32 answers

I Feel like I'm Just "There".

My husband and I have been married almost 3 years. We have no children together, I have an 11 y/o daughter from a previous relationship. I feel as if we are no longer a couple, and simply co-habitate. We don't have a sexual relationship. It just doesn't happen. I've recently gone from working second shift to first. And I had hoped that would help us with our issues, but he seems to be gone more now than he ever was. I love my husband, don't get me wrong. But I'm tired of feeling so alone. I just don't know what to do.

What can I do next?

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I have sat down with my husband several times and openly told him how I am feeling and how it's hurting me. Yes, I have often wondered about his faithfulness, it's my nature. But a huge part of me doesn't want to even consider him going outside of our marrige, but I realize it's possible. We don't really have a lot of common interests. I spend a lot of time with my friends when he isn't around and I just feel like we are leading two very seperate lives. We share a home, a bed, and not much more. It's heart breaking. I waited for a long time to get married, I wanted to be sure. However, these days I really am not certain anymore.

Featured Answers

I can relate to you. Me and my boyfriend of 9 years went through the same thing. The only thing I can tell you is to try to talk to him and find out what is going on in his mind. Try to find out if this is really where the two of you want to be. There is no use in being together if both of you are unhappy.

Have you tried sitting down and really talking to him? I mean talking seriously either face to face or in written form? Have you tried straight up seducing him?

For me, I tend to have to remind myself that my husband can't read my mind. (the slouch!) I have to put it in black and white - almost on paper - to let him know what I need. It's not that he's not thoughtful or giving, it's that he's a guy and I need to tell him what I'm feeling. I recall one birthday when all I wanted was a day full of compliments. It was an awesome birthday!

But I totally agree with Kiera. You can catch more flies with honey. Sometimes it's not as hard as we make it out to be. I don't mean to belittle what you're feeling. Not at all. But I can't count high enough the number of times I've made a situation out to be more dire than it actually was.

Talk to him. Tell him how alone you feel.

Good luck to you

More Answers

I strongly encourage you to seek marriage counseling... Most couples wait too long to seek help. "Married singles" is a very common experience but doesn't have to be. Before it is too late make the connection in your marriage a priority. You aren't doing your husband a favor by ignoring the problem. You might even be surprised to find he misses the connection too.

Also check out the books by John Gottman which have excercises to reconnect... Good luck!

Sounds like you need to rekindle. Have you had any type of communication with him about what is going on - or what isn't going on?

It's not normal for a couple not to have sex. You should encourage your husband to get a checkup, maybe there is something physical going on. Otherwise, a counselor can be a great help.

I too have been where you are. You need to talk with him in a non-confronting way (men get defensive way to easy) and tell him how you feel. Ask him how he feels about the situation and let him know that you need and want more. You just want him to be there for you and with you. Also make dates.....arrange a sitter and choose the location yourself. This way you can spend more time together. If you do not address this now you will continue this way and be very lonely and bitter. Trust me I have a friend who is exactly there. Her man always seemed to find "things to do" all of the time when he was not working leaving her at home alone with the kids. She never address it with him and now is resentful, bitter, and very lonely. I talked to mine and made dates. It worked. Sometimes it happens again but that is when I tell him that I miss him and want to go out on another date. Good luck...

Have you tried sitting down and really talking to him? I mean talking seriously either face to face or in written form? Have you tried straight up seducing him?

For me, I tend to have to remind myself that my husband can't read my mind. (the slouch!) I have to put it in black and white - almost on paper - to let him know what I need. It's not that he's not thoughtful or giving, it's that he's a guy and I need to tell him what I'm feeling. I recall one birthday when all I wanted was a day full of compliments. It was an awesome birthday!

But I totally agree with Kiera. You can catch more flies with honey. Sometimes it's not as hard as we make it out to be. I don't mean to belittle what you're feeling. Not at all. But I can't count high enough the number of times I've made a situation out to be more dire than it actually was.

Talk to him. Tell him how alone you feel.

