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Feeling trapped in an unfulfilling marriage.


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Old 15th May 2005, 9:00 AM   #1
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Feeling trapped in an unfulfilling marriage.

I have been struggling with these thoughts for many years, any advice/opinions would be greatfully received.

I am 38 yrs old and have been married for 19yrs, we have no kids. I haven't been happy in my marriage for the majority of that time. My husband has some physical health problems that have led to him being hospitalised numerous times over the years and time has just ticked by as i've cared for him throughout his illnesses. For the last 5 or 6 years his health has been stable and he is currently relatively fit and healthy. His health problems are degenerative and they will worsen as he gets older (he is also 38).

When we married i thought things were relatively ok, i thought he was a stable and well adjusted person, but as the years progressed i realised i was very wrong. He is incredibly negative about everything and everyone, he moans about everything and everyone all the time, he is opinionated to the extreme and gets verbally aggressive if anyone disagrees with him, he is insecure, he gets physically aggressive and trashes rooms if i annoy him - and i never know what will annoy him, it can be something as insignificant as me saying the wrong thing. The "trigger" words have never been the same twice so i am constantly having to watch what i say to him. I go out of my way to avoid confrontation, i will not argue with him as it makes him physically aggressive, i simply agree with everything he says.

He is materialistic, wants everything but will pay for nothing unless it benefits him. As a result, and to avoid the certain aggressiveness that will follow if we have money discussions, i pay for everything - all the household bills, the food bill, and holidays. He pays for the things i deem unnecessary but that he wants to have, like satellite TV and the home telephone. The rest of his wage is spent on material possessions he wants for himself, for example the latest SatNav system and i-pod.

He never wants to do anything with me, or go anywhere with me. If we have holidays it's because i want them and i have to pay for them. He has only ever taken me out to dinner once in the 20 yrs we have been together, and even then we paid half each. When i mention we never go out, his response is "I'm not stopping you, go out on your own", so i do, and he gets aggressive and abusive with me because of it.

He does not like any of my friends, he is rude to them and about them, then he complains that he doesn't have many friends of his own. If i get upset, he gets verbally aggressive, always wanting to fight my battles for me. If i am ill, he gets aggressive and has no patience for me.

Sexually he has no interest in me whatsoever, he hasn't wanted sex for about 6 yrs, the last time we had sex i initiated it when i was drunk. Prior to that, he rarely ever wanted sex, maybe once every 5 - 6 months. He is emotionally cold, doesn't cuddle me or kiss me, never tells me i make him happy or that i look good. If i approached him he'd push me away. Now his mere touch repulses me and i avoid any physical contact with him.

YET - he will not hear a word said against me by anyone else. If he gets so much of an inkling that someone has said something derogotary about me he hits the roof. This also goes if someone else pays me a compliment, he hates it.

The violent, trashing the house incidents happen about once a year. The rest is pretty much a daily thing. We get along on a day-to-day basis on his terms, if i behave in a way that's acceptable to him then the house is peaceful.

We have had counselling both together and individually. He got abusive and aggressive with every counsellor he saw, refused to accept his behaviour was in any way inappropriate, and refused to go back.

I have wanted to leave him for so long but i struggle with my emotions and guilt. I know in my heart that i am not in love with him. We live like housemates. I do care about him though, and it's that i cannot disassociate myself from.

I have been having an affair (physical, emotional and sexual) with another man for the past year. He is quite simply, wonderful. He's loving, caring and affectionate. I do not feel any guilt about this whatsoever.

I feel guilty, that if i left my husband and anything happened to him regarding his health problems, i could never forgive myself.
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Old 15th May 2005, 9:13 AM   #2
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You are holding the key to your own trap. All you have to do is use it and let yourself out. In the process, you'll be freeing your H from a situation that he is equally unhappy with.

Talk to a lawyer, file for divorce and leave. Then you will be freeing both of you to go out and find a shot at real happiness.
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Old 15th May 2005, 9:17 AM   #3
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You are not in a marriage and everything that's happening to you is in good part YOUR fault for subjecting yourself to it. You have been in a very unhealthy relationship (this is NOT a marriage) for many years...one that should have never been in the first place. I'm shocked you had to come here and ask for advice. Get out of this relationship at your soonest opportunity.

You were not put on this earth to make life easy when some butthole gets sick. That's his problem. Absent his sicknesses, he is a royal jerk and he's destroyed the best years of your life....with your help. You are young and you have many great years left on the planet. Find a good lawyer, leave this guy, and don't look back. Get so far away that if he gets sick, he won't be able to reach you on the phone to let you know.

This is one of the more abusive relationships I've ever known. You need in-person support. See a counsellor, a minister or whoever is closest to you to help you get out of this. You are wasting precious minutes of your life on a jerk who could care less about anybody but himself. If I was there, I'd kick him in the butt...but I'd wait until he was really sick to do it.

Last edited by Tony T; 15th May 2005 at 9:23 AM..
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Old 15th May 2005, 9:32 AM   #4
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I know my marriage is abusive, and i know it is my own fault for putting up with it for so long. I also know i am the only one who can put an end to this, but it is SO hard, i struggle with my feelings of guilt every time i think about leaving.

