I'm concerned because my husband and I are not lovers, but best friends. We enjoy each other's company, but I have grown to want more out of life and I'm sure he has too.
My family has been supportive until today when my mother told me if I didn't love him as a husband we should have never gotten married.
I did and still do love him. We were married a little over 2 years ago, I'm 27 he is 29. We got engaged about 3.5 years ago. We had fun together...he made me feel safe....he's attractive, and all those things were important to me. We were never really "passionate." It didn't seem to bother either of us. Now, I'm looking to have a deeper relationship, etc, and I know he wants that too. There's deeper problems as I feel he took me for granted for the last 2 years and wouldn't really talk to me (resentment). I'm sure he's frustrated because he wants more. He's trying now, but only after I told him I was leaving him.
I have a longer thread explaining everything, but to be blunt, how can I bring back the passion, if there wasn't really any to begin with? I feel like my life is on hold now. I don't want to lose him because he's my best friend, but I'm not sure I can continue like this. Any thoughts?
Thanks Mizzerable...We have talked lately. It's so hard because I feel like I emotionally checked out of the marriage. He's said so many things that have hurt me. We would argue and he would just stare blankly at me. We were best friends when we married, I guess I thought it would change, or was so caught up in all the planning fun, but that's all it's been, we aren't physical at all, other than hugs and the occassional smooch. It's not because he doesn't want to be, it's because I don't. I feel as though he neglected me, I would beg him to talk to me/work things out with me. I could feel myself slipping away.
I feel like I lost myself because we always did the things he loved (even though I grew to like some of them). I use to be such a happy person. I started going to therapy to try to get back to myself. My therapist suggested doing the things I love again. I have been, but I hate that he won't share in that with me. Example - I love camping, we even registered for camping equipment when we married. He told me just this summer that he hates it and is not going. I love country music, he makes fun of it.
I just feel like it's been bad for SO long. He doesn't come to things on my side of the family other than Christmas and Thanksgiving. A few months ago, I decided that i was done with this marriage. I told him I didn't think I was "in love" with him anymore, even though I love and care for him deeply! Two weekends ago I left him for the day. I couldn't take it anymore. A few days after that, it seemed like he did a 180 and is trying to talk to me more...but after 2.5 years of treating me like a buddy? It's all just gotten to me. I want to have/share a life with someone who will entertain the idea of liking the same things as me (or atleast trying). I want to be with someone I have passion for, and not just love. Like I said, I recently tried to go do the things I use to love, but it's hard, feeling married but alone
I concur that once the resentment "bell" starts ringing, it's pretty hard to "unring" it. You have emotionally detached from the marriage and trying to reengage on your own is remarkably difficult.
You are in a situation where it would appear that you have a pretty good measure of control. You have a job, you're young, you haven't been married long, you haven't done any cheating so your clean in that regard and there are no children involved. If you walk away, logistically it's pretty much a financial transaction, emotionally there will always be baggage.
Having said that, my personal opinion (from reading your posts) is that you haven't exhausted all reasonable possibilities yet. He is your self-proclaimed best friend so that implies that when you do spend time together, you still enjoy his company. That's a good thing, it seems that many people who post here can't say that. Like Mizz said, I think you can build off of your friendship.
On some level you need to throw your cards on the table and be willing to be brutally honest WITH him. Further, you need to demand brutal honesty FROM him. In addition you need to be prepared for his response whether or not it's what you want to hear. In other words, if he says it's over, you need to be willing to accept that and be ready to move on. I think you need to put it to him and say something along the lines of:
"You are my best friend and when I married you it was for life but this is where I am at in our relationship ..... (explain how you FEEL)"
"This is what I need from our relationship ...... (explain what you NEED relative to what is missing)." Be completely honest. Assuming you're willing to accept whatever the consequences of the conversation are, you have NOTHING to lose. Tell him you want to go camping, tell him you want him along when you visit your family. Tell him he's your best friend and you want to spend time with him doing things you both like to do. Sometimes you just really need to whack a guy over the head with a 2 x 4 - some of us aren't all that intuitive.
Finally, "I need to know what you need from me. What can I do to make your life with me better?" Don't let him back away from this and LISTEN and don't get defensive.
You may have to have the conversation a couple of times. It shouldn't be heated or an argument - it's a conversation, it's not intentionally antagonistic. If he gets defensive, ask him not to be and further just ask him to hear you out. When you hit question three, it will likely diffuse his defensiveness. No matter what the response is, you'll learn a lot.
If he won't engage, that might tell you all you need to know. If he does engage and tells you things you don't want to hear, that also tells you something. Finally, the conversation may open up lines of communication that you didn't really know existed and could open the door to a relationship that exceeds your expectations. He needs to help you unring the detachment bell but it's incumbent upon you to let him know how loudly it's ringing (again, think 2 x 4, he's a guy).
My back story is that I am in a marriage where I was afraid to talk about how I felt for fear of the significant repercussions. Fifteen years later, I am just now realizing the depth of that mistake. Don't hang on and wake up in 15 years in a relationship that isn't most of what you'd like it to be.
You probably earnestly believe that you've already had that conversation. Have it again when you're positive it isn't in the midst of another conflict. The bottom line is that you have nothing to lose.
Thanks rfAlaska. That was very kind. I appreciate any help I can get. This is so frustrating, feeling like something has been so bad since it's started, like I'm working backwards. He is my best friend, and we do like spending time together.
