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View Full Version : really needing some advice...not sure exactly where this belongs?


sib
12-03-2011, 06:38 PM
Hi all! I've been really struggling over the last six months with my relationship with my husband. We've been married for a little over a year, together about four. Prior to that, I was in a three year relationship (my only real "adult" long-term relationship)...this three year one was with a great guy, but he was SO smothering, jealous, and took money from me_-I felt like I was more of a mother figure than a partner, and I was pretty stuck in ED ways, but finally realized I did not need to continue the relationship just because I felt bad for ending it. I turned thirty that year, and decided I would embark on a "who am I" time of being single and working on myself, etc. etc. Well, I met my (now husband) a month after that. He swept me off my feet. he was independent, seemed to manage money better, not clingy (if anything, aloof), and it was a breath of fresh air. We moved in together about six months later, and about year into it we had our first "do we split up?" fight. The issues were mainly that he never thinks I clean the house well enough (kind of compulsive), and I don't feel he is affectionate (he is not). He basically said "I am who I am, like it or leave me", and I loved him and wanted it to work, so I stayed in it.

We bought a house, got engaged, got married...throughout this time I was really struggling with some depression and ED stuff, and prior to getting married I had some serious doubts, but brushed them away, talked myself out of it, figured "I'm thirty-three, maybe this is what I'm supposed to do", and we got married. Mind you, he is a great man, but he is NOT affectionate or emotionally available AT ALL. Financially he is NOT as responsible as I had realized, and I had a conversation with him this summer about how I need us to talk about our joint finances and come up with a plan. He blew up in anger and could not tolerate this. I have been standing up more for myself with how much housework, etc. I do (I was doing all of it--now asking for help), and we have not been intimate in over a year and a half--partially it was me initially (body image stuff, no libido), but I've gone off my anti-depressants (doing GREAT!) and even if we dont' have SEX, I still need hugs, kisses, affection, etc. and there is none. He has a pretty sad history of not getting what he needed from his parents, so I understand comnpletely why he is how he is...but now I am realizing who I AM, and what I NEED...I feel like I am just NOW coming into myself...I am thirty-four and I DON'T want to live my life being unhappy, but I don't want to give up on a marriage I committed to...I told him that I think we should get therapy, as we are really stuck--he teases and can be mean to me, I really don't tell him anything, and feel like I walk on eggshells--, and he initially said no, and asked if I had thought about leaving him, and I said that I hadn't come up with a plan, but that I WON'T be unhappy for the rest of my life. I feel horrible that I feel I am asking him to change (not trying to, just asking US to change how WE are together), and I knew who he was when I married him, but there's a big part of me that worries that maybe we just are trying to make something work that won't? he does not feel anything is wrong and said he will never leave me. I am feeling stronger than I ever have before, but I still feel myself questioning my feelings, like "it isn't really THAT bad" and "it's not like he beats you" and feeling very selfish for all of this....I guess I am just looking for some feedback, from others who maybe have been there or some guidance about what to do? I love him dearly, but I also have to love myself (trying to!), be true to my feelings, and do what I need to do, right? I'm hoping that the couples work will help us clarify what direction to go in and maybe help us communicate better..man this stuff is so hard...thanks for reading and for whatever insights you might have!! :love sib

pantherr
12-03-2011, 07:43 PM
Hm wow. I can't say I've experienced anything remotely like this, since I'm only twenty and have never had a relationship that lasted more than six months. But I have to say that I commend you and respect you for speaking up about what it is that you want - because you do deserve to be happy (not just passable or 'fine'). The intimacy thing is tricky since it sounds like he's not a very physically affectionate person. How would he react if you told him when you needed a hug? Maybe he just doesn't realize how much you need that from him in that kind of moment unless you tell him.
As for counseling, I think that is a great option and you'd both have a lot to gain from it. Really to me it sounds like he not only has intimacy issues, but he would rather bury his head in the sand and pretend nothing is wrong. And it's invalidating that he thinks nothing is wrong when you are telling him point blank that there is something you want to work on. If I were you, I would find a nice way to insist on this. It doesn't have to be so polar - either everything's fine or you're leaving him - this is just about making your marriage better like you said. Does he know about the ED stuff?
I am sorry that you're having trouble with this. But again I want you to know that you are worthy of being happy, whether that is with your husband or by yourself.

ducksquack
12-03-2011, 07:49 PM
I'm hoping that the couples work will help us clarify what direction to go in and maybe help us communicate better..man this stuff is so hard

Marriage is hard work and I believe it takes two people
willing to work on making it better on a constant basis
not just when there are problems.

