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Do all marriages eventually become passionless marriages of convenience?
September 14, 2005
8:27 am
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Juanita
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Love and passion both change like the tide. They ebb and flow back and forth. They are ever changing and evolving.

I have been married 16 yrs. With him for 20 all together.

I thought I had the perfect marriage with 'white picket fence house' life style - well, as close as can come to it in todays' society where both parents work & leave their children in daycare.

My love and passion both changed when my spouse told me he wanted something kinkier than I could provide or accept. He wanted to invite 'other' people into our intimate lives. This started about 2 yrs ago.

This just about killed me emotionally and I am told I put myself thru the mill.

I am still with him. I still do love him, but it is different. My passion has subsided. What he thought to bank and increase resulted in the opposite. The passion I do feel isn't created within my marriage bed - it is created within my head.

So, that's my experience.

My parents have been married 50 yrs & tell me the secret is mutual love, respect, doing all things together, treating one another like they did on their 1st date, and always holding hands.

Bet dear ol' Dad didn't want to bring anyone else home, or offer Mom to either.

Every marriage takes work & you will reap what you sow.

Good luck. Only you can decide what to do and how much effort you want to put into it.

September 14, 2005
3:08 pm
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luckyguy
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Juanita

Did you actually give in to his request, or was it just talk? I am horrified for you if it actually did happen! Have you told him how it made you feel? Does he know what he did to you emotionally?

I feel so badly for what you have had to endure. If I ever asked my wife to bring someone else into our marriage like that, I would fully expect her to divorce me. It's like a slap in the face.

It just seems to me, that if you told him how you feel and still he persists, he obviously doesn't love you very much. I'm sorry to say that, but I think you deserve a committed, monogamous relationship. It's a very basic need for most of us. You're certainly not asking for too much.

September 14, 2005
5:36 pm
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Anonymous
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It seems amazing to me that relationships can degrade to the point I´ve read here. I´m afraid I´m projecting my (?) problem but I relate so much to the dilemma of staying or leaving. Why is it left to one person to decide? How can oone be so acommodated while the other suffers? I someone trying to punish him or herself? I left my xh 7 years ago and I still don´t know if things could have worked out. The thing is people may want the same things but be on different tracks to get there and may be on different speeds. My xh and I have almost 15 yrs apart, he´s older. Figure 1945 and 1960. We definitely wanted the same things but he was on fast track to get there as said my therapist then. I was emotionally unavailable during the final part of my master´s degree. One couple thought I wouldn´t be back from a trip to see family. So, from my perspective, marriage is down to a contract, to testing the water, to seeing who gets in first (then I´ll follow), who´ll have the courage. It seems to me luckyguy is kind of worn out and if you donn´t watch, you´ll make choices based on physically and emotionally you feel. Around here, south america, there aren´t many marriages. On the religious side, people haven´t been going to church and can´t afford weddings. ON the socioeconomic legal side, a stable relationship counts as much as a civil marriage. So as soon as teenagers aren´t curious about sex anymore or found the affection they needed and got tired of counting how many guys they kissed on the same night at the disco, they elope and the parents will be so happy and help the kids are out of that scene. So, the point I´m trying to share with you is that life is getting too fast. Even though some generations are still holding on to older values, rites and belief systems. If lucky guy changed his feelings about his wife it may be because one person in the relationship doesn´t know, doesn´t want to know, doesn´t like who knows what it takes for both to be happy which might well be getting the divorce. Did you try marriage vacation, ie, trial separation but moe focused on reflecting on your own. My XH didn´t give me that option. Kitties are born with their eyes closed but soon they open it. Maybe getting on the top of a hill will help getting the whole perspective. Lucky guy, you don´t seem practical and I say it in a good way. I´m new in the chat scene and it has been nice to share people´s perspectives. So much has been thought out and shared maybe you could have a heart to heart talk with your heart about what its needs and wants are. I heard that if you ake the most important decision, the rest will follow. It may be hard but things will start falling into place and flow. Best of luck.

September 14, 2005
9:06 pm
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jamaicanwife
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In my experience, yes, but my experience is limited to bad, bad examples.

In other conversations on this board, I have recently realized that I have no way of relating to 'normal' people. In my relationship with my normal husband who had a happy childhood, I automatically fel into the roles I was accustomed to playing in my family - victim/peacemaker/manipulator. This only upsets normal people, I have learnt. I have no where in my entire big brain that I can go to find some lesson that taught me to accept people as they are, live my own life, accept responsibility for yourself and make your own decisions. Somehow I made it through my entire life without learning these things. Don't get me wrong, my husband needed several refresher courses, but he never had to feel for a limb that was amputated before it even started to grow. What he needed was there inside him. What I need is somewhere out there (over the rainbow? God, I hope not).