Good luck to you

I think this happens more than you know. Also remember that most men are happy if they have food, shelter and sex. Maybe he doesn't think theres anything wrong. I'm sorry and I feel for you. Have you tried talking to him about it? Have you tried to do something to spice it up in the bedroom. I have a couple of ideas. 1.) Start out by leaving him little notes where he will find them throughout the day with one leading to the next one. At the end he would find you maybe in a hotel room with candles and wine, strawberries and chocolate. Of course this would all be planned out ahead of time. 2.)Make whats called a "love map". Ask him to participate and each of you make your own list telling the other one exactly what you would like them to do to you in detail. Then give them to each other and surprise him with his love map one night and hopefuly he will do the same.
Good luck and don't give up.

I can relate to you. Me and my boyfriend of 9 years went through the same thing. The only thing I can tell you is to try to talk to him and find out what is going on in his mind. Try to find out if this is really where the two of you want to be. There is no use in being together if both of you are unhappy.

Try bringing the spark back into the relationship. Start out by having planned "dates" with your husband. Dress up and go someplace new like you used to do when you were dating. Then maybe step it up and plan nights out at a hotel (something different).

It is so easy for a relationship to become stagnant. We get caught up in everyday life and end up losing the spark. Just remember this, marriage can be wonderful but it takes WORK to keep it going. Good Luck!!

I briefly glanced at the other responses and I agree that you need to talk to your husband about how you feel and find out if he's willing to work on improving things. I have another book to recommend: How We Love by Milan & Kay Yerkovich. We are reading it right now as part of a marriage workshop at our church(in Milford, Ohio) and it is GREAT! I would also encourage you to find either a marriage workshop or counselor to help you and your husband. Do a Google search for your area and I'm sure you'll find some good resources. Good luck!

Hi M.,

I feel for you as I have been in the same boat. And like you I get tired of feeling alone. I will tell you that this happens in my world a LOT really-and I have been a stay at home mom for 6 years!! I will tell you that the whole "set up a date night" and "spice it up a bit" does NOT always work. I have tried all these things when we go into "down time" and sometimes it has nothing to do with YOU!! :D I will finally get tired of dealing so I will throw a fit. My husband says he is one who just does not "need" to have sex like they always say men do. I have questioned this because before the kids-we had sex at LEAST 4 times a week, if not more. He says that having the kids just made huge changes in the time we can spend together, in his views on life, and just the simnple fact that he is older. (We waited 8 years to have kids.) (Oh-and HE might be getting older but I AM NOT!!! AGK) He also works a more stressful job than he is used to and then does side work working on oil wells, so his mind is very often times just NOT ON ME. Does this annoy me? Oh my goodness YES!!!! And I will tell you that there are times that I have gone so far as to check the cell phone and all-wondering if maybe there is someone else. lol The simple fact is that just because he is not having sex with you does NOT always mean there is someone else.

So I guess I would say just talk to him. Ask him how he has been. Ask how he is feeling with work, with things that might need done with your home. Be open and tell him you are worried that you have done something to turn him off, or that you are not making him feel special? I know that even though I have to have this talk a lot anymore, I get more and more answers. (But I have to tell you the one I got over the weekend really did make me mad! He is always yelling at me that I am not hard enough on the kids, but I guess he was in the mood one night and he heard me yelling at the boys to get ready for bed and quit hitting each other, and that was a turn off....so in some cases I am darned if I do and darned if I don't!!!!) I could go on here, but figure others have thing to say so I wont.....hugs and if you need to talk I am here!

And I agree with others, pray for an answer, or for him to start to come around again. Prayer is powerful!!

M.

