Like the name of the book, my marriage is “Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay.” We’ve been married for 18 years and have 6 children ranging in age from 16 to 6. He’s a really good man, just a terrible husband. He won’t go to a doctor or dentist without me being there, but I booked myself in for an operation, was put under, went through recovery and booked myself out on my own while he waited in the car. It hurt that he wasn’t there for me. He goes to work and earns a living and that’s where it ends. I go to work, do the shopping, arrange kids school stuff, Christmas, Birthday etc presents, everything. He does nothing to help me. At Christmas time I sat for countless hours wrapping and when I asked him to help me he said he was tired and promptly went to sleep each time. I have told him on countless occasions that I’m tired, emotionally, and need support. His answer is that there’s nothing he can do, he’s stuck on the farm. I crave time with him, nothing major, just time to sit and chat, yet whenever we are alone for a drive etc, all he talks is about the farm, how his boss annoys him etc. We’re intimate only when it suits him, always have been. He used to always tell me he was tired or not feeling up to it if I tried to initiate, I eventually gave up trying. He’s told me on two occasions over the years that he’s put off intimacy because of my weight, yet apologises afterwards and says he doesn’t mean it. I am overweight, but by no means fat. In fact, I weigh less now than when we were married. He was the one person I always thought would except me how I was, but it seems not. I’ve never said anything about how his body has changed with age, it doesn’t matter to me. He never sees how unhappy I am, and if he does he says and does nothing. When I do eventually get to where I can’t handle it anymore he apologises and promises me things will be different, they never are for longer than a week though. He tells me he loves me a hundred times a day and begs me not to leave him. I love him, which is why I’m still around, but I am so unhappy. I’m so lonely and don’t like the constant feelings of bitterness that I’m feeling. I just can’t take the final step and apply for a divorce. Compared to other people’s problems mine seem so minor. Am I overreacting? We have tried counselling and it helped for about a month, then things just went back to normal.
I don't think you are over reacting at all. It sounds like your husband isn't even being a good friend, to not even be there when you need him. If you haven't read the aforementioned book, then do it. By the end, you will have your answer, it's a great book. It finally gave me my decision to stay. My wife & I are more like good friends than spouses. No meaningful communication, sex or intimate time, but she has always been there for me, just not as a wife. I learned to take it as it is & quit fighting it & I'm happier now.
I do think your husband has to be more than just an ATM machine & you deserve better.
Thanks Woundedwarrior . That's just it, he totally ignores my feelings and I don't want to be just a "friend". I need more. I need to feel loved, secure, wanted. All the things I don't feel right now. I need a marriage in the true sense. I'm not a difficult or fussy person, I'm not high maintenance in any way, quite the opposite. I'm not asking for much and that's what hurts the most, that it's an effort to sit next to me or give me a kiss before going to sleep. It's all the little things that hurt the most.
I have total sympathy for you. My wife and I are the opposite. We adore each other despite everything.
The first thing I might suggest is trying to make a close friend (of the same sex) and have someone to have a little fun with. Or maybe find a hobby (quilting, exercise...) and have some evenings out. Have some good clean fun. Maybe take the kids (or one) out for a mom date night and leave the lump behind. If nothing else you get a little fun and maybe he'll feel a bit guilty and make a few changes.
You may also take a month off and take a personal vacation. Go visit family and friends. He can run the show and take care of the kids. No one will die and you can call to the kids every day.
The bottom line here is that you deserve some personal happiness. And if you don't get it from him, then go find it- but be true to yourself. Because when the kids are gone and you have nothing left and if you haven't cultivated a life it's going to be a rough rough road.
Remember you are responsible for your own happiness. See if he will agree to a date night once a month, a short walk alone, anything away from the home & children.
I think he loves you very much but doesn't show it the way you want him to. He doesn't want to hear how unhappy you are; it hurts him even though it seems like he doesn't care.
If you love this man, you can get some of the spark back in your marriage; don't wait for him to magically change.
I'm going to be blunt:
Remember, you loved this man enough to have 6 children with him. Leaving him & breaking up your large family will be heartbreaking for you & them. What you are seeking - more love & intimacy from him will be very difficult to find from another man. It would take a very special man that would get involved with a woman with 6 children.
I understand you feel lonely in your marriage. We all do sometimes.
Decent, hard-working, loyal men are hard to find.
I truly believe if you take a step back & look at your husband in a positive, loving way & all the things he does do for you & your family, you may feel less lonely in other words, focus on the positive.
It sounds like you guys are miscommunicating a lot. For instance, him sitting in the car when you went in probably seemed to him like he *was* there for you.
What would happen if you *were* a little more high maintenance? If he's telling you he loves you and doesn't want you to leave, and you're saying you are the "opposite" of high maintenance (which was stated in passive voice, by the way), I suspect he might be confused and you may have an expectation of him to read your mind.
Try TELLING him specifics of what you want. "When I go to the doctor Thursday, I want you to come in with me and hold my hand during the appointment." "I understand that you're tired and that wrapping presents isn't appealing to you, but I'm not overjoyed with it either. Please postpone going to bed for just 15 minutes so I don't feel dumped on."
I’m so sorry to hear that you are so unhappy in your marriage. I know that marriages can have a toll on both spouses, and marriages in general are bound to run into periods of distance and unconnectedness. I see you tried counseling but did you stop seeing a therapist or counselor altogether? I recommend you continue to seek counseling even if it’s just once a month and even when things are good with you. Have you tried communicating with your husband, letting him know what you are feeling and what you’re thinking? After such a long marriage, communication could fizzle so maybe it’s time you take the initiative to make that connection again. In any case, I wish you the best on your life and marriage. I’m sure an answer and a silver lining is just around the corner, after all you’ve managed to make the marriage work for 18 years.Save My Marriage
From what you have said it does not sound as if your husband is happy either. As others have said try and get him to agree to make a little quality time for you as a couple. I know that it is hard to do when you have a big family (my wife and I have 5), your husband works long hours (farm work never stops) and the household chores seem never ending.
There is one question I would like to ask, has your husband got a fear / phobia about the medical profestions? (unable to go on his own / accopany you).
Some hints My wife and I found worked for us when we had got stuck in a rut.
Agree with the olderkids that they will babysit the younger ones 1 evening a month to allow you and your husband to have some mum & dad time. it does not have to be an expensive meal out or go to a show, maybe just the picture or even a walk in the park / picnic if the weather is nice.
Both try and remember to say "thank you" to your partner when they do something for you. if a big job needs doing (Christmas wrapping is a big job in our house) then suggest that you help each other with it (If i wrap these can you write the cards / gift lables).
If you are unsure / not confident about starting this conversation with your husband is there a trusted friend / family mamber / minister you could go to in confidence for reasurance.