This is new for me. I'm struggling here. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Here I go.
Married for 10 years. No kids. We're both professionals. She puts in 50-60 hours per week at work. Has a ton of responsibility at work. I put in just over 40 hours a week (I've got the easier of the two jobs). We have dinner together in the evenings and then after that, it's usually time for bed because we both get up early. That's Monday through Friday. She works all day Saturday. We're home Sunday together but end up running errands, etc. That's life here week in and week out.
So, it feels like we're roommates. There hasn't been any sex in 6+ months. She doesn't like sex all the much and has told me this in the past year. I appreciate her honesty. I think. She has told me that she just never has enjoyed sex... that it's nothing I do. It's not just me. It's that she really just doesn't enjoy it at all. We're cordial with each other and friendly, but that's about it. Kiss and hugs in the mornings and evenings.
We do argue from time to time but no more than any other married couple. The arguments never last more than an hour or so. We end up resolving it and arguments rarely go on for more than a single day. The arguments are usually silly things... just typical "stuff"... I wish I could provide you with an example but honestly, we resolve it and just move on.
Here is where I am really struggling. I feel as if she is highly critical of me while if I have a bone to pick with her, I can say nothing. The reason is that she blows up. Cries. Or yells. Gets upset anytime I have something to say that she perceives is critical of her.
I feel as if I'm bossed around. She gets pissed if I forget to call. Call too late. Forget to run to the store for something. Now, I'm not perfect in any sense of the word and I know that... but I'm human and forget to do things from time to time... nothing outrageous. There's miscommunication from time to time. The thing is, it ALWAYS seems to fall on me. It's ALWAYS my fault no matter what. It's never that she miscommunicated with me. Rather, it's I failed to understand what she wants.
So. This puts me in a spot where I feel like I have a roommate who is very difficult. She is constantly stressed by work and it comes home with her almost daily. I feel like I'm being bossed (or maybe bullied). She doesn't enjoy sex. I don't feel I can honestly open up to her about my feelings on a lot of this because I will hurt her.
I love her. I want to protect her. I'm proud of her. She does amazing things. I don't want to hurt her. But, I don't know if I'm still in love with her. I don't know if that makes any sense. I'm just trying to get this sorted out and would appreciate any insight.
Well it could be she is just being honest about sex, just not interested, in which case you could try being more flirty/romantic or less available, or more assertive and dominant - any one of a number of things that may work or have the opposite affect. If she has such a low sex drive, perhaps it is hormonal - any medications she is on? How is your own health, do you keep yourself physically fit? your hygiene good?
Or else she could be getting her sexual needs met elsewhere, 50-60 hour work weeks may enable a lot of time working closely with coworkers of the opposite gender whom likely also have unfulfilled sexual needs at home, perhaps the "stress" of her work week is actually the stress of keeping her secret life from merging.
Have either of you explicitly said the "ILYBINILWY" yet? If so, it is a very good indication that an affair is in progress. Are there any other signs of infidelity? New lingerie? Hiding cell phones? Recent fitness streak? If a marriage is like a hot air balloon it requires a frequent addition of heat and if one of you is putting the heat elsewhere the balloon will descend and eventually crash.
I think she is being honest about the sex... one thing that bothers me is that she said nothing before we got married. I found out after.
Good point about trying different things. To be honest though, I'm losing interest now too. I do keep myself fit and my hygiene is good. At least I think it is!
I don't think it's an affair. There's no one at her work that I can even remotely imagine that she is having sex with. But, you're right about all the time at work. It does make me wonder. But honestly, I don't think that's it.
Neither of us have said ILYBINILWY. Nothing out of the ordinary.
Part of me is now wondering if we want different things. I'm new to all of this... I did figure out ILYBINILWY is. The thing is... lately... this is the thought I've had popping into my mind. It just occurred to me yesterday in fact and was one of the driving factors for me to post here.
About 3 months ago, we got into a fight about something... I can't remember what. But it boiled down to me being quite upset with her. I think she didn't take responsibility for something she had said. Or, I had called her out on something she had said. She got really defensive and I inadvertently said, "I can't take this anymore." Now, not the best thing to say at that moment. But, it popped out and set into motion an entire evening's worth of crying on her part and me trying to comfort her. I know I shouldn't have said it. The moment it left my lips, I knew I had dropped a bomb. But, that's how I felt at the time. I tried to recover the situation and eventually did. But, I'm feeling more and more like that lately. That is, I just feel like I can't take it anymore.
Thoughts? Am I the jerk here? I many times feels as if I am. But, this is how I end up feeling.
No you are not a jerk for expressing your feelings. If you feel like you can't take any more, that is how you feel - it's what you mean by saying it and how you act that defines your character. So did you mean to imply you want to end the marriage, or less specifically that you want to change the situation? Often one spouse gives up on the other before the other feels like they've exhausted their options, which is why divorce is virtually always a unilateral decision and why the left-behind spouse always thinks the walkaway one is a jerk. If you intent is to follow through and leave, and it blindsides her then IMO yes you are a jerk for leaving. But you gotta do what you gotta do, I realize not everyone is pro-marriage like me.
If your intent is to change yourself, and lead your W by example in making her life what she wants to be and strengthening your marriage, then I encourage you to explore your feelings, seek counselling for yourself and if your W is willing marital counselling. Read some books on marriage, such as his needs her needs, and Married Man's Sex Life by Athol Kay, and spend time on this site.
I was just sick of having the same situation occurring again and again. That was the first time I had said that. I hadn't previously said it because I knew how she would react. Then, just last week, it almost happened again. I held my tongue because I knew her reaction was going to be that she would think I immediately wanted a divorce... and that would send her into a crying rage for the next several hours.
It's almost as if when I call her out on something, she immediately goes to the far extreme. There's no in-between. I know part of it is my fault too because I just don't call her out on stuff. Never have. The reason, again, because I know the reaction I'm going to get and it's always severe.
I think I'm going to get some counseling. And, the books sound interesting.
I don't want to blindside her with anything. I think she knows I'm unhappy. She'll ask and I'll tell her it's just work or I'm tired from work. I know that's not being honest either, but, the alternative is her blowing up.
Don't let her assume you are unhappy, tell her and explain why. Do not drop the divorce word but express your concern that if things won't change, if you are both not willing to work on it together you will let it go to divorce because you are unwilling to live this way. Then do what you can to work on yourself.
Divorce is never the ideal solution, but neither is staying in a marriage that can't work and where both partners don't have self-respect, so sometimes divorce is the only way to overcome the dealbreakers.
@ Lon... Thanks for the input. Working on how to talk to her about all of this without her blowing up. Hate that this is happening. But, I've just been feeling like this for so long and it's finally come to this.
BPD is really hard to diagnose even for professionals -- perhaps we should concentrate on helping greatlakes without engaging in armchair psychology.
No need for diagnosis. It's the knowledge that can help the relationship.
Once symptoms are recognized the realities of the relationship become apparent and this can help bring stability to an otherwise doomed dynamic.
Have you ever dealt with black and white thinking of a spouse? Have you ever felt absolutely hated for no apparent reason only to be passionately loved the next hour with no recognizable trigger for the change? It's a subtle but heart crushing experience that turns the strongest people on earth into confused low confidence mice.
Greatlakes, take the psychological aspect of this very seriously. Learn why you feel the way you do. Otherwise, you will always find yourself at the same crossroads.