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I feel so lonely with my husband. There's no love, no sex and no affection...

Tagged as: Marriage problems<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (15 June 2005) 91 Answers - (Newest, 17 January 2013)
A , anonymous writes:

I have been married to my husband for 7 years. We have recently moved to the United States from England. I thought it would be a new beginning for us. My husband has always struggled to show affection which is something I need, he also is not interested sexually. We have not had sex for 7 months. I am so lonely in this relationship, no love, no affection and no sex, and now he says he just does not want to come home because of the arguments. I try not to let the situation get to me but I am crying out for him to notice me.

It got to the point I thought he was having an affair, the arguing got so bad he moved out for a week to clear his head. All he keeps saying is he is unhappy. He is going to see a therapist but I feel it will never be the same again.

Do you think that this relationship can be saved or has things gone too far?

View related questions: affair, moved out, notice me

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A reader, anonymous, writes (17 January 2013):

to anonymous 'male in the same situation for 6-7 years' please post your lengthy ''answer'' as a separate QUESTION as you ''answer'' was not advice, it was a question only

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 January 2013):

That's just life. I you want to be with him then just let him do whatever he wants. Don't argue just ve patient and have faith. You can't controll him or make him feel that he's not willing to accept. How long can he hurt you or would he be living happily by giving you such pain. No. He'll return to you n get on his knees only I you wait n watch. Because what goes around comes back around. If he does bad he'll get the same in return. But if you be good to him then at some time he will realize that by ignoring you how much is he hurting you and he will be afraid to lose you. And hopefully he will start improving his relationship with you.

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A female reader, Helen123 United States +, writes (12 January 2013):

I feel the same way, I have exactly the same story, I really don't know what to do. He is being very selfish, he won't even talk about this to try to work it out. I have told him in 3 conversations I am LONELY, FRUSTRATED, REJECTED, this is making me feel really bad! I can't eat, sleep, I feel very depressed and anxious all the time, even when I go out, I'm alone and carry this with me!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (6 December 2012):

I have the same problem as the other agony aunts! Found out that tesosterone levels were very low! Should be in the four hundreds! But was only 2! There lies the problem! Few injections later! Problem solved! It takes time and perseverence to get back to 'normal'!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (30 November 2012):

I have been in a similar relationship for product 20 years now I can tell you if you're not the breadwinner & ill, you probably don't have the strength to even consider divorce. He knows this to anyone using it to his advantage because he's a bigot. I only pray that I will have strength to walk away from this s***Storm called this marriage.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (25 November 2012):

im going through the same exact thing with my wife of 7 years but we have 2 kids involved. i don't know what to do anymore im just tired of trying to fix something that feels like it would never be the same again.

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A female reader, leftalone United States +, writes (24 November 2012):

I don't have an answer. I'm so lonely . I don't know what to do. all I want is someone a man to hold me and just feel that touch of affection. I feel lost and all alone

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (15 November 2012):

Don't wait along time to see if he is going to change. If you are that lonely, I think it means that is going to be the road from here on out. I was the same way; arguing, screaming, but obviously he is in control of the marriage. If he wants no sex, can't understand you and it is obvious what you want and need, then it sounds like he will not change. Ask yourself if you can wait and wait for him to change and he probably will not; then it is time to move back to your country. Women think they can change their husbands, but believe me, they can't. I have been married 39 yrs. The first 1-5 yrs. are the best, then the uniqueness of the marriage wears off and loneliness slips in. We all want to believe that like the movies, our life will be full of love, but interests change, lying develops and we have to ask ourself, want do we really want. If I had it to do over, I would not get married, have lots of friends (male and female) and live like that. It is easier to count on friends than a spouse. They can become fickled and boring.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 November 2012):

No, it can't be saved. Read your post, your question. Sounds like you have been in a hopeless situation. Do yourself a favor, cut the ties, move on. Divorce is not pleasant, and I'm not an advocate of divorce, but there comes a time when you as a human being just out of respect for yourself have to say it's enough and move on. You are condemning yourself to a life of needless pain and heartache if you stay in it. Seven years of that? And what makes you think something is going to drastically change? Even if it slightly changed, which is about all you could really expect, would that be enough?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (4 November 2012):

I left my husband, took the children and filed for divorce when I found out how far his on-line romances were going. There were many times I was tired, bored, frustrated, angry and downright lonely through our 25 years together, but I tried to keep it together because we had something of value: our family. I was never the perfect woman, wife or mother, but then who is perfect? So many men and women are cheating via the internet. So many homes and families are being broken apart. So many children are suffering. It makes me wonder if there is a bond strong enough to stop a person from destroying a life and a history built over many years. We are all searching for the same thing: love and acceptance for the person we are. I find it highly suspect that we would be able to find that from a stranger through the internet rather than in our own homes; from the people we have lived with and loved, suffered with, endured tragedies together and laughed and made lasting memories with. But it must be so because it is happening all over the world. In my situation not only my children and myself suffered, i met DR SAMBOL, [email address blocked] on internet and he told me what to do to make him love me more than any other thing so i did after that my husband called me and started to delete picture from his Email i was so surprise that day and he promise not to cheat on me again i am so happy for the work of DR SAMBOL, [email address blocked] and i will stop to share his testimony.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 October 2012):

I think you are wastening your time with him but first stop acting despret and play his game to see if he really care to his. Egnore him don't answer to him.be strong . If he responds it might work. If not move on u deserve love..good luck

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A female reader, jenny1 United States +, writes (20 October 2012):

Ok, so I've been with my husband for 8 years. We've been married for two. We separated for two months after one year of marriage. We've known each other for 22 years. Dated for 2 and 1/2 years our first time together. Then we broke up. I got married to a friend of ours, had two kids. I was in my 1st marriage for 13 years. It took two years to get a divorce from him. Now, me and my 2nd husband has only had sex 6 times in two years. We've been having problems for 3 years. It started when he started looking at naked pictures of a former co-employee at his job. We started arguing. Then he started hitting me. He went to jail. We split up for 3 weeks. Then we got back together. We got married 3 months later. For the first year, all he did was ignore me. Then when he didn't ignore me; he would hit me. A friend came back to town; I started a brief fling/ affair that lasted for two months. I only did it, because I got tired of being ignored & abused. My husband begged me to come back to him. So, I did. Only to realize that I was pregnant. I went back. I've been begging him to forgive me for my part in this madness for over a year; since, we got back together. He knew that I was pregnant; but, he still begged me to come back & that he would forgive me. He also promised that he would change and start paying attention to me and not hit me anymore. That didn't happen. Sometimes he still hits me and he still ignores me most of the time. We never go out. Never do things, and never have sex. I've been completely miserable for the past 3 years. I think that I should just end it and get a divorce. Because, I feel all alone and don't know what to do. I've been busting my butt to try to repair this marriage; but, he isn't. I don't know what else to do. He suggested marriage counseling. I don't know.

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A male reader, ozzy United States +, writes (26 August 2012):

ozzy agony auntI am in this situation for the past 15 or so years. I have been married for 23 years. The first 10 were very good,but after that it has gone down hill for years,slowly. After reading these posts I have decided to leave her!! She is not going to change!! And men are not the only culprits of this behavior. My wife is emotion less and cold toward me,but shows affection and compassion for everyone else. She said I love you,but I'm not in love with you. The death of a marriage!! And she show contempt on her face when I try to kiss her or touch her!! Contempt is anger and disgust,and in my case hate as well!! No love,affection,compassion,respect,nothing!! So I think I'm done! I asked her if she wanted to be close by talking and really communicating and she said no! So I'm done!!

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A male reader, lost husband United States +, writes (15 January 2012):

lost husband agony auntI feel like im reading what im thinking. But i didnt write your story. Im in the same situation. What helps me is reading allot of articles that are on this web-site. Or talk to a girlfriend thats close to you, that is married. Maybe that might help. You are what i discribe myself and others to be, a lost soul. Hope you get your smile back.....

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (25 June 2011):

I read your post and I think "Did I write this??"

You are not alone. I seek comfort and understanding from others, online and elsewhere, like you. Although I would never want to see another in the same situation - just hearing yours makes me feel -"Not alone".

I am dealing with the same exact thing - and my wife is depressed. It has been like this for 5 years, since my kid was born. Many times - I ask "Is it me? am I the one who is depressed?" I have found - the mere fact I ask the question it is not me. I may have depression fallout - angry, frustrated, moody - but that doesn't mean I am the chronically depressed individual, only acutely depressed from long term exposure to a depressed spouse.