I agree that you need to talk to your husband. If you didn't feel like this before, than chances are you two are just not seeing eye to eye on what you need in your relationship. Have you ever heard of "The Five Love Languages". It is a book that my hubby and I read together and it REVOLUTIONIZED our marraige. Basically it says that people have five ways that they give and receive love-physical touch, words of affirmation, gifts, quality time, and acts of service. Most people have a very strong first and sometimes a decently strong second. I for example, am a Quality Time and Acts of Service person. So, I know people love me when they make time just for me (sounds like this may be you) or do special things for me (like helping with chores or sending me to get a massage). My husband is a Physical Touch and Words of Affirmation person. He wants to be touching me at all times (holding hands, kissing, snuggling) and he really needs me to give him lots of encouragement. The book says the problem is that people tend to express love in the same way they accept it. This is a big "no no" as it turns out. In our case, I was feeling very lonely because my husband didn't help out too much around the house and is a guy that likes to spend time around groups of people. I was really needing him to make time just for me. He was needing me to touch him more (with kids i used to not want to be touched so much because i was hung on all day). Unfortunately, because of the way I was feeling I also bickered and put him down alot saying he didn't really care about me etc.. It was a vicious cycle until we read this book. It was like a light bulb had turned on. Now we both recognize that although we are alot alike in some ways, we both need different things and we make an effort to do those for each other. I make sure to kiss him and snuggle at least 1/2 each day and I am very careful about what I say to him. He makes time just for me and helps me out alot more. It is great! I really think you should try this out. Whatever you do make sure you try and make it a joint decision and keep praying! God bless!

Hi M.,
Have you tried to talk to your husband about this? If so and he is not opening up, perhaps you should try marriage counseling. If he refuses to go with you, go alone and see if the counselor can help you see things from a bigger picture and help you find ways to encourage your husband to open up. Perhaps if he knows that you are feeling isolated and alone and that you really want a deeper, closer relationship with him he will be willing to open up as well. Perhaps he is feeling the same way, but doesn't know how to deal with it so he avoids it. If you are involved in a church, your pastor would be a good place to start. He would be able to either counsel you or put you in touch with a good counselor. I pray you do find a way to rekindle your marriage and it really grows into the closeknit family you desire it to be.

Been there M.. It's tough. My husband and I are finally getting back on track. We have been married for 8. In the past 6 years we have gone through fertility, had 2 babies in the same year (not twins) moved twice away from my close knit family and gone through a very stressful job situation. When we finally did "get it together" we learned that we both had some resentment and it wasn't all him and it wasn't all me. We moved for his job and I had to leave my family and go to somewhere where I was all alone while he finished school and was busy. If I ever complained or acted lonely he would get upset and say I wasn't being supportive of him trying to finish up. He didn't feel like I was being supportive of him and I didn't feel like he was hearing me and being supportive of me and we both just kind of went into our shells wanting the other to support us and be with us but feeling like he/me didn't want anything to do with us either. And sex, forget it. I found out now that he would go into the office and play games on his computer or go work in the basement because he was avoiding me but he wanted me to chase him. I would stay out because I wanted him to come after me. We both felt depressed and like the other one didn't REALLY love us or "if he really loved me he would act like... or do...You know the drill, if he really cared he would... Neither of us really realized what we were doing until we talked about it years later. It is a really tough conversation and something that doesn't get solved in one conversation. We are still working at it. Sex has even gotten better and a lot more frequent. Men like you to make the first move in that I have learned. It would probably mean the world to him if you took the reins and made him feel desirable. Good luck. Let me know if you want to vent.

M.,

First of all, your situation has a big red flag attached to it. Try to talk to your husband about the way you feel. If he is not having sexual relations with you and are gone a lot, that is a big red flag. Try to get to the root of the matter. Suggest counseling and try to come to some reasonable solution to this problem. It will only get worse if you continue to leave things the way they are. I am praying that you both come together and work on your marriage.

