OK, this is not easy for me. I just really need some advice that doesn't have a stake in this..
I met my husband in September 1991. I had just joined the Air Force and got to my first base. I met him and some of hif friends and we were all like buddies hanging out. I played volleyball, and other sports and they of course watched etc.. Anyway, none of them were boyfriend material since I had one at the time. We were all good friend though. Anyway, I had to mention all this to give you a good background. In Dec that year I was pregnant and alone. In Jan 1992 (New Years) my husband proposed to me. We got married the 16th of Jan. Since he was a good friend and I was in a really rough spot I of course developed feelings for him. I was 21 at the time and I thought that I loved him. Now that it has been 11 years and I am older and I hope a little wiser I have questioned my decision. I had a pretty rocky childhood and moved homes several times. I never really had a family around me that really loved me since from the time I was 12 after my parent's divorce I was in foster homes.
So, here I am 33 with 3 kids married for 11 years and I'm not sure what love is so, I can't really say that I love my husband. When we were married we were both Airmen in the USAF and had to live our lives that way. We had to be professional at work which of course carried itself to the house. So, when I got hurt in 1994 and had to have a lot of different doctor's appointments and test etc... we tried to take it one day at a time. I was medically boarded from the Air Force and I appealed and fought the process for about 9 months. Anyway at the very end my husband talked me into giving up the fight at the last minute. I never really thought much about how much he supported me or didn't support me through it until later. When I got out I was 5 month pregnant with my daughter. So, life was hectic. My husband left later that year for a 1 year tour and I went back to a friend's house. I was alone with the kids for 9 months before he came back for a month and then left again for the rest of his tour. Of course we went to a new base after that.
The point to all of this is that in 1994 I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and I have dealt with it alone. I miscarried a baby not long after our move at 16 weeks. He of course wouldn't talk about it. So, I dealt with it alone.
We moved again 3 years later to Japan where my son who is ADHD had a mini breakdown. The moves are hard on him but moving to a country that you can't even talk to anyone off base and everything is different was too much for him. I had a baby that was 7 weeks at the time but, I dealt with it alone.
I'm hoping that you see a pattern here. I know that my husband is a good man. I also know that he wants to understand what it is that I go through each day with my pain and depression but, he doesn't. When he asks me what he can do to help he never does it. He does something else instead. We have lived together for 11 years as not much more than friends. I never felt that racing in my heart when he enters the room. When he holds me I don't have the feeling of being totally safe or loved. I know that he wants to be in love with me and to love me but, I don't feel like he does. So, we are talking about divorce when we go back to the states in a few months. The kids think that everything is perfect. I don't know what to do. I know that he is a good man and that he can make some one very happy. I just know that I am not the one. Please does anyone have any type of guidence here??
With kindness and understanding, Heather
With kindness and understanding, Heather
I'm not sure I totally understood what you're trying to say, but it sounds like you've reached a crossroads - or even a dead end.
It sounds like you've had enough of being in a military family. Yes I do see a pattern that your husband isn't around whenever you have problems with yourself or the children, but it seems like that's not his fault, more to do with his duties in the Air Force? You say your husband isn't loving towards you but then again you've never really felt loving towards him anyway, and besides, you have said yourself you are not sure what love is because of all the problems you had in your childhood.
I get the impression you feel like you've been floating along with the current over this past 11 years without any sense of direction, and now realise you want more from your life than what you've ended up with?
I think you should go to a counsellor and try to work out the problems that were caused by your childhood and develop a better understanding of yourself and what you want out of life.
First of all, let me say THANK YOU! to your husband for what he does, for what you have done, and for all of your sacrifices for our country people!!!!
I cannot begin to thank you enough!
And it IS a huge sacrifice that most of us do not recognize! That is love. Taking care of your children is love. Meeting your husband's needs is love.
Love is not feeling, it is action. If we can't feel anything when we act, then that is a problem inside of us, not external. External changes will not change us inside.
Military life is hard, but you chose it, and then had all of these children in it. It is not a bad thing, but I think you do need outside help to both work through your own issues and to learn to open up.
I think you have a huge burden of anger that you have suffered alone, rather than to actually share the emotional burden. And what can your husband do...he cannot fix your feeling or lack of it. You alone can fix your numbness, and allow yourself to come alive.
I know for a fact that by acting and thinking romantically, anyone can bring the spark into a relationship with a good man, even if they did not start out with that spark. We can learn to appreciate any good man man for who he is, and to be glad to share ourselves with him, openly and freely.
