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  • Marriage after 15 years...happily ever after???

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    Old 09-20-2004, 08:20 AM   #1
    goody2shuz
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    Marriage after 15 years...happily ever after???

    Just wondering since I've had great advice medically on this board if I could get some relationship advice from couples who have been married over 15 years.

    I don't know if I'm all alone here...but alot of times I feel as if my relationship with hubby is in a rut. I love him & believe that he loves me as well but am having a difficult time feeling loved when I am not showed in action or word. Seems over the past 5 maybe 10 years I've been compalining about the lack of romance and of feeling unloved. This feeling both hubby & I notice, worstens a few days before my monthly cycle...PMS, however in general it's an everyday feeling. I've brought this up many times stating to my hubby that I feel unloved and even ask him to come up with the last loving thing he did or said to me. When he can't he asks me when I did and I usually can come up with a thing or two. He tells me he'll try to be better at showing me love & it just reverts back to the same old thing.

    This has been going on for years and now it seems to have gotten into a vicious cycle. In the past I would be the one showing love and doing loving things for him...but it got to the point that it was me doing all the loving things with nothing in return. Now it's gotten to the point that I feel at times angry and resentful towards him for not showing in word or action that he loves me. I get snappy and lash out in the form of complaint or anger, alot of the time brought to tears. I can't think of the last time he spontaneously told me he loved me or paid me a compliment other than the goodnite kiss & hello/goodbye kisses I receive. Our daily routine is the same on a day to day basis...almost predictable where he goes to work, comes home, showers, watches TV, eats dinner & goes back to TV most nights falling asleep in front of it. Our conversations are mostly at dinner & commercial times. Surprisingly enough our sex life is great...he stays awake for those nights (often it is said that when a marriage is bad outside the bedroom it's terrible in the bedroom as well) Don't get me wrong...we do talk but so often I feel restricted to commercial time. My best girlfriend says that this is normal in marriage over time....I always thought that the romance would stay alive and that I would be feeling that romantic feeling forever.

    Is this normal or am I a woman with unrealistic expectations...I'm all of a sudden feeling like his roommate who cooks, cleans and satisfies his sexual needs. I'm even at the point of feeling jealous of our dog who gets to spoon with him before bedtime each night!!! What advise do you guys have...am I going through a phase of wishing for something unrealistic...is this all normal, don't get me wrong I love my husband dearly, however, I didn't think that after 17 years it would be like this. Any advice would be greatly appreciated...Goody

     
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    Old 09-20-2004, 08:30 AM   #2
    eightball61
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    Re: Marriage after 15 years...happily ever after???

    It is normal to feel like this. You both need to have the fire re lit and there are way to do that. It can be little things like romantic dinner settings, bathing, messages or big like bed and breakfast, couple couseling, ect....goodluck

     
    Old 09-20-2004, 10:06 AM   #3
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    Re: Marriage after 15 years...happily ever after???

    Was he very romantic when you dated? Other than being unromantic now, how does he treat you? This info will give us more insight.

    It sounds like when you two communicate (at least about romance) it has a quite negative tone. Don’t expect any changes until the communication becomes positive. No man responds well to negative criticism; our egos are too fragile. Is putting this burden all on you unfair? Sure is; however, you are the one pushing for change. If you don’t take the lead, who will? Try being “sweet and smiley” for a week and see if he notices. After the week, talk to him about romance again and see if he responds differently than before. If you think his attitude has improved, jointly pick one romantic thing for him to do or improve on. Keep us informed.

    Last edited by heartlandguy; 09-20-2004 at 10:55 AM. Reason: Clarify

     
    Old 09-20-2004, 10:18 AM   #4
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    Re: Marriage after 15 years...happily ever after???

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by heartlandguy
    Was he romantic when you dated? Other than being unromantic now, how does he treated you?

    I think being romantic in the beginning is something that happens to all. Then as time goes then things die off or stay the same. In this case it has dies off. She has to things she can do; 1. Seek elsewhere and risk the same thing happening or she could stick it out and try to get hte fire lit.

     
    Old 09-20-2004, 10:36 AM   #5
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    Re: Marriage after 15 years...happily ever after???

    Do you work outside the home? Do you have children that keep you busy during the day? The reason I ask is because I have a friend in the SAME boat you're in. Same issues with her. She did not work outside the home, and pretty much takes care of her husband. She runs errands during the day, but waits for her husband to get home from work, and then wants his full attention. He is usually tired from his day and does the same thing your husband does. Watches TV and then goes to bed.
    She has ALL DAY to think about things while her husband is busy at work, and when he comes home, he wants to relax. And she wants to talk.
    It sounds like your marriage is a pretty good one and that your sex life is healthy and that's a good sign. Every marriage has it's ups and downs and sometimes ins and outs.
    My friend actually got a part-time job and volunteers 1 day a week at the SPCA and it has helped. Just a thought.

     
    Old 09-20-2004, 11:10 AM   #6
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    Re: Marriage after 15 years...happily ever after???

    susieq brought up some excellent points. If you are generally home alone with kids, most of your adult communication needs will be directed at your husband. Your husband probably shares his communication needs with his coworkers and you. You may drown him as he enters the door; my wife did that to me when she was “entombed” with the kids all day. When the kids were old enough for her to work, communications improved between us. (Her personality recovered nicely, too )

    If this seems to be your situation, reread susieq’s post and find some way (e.g.; job, volunteer, etc.) to communicate with adults other than your husband.

     
    Old 09-20-2004, 11:11 AM   #7
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    Re: Marriage after 15 years...happily ever after???

    Thanks all for the replies!!!

    Eightball & Heartland....It's great to hear a guy's point of view and in response to your advice I have tried being smiley and loving, it's my natural way to be. I don't like the way things are now because in response to his lack of romance (yes he was that way when we first met or I wouldn't feel so bad) I have changed to the point of not wanting to do my part in the romance department 'cause I'm tired of doing it all...if I didn't nobody would and this is totally against my nature. For a long time now any romance between us comes from me 100%. I feel that if I were shown love more often then I wouldn't feel the way I do...that I wouldn't say some of the snooty things I say or complain as often as I do. I feel that if he showed me and made me feel more loved then I wouldn't have a thing to complain about...he's a great provider, and has worked hard to provide me and our 2 daughters with a beautiful home & security. But I sometimes feel invisible and like I said no more than a roommate which I have shared with him. I know if he told me that I didn't make him feel loved I would move the heaven's & earth to change that because of my love for him. Is that only a woman thing and am I expecting too much from him? My best friend lacks the security and material things I have and has the most romantic husband....she tells me she wold trade the romance anyday for the security and I tell her I'd rather live in a shack with a man who truly loved & adored me!!!! What do you make of that??

    SusieQ....yes I am a stay at home mom with a back disability. I used to be a pediatric nurse but am unable to work due to my back problems. Our 2 daughters are 13 & 16 and I keep busy by teaching 2 religious ed classes, involving myself in my older daughter's Girl Scout troop and school affairs through the PTA and theatre arts program. