Trapped in a passionless marriage (it's never been passionate)
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Considering Divorce or Separation If you're considering divorce or separation, this is the place to talk.

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Old 09-04-2013, 05:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Trapped in a passionless marriage (it's never been passionate)

I am a newbie to this forum. Hi

Married at 26 to a good and loving man who I was going out with for 5 years before. Decided to get married because he would take care of me, and he loved me a lot. I also wanted to fulfill others' expectations (my parents love him). A few months before getting married I had serious doubts and nearly called off the wedding because I wasn't sure if it was the right thing to do.

I didn't feel sexual desire for my husband back then, and after 11 years of marriage this has not changed.

I've had serious infatuations with about 7 men over the course of these 11 years because of the serious lack in my marriage.

In my sexual prime now (30s) and I foolishly gave in and got sexually involved with a guy I became deeply infatuated with. He is so different to my husband - creative, sexy and fun. I have stopped seeing him completely because of the guilt. I wish I could spend the rest of my life with him, but that is not to be since he doesn't want to break up my marriage.

I don't find my husband sexy or attractive. Making love to him is like making love to a brother (gross right). So I try to avoid it.

Over the course of these 11 years, I know that I have not tried perfectly, but I've seen counsellors, doctors, read books on my problem, gone on 'romantic getaways'. Nothing worked. I've tried to ignore it and work on it. No change.


Going through marriage counselling now. My husband has approved of me moving out and I am likely to move out soon.

I'm also terrified of what my family would think - they are not the understanding type. They would not understand or support me.


I guess I would like to know if anyone has been through this. Can you offer any advice?

I still feel guilty - that I have not tried enough. That I am an unloving selfish human being for wanting to leave him (a very good man who loves me).

I fear that if I continue on like this, I will have another affair, get hurt again and hurt my husband again. That this will just continue...

If I leave, I am preparing myself for the fact that I may never find the dream relationship. I am prepared to be single the rest of my life if I don't meet the right person. I just can't stand the pretence of being in a 'happy marriage' - this is the most painful thing of all. Feeling trapped and like I have to put up a brave face.

Thanks.

Last edited by songbird86; 09-04-2013 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trapped in a passionless marriage (it's never been passionate)

I totally know where you are coming from. I the same boat here.

I think the important thing to keep in mind is, you have to be true to yourself. If you don't take care of YOU, you will be of no use to anyone else.

If that means getting out of the relationship, then do it. If you think you can fix it, then try.
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trapped in a passionless marriage (it's never been passionate)

Thanks Dormant for your understanding answer. Moving out is also a way of me to give this one last final try. It seems drastic but a relationship counsellor told me that like a car that needs to be jump-started, moving out may be helpful - it will give me a chance to be by myself, and see if I'll actually miss him. If after a month or two we meet again, maybe something could happen.

I don't know. It would be good to be out of this house, away from him for a while anyway.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trapped in a passionless marriage (it's never been passionate)

Yup, EXACT same boat as you are in. Unfortunately, I have no advice. My mind stays in a constant state of turmoil over how to handle my future. 3 kids makes it more complicated in my situation. (Married 20 years, 43 year old female, sexless marriage the last 3 years, living separated) I would suggest getting out ASAP, do you both a favor and move on with your lives.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:06 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trapped in a passionless marriage (it's never been passionate)

I felt similar and my disinterest in my wife caused her to have the affair. That was my out so I moved out for 2 months. The problem is we have kids and splitting up with kids is nothing short of horrible. So we are back together, she ended the affair, but although I'm not crazy about her and question if
I even love her like I should, having us as a family again with the little kids makes life better than the alternative for now. If you don't have kids I recommend getting out. Your husband will likely not change and you should do him a favor and get out so he can find a woman who
Will love him. If you do have kids then I think their needs outweigh your wants at least while they are young. Good luck
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trapped in a passionless marriage (it's never been passionate)

Only move out, if you are absolutely and completely ready to loose your marriage. Does your husband know you cheated on him? If not. Tell him. He deserves to know. You got married too young, and have selfishly strung him along for 11 + years. You never really loved him. How are you going to replace those lost years for him?
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trapped in a passionless marriage (it's never been passionate)