Every situation is unique - you are asking if your marriage is salvageable, I do not know. This is what you need to do - find something - a hobby. something that gets you out of the house and away from your husband, and exposed to other people. Perhaps join a bowling or poker league. Offer volunteer work at a charitable orginazation. Join a cooking class. Your goal is to socialize with new people, both male and female. That is all the advice I have - good luck, and take comfort in knowing your not alone.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (18 June 2011):

when i met my husband, i thought he would be the answer to my prayers. .. i came from a relationship, that's basically now that i think of it, i was just a precious first timer booty call to the guy that i am seeing. we have been on and off for 10 mos. we are 10 yrs apart , different cultural back ground.... got suckered into those eyes, and the thought of getting away from my every strict parents.. didnt last, played me like a fool... gave me mental,emotional anguish. he broke it off on a phone, advising he is driving somewhere and marrying he's new baby mama.. broke my heart into pieces.. then weeks later met my husband.. within a month we were together.. i didnt really like him, but i felt for his puppet eyes look. i felt sorry for him. i felt he loved me more , and was more loyal than the other one. we dated for a few years, i met his parent and his siblings. nevertheless we got married, under wrong reasons. he is always verbally abusive... over the years, even when we were trying , it seemed like he didnt want to have kids.. he would gives his reasons, and would come in sessions but not there .....in to his own personal things.. and now i believe it has been 3-4 years since we have sex.. last time we had sex, he lost his drive in middle of it.... i am just in cross roads right now, where i am very lonely, neglected, but feel at same time, i dont want to be single, since i am so comfortable with this life.. I dont want to go back to uncertainty...... this guy even he is like this, i know he is there just like a wall.... until that one party we went tooo, and he's co-work keep on saying that i am so pretty... like there is something wrong.. i feel like there is something wrong. i had a dream last night that finally he admitted that he cheated on me several times. and i just cant get it out of my mind......

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (27 November 2010):

go to silva mind control or something like that angel

reprogram your mind

visualize your relationship as you would like it to be

and believe it will be

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A female reader, Myzchristy Canada +, writes (18 November 2010):

I have been in a relationship for 14 years no sex for 9 years. Big mistake I am now see that I have been nuts. you can not change a person, and they will not change you. I have been feeling depressed about myself for years and I am to blame. When I express myself he shuts down and does not talk to me. so I have not expressed myself but gone to the bottle. I now have wrinkles and want to leave, but I the economy has gone for the shits and he lost his job. Do I want to support him ? No ! Maybe an affair would be good. I would tell you at this point pack your bags and get the hell out of there. Do not wait. Do not make the same mistake as me. If you stay your self esteem will go down

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (17 November 2010):

Oh G-d Im so lonely. Everyone here complains about their husband not wanting to have sex with them. but I have the opposit problem. my husband never feels we have enough sex, though i make sure we do it 3-4 times a month. I know that isnt much by happy standards, but he is so depressed and miserabl and controlling most of the time that Im really not attracted to him. he likes to blame his weight, but it isnt, its just the fact that hes too content with being miserable, and wont do anything to change. he point blank refuses to take therapy (so Ive been going on my own for the last year and a half) and often talks about wanting to die. we have 3 beautiful children, but he has made it quite clear that if G-d would give him a ticket out of here he would take it without looking back. I have tried everything to help him be happy, including suppressing who I am in so many ways, regular foot rubs, as regular sex as i can manage ( and not grudging sex either). I manage all the housework, a good 85% of anything kid related, and a nice chunk of the bills too. I feel like hes so in love with his depression that he doesnt even see me. I hate this. if I wasnt a woman with morals I would so be having an affair right now. Gd Im lonely. the crazy thing is that we do love each other. anytime any other guy does something nice for me, or smiles at me I fall in love with him, Im just so lonely. I guess this is just a way of G-d giving me a chance to get stronger. I cant feel my emotions anymore I just feel so dead - I used to be so vivacious. I want the old me back. my life and spirit has been struggling to survive since the day we got married. this is not what I signed up to. he makes no effort. I want out. but I feel like I can never escape. G-d have mercy on all of us here who are suffering.

I do agree with those who say to look after yourself and reclaim your self image. that is what im doing. i figure that if I get myself up to speed he'll either come along or just fall away. at this point I really couldnt care which it is, just so long as i dont have to feel like this anymore.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (11 November 2010):

Hi, my story is similar to yours but in the fact that my husband does want to have sex and so do I but he has not given me an orgasam in years. We have been together for 16 years and have 2 children. He just doesn't touch me like he used to-now he'll cum and then roll over without even trying on me and when he does try on me his heart is not in it. we don't even eat dinner toghether or watch tv together. I feel so lonely. I have thought about leaving but #1 our kids #2 I feel like he is my best friend #3 he is so loyal #4 he has been there for me thru so much "life" stuff. I can't emagine my life with out him but don't know if I should keep being loney :(

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (10 November 2010):

i think you need to find somebody nice....

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (8 November 2010):

People: I have been married to my husband for 14 years. Everything was wonderful until he lost his job 3 1/2 years ago. Since then, we don't talk, share or connect in ANY way. I know exactly how you folks feel. However, I was reading last night and discovered some tidbits that might help. When a relationship goes sour (as ours have done), it's usually because of (get this) BOTH people in the relationship. When one has trouble sharing, its the other person who suffers. One thing I haven't been able to impress upon my husband is that everything you do affects other people. If you go into a cacoon and shut down, the rest of us have to learn to survive without you. Someone has to pick up your chores, someone has to make extra money to replace what you were making, and (guess what)... your wife has to find someone elst to communicate, share, have sex with, feel loved by, be friends with, and sooooo much more. We, as any good spouse would, don't want to go out and have sex or anything else with any one else... That's called CHEATING. So guess what, we do without. Going so long without anyone showing any desire for you or wanting to hold you or talk to you will eventually make you question yourself.

All of this depression we're feeling isn't us being insecure, it's a result of us reacting to them. I'm tired of having sex with myself or spending the evening watching TV in complete silence or seeing him smile and talk on the phone with others for hours. He opens up to them like he's just slept with them. If he doesn't want me, let me go. If he does, show it. Either way, his time is getting short. I'm not going to take this crap forever. Someone wants to be close to me somewhere out there.

I feel isolated and alone. What sucks is that the first 10 years were paradise. He was attentive, affectionate, kind, considerate, and everything I was looking for. Where's my man now? He's sitting in the recliner pouting about losing a job nearly 4 years ago. And I'm stuck with no one to talk to, or make love to or connect with. ANd I live 100 miles away from my family. He's all I've got here.

It wouldn't be so hard if I didn't know the potential. I know he can and would love me the right way; if we could just get back to where we started from.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (8 November 2010):

I am the same as the previous user. I am in a relationship 4 and a half years. All affection, sex and love has dissapeared from it. My girlfriend is just not as she was to me in the past. I go to kiss her and she doesnt kiss me back, she never holds my hands, never rubs me on the back, never comes up and hugs me, nothing. absolutly nothing. No sex in 4 months, she said she had to "force" herself last time..... its so so horrible to be in this situation, like a lot of people i see nowadays. Nomatter how much i talk to my girlfriend, its like she's not interested or wanting to fix it, its so horrible. So I decided enough was enough and I moved out. I want to give us space, so that we can miss each other. We are not broken up, just a break for each other and we are not allowed see others while this break is happening. My hope is that this space will make her realise what we have.... I hope. Sorry for going on, I just want to make you aware that there are others out there in similar situations trying different things to fix the problems. Maybe a break would help?

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (4 November 2010):

That sounds so like me. My wife is like that No love no affection no sex. shes 27 im 34. Im feeling like i want to move out but im trying to stay strong cause were going to counseling and trying to work it out she has other woman problems which is making it hard too. We have been married for 8 years 1 child age of 3. She tells my son she loves him all the time and when i tell her i love her she just goes aarrhhaa. Most of the time i try to kiss her she turns her head to kiss her on the cheek if i do get to kiss her on the lips she wipes it off. some times she just waves at me and says bye when she goes out. Basically i work 5 days a week cook wash up clean and other house duty's she goes to uni 2 days and works 2 x 3hr shifts. Everyone i talk to keep telling me i have to be happy which i know. she has also told me she cant hold me in this sort of relationship and on the other hand she was talking to one of her friends and said if she has to have any sort of operation on her woman bits she wants to have another child. This is stressing me so much but forgive me dont u need to have sex for that. Maybe some love thrown in somewhere. A few of her friends keep telling me im a nice guy but im sick of being a nice guy and loosing this is my second marrage. I realy dont know anymore i cant seem to talk to her about anything with out having the councilor i need love affection and sex im also loyal so im not going to sleep around. well im rambling so i cant help much ether. Guess im typing this cause im feeling lonely. Seems like a typical story all round the internet. Im thinking u need to do what you heart is telling you be happy excersise make your self better stronger.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (31 October 2010):

I am surprised at the number of responses that failed to offer helpful suggestions. It sounds to me that you are someone who would benefit from counsreling that would help you to love youself better. While I am not a therapist,I do know that ro the degree that you love, respect and treat yourself with the highest regard you will attract the same at best and in the worst case, you will not allow yourself to stay in a situation where you are not respected and appreciated. If your situation has not improved since you entered this query, you might want to do a self analysis. Think about your good qalities and positive attributes. Think of all of the people in your life who love you and hold you in high regard,focus on those thoughts as often as you can, Start a self healing program so that you will change the dynamics of this relationship and gain the strength to move forward with your life if your husband remains the same. If you have not already done so, find another activity or outlet that reinforces your strengths and reminds you of who you are. Take back the power that you have given to this man.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (21 October 2010):

I'm still very much in love with my husband. We've been together over 10 years. He isn't in love with me. I'm the one asking for sex (which we rarely have). He sleeps downstairs most of the time. He is a great father but a horrible husband. I watch the way he enjoys talking to other people, being extra affectionate with the kid, and looks at me like I'm left overs. His hobbies are working and drinking beer. He never takes me out or wants to do anything with me. If he does decide to go out it's to go drink beer with friends. I really miss being wanted, loved and appreciated. It's really taking a toll on me emotionally and I've just been extremely unmotivated in life. I can't stay in an empty relationship. He thinks it's fine as long as I don't complain, and it's my complaining that causes the problems. I really would rather be by myself than be with someone who doesn't love me. He doesn't take me seriously when I tell him we should Divorce. He thinks I'm being "crazy". I know I'm still attractive and would probably enjoy a life of being single and putting my children and myself first. It's very emotionally degrading to be on the sh!tty end of an unbalanced relationship.

