My husband and I have been married for 7 years this past August, but we have been together for 12 years. Four years ago, we had an adorable little boy. We own our own business that was started 3 years ago and I am a stay at home mom.
We have had a hard couple of months that seemed like everything was just against us. My parents almost got a divorce, his brother almost got a divorce, we struggled on looking for a new house (bought one finally), currently remodeling the kitchen.
Two weeks ago, my husband said he is LOST and doesn't know what he wants in his life. He has no hobbies anymore. He feels like he just goes to work and comes home. He wants to go out and hang out with his friends and do what he wants. He said that he wants to be by himself for awhile to FIND himself.
He said that he doesn't find me attractive anymore, but he doesn't understand why because I am looking better than I have for a couple of years. (I gained a lot of weight after the pregnancy and I am now working out and losing weight. ) Hearing him say that hurts so bad. He has also gained a lot of weight during the years.
He also has lied to me. He went to a football game with his family about a month ago. He had to drop off his uncle in Tampa. I started getting worried because HOURS were passing by and he wasn't home yet. I called him and he told me he was really tired and decide to pull over at a store to wake up and fell asleep. Well, I told him that it sounded fishy (he is not a good lier). He told me that he went to a furniture store that I liked and that he was going to surprise me with a new dining room table, but he couldn't remember which one I liked. Well, during our talk this past two weeks, he told me he had lied to me about going to the furniture store. He went to a strip club. I normally don't care if he goes to them as long as he tells me. But he LIED to me. He said he felt guilty that he is having fantasies about other women and that he is not attracted to me anymore. He said joking to me that maybe I should let him try to get some from someone else, just so he could be shot down and then he might not feel this way anymore.
I don't agree with divorce, but I think that is what he wants. He wants his freedom. He said he will try to make our marriage work for our son. But it is killing me to be in a marriage where he doesn't want me. We have a hard time talking to each other right now. I just want to cry, but I have to be strong for my son.
He told me Sunday night that he knows that he is ruining our marriage. He just doesn't know why. He has fought depression his whole life, but doesn't want to go to a doctor for it. He says he is very unhappy in life and our marriage is boring. I have been trying. Bought some sexy lingerie, toys and made a romantic fun evening. He said the intimacy part he liked, but most of it did nothing for him (the sex).
He told me that he sees me as the mother to his son and thats about it.
It just hurts so much that the man I love does love me anymore.
Odds are, the way he is feeling now isn't new. He simply hit what I refer to as Threshold.
Basically sounds to me like you both stopped trying. You get caught up in the day to day routine of your life together and completely and utterly neglect your marriage.
Certainly sounds like he is under a tremendous amount of stress. We like to think that our relationship with our spouse would be an oasis of support and means of reducing that stress. If instead, the marriage is simply another stress contributor, then I hope you can see how this entire process becomes a vicious cycle.
You mentioned something telling. How was your sex life? Regardless of what people either say or think, one of the best barometers for the health of a marriage remains what is or isn't going on in the bedroom.
You don't want to hear this, but for some reason he does not feel that you allow him the freedom to do what he wants. He wants to go to a strip club. Why does he have to lie? He wants to go out with his friends. Is there any reason he can't do that?
My advice to you is to google five love languages. See if you can identify yours, but more importantly see if you can identify his. If you can identify his, you can start speaking it to him, making deposits in his love bank. A change from you may be what is needed to turn the whole love ship around.
You are the only one who can be responsible for change. SOMEONE has to lead the change of dynamic. You can wait around to see if he will, but you have no control there.
Best of luck to you..
PS. One thing that sticks out at me, if a kitchen remodel is stressing your marriage, it is a minor indicator to me that your priorities might be out of whack, Kitchen remodels are almost universally optional.
You know what reminds me of a male in a marriage? A domesticated cat.
I look at a domesticated cat and they sit and stare out the window. . .dreaming of a time when they used to prowl, when they were more in touch with their base instinct. But they know they have it good in here. . .it's warm and they are fed. . .but only if I could go out and prowl about! The funny thing is, if the owners let the cat go out and prowl, they'd be amazed what little it took to make the cat happy.
Ah, your story made me think of a cat, not sure why.
I am sorry for your pain.
Related to that story, all your husband may need to do is "prowl" a bit. . .I don't know him but it's not like he probably needs to go bed other women to get his "prowling fix", thus his venture into the strip club. He felt the rush of freedom when he went into the strip club.
If it's in your heart, I would consider having a talk where you can grant him some freedom to "prowl" - it may be as harmless as a hunting trip every 3 months.
He may be feeling domesticated right now and once he prowls a bit, he may warm back up to you.
I just went through this with my ex-gf. . .she was great. . .had me warm and well-fed but then I realized I was losing my freedom, having to be answerable to her, going from a wife to a gf. I freaked out and dropped her.
The funny thing was, like the cat, I didn't need much to make me happy. I told her I wanted freedom to go fish with my son if he called me up on a whim and free to cancel plans with her if he called up. It's ugly but that's the male thinking - freedom.
Owning a male is like owning a cat. . .we'll come to you for affection on our time. We'll set the parameters of the relationship. We want to do our own thing. We are not like dogs, constantly craving affection and companionship, even though we do love you.
I heard the best quote:
"Cat may very well be man's best friend but doesn't want to admit it."
Looks as though I am alone here too but I think your husband is a putz who thinks there's something better out there when everything he desires is right in front of him. He's not a freaking cat or even a dog. He's a jerk. Place ground rules and if he doesn't follow them get him out. He will come back or he won't.
