Are you happy you left? happy you stayed? - Talk About Marriage
Considering Divorce or Separation If you're considering divorce or separation, this is the place to talk.

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post #1 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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Are you happy you left? happy you stayed?

I read a lot of posts about women who fell out of love with their husbands; or their husbands fell out of love with their wives. It seems there is always inner conflict on "should I leave, or should I stay?"

I'd like to ask the question... for those of you who left; were you happy with that choice? Did you ever regret it?

For those that stayed... are you glad you stuck it out? Was the pain worth the regained love? Or do you wish you would have left a long time ago?

Just curious; I wish I had a more experienced married friend to seek advice and experience from in my life; but all my friends are young(like me; 27) and/or not married yet. I was one of the first to be married, and often wish I could get advice from an older married woman.

I wonder if my expectations for marriage are unreal? Is it even realistic to feel in love with your husband.. am I romanticizing marriage? Am I seeking greener grass, when really, this is as green as it gets. I expect hard times, and I know that not everything is flowers and butterflies; I'm not expecting perfection from relationships... but the dead-love feeling is real in my marriage.. and I can't help but be disappointed. (together 6 years; 2 kids)

I'm craving more from marriage; from love; from life.... but, maybe I"m just expecting too much and dreaming of fairy tales that don't exist.

I guess I want to know... is it NORMAL to feel out of love with your husband? To view him as a friend.. a parenting partner.. a convenience? He claims that he's so in love with me still; and I can see how he tries to show it. I've looked into a lot of things to help out; the 5 love languages was a big one. We speak love VERY differently, and the things he does for me, are not my love language. I miss connection. I miss conversation. I miss heart-to-hearts, and soul searching. I miss intimacy that lasts longer than the sex does. I miss WANTING him. I miss being wanted. I miss the love.

It's occurred to me that I'm just expecting too much. Any thoughts here?

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post #2 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 11:07 AM
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Re: Are you happy you left? happy you stayed?

I just want to tell you that I could have easily written your post. I don't think you are expecting too much which is why I just told my husband that I want a divorce. We've been together much longer that you and your husband (20 years). I don't recall feeling this way until recently, though.
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post #3 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 11:36 AM
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Re: Are you happy you left? happy you stayed?

I had that inner conflict for years in my first marriage. It was largely sexless, and increasingly lacking in any affection or respect.

When I finally realized that there was no way to fix it (after many attempts), I understood through therapy that the majority of the problem was her, and not me. So, I left.

Anyway, leaving was one of the best decisions of my life. It was like a huge, crushing weight lifted off of me. Sure, things were difficult in the transition, but oh, so worth it! Eventually, I found my current wife, who is everything I was wanted and needed in a healthy relationship. Absolutely no regrets - other than a long-ago regret that I hadn't left that marriage a lot sooner.

Love is an ideal thing; marriage is a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

CELIBACY IS NOT HEREDITARY.

Last edited by Married but Happy; 02-21-2017 at 11:52 AM.
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post #4 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 11:41 AM
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Re: Are you happy you left? happy you stayed?

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Originally Posted by Married but Happy View Post
I had that inner conflict for years in my first marriage. It was largely sexless, and increasingly lacking in any affection or respect.

When I finally realized that there was no way to fix it (after many attempts), I understood through therapy that the majority of the problem was her, and not me. So, I left.

Anyway, leaving was one of the best decisions of my life. It was like a huge, crushing weight lifted off of me. Sure, things were difficult in the transition, but oh, so worth it! Eventually, I found my current wife, which is everything I was wanted and needed in a healthy relationship. Absolutely no regrets - other than a long-ago regret that I hadn't left that marriage a lot sooner.
I could have written this myself, if the genders were switched around.

I am SO HAPPY that I left. My XH was emotionally abusive, and I thank god every day that I was able to escape from that... and I definitely owe a big thanks to TAM and my therapist for helping me to see that. I have repeated often, it was the most difficult thing I have every had to endure, but ultimately it was the best thing to ever happen to me.

I haven't re-married, but it is something which I hope lies somewhere in my future--as long as I can have a healthy relationship with an emotionally healthy partner. If I can't find that, then I am happy to stay single.

~Happily un-married since December 9, 2013~
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post #5 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 12:15 PM
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Re: Are you happy you left? happy you stayed?

I think it all depends on the circumstances. It's easy to say your happy with leaving if your spouse was overtly flawed, like he abused you, cheated on you etc. it's also easy to say your glad you left if you found someone else who is much better and your more compatible with.

