I am 43 years old and have been with my husband for 20 years.
We have always had a great relationship and I have adored him and considered him the love of my life and have always had great chemistry with him, always! We have been compatible in every way. We have 3 kids, the youngest is 17... and just an all around great marriage. I have never thought about divorce and have always just known that we will be togehter for life. I respect him, he's a great dad, my best friend.. I have always felt so in love with him, even after 15, 16, 17 years.. until about a year ago.
So, what's the problem? Lately I feel blah toward him. Over the last year I have slowly lost interest in him. What has changed in the last year? Only the most wonderful thing, he has quit smoking! This is awesome and I'm so proud of him for it, but he went from being in decent shape to gaining 40 pounds in the process. I can't imagine I'm that shallow to not find him attractive anymore but that is the only thing I can think of that has really changed between us. Well, that and he snores like crazy now because of his weight and as a result, we have been sleeping in separate bedrooms so that I can actually sleep, his snoring is so darned loud it keeps me up. We're not angry, he moved to the other bedroom for me so that I could get sleep.
I'm worried about his health due to the weight and I just don't enjoy sex with him anymore, also because of the weight. This sounds so shallow, I know - but it's how I feel.
I have gone from missing him when he's not home, thinking about him and being excited when he comes home to not caring one way or another. I'm not mad at him, we don't fight, it's just - blah.. seems like there are just no emotions for him other than general caring and friendship. I just feel this huge disconnect from him and it's coming from me.
I thought maybe this is a mid-life crisis for me but I'm not depressed, not bored, I don't feel that I'm getting old, not unhappy with myself or feeling like the best years are behind me. I like my life just fine and still feel good about myself, I have a great family and wonderful friends. I have a part time job, I stay active, good all around life.
I have no major complaints and I feel blessed.. but I can't help feeling badly that these loving feelings toward my wonderful husband have just seemed to leave... just gone!
I don't want to be married to anyone else, don't have any guy I'm interested in and have never been interested in anyone else.. don't want a divorce. I want my happy marriage back. I want my loving feelings back.
Could this be hormonal? I am not in menapause..I just don't understand why I am feeling this way.
I know I can't be the only one..
Any ladies out there who have been in this boat? Looking for any advice. I'm even thinking of seeing a marriage counselor
on my own as my poor husband doesn't have a clue as to why things have changed and I don't know what to tell him as I don't understand it myself!
He deserves to know what's up. Get counseling, set goals together. One and five years with dates to review them and edit them. Make getting healty together fun. Take a weekend away for honest and emotional discussion on how you both feel. Try something new in the bedroom. You can fall in love again. Fight for your marriage and family. Good luck.
Is there anyway you would feel brave enough to show him your post? Because that might well be a start?
I don't think the problem is all you. Your husband changed the rules of your marriage and this has affected the way you see him.
40lb weight gain over a year is a helluva jump and it's no wonder that you've changed the way that you look at him. He needs to get into shape and he needs to start looking after himself.
I personally don't think you're being shallow, this is about your self-esteem and the way having a husband who was 40lb lighter made you feel.
All of this feeds into your emotional life and your physical life and because you don't find him emotionally exciting, you don't find him sexually attractive and vice versa.
You've ended up in separate beds for the most part and so you feel as though he is not only absent from your life on an emotional level, but also on a real physical level.
I'd seriously tune him into how you're feeling. If he loves you and is ready to fight for your marriage, he'll get moving and start listening to what you're saying to him. He might be hurt and unhappy if you show him your post, but he'll get over it and start to work at saving your marriage.
And to you, if you think anything of your marriage, then you have to take responsibility for your feelings and let him know how you're feeling. You're at a crossroads and you have to take this seriously and tell him how you feel or things could get worse for your marriage.