September 14, 2005
9:13 pm
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Juanita
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Luckyguy,

No, I did not give in to his request. This was about 2+ yrs ago. What I/we went thru did change me though. I used to adore him & put him on a pedestal. My mistake, he is only human. Now I know his human wants and requests. Someone recently told me here I sound very (I forget the exact word) but subdued of the whole thing. Thing is, if I tihnk & fester on this, all I will feel is inadequate. Doesn't matter I have done ABC ... XYZ, except skipping the F, R, T, and V. I realize I am not enough on some levels - he is still curious. What remains to be seen is what happens in the future.

What he wants (or wanted) was a specific thing - a 'fling' be it for 'us'. People have asked did I say "no" firmly enough. People have said He should have respected my feelings. He countered it was all in fun & jest. I should respect his feelings and wants too.

So, what have I done? I've labeled as one of those things we agree to disagree on.

Yes, he has awoken a curiousity in me (neither of us have ever been with any one else).... but my terms of 'getting to know' someone are much different than his. Mine, if they ever came about, would be much more serious. However, to stand up for myself & also realize the 'reality' of it all ... chances of that happening are very slim.

So, here we are. I know he loves me. I can see it in his eyes when he tells me so. Me, well, regaining that 100% adoration & trust will take some time. If you want the complete poop on the whole deal, check the Lib side for an old thread something like FYI, Twinks, WD & Zinnie.... probably a yr or so old... There is another thread from when I originally came here so torn up, but I'd rather not say its name - the FYI was a condenced version. I'd rather not revisit the whole thing or I'll myself into a rut again.

For now, things are mostly back to normal. Just have some rather different knowledge than most women about their man I guess. If you flip that proverbial coin over - at least he trusts me enough to tell me these things & not keep them hidden.
That's a plus.

Basically, my whole thing is that marriage is not always a picnic. Your passion and love will change and evolve over time. You have to make your own decisions as to what is best for you to do. I still love my husband, granted the passion has slipped a bit for now, but I still love him. Time will tell, & time heals all wounds....

I'm hanging in here.

September 14, 2005
11:33 pm
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thewall
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Lucky guy,

Don't forget, there is a suicide clause in your life ins policy that basically says she would not get any money from ins if you kill yourself. Thats pretty basic in most life ins.

So...too bad, think again...not an option 🙂

Funerals are way too expensive to not have life ins, not to mention all of the other financial issues and emotional hell she and your child would suffer from. Dont do that to them. Have a heart, k?

I'm glad the computer friendships have been helpful for you. I too enjoy a couple of them, now and then. Its fun to talk to ppl from all over the world.

And ok, so I was wrong in my other response to you, here and there. First time for everything. It was bound to happen sometime 😉 LOL

take care and hang in there--or else :0

thewall

September 14, 2005
11:43 pm
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Neshema
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DR. thewall-

What are your credentials, I ask you once again? It is misleading to give people the impression that you are a psych clinician of some sort, and if you are, is what you are doing ethical without having met the person or stating your credentials upfront?

Neshie, Ph.D. (who never stated her credentials, but I do analysis...OF DATA, not PEOPLE)

September 15, 2005
8:38 am
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Juanita
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Luckyguy,

Remember one very important thing about life. You have choices... options. You are never trapped or doomed. You can enable yourself to take action steps to help yourself - ie, such as therapy. Suicide is not an option in my opinion. You are here for a reason. You are important.

What do you mean, you feel like you'll never have a fulfilling relationship? That takes work - lots of work. You can't give up. Also, it is OK to realize you've made a mistake. Sometimes we do. Sometimes, things and feelings change.

I sell insurance and you know who came in yesterday?

I'll tell you. One of my customers in his 70's was very proud to announce he just remarried & was thrilled! My point is this - it is never too late for love. Love can occur at any age & is not just for the 'youth'.

If you feel you have truly made a mistake for the last 17 yrs, counselling may enable you to gain the strength you need to start a new life. But you'll be around for your kids... just not in the same household. Don't you think they want to see you happy? Anyone who loves you would.

You have been unhappy and wrestling with this a long time. We each have our own demons to face and conquer. What you have been doing apparently isn't working (meaning staying there). Go to a therapist, find inner peace & resolve... make your move (out of house) if this will bring you peace.