The problems of course are like you said... are you expecting too much? Is this a normal marriage or is there something fundamentally wrong. Am I unhappy or is HE making me unhappy, or is the marriage making me unhappy. There is the chance you leave and find someone else and you find yourself in the same situation 10 years later. It's a very difficult situation and decision especially when there isn't anything OBVIOUSLY wrong like abuse/cheating.

I've noticed that with my friends who got married fast and started families quickly that they come to this place that they are still young, but have a life of an older adult. It's almost like a mid life crisis because you hit so many milestones in such a short time while your so young you think... is this it?

Sorry that wasn't much help. You have a lot of soul searching to do. Maybe your just bored and need a little lifestyle change or something to get you motivated and excited about life again.
Divorce is hard especially with kids. Can you imagine splitting holidays and child sharing. That will be your life for a long time.
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post #6 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 12:30 PM
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Re: Are you happy you left? happy you stayed?

Like Running Mom, I also could've written your post, as I'm going through these exact feelings right now, and it's the reason I'm seeing a therapist. I was recommended to read the book, "Feeling Good Together" by David D. Burns, MD. I'm part way through it, and it's a decent read. Also, I don't think you're expecting too much at all.
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post #7 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 12:40 PM
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Re: Are you happy you left? happy you stayed?

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Originally Posted by flyhigher View Post
It's occurred to me that I'm just expecting too much. Any thoughts here?
I don't think that you're expecting too much. However, be sure that you spouse knows how unhappy you are.
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post #8 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 01:59 PM
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Re: Are you happy you left? happy you stayed?

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Originally Posted by katiecrna View Post
Can you imagine splitting holidays and child sharing. That will be your life for a long time.
That's exactly what's kept me in, for now.
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post #9 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 02:17 PM
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Re: Are you happy you left? happy you stayed?

Here are a few quick things to think about:

1 - The grass is always greener where you water it.

2 - Marriage / love levels don't stay constant. They come and go in waves... up and down. It's those down waves that weaken the marriage and can result in cheating or breaking up.

3 - Have you discussed this with your husband. US GUYS are dense. Women feel neglected because US GUYS just tend do to that. Both of you take each other for granted. So with that in mind, when you put the kids to bed - tell your husband to come to bedroom to talk. If he's busy playing video games... tell him its serious and time to talk. "I'm not happy" = nothing to us guys. Yeah, that's life - I'm not happy either some of the time... kids, bills, work, car problems, etc. But saying "We need to talk now, before things get bad and we lose our marriage" should grab his attention.

Watch this video... and then show it to him:


Supporting those who want to divorce or reconcile. Not every relationship is the same.
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post #10 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Are you happy you left? happy you stayed?

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Originally Posted by katiecrna View Post
I've noticed that with my friends who got married fast and started families quickly that they come to this place that they are still young, but have a life of an older adult. It's almost like a mid life crisis because you hit so many milestones in such a short time while your so young you think... is this it?

Sorry that wasn't much help. You have a lot of soul searching to do. Maybe your just bored and need a little lifestyle change or something to get you motivated and excited about life again.
Divorce is hard especially with kids. Can you imagine splitting holidays and child sharing. That will be your life for a long time.
I appreciate the honesty here. We did marry quickly. We were pregnant after a year of dating, and married soon after our daughter was born. We bought our home asap, and had our son 17 months after our first baby. It all happened so quickly; I hardly knew what hit me!
I love how you mentioned soul searching; because the truth is.. that's what i have been doing! These starts have been going on for at least 2 years. Things get better when I tell him I'm unhappy... but it always falls back into old pattern. Last year, I decided that it must be ME that's unhappy; because I have everything most people desire in life... so I started a journey of self love, meditation, spiritual freedom and body acceptance. It has been amazing and I've had to swallow a few difficult pills; but I'm growing and loving myself more and more. I am no longer angry at my husband; I understand that this is just who he is and that that's okay. The more I dig... the more I wonder if we're just not meant to be lovers..
It pains me to think of hurting him. He's not a bad man.. he's never intentionally hurt me, and he's always sincere in wanting to make our marriage work. I don't want him to change who he is in order to keep me fulfilled... that's not fair to him. He deserves someone who will love him as he is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve1000 View Post
I don't think that you're expecting too much. However, be sure that you spouse knows how unhappy you are.
Thank you.. I don't feel I'm expecting too much either; but I've had a few people (including my H) say, "this is what most peoples' marriages look like! this is normal life!" And I can't help but thinking...... maybe I'm different than "normal" people.. ?? I mean, I don't think I am, but.. i think just our personalities and outlooks are different. Where he says, "yeah, this is good enough", I say, "there must be something more"...
So, I'm not too sure. My H is a bit .. hm.. I dont know the word lol. He doesn't ever SEE me unhappy.. I have to tell him. And he becomes mroe attentive for a bit.. but than it falls back again, and I find it becomes a pattern of my having to keep saying, "I'm unhappy again... I'm unhappy again... I'm unhappy again" which totally sucks and makes me feel needy and ****ty.
I'm trying to be happy ANYWAY; without him having to attend to my needs; and for the most part, I AM. but, that means I could miss out on a greater love; and I'd rather have the possibility, than admit defeat.

