Questions about love/marriage
  • soulsearching79
    Posts: 11Member
    Well, the main reason I joined the boards is to make this post.  I don't find other websites to be supportive/understanding, so I'm hoping I can find some of that here.

    So, I was married when I was 24 to an incredibly abusive man.  We're since divorced and I'm re-married to a man who is NOT abusive in any way whatsoever.  I am safe in my home for the first time in years, and I'm very happy about this.  I'm concerned about our relationship though.

    With my exH, everything was amazingly passionate.  I felt like my heart was going to burst because I loved him so much.  I didn't know how I would ever live without him.  Even now, as things have settled down and we are getting along for the sake of our daughter, I sometimes miss the fact that he knew everything about me and vice-versa.  

    With my current husband, I don't feel any of this.  He's a good man, but we don't have much of a relationship.  We don't really talk unless it's about my daughter (he has been in her life since I was preggo - she is adamant that she has 2 fathers).  There is so much that I feel that I don't know about him, but I don't feel comfortable asking him (like his ethnicity for example - not that it matters, but don't most couples know that?).  I truly feel like we live our own lives and just happen to live together.  It's so strange.  I don't feel any passion for him at all.  Like, if he walked out tomorrow, I'm not really sure that I would care or notice even.

    That must sound terrible!  I guess I'm mostly afraid that I don't have any idea what true love is.  I'm scared that I'm going to live in this relationship forever and never experience anything remotely close to what I had with my exH (besides the violence).  I feel like I'm lying to my current DH because I don't really think of him as an integral part of my life.

    What am I missing?  What is wrong with me?  Is it possible that this is just another bad marriage, but in a different way?  It's so frustrating....
  • KatDragonKatDragon
    Posts: 370Member
    Did you feel this way at the wedding?
    "Fantastic!" 9th Doctor
  • MorganD
    Posts: 3,436Member
    You guys need to see a counselor. And stop to think for a second...if you felt comfortable enough to marry him, there must have been things that you were/are attracted to about him. Rediscover those things. And don't be afraid to ask your husband questions! Tell him how you are feeling right now and get to know each other. Give your relationship the chance to flourish. *hugs* Don't be afraid to love your husband.

    As far as your ex...I had a friend who was like this about her ex. He abandoned her when their little girl was only 4 weeks old, and she never got closure. He was on her mind alot, and she spoke to me about it often. She saw him about a year ago, after 5.5 years, and finally got closure. She's finally able to fully enjoy her marriage to her current husband. It took time, but it's normal to miss the good things and forget the bad. You might need to sit down with your ex and discuss everything that happened and why. It might help you close that chapter so you can completely love your current husband.
  • soulsearching79
    Posts: 11Member

    Did you feel this way at the wedding?



    Yes and no.  I mean, I knew that we didn't have the same type of passion that I had with my ex, but I always chalked that up to the fact that I must already have a skewed view of relationships.  I thought that the passion was part of the DV cycle, and that real relationships must not be that way.  I'm starting to doubt that though.  We've been married for 6 months and I hate being around him because he offers no conversation, no intimacy (hugs, kisses, closeness, etc), really not much of anything.  I've probably made another horrible mistake, but there really isn't much I can do about it now.
  • soulsearching79
    Posts: 11Member
    You guys need to see a counselor. And stop to think for a second...if you felt comfortable enough to marry him, there must have been things that you were/are attracted to about him. Rediscover those things. And don't be afraid to ask your husband questions! Tell him how you are feeling right now and get to know each other. Give your relationship the chance to flourish. *hugs* Don't be afraid to love your husband.

    As far as your ex...I had a friend who was like this about her ex. He abandoned her when their little girl was only 4 weeks old, and she never got closure. He was on her mind alot, and she spoke to me about it often. She saw him about a year ago, after 5.5 years, and finally got closure. She's finally able to fully enjoy her marriage to her current husband. It took time, but it's normal to miss the good things and forget the bad. You might need to sit down with your ex and discuss everything that happened and why. It might help you close that chapter so you can completely love your current husband.