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A male reader, lost husband United States +, writes (18 October 2010):

lost husband agony auntAnd your still sane. Im shock for what i just read. Ive been married for 6 years. Ive lost my wife a few years back. Im, i mean, im in denile. My wife doesnt love me and for some crazy reason, im still hear. She doesnt talk, she falls asleep every time i start talking, SEX? the closes i get to sex is what i see on t.v. No not porno. The rated "R" types. IM MAD AND HURT AND LOST. I havent felt love from her for some time now. My question to you is, WHY are you still crying over someone that dont show you love the why like it was when you met him. I hate that i love my wife.... and i hate myself for feeling that.. Im soo lost and confused.....

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A female reader, Abele United States +, writes (13 October 2010):

Ladies, all of you are strong beautiful women and should not be treated this way. All of you deserve sooo much more. I really hope you decided to put yourself first and STOP letting these guys treat you like this... I have been with mine for a little over a year now, and I know thats not long compared to most but when i see there's tension starting i ask him whats up and we get passed it together, thats how a relationship suppose to work, and I am not saying its always that easy but reading some of these posts makes me want to hit all these guys over the head with a bat.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (16 September 2010):

Am I more afraid of being alone and falling flat on my face then dealing with a jerk for a husband? Two years ago because the way he made me feel I had a breakdown. I went to a mental hospital and spent 2 long, scary, sad weeks away from my children. He came and visited me twice and tried to have sex with me. Promised things would change. Liar. I decided to get a divorce and got a job. What happened then you might ask.... I could not get him to leave. I was paying all the bills and broke and getting yelled at for asking him to help. I stay because I am scared of being alone. I do not know what love is and how to love someone. I stay because who wants me? The person that stood in front of God and promised to love me has hit, raped, and broke me.

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A female reader, A 33 years old female  United States +, writes (16 September 2010):

Hi guys, I am in the same boat. I been married for 4 years, with someone that I don't have ANYTHING in common with. This was a big mystique, people should marry people have at least things in common, because when passion goes down, doing activities together and having fun can definitely help to light up passion again. I feel lost in this marriage, we are so different, only 5 years apart, we are from the same town, but very different people. He is very materialistic and ambitious, the only thing in life that makes him happy and even excite him is money. He says that money is everything in life, he also loves to show off something that we are not, for example nice cars, a big house etc., but we have disconnection notice and 2 banks accounts that are overdrawn. He can't even sleep well thinking about how he can make more money. Of course with all his worries about money, he completely ignores me, we never have sex, maybe ones every 6 months and it looks almost like mercy thing...or like "ok I am going to do this so you can stop bother me" and of course he doesn’t get excited by looking at me.... I don't really know how he gets excited, because he doesn't touch me or kiss me... Anyhow, guys you are no alone. My ex - husband cheated on me all through our marriage. I just console myself thinking that it could be worse...

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A female reader, ania78 United Kingdom +, writes (22 May 2010):

I understand how you feel. I had been with my partner for 4 years. The first year was fantastic, romantic, and after Christmas we moved in together. It only lasted 3 years after that. He stopped liking me and physical affection disapperaed. He kissed me once a month when he felt it was his 'duty' that we have sex. I worked for a year in a job I hated just to pay the bills so he didn't have to pay for the house all by himself (even though he was earning 3 times as much as me) and he never once said thank you. Never once was he there to comfort me when I came back depressed from work. It finally ended at the end of last year when he left me for someone else. I truly regret sticking around for those 3 years with him when things were going so badly. Already at the beginning I had an instinct that something was wrong and I should have finished the relationship. But I didn't because I deluded myself that he loved me (despite all the signs contrary to this), and just got terribly hurt to find out he'd been cheating on me for 2 months and then ditched me as soon as someone better appeared on the horizon. So if it feels wrong and you're not happy, get out. At least that way you can be in control of the situation. When he decides to end things, he'll be the one in control and you'll end up even more hurt. Its not worth it.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 May 2010):

looks like i aint the only one out there. ive only been married for a little over a year now, and its depressing. I cant get my husband to even acknowledge that im even alive. i worship him in every way, but he still walks on me. what should i do?? leave?? i dont know. i love him, but im gonna have a huge meltdown and a major stroke.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (24 April 2010):

so am not alone either!!!my husband belittles EVERYTHING i do from my sneeze to my cooking.i do my best to keep every thing right but it never is.i recently found a pack of condom and stockings hidden in his wadrobe..........he claims they are not his.........imagine.i feel numb at the moment so i cant say i am angry.i guess bitchy women suceed and if i leave my husband i will be just that.being nice never works.be selfish thats what am doing now.its working.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (24 April 2010):

I'm floored to see the number of women who have this situation.

In my own case, our romantic life was wonderful for the first five years then fizzled. Of course, we met in our forties so age has something to do with the decreased appetite for sex.

My husband is sweet to me and we do sit and hold hands on the couch, he gives me a goodnight kiss like a schoolboy every night ("smack"), and when he comes home from work. And occasionally we have a long romantic kiss (maybe twice a year).

But on the very few occasions we ever have sex anymore, I feel that he doesn't even climax. He claims he does but it sure doesn't seem like it.

And though I do, it's just not that enjoyable with him. I almost feel awkward after having sex with him as though he were my classmate or cousin or something.

I'm most definitely staying with him, because he provided for me and my child d for 12 years and he still supports me financially. I'm in my fifties now, but if I were younger I would probably leave, because sex was an even more important part of my life in younger years !

And if he did not show me any affection or if he belittled me, I would definitely leave even now. You can't let somebody do that to you; it will break your spirit.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (22 April 2010):

After reading all the responses here, I can truly say all of our situations are truly sad and depressing. But sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves is just not going to resolve anything. So I want to tell you how I resolved this "vegetative" state of a marriage that I've had for years as well. I went into my attic and dug up the items we saved when we first got married. I also brought my albums and did a lot of looking at the past. I asked myself why did we get married. What brought us together? Of course it's never going to be like it first was but I remembered myself and how much I used to care about my health, my appearance and the way I carried myself from day to day. I wasn't "looking" for a man, but I was available and did put myself in situations where there were a lot of people around me. I read books, enjoyed times alone and had hobbies that really made me feel fulfilled even though that "hole" was there waiting to be filled by another. And ultimately someone noticed. I know one way or another all of you were in the same boat. So why not do it now? Break the chains of "Trying" to get noticed by your spouse and NOTICE yourself and all the wonderful things you have inside you. You are alive and you have a life to live. So you got married and the other doesn't care anymore. It's their loss. I know once you stop worring about them and start doing things for yourself and making yourself HAPPY again, they will notice. I promise you it works. I don't know why but the human nature is weird. It's like when we were in high school and that nerdy kid who followed you around all the time just drove you nuts. Then when he/she started hanging out with the cool kids or went out with someone popular, you started to think...hmmm maybe he/she isn't really that bad and wanted to give them a chance. It's sad but true. We are all this way. Try it my friends....it will work. Peace & love always.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (19 April 2010):

It is a very difficult situation and you are not alone, I found your post because this is the way that I am feeling in my marriage. It seems that there are no good answers...and so it boils down to do we live with this feeling...or do we move on?????

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (19 April 2010):

I fully understand. Have been married for 30 years. My husband wants to work 24/7. No time for me. 3 months after marriage, I had an affair, he paid no attention to me then already. How stupid to stay this long, but he says if I divorce him, I will be eating out of dumpsters, he controlls everything. I have no money, no friends, no life. I just pray each and every night to God to not allow me to wake up. Maybe someday I will be happy. It is horrible to be in this type of marriage. He recently told me I have not done anything right since he met me. How does that make me feel. I Hate him with everything I have. It is very had to even look at him. worst of all he is my employer as well.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (18 April 2010):

Sorry you are going through this. It sounds painful. Lots of abandonment, rejection and islotion on many levels. I dont have a perfect answer. I just wanted you to know that someone in cyberspace read your cry...and is sending you a bug hug.

Ps)...work at the relationship together! As for considering an affair, been there done that and I ended up feling less than instead of more than. Not worth it. Its very short lived!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (17 April 2010):

I really know how you feel, my husband is exactly the same...he uses excuses after excuses not to have sex with me, yet tells me he loves me??.

The loneliness is unbearable at times and I feel the marriage isn't worth the bother.

My husband doesn't even take me out or go anywhere with me, I am alone most the time.

My husband once told me he shouldn't have to be responsible for making me happy lol...

My husband has always trusted me and to be honest he isn't the type to have an affair...but I got to be honest here, I can't stand the lack of affection any more and wish someone else came along and made me feel special again.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (7 April 2010):

Married 17 years. Friction and discontent began after only about 4 years and has steadily escalated since. I have realized that we are very incompatible. I have tried very hard but it like pounding my head into a brick wall. People here bemoan thier poor sex life, my wife lost interest in sex about 9 years ago and we haven't shared a bed in 4 years - she sleeps with our 8 yr old son. Her treatment of me has absolutely destroyed any positive feelings I had towards her. Our marriage is as sterile and empty as the the north pole. I would have divorced about 8 years ago, but we have 4 kids and I has consigend myself to endure the unendurable for their sake. I am terribly lonely, but I know that people have survived worse stressors than this. I don't know when the final breaking point will happen - the thin thread holding this facade together could snap any time, but kids will motivate you to put up with crap that would otherwise have long since ended things.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (31 March 2010):

twenty yr's marriage and it's completely flat. My wife still feels the need to be cuddled, etc, but doesnt seem to understand that she spends all her talking time criticising. We have two beautiful kids, dont know if they are better off with two arguing parents or one calm one? I feel like I did when I was twenty something and suffered withdrawal depressions. God help the lonely

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 March 2010):

I have been married for nearly 11 years now and I feel just as lonely. I feel my husband has another love in his life as well. Only his is beer, not that I have anything against drinking. I just don't like the binge every Friday and Saturday night. Not to mention the person he turns into when he does drink too much. He feels that I'm too hard to please, yet the only thing I have a problem with is the excessive drinking. He drinks because of work related stress, which is fine if you don't become blind rotten drunk every weekend. It's times like these I wish I had a good friend, but like most wives my life revolved my husband and kids.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (21 March 2010):

I've been with my wife for just over ten years, married for nine. I read through several of the more recent posts here, and some older ones.

It's almost 4AM in the morning. I'm still up because my wife is sleeping in my son's room, again.

My marriage is crap! I have done EVERYTHING to please my wife over the years, but all she does is belittle me in front of our son, to her friends and my friends. Sex is just a three letter word in the dictionary now, and there is ZERO affection. If I try, she pushes me away. Recently she has been taking a LOT of care of her body, including hair trimming. Bought LOTS of new and sexy lingerie, but I never see it, goes out with her friends around 3 times a month - she NEVER used to go out until October last year. I don't mind her going out, but I just wish she would with me from time to time. We get on like friends, but I need affection, communication and laughs. And now she wants to buy a house together to the tune of over $100,000! It seems that each of us has married the wrong person!

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A male reader, Lonelyandhurt United States +, writes (16 March 2010):

I have been married for about five years now with my wife and her sex drive is horrible, in her mind, she doesn't believe sex is the most important aspect in the marriage, she wants to have a non-sex life with me and therefore its very hard for me to deal with that, however I wished she should have been honest with me from the beginning and let me decide if that the course that I wanted to take, now I have a great deal of resentment toward her and thats very sad about this situation.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (9 March 2010):

You have to realise that marriage is a temporary life with another set of people, if you have children. We're not psychologically designed to remain with one person for the rest of our lives and will always have this need to seek out new people and experiences.

Marriage is a part of our life and should never be the whole picture.

Is your relationship with your brothers and sisters the way it used to be? Did you argue with one another when couped up in a close space?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (4 March 2010):

I'm sorry your going thru this ...im also going thru the same thing Ive only been with this man for about a yr. and i cant seem to get myself to leave him .but i'm upset bcuz he didnt tell me he wanted a companion .and i told him i want a lover also its frustrating becuz i love this man but it aint getting no where it talking to a wall im putting myself thru this thou this is not what i want im trying to plan my way out of this relationship i had told him i could only wait for so long and if he dont change im leaveing good luck sweety its all on you becuz if he dont wanna change then whats the use....you"ll just be unhappy the rest of youor life ...

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (28 February 2010):

I am so sorry this is happening to you. I am a husband of 22 years and the reverse is hapining to me.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (23 February 2010):

From reading a lot of posts on this thread, it is obvious that men and women alike are feeling alienated from their marriage and love ones. Fundamentally, most of our understanding of what love and marraige is are thru the media-songs, movies, Cosmos magazines etc. Unfortunately, most media purpose is so sell products and services (make-ups, lingerie, sex toys, dating service, porns etc), and in achieving this end the media has cast an imprint of what love "should be" in our minds. Mostly, this imprint is a set of unrealistic expectation of what love and marriage is about; and when people got married and get on with the years, it would be too obvious that the reality of marriage is nothing like what the big Promise was. Folks, we have all been "miseducated". We couldn't even differentiate between lust, passion, friendship, companionship, and marriage! Lust and passion are mostly driven by growth hormones, sense of adventure into the unknown with possibility of new conquests, excitemnet from being mischievious etc. There is nothing wrong for a relationship to be rooted in these elements, only if both parties realize the feelings of lust and passion will soon die down once the relationship becomes normalized and longterm (as in a marriage).

Marriage Killer #1 - Time/Daily Life Routines

Like the seasons, like plants, and like life, marriage is a "construct" that have its own phases. I use the word "construct" because a marriage does not exist naturally unless both parties make an effort to "put up a show". The initial phase of marriage is tough because both parties experence sharp transition from "adventure" to normalize relations as defined by routine daily life. Life is a great ocean, and marriage is a pebble on the beach. The waves pounds at the pebble and wear it out day by day until it becomes sand. Daily life is mundane, and if nothing is done, it will permeates the marriage and robs it of all "excitement".We have to properly identify the "killer" of marriage is not the other person, but life itself.Both parties need realize they are in the same boat, defending their marriage against the deterioating agent of life in time.If we don't have this level of consciousness, we would likely blame the other party (or ourselves) for being negligent or a failure in the relationship. To combat the dulldrum of daily life, couples need to make effort to plan deliberate get-aways or regualr activities where both parties do together without encumberance of children,family members or buddies. This is "couple quality time" and must be deliberately constructed and maintained on a regular basis, though the exact activity could be changed from time to time.

Marriage Killer #2 - Life Events

Most relationship starts with both parties having something in common. It could be you work in the same field, have mutual friends, go to same church, etc. As life goes on, it is not uncommon for 1 party to pursue further education or ascending the corporate ladder while the other remains at the same spot (or decline) career-wise. The difference in earning capacity and social status btw 2 parties is a seed of destruction. It upset the balance of power and respect in the relationship. The more "progressive" party will feel increasing contempt for the one lagging behind, and the other party will feel that he/she is not being accepted as who he once was. This feeling will spiral into self-hatred. Once the feeling of contempt and self-hatred sets in, it will poison all good feelings remained (if any). How could 2 people make love to each other when their hearts are feel with these destructive negative feelings? Therefore, couples must be cautious about being ambitious, and not embark on a new career post without working with your partner to lift theirs too. For example, if a husband is getting a promotion with huge wage increase, he could put aside money to start a fund for his wife to start a home-business of her own. Vice Versa. Of course, matters like this must be discussed over a long period of time, and not be done in condescending ways. The attitude here is: here we have more money now then before, what is it that we could do to make lives more satisfying? Is there anything that you wish to try out before but was not able to due to financial constraints?

Marriage Killer #3 - Childbirth

Most women suffers from post-natal depression. It's normal as the mother quickly realize how her body had taken a tow. Also, the initial caring of baby takes so much time and energy away from the parents that they probably have nothing left to have sex. These 2 events will lead to self-hatred and self doubt. When the mother begin to get freaked out about how she had aged, she would become self-obsessed in trying to do anything she could to restore her body to what it was like before giving birth. Husband should be very understanding, be supportive, and most of all, patience. My husband has a very good way of making me feel good, it goes something like: "honey, you think you have aged? So am I. We are all aging, might be at different rate. However, one thing is for sure, when we are 70 and look back to now, we will say boy I was good looking back then. So cherish what we have now, always remember, you and I, right now, is a whole lot better looking than you and I in the future. So don't be so hard on yourself. Try to keep the big picure in mind. We will do what we could to keep fit and fight aging, but there is no sense to beat ourselves over it. I am in the same boat with you.

Marriage Killer #3 - Motherhood

I seperate Childbirth from Motherhood because Childbirth deals with the physical deteriation on mother's body and the accompanying psychological effects. Motherhood deals with how the wife spends her energy and emotion space, mainly divided between Self, Child, Husband, Marriage.Most mothers are so fixated on their child that their thoughts, time and money all went to the betterment of the child. It is easy to neglect the Self, Husband and Marriage. When wife neglects taking care of herself, husband will likely not shown interest (in sex). THis is natural because we do not shown interest to others who do not respect themselves. Once husband goes into this reflective reaction, wife will sense rejection and retaliate with rejection of husband. So right off the bat we have a huge wall of mutual rejection erected between the couple. What marriage could there be left? Marriage will only be there if both parties take care of themselves and their other half.

I am not a psychologist, but these are my experience. My husband and I had been together for 14 years, and I am 35 years old. What I learned is that if your marriage is still young in age, you have time to correct it. However, if you let problems persist too long, there will be too much bad blood between parties that the couples would probably have engaged in emotionally abusive behaviors for too long to change. The best advice I could give is, take care of yourself, and take equal care of your partner's mind, body, and life. A couple in a marriage is like partners on a canoe race. Don't be too self-centered, and be mindful that you are assisting your partner in every way possible. These are hard mental work. Do not confuse doing house chores as equal to showing affection. If you take care of your spouse mental health, you would be surprised that most men actually don't mind if you don't cook or do dishes. Of course, he will appreciate you all that much more if you could fix a good sandwich and keep the house clean as well. Make use of part-time domestic helpers from time to time to give yourself energy to take care of your body, and spend some quality time with your spouse. Good Luck Everyone.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (12 February 2010):

I feel the same way. I have been with the same man for sixteen years (married 5). Truthfully when I realized that it had been 16 years, it was not with a feeling of pride or happiness, but it was a feeling of disappointment and loss.I would be better off if I was just a single girl again,because that's how it feels. My husband is critical of me. He doesn't show me any affection or gives any attention.We never kiss,hug or hold hands. I can laugh and feel comfortable with him, it's just that he seems to be more like a friend to me than a mate. In every relationship,it takes two and he may feel that I am distance and non-affectionate also. I keep myself going bu daydreaming and fantasizing about other guys and romantic encounters. I just want to kiss and touch and feel my heart beat again. I am almost 40. I feel like my best years are behind me.I swear,if it wasn't for our girls, I think that I may have left him a long time ago. Loneliness is terrible. It cuts like a knife and digs into your soul. Don't stay in a loveless relationship.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (28 October 2009):

Okay first and foremost I'm not married, but I'm all about venting and sharing advice. My boyfriend and I have been living together almost two years. We are best friends it's so great we can have fun together doing nothing. However, in the past two months his sex drive has substantially decreased and his "desire" or "passion" to please me I feel is the last thing on his mind. It's a constant battle..I'm a very emotional person and I have tried multiple times to keep my emotions in to the best I can and express to him how I'm feeling. Most of these conversations seem endless and by the end of them I'm exhausted. This past weekend he really let me down, and I was tired of feeling empty handed, so I gave it to him oh, buddy did I. I yelled told him to get out that I was tired of feeling empty handed. I encourage him, clean, prepare meals, iron his clothing, wash his clothing, make him laugh, never leave without kissing him, tell him I love him all the time, make comments to stroke his ego I play video games with him, watch football- anything to be close to him, and I feel like how is this so difficult for you to do LITTLE things just to make me feel wanted and special and LOVED?!? Following this blow out he stayed up half the night putting away all 3 loads of laundry (following our dispute I fell asleep) and fixing me dinner to wake me up with at 2am to say he was sorry and wanted us to eat dinner together. I felt guilty for being so hard on him (GRANTED this is the first time in months he's done this for me) and he promised me things were going to change and that I didn't have to believe him, but that I would see The next day he pulled his same old crap I was hurt and while I cried I realized men don't talk as much as women they turn off after about 5 minutes of "serious" conversation. I had been hit on that day at work while I was upset and the conversation even lead into talk about us getting away for a minute to have sex. I refused because I'm not a cheater, but the only thing I thought about was wondering what it would be like/feel like to be wanted again but from my boyfriend not this person. I came home and he knew I was upset so he was very quiet. I said I'm not going to drag this out when a person starts to feel alone, lonely, or unwanted they are most likely to stray from home. The next day and so far in the past 3 days he really has changed (shown more effort). Men don't believe that we are "capable" sometimes of being alone or that we are too scared to leave them. I think I'm more scared to live a life that I regret, then being alone. I ended the conversation within five minutes and the last thing I said was "I'm not here because I NEED you I'm here because I WANT you and I suggest you start to make me think that too" Then I punched him in the arm and said You were scared I was going to leave you, don't lie. We laughed and enjoyed the rest of our evening.

I know I can't expect things to change miraculously over night, relationships are an effort based on communication from both parties involved. However I do expect gradual changes and I continue to pray for guidance and the right words/actions to take. But he's on a time limit and he knows that I'm not going to sit around a hope things change- Ask yourself this ladies if he asked you to change something about you as easy as just kiss me before we go to sleep would you think twice about it? If you said No then I'm right there with you! Men's inability to see that something as small coming up behind you and putting their arms around you is sweet and endearing and makes us females feel better. They get all worked up and think when we say be more romantic they have to get roses and limousine. We talked about small things he could do to just make me feel better, start small the go bigger.

GOOD LUCK & I wish you wisdom, strength, and happiness regardless of your choices

No Relationship will be perfect it's a matter of picking your battles- I know we are always going to see some things differently I'm okay with arguing about bills but I'm not okay with arguing about showing me some affection

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (27 October 2009):

I was in a serious relationship for 3 years with my hsband before we got married. We have been married for almost 2 years now and we just had our first child together. I think everything went downhill after we got married. Not even a month into the marriage everything went down hill. My husband used to literally chase me around the house for sex before we got married, but after we said "I DO" there was no more sex. I caught him looking at porno and masterbating one time and that broke my heart because he was not being intimate with me. I went through so many feelings after that, but I was pregnant with his baby and I wanted to try to make things work. Things did get better between us, but after the birth of our son everything fell to pieces again. I have not had sex with my husband since my son was born and tomorrow my son will be 10 months. I am going to school and my plan is to leave him if things don't change by the time I get my degree. A lot of people think my husband is gay but I do not know. My advice to you is to follow your gut. If you have a strong feelin that things will never work, then chances are they probably will not and why should you have to suffer in the mean time? God bless you and good luck!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (21 October 2009):

my heart goes out to you. I am in the same type of marriage. It is a very lonely place. It leads you to think all kinds of things;could he be gay, or having an affair.

Not being touched is not healthy. Marriages like this keeps you from feeling good and looking your best. And if you ever get attention from another man you would probly go crazy.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (12 October 2009):

As a 44-year old man who is a single father, I have little insight to offer here. However, I am lonely as well, and only wish I could find a woman who was tired of being lonely or alone. My son wants a Mother and is waiting for me to get my act together and date again. I don't have any faith in love, myself, but I remember being in love and long for it in the worst way. I am sorry for all the women I ever treated wrongly, but they can be rest assured that I'm suffering for it now---believe me!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (6 October 2009):

i've been married for thirteen years and now i have a four year old son, my husband does not initiate sex and he is

always cold and far distance. i always cried and ask myself the same question "maybe i'm ugly or maybe my body does not look great or whats wrong with me?"i have become very insecure about myself and i'm very unhappy and i dont know what to do anymore. my husband is a great provider and a wonderful father and he always saying there is nothing wrong with our relatioship and he will never leave me. what should i do i'm desperally lonely..

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A reader, anonymous, writes (6 October 2009):

i've been married for thirteen years and now i have a four year old son, my husband does not initiate sex and he is

always cold and far distance. i always cried and ask myself the same question "maybe i'm ugly or maybe my body does not look great or whats wrong with me?"i have become very insecure about myself and i'm very unhappy and i dont know what to do anymore. my husband is a great provider and a wonderful father and he always saying there is nothing wrong with our relatioship and he will never leave me. what should i do i'm desperally lonely..

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A reader, anonymous, writes (10 August 2009):

I am currently at the breaing point with this problem. I'm almost 60 and have been "married" to this guy 15 years. It's the biggest joke. I have begged for attenion. affection, love, and sex all this time. I gave as I usually did at first; but with getting nothing in return year after year, I have quit doing so much and am now doing nothing except locking myself in other rooms whenever he is at home. It is just INCREDIBLE to me a person does not care about another person. However, I should not have believed his excuses as to why he has been married 5 times to three different women and had one other failed relationship. This guy was also incarcerated several years for sexual abuse. I don't know what in the world I was thinking!!!!! Our sex has amounted to twice a year, at most, and that never was quality sex. This man is not very well endowed at all, has gotten ED, and now prostate cancer that is "just there." From what I have learned lately, not having sex can cause prostate cancer. The PCP gave him Viagra, which didn't work, and then I asked his urologist to give him Cialis--which worked, but he thinks he has the side effects from it--is a hypochondriac.

Don't wait until you are old, start having health problems, and feel stuck. I have several serious haalth problems and would have to try to pack up all these years of things (not sure how I will be able to do that), load a trailer with all my pets, and try to drive with bad eyesight and unstable blood sugar over 700 miles to my house I had before him. It isn't much, but I've got to get out of this. This man just does not care about my feelings, and he will not put himself out for anyone. He cares about nobody.

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A female reader, Let's Talk United States +, writes (10 May 2009):

Affection must be taught by parents. Frequently when a man does not show affection, it is because no one taught him how to love as a child. If he did not see love as an example, he may have a problem demonstrating such feelings. My husband grew up as an orphan. He seemed to be a nice guy, but he really did not show a lot of affection until he wanted sex. He seemed to want friendship and this really frustrated me. I grew up the opposite of him. I had loving parents and I saw them affectionate. So, I knew how we should enjoy each other. I talked to him a lot about this matter, showed him affection, and tried not to pressure him much. I tried to make myself fun to be with and planned special times together. I guess I had to teach him how to show affection. This was not how I wanted it to be. I simply wanted him to know what to do. I prayed a lot asking God to make us compatible. I always knew my husband loved me and he was a great provider. I never wanted for anything material. Over time, things got better. I learned that nothing remains the same forever and this situation too would pass. So glad that I did not opt out of this marriage. I discovered that through prayer, God would take out the loneliness. I used to feel that without sex and affection in marriage that I was somehow less of a woman. But God made me feel good about myself and I yet enjoy being a woman. A lot of other issues occured over these 42 years. Over time, things became so much better. We have fun together. I learned how to get the sex, affection and loving I wanted. He gives me what I needed and I give him what he needs. Patience is the key.

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A male reader, Hihi Canada +, writes (17 April 2009):

Hi

Well not to be rude to all the people who are sharing their painful feelings about their marriages, but sometimes this cynical thought crosses my head.

YOU MADE YOUR BED LIE IN IT

I'm single and very, very lonely. I'm 29. I get told all the time that I'm a good 'friend' and a 'sweet guy' but nothing more. So women reject me and, apparently, go on to marry these jerks. Aren't you glad you chose the exciting guy with chemistry instead of the one who was nice to you all the time?

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A reader, anonymous, writes (4 February 2009):

hello. this may sound crazy for a young newly wed, but i think i know what you are talking about. i have only been married for 8 months, but it has been a disaster. i have been with my husband for 2 years before we had gotten married.

i thought marriage would give me a new vibe knowing that i am someone's for a lifetime. and the way i see how my marriage is, i seem to hate being married. i don't know how old you are, but i am 21 going on 22. i hate the fact that i wasted almost 4yrs with this man (well i don't even think he is worthy to be called that).

i feel lonely all the time. all he does is work. he doesn't talk to me, we don't have sex, we don't sleep in the same room, gosh we don't do anything together except argue. and did i mention that we are young. and all the things i mentioned that we don't do, we ought to, knowing that we are young.

our vibe and fire is gone. i stay at home and do the same routine every single day. i am bored and out of my mind. i know i shouldn't feel like this (knowing i am a christian and all), but i feel isolated as well. i feel that i just need to leave him. i think that's what he wants me to do. and i better do it soon before i end up having children with him.

i hope you make the right decison, before it's to late.

god bless. keep the faith. and pray ( good advise for me too.)

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A reader, anonymous, writes (18 January 2009):

I think you should give this marriage some thought of leaving. You deserve to feel loved, be loved, and respected by your husband. Any man who can't communicate with you about your marriage to each other sounds like there is more to all of this.

If a man loves and respects his wife, he should beable to ask her for anything he needs, weather it was more love,or more communication and peace with each other.

If he is not willing to go counceling and work this out with YOU, then you will have your answer.

No one deserves to be in a loveless marriage, and feeling sad all the time. If there is love and want, you stay together and work it out TOGETHER If its one sided then move back to England and make a new life that you deserve.

If you do, learn from this experience and do not repeat history. May God bless and keep you in his hands.

Lin

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A female reader, freedomring United States +, writes (21 October 2008):

I am with a man I knew nearly 20 years ago. Last year we got pregnant. After my hormone change, so did he. He began to cheat emotionally. He would not want sex, no conversation, then everytime I came into a room, he left. After the birth of the baby, he wanted me to quit my job and keep the baby. I agreed. Suddenly he wanted sex and even asked me to marry him. But two months later, he changed his mind, sent me back to work and claims he wants sex, but tells people I am not his woman! Leave

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (10 August 2008):

Ive been married nearly 12 years. He was my knight in shining armor, my hero. Then, I grew up and he stayed right where he was. Ive graduated college, have a career. He never finished school, and literally stayed where he was in life with no ambition to better himself. To give you a glimpse....I taught him how to drive 3 years after we were married because I was exhausted driving him everywhere and picking him up....with 2 children.

I get no affection. No thanks. For awhile it was ok to get naked just to be touched, but like i said...I grew up. It began to disgust me that He was like a teenager...my teenager. I did..and do everything for him. If I stop, his mother and grandmother do it for him..and of course..Im the selfish wife. we live like roommates and ive thought of leaving him several times over the years. He has isolated me, his friends are the only friends and of course we had to move closer to his family...and away from mine. I get insanely lonely and depressed. Sometimes the resentment explodes into anger. He trods through his life seemingly unaware that his wife is miserable. Youd think he would maybe ask me if i was upset since we hanven't had sex in over 3 years. He acts like its just the way things are meant to be.

Ive made plans, and have decided that i am leaving him as soon as our youngest child is off to college. I can't rely on someone else to make me happy. I have to learn to make myself happy. I will never marry again, I just want to be me for awhile.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 August 2008):

Have you asked him if he is gay? And have you asked him in an understanding tone, not angry and bitchy?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (29 July 2008):

Hi, after reading everyone's comments, it feels good to know that I am not alone. Sometimes I feel very lonely though. I really have nobody to talk to. I moved to another country to live with my husband. I have been living here about 5 years and have no friends. I wish there was a place where women could get together and talk to eachother openly and honestly. Sometimes i think if we just had someone to talk to and listen to us, it would feel better.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (25 July 2008):

One of the great truths of life is that you can't depend on anybody but yourself for your own happiness. And you can't change the way people feel/ He doesn't want to have sex with you but there are hundreds if not thousands of men who would.

You didn't mention kids. But kids or not you need to take control of the situation. If you don't have kids they I'd advise getting out of the relationship. If you do have kids and the rest of the marriage is working then stay on and find a buddy with benefits.

Being a woman this is fairly easy to do. For men in your situation, especially if they are staying in the marriage for the kids, it is more difficult to find another partner unless he pays for sex.

Work on your good qualities and get out there and meet people or go online to a site like Plentyoffish.com Women looking for sex buddies have no problems there. You have hundreds to choose from.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (23 July 2008):

I can relate. I never ask or try to iniate sex with my husband anymore...I just wait for him. We have week end sex only!! He says he works and he is tired and I've no respect for him. So, I felt guilty about that and decided to wait for him. I have toys but he gets pissed if I use them, and I just don't want to argue anymore so I don't use them!! The other night we had been drinking and lucky enough for me he was horny enough to want to actually have sex with me. Well, when all was said and done I felt like a slut (always do) rather than his wife. Where is the passion? I was upset and he realized this and with an attitude said do you want me to give you oral sex? Of course, I didn't answer because I couldtell he really didnt want to. Besides, It shouldn't be a duty, chore, or job....just do it!!

Well, I couldn't bite my tongue any longer and I told him exactly how badly this makes me feel.

I assume it hurt his self esteem or ego because he hasn't been very kind to me since.

He told me today (excuse my vulgarity) "You have a loose pussy...it's old and worn out and smells"

I think he said that out of anger but I don't even want any love, affection, or sex from him any longer!!

That really hurt my feelings!!!!!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (1 July 2008):

Me too!!!

I have to almost beg for sex...

he is angry all the time..

so lonely..

had an affair that did not help....

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A female reader, oscarollie United Kingdom +, writes (7 May 2008):

hi.

If you have no kids get out of this marriage now. I have been in a similar one for 23 years,

there is nothing wrong with you. A person who starves you of affection does not love you. If they did, why would they make you feel so bad about a basic human need.

You are bound to argue, because you feel neglected, it will not go better, you will kid yourself he is a good huband in every other way I did, but the facts are if they had love they would give totally to your weelbeing. We have just split up we had a daughter so I stuck it out, my life has to start agian at 52.

Well meaning people will suggest therapy and all the other bandwagon stock answers, The Only Answer is Get Out.

while your young enough to restart.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (13 March 2008):

All I have read on this thread is a lot of hate and blame for the man. We Men are simple creatures; like dogs, really. Give us affection, attention, and some love and we'll pretty much do anything for you. We need to be given simple instructions, repeated occasionally, to get stuff done, but done lovingly without any sort of mallace. We need to be your knight in shinning armor. That's why you married us, correct?

I wonder how much you praise and support him and what the house is like when he comes home. The barometer of the house is usually the mood that the wife is in. If it's good, then everything is fine. If it's lousy, then it's horrid.

There's also the question of sex. Speaking from experience, men like variety, but we'd rather have you attention and enthusiasm. We also like to have an abundance of it. If he's not complaining about too much, then you're not doing it enough or you're doing it 'wrong' and should ask him his needs. I have strayed off the reservation before, but it wasn't for an abundance or quality as much as lack of the big three: Attention, Affection, and Sex.

You should go to therapy with him and encourage communication. If there are grudges, get them aired and resolved so both of you can move on. If you or him are frustrated, that's a warning sign. Frustration is the half-way point on the anger scale. Once it sets in, people generally ignore the problem and focus on the person. Bring the communication back and get it out in the open. I've been married 12 years in the military and know what it's like. But you both have to go together as a team.

Navy Sailor

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 March 2008):

My husband and I have been together almost 10 years but married this past August. I sold my house and moved out of state becuase I love and want to be with this man. Things were great initially. We had sex, it was phenomenal and he always got me off. He was creative and passionate.

About a year into out new living arrangement, I noticed his sex drive disappeared. If we did have sex, it was only because I had initiated it. And it was terrible. It seemed like he came as quickly as possible so the event would be over. The last time we had sex was December 29, 2007. I decided to see if he would initiate at all in the new year. Let's just say the only sex I have these days is with myslef.

I think he's having an affair with someone but can't prove it. I found a hotel charge for a week that I was out of town at a conference. I haven't confronted him about it because I don't want to fight. I just want my affectionate and passionate boyfriend back. I don't want to have an affair but I've got needs that are becoming overwhelming. He claims he's just tired but he always has enough energy to go drinking with his friends or play table tennis.

I love him but I'm reaching a breaking point. I didn't give up my old life to be taken for granted and ignored. He barely hugs me or kisses me. When he does I can feel the tension in his body. I don't even think he likes me anymore. I'm afraid that I will do something that can't be forgiven. I'm sad or angry most of the time. I can't focus on my job because I'm worrying about what my husband is up to. I have no friends up here and am completely isolated. The person I'm supposed to be able to depend on is the person I trust the least.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (25 February 2008):

I am in pretty much same situation. He doesn't perform in bed and this is something that has come up quite often. He refuses to seek help whereas I have met doctors and looked for advice for his problems as though it was my personal inability. I do not feel his love at all, he cares not. I grew up in a bad home, I always wished my folks would divorce so that we could have some peace and normalcy and I see myself taking my children through the same path my parents did and for that alone I have decided not to stay much longer in this marriage if only for the sanity of the children. My parents unhappiness and critisms have really affected all our lives and for me, I would like to spare my children this. And off course, I want to smile again and enjoy life and be a person just like I was before I met my husband. I will pray and ask God to lead me. I am so tired.

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A female reader, HopelessOhioan United States +, writes (20 February 2008):

How does this happen to a relationship? I have been married to an older man (12 plus years) for going on 6 years. After 3 years of what he thought was "great" sex and affection, things really started to go south. I was tired of having to ALWAYS pleasure myself during sex and his inability to make it happen, except for one time. Then in an insanely weak minded and stupid move, I had an affair. From the first night my new man was able to "read" my body, knew what I wanted, needed and insisted on taking care of my sexual needs. The affair ended, altough I occasionally hear from him and he has yet to move on himself. My husband is wonderful , but I am not attracted to him because there isn't any romance, and connection or spark. If we never have sex again, that would be fine. I would rather be celibate, but in turn I am angry at him that he is so lousy in bed and I don't care to even try any more. It makes me feel sad and very lonely and angry. He is the best buddy/friend/brother/confidant...etc in the world. I know I will lose that if we split and I'm hanging on for that reason alone. I'm glad to see I'm not alone in this lonliness!!!!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (20 February 2008):

I know exactly how you feel. I went through this for twenty two years of marriage. I couldn't quite understand what was wrong. I simply thought my husband just wasn't romantic and didn't care much for sex. He stayed with me but was quiet and withdrawn. Then I found out he was a sex addict ... that's right...addicted to pornography.

He's been satisfying himself for years while he had a secret hidden life. It's all out in the open now but I still feel alone even though he is now different. I guess the feeling never goes away even after they change. They lie and avoid you because they rather seek this garbage than make love to you. I hope your therapist discovers if this might be the case. He'll never reveal it out of shame and is unable to stop if he's addicted. Good luck

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (26 January 2008):

i am so moved by these stories - thank god i'm not alone, but lonely is what i am in the midst of what should be a loving relationship i see a man sorely disappointed by the realities of life and shattered by the bursting of his 'romantic bubble' - now i am punished for not living up to the 'ideal' and he recoils from me physically and never wants sex, unless i can get him drunk and off his guard. i try always to live by my beliefs - he is not responsible for my happiness....i am the only one who can construct my path of contentment - of course it means i must leave and i am scared,

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (8 January 2008):

Dear Ms. UK to USA... I feel for you, my husband moved me here from Canada, it was not my choice, but we were already starting to have sexual problems. We haven't had sex in 8 years. He's such a wonderful man otherwise, but now, the thought of even kissing him, is absurd to me, and even gross now. We started out nice, but then when the sex ended, we have no children, there shouldn't be any excuse... he's been seeing a therapist.. but does he really tell the therapist what the problem is, nope I don't believe it. He's a great room-mate and I've treated him that way. I destroyed our king sized mattress, and got two twin beds. Get this, he was actually shocked that I did that. Then, I decided not to change in front of him anymore, I use the guest bathroom as my own. I have online chats now with men who do not want to leave their wives... that's my desperate cry. I've offered him to leave me, I tell people he's my brother, that my last name is my maiden name now. If he wants to treat me this way, well I am calling his bluff.. he's scared that I've left him already mentally, and he's right. I now hate marriage, wouldn't do it again for nobody. He's a GREAT friend, but not a lover, not in my books. I told him to stop buying me cards at christmas and birthdays, I don't buy him any cards anymore either, if I do, it's a humourous card with nothing that shows endearment at all. yes, I'm upset that I was moved from a place I was VERY happy in, and now, I'm lonely, miss my family, he's not changed, and well, I can see the day that I am going to leave him, but it won't be for another man - you sure can count on that. I think he's a down-low ( a married man who goes to the gym or places like that and has sex with other men.. why should I risk my life for him!!, so no more sex from him even if he wanted it... )

HOpe you realize, you're not alone, you've got spiritual support.

Go back to school, it helps, it is great for my self esteem. :)

good luck and hang in there...

Mrs. C.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (15 November 2007):

I am going through exactly the same thing. I have been married for saddly only 6 months. My husband use to adore me when we first got together. It was all too good to be true. I only knew him though for 3 months. I knew this was not enough time to go into a marriage but I did it anyway for religeous reasons. We would make love all the time and then he lost his job. Then after that it seemed the one dream he had, which was to do shows and music, he could no longer afford to do. He wouldn't even look for a job. I would feel like he didn't love me let alone himself when he would walk around with no money in his pocket and not look for a job any thing to help financially. I made the mistake of saying he was not providing and that hurt him tremendously. There is definitely more to these men not not showing affection.

I think that they have a low self esteem and their dreams have been taken away from them. I think that they are also exibiting a childhood where perhaps there mother's did not show them very much effection and we represent them now as a child seeking affection and attention. There are many possible reasons but I think what we are feeling the pain of a deeper hurt that is not something we've caused but that was done in their childhood. I have never experienced this type of man in my life EVER. It is very foriegn for me not to have a man who is not all over me with love and affection regardless of what I said we would always come together and talk about the situation and show our emotional feelings for one another. THIS RELATIONSHIP HURTS SO MUCH. I feel emotionaly abused, can someone help me or share thier thoughts on this story?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (25 October 2007):

LEAVE LEAVE LEAVE! I'd been married to my husband for 14 months and I found I had had enough. He would swear at me, put me down, insult...my self esteem had hit rock bottom! That's not what a marriage should be...it should be companionship, love and affection...you should feel like a team....u shouldnt feel inferior. I left my husband and it was really hard but looking back over the last 5 weeks since I left...I can honestly say there hasnt been a moment where I regretted leaving him...on top of all of this, i think hes gay, hes told me a few times and he doesnt kiss me or explore my body...our sex life as been dead since we've been together...there is something wrong with these guys...NOT US!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (13 October 2007):

If there is anything I’ve learned over the years about being in relationships, it is to always, always hold on to self love…not the self love of being egotistical or self centered or being above others, but a deep, unconditional feeling of warmth toward self.

The fact is, and I’ve learned this over and over, love from another is completely unpredictable and out of our hands.