I agree that there is no point in being unhappy the rest
of your life. Communication is required from both of you.

You both have needs and you both have issues. Its up
to each of you to look at what needs to change and then
decide if you both are in agreement and then work on
making it happen.

What do you need to work on? What are your needs?
What do you see him needing to work on?

Marriage is a team of equals.

god bless.

sib
12-03-2011, 10:52 PM
Hi pantherr and ducksquack! thanks for your responses, I appreciate it! Yes, my husband does know of my ED, and I have been in therapy individually since prior to us meeting--I believe he also has some body image issues--works out compulsively and doesn't like how he looks which fits into his not wanting to be intimate, which he has told me, and I completely understand--we are cut from the same cloth in many ways! He has also said recently after one of our "talks" about how I really think we have things to work on, that he is "a depressed person" and I can see now that this is what I think underlies a lot of his stuff (and that he was raised by completely unaffectionate people who didn't really know themselves how to teach him interpersonal skills or how to be affectionate!) Pantherr, I agree, I do think he "buries his head in the sand" and doesn't want to see there is a problem. I am pretty vocal about my need for affection. I myself have been the one to usually initiate a hug or kiss, and have told him repeatedly that for me, it would be so great if he just came up and gave me a hug, or asked me how I was, or any sort of interest or attention or affection. Whenever I try to have an assertive conversation about money, intimacy, etc. he generally completely shuts down, says "just go ahead and divorce me" and says that he was just raised differently than I was. He has been trying lately, and asks me "am I doing better?" and I say yes, of course, and I appreciate it, but that it is not that he has to "do better" but that we really need to get to the underlying issues that we have as a couple, because right now it is all surface fixing stuff.

I need to work on being assertive, I need to work on still learning about myself and not looking to him to make me happy (which I don't anyways, but sometimes get sad and stuck in that--I don't look to him for much of anything) but being happy in and of myself. I truly worry that we are growing apart and away from each other, and that scares me, since we do have this life we have built, and lots of cats that are our "kids". Oddly enough he is very affectionate with the cats, which lead me, sadly one day to say "can't you just pretend I'm a cat?"...I see him needing to work on his underlying issues with his mother and father--he really has no skills in intimacy or even in being with another person in a relationship I think--not his fault, he just never learned...but he is now an ADULT with a CHOICE about learning...he says at times "that's just how I was raised", but I think of it like if I all of a sudden lost my hearing, would he not try to learn sign language, because he wasn't raised learning sign language? I hope he'd learn!! I also want to learn how best to communicate with him, since I'm sure there are things that I'm doing or not doing that are not helping. I am banking on this counseling helping us, since although things have been "okay" the last few days, I fear it will go back to how it usually is, unless we do something about it.

My needs...I need/want someone to cherish me, to be able to share my hopes, dreams, be silly and goofy and have fun and laugh and get hugs and kisses and feel secure and content and feel really okay to just be me...what I get confused about is how much you are supposed to "compromise" and settle in a marriage and what is realistic? my tendencies with the ED, and my personality, is to be a people pleaser, to put other's needs ahead of mine, and to talk myself out of what my feelings and needs are...I am not sure when I will "know" one way or another, and feel like I'm having a little bit of a mid life crisis...it KILLS me to hurt him--we had quite the tough night the other night and he was in so much pain realizing that I was insisting on therapy and that things were that bad for me...he was just so hurt, and I was shaking and crying, but I held my ground...sometimes I just wish I could be cold-hearted and not care!!

Ducksquack, I like that "marriage is a team of equals"....both the team and the equals part...thank you!! Thank you both! It's good to know that I am not losing my mind....I do have some friends in real time who know about my ED and my "issues" and have given me some good advice too, but I always appreciate hearing from my fishy's who really understand this stuff and can help tease it apart... :love Sib

ducksquack
12-04-2011, 06:08 AM
he just never learned...but he is now an ADULT with a CHOICE about learning...he says at times "that's just how I was raised",

I think you said it so well here.

I know that if I never found recovery I would never have
learned how to make the changes needed in myself.

You are the one who is changing and growing and I see
him needing to do the same or you both will simply grow
more and more apart.

Keep working on yourself tho and remember that you cant
make him want to make changes.

You are doing the right thing.

god bless.