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Escape or survive a loveless marriage?

CathyC
Community Member

I'm 45 and my husband is 49. We've been married 11 years, with two kids aged 8 and 6. We haven’t had sex in more than 6 years. We’ve slept in separate beds for at least 5 years. There is zero affection or physical contact. (Before we had kids, no real issues.)
Over the years I have tried to address this many times. My husband was diagnosed with depression and low testosterone, but stopped taking his medication as he insisted it didn’t work. I’m not sure if he is still depressed - he seems content to live in this loveless and sexless marriage.
I begged him to try counselling, which he did for a few sessions about 2 years ago. Then I joined for 2 sessions - before he refused to go back. He didn't tell me - he just didn’t go back, despite me asking him to go several times. In the sessions I attended, he asked me not to nag him about our relationship and give him space. I did this and nothing happened. He has never once in all these years instigated a discussion of these issues.
At least on three occasions, having lost patience, I told him I wanted a divorce. He just says ok, then jumps into action, looking for somewhere to rent, etc. After me venting, he agrees to couples counselling - but never goes through with it. He just carries on as usual until the next time I get angry or upset.

Apart from this, he has not lifted a finger to save our marriage. He just says we should stay together ‘for the kids’. I really don’t matter to him at all. In my darkest moments I feel he also wants to stay together because I brought a lot more into the marriage financially (he had nothing).

I can barely stand to be in the same room as him now and avoid conversation. It’s hard to describe just how humiliating and lonely it’s been. He knows I’m very unhappy, but never asks me about it. Instead, he commonly treats me with disdain, rolling his eyes or dismissing anything I say. The therapist even pulled him up on this, but he doesn’t get it. If I raise I’m unhappy in any way whatsoever, he’ll turn away, raise his hand up to motion me to stop speaking and yell, ‘Get a divorce then.’

I'm being forced to accept this loveless, sexless marriage - or else. I’m heartbroken because I really wanted my kids to have a stable, ‘normal’ family life. I never wanted a divorce, but what choice do I have? How do people stay married just ‘for the kids’?
I’m so very lonely and tired of keeping up appearances. I’ve kept all of this to myself all these years and it has truly become unbearable.

53 Replies 53

Hi Cathy,

Just wondering how you are going? Been thinking of you !

Take care,

Cazza

Daffodil
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Sophie,

How are you going? I am also conscious of hijacking Cathy's post 😞

You do have a lot going on your life, but you seem to be coping very well let me tell you!! I know it's difficult for both of us, but we need to stay strong & focussed on the big picture - and patient too (which I am bad at !! lol)

Hope you have a lovely weekend & make sure you do something for YOURSELF.

Chat again soon,

Take care Cazza x

CathyC
Community Member

Hi Cazza, hi Sophie,

Thanks for your messages. Please don’t worry about hijacking this thread. I think it’s really important to have a place like this to share and seek some advice; I know it has helped me. Plus this is the first time I’ve participated in a forum, so I’m not even sure of the acceptable protocols!

The reason I’ve gone a bit quiet is that I’m struggling quite a bit day to day. I’m pretty weepy all the time. Sometimes I can’t wait to finish the shopping so I can get in my car to cry.

My husband wants us to buy a new house and it’s really stressing me out. He’s acting nicer to me (to get what he wants, I suppose), but I can hardly bear to look at him. I think decision time is coming and would like to prepare for this, but I can’t seem to get my act together.

I hope you are both doing better than me!

Cazza65
Community Member

Hi Cathy,

I feel for you with your challenges but hang in there, I’m sure things will get better 😊 I’ve never chatted on forums before either so it’s all new for me too. I’m enjoying listening to other people’s stories/worries as I don’t feel that im the only one struggling. It helps to vent 👍

Totally understand when you say you are very teary as it’s a difficult time I’m your life. Don’t be hard on yourself though just try & take one day @ a time. Also I find if I can do something nice for myself that seems to help my mood eg massage, nails done, buy some flowers (depending on your budget of course). We need to look after ourselves & treating ourselves is very important. Doesn’t need to be something big or expensive either. Have you got friends/family you can confide in ? I find that helps too 😊

Re your husband wanting to buy another house, can you somehow delay that & say you aren’t ready yet or your not in a good place to make those sort of decisions ATM?