    I wish he would see a counselor, but he thinks it's a joke.  Which sucks, because I'm around social workers all day long, and would love nothing better than to figure this out.  The problem is, it's my problem.  He has no issues.  

    The whole situation with my ex is bizarre.  We'd never be able to talk about things because he will never admit what a vicious monster he can be.  He will never apologize for the beatings, the destruction of property, the breakdown of my self-esteem, the alienation from family and friends, etc. So, in that respect, there will never be closure with him.  And I'll have to see him at least 2x a week for the next 15 years or so.  
  • GingersnapGingersnap
    Posts: 9,696Member
    I think it's okay to start off with you talking to a counselor, but this *is not* just your problem. It takes two people to carry on a relationship. 
    image
    “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” ― Joseph Campbell
  • MorganD
    Posts: 3,436Member
    If he won't admit it, then I think that's why you can't get closure. As far as your new husband, you need to give him a wake-up call.
  • episcopal
    Posts: 1,851Member
    @soulsearching79, from what you describe, it just doesn't sound like there's "a whole lot there" as far as a relationship is concerned.

    Can you think of anything that would make it very difficult to leave, i.e. financial support, treats you and kid well?

    You deserve to be happy.  Finding a good counselor to help sort this all out seems like a good idea.  You might want to go on your own at first and let the counselor suggest whether or not it would be fruitful for DH to join you.

    Wishing you both the best!
  • soulsearching79
    Posts: 11Member
    MorganD said:

    If he won't admit it, then I think that's why you can't get closure. As far as your new husband, you need to give him a wake-up call.



    That's the thing!  I've tried to do that.  Maybe I'm not forceful enough about it?  I've said to him that I'm unhappy with the fact that we never talk - he says we've been together so long that there is nothing to talk about.  I've told him that I am unhappy because it feels like he only cares about DD and not me - he tells me that it isn't true.  But nothing ever changes.  I'm just at a loss.
  • soulsearching79
    Posts: 11Member
    episcopal said:

    @soulsearching79, from what you describe, it just doesn't sound like there's "a whole lot there" as far as a relationship is concerned.

    Can you think of anything that would make it very difficult to leave, i.e. financial support, treats you and kid well?

    You deserve to be happy.  Finding a good counselor to help sort this all out seems like a good idea.  You might want to go on your own at first and let the counselor suggest whether or not it would be fruitful for DH to join you.

    Wishing you both the best!



    Yeah, it doesn't feel like there's a whole lot there.  Le sigh.

    I don't know that leaving is the right thing.  I mean, he and my daughter have an INCREDIBLE bond, which I am loathe to interfere with.  Besides, I don't want another failed marriage under my belt.

    My former counselor offered to see us together, but he isn't into it.  Hell, this man won't even go to the Dr. because he would have to take time off of work - let alone take time off for important things (like my graduation.  his boss forced him to take extra time for the wedding).  So, you know, there's that.
  • MorganD
    Posts: 3,436Member
    Do something extreme. Pitch a raging fit. Whatever you need to do to wake him up.
  • momofeveryonemomofeveryone
    Posts: 1,917Member

     There is so much that I feel that I don't know about him, but I don't feel comfortable asking him (like his ethnicity for example - not that it matters, but don't most couples know that?).  I truly feel like we live our own lives and just happen to live together.  It's so strange.  I don't feel any passion for him at all.  Like, if he walked out tomorrow, I'm not really sure that I would care or notice even.
     
    We've been married for 6 months and I hate being around him because he offers no conversation, no intimacy (hugs, kisses, closeness, etc), really not much of anything.
     