J. N

I can relate with your feelings. I had a psych professor once say to give a person a good feeling when you need to confront or construct, it is good to give 10 positive statements to 1 negative. In marriage this sometimes seems crazy, but it's crazy how right he was. If I tell my husband what i like about his actions, he tends to do them more. If I confront immediately, with full intention of being nice, he still gets defensive. When I do the mix, it works out better. I notice too that when I focus on his positive actions, my attitude about and towards him changes. Also, if you're going to confront him, let him know what about him being there you like (while it's obvious to us, it's like we have to spell it out for them sometimes.) If you reinforce why you like him there rather than telling him to be there, it is reinforcing good behavior, rather than coming across as controlling. (the positive to negative (per say) works on all most people. (well, except for mother-in-laws, but that's another story :) just kidding) it works :) Best wishes!

Counseling for both of you.
Now.

Here's another book recommendation: Sheet Music by Kevin Leman. It really does a good job of explaining that "male mind" and how we can be a part of their lives in every way. I am reading it now and he doesn't ever mince words-- don't leave this book out for your 11 y/o to see. It is very descriptive and isn't appropriate for kids. I truly hope you are able to reconnect with your husband and regain a wonderful and fulfilling relationship.

Communication is so important. If you don't talk to him and tell him how you feel, it will get worse and worse and the gap with widen. Do it when your daughter is not around and there is no tv on and try not to sound like you are complaining. Men tend to tune out a woman who sounds like they are complaining or trying to start a fight. Start with..."I would like to talk with you about how we havent been communicating lately" Sometimes when a couple have been together for awhile, people take each other for granted. I have tried this approach with my husband and it worked.

Change something. Anything. Make it exciting. Do a marriage retreat. Maybe seek a marriage counselor. I wouldn't get comfortable in the situation as you feel in your gut that it isn't good... Change it up!

The book "Love and Respect" by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs is a great resource for revitalizing relationships.

M., Try sitting a date night for you and your husband. My husband and I were both married before. We raised 7 children together.(4 kids mine and 3 kids are his). We had a date night every Wed night after church. Some times all we did was go to McDonald and have snack and talk. The talking is the secret to all. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the everyday things that we don't see each others needs.
God Bless,
B. S.

Do you have a spiritual life together? Do you go to church together? There's a retreat weekend that is designed to save and strengthen marriages. Check out retrouvaille.org. God Bless and do not forget to pray and seek God's plan for you, M.

What shift does he work? If from the beginning of your marriage until now you have worked different shifts he frankly isn't used to having you around and you are now infringing on his time to do whatever it is he wants to do. If you were working second shift and he was working first shift he came home to run the house his way and do whatever he wanted to do whenever he wanted to do it and by the time you came home he was tired and more than ready to go to sleep.
You probably weren't ready to go to sleep and had to unwind a little first.

I would suggest you plan a weekend for just the two of you with your daughter out of the house for the weekend with friends or family members, grandparents are great for this type of thing. Take the child to arranged place on Friday night, if he doesn't work weekends. If he works weekends you may need to take a day or two off work.

Saturday morning get up, fix him a nice breakfast, sit down with him and explain that you and he need to spend some time together talking about the strain in your relationship. Do not indicate it is his fault and do not be defensive. He will get up and walk away. Tell him how special he is to you and let him know you need him not just physically but morally and emotionally to be with you more. Spend the day together discussing your concerns and fears and let him discuss his feelings as well. Then compromise and see what you can do to work this out. If there doesn't seem to be a way to compromise, suggest marriage counseling and go. I have a friend who goes to counseling alone because her husband doesn't think he has a problem. They have been married for 35 years. The counselor has finally told her she will have to accept the way it is or move on. I would hate to see this happen to you.

How long has the lack of a physical relationship been going on? You failed to mention that. If it is fairly new developement or if it has been going on for quite awhile now. If it has been going on for awhile then they may be several reasons. Maybe one of the them is a health issue.

And most of all remember to pray about this to whatever creator you believe in. Ask for a little intervention and advise from a higher being whether it is a God, alien, or atom.

P. R

It IS NORMAL what you are going through.

We have gone through it many times... it seems like we are room mates. Some things that help are...

Reading a helpful marriage magazine together (We love Marriage - call 1-800-MARRIAGE to order)

Excersize together. I like watching him MOVE :)

Give him whatever he wants (sexually).. if you don't, he may find it elsewhere.