I say all this so easily here; but to his face, I shrivel up and am wrecked with guilt. It's so hard to hurt someone who loves you the best they can.

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post #11 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Are you happy you left? happy you stayed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TaDor View Post
Here are a few quick things to think about:

1 - The grass is always greener where you water it.

2 - Marriage / love levels don't stay constant. They come and go in waves... up and down. It's those down waves that weaken the marriage and can result in cheating or breaking up.

3 - Have you discussed this with your husband. US GUYS are dense. Women feel neglected because US GUYS just tend do to that. Both of you take each other for granted. So with that in mind, when you put the kids to bed - tell your husband to come to bedroom to talk. If he's busy playing video games... tell him its serious and time to talk. "I'm not happy" = nothing to us guys. Yeah, that's life - I'm not happy either some of the time... kids, bills, work, car problems, etc. But saying "We need to talk now, before things get bad and we lose our marriage" should grab his attention.

W

I feel like I say, "We have to talk now, before things get bad and we lose our marriage" every 6 months. We have a hard time staying consistent... patterns always, always return. Things get better after "the talk", than he gets lazy and stops being attentive, I try to get his attention back; it doesnt work so I get offended and pull it back, he doesn't notice the pull back, and gets even further into his own world, I start doing my own thing.. and he's okay with it.. I end up realizing, hey, we're back to being disconnected and bitter... and I end up saying, again, "We have to talk now."
Honestly.. that pattern, has been our entire marriage.
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post #12 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 03:23 PM
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Re: Are you happy you left? happy you stayed?

Sooo many people go through the exact pattern you described. Its hard when one person thinks things are "good enough" because in the long run, they are not willing to make the changes needed by the unhappy partner. They just dont see the need. It seems like some people believe that all you have to do is get married, and no further effort is needed once that is done.

I ended two marriages, and have never had a single moment's regret about either one.

When your H DID make attempts at improvement, did you make sure to acknowledge those attempts?

Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.

http://goodmenproject.com/featured-c...ionships-fiff/
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post #13 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 03:30 PM
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Re: Are you happy you left? happy you stayed?

Do the both of you work full-time?

What's your debt-to-income ratio like?

Virginia: "Why can't you kids leave well enough alone? Everything was fine until you started digging around."

Burt: "You sound like a Scooby Doo villain."
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post #14 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 03:35 PM
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Re: Are you happy you left? happy you stayed?

Holy smokes, this sounds dead-on like my H and I.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyhigher View Post
I feel like I say, "We have to talk now, before things get bad and we lose our marriage" every 6 months. We have a hard time staying consistent... patterns always, always return. Things get better after "the talk", than he gets lazy and stops being attentive, I try to get his attention back; it doesnt work so I get offended and pull it back, he doesn't notice the pull back, and gets even further into his own world, I start doing my own thing.. and he's okay with it.. I end up realizing, hey, we're back to being disconnected and bitter... and I end up saying, again, "We have to talk now."
Honestly.. that pattern, has been our entire marriage.
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post #15 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 03:59 PM
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Are you happy you left? happy you stayed?

This is difficult because I think this is common in a lot of marriage and I think it's just the differences between men and women. Men don't need a lot to be happy. Honestly if their wife is happy they are usually happy. But women are more complicated, we require "more" to be happy. So it sets us up to look like we're always complaining, we're never happy, and nothing is ever good enough... or at least this is how it looks from our spouses.

Our spouse will never fulfill us, and will never be able to give us what we feel like we need. That's just the way it is. So appreciate what your husband is good at, and take that from him. What he sucks at... we can get that from elsewhere, like girlfriends and family and spirituality.
You are your own person, this is your life. Your husband and your marriage is just a part of who you are and what your life encompasses. So don't make him more than that, don't make him your life. You have your own goals, and you have your own specific purpose. Your spouse is there to go through life with you, not to be your life if I am making sense. Your giving him too much power.
Life is about balance. Not one thing will make you happy, but you will get a little bit of happiness through many things. Your job, your friends, family, spouse, God, goals etc.

Look into balance wheels, or life wheels or holistic health wheels or something like that lol. They help you put in perspective what our life's needs are and how to have a balanced life. And I believe when your balanced your more content and at peace with your life. Not always searching for happiness.
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