Will it be easy? Probably not. Will it be worthwhile? Your happiness is worthwhile don't you think? You sound like a good man - you have the right to be happy and to try again at finding true fulfilling love... whether that's at home or *elsewhere*.

Remember - you always have options, you have control, you have to have faith in yourself & your abilities. You don't have to be miserable.

You can be miserable if you live down South and lost everything with another hurricane coming at you.... ok, then you can be miserable.

Count your blessings & take stock in yourself. You are a lucky man to have this ability, and the power to make changes.

September 15, 2005
9:22 am
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thewall
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Neshema,

I never said I was a clinician or have any type of credentials. Only you assumed that here.

I'm just a co-dependant like anyone else here who has learned from lots of self help books, my own counseling, and through my own pain.

chill out.

September 15, 2005
1:06 pm
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Neshema
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Wall, you claimed u worked in the psych field many times, said you have a happy marriage. You said you stumbled on this site, because u work in psych. You said you worked in a psych hosp..who knows what you do there...for all we know you work in the kitchen. You can work with patients with no credentials. You could volunteer. So, I am just asking for honesty.

September 15, 2005
1:43 pm
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jamaicanwife
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Neshema, chill.

September 15, 2005
1:51 pm
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Shaney
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Neshie!
Hi honey -
I'm only saying this because I want you to stick around. We're not allowed to belittle, attack or yell at another person - I see the fine line between being assertive and attacking being crossed here. Step back and try to smooth those beautiful feathers of yours.
:o)

September 15, 2005
2:24 pm
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mamacinnamon
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Nesh:

Please remember... there are folks of all types here, and we are not gonna like each and every one unfortunately. It's obvious you are upset here, but you do need to do as Shaney said.... stap back and smooth those feathers. Take a deep breath honey. Look at it this way. You don't have to agree or like everyone, but let's treat others as you would like to be treated. Spoken only out of love and concern.

Now... be nice please.

September 15, 2005
3:37 pm
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readyforachange
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Whoa, everyone...Back to the original question:

I have to believe that happy marriages exist.

So, I still believe in marriage and the fact that they can be happy and fulfilling.

But maybe I'm a dreamer.

September 15, 2005
4:58 pm
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luckyguy
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sininho

I've been chatting with my heart a lot lately. Unfortunately, it's not telling me what I want to hear. I want to hear that everything can be worked out and we can live happily ever after. I'm trying. We've been going to marriage councelling for a few months. We're both seeing therapists. I'm reading books. I'm trying to find support on this forum.

You said something that really hit home with me:

"How can oone be so acommodated while the other suffers?"

This is exactly how I've been feeling more and more, as I learn about self-esteem, and looking back on my entire marriage. She is happy. And I keep wondering how she can go on so blissfully unaware of how I feel. I take much of the blame for not being assertive enough. I always tried to make her happy and the expensive of what I wanted. In her mind, we have the ideal marriage, and in mine, it's been a nightmare! And every time I try to tell her, she gets depressed and starts drinking, and then I feel like such a horrible person...

September 15, 2005
5:27 pm
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luckyguy
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jamaicanwife

Part of what makes it especially hard for me, is that I take much of the responsibility. Again, our stories are similar in some regards. My wife grew up in a normal family. On the other hand, I am told that my mother has borderline personality disorder (VERY controlling), and I had very low self-esteem (still do) which resulted in having no relationships with members of the opposite sex until I got MARRIED. So I was ill-equipped to make the decision of marriage, because I basically had no idea what I was doing. Now, I'm not trying to shirk responsibility for my own mistakes. I always took the responsibility for that mistake on my own self. That's why I stayed in a very unsatisfying marriage for 17 years (so far).

But when you mentioned making your own decisions, I just realized I never made my own decisions either. I always just went along with everything. SHE fell in love with me, so I married her when I wasn't ready at all. And pretty much the entire marriage has been the same. I got a bigger apartment because she wanted one, I bought a house when and where she wanted it, I had a child because she wanted one, even though I knew the whole marriage somehow didn't feel right. I just went along with everything. I just never knew why it didn't feel right, until I started digging and seeking the answers only recently. It makes a lot more sense now, but that doesn't make it any easier. I feel like I have the social maturity of a teenager in the body of a middle age man.

But when I see how happy she is, and how much she loves me. It just make me feel incredibly guilty that I could destroy HER life if I left her. And not because of her, but because of ME. It was MY childhood that was screwed up, not hers! Why should she have to pay? And that's why I've stayed, even though I know she's not the one for me. I've always known it. But I AM the one for her. So I stay. For her, and because I'm afraid I'll end up alone if I leave...

