Am I being naive? Trapped in a loveless relationship?
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Am I being naive? Trapped in a loveless relationship?

I've been feeling this way for a long time now and I am finally ready to accept and talk about it. I've been searching the web for a long time and stumbled on this great site. I've registered and this is my first post.

A little history...I'm a 28 YO male and have been dating my GF for about 3.5 years. We moved in with each other after a year of dating. The first 6 months were probably the toughest months as we have both had to change our lifestyles a lot. She's a little older than I am, 31 to be exact and she's looking to really settle down. Things were great at first but we're both very stubborn people and this has led to a number of arguments and a couple breakups. But we've stuck by each other and it has lasted this long.

Here's the problem: I can't help but feel as if I'm stuck in a loveless relationship and beginning to feel as though I'm settling. We haven't been intimate in over 3 months and I would say we used to average about 1-2 times per month but now it's just stopped. We barely hold hands, we don't kiss, we sleep on seperate sides of the bed and never tell each other we love one another. I mean, I care about her and think she's a great person but am I in love with her? I'm not so sure. We're both professionals and make a good living. She has a great family and gets along very well with my family/friends. Everything looks great on the outside but I'm second guessing it a lot.

Sometimes, I feel as though she's holding on because she has this fear of getting old and not being married already. She's always telling me how she feels like a failure for not being married with kids yet and that I "need to hurry the process along". I was waiting until the right time to propose and I'm not sure if I'm ready yet. Last summer, my GF told me that we had better be engaged by spring of 2011 or she was going to leave. I felt forced or maybe even pressured into buying a ring. I have put down a deposit for the ring and I'm supposed to pick it up at the end of the month.

What do I do here? Am I just delaying the inevitable? I mean, I'm open to trying to fix things but I'm afraid to even bring it up because she's not the easiest person to talk to. But I think I owe it to myself to be happy. I want to feel wanted, I want a healthy sex life and I want that magic back.

How do I go about doing this? Should I just sit her down and tell her how I feel? I'm always telling myself "Just get engaged and things will get better itself". I just don't want to get engaged, get married and then 2-3 years down the line...feel even more trapped. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Please feel free to ask any questions.

Thanks so much guys.
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Old 02-08-2011, 09:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Am I being naive? Trapped in a loveless relationship?

Your story strikes me because it reminds me alot of me at 23. That's when I basically let my wife pressure me into proposing and marrying her because it seemed like the thing to do. She picked out the ring she wanted, basically told me when to propose to her, and even criticized my proposal method before it happened despite the fact that the passion was already on life-support in our relationship. But she had great parents that I thought would make good in-laws and just proposing and following her wishes seemed easier than breaking up. Stupid, stupid me!

I'm now 32 and we've been married 8 years and have 2 kids (6 and 3 year-olds). I love our kids, but I regret marrying my wife just about every single day. We get along fine most of the time, but it's a cold marriage with no intimacy or emotional bond. I long for her to smile at me or say something nice to me or touch me, but it doesn't happen. I hoped it'd get better after marriage and a kid, but I was naive and young and dumb.

How about a relevant joke: What food have scientists proved kills women's libidos? ..... wedding cake.

Yup, not long after marriage everything slowed down, and then after kids it came to a crashing halt. My wife's low self esteem makes her so self-conscious about even letting me see her naked that sex is just this awkward thing that she hates and I barely enjoy and we only do it often enough to where I don't feel humiliation over how long its been since we did it last.

So do a favor for both you and your girlfriend and be a man and break this relationship up. It's what I should have done 8 years ago and didn't. I thought about calling off the wedding, but I felt too guilty about the money that would be lost and the embarrassment for her. "Divorce" is just such a nasty word to me that I don't know if I ever could have done it, and now that we have kids, I'm almost certain that I can't.

Your gf sounds like my wife, and they're both satisfied with a "just ok" marriage. They're mainly in it for the kids and security anyways. They want a man to help them raise their kids and change their lightbulbs and do their yardwork and drive them around, but they don't really care about having a romantic relationship. They don't really need it. I may not be right about your girlfriend, but do you want to take that chance?

If you two are already passionless without the stresses of kids, the boredom of long-term routine, and at a young age before sex drives dip and youthful energy fades, I can promise you it's very, very likely that it will only get worse.

End this relationship and find someone that you're crazy about and is crazy about you. Don't settle in life - you're too young to settle. I believe in true love, it's out there but it takes work and patience to find it. Good luck.
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Old 02-08-2011, 09:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Am I being naive? Trapped in a loveless relationship?

Thank you SO MUCH Hoopsfan.

Your post really hit home and makes so much sense.