All i see is a very ill man lying in intensive care on a life support machine after transplant surgery - twice. And i know he will face it again sometime in the future.

It was 18 yrs ago but it haunts me every day. I feel massively guilty about the very thought of leaving him to cope with that again.
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Old 15th May 2005, 9:50 AM   #5
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Candamar, sometimes, just sometimes, "guilt" --especially in pathological marriages--is just another word for "inertia" or "passivity" or "masochism" or "co-dependency." Sometimes we prefer the world we know, even when that world is self-destructive, to that big bad unknown out there.

I assume your affair is going well. Is your lover available in a more committed, meaningful way when you make your Great Escape? I suspect he's married too, and that encumbered status will limit the help and support, which he could provide. Nevertheless, it's long past time to go.

Go back and re-read your opening post: You've written your very own Declaration of Independence. Now is the time to break from this tyrant.

And once you do, you'll find that the big old world, even when you're on your own, is much more frightening in thought than in reality.
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Old 15th May 2005, 9:53 AM   #6
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See a psychologist at your earliest opportunity. It's nice to have empathy but you give it a new reputation. You are not in charge of your guy's happiness. I promise you, he will suck it somebody else...or several others...to get him through his sick times once you leave.

See a psychologist as soon as possible. Why would you give up precious minutes of your life to be around a guy who has ruined your life thus far.

This site can only give you courage. You will have to give your ownself the self esteem and guts to adjust your life to make your own happiness. We can't do that for you.

You came here because you are obviously miserable. But if you're just going to wallow in your misery because the Mother Theresa in you just can't stand the thought of some baxtard getting another transplant, then we can't help you. He will need many transplants, including heart and brain, to keep him from being a total and complete selfish, self centered butthole.

What will it take to keep you from being sucked into this crap??????????? Surely we aren't the first people to tell you this stuff. You have been screwing up your life for many years. Haven't you talked about this to other people?

Getting away is difficult for some but if you get the courage to just pack your bags and cut out, you'll be the happiest gal on the planet. Just don't repeat your mistake.
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Old 15th May 2005, 10:01 AM   #7
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My lover is single and available, he has no skeletons in his closet, no children from past relationships or ex-wives lurking in his background. He has mentioned in the past that the only thing stopping me being the perfect partner for him is the fact i am married.

I have spoken to him about my desire to leave my husband and he said it would be inappropriate for him to offer advice as he had a vested interest - i.e me.
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Old 15th May 2005, 10:09 AM   #8
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Your lover is single and unencumbered? All the more reason to exit. You'll have an emotional support structure in place and someone to cushion your fall when you jump.

By the way, in matters of the heart everyone has a conflict of interest--noble sentiments notwithstanding.

Marriage is not a penal colony. Leave now.
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Old 15th May 2005, 3:18 PM   #9
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Sounds like he is a Narcissist... or at least is bathing in that word. Get out and make yourself happy. We will all be dead in 50 years.... why wait???
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Old 15th May 2005, 7:20 PM   #10
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Life is a gift, every moment precious-you don't love your h. It sounds like you love the om-don't let guilt be the quicksand that stops you from having the life you want and deserve. There is never an excuse for having an affair, i speak from experience, get out of your lonely, loveless marriage-you can still help your h after the divorce-if he'll let you.
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Old 15th May 2005, 9:32 PM   #11
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Most women remain in an abusive relationship because they've grown in some way dependant on the man, however, financially you are basically on your own, you've proven to yourself that you can have a give and take emotional experience with another man, you've proven that you can somehow cope in unendurable circumstances, you've acknowledged that you no longer love him, that is gone, so what's the problem here? You've done everything else for him for the last 20 years, so go ahead and pack his bags.
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Old 17th October 2006, 6:18 AM   #12
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**UPDATE**

I thought it might be nice to write an update on the original post i made here 18 months ago, seeing as my story has a happy ending!

The day after i posted my original thread, i left my husband. I simply walked out the door and told him i was never coming back.

I can't say it was easy, because it wasn't. It was the hardest decision i've had to make in my life, i left with nothing but the clothes i was wearing, my Grandmother's ring and a bear that was given to me when i was a baby. I left with the knowledge that i could lose everything i owned, but also with the knowledge that i could gain happiness.

He fought me every step of the way. He kept everything we owned, he kept our house, he even kept our pets. He harrassed me incessantly for months and he tried to fight the divorce.

BUT - I didn't lose anything, i actually gained everything. I gained my life back. He lost, and i am the winner.

Now, 18 months later, i have come through the other side. I have had some fantastic therapy that has allowed me to deal with and accept my past without hatred, bitterness or self pity and i have built myself a new life. I have my own house, a great job and a fantastic network of friends and family. I am financially, physically and emotionally independent. The guy who i was seeing for the last year of my marriage is still in my life and we are very happy together.

The advice i was given on Loveshack played a part in my decision to leave, and in my actions and direction since, so i'd like to thank all those who posted.

A happy ending to a very unhappy story, but i remind myself every day that good things happen to good people.
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Old 17th October 2006, 9:35 AM   #13
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THAT IS FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!11

THANKS for sharing your story. Hope it will inspire others to do what is truly thr RIGHT thing, not the guilt-driven or fear of change-driven thing.

WOOHOO FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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