The past few months though, I'd rather spend time with him at home. It seems like anytime we go somewhere we end up arguing. I always feel anxious because I know a fight is probably coming, and then we are in the car together. I hate not being able to step away from it if needed.
I know friendship is a good foundation to build off of, but even when things were what I considered really good, they aren't what I want now, I guess that's why it's important to talk through those 3 questions.
I want a more passionate/"adult" relationship, I wish I would have thought things through more, but at the time, it seemed like he was perfect for me..who doesn't want to marry their best friend? I'm so afraid to lose him (he's already told me if we divorce he wont ever see/speak to me again), but I long for something more.
P.S. Thank you both for responding. It's so hard to post everything out there in the open, and wait for responses.
Also, I have told him what I want, but truth is, I don't know if I want it with him. I've also asked what he wants/would make him happy..he says "I want you to be happy." I feel like that's such a cop out
Anytime resentment starts to build, it will make you rewrite history a little in your mind. Where there probably was passion, you can't see it anymore. I'm not saying for sure that this is what has happened to you, but it is very prevalent. Marriage is hard. It is about working through things together. Trust me in that if you both can start to meet each other's emotional needs, you would most certainly find some passion. That being said, the more you can communicate the better. My wife held things in and you would see a sign here or there. She wrote me a letter one time asking me to help her more with the kids and around the house. This was her way of telling me there was an issue with our marriage. Not good.
By your husband's answers, I can tell he needs some work. (as we all do) He really needs older men in his life to help direct him and help him focus. On of the key things rfAlaska said, "You have emotionally detached from the marriage and trying to reengage on your own is remarkably difficult." Fact is, you cannot do this alone. My wife had been trying for 3 years alone. Only until he understands what he needs, how he needs it, what he desires to be and how to become it, will you guys be able to reattach. Fact is, he needs to detach right now. Work on himself. Become a man who can lead you and give you security in his love and affection. Then, as you support him through this and grow yourself, you can come out the other side having a relationship beyond what you could have imagined or desired for yourselves.
Life is hard, learning is hard. It's the people who stick beside us through thick and thin that we sit with on the porch at 70 years old on rocking chairs. Resentment kills passion. Growing together and working hard by both of you putting the other first restores deep love. It's not a quick fix, but it is a rewarding journey that will have a profound effect on everything you do from this point forward.
Thank you for your response. I know it seems like resentment can make you forget passion. To be honest, in the last 2 years, we had sex 3 times. That's it.
When we first got together we always made out, fooled around, etc, all the time. Then we moved in together, things slowed down, then they were non existant. It's so sad, I'm lonely but have no desire to be physical with him. He hurt me so bad over the years, always sweeping things under the rug.
I just don't know what I'm trying to get back to...I've been working on myself, but to be honest, I don't even think my husband likes the old me. I use to be very outdoorsy, he's not. I'm a country girl at heart, he's a city boy.
I find that his parents aren't affectionate to each other (from what I've seen), they always do things seperately.
Is it possible that this relationship ran it's course for me, but I was afraid to lose my best friend?
You need a better answer than, "I want you to be happy." That's not good enough. Ask that question first and don't back down. Seriously, neither one of you have anything to lose by being brutally honest. The picture you paint of your relationship is not pretty and if you lose it completely due to honesty, from my perspective there is a measure of nobility in that.
You have to be miserable and I'm sorry about that, I really am. Being where you are is so lonely and conflicted - can you sleep?
Dedicated is right, you can't fix this on your own. If he's not willing to work to fix it, you have a big decision to make.
Blue, you are not trying to get "back" anywhere. You want to become a new you. A you that you are happy with. A you that you enjoy. 3 times in 2 years says a ton. You both have resentment. It is a cycle that you are doing to each other because of your personal baggage. The problem is, though, that you are here trying to learn and not him. He needs to "take the bull by the horns" and be proactive. Unfortunately, he may need something drastic to get him to that point. Posted via Mobile Device
Also, he seems willing to work, but I'm not being so willing. About a year ago it was really bad, and well he started making changes and was okay for about 2 weeks, then went right back to how he was before. He was frustrated and said "I tried talking to you more!!"
Does it make me a bad person that i don't feel as willing to let go of everything? I feel so guilty because he says he loves me so much.
He just doesn't get it. I did the same things. Good for a couple of weeks, then tank because I really saw nothing change from her. He has to want to change for himself, not for you. This way, he isn't looking for your approval of his changes. He finds approval in himself. Tough deal for sure. Posted via Mobile Device
Dedicated has a great point about it taking both of you to work together to make it go. You can't reignite the passion in your relationship on your own .... you need to work together to make it work for both of you. It involves a little more than two weeks of trying to talk to you more often.
Also, keep in mind that saying he loves you (words) is really easy. How is he showing (actions) that he loves you? My guess is that therein lies the problem.
I'm not sure what to tell you about what happens if he tries and you don't. The real question is along the lines of, "Is there anything that he could do to make you want to try?" If you choose to work on this, I believe you need to be wielding some 2 x 4's because he may not get it unless you're swinging them.
Having said that, I get the sense that there really isn't anything he can do because you're already gone. It might be time for you to simply face that reality? (OK, maybe that's not so kind - sorry ) I'm not saying by any means that facing it is easy, you have a lot invested in the relationship and just about everything in your life will change if you walk away. Facing that reality is gut wrenching and difficult but then again, so is merely spinning your wheels.
I think it's time to throw your cards on the table my friend - you need more information that only he can provide to figure out where you are at.