Marriage getting worse - Help!

caligirl002September 3, 2009

I am desperate - My husband and I have been married almost 2 yrs and we are now on the brink of divorce. For some reason our honeymoon period ended quickly. At first it was me working too much - I am in advertising and work a lot. He started to feel neglected and he is very affectionate and needy for physical touch and intimacy. Sometimes I think it stems from some kind of insecurity he has. I don't need physical affection that much at all. Over the year, he has started to whine and pout about not getting affection. It has become very unattractive to me. The more he whines about how "boring" I am because I work too much, the less attractive he is to me and the more I pull away from him.

Now I don't find myself attracted to him at all because it seems like I can do nothing right. I have been showing him a lot of affection lately - Hugging him kissing him touching him all the time- A bit overkill for me - And then when he wanted to be physically intimate he complained that I didn't dress up in lingerie and that I looked too "plain" that night. He said this as I was close to him and cuddling in bed. He said I wasn't cuddling good enough.

I just don't get it. Does anyone have this similar experience? I feel like I can't do anything right anymore, and now I am just subject to his verbal abuse - That I am boring and plain looking... Now he is telling me he wants someone who knows how to "treat" him right. I wish him luck, because a woman would need a full time job just to attend to his every need.


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"I don't need physical affection that much at all."

Why did you bother marrying, then? Did you like it before? Or, did you make him think you did?

"...I looked too "plain" that night. He said this as I was close to him and cuddling in bed. He said I wasn't cuddling good enough."

Real charmer you've got there!

You don't have much time in at this point. If you don't have kids, why not chalk this one up and move on. Appears to me neither one of you get it.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 12:45AM
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I like physical affection, but not being intimate every single day, and hugging 24-7. I feel like I am some freak because I am a woman and am not like this. Perhaps I had enough affection as a child and I am OK now?? Ok wait, now I sound like a shrink :)

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 12:56AM
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I suspect when he started in on "needing" more physical hugging and attention, it was when you'd pretty much just walked in the door from work? A hello and kiss wasn't enough until you at least were able to change out of your work clothes right?
Did it feel like he was a little boy running to the door the minute you got home with his arms upraised begging for mommies attention?
I wouldn't find that attractive either.
And for your info...if and when you do have a child? Well, good luck...because now he'll become even needier and complain that the baby gets more attention than he.
Sound attractive?
Him wanting a performer in bed? Nah, he wants a ho.
And this is just the beginnings of him beating down your self esteem, recognize it for what it is. Because just you watch, nothing you do will satisfy or sate his "neediness".
And I bet within a year that neediness turns to meanness.
I'd be working on figuring out how to move towards getting out of this situation. Because it becomes waaay too difficult to recapture those "lovin" feelings if you don't respect him.
I'm really not an advocate for divorce, but unless you intend to get a whole lot of therapy, the road ahead looks bleak.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 1:02AM
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I'm sure I have no idea how it is between you....or with you, yourself. Not dumping on anybody, just keying on what you described -- which is a significant mismatch.

How were things during courtship? Did they change when you started living together?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 1:05AM
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asolo - yes, they did change when we lived together... after maybe 4 months of living together he noticed i was "working too much" and if i did not spend a 1-2 hours of cuddling/being intimate per night, then he felt neglected. it all started because i did not plan a big giant surprise birthday party for him. every time he has a birthday and i don't plan a big surprise he complains and complains and complains....

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 1:12AM
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deborah - do you speak from direct experience, because what you are saying seems "right on".

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 1:16AM
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Oh, he says that if I do not go out of my way to dress up in lingerie or to look nice that it is obvious that I am not trying enough to make him feel special. I just feel that I am being controlled at this point. First of all, I never dressed up for him when we were dating - I bought a lot of lingerie for him but don't spontaneously put it on a lot.

I don't like being "told" what to do. If he were to just back off a bit, then I would want to naturally want to do these things for him. But just because he is demanding that I do them, I don't want to! I"d rather it be out of my own willingness than just to appease him.. Does this make any sense?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 1:20AM
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Pay attention to Deborah ps....get out of there. You married a problem that you will not be able to fix.

Also, if you don't like physical affection all that much be careful not to allow guys to think you do. Even with a normal guy (which, from your description, this guy isn't) a "reasonable amount" of this will almost always be expected of you. What's "reasonable" depends on the two people. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with you. Just saying don't deceive anyone about it.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 1:24AM
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I'm interested, asolo - Why do you not thing this guy is "normal"? Are you a guy yourself? I am not super super experienced with men - My husband is VERY experienced with women (he has had 20-30 partners in his 20-something life). Although, I have been VERY picky in men my entire life. Just curious.... I am assuming most guys don't demand sex every night or every other night.. For my husband, twice a week is WAY too little... He always tells me that everyone else he knows is having sex much more often that that. WTF, are they not normal working adults?!!!?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 1:35AM
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Yes, I'm male.

If your hubby is so experienced and, as you said, so whiney and demanding, how is it he settled upon little ol' inexperienced you? Doesn't seem to compute. He may consider himself quite a performer after all his "experience", but he's surely missing the boat with you -- and yet he chose you for wife. How did that happen?.

If you're thinking in terms of "demands" you should wifely-wise acquiesce to and he's thinking in terms of what everyone else he knows is doing, I repeat.....neither of you get it. Frequency is not a measure of compatibility.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 1:53AM
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Oh for goodness sakes I can hardly believe it would be my duty to "wifely-wise acquiesce" to his demands! That statement in itself sounds just downright archaic.

Yes I do speak from experience caligirl. There is nothing attractive about being pressured to give affection thru guilt.

I think your statement "I don't need affection much at all" will be taken in a way you probably didn't mean in that way here. I totally understand what you're saying, because when someone is constantly pressuring you for it, then you start to think of yourself as not needing it "much at all". Because in all actuality there is no "space" given to require more. And if truth be told, it might even start to feel as though you question yourself if you might be "cold" or "frigid" right?

He is trying to control you thru guilt. And in one of the most insidious ways in my opinion...because if you're "withholding" affection, well what kind of a wife are you?

Oh, and I "get" why an experienced guy would choose "little ole inexperienced you" you think he'd be able to control a more experienced person? I think not.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 5:14AM
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I suspect deborah ps has a point. From your description, it does rather sound like he's trying to "train" you.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 9:22AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

You have a serious situation and I would not bail out on your marriage based on several paragraphs written here!

Please consider marriage counseling with your husband and ask yourself what marriage in general means to you. Look to people who have been happily married for decades to the secrets and answers...

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 3:46PM
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20-30 women
"I just feel that I am being controlled at this point"
"demand sex every night or every other night"

Demanding? Controlling? Goes through women....

bumblebeez, you sound like I normally sound, but at this point, don't the bits and pieces sound, um, off? Seems to me as though he is more into fulfilling his selfish desires than a relationship that is two-sided. Right? Or am I missing something?

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 4:37PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Well, there are two sides to every situation and even what sounds terrible is, remember, the op's interpretation of what is happening. Not that I am doubtful of what she is saying, but that in all situaions hearing both sides gives clarity and direction; all which a competent marriage counselor would be able to do.
I haven't watched ten years of law and order (to keep my dad company) and learned nuthin'!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 5:54PM
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New marriage, no kids, I'd run for the hills and not look back.

Really, from my experience (married 18 years), little things fester into BIGGER things more often than not. Nothing resolves itself without a lot of work and willingness to change. You might be willing to do this, but would your husband? Talk to him...ask him. If the answer he gives is one of selfishness or without consideration of your feelings or of blaming you, this way of thinking most likely will not change. Can you live with that?

And I wouldn't be certain that you don't like physical affection. With the right person, you might find that you look upon intimacy in a very different way.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 6:25PM
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Well, she married him. Surely must some things about him that she likes although she hasn't mentioned any. Courtship must have been OK.

The husband she's described strikes me as a considerable boor sexually and in other ways. That business of pouting about the lack of party seems indicative to me. I'll bet there's more, too. Who wants to come home to wondering what the issue-of-the-day is going to be? From her description, husband sounds to me like a teenaged boy who learned everything he knows about relationships in the locker-room.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 7:08PM
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Oooee, you hit the nail on th head. "Teenaged boy who learned everything he knows about relationships in the locker-room." Love it!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 9:47AM
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ditto rob, ditto

Cali, I've been there, done that. He's obviously insecure. Just because he's "been with" 30 people doesn't mean he "did it" more than once with those people. He could have less experience than you if you've been with one person more than 30 times, if you know what I mean.

And for me, my husband doesn't ever "demand" sex. That would turn me off quicker than a light switch. If your husband is so "experienced" he would know it's much easier to get candy from a baby if you don't snatch it from them.

In other words, for me, handing me some sexy outfit and mentioning he'd love to see me in it would work far better to get me to be intimate than complaining (about anything!!! but esp. about how I look!) just before initiating intimate times.

It's intimacy 101. And he's failing.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 10:44AM
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