    He will never apologize for the beatings, the destruction of property, the breakdown of my self-esteem, the alienation from family and friends, etc. So, in that respect, there will never be closure with him.  And I'll have to see him at least 2x a week for the next 15 years or so.  



    sooooo yeah. i just want you to re-read your words for a moment. these are YOUR words. they are how YOU feel. you are allowed to feel anyway you want to with out feeling you need to justify, argue, defend, or explain. in other words you do not need to JADE. we will not judge you here. if we ask formore info its becasue we want to help.

    to me, it sounds like you are scared and dont know what is normal or healthy. you need to go talk to someone so you can learn what is healthy in ANY relationship, not just your marriage.

    i want a nap. and some chocolate. who's with me?!
  • soulsearching79
    Posts: 11Member

     There is so much that I feel that I don't know about him, but I don't feel comfortable asking him (like his ethnicity for example - not that it matters, but don't most couples know that?).  I truly feel like we live our own lives and just happen to live together.  It's so strange.  I don't feel any passion for him at all.  Like, if he walked out tomorrow, I'm not really sure that I would care or notice even.
     
    We've been married for 6 months and I hate being around him because he offers no conversation, no intimacy (hugs, kisses, closeness, etc), really not much of anything.
     
    He will never apologize for the beatings, the destruction of property, the breakdown of my self-esteem, the alienation from family and friends, etc. So, in that respect, there will never be closure with him.  And I'll have to see him at least 2x a week for the next 15 years or so.  



    sooooo yeah. i just want you to re-read your words for a moment. these are YOUR words. they are how YOU feel. you are allowed to feel anyway you want to with out feeling you need to justify, argue, defend, or explain. in other words you do not need to JADE. we will not judge you here. if we ask formore info its becasue we want to help.

    to me, it sounds like you are scared and dont know what is normal or healthy. you need to go talk to someone so you can learn what is healthy in ANY relationship, not just your marriage.



    I don't mind the questions at all.  And I COMPLETELY agree with you regarding my knowledge of normal, healthy relationships.  I saw someone for a couple of years when I was going through the divorce/custody battle with my ex.  I stopped going b/c I can't afford the co-pays anymore.  But you're right.  I have NO IDEA what love is supposed to feel like at all.  Other than the love you feel for your child - I've got that down pat :)  I've learned how to deal with my psychotic family, my friends, etc - just not romantic relationships apparently.

    Even more than feeling love, I feel like I've lost the ability to feel any positive emotions unless it's regarding my daughter.  I may be exaggeratting at the moment because I'm down about all of this, but right now that is how it feels.  
  • WabiSabiLife
    Posts: 131Member

    Hell, this man won't even go to the Dr. because he would have to take time off of work - let alone take time off for important things (like my graduation.  his boss forced him to take extra time for the wedding).



    Sounds like he is hiding his head in the sand about something. Who loves their work *that* much? Also, the comment about there being nothing to talk about? there is always something to talk about: dinner, home maintenance, dream vacations, "how was your day, dear?", "do you want to rent a movie tonight?" did anyone balance the checkbook?. It isn't that my dh and I are chatty cathies, but we live together and have a life together and even when it's only mundane crap, we talk.

     

    If I have to play Unlicensed Therapist, I'd guess that you went polar opposite from your ex because the way the ex was, hurt. So subconciously you picked someone who was *not* outwardly passionate in the hopes that you'd be 'safe' there. Co-Pays be damned, I'd still try and find someone to talk to, contact a church or hospital or even a local university with a psychology program. They sometimes have counselors or group therapies that could work for you at low to no cost.

  • Texas
    Posts: 103Member
    My first husband used to be all kinds of mean to me. He was also a drug addict and an alcoholic. I loved that man so much I would have done anything to prove it to him. I did a lot of stupid things trying to prove my love to him. It never mattered. I stopped communication with him when I was pregnant with our second child. 
    My husband now is a great guy. He loves our children and I know he would do anything for them. I, on the other hand, do not feel that immense love for him that one should feel for a husband. I married him because he was safe. I knew he would be a good father. I wasn't looking for the perfect husband. He does love me and I love him but I can honestly say that I am not in love with him. 
    Am I happy? Most of the time. Do I miss the intensity of being in love? Of having butterflies in your stomach after years of being together? Most definitely. I wish I loved my current husband half as much as I did my first. Except that I know that wasn't a healthy love. 
    Basically you need to decide if you can live with the way things are. For me, personally, I know that this is the best thing I can do for my children. I may not be completely happy but I fake it well for the husband. 
    You can pm me if you'd like.
  • undercoverbanana
    Posts: 12,609Member
    Nothing is wrong with you. You guys just need to work on you relationship a little, is all. Part of that passion and love you felt with the abusive guy was really your adrenaline in high gear. And I'm sure any positive attention you got from him felt like fireworks. Normal relationships...or whatever passes for normal.....go through ups and downs and fall into ruts. And you BOTH have to work at it.
    i'm nekkid.
  • soulsearching79
    Posts: 11Member
    Thank you all so much for your words of wisdom and advice!  