I really do feel as though we're stuck in this long/boring routine and we're both just holding on to the fact that "we're comfortable". I always tell myself "Dude, just imagine what it'll be like if you marry her...it might even get worse".

Now comes the tough part. We live together and I do really think highly of her family. I'm not sure how to go about this...

But if it's one thing I take away from your post that I need to concetrate on is not making that mistake of "settling". I'm scared yet optomistic for the future.

Thank you again.

Last edited by helpinnyc; 02-09-2011 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Am I being naive? Trapped in a loveless relationship?

Your welcome. I believe at our core, we are who we are. Sure, our priorities and beliefs and interests change as we grow older. But if she's not a sexual person, then she never will be. She might move a little up or down from her baseline, but for the most part what you see is what you'll get. And that may be optimistic since I think my wife put on an act while we were dating and pretended to be more intimate than she really prefered. We only had sex three times on a week-long cruise honeymoon, which was so different than I had ever imagined I was internally disappointed.

Breaking up with someone you care about is hard, I know. I'm not good at it either. I'm a conflict avoider, but dude, don't be me. This isn't the way marriage is supposed to be. For you, this is the easiest its ever going to be for you to do what needs to be done.
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Am I being naive? Trapped in a loveless relationship?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HoopsFan View Post
Your story strikes me because it reminds me alot of me at 23. That's when I basically let my wife pressure me into proposing and marrying her because it seemed like the thing to do. She picked out the ring she wanted, basically told me when to propose to her, and even criticized my proposal method before it happened despite the fact that the passion was already on life-support in our relationship. But she had great parents that I thought would make good in-laws and just proposing and following her wishes seemed easier than breaking up. Stupid, stupid me!

I'm now 32 and we've been married 8 years and have 2 kids (6 and 3 year-olds). I love our kids, but I regret marrying my wife just about every single day. We get along fine most of the time, but it's a cold marriage with no intimacy or emotional bond. I long for her to smile at me or say something nice to me or touch me, but it doesn't happen. I hoped it'd get better after marriage and a kid, but I was naive and young and dumb.

How about a relevant joke: What food have scientists proved kills women's libidos? ..... wedding cake.

Yup, not long after marriage everything slowed down, and then after kids it came to a crashing halt. My wife's low self esteem makes her so self-conscious about even letting me see her naked that sex is just this awkward thing that she hates and I barely enjoy and we only do it often enough to where I don't feel humiliation over how long its been since we did it last.

So do a favor for both you and your girlfriend and be a man and break this relationship up. It's what I should have done 8 years ago and didn't. I thought about calling off the wedding, but I felt too guilty about the money that would be lost and the embarrassment for her. "Divorce" is just such a nasty word to me that I don't know if I ever could have done it, and now that we have kids, I'm almost certain that I can't.

Your gf sounds like my wife, and they're both satisfied with a "just ok" marriage. They're mainly in it for the kids and security anyways. They want a man to help them raise their kids and change their lightbulbs and do their yardwork and drive them around, but they don't really care about having a romantic relationship. They don't really need it. I may not be right about your girlfriend, but do you want to take that chance?

If you two are already passionless without the stresses of kids, the boredom of long-term routine, and at a young age before sex drives dip and youthful energy fades, I can promise you it's very, very likely that it will only get worse.

End this relationship and find someone that you're crazy about and is crazy about you. Don't settle in life - you're too young to settle. I believe in true love, it's out there but it takes work and patience to find it. Good luck.
A huge +1 on Hoops Fan message. He said it far more eloquently than I ever could, but I am in the same boat he is in, just my kids are 18 and 14.5. I spend the hour commuting speaking in my head how I tell my kids that I am no longer going to live with their mother. Run, don't look back. Kids are a huge stress on a functional relationship, and yall are not functional right now.

One other word of advice, use two forms of birth control (Make sure you buy and maintain the condoms) if you continue to have sex before you break up. If she sees you waffling, I predict an oops may happen very soon.
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Am I being naive? Trapped in a loveless relationship?

Well, I basically just told her how I felt and she was blind-sided. I think she blamed most of our problems on how "I ignore her all the time" but I think it's a bad cop out and she's delussional if she thinks nothing was wrong.

I feel really bad, borderline to the point where I'm sick to my stomach but at the end of the day, I need to stand by my thoughts and stay strong.

I feel horrible.

How does one cope with this? It makes this super tough seeing how we share an apartment together. I feel crushed but at the same time, something needed to be said.
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Am I being naive? Trapped in a loveless relationship?

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Originally Posted by helpinnyc View Post
Well, I basically just told her how I felt and she was blind-sided. I think she blamed most of our problems on how "I ignore her all the time" but I think it's a bad cop out and she's delussional if she thinks nothing was wrong.

I feel really bad, borderline to the point where I'm sick to my stomach but at the end of the day, I need to stand by my thoughts and stay strong.

I feel horrible.

How does one cope with this? It makes this super tough seeing how we share an apartment together. I feel crushed but at the same time, something needed to be said.
When you say what id really on your heart to your other half, It's not easy. I've been sick to my stomach In a way I have never felt in my whole life when I split from my wife for a month. You are right, it needed to be said! Stay strong!
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Am I being naive? Trapped in a loveless relationship?

I'm proud of you for acting right away. I know it's hard to upset someone you care about, but this way is so much better than getting married and hiding your feelings - trust me.

Well obviously the two of you can't keep living together - that would send a mixed signal and be confusing for both of you. Is it a shared apartment that's under both of your names?

Make a plan for one or both of you to leave the apartment. You say that you're both successful professionals, so you should be able to afford a place of your own. Do you have a friend nearby that you could stay with until you can find a new place?
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Am I being naive? Trapped in a loveless relationship?

Thanks for the support guys. I know this will be an uphill climb and a tough transition but it's for the best longterm.

She has a family member in which she can stay with. We'll have to figure out the apartment situation.
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoopsFan View Post
Your story strikes me because it reminds me alot of me at 23. That's when I basically let my wife pressure me into proposing and marrying her because it seemed like the thing to do. She picked out the ring she wanted, basically told me when to propose to her, and even criticized my proposal method before it happened despite the fact that the passion was already on life-support in our relationship. But she had great parents that I thought would make good in-laws and just proposing and following her wishes seemed easier than breaking up. Stupid, stupid me!

I'm now 32 and we've been married 8 years and have 2 kids (6 and 3 year-olds). I love our kids, but I regret marrying my wife just about every single day. We get along fine most of the time, but it's a cold marriage with no intimacy or emotional bond. I long for her to smile at me or say something nice to me or touch me, but it doesn't happen. I hoped it'd get better after marriage and a kid, but I was naive and young and dumb.

How about a relevant joke: What food have scientists proved kills women's libidos? ..... wedding cake.

Yup, not long after marriage everything slowed down, and then after kids it came to a crashing halt. My wife's low self esteem makes her so self-conscious about even letting me see her naked that sex is just this awkward thing that she hates and I barely enjoy and we only do it often enough to where I don't feel humiliation over how long its been since we did it last.

So do a favor for both you and your girlfriend and be a man and break this relationship up. It's what I should have done 8 years ago and didn't. I thought about calling off the wedding, but I felt too guilty about the money that would be lost and the embarrassment for her. "Divorce" is just such a nasty word to me that I don't know if I ever could have done it, and now that we have kids, I'm almost certain that I can't.

Your gf sounds like my wife, and they're both satisfied with a "just ok" marriage. They're mainly in it for the kids and security anyways. They want a man to help them raise their kids and change their lightbulbs and do their yardwork and drive them around, but they don't really care about having a romantic relationship. They don't really need it. I may not be right about your girlfriend, but do you want to take that chance?

If you two are already passionless without the stresses of kids, the boredom of long-term routine, and at a young age before sex drives dip and youthful energy fades, I can promise you it's very, very likely that it will only get worse.

End this relationship and find someone that you're crazy about and is crazy about you. Don't settle in life - you're too young to settle. I believe in true love, it's out there but it takes work and patience to find it. Good luck.

Wow Hoopsfan your post hit home with me. This is the exact thing I'm going through for the eight years myself. Your story is if I was reading my diary, pretty freaky I must say. I am in my marriage right because of my daughter, she comes first and ahe needs everyday. I can't see myself apart from her for one day,
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:24 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Am I being naive? Trapped in a loveless relationship?

Yeah, well when you come up with a solution other than an affair (I'm not interested in adding more stress and guilt), let me know. We tried marriage counseling for a couple months, but that didn't go very well. My wife spent most of the time denying that there was even any problems with our status quo - she was shocked that I wasn't happy despite having sex about 5 times in 3 years. And the counselor which I picked randomly from a list wasn't very good.

I tried writing her a heartfelt letter a couple years ago, which just made my wife cry at first, then get upset, then deflect blame to me, and we didn't talk about it again for another 6 months.

Most recently I told her I'd wait a year and see if I noticed any improvements in our marriage. She asked if that was an ultimatum - I said it sort of was. That was about 4 months ago - no changes.