Take care & will chat again soon

Kind regards,

Cazza x

Cazza65
Community Member

Hi Sophie,

Just thinking of you & checking in to see how you are going. Hope all ok with you. Reply when you can.

Take care,

Cazza x

Sophie225
Community Member

HI Cazza and Cathy,

Cathy I hope you're doing ok. I also understand about being very teary. I've been like that for some time, and still am occasionally, except sometimes now I feel numb. Almost as though everything that he now says and does to me can't be any worse than I've put up with for 30 years.

Cazza - thanks for checking on me. It's been a difficult week facing my own mortality, but I am very happy to say the lump isn't anything sinister so huge relief. I can concentrate on changing my job, finishing my qualification all hopefully in time for separation early next year. (If I can stand it that long)

I hope you're both doing ok - please let me know how you're doing.xx

Hi Sophie,

Great news re your lump, what a huge relief for you ! 👍Now you can put that behind you & focus on the other important things in your life 😁

Just remember, you are doing a fantastic job with studying, trying to cope with a difficult situation at home & working out your finances etc so you can finally move on & separate 👌 I know it must be difficult for you, try & stay positive & think of the future where you will be happy & free ! No more abuse 👏

Hang in there & take care. You are not alone.

Kind regards,

Cazza x

Thanks Cazza, it helps just talking sometimes with people in similar situations thats for sure!

I am relieved about the lump, and I have taken a bit of pressure off myself by putting my exam date back for a few months, which means I can hopefully concentrate on getting a new job. The two main stresses in my life at the moment are my job and relationship. A relationship which I can't leave until I get a new job - catch 22! Anyway just gotta keep chipping away and something will come up.

I think whats happening to me at work is bullying on a large scale - like a culture thats been bred over many years. I have been looking at the types of different bullying within a culture at an organisation and most of them apply to my situation. I've never experienced it before, and I am a senior manager!

I have also been looking at the physical and mental signs that I have been experiencing, and rather than depression - which I have never been diagnosed with - I think I am mentally exhausted. After many years of relationship issues, and even more pressure job related in the last 18 months I'm sure thats what I am suffering from. Normally they ask you if you've had suicidal thoughts, or self harm or stuff like that for depression, and thats definitely not me. I'm just completely exhausted! Quite tearful myself yesterday and this morning actually, bad nights sleep last night, and looking at Fair Work at 3am doesn't help I suppose!

Has anyone tried St John's Wort and found it effective?

Keep in touch xx

Hi Sophie,

I agree, talking to someone does actually make you feel better as it's a relief that other people are 'on the same page' and are experiencing difficulties too. It's good to share our problems.

I totally understand, it's a frustrating situation & a catch 22 - but just hang in there !

Bullying is so rife everywhere ! 😞 I experienced a bad case of it in my last job. The first time in all of my years of working too !! I'm usually pretty easygoing, get my work done, don't cause any problems/hassles but this was crazy & extremely stressful. There were 2 much younger girls than me & we worked together in the front office (no bosses around to witness of course). I couldn't work out what the hell I did wrong for them to pick on me SO much. In the end, I resigned on the spot after nearly 10 months. It was a very toxic environment.

Yes, it doesn't really sound like depression as you've explained with the symptoms but could definitely be mental exhaustion !

Haven't tried St John's Wart at all, sorry. I was recommended to take some magnesium tablets though to settle me at night & they worked very well as a muscle relaxant.

Keep in touch.

Take care,

Cazza x

Cazza65
Community Member

Hi Sophie & Cathy,

Haven’t heard from you for a little while so I’m just checking you are both ok? Feel free to message anytime, I’m here for you.

Kind regards,

Cazza 😊