  • GritsGrits
    Posts: 4,370Member
    I agree whole-heartedly with @undercoverbanana.

    But there's a lot to be said for a relationship where both parties are equally invested in it's success. How would he react if you went off?? Told him that either the marriage improves or you walk. IMHO, everyone deserves to be truly happy in their marriage. Does that mean everything is passion and butterflies? No. Does it mean you never argue? No. But it does mean that you care if the other person is as happy/unhappy as you are. Try showing him how passionate you can be and tell him point blank you want it reciprocated. Good luck, hun. I hope it all works out for you.
    "I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and I believe in miracles." ~Audrey Hepburn
  • SomeDude
    Posts: 191Member
    The abusiveness of exh probably looked an awful lot like sexy dominance and confidence and your body responded to that, never mind what your head thought about whether the treatment was appropriate. The security of the current husband is nice and comforting, I'm sure, but not exciting.

    I wouldn't be surprised if you told him in some fashion that you like him better because he is nicer to you and so he's internalized that. It's possible he might have to tone down the nurturing and increase the dominance to create feelings of excitement in you.
  • RDunhamRDunham
    Posts: 138Member
    I think seeing a counselor on your own is a great first step. Sometimes it helps to work out the junk in your own head first, especially after an abusive relationship.
  • soulsearching79
    Posts: 11Member
    SomeDude said:

    The abusiveness of exh probably looked an awful lot like sexy dominance and confidence and your body responded to that, never mind what your head thought about whether the treatment was appropriate. The security of the current husband is nice and comforting, I'm sure, but not exciting.

    I wouldn't be surprised if you told him in some fashion that you like him better because he is nicer to you and so he's internalized that. It's possible he might have to tone down the nurturing and increase the dominance to create feelings of excitement in you.



    This is an interesting perspective.  What brought you to it, if you don't mind me asking.  I'm not disagreeing at all.  Knowing myself makes this feasible to some extent.  I've just never heard anyone else pose this theory.
  • SomeDude
    Posts: 191Member
    My wife and I have had some desire challenges in our marriage - everything is cool between us, nice and peaceful, and we really like each other, but the frequency of sex has been diminishing. We've had some discussions about it. She had read some stuff about maybe me being more helpful around the house would do it. Now, I don't mind being part of the team around the house, and love being a father to my children, so it was no harm to increase my efforts on those fronts -- but, I think I was already a solid contributor in those areas, and, in any event, doing more didn't move the sexual frequency meter even a little.

    So, I started searching the Internet. The talkaboutmarriage.com forums have a lot of these stories. Contributors there seem to be big fans of the "Married Man Sex Life" blog and book. The author has some theories about "alpha" and "beta" traits in men, and the chemicals responses they tend to inspire in women. Alpha traits tend to trigger the release of dopamine and beta traits tend to trigger the release of oxytocin. According to him, the dopamine is the fun reward chemical and oxytocin makes you feel comfortable and loving. The feeling of desire for sex is more of a dopamine thing than an oxytocin thing.

    According to this theory, anyway, you need a good balance of alpha and beta for a healthy long term relationship - the tingles and excitement coming from alpha traits, the trust and lovingness coming from the beta traits.
  • soulsearching79
    Posts: 11Member
    That's really interesting.  Thanks for sharing that.