She blames our lack of sex on my chronic health problems that led to two surgeries in the last 4 years, but I don't see what that has to do with hugging, smiling, kissing, holding hands, opening up and talking, showing gratitude, saying thank you or I'm sorry when applicable, or any other nice things that normal people do each day. Most strangers are nicer to me than my wife is. She's a stay at home mom that never cleans the house or even pick up after herself or the kids. She's downright jealous sometimes that I get to go to work and bust my ass to make a good living. And then I go home and pick up the house, do the dishes, play with the kids and help them to bed. Rinse and repeat - that's my life. The slightest comment from me results in her getting this cold stare on her face that she shoots at me along with a bunch of "I can't believe you'd say that" - "do you know how hard it is to take care of the kids" and so on. She looks forward to me coming home for 1 reason - it's a chance for her to have alone time and a break from looking after the kids.

I know the suggestion that'll come next - get a babysitter and go on a date night. She's needs a night out. I've done that too. She treats date nights like a business meeting. We talk about the kids, and our upcoming itinerary, and which bills to pay, and so forth. I put my hand on her leg in the car or at the movies and she just freezes. She doesn't grab it or touch me in return - just freezes. She doesn't exercise, dress up much, and just acts tired all the time. Her favorite weekend activity is to lay in bed even at 11am just 2 hours after she woke up. She gets happy and excited about the kids and takes pleasure in some things, like restaurant food, pets, and the Wii, so I don't think she's depressed.

OK, I could rant all day but I know no one wants to read it, so I'll stop. Hepinnyc, I'm glad I hopefully saved you from my fate - it sucks!
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:43 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Wow hoops, that sounds awful.

I mean, I understand that you don't want to divorce and that you're thinking about your children but this is absolutely no way to live. You're going to end up driving yourself crazy.

Your main reason is to stay for the kids but I don't think it's healthy either when both parents are not in a loving relationship. I'm a firm believer that your inner energy/happiness is passed on to your children but if you're miserable at home and with the wife, that has a possibility of getting channeled to your children.

I commend you for sticking it out but you've made it loud and clear, tried counseling and other means of communicating your unhappiness. What happens when you're old and gray? You're going to end up resenting not only your wife, but yourself for never looking after your own sanity/happiness.
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:44 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I hear you. I'm trying to make the best of a bad situation and I'm sure I'm partially responsible for this mess as well.

Friday night I played poker with my guy friends from work and Saturday night I took my daughter to a daddy/daughter valentine's dance. I like my job and have friends to do stuff with. So I have fun and joy in my life - it's not all doom and gloom. But I do feel like a big piece of my life is missing where a happy marriage should be.

I haven't set it up yet, but I'm planning to go back to individual counseling and see if I can figure out what I want. I've had one foot out of my marriage emotionally for a while. It's emotionally draining to constantly ask yourself, "what should I do? what can I do? what can I live with?" But I don't want to disappoint my kids and I don't want to miss out on raising them and I don't want to force them to be without their mom 50% of the time either. My 3 year-old son is stuck to his mommy like glue; I watched my kids for a weekend recently while my wife went on a girls' trip and he kept asking "when is mommy coming home." I just can't think of a reasonable situation after divorce that would be good for the kids.
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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That makes a lot of sense, never thought of it that way.

You're a good dude Hoops. It's a shame your wife doesn't realize it...

I wish you the best of luck man.
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:34 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I hear you. I'm trying to make the best of a bad situation and I'm sure I'm partially responsible for this mess as well.

Friday night I played poker with my guy friends from work and Saturday night I took my daughter to a daddy/daughter valentine's dance. I like my job and have friends to do stuff with. So I have fun and joy in my life - it's not all doom and gloom. But I do feel like a big piece of my life is missing where a happy marriage should be.

I haven't set it up yet, but I'm planning to go back to individual counseling and see if I can figure out what I want. I've had one foot out of my marriage emotionally for a while. It's emotionally draining to constantly ask yourself, "what should I do? what can I do? what can I live with?" But I don't want to disappoint my kids and I don't want to miss out on raising them and I don't want to force them to be without their mom 50% of the time either. My 3 year-old son is stuck to his mommy like glue; I watched my kids for a weekend recently while my wife went on a girls' trip and he kept asking "when is mommy coming home." I just can't think of a reasonable situation after divorce that would be good for the kids.
AMEN!

I have had people tell me, that just because I have a child that I should not stay in the marriage. However, I have stayed in my marriage and have put up with all the same crap you have put up with and have not thought about being a single day without my daughter. She comes first and I will do what I can do be there for her and her only. I became a full time parent the day she was born and she is not at fault for what is happening in our marriage. I know that their are situations that are abusive and divorce is the only solution, but in my case is a wife that is selfish and has no idea the harm she is and has done in our home. I get scared just thinking about it right now because I have had thoughts and reality scares me.
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