Or, you could walk off from your marriage, tear the kids in two, and do irrepareable harm, meaning that you could not ever fix, and still have your intimacy issues that led you to marry this man you were only friends with, to begin with. Because you were not romantic, either.
Romance, by the way, is about attitude, and you are not romantic by choice. It is a choice. Maybe you are afraid to open up, but something keeps you bottled up.
Seeing your husband so seldom, like that, naturally creates feelings of alienation, anyway. When I don't see my husband for just a week, I don't know who he is. So, we then take time to be alone, go out, even spend a night or weekend out, to get used to being together, again. But that doesn't happen naturally.
We have to make ourselves do it.
I have been bottled up like you, and I married a friend for security for my kids, but when I got tired of it, I changed my marriage by changing myself. It was hard work, but my problems are my problems! (Nowadays, if I were dissatisfied, I would be making waves for change! I would be seeing my own counselor learning how to respond differently in the marriage to be a catylist for change.)
Romance fizzles in most marriages, regardless how hot they start, simply due to not paying attention to it, and not expressing emotions. I am impressed at how emotionless your message is. It sounds like you are describing a grocery shopping trip.
Gee, I would be mad, honey. I think you are angry, too. What would happen if you told your husband that you want your relationship to change, that you want MORE of his attention, rather than to sparate, and to take some time just to be together during the times he can be home?
I think you want real intimacy, and that you want real feeling...the tools and the feeling are all inside of YOU! You can act on them. I bet your husband feels you are only doing your duty with him. I bet he would be stunned if you made reseravations (even for one night)and bought a new nightie for it.
Rather than to throw away this good man, and the father of your children, why not work on your own self. I quarantee you that it works. Throwing this man away will only put you back where you started, but with more kids! And do you think child support will take care of your family?
These are just some things to think about.
My heart goes out to you!
My mother stayed with my father "for the sake of the children." She eventually had a nervous breakdown in her forties. I don't think that staying in a loveless marriage for the kids' sake is always the right thing. What kind of message are you sending to your kids by doing that? What if one of you meets someone else who makes you happy and you fall in love? Have an affair? And then you break up the marriage? Then everyone would be telling you, if you were unhappy, why didn't you end it BEFORE? You might be cheating both you and your husband out of a chance of real happiness.
Never stay with someone you don't love, it's no good for you, him, or your children. 3 years ago, I made the mistake of marrying a man in the Army that I had been good friends with. I figured that in time I would develop feelings for him. Luckily for both of us, our divorce will be final in 2 1/2 weeks. Good luck!
[This message has been edited by sweetescape02 (edited 02-26-2003).]
Welcome! It sounds like you are going through a tough time and I am sorry about that. There is no worse feeling than the feeling of being in a loveless relationship. The only thing that I wonder is if you are feeling that way because of all of the time that you are away from each other. I think it takes a tough family to be apart from each other in the demands of a military life. My husband's father was military--- my husband has issues today with his dad that I believe is because of all the time they were separated. He just is unable to have heart to heart talks with him...granted, this may not be because of the military but I think so. I think it would be especially true in a marriage. It sounds like he loves you....he loved you when you are down and has supported you through the tough times. Now, I am not saying that he was always there for you........sometimes I get furious with my husband for "being here, but not being here". Sometimes he just misses the mark when it comes to just instintively knowing when I am having a tough day. I believe that Friend was right on a lot of things. Marriages and relationships are work. Your husband may truly love you but you aren't feeling that love the way that you feel you should be. Take time to rekindle some romance. As a mom of 3 with a husband who works nights (seldom awake when I am!), I am a firm believer in love. I believe that love is not just the dizzy, butterflies in the stomach, kissy-kissy BUT it is "there for you when you are at your worst". We have to work to spend time alone...really alone... and we have learned that we need those outings to recharge our emotional selves.
I would also like to say that a wise friend gave me a book for my wedding gift-- "the five love languages" by gary chapman. It talks about how we all speak different love languages...it may be something simple like miscommunication or that you don't know how to show each other love.
I would hate for you to give up on a marriage of 11 years without checking into how to show the love that I believe that you have.
Of course, I don't live your life and you deserve to be happy. Best of Luck!
Ok let's see I want to respond to all the comments that I have gotten so bare with me while I try.
I'm not upset at him for his military commitment or the time that the military has taken him to places away from us. I have dealt with that, I had the same commitment that he did until I got hurt and medically boarded.