Either way you'll have a chance at the life you deserve that he's screwing up.
While your analogy is entertaining, I think it is way off base and a tad insulting. So as a wife if my husband wants to go out and prowl I should just go along with it for fear that like a cat, he would act destructively and put up a fight? I agree with Trenton, if he wanted to do that, he is free to go. The door will not be open when he returns.
And your ultimatum (the door won't be open when he gets back) actually gets at the heart of my first story. Put that ultimatum on your cat, and he indeed may capitulate, and sit by the window, knowing how well-fed and warm he is in there. . .indeed. . .you won on the moral point. . .but is that the point?
You want a well-fed and fat and sad cat?
Or do you want a happy cat?
Again, in the same breath, I am suggesting that it doesn't take much in the way of making your cat happy if you give him some prowling time.
I really doubt the average cat wants to go out and have wild orgies at the strip club.
Now. . .that being said, I re-read the first post and if he is battling depression, that's another animal altogether. He needs to come to realize that a marriage can't be 100% exciting from beginning to end (and whew! neither should it be. . .sometimes I want boring).
I agree with you on the "Grass is Greener" thing but perhaps you need to let him go about and about and prowl on the in the other pasture for him to come to realize it ain't any greener over there.
Again, I am not suggesting an open marriage and letting him go have an affair. . .but perhaps a gift of saying,
"I sense you need freedom. Other than giving you free reign to bang another woman, because I couldn't deal with that, is there any other way I could grant you some freedom?"
A. He'll tell her a way.
B. He'll tell her that he wants to be able to bang other women. If that's the case he needs to be informed. . .no matter how much he wants to, he just can't. That's marriage and grow up.
The cat analogy is almost right on -- except that domesticated cats often like being domesticated. They just miss their days of freedom. Your husband might even be thankful to have his marriage (the mother of his son), but his problem is that he feels like his life doesn't belong to him anymore.
Your long, stable marriage has taken the thrill of living away from your husband. Notice I didn't say you took away that thrill. Chances are that you're feeling it too. I.e., have you never wished for a new crush? That's ordinary, except that people don't know what to do about it.
Don't nag your husband or give him ultimatums. Denying him the strip clubs won't work one bit. This will only exacerbate the problem (that his life doesn't belong to him).
Kudos to you for trying to screw him out of his funk. Don't give up on that, but put it on pause.
If you want him to feel alive, then you need to make him feel like he's got something to chase. I recommend telling him that his funk is dragging you down. He *has* to take care of his Eeyore-style melancholy and fattening. Tell him to get a gym membership.
At the same time, give him time alone to do guy stuff -- AND NO JUDGMENT. I don't are if he buys an xbox, goes to a strip club, buys season baseball tickets. As long as he doesn't have sex with anyone else, give him free rein. (BTW: studies show that when men are aroused by strange women, they are also more attracted to their wives/girlfriends/LTRs. Meaning: if he gets horny at a strip club, he'll come home lusting for you.)
Do the same thing for yourself.
Eventually (you'll be surprised how fast), doing what he wants with his own time -- alone -- will grow old. And he'll begin trying to entice you out of your solitude. I.e., he'll court you.
That's when you break out the lingerie again and demand a good, solid pounding. Compliment his progress at the gym during the afterglow. If he feels like he's picked you up all over again, his passion and your marriage will be saved.
I married a man, not a freaking cat. If he wants to act like a tom cat, then he shouldn't have asked me to marry him.
Yeah, every married woman dreams of her husband sporting wood for some other woman and then coming home to take care of it with their wives. Gosh, the romance! And then I should whisper sweet nothings into his ear after he just screwed me while thinking of others. Wow.
I am guessing that the same rules would apply to the wife then? She can go out at any time she wants, lie about her whereabouts, hide things, get hot and horny/wet for somebody else, come home and the husband should just be cool with that? No judgements, right? Would that be okay with either of you two?
I am not sure how many times I have to say this - you are making this strip club thing about sex and I'd lay 10:1 odds on this that it is not about sex, that he is getting "wood" for another woman and then wanting to release in his wife, using her as a non-romantic cum-dump.
News flash - every time the wind blows I get wood.
You don't have to be so complimented or so insulted that I would get wood for another woman. That's called being a guy and having testosterone.
I am just saying she senses he needs freedom, that he is scratching at the door to get out.
Maybe it's as simple as wanting to take a crap in another place besides the kitty litter box.
All we are saying is, if he is scratching to get out of the door, maybe she should let him out and his "prowling" won't be as bad as you make it out to be.
All I wanted to do was going fishing with my son when he asks, the horrible Tom Cat I am.
But go ahead - natter, nag and issue ultimatums. Guys like that. Doesn't matter to me.
BTW, I will be expecting a thanks from the Ladies who enter the Men's Clubhouse on how rare and what a privledge it is for women to partake in the innerworkings of the guy's circle, to peer in and gain insight into the simple psychology of men.
Guy's guys like BigBadWolf, Mem, and myself are not usually this generous.
In that, I am sure any of you will feel privledged to bring me and my friends some of those Delicious looking Cookies and a few beers for my male friends here.
You can just leave it in the can of course. Meanwhile, you ladies can talk amongst yourself in the kitchen.
**Quickly dawns St. Paulie Girl outfit and serves up beer to Scanner**
Scanner, I have told you often that I value your opinion. No need for hostility towards me. I was trying to convey a message that would it be okay for the woman in the relationship to prowl as well?
**Cookies will be done in 10 minutes. Another 10 to ice them, okay?**