So let me get this right, you married a man you did not feel attracted to because your family wanted you to, you have had an affair because the marriage is unfulfiling and after marriage counseling your husband has agreed to you moving out? Even if he loves you and even if you have children this feels like a no-brainer ... you are living a lie being with him and splitting up will be best for both of you. It seems unlikely there will be some miracle because of a separation because you never felt it for him before. If there is then good for you and all the best. If there isn't though you will be happier moving on, he will be hurt but hurt less than if you sustain a pretense of everything being okay and he'll be free to move on. If there are kids involved obviously you will have to maintain good communication with him and ensure they are looked after properly. I don't think staying with someone you are not happy with is good for the kids - two parents separate but happy is much better! As for family, which seems to be the biggest pressure, they will just have to get over it. You need to do what is right for you and look after yourself - you will be happier and you won't be hurting anyone else more than has already happened.
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Old 09-05-2013, 04:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trapped in a passionless marriage (it's never been passionate)

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Only move out, if you are absolutely and completely ready to loose your marriage. Does your husband know you cheated on him? If not. Tell him. He deserves to know. You got married too young, and have selfishly strung him along for 11 + years. You never really loved him. How are you going to replace those lost years for him?
In reference to this comment that I've never really loved him, if you believe that love is about doing what is best for someone, then I do love him - not perfectly of course. I did not show love when I had an affair, and was unfaithful in my heart. And I wouldn't say I love him lots and lots. But one of the reasons why I haven't divorced after 11 years is because I did not want to hurt him. He's said repeatedly over the years how much he thinks I'm a wonderful wife and always thought we had a great marriage. I think he was blind-sighted to the pain I was experiencing - even though I tried to tell him - he always assumed it wasn't a big deal or that I'd 'get over it', till now. He has woken up to the fact that our marriage is in serious trouble and has been for a long while though he didn't see it.

And the fact is he's told me that he doesn't want to see me go. He will let me go if that is what I decide, but he doesn't want to see me go as he loves me. And I don't think I was 'stringing him along' - I have tried to be a 'good wife'. I have tried to do the right thing. All of these years he has seen me as a 'great wife'. He does not see these years as 'lost years' for himself. Maybe for myself - I do see these as 'lost years' of my youth. But not him.

I do agree that I married too young and didn't know what I really wanted in a relationship. That I should have listened to my instincts when I had doubts about getting married. But what's done is done. I can't go back and fix it.

I appreciate your comments. It helps me to process it all. I still don't know what to do, but I'm sure it will be like this for some time.

No kids. This makes life easier for me should I divorce.

No my husband doesn't know about my affair. I may tell him, but not now. I don't believe it's the right time. Yes maybe he 'deserves to know' but he told me a few years back that he believes that if someone had an affair but felt sorry for what they did and stopped the affair completely and didn't do it again, he thinks that the innocent spouse doesn't have to know. Of course he/she should know if the affair continued and the guilty partner didn't feel sorry for doing it.

I'm not saying I won't tell him, but I don't believe now is the right time.
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:45 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trapped in a passionless marriage (it's never been passionate)

Your tone sounds so sad and exhausted. You have time to start over. Let him go gently, be kind to him about it all and kind to yourself as you accept your past and go on to embrace a new future. Don't drag it out and make him wait and beg and wonder what is happening. If he accepts it is over then don't burden him with the affair, he has enough hurt to deal with. If you need to tell him so he understands it really is over, then do it gently and with consideration to his feelings. From what you have said it isn't what you want or where you want to be, never really has been and never can be. Good luck x
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:00 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trapped in a passionless marriage (it's never been passionate)

You married a man you didn't desire, took advantage of his love, cheated on him repeatly. You are a piece of work. You weren't so young when you married that you couldn't have know better. Yes, let him go so he can find a decent human being to marry if this experience doesn't damage him beyond recovery. You owe him as much kindness, consideration, and honesty as you can manage.

