Man in lonely marriage...

blane59June 8, 2010

How to begin... I am 50 year old married man. My wife is 46. We have been together for 17 years and married 14. We have a beautiful daughter who is going to be 12 soon. Like so many others, my marriage looks very solid from the outside. My wife and I have a beautiful home and we both have good jobs. We have no money problems. For the most part we get along very well. We really don't argue at all. The issue is intimacy, or actually the lack thereof. In the past 8 years, we have been intimate twice. For the longest time, the major factor in that was that my daughter insisted on sleeping with us in our bed. My wife and I discussed this many times, but never broke the cycle. If my daughter did sleep in her own bed, it was because my wife would go to bed with her and fall asleep with her. Then, about 2 years ago my wife lost her job. She was out of work for about a year and a half. She was very depressed and I tried to support her the best I could. She has since found a good job and my daughter is finally sleeping in her own bed.

Throughout the past 8 years, I have always tried to show my wife that I love her. I never go out at night with friends, we always do things together as a family. I still try and show her the little things like telling her I love her, hugging her, touching her. I think I do my share of things around the house... I do maintenance on the cars, all the yard work, I do 90% of the cooking, I get my daughter up for school and take her and usually pick her up from school, I do my own laundry. I try and support her in every way I can. I talk to her about her day at work. I am 100% invested in my daughter and her future. I think I am a husband that most women would want.

My wife just won't or can't show any affection. And I don't mean just sex. I would kill to at least have her roll over in bed at night and hold me. Don't get me wrong, I know she loves me. She does things for me that show me she does. But, the lack of at least the little affectionate things is killing me. We used to have a very close affectionate life together. I know that having our daughter had a profound effect on my wife, but that was almost 12 years ago.

I know we need to talk about it, but I really don't know how to start that conversation with her. Its been so long and it seems we have both just accepted this as our marriage. I am so lonely. Its like living with a room mate that I share a child with. I have gotten to the point where I need to do something. I have thought about an affair, just to be with someone to make me feel wanted. But that would be so empty. I have also thought about leaving my marriage, but my daughter is my whole world. I can't take so much away from her. I feel so trapped. I don't want to resent my wife, but I am 50 and I feel that if I don't do something now, it will be too late. I just want to be happy with someone in my life and share myself in the way I haven't been able to for a long time.

I know that the answers to my life aren't here, but I just can't keep this inside anymore. I just need someone to talk to I guess....

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Well Blane you do sound very lonely and you do need someone to talk to. I also think you are very patient. To put up with the child in your bed for so many years, is really not an ideal situation.

Perhaps you and your wife should go and see a marriage counsellor ?

Having a child does change your life..I have had two ! But before the child was a marriage and you both need to focus on those times. Children grow up and leave home, then you have the quiet home...where it is just the two of you. Planning for that time is crucial if you are both going to be happy together.

You do sound like a nice chap and I wish you well.

You have taken the right step seeking help and asking for advice.

All the best to you and your family

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 6:33PM
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agree with popi, please see a counselor. if she refuses to go together, go see someone on your own, it could really help you to sort things out. please do not seek affairs, it won't solve anything. i wish you the best...not seeing any affection from your loved ones is very detrimental to your emotional well-being and your self-esteem. hopefully you see a good counselor and they help you to sort it out.

PS children are important, but i don't think staying together for the sake of the kids is worth it. i don't think kids really need their parents to be miserable. life is too short. being single is better than suffer for that many years.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 6:52PM
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I can tell you right now you need to talk to her about it even if you don't know how. My husband was not an affectionate person and I had to watch him shower affection on every other woman in the family and especially his daughters. I was not on the receiving end of it unless I got upset enough to cry. If he had been my first husband I would not have stayed married to him. With a second marriage I learned to lay down the rose colored glasses and accept my husband as he is. I learn to dwell on the good qualities he had instead of on the ones that bothered me. My marriage was worse than yours, along with his coldness he was very critical of me. I stopped his verbal complaints, but could not stop the looks he gave me. And you definitely need to stop the child from sleeping with you both. If her friends found that out she would never have any peace. I wonder if your wife lets it happen so you can't make love.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 7:26PM
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Your first clue should have been the child in your marital bed indefinitely. You should have broken that cycle 11 years ago. Can't imagine why you tolerated that so long. However, this may be an entree to that conversation you're so reluctant to have. Now that your wife has a job again and the daughter's out of your bed her cover is blown.

She already knows this conversation is coming. Why make her wait?

My guess is you won't be happy with the result. She'll pull something else out of the hat as a reason to avoid you. With all her previous excuses gone, now, I suspect she's thought up a few new ones to use if/when you finally compel her to engage in this conversation.

I agree with those who recommend marriage counseling. If you try this on your own with the woman you described, she'll wrap you up with a bow on top.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 12:32AM
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You sound like a nice, caring man in a cold marriage. Please seek out a counselor you are comfortable with, even if your wife won't go. If she doesn't care enough about your marriage to get help with you, you will have to face that fact and go on with your life.

An affair won't help things. On the contrary it will make a huge mess. The time to have a relationship with someone else is if your marriage doesn't work out and you end it.

Your daughter will be fine with or without the marriage. It's your love for her that counts, and how much time you invest being involved in her life.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 10:47PM
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Deja vu - we seem to be hearing this same situation a lot. What surprises me is that people wait so long to talk to their spouses about it.

Let's say you had a pain in your side or the car was making funny noises; would you wait years to see what's wrong? Don't you want this fixed?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 8:01PM
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Sounds like the emotional intimacy has been neglected along with the physical... And yes, you two do need to talk about it. It could be that's as hard for your wife to admit and discuss as it apparently has been for you. And it could be she's feeling as lonly and sad about it as you are. Or, maybe she's stone-cold-furious about something, and is withholding sex and affection for that reason. (She may not even be aware of it.) Or that she's scared you don't find her attractive anymore. Or this. Or that... So many possibilities.

I'd suggest you 'court' her all over again. Make plans for your daughter to spend the night with a friend, then take your wife out to a romantic dinner. Gaze into her eyes and tell her you love her. Tell her how much she means to you, and how much your family means to you, and that you would like to enrich your marriage again and recapture the romance you two once shared. See what she has to say and follow her lead.

It may take a little while to work back up to full marital relations, but it can certainly happen if you're willing to take some emotional risks and open yourself up to the possibility of being hurt.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 5:16PM
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I agree with sweeby, break the ice and bring up the subject, she might be feeling the same way as you are but doesn't know how to fix it.

Sometimes , what is not said weighs more than what is said; at least you'll know where you stand.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 12:34PM
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It is really not good to have such a response from spouse after so many efforts. Any way I think you may go to a good one therapist. That can guide you well. You may also let your daughter out of home for some days.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 3:35AM
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