realising you have a progressive auto-immune disease does put a very different slant on your problems. Bringing up three small children when you are easily tired and struggling with illness is a very different thing from simply having become swamped by domesticity in possession of good health..

What was your husband's reaction when your illness was diagnosed? Do you think that it may be feeding into his behaviour? That he too cannot see any hope of life improving and in the current situation feels helpless and hopeless. Is he too suffering from depression.

I do not know what your illness is - and I am not asking. But most such illnesses have national and local societies that can offer help and support to those with the disease. If you are not already in touch with them I should contact them. My DiL has an auto-immune disease and when it was first diagnosed when her children were small, she found the information they provided very helpful.

I do find myself coming back to counselling. It may help both of you to seek counselling together and apart.

And once life does improve, do not give up on education. There are so many ways of getting an education these days and agewise you are mere chick. My DD will graduate from the Open University this year, she is 46 and started her degree after a serious accident that disabled her right arm. It nearly cost her her job, so she decided to gain extra qualifications so that she could change professions. The degree she chose and her success meant that she moved into the new profession before she had even finished the degree.

As for graduating with your children, why not? You will certainly not be the first parent to do this. There are so many ways you can study now: full time, part time, online. And most universities will work with student's disabilities to make it possible for them to study.

But first, gain some agency. See the doctor, talk about how difficult you find life and ask for help. they must know all about you and your illness and the problems it can cause. Start to make small changes in your life. It will not be easy, remember that,. But I am sure you can do it.

annep1 Wed 10-Jul-19 22:16:43

Yes sorry. The autoimmune thing does make a difference. Counselling of course is always good but it costs- unless you wait for NHS. Doctor is first place I think.

Grammaretto Wed 10-Jul-19 22:44:09

I would concentrate on getting back your happiness. It won't be easy but small steps.
If you want to lose weight, you can and make friends at the same time. Although the slimming clubs are often ridiculed, they do work which is why they continue to be popular.
Find the kind of exercise you like and go for it. You are half my age. I go to a yoga class and love it.
You are an intelligent woman who has some regrets but you have three wonderful children. They are your treasures.
There will be time in the future to get back to study if you want to. Sometimes you can make a hobby pay. I started studying genealogy and quite soon took on helping others and they paid me! I'm thinking about things you can do from home while looking after it. Remember work expands to fill the time available - Parkinson's Law so you can whizz through the housework and cooking (batch cook) so you can do something pleasureable in your freed up time.
I wish you the very best for the future. flowers

MovingOn2018 Wed 10-Jul-19 22:45:05

Yes, he gives me a housekeeping allowance. It’s humiliating, but after all, it’s his money. I’ve raised the subject but he absolutely refuses to let me have any input into our finances. I don’t know what any of our bills are

So sorry you going through any of this. I don't mean for this to be harsh so kindly don't take it that way, but I just don't have a better way to say it. My mother always told me that dependency breeds abuse. She always taught us never to depend on anyone for the things we need, for then they turn around and treat you carelessly, and without any respect.

Have you considered getting a job? Your husband is financially abusing you. I hope he's not having an affair of any sort either. I'd advise you to get a job first and accomplish the long term goals slowly. Do not waste your life.

MadameFeuveral Thu 11-Jul-19 09:32:21

I just wanted to thank you all again for your advice and support here - it really meant a lot to me yesterday. I had a really bad day... I was so desperate to talk to my mum or my grandma, but all my family have gone now and I feel very lonely sometimes. But you’ve all helped me enormously and given me so much good advice. I’m amazed that so many of you took the time! Thank you all! smilethanks

I’m going to act on your suggestions, starting today with getting myself to the doctor, eating properly and doing some exercise rather than the same old chores around the house. It’s amazing how much a kind word from a stranger online can totally shift your perspective - I’m in a much more positive frame of mind today. I’m sure I can improve things for myself.

Olderthanmost Thu 11-Jul-19 09:50:22

Great to hear that. You are beautiful, valued, and loved always. Xx