Thank you for your replies. He certainly knows what's up.. well, I mean he completely gets that my feelings are changing as we have talked about it. I have told him how concerned I am over his weight for health reasons. I have not come right out and said it's unattractive to me but focus more on the whole health part but he knows that sex is not so great .. without getting into details, the big stomach has certainly gotten in the way.
When you have had a great sex life for 20 years, it is certainly obvious when that part changes.
He is trying to lose weight and I know it is difficult and I give him so much credit for trying.. at this point, I'm more worried about my non-emotional attitude toward him. I just don't care one way or the other and that is what worries me the most.
Though the 'blah' attitude is only on him.. no where else in my life do I feel so un-emotional about so maybe the whole emotional/physical part really does make a huge difference. It's just a disconnect, is how I can describe it. My head says I need to get that connection back but my emotional part of me doesn't even want to try.
I was just wondering if anyone else had gone through something similar and how they handled it. One of my friends told me that this happens in all relationships and I should feel lucky that I had it good for as long as I did because no one is 'so in love' for 20 years... but I was! I have always adored him! I can't imagine going for years feeling this way and just coasting along. I know the fire burns lower over time in any relationship but to go from a strong roaring fire down to not even a spark, I can't believe that is to be expected.
Thanks though for any thoughts/comments. It's all things to think about. Counseling just might be the way to go because I certainly am not ready to accept this a normal and give up.
Is it possible you are feeling Terribly Guilty about finding yourself struggling with your desire for him (after all these wonderful & blessed years) that you have allowed yourself to become a little "Numb"?
This was my 1st thought.
I agree so much with Mo Simpson post He changed the rules, you are not happy with his weight gain, he is no longer attractive to you, not that Hot husband you longed for & waited for every night.
I have discussed this topic with my husband, we are both thin and he tells me straight up - IF I gained alot of weight, he may still LOVE me, but he can not say he would still "DESIRE" me, he even said he was not sure he would even want to have sex with me !! And I respect that , even if it sounds shallow, that is something I must do FOR HIM to keep ourselves attracted to one another.
It simply matters to some people. Maybe that makes some of us Shallow!! I don't know. But it is what it is.
Or maybe it is more than that - Only YOU KNOW.
When did this Feeling start?
One thing to smile about is >>>> He is working on getting the weight off, for his health , for the marraige. Allow yourself to dream again, work out with him daily, go on dates.
Do this: collect a bunch of pictures of you & him, scan them into your computer, find your favorite love song(s) ( I started a post about Love songs on another board) -then put these all together in a Movie Maker video (I had this software on my computer- every easy to use) and it will just MELT your heart when you play it back, all those precious memories of the 2 of you- will FLOOD you with emotions. He will be moved also.
If it is enough weight to be a health issue, you have reason for concern. Beyond that, it is probably just about you--that you see him as a reflection of your own attractiveness, and you don't feel good about yourself when he does not appear "hot." If you don't feel good about yourself, it's hard to feel desire. Maybe get some counseling to figure out why you attach your self esteem to his appearance. Get him to work out so at least he's not suffering health consequences--one can be "overweight" and otherwise healthy, but once one is in the "obese" category, which is 20% or more of one's "ideal" weight, health risks are inevitable.
The snoring may well be related to sleep apnea, so get him checked for that. It's dangerous for a number of reasons.
Just tell him the truth. AND be willing to HELP him do something about it by taking up a sport together so he can get healthy again. Or join a gym together.
Go to marriagebuilders.com and print out the Love Buster and Emotional Needs questionnaires. Each of you fill them out and give to each other. It will help you see how to better your marriage specifically.
Also, you have to work at this. You have to keep looking for ways to keep your marriage fresh. You should be spending 15 hours a week together aside from chores or kids or tv - are you? Hours that are fun and interesting and keep you in love with each other. Dates, sports, day trips, museums, classes...there are a million things out there you can do together that will rekindle your feelings for each other. For the REAL him - the personality, not the body. But you have to spend the time together for that to work.