One of the problems that I have is that he doesn't make good use of the time that we have when he isn't sent to another location. When I got hurt he tried to be there for me however we were both active duty in the same squadron so, when we got an invitation to go out and I couldn't he did. So, not only was I in pain but, I had to take care of my son too. I quickly got into the 'full' role of a mother. At the time I wasn't that upset about it since I was a Mom and since we had to have a professional appearance at work that was life.
However, when he and I don't go out to dinner or spend any time together other than to cook dinner or watch a movie in bed before we fall asleep I started to wonder what happened. When we only had my son we were always busy at work and with things that related to the military. Volunteering whenever and where we could, sports etc.. Then I got hurt and pregnant and medically boarded all in the same year. Then a few months later was when he went to Korea. I didn't really have the time to wonder much or think that there was that much wrong.
Obviously I was very young and I wasn't sure of my feelings or what marriage or life was really about.
Anyway, to make a very long story short we now have 3 kids and I am always mom. I get up with them at night, I clean up after them etc.. etc.. Just like every other mom. He gets to go places where is away from the kids and me. He has that cool off time when things get weird or irritating he goes to work or gets a trip somewhere. The only time that I get 'away' is when I am running errands for the family or checking the mail since it is across the base. I recently started getting my nails done just so that I can have an hour and a half to myself once every 2 weeks. On those days he calls it 'Heather' days and makes it sound as though I am deserting everyone because I am not at home with them.
I don't get it. HE goes to work for 9 hours everyday and sometimes even more in fact quite often more. However, we don't complain when he works late or if he has to go in on a Saturday etc.. That's life but, I am not here when he is then I am cutting into anytime that we can have together.
I know that when you get married it is a union that is supposed to last a life time and that it is a blessed thing to be cherished and not thrown away. I also realize that there are more than 2 people here that have to be considered. There is nothing that I wouldn't do for my children. I would move heaven and earth for them. I would also protect them from anything and everything that I could. I know that every mother would. However, I also know that it isn't fair or right for them to have to sit back and watch their mother suffer because she is unhappy and lonely. No child should ever have to see their parent suffer. No parent should have to watch their child suffer either and I know that is what is going to happen if I don't get a divorce.
I had an accident a few weeks ago and I got a ticket for it. At this time I am fighting the ticket which my husband thinks I shouldn't. It is 6 points on my international license which doesn't transfer anywhere so, he thinks it is no big deal. However, I didn't do anything wrong to get the ticket. While I was driving down the road I blacked out. From the security forces I learned that I rode the curb until my tire blew and my rim bent in a way that it crammed into the curb and stopped the car. So, I was the only one in the car, the only one hurt, there was no damage to anything but my rim, and I was hospitalized for a day and a half until I was co-herent again. I was charged with reckless driving. Since I got home from the hospital I have heard my husband tell people that he is taking care of 4 kids now and that it is a terrible task that isn't easy. I have heard other things too that I'd rather just forget. the point is, I have not only been regarded as a child but treated like one too. So, as soon as I was able after the accident I was up and doing all that I could. It was a huge mistake and the pain at times even now is totally unbearable however, I couldn't be called a kid anymore.
I know that there has to be someone out there that can love me so much that I can feel safe and loved in his arms. Someone that I can smile at and he smiles back. Not to mention someone that doesn't read my email or check on what I am doing on my computer over my shoulder and then grill me about half a line that he read that was 'questionable' to him.
I have a best friend that is a guy that I get more excited about spending time with than my husband. I feel safer in his house even when he isn't there than I do in my own. I know that there has to be something that is better than this. I can honestly say that I think that my children would be better off if weren't together anymore too. I have tried for 6 years since the day he told me that he wasn't in love with me anymore, at that time I asked if I should leave. He said no, people fall in and out of love all the time and he couldn't live with out me. So, for the past 6 years I have done all that I could to make him fall back in love with me. I have tried to go to dinner alone, I got tickets to his favorite comedian's concert, I get sexy nighties, make his favorite dinner, rent his favorite movie and put the kid to bed early. None of it matters. I stopped telling him about my pain long ago but, he uses it as the excuse not to touch me. He uses me as the excuse not to go places. I would love to see Japan while we are here however, we have been here 3 years and he is afraid to go anywhere. If I am not the reason the kids are. When he is sent somewhere else he goes on as many tours of the country that he can on his time off. He says that he would like to share those experiences with us but, when we are given the opportunity by being stationed in another country he makes no effort to make any type of special memories for us here.