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Old 09-05-2013, 01:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I have no advice besides listen to the quiet in your heart. That is the only thing we are left with when it's the middle of the night and we're awake with your feelings. Trust the direction it gives you. I am new to the site as of today and keep telling that to myself...I don't like the answer so I keep trying to ignore it and now here I am chatting on a site for people wondering what to do with their marriage.
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Old 09-05-2013, 02:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trapped in a passionless marriage (it's never been passionate)

Your first mistake was to marry for "he would take care of me, and he loved me a lot. I also wanted to fulfill others' expectations (my parents love him)". You said you didn't feel sexual desire for him.
Ok, you made a mistake now you have to fix this. Does he know about your problems? Comunication is the key. If you think you cant do it anymore, fill for divorce. I have a big issue too, almost divorcing, the same fears as you feel, fear of being alone.
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Old 09-05-2013, 02:43 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Your situation sounds a lot like mine. I'm glad you are in marriage counseling, it should help you both learn the tools for communicating that were lacking in your marriage. Expect it to be tough for a while as you each undergo some growing pains, counseling will help you see yourself and your husband differently. I completely sympathize with you in your feelings about getting married too early and for the wrong reasons. I was 19 and felt like no one else might want me, and I'd be alone forever. Over the years I discovered new talents, returned to old ones, and yes, like you, found myself in an affair that took a while for me to end. I really felt we would be divorced last summer, but something kept me doing all the normal, routine things in my daily life; the only thing different was the standoffish way I treated my husband. He wouldn't agree to a divorce or a separation. Finally his job was transferred out of state, and he has been working there and travelling to visit me justa couple times a month. During that time I had the space I needed to kind of see where he ended and I began. We had been together 27 years, and I felt consumed by his presence, so a "separation" was good for us. I was finally able to end the affair once I realized I craved a relationship with God again, and had to give him my best self. I really examined my own personal integrity, and one day realized that's what I want, for all the pieces of my life to fit with all the other pieces. It's been a hard road, my church is disciplining me for my actions, but my husband has said he will support me. I really did have deep needs for recognition and appreciation, and was terribly lonely, but along the way I found friends and relatives willing to listen and help without judgment. I hope you will continue counseling, maybe consider a time of separation just so you can establish again who you are, and what you want from life, and what you can give to a relationship. Telling your husband? Mine knew about the emotional affair, but not that it had become sexual. When I finally told him it was like a weight lifted off of me. But it also meant there was no going back, I had to let him express his strong negative emotions. I'm amazed he was still willing to work things out. I'm on a better path now and he will be taking a job close to home, moving back in with me. I wonder if your passionless marriage is more because of you than him? Maybe you should get some individual counseling and discuss past problems or self perception that may be making you unavailable to give yourself to him. You probably still feel angry and resentful over your young marriage, and time you feel like you've lost. Hang in there, be sure you're living with all the integrity you can, stay close to family and friends, continue counseling, record your thoughts in a journal and reread them, try some time alone, and see how thing go.
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Old 09-05-2013, 03:49 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trapped in a passionless marriage (it's never been passionate)

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You married a man you didn't desire, took advantage of his love, cheated on him repeatly. You are a piece of work. You weren't so young when you married that you couldn't have know better. Yes, let him go so he can find a decent human being to marry if this experience doesn't damage him beyond recovery. You owe him as much kindness, consideration, and honesty as you can manage.
Glad someone else posted what I was thinking. Many on here are saying they are in the same spot "DIVORCE". I hate it when they say they have kids so they don't divorce. Kids in a loveless marriage know and see, it's just another excuse.
Let your husband go so he can find someone that loves and cares about him. I hear you saying excuses. Stop that, own up to using him. Move on with your life and make the most of it but make sure you take the blame. Sorry to be so rough but I have been on your husbands side. And yes, I divorced with children. They are well rounded adults now.
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:29 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Glad someone else posted what I was thinking. Many on here are saying they are in the same spot "DIVORCE". I hate it when they say they have kids so they don't divorce. Kids in a loveless marriage know and see, it's just another excuse.
Let your husband go so he can find someone that loves and cares about him. I hear you saying excuses. Stop that, own up to using him. Move on with your life and make the most of it but make sure you take the blame. Sorry to be so rough but I have been on your husbands side. And yes, I divorced with children. They are well rounded adults now.
Exactly! All I am getting now, is that somehow its his fault you stepped out on the marriage. Because he wasnt "listening" to you.

People wonder why young men just aren't getting married as much these days. There just isn't any benefit. Go figure.
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