First of all - know that you are not alone. So many couples go through this kind of thing and it's not impossible to work through. Not only does the relationship naturally change over time - but so do individuals within it!
I can see that the weight is really bothersome - perhaps you can encourage him to exercise with you. Tell him you're concerned about his health, which is true!
When I work with couples in this situation, sometimes it can be helpful to revisit what brought you two together in the first place and take a "walk down memory lane" so to speak. From what I can tell, you two aren't experiencing a lot of conflict and major issues which is great - further increasing the chance that all this can be sorted through.
I wonder if you two do things together like you once did, are nurturing the friendship. These things can be re-sparked which in turn can lead to re-ignition in the bedroom too.
Perhaps you don't communicate much about what your needs are and that area can use some work - regardless, your idea of marriage counseling is a good one.
Thanks everyone for your great replies and suggestions/opinions! You've all given me a lot to think about.
I did talk to my husband today and told him I wanted to get counseling.. not that he has to go, but I'd like to go. I assured him that I want to get back what we had and am not looking for a way out. I want to be married, and to him, but I want us to reconnect as a couple. He is willing to do what it takes and he actually agreed to take the marriagebuilders.com questionnaires with me. That was a shocker as he is never into that kind of thing.. getting into emotions and deeper discussion.
We're going to do as it says and do these separately and then go over our answers. Just his willingness to do this is a big plus for me as he doesn't typically care for that kind of thing.
I had not seen that marriagebuilders site before. Looks like there is a ton of good information there!
I feel we at least have somewhere to start and have more hope. Thank you!
jtzpto... i have to say after reading your post our marriages are soooo much alike. ok mine never smoked but always mid weight and nice head of hair. we were married 22 years... and 6 teen daughters and i never not loved him till 2 years ago...? and i still love him but like you there is the blah.. i am going to be 42 this year and things started to change @ 40 for us... he is 5 years older than myself.
ok... he started his own business and i do love him and he is great at what he does work wise.. but money not so much, he gained weight said not time for gym... likes your around the same amount and in odd places... and then he started loosing his hair right at the top (horse shoe) and yes i am growing older to but... i that not total issue. he asked me about his hair i said cut it shorter around the edges and keep top more clean (looks like baby fuzz) any way he went and shaved it all off??? why ask me.
anyway... he has high blood pressure due to weight gain and well sex?? what is that? the meds really don't help. lots of people owe him money and that also is stress ful.. talking to some one well that is just dumb and a waist of money.
what i am saying it is not you.... but it is to.... he did change the rules and if your like me it snow balled and i lost lots of stuff i liked and yes he knows it and yes he says he is working on it but he has commented maybe he should get a girl that wants the him now???
i started walking with him (did not last long) i still walk, i started wii sports and girls and him it was fun (lasted 2 weeks) me and girls still playing 1 hr at least every night (i love the boxing it is great work out) i am still trying and if anything i am finding or re finding things i like to do with the girls (we did a board game over the past weekend have not done that since they turned into teens, he would not join>>>)
my daughter told us she is going to make us grandparents and he not happy at all.... one more thing he will not be part of
good luck, just know your not alone, if that helps at all
This is an interesting thread. Last July I was unhappy with my weight. My own negative feelings about my self image was impacting my sex life with my husband. I felt ugly and undesirable. My husband very gently said that this concerned him and we both set out a diet plan that we would do together. He was very encouraging. End result is that I went from a Size 14 to a Size 8 and I'm feeling very good about myself and our sex life is quite fantastic! So it could be just a simple matter of your husband losing some weight to "pick things up" in your marriage.
Don't feel guilty about how you feel because it's quite natural to feel this way. Heck, if my husband gained 40lbs I probably wouldn't find him as attractive and it would effect our sex life for sure. It is very common for those of us in our 40s to gain this kind of weight. Just about everyone I know has gained quite a bit of weight but the problem is, they decided to live with it (and wear a wardrobe of sweatpants) instead of making the commitment to take it off. I have to admit that I'm a bit vain and that helped me decide to do something about it and am SO glad I did! Your husband can do it too!
