Marriage and the Husband-Wife Relationship/Can my marriage be saved?


My husband and I have been married a little less than 4 years. We have been together since May 2007 and married June 2010.  He broke up with me between from Aug-Oct 2009 and then we got engaged at Christmas 2009. This is his second marriage and my third. His first marriage lasted 25 years with 4 sons - the youngest in high school when we married. My first marriage lasted 10 years and my second less than a year. I have 2 daughters from my first marriage who were 15 and 11 when we got married. He was living in an apartment when we got married and I have maintained my home on my own since my divorce in 2001. He brought into the marriage a great deal of debt which was resolved based on my credit history and he has been debt free since the first 2 years of our marriage. I bring home more than he does. I do receive child support from my daughters' dad, and contribute to a savings acct as well as a 401K. He may have a savings acct but doesn't contribute to his 401k. We didn't talk about money or finances before we got married. He doesn't seem to think/plan for the future and lives in the here and now where money is concerned. We have always had separate finances/accounts. He is responsible for the cell phone bill and electric bill and gym membership and the insurance on his truck. We both work full time, he no longer pays child support, and seems to be quite content living in a world where there is no intimacy or conversation. He has had problems with ED since before we got married but not to the extreme that it currently is. I feel he is embarrassed by his inability to perform yet he is not willing to take steps to determine options.  From my perspective he is more interested in getting up in the morning, having coffee, going for a run, analyze the run, go to work, come home, and get on his computer/phone. He does buy groceries when I ask and the issue gets pushed. Though I make more than he does, I also have more bills and am responsible for all of the housework and laundry, the majority of the cooking, and all of the maintenance on my car and my daughters' care. Our daily routine consists of him getting up, making coffee, watching TV, a kiss when I get up, a run #we both exercise#, me normally folding a load of laundry and switching laundry out, getting ready for work, a kiss goodbye, going to work, a kiss when we get home from work, dinner, a kiss at bedtime, and bed. I know I am fortunate that he pays the bills he pays and makes coffee and buys groceries and takes out the trash, but I don't feel like I have a partner in this marriage and someone I can rely on when something needs to be done or when I get in a tight spot where money is concerned. When I mention being tight on money, he doesn't respond with anything, i.e. why, can I help, etc. I don't ask for his assistance because it seems like his schedule/time is important and he has no interest in altering his schedule to assist. I have suggested things regarding our financial future, retirement, etc. and he will not engage in any conversation. We speak in passing but no conversation. I feel I have tried and have just gotten tired of being blown off so I keep to myself and do what I need to do to survive and keep things up around the house and to be responsible for my children and with my finances. It is to a point where I feel like I was better off on my own before we got married. I don't have a partner in any way, shape, or form and I can't get him to talk to me about why he doesn't like to talk, what is on his mind, if he is happy, etc. In the last 6 months we probably have had sex half a dozen times. At 49 and 58, this doesn't seem normal. I don't initiate because he can't respond and when I have tried to talk about it he just clams up. For me, we are in this cycle of morning routine, go to work, evening routine, bed time. On the weekends we may go run or ride our bikes but not together. He then comes home and is tired and naps and doesn't want to do much else. He works 5 1/2 days a week. He used to communicate regarding when he will be home after work but that isn't consistent any longer. I will email him with no response or no acknowledgement of the email when we get home. I know I am head strong and independent but I also feel that I am married to a man that I provide a good place to live where he gets fed and his laundry done with minimal hassle.  We don't communicate which means we don't fight. I have learned to just keep my feelings to myself and go about the day doing what I feel needs to be done. I was told he got divorced because his wife wanted to go out and party. I think I am the first person and the only person he dated after they separated. He has always been quiet and reserved. We live in one house in our own little worlds. I am not even sure if I am attracted to him in an intimate way. I think about intimacy in general, not with anyone else. It is easier now to just throw myself into work and working out or sleeping. It seems I was more successful and able to keep up with everything before we got married. He did more to help me around the house before we got married and initially after. It seems we are no longer connecting and that he isn't concerned with that fact. I know some of these issues were present prior to us getting married and never discussed. I didn't see the importance at the time and thought he would be more involved around the house and even with my girls, especially when supporting me with some of the decisions that I have had to make. He doesn't have a close relationship with his sons and seems to have become more of a loner the last 2 years. I don't feel secure with him financially or even with just trying to talk to him about things. I have tried to talk to him, email him, and write him. Living in this manner is stressful. I don't know if I can count on him or even want to count on him, especially when it comes to doing something for me. I feel like I am supposed to be the one responsible for every aspect involving the house, yard, cars, children, dogs, maintenance around the house, etc. We spend very little time together outside of meals and being in the family room together. I wish I knew what I had done and was doing to make him distance himself so far from me and us. How do I get someone who doesn't want to talk or like to talk to talk? Sometimes I feel like I am living in a secretive marriage. I don't necessarily think he is having an affair but definitely feel like he is no longer engaged in our marriage/relationship. Almost like ignoring the problem will make it just go away. At times I feel like it is all just me. That I want too much or that I am supposed to do it all or if I have to ask, I may as well just do it. I try to pray, meditate, journal. I don't have a best friend and my husband definitely isn't that person. He isn't a high strung person or someone with a temper, he is pretty laid back, almost too much. I am much more type A, get things done, want things done the best possible the first time, etc. I have my down days too but not every day, all day, all week/weekend. I would almost rather struggle by myself than struggle in a marriage where I still feel alone. I have been to counseling many times before. I have not suggested this to my husband because that would require some sort of conversation. I have thought about just going to counseling for me and then see if that sparks a conversation from him. But again, I am not sure if he would be open to talking to someone with me present or if he just doesn't see us as having any problems and that I am the one seeing things as a problem. I would appreciate any thoughts/guidance/direction regarding where to begin in an effort to move forward with my marriage in one direction or another.

Hi Pamela~

What do YOU want out of this marriage/relationship?  You first need to figure that out, and then go from there on deciding what you want to do from here on out.  If you ultimately do want out of this marriage b/c he's either unwilling or unable to give you what you want, need, desire and deserve out of it, then that's how you need to proceed.  You can't keep living like this it's not conducive to you or your relationship.  It's hurting you and hindering you on so many levels.  Once you make that decision stick to it and tell your husband your intentions.  

If I were in your situation, I think I'd much rather be alone and to it all on my own anyway, since I was already living like that and taking care of everything on my own with little to no input or help from my spouse.  It's a hindrance and a burden if you continue to live this way.  You can tell by the way you speak that you're already unhappy.  I know divorce is not an easy thing to go through (been there and done that myself).  But sometimes it's a necessary evil.  You've tried all you can do to get him to participate in this marriage and for whatever reason known only to him he chooses not to help you or to have little to no interaction with you to begin with.  That's not a marriage, if I'm being honest here.  It's only a stressor to you and he's dragging you down with him.  

It seems as though he's set in his ways and he doesn't really want to put forth that effort that marriage requires.  I'm sure that's not easy to admit that.  We all want/need to be loved and appreciated by someone, even if it's just a friend or companion to talk to when we need it.  You don't even have that with him, and that's just sad that he treats you like a roommate.  

Sit down and figure out what you need from him and if he can't give that to you, then tell him you want a divorce very matter of fact, and just lay it out for him.   That you simply can't and won't do this any longer, b/c it's taking too much of a toll on you and you can't keep living this way.  It's unfair to you and to him.  Maybe he'll listen or maybe he won't.  The bottom line is that you need him to step up and be a husband or you can/will do it on your own since that's what you've been doing already during most of this marriage.  That decision can only be made by you though.  I hope this helps you some.  

Marriage and the Husband-Wife Relationship

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I can answer most any questions regarding a husband/wife relationship. Whatever the question may be. I would like to help you find an answer to it. If you want an honest and unbiased opinion on things then ask away. I am a divorced mother of 4 children, I have been a single mother, and I'm currently remarried and have a 4th daughter with my husband. I know what it is like to have a spouse cheat on you, to be taken advantage of, to feel like everything is hopeless (being depressed), emotions (the up`s and down`s). I will try to answer anything you have on your mind about husband-wife relationships, divorce, adultery, etc. Please don`t hesitate to ask.


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