After 17 years of being together, 10 years of marriage, my relationship has hit a period where she isn’t happy and doesn’t feel love towards me. Our communication is strained, she is often critical of me, and when I try to gently touch her, she recoils and has a look of disgust on her face. And this makes it hard for me to feel love towards her. I try to hold on to the love by remembering the times when we were so in synch, so connected, and the sex was frequent and very hot. But the more time that passes, the more that seems like some distant memory, a hazy film of some past life. It’s not like the hard times started suddenly, based on any one thing, but it’s happened gradually over time. Small annoyances have become huge irritations. Poor choices due to lack of self knowledge and a clear direction when we were younger have become huge areas of friction now that we are middle aged.

The hardest part is that we’re not in a position to consider separating, because we have two young children and a business we own together. So, for me it would be a loss of wife, family and livelihood, which would be simply too much.

So, what I’m left with is holding on to self love. At times it doesn’t seem like much compared to the huge challenge of being in a loveless marriage, but without it, I would be completely lost. I hope this small piece of advice helps.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (5 October 2007):

it sounds as if your more alone in this relationship than you would be if you were on your own? if you broke up what would the first thing you would do, maybe call family? some freinds, you cant stay like this its to much pain, you are going to have to put your foot down and do what you feel in your heart, do you leave him or do you stay over there and feel alone. he knows how you feel but the most painful thing is that he wont show you what you are looking for and that is love, it also sounds as if he will never change ither, ( some people dont) unfortunatly but that dose not mean you have to suffer in silence. you can do it? its just having the strengh to do it. i do hope you will be ok, and i will be thinking of you as i know to well how the pain feels.

love Barbara

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (4 September 2007):

It sounds to me like your husband is intersted in someone else. I know that it is had to deal with. I am currently dealing with a simailar situation, and I am honestly even thinking that nay husband is bi-sexual. I am also ver lonely with 2 children, and sometimes I don't even want to get out of bed in the morning. I do, because I have 2 little ones, but I do know what you feel about the lonliness.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (19 August 2007):

I had almost same situation like yours, I feel lonely in my marriage, we married for 2 years, I find out he has been lied to me many times. We had many argures, now he torments me, he doesn't talk to me, he doesn't want to spend time with me at all....But I love him so much, i don't know how to get him back.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (16 August 2007):

I did not realize that so many people were going through this! I am at my wits end. If I say do you love me, he replies with a "you're alright." I don't doubt that he loves me, he just doesn't show me ANY affection except when we get in bed. I feel that if I stop expecting it in order to keep the peace, I will be giving up a very vital part of who I am.

Thanks,

Lonely in Long Beach

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (13 August 2007):

After 15 years of marriage and always feeling that my marriage is not a "normal" one but unable to confide in any of my friends or family who believe that I have got the marriage made in heaven, I finally decided to goggle my problem and was amazed that there are other women in the same situation as myself.

I have spent the last Thirteen years feeling rejected, full of low self esteem and 2ce suicidal because of the way my loveless, emotionally imbalanced marriage made me feel.

I went from a stunning looking Size 8 to an unkempt size 18.

I have only recently found myself after going on a weight loss program and now back down to a size 10 and my self confidence and esteem restored.

I used to think there was something wrong with me or I was not good enough and that was why I did not deserve my Husband's love or affection-what a load of Rubbish?

I am now at a crossroad-Give my marriage all up and start over in life without allowing anyone to break me down like before or stay in my marriage for the sake of my young kids and see them through till the youngest is 16 and agree to an emotional and physical divorce with my husband till then even though we will still leave together as parents but not as husband and wife.

I am desperately seeking advice-please help.

Mrs X

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A female reader, dijili United States +, writes (30 July 2007):

I am too caught up in a difficult situation. I've been married for 2 and a half and have been dealing with the same sort of problems that you are having since the first year of marriage. I have tried everyway possible to lure my husband into our romatic life, but he is so dry and insensitive that he just brushes me off. We have sex maybe twice a month and affectionate gestures zero. I am too contemplating of an exit of this emotioanly unbalanced relationship, but I love him so much! The weird aspect of this is that we are young. I am 23 and my husband is 25. this sort of marital problems should not be happening in such an early start. I too would like a sencere and honest response. I feel for all the wives that have posted their relationship problems Good luck in your lives either independently or with husband. Take care

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A female reader, Rosary United States +, writes (10 July 2007):

Rosary agony auntI have been married 17 years on July 11, 2007 and I share in all the replies that I have read this evening. I don't know how this "loneliness" came into my life but it did. Each year my husband and I have grown further apart and I have tried so hard to re-connect but to no avail. He has no interest in anything. I have even asked him if he loves me and his reply is,"I would not be here if I didn't". We now sleep apart and I don't remember the last time that I felt the warmth of a man's touch on my hand or heard sweet words whispered in my ear. I am sad.

I too have begun taking steps to become independent again. I can no longer live this way. I will surely die of loneliness living with this man. I never imagined that my life would turn out this way by marrying this man. I recognize that I must go beyond the fear of change and embrace a brand new life without him. It is truly frightening and difficult to re-create yourself in the business world when you have been a stay-at-home mom and wife for so many years. I need and deserve love and so do you. Thank you for reading my post and I wish you well. Rosary.

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A female reader, Satin Doll United States +, writes (8 June 2007):

Well, all I can say is that you can't change some one. I've waited 23 years to see a glimmer of joy in his eyes when he looks at me. To see and feel a desire in him to want to sit beside me on the couch, to hold my hand, to take an acutal interest in my life. I tried to give him the home he never had growing up. But, to no avail. We do have two tremendous kids, one graduated college this year and is off to Graduate School for Masters. The other is a Junior in college and is doing great. My husband does give me credit for being a good Mother. But our companionship is very sorry. We have very little conversation, he travels extensively on his job, when home, most of his time is spent outside. I have suffered much emotional abuse, with very little remorse from him or kindness, attention or love. I am praying for strength to find the woman in me which has been suppressed for so long just to keep everyone together. I want my grown kids to see me as a strong and successful woman. I am attempting to take well planned steps to become an independent woman again with hope and love in my heart. Please, do not wait for him to give you a crumb here and there, if your gut hurts, if you are humiliated by him, if you can't breathe, if you don't know who you are anymore. Take steps, pray and go with God.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (21 May 2007):

Try 17 years. It is time that I find my happiness. Affection, love, and conversation between couples is vital for the relationship to grow. I have stayed because of habit. This is a terrible habit that I must break now. Isn't better for the children to see each parent happy (although apart) than unhappy together? Thank you for your time.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (28 April 2007):

7 months is a drop in the bucket.

Try 10 years.

My advice, find happiness, where you can! NOW!

My wife has no interest in me.

What am I to do, but stay in this "exsistance" for my kids.

They need a level headed adult to be around in their imediate lives, to get them to where they need to be and support them in their activities.

That is the only reason I stay here.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (20 September 2005):

I know how you feel. There is a reason for this behavior for sure. You wouldn't be writing to this column if you did not care to find a way to make your marriage work. Couples therapy should help a lot. However, what your husband might be suffering from is depression or maybe even other medical problem. There might be something bothering him, that he is not willin to share with anyone and the will to have sex or to be affectionate with you is so hard for him to do. It doesn't mean he doesn't love you. Try to make him open up and start from another angle first. You might discover something you haven't even considered. This is just one of the reasons and of course there could be so many more like affair, he is not attracted to you anylonger for whatever reason, maybe you have money problems and that bother him etc. There is a reason. Some people are less affectionate than others but 7 months is a very long time - too long. If he simply doesn't care to show you affection, doesn't have the need to make love to you and things will not change, remember every woman has a love life she deserves to have - make things happen - make a choice. Don't argu through unexpressed emotions and hurt - that is deffinitely not the way. I wish you all the best.

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A reader, Rebecca Batchelor +, writes (16 June 2005):

Rebecca Batchelor agony auntYou are not getting what you need and what you deserve from this relationship and I am assuming that the arguments you are having are because of this.

Your husband does need to explore why he is unable to be demonstrative with you. You can't possobly go on like this indefinitely.

I would suggest you both go for couples counselling to see if the marriage can be saved. I think if you both still want it to be saved then you have a very good chance at making it work for both of you. But you both have to want to make it work and you both have to be prepared to put the effort in.

You say that he says he is unhappy but has he elaborated on this? He needs to be able to explain exactly how he is feeling before you can get anywhere.

You both have to be honest with your feelings and then find ways to compromise and work things through.

Your relationship may not ever be the same again but it could even improve with the right guidance and exploration.

I would certainly suggest couples counselling to give you the support that you need.

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A reader, lora +, writes (16 June 2005):

Do you honestly want your marriage to be saved?Think about the good and the bad involved in this marriage. You are not happy and at the end of the day isn't that the most important thing?

If you want it to work talk to him about how you feel. He is being selfish. Then again, he is willing to go to a therapist to try to make it better. See what happens after he goes there and if you're still not happy there seems to be no other option than leve or maybe take a break and things might get better. You will know yourself what to do.

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