Return to the Marriage Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Need some advice

Posted by mommaobrienx7 (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 30, 08 at 11:39

I need some advice. I know a marriage counselor would be the place to ask these questions. We've tried that. And yet I still sit here not knowing what to do.

A little background. I've been married for 10 years. My husband and I have 5 children together. Yes, we both wanted a large family. And now, I'm not sure that was the wisest decision. Not that I regret ANY of my children. That's certainly not what this is about.

For so many years I was either pregnant or nursing. And during that time, my husband and I grew apart. He started sleeping on the sofa about 4 years ago. Every single night. Not because of the babies. Just because that's what he felt like doing. I was so busy with babies I really didn't care. But the babies started to grow up and then there weren't any babies any more. They are all kids now.

And that's when the problems really started. I wanted my marriage back. A real relashionship with my husband. Not just a kiss in passing on our way out the door and the small talk we've had for years. Last year I began really talking to my husband. Letting him know I thought we had better do something to fix this marriage or we were going to lose it. We had grown so far apart. I was so very very lonely. And I wanted him back in my life the way he should be. He didn't hear my pleas for time and commitment to our marriage. And quite frankly, at the time I don't think he cared.

Years ago my husband gave up on his physical appearance. People have told me it sounds like depression. But quite frankly, it runs in the family on his side. His brothers and father are the same way. He stopped brushing his teeth entirely. And they have begun to literally rot out of his mouth. He never showers and will wear the same dirty clothes for days on end. He has no desire to make himself physically attractive and just DOES NOT CARE. Like I said, those actions are not depression. It's how his entire family is. This is unacceptable to me. How can I feel spontaneous with someone who does not brush their teeth or shower or just SIMPLY CARE about general physical care???? I have brought this up to him thousands of times over the years and he just laughs. His mom tells me I better get used to it because that's just how the men in that family are.

I remember last summer telling him point blank that I couldn't take him sleeping on the sofa anymore. I couldn't take not having a real relashionship in my life. And that if things didn't change I couldn't say with certainty that if I was faced with someone I was attracted to and put in a not so good situation how I would react. He didn't listen then. Didn't care. Didn't take me seriously. And what do you know. 2 weeks after that conversation I was faced with just that situation. And I couldn't resist. Well I could have, but didn't have the fight in me anymore. I though my marriage was over. And I had an affair. A full blown relashionship. It only lasted 3 months. It was wonderful. I met someone with whom I had a lot in common and was physically attracted to. Well I ended up telling my husband about the affair. I think it was a wake up call for him. He didn't leave. I ended the relationship and for the first time thought there was hope for my marriage. We had hit rock bottom and the only place to go was up. And now that he knew how serious this was maybe things would change.

They haven't. It's gotten worse. We fight over EVERYTHING. Volatile crazy fights. He punches things. Will pack up all of his clothes and leave only to return a few hours later. He yells, spys on me. And all of a sudden wants sex all of the time. All the time. I feel like an object. And if I don't give in because it does not feel right with the state of our relationship the way that it is he really goes nuts. We have tried counseling to no avail. Tried talking to the priest at our Church. Nothing is helping us to reconnect and make this marriage work.

But put all of that aside for a sec. Because the bottom line is that I don't love him anymore. No "I thinks", no "I don't knows". I KNOW. When we do have sex I cry. I feel violated in some way because I am sharing myself with someone that I do not love and that I do not know. I know without a doubt I cannot find happiness in this marriage. Sure, I could stay and suck it up for the children. I could make it work somehow. But if deep down I am not really truely happy what's it for? I'm miserable. Drowning.

Yet everyone around me tells me that's not a reason to leave a marriage. I can fall in love with him again. It's not worth doing this to the children. It isn't fair to them. But I ask you, if I'm miserable how can I do a good job with them?

How can I fall back in love with someone I don't even like?

I have the opportunity to leave now. We have some money that came our way. I've been a stay at home mother for 10 years. This wouldn't be easy for me. I would have to go to work full time. My whole life would change. But to me, it would be so worth it to find peace and real happiness in my life.

The only thing stopping me is the guilt. I look at this man and wonder what would he do with his life? We live 1000 miles away from any of his family. All of my family lives 10 minutes away. He moved us into a home we cannot afford and if I left he would likely have to move out of this debt trap to afford his own living expenses plus child support for 5 children. he hasn't taken care of himself for years and his physical appearance shows. His teeth are rotted out and he has no desire to get them fixed. So who would want to date him?? Really who? And the fact of taking the daily family life from him. I feel so much guilt because how can I do that to him? I don't love him the way a wife should love her husband. But I've spent 10 years with this man. I don't want to hurt him either. But I see no choice. I can't live this way. What do I do about the guilt? Because if I stay just so I don't cause him that pain, I'm choosing to continue to live a lie and drown in this miserable marriage.

I'm lost. And I need to decide. Because the money is my way out. And it won't be around long. I've got to take it and leave now if that's what I choose. This is my chance. So why am I sitting here pondering this decision????


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Need some advice

"He has no desire to make himself physically attractive and just DOES NOT CARE. Like I said, those actions are not depression. It's how his entire family is".

Those are EXACTLY the symptoms of depression... "not caring" and not showering, etc, is what depression is about for most people. Plus, the fact that it runs in his family only adds more fuel to fact that's he's proabbly suffering from depression because it often runs in families. It does not sound like just a bad habit to me; it sounds like the men in your husband's family suffer from depression. What am I missing? Normal, healthy people don't act like this. If it was habit, it would have been learned and practiced in childhood, not all of a sudden something that popped in in their 30- 40's (another thing that points to depression if you research it).