I feel left out, lonely, unwanted and worsed of all unloved. I just could never bear my children feeling the things that I do. Also, I was 12 when my parents got their divorce. They stayed together for 23 years because of the children. We were hurt more by the feelings in the house than when they went their own ways. I just think that it would be easier on them now at a younger age than later.
With kindness and understanding, Heather
I don't want you or anyone to think that I disagree with you. I don't I don't think that love is all butterflies and kissy kissy.
I do think that it is wanting to be there and trying to understand when there is something that is wrong. He has never supported anything that I have done or wanted to do. He tells me he does but, there is more to support and to love than words.
Like you said you get irritated when he is there but 'not there'. That is all the time.
I can make all the time in the world for us to have time alone and he will spend it on the computer playing a game or playing a game on his playstation since it is quiet and the kids aren't bothering him.
We have been seeing a counsellor and when he talks about our weekends he makes it sound as if I am a mother by week and a slug by weekend. He gets up earlier than me and my girls do most weekends so that he and my son can have some time together. However, if you hear him say it he says," she sleeps in every weekend and I get up early to take care of the kids." I just can't see that as support or caring.
I am just so confused. I have done papers myself on love in the past and some of the types of love there is and that everyone needs all the types in order to live and to even try to be happy. I just have no other clue what to do in order to fell loved at all. There have been times that I have felt sick to my stomach to even lay next to him in bed because I feel so lonely.
With kindness and understanding, Heather
With kindness and understanding, Heather
Expecting that feeling of butterflies in your stomach and racing heart to be a never-ending feeling, perhaps you need to also understand relationships. Almost any "new" relationship, whether it's work or love, will give you the high energy, sleepless nights, and skipped heart beats. But if that is what you're using a barometer for "love" then you may find yourself quite sad.
I understand because I had done similar things in my life, thinking that if that "feeling" wasn't present up in my throat then the whole thing was shot.
As we grow up we learn to trade sensations and create new blends. We trade in that racey feeling (which is more closely linked to lust than love, and fantasy than reality), with security, importance, trust, respect, honesty.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting all long term relationships turn in their slips for no more butterflies, far from it. But you learn to create new kinds of butterflies, together.
He's asked you what he can do which means he cares. You say he doesn't do what you tell him (what do you tell him?) -- do you explain that to him at the time, or do you silently brood when he doesn't fulfill your wishes exactly as you imagine them to be fulfilled?
Speaking from experience here,... and my Husband has surprised me over the years with how he's taught me to be more direct. We've learned that we have different definitions for things. He may do for you what he wishes you'd do for him (we all tend to do that when what we need to do is treat others as THEY wish to be treated).
I doubt he's doing this to goat you, but he probably is so confused, scared of sending you off or upsetting you, that he's making limp attempts and guesses at how to satisfy you given his own life and feelings too.
Try being direct and specific. Keep talking until you know he has a firm understanding of exactly what you wish (don't just say stuff and expect him to extrapolate it and distill it into just what you mean), and confirm the clarification.
I do understand what you're saying, believe me, I just think that too often we, myself included, tend to ruminate so heavily on how miserable we are because of our horrible childhoods, that we starve our present lives in favor of blaming our past.
Life isn't what happens to you -- it's how you react to it!
Hi LaRain, OK I've read your subsequent posts and think I understand more now.
No wonder you feel miserable - he has you in a prison! He's got you in a little box and whenever you try to get out he comes and sits on the box. He is forcing you into a certain status quo. In the form of belittling you in front of others, not putting any effort into the relationship and expecting you to accept it, not appreciating your duties around the house and looking after the children, and not giving you due care and attention even though you were involved in the car accident.
I can relate to how you feel because I'm in a bit of a prison myself in my marriage. I am trying to work it out but it is a VERY big deal. It is actually a form of abuse, LaRain.
It seems that because you're the mummy that you have no rights at all. This is NOT true. Marriage is about two people, being equal with equal rights. He has demanded so many things from you over the past 11 years, I think it's your turn for a change - to demand respect. Have it out with him and lay down the law. And if he refuses to give that to you then tell him to pack his bags.
Thanks for understanding. I have thought that for years and have mentioned that to him. He gets very upset when I mention abuse. That word to him means that he hits us. I have never accused him of that but, he gets angry.
In response to the other one. I have asked him to do things specifically. One of the things that is very painful for me to do it fold laundry. I know it seems like such an easy task but, when I do it my shoulder hurts to so bad that it either cramps up, locks up or just causes extreme pain. So, true I can fold a load of clothes but, not without actaully crying through the entire load and being in extreme pain. So, this is a chore that I have asked him to accomplish. So, after the laundry is washed it sits on the couch, the chairs, and anything else in the livingroom that doesn't move until he gets sick of it and yells at the kids to do it. Of course he grumbles about it all the time but, doesn't do anything to help get it done.