September 15, 2005
5:28 pm
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jamaicanwife
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Telling her is no longer your main objective - she already knows and just doesn't want to face it. I don't drink, but when I dn't want to face something, only God can make me stop and look at it.

I would say leave her alone for a bit and work on yourself - learn something new, do something you wouldn't normally do. She needs to work through this, too.

Are you both seeing individual therapists?

September 15, 2005
5:48 pm
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luckyguy
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Juanita

I am glad things are getting back to normal and you didn't give in to his request. I, personally, agree with you. I can't have meaningless sexual relationships like some people seem to want, because I need the deep mental connection and trust that only comes with a committed relationship. I've always been the type who would fall in love first, and usually ended up expecting too much from the other person when all they wanted was a friendship or fun. Then they'd find someone else, and I'd feel like dying. My heart always led me. Maybe that's my biggest fault.

September 15, 2005
5:49 pm
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Randomwomen2
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the title of this thread explaines my marrige to a tee

September 15, 2005
5:55 pm
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luckyguy
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jamaicanwife

Yes, we are now both seeing individual therapists. She has been for a few weeks, and I started last Monday (1 appointment so far).

Your advice is exactly what I am trying to do right now: "leave her alone for a bit and work on yourself". I've purchased several books, including "The Disease To Please" (recommended here), and "Feeling Good, The New Mood Therapy" (recommended by my Psychologist), and I'm trying to learn more about why I am the way I am. You're absolutely right -- I need to figure out myself and what I want and need before I can make any big decisions.

Thanks, again for your advice and support. 🙂

September 15, 2005
9:03 pm
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Neshema
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For the record, on 9/10 thewall wrote

So, ok, if my marriage is so wonderful why am I here? Actually I happened to stumble across this websight and found it interesting. And bc i work in the field of psychology. And, ok, bc I had an abusive childhood and learned alot in my pain and in my healing since then.

thewall

I am not attacking him. I am asking him what his credentials are. I won't read this thread anymore. But, for the group's info, it really is inappropriate for someone without credentials to give the appearance as such, for someone with credentials to offer therapy without meeting a person, to not state his credentials upfront, or to get involved in a group that is a self-help group, unless his main purpose was to get help himself. Had I only seen his last statement, I would not have been concerned. On a different occasion, he also claimed that he worked in a psych hosp. Licensed psychologists have obtained certain credentials, as have LCSWs, psychiatrists, certified school psychologists, among others. I just wanted to know what his credentials are, since he brought them up. Is he a member of the American Psychological Association? If that is attacking, I withdraw the question, but wonder what his motives are by drawing attention that he "works in the field of psych." I think it is only fair that people reading (people who are searching for answers) understand that could mean just about anything, including people who work in the area of social psych, quantitative psych, developmental psych, etc or people who work in some psychologist's office, or a state hospital. I will be glad to refrain from posting on this thread.

September 15, 2005
9:12 pm
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Neshema
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finally, there is a difference between attacking and being assertive. I am just asking for accountability and healthy boundaries. I would think that CODAs would respect my right to such boundaries and accountability, since this appears to be a violation of professional ethics.

September 15, 2005
11:23 pm
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lost and found
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i agree with neshema. after reading all the threads. it appears to me that she is asking direct questions of accountability. lucky's answers are evasive, and smack with manipulation.

September 16, 2005
9:03 am
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I'm new here, interested in this Luckyguy thread because I have several things in common. My wife, after yrs of counseling and self-analysis acknowledged that she would understand if I had extra-marital relations to satisfy my sexual needs. She told me that, I had never seriously considered it. It was an earth-shaking event for me that set off a chain of events. For a time I was convinced that I could do both, satisfy the elements lacking in our marriage but stay on as a solid family. It turned out to be wrong. I haven't slept with any other woman, but in my mind I retain the "license". The source of the problem, I've come to understand, is that I never really loved her from day-one, I couldn't provide the affection that my wife so desperately sought, and this was a poor basis for the marriage. In Luckyguy I see a few important parallels. Lucky: you want it to work (I wanted it to work), you seem to feel you didn't ever really love your wife but you did everything over the years to convince her and yourself that you did. I am now having a frigging hard time trying to get from here to freedom while minimizing the damage to everyone around me. It's scary, I don't know how I'll get there.

September 16, 2005
9:18 am
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CAMER
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Mr. Nice & lucky...is it that you are more afraid of hurting "her", rather than staying in a loveless marriage???? sometimes convience and getting used to something is great, but sometimes we want more..passion, yes! now is the time to think of
yourselves and do what you need to do to keep YOU happy.

((camer))

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