I think that if you haven't already, you should definitely tell your husband that his added weight as effected your desire for him and reassure him that you are both in this together and you will work with him to help get the weight off.
The ironic thing is that your husband stopped smoking to be healthier and now he is endangering his health by being overweight. I don't know what your weight is but you might want to go on a diet/exercise regimen together and both get in shape. Then he'll feel like he has support and a partner because losing 40lbs isn't easy. You will both be invested in this and it will help bring you closer.
Notice that I keep using the word "diet". Most have mentioned "exercise" but unless you STOP taking the calories in you won't lose eight. Exercise is great for keeping fit and toning up your muscles but it WILL NOT lose weight alone. If you are taking in 4000 calories a day, unless you are training for the olympics, exercise is not going to make difference. You need to DIET as well.
My diet plan was very simple. I take in 1000-1100 calories/day and I work out 45 minute/5 days a week. That's it and it WORKS. My husband lost 50lbs a few years ago doing this very thing. He went from 250lbs to 200lbs (He's 6'5"). He told me what I needed to do.
You can diet without the exercise but I like working out too. But exercise without the diet won't take the pounds off. Count your calories and do a nice workout a few days a week and it WILL happen. If you both do this together your husband won't feel like he's in it alone.
The next thing I recommend is that your husband and you do some fun things together. Plan a date each weekend that involves something fun together. Just don't go out to dinner..at least at first. Now that I've been on my diet for 8 months I do "treat" myself to a good meal once a week but basically I try and keep to 1000-1200 calories/day. I've pretty much resigned myself to doing this for the rest of my life, but believe me it's worth it! I feel great and so will your husband. Good luck!
I have been through a similar situation. Here is what I learned about myself.
It's not necessarily the physical changes in your spouse that are disturbing. It's the lack of concern about the relationship that it represents. What I explained to my husband is that his lack of effort to take care of himself is like saying he doesn't care about US. It's hard to feel intimate toward someone who you perceive as uncaring.
Tell him how you feel.
Dont' get me wrong, the weight is an issue. Sex with someone who is heavy can be down right uncomfortable and a turn off. YOu can't really help how you feel about that. And to some degree, to keep the intimacy between the two of you, you kinda have to grin and bear it.. but be honest about it.
OP, consider yourself lucky on 2 counts.
One, no one is bashing you for being shallow, which happens almost immediately if you were a man.
Second, your husband's weight gain was quick, so it is easy to identify and talk about. It is also fairly easy to lose if he is commited to doing it. 40ishteach is right. The weight is secondary to the real issue which is you feel that he doesn't care enough about you to keep himself fit for you. If he were to really try to lose the weight (get a personal trainer, see a nutritionist) and lose a few pounds, you would fall in love with him for trying.
My wife gained 5+ lb each year over 20 years. That's worse because when is it okay to say enough. When is it shallow vs. when is it okay to be turned off by the weight. She is trying to lose it now, but she has a lot of weight to lose that she has been holding on to for a long time. The longer you hold the weight, the tougher it is to lose it. But I am more attracted to her since she got serious about trying to lose it than I was for the 10+ years that she was (and still is) really overweight.
Freak is right exercise without a diet will not work.
My H quit smoking, cold turkey, 11 yrs ago this January. He did gain a few pounds but nothing excessive. He snored horribly when he smoked, but hasn't since he quit. H has been watching what he eats for several years with little or no results for his efforts. He didn't start seeing real results until he started doing the P90X workout about 6 mos ago. He lost 20 lbs within two months and now looks/feels better than he has in years. When he's home (gone 3 weeks at a time for work), we do the workouts together. H says this encourages him to keep at it. So I think if you're willing to do whatever it is he chooses to do, it will make him feel like you're both in this together.