I know that I have tried but, there are very few people that see that. If they don't know me most people feel as if I haven't done enough to keep our marriage alive. I just think that just exsisting through a marriage can't be right. I have lived as a friend to him for so long. I know that we give up the butterflies for other feelings. Security etc. We have a house thanks to the military and a half way deent place to shop for groceries. However, I think that should start at home with a feeling of being safe. I don't feel that. I don't feel respected either. He has recently started checking to see where I go online and what e mail accounts I use etc.. As if there is something there that he is going to find. I asked him why he feels he needs to check up on me and he said, " Just in case you slip up". The bad thing is that I don't know if he was kidding or not. I asked him what I was going to slip up doing and he just smiled. This is the only place that I have actually put some of my fears and thoughts into words.
I just feel so lost sometimes.
With kindness and understanding, Heather
If the use of the word "abuse" sets him off, it means that he has a different definition for it than you do. So why would you want to continue to use that exact word (when there are different, suitable words to adequately relay what you really mean) to him to prove your point or share your feelings, when you know already that when you do use it, it sets him in a defensive pattern. That's passive aggressive behavior.
It feels like there are words such as abuse and prison being tossed around quite lightly.... by that I mean, to gain respect, it's important to also respect his definitions and if you both used words that were not inflammatory to each other, it's at least a beginning, -- whether that path leads to working it out or ending it.
No, those words aren't used here at the house only here on the messages. I tell him how I feel. I tell him that I feel like there is no love, and that I can't see it in his eyes or even feel safe with his touch.
I ask him to stop raising his voice when he is and tell him that I need time away when he is acting as if he is getting angry enough to hit. He has raised his hand to me in anger and I have let him know that it would be a huge mistake for him to go there.
So, when I talk to him I don't say prison or anything that sounds negative. I just try in a nice way to let him know how I feel.
I have let him know that I think that he is a good man and that I don't hate him and I am not angry at him just hurt. I think that there is some one that he will make happy. It just isn't me. He gets mad when I tell him he is a good man. He says he is tired of hearing that.
So, since I can't even talk to him nicely without him getting upset I just try not to get into that type of conversation. So, since we don't talk about our relationship we just exsist together.
With kindness and understanding, Heather
I read all the posts and it brought back my own memories.I was married to my first husband 27 years,and we have one son together who is now 30. My marriage was miserable . To add to that I was brought up in a home where my parents taught that divorce was wrong. I also got the feeling that it was my job to keep it together. I ended up suffering clinical depression the last 10 years and lots of therapy.I was a housewife all those years. But as I got better in therapy and started to even imagine that I was worth something I began to think of going back to school. My ex husband said I would never make it ,and that I would never work a day . Not very supportive. If we were on a trip and I got really thirsty,and the coke was 1.00 he was wait for 20 more miles to see if he could find it for no more than 50 cents. I had to explain why I needed something.I was told to be tough like him when I got sick and not go to the doctor. My son heard a lot of this. My son is a cut up more like me ,and his dad is Mr. Serious. I finally did leave the marriage,and he made it all look like my fault . I had met a guy and slipped out with him,and no he wasnt mr. right ,but hearing anything good said to me at the time seemed nice. My ex husband cared more about money than me. When I left he threathened that if I tried to get any of the money he would send something to my school where by then I worked as a special ed teacher.(by the way,going on 9 years now).I told him to keep the money ,I just wanted out.
People have told me I was a sucker to do that ,and yes it has been hard,he even kept the house and much land,but I couldnt stand having it.I am now married to a man that is 15 years younger than me. I am 49. He has diabetes and is really suffering right now and cant work. But,we are so happy. I love him so much and he me. He always shows me respect and me to him. He cares for me when I am sick,and I care for him during this.He cant help his medical conditions.This August we will be married 5 years. I didnt know a man could love me like this.Before my divorce I kept imagining I was on my death bed and seeing my parents and thinking well I guess you are proud of me because I diidnt divorce,and then seeing my son,and thinking ,well son I guess your happy because mom didnt divorce your dad,then seeing my ex husband and thinking well I am going to die so now you will go on and live.....I decided I wanted NOT to die just to make all of them happy. I wanted to know happiness too before I died. And, now I have.