I agree with another response...The book "Love and Respect" by Dr. Emerson Eggerich is a great book and the ideas in it work!

Dates are a necessity - so are vacations at least once a year!

Reminisce! Look through photo albums if you need a jump start.

Cut back on things you do with others until you feel "in love" again.

Another great book is Five Love Languages... sometimes we love others the way "we want" to be loved and they aren't getting love the way they like it.

TALK - talk - talk - tell each other what you like and want.

Pray always... in all situations. Don't wait til nothing else works.

Oh another good book (we haven't finished it yet) Sex Begins in the Kitchen. It deals with helping each other so there is more time for other things. :)

God Bless your marriage... He hates divorce!

We are trying to change the statistics of divorce in our little corner of the world... we have decided to be COMMITTED to each other - no matter what - - - - In good times and in bad ---- in sickness and in health --- til death do us part... isn't that the way it was meant to be?

:)

M.,
Have you spoke with your husband about how you feel? You need to ask him if there is a problem. We women usually will tell them when we have a problem, but men usually keep it bottled inside and wont say anything at all. I would tell him how you feel, and make him talk to you about it. You may also want to seek marriage counceling, it works wonders in some cases. But until he tells you what his problem is you cant work on it.
I hope all works out for you.

It sounds to me like he either has a physical problem or he is being unfaithful. A normal and faithful man needs his woman in that way frequently. And he wants his woman to reach out for him first more than just sometimes. Nagging--as in "Why don't you . . .or "You never. . . ."--only turns him away from you. He tunes you out. And another thing to consider is horrible, but in these times you MUST be aware of it: be sure he is not messing with your daughter. If your daughter is afraid in any way, get to the bottom of it. Sincerely

Hi M., Have you talked to him to tell him how you are feeling or if he has feelings on the situation? Try reading The Five Love Languages for Married Couples. Communication is so important. I guess I would need to know more. God Bless and try talking without accusing or blaming. Hope this helps. N. L

He isn't cheating is he? I mean that would be my guess..but I understand because our relationship (my fiance and my) had been like that. And there has had been a lot of stress in our lives since we moved to his hometown. I feel like we're pretty much really young parents living under supervision with his mom and family up our bums all the time. We hardly have anytime to ourselves. We have 3 kids ages 11 1/2, 10 and 2 years of ages and they don't really go to bed until 10:30 to 11pm so I feel ya there. He usually works swing shifts. Some days they are from 4am till 3pm and other nights its 3pm until midnight and when he works the 4 to 3 its hard for us to spend time together, because he's usually in bed way before my kids. And when he works the nights, I'm usually in bed before him. We have been making dates for us to spend time together alone and be intimate. Even sharing a shower together. I have had the bad problem of accusing him of cheating and I know its probably crossed his. We do a lot of talking on the weekends. I sometimes feel like I don't exist ever to him. That I'm just a sex toy or parent or just his maid. He has done that to me. But once we started talking things out...things been better. I hope you can find some way of finding out what works for you guys...Try talking, sometimes just touching each other or taking a moment to just BREATHE Each other in...Good Luck.

Even the best marriages can benefit from couples counseling.
Best of luck,
Laura

M., have you told your husband how you feel? You need to tell him that you are feeling this way because this is how resentment starts and affairs begin because of the lack of what is at home. Not saying in the least that either of you are doing this. I know from experience that if you lack at home you look for other ways to compensate. I took jobs that I didn't want to componsate. An affair can be many different types of things not just the opposite sex. You need to tell him to sit and you need to ask him what is going on and that you won't live like this. I will be more then happy to talk to you on this more if you would like. Just Email me. L.

Hi M.,

He is so lucky to have you looking for help. The best book we ever read is "The Power of a Praying Wife" and "The Power of a Praying Husband' by Stormie O'Marten. I can't say enough about it, please check it out. It took me a long time to just buy it after someone recommended it to me, and I wish I had read it sooner!

Blessings!
T.

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