It also sounds to me his depression was exacerbated after learning about your affair and went form a low level chronic type a more major type with major mood swings, etc.

I can understand you falling out of love with a guy like this, but I really think you need to take a step back and realize that everything may be some what fixable. Most men will not seek threatment themselves for depression, but they may at the insistance of their wives. So, please do some real research on depression (I'm not sure what symptoms you are looking for but most men don't constantly cry) and talk to your husband about it and getting some help or at least talking to someone about it.

I don't think it is a good idea to make a rash decision about your marriage just because you have some money coming in. Why can't you just hang onto the money and keep it if/when you decide for sure if you want to leave? I just don't understand the urgency of having to leave now because of the money. A decision to divorce should be thoughtout, and generally not be made rashly.

Here's an article on depression... be sure to read the top quote where the man talks about not showering or brushing his teeth, and just not caring... You can find tons of info. on depression in men. Please don't rule it out.

Here is a link that might be useful: Depression


 o
RE: Need some advice

Falling in love again... sounds difficult now that he is no longer the person you recognise. I agree with carla35 on the depression issue, but you could also take a small active step on your own.

For now, putting aside your need to have your guy back right now, try reafirming your need for him, I mean HIM. You see, he needs an answer on how to keep you, all this need for sex and him using anger and craziness is to be more controlling of you, bottom line is he's scared.

Give him something that he can simply do that will please you and that will help him to feel needed and wanted, not vague like "I want US back.", too vague, say "I want to have dinner out today" or something, and if he says yes be openly happy.
Say "I want to see the hunk that used to _ _ _ _(fill in with something he used to do he knows pleased you).

Men need to be needed, not only for family and kids but for your personal needs, he sounds like he doesn't know what to do about those, so tell him, create situations for you to praise him, specifically about little every day things at first, and then when things start to relax as he regains his sense of understanding and therefore control, you can go on to talk about his physical appearance, and even the man you saw when you first fell in love with him.

Ten years seems like a long time, but is really short, and the kids don't need to see either of you fall apart any more than you already have.

I too believe that this marriage can be rekindled to something fulfilling, and now with the kids getting bigger, think of all the stuff you guys can enjoy and do now that there are no needy babies.

This is a tactic that I use to keep my guy knowing that I need HIM. Even though I sometimes lie about not being able to do some of what he does for me, he really feels like 'The Man' when he 'saves me' from some small trouble. I am able to praise him for this, and i get to look at my man so happily do what I need. It Helps every part of our relationship.


 o
RE: Need some advice

How is his relationship with the children ?

Is he capable of being a good father to them ?

Is your DH going to work ?

I know things seem really bad, and you have been in a tourmoil for a while now, and having 5 children to care for is a full time job.

I agree with Carla, well worth taking DH to a doctor. I am really surprised your counsellor did not pick that up and suggest a full medical evaluation.

I am not surprised you are feeling lost, and lonely, its a tough situation you are in.

Take small steps towards happier times...step one...visit a doctor with your husband.

I wish you all the best.

Ask your DH to do things, small tasks, like unstacking the dishwasher, just something easy, to get him into the habit of helping you. Say to him "I need help". Say this knowing what sort of help you need.


 o
RE: Need some advice

Perhaps this is a long shot, but have you seen those make-over shows for men? Perhaps it would help not only him, to see himself in a new way, but help you see him in a way that is appealing, perhaps even better than he was when you married him. I would imagine one of these shows would jump at the chance to do a make-over on someone like your husband, about to lose his wife, and there are 5 kids in the mix of this situation. Some of these shows will even put veneers on to repair the rotted teeth, and give him a beautiful smile.

And then, address the depression.


 o
RE: Need some advice

Depression sounds likely, but treating it isn't a magic bullet.

Even if you don't leave now, put that money someplace where he cannot get it.

I wish you the best.


 o
RE: Need some advice

I agree with Sylvia. Treating the depression is not a magic cure for your marriage. You don't love him and whether or not you fight in front of your children or not, they know what's going on and it's hard on them. I've been in a similar situation and I stayed 2 years after I should have left. In the end I ended up leaving anyways because you can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped.

If you don't leave now, I agree with Sylvia again, put the money away where he can't get to it.

I wish you luck in this situation.


 o
RE: Need some advice

You know I reread your post, and the same thing keeps popping up on post after post here... and that is.. people seem to think their happiness is dependant on someone else. I am wondering how or why you think you'll be happy without your husband? Obviously, it's not just the recent outbursts, because you had the affair before that, so I take it the unhappiness has been around for a while. Are you hoping to meet someone else and live happily ever after with them, or do you think just having your husband out of the house will truly bring you happiness?

You have 5 small kids... I'm guessing all under the age of 9. That's a big responsibility to take on even as a couple, but as a single mom, wow -- are you sure you're up to it? I think it's sad that you are in a love less marriage, but considering your situation, I'm not really sure leaving him would be best for YOU, (don't kid yourself, you'll probably suffer more financially and emotionally than he will) and maybe that is what you are secretly afraid of. How will you even get them all to school and sporting events; what happens when someone is sick?

And one more thing, living with a chronically depressed person for years can leave spouses feeling angry and bitter and even cause depression in them. If you haven't been able to find happiness in things outside your marriage, (your kids, your friends, hobbies, etc) have you considered that you too may be depressed? . Just something to think about. I think just being in your situation would be enough to make almost anyone depressed.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Marriage Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here