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Am I wrong in my feelings or my decisions?

Community Member
Not sure where to start but to put this simply, I live with a perfect man,husband and father to our daughter and I'm somehow always sad,lonely,rejected,neglected and depressed. There are many times when I convince myself that I just need to change the way I look at things and be appreciative but there are even more times when I pay attention and do not see myself being in the picture. Days and weeks passing by and him not engaging in any meaningful conversation with me other than managing our daily affairs.
We 've been married for 15 yrs and I clearly remember being extremely happy and satisfied for the first 5 years or so until our daughter turned about 1 year old which also coincided with him starting his own business for a couple of years and gaining extensive recognition. He is otherwise a very successful man but there was something that changed him when he built something from scratch and lived that kind of feeling. He had to close the business due to some issues afterwards but the feeling remained with him I think.
I can't really decide what changed him between being focused on our daughter and what happened at the time of his business or that it is just what marriages end up to be after a couple of years.
I have been withdrawn and spend my time at full time work, housework and movies etc. he spends all his time at full time work, with our daughter, reading and learning new things. We go out on weekends and stuff but I can’t really say we are together. It is like we are hired to play husband and wife and we are doing a great job, but I never feel he is really there. If I do not plan for a weekend, then we don’t do anything. If we are with friends, he never knows I am there too.

He never gets upset or angry and never with me unless I get upset or angry and then he says he has similar problems with me too and then we argue. We resolve the argument after sometime but what I had been upset or angry about remains there which most of the time is about his lack of attention or real care.

I am lazy with eating and he is happy to offer me food or cook and we each have our roles in the house work but he never knows how I feel or thinks about asking me about anything beyond managing day to day affairs. I feel like he stopped loving me long ago but is either too kind and polite or cares so much about our daughter that would not do anything about it.

19 Replies 19

Community Member

Hello Lilaa

Even in solid, happy marriages it is not uncommon to fall into ruts where you feel unappreciated and ignored. It happens to both men and women. My own marriage (25 years married) was going through a flat phase so I was interested in reading on the topic. Our problems didn't start until I retired from work. Suddenly I had all this time on my hands and I found myself wondering about the exact same things you mentioned in your post.

About six months agoI was made aware of something called " love language". The theory suggests that we all give and receive love differently.

I may be completely off track here but reading your post I got the sense you have a lot of positive features in your marriage but there seems to be a communication connection problem. These can be fixed. Is your partner giving you the wrong type of love? Are you missing his love needs too?

The love language theory says there are five main categories of love language. Words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, physical touch. If for you say, quality time is important but your husbands sees acts of service as most important, then over the years this can drive a gap between you.

Anyway, check out the book, The Five Love Languages by Dr Gary Chapman and see if it relates to you.

Community Member

Thanks Betternow. This makes a lot of sense and we had a counsellor tells us the exact same thing and I watched a few videos online on the topic.

The issue is I keep going thinking this is something that can be fixed and not even comparable to some of the issues other people may be having in their marriages, but no matter how I attend to the issue, I do not seem to be gaining any help and support from him to fix the real issue. I have explained this in simple words to him, talked about times when he could have done something different or initiate the type of intimacy I need and he still has no clues.

I keep telling myself that the services he offers me should be enough and I am lucky to be in a marriage with so much support, but I can't make myself feel enough. I can't feel he needs me and I can't be the only person that feels the need in the relationship as it drives me helpless and I am losing my sense of self-worth every time a bit more.

He recently talked to a friend of mine and was told about my needs for connection and appreciation. I could see that he was sort of trying after that for a bit but still no words out of his mouth. He was just there a bit more and wanted to do a few things with me that I liked doing. and that was it.

I just feel I am living a dead marriage with someone who tries to pretend or drag it until our daughter is old enough, I also certainly feel he is secretly hoping I break our marriage so he is free and would not have done anything wrong either, and would continue to be our daughter's hero.

Hi Lilaa,

I can relate to where you are coming from in relation to being in a emotionless marriage. I too have a man who's a hard worker, tries hard for the family and likeable. When we first got together he was amazing, always there for me, was so affectionate and cared for me deeply. But to me now, there is that love connection missing and it's been missing for a long time. There are other issues I won't get into, but in short, we're just two people living amicably in a house working toward the same goal being as good a parent as we can be to our child and trying to pay our bills and mortgage.

But there is love missing. We aren't intimate and we don't even hug or kiss! 😞 I've told him so many times how much I miss being loved, but he just thinks I'm trying to cause trouble. So I've withdrawn. But like you I'm terribly depressed more days than not now and wondering when or if it'll improve. We go out on family outings and they are great. We have fun, our child has a great time but I'm still sad and spend my time trying to convince myself that it's all ok and it'll be ok. I tell myself that this is just the way life is and it's the bed I made, so lay in it. This works for a few days and I'm not sad and I'm just plodding along all ok. Then my brain just switches again and I want more. I want the old days back. But I don't ever see them coming back. I've been waiting for 10 years for them to return. I've withdrawn from friends and we're in another state to family and friends, so I don't see anyone. That is probably a big issue I have. It's great you have friends - keep them in your life as they will keep you sane. Do you have family support?

In my experience, couples counselling only works if both people see there is an issue and both are willing to go to counselling and fix the problems. For me, I don't think this is an option. Maybe it will be for you second time around?

I feel the same as you thinking the services should be enough and I've tried to talk so many times. But I too get the anger back or told I'm causing trouble or playing the victim.

I just wanted to let you know you're not alone in your feelings and thoughts. I don't have the answer either, I'm still keeping the family together, but it's tiring. Are you thinking of leaving?

I have been thinking about leaving but I think this time for real. I’m even calmer about it too.
I think I have tied everything and for a very long time. I have diagnosed the issue, put it simple words, explained to him over and over again and even in practical terms, given him the clues and ropes and he still pretends he has no clue and is frustrated that nothing works and I don’t get it.
maybe it would have been easier if he was like everyone else and I could actually make sense of what was going on. I think I finally have the words for it, he is too narcissistic and full of himself that he can’t be in the wrong( not by his own judgement at least), so he plays it too well that there is nothing obvious wrong, at least when you first look at it as I think our friends finally are getting it.
he is hoping I just vanish on my own and his hands do not get dirty and he has nothing to explain to our daughter.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Lilaa~

You my be right, there is no love there and you are simply maintaining a household. You may be right that leaving is the thing to do. I don't know..

I do know that firstly leaving creates all sorts of problems, many you probably can't even imagine, and secondly your daughter may may be deeply effected.

I know you said you have had discussions which have not realy gone anywhere and also counseling.

If you were saying 10 days ago he appears the perfect husband, at least on the surface, and now you are talking of narcissism and his having the feeling he cannot be wrong and is hoping you simply vanish.

A couple of things, first do you think it is worth contacting a post separation service - Relationships Australia - 1300 364 277 have one, to find out what would be in store

The second is has your husband ever seen a doctor and maybe psychologist to see why he is reluctant to show emotion, even though prepared to make efforts in other areas? Cooking being an example.

Also at 16 do you think your daughter is old enough for you to speak frankly -if gently - with ?

I'm not trying to sway you either way, just pointing out it is worth knowing the consequences of any actions you might take and exploring if all avenues have been tried.

Please let me know what you think


Community Member

Thanks Cronix, I didn’t know about the service so that is very appreciated that I can talk to someone about practical terms of what I need to prepare for.

I suppose narcissistic behaviour is not the right word for the attributes I and sometimes others see in him, I just don’t know how else I can explain it or what to call it. Perhaps easier to say he is not an active narcissist but being good by his own definition is everything to him to the point that he may sacrifice his own happiness and mine by not admitting he has no emotions to me because it is always the other person that has done something wrong, left the relationship, said the wrong thing, did not care and etc. so this makes him not being able to tolerate there is missing emotion and care from him in our relationship and I’m just making things up. He once was taking to a female past colleague and they both kept it secret from their spouses and he kept lying about it and even after I showed him the evidence of secret meetings and calls, to this date he has not admitted it was cheating or close enough and says he was helping her with school work and because I was sensitive to the matter he had to lie. Ignoring the fact that I’m not generally sensitive to his relationships with other women socially or professionally and he has certainly always been charming in those situations and noticed by women.
I guess it is the constant putting me down, comparing our qualities and lack of appreciation in addition to the above that I call narcissistic behaviour perhaps not in its technical terms.
He even has a serious need for our daughter- who is 10 to prefer him over me and he makes sure of it at the cost of over spoiling him for example if she does not care about school, he would tell everyone that ‘who says academia is important these days’ and to be precise this is in the context of spelling knowledge and not our daughter needing to be an over-achieve.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Lilaa~

I'm glad you decided to get some advice, if Rel Aust is not in your area then get them to say who is, or failing that ask our own 24/7 Help Line on 1300 22 4636 if they know of a similar service in your area.

One thing you can bear in mind, if his basic makeup is a very selfish one this will come out after any separation, so if he happens to initially end up with you daughter (very unlikely) I think the gloss would wear off for her quite quickly.


Community Member

I need to know if I am somehow broken and need fixing. Is this abnormal that I need this much care, recognition and love and I just need to grow up?I

Maybe I am just so insecure and needy that after 14 years of marriage, need to ask my husband whether he loves me, respects me or even needs me. Is it just me instead of all this?
He does not do anything that would strongly prove opposite of love, he is not aggressive, unkind or careless about our life but...but...I keep searching and finding myself empty handed, like he is not there or I am not there or I am just not convinced I matter.
I do not have any self-doubt in anything else, my friends and family relationships, career or overall success, so why just this? Why is this ruining me and ruining everything in my life and marriage? I just feel like I can't keep going, this pain is exhausting and I can't let go of it. I just want to break free and be free of feeling this way. How do I find out if it is just my neediness or there is something real in here that has turned me this way.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Lilaa~

I can't see anyway you are broken and sadly sometimes marriages change in nature. It may well be you need the same amount of love and attention as when first married but he has changed. I do not know enough to say.

Similarly I do not know the significance of the other female friendship or "the constant putting me down, comparing our qualities and lack of appreciation in addition to the above."

If you give 1800Respect - 1800 737 732 a ring they will be able to give you some idea of the level things are at, from simple selfishness to abuse.

I will say that in two long relationships spanning around 50 years both my partners and I maintained the same sort of need for each other, Needing someone is not the same as being needy.

I will repeat that separation comes with its own very large sets of emotional and practical problems, but how you balance that against living a marriage that seems loveless I've no idea.

May I ask what personal support you have. Is there a family member or friend you can speak frankly with? They do not have to solve anything but simply care -it helps. I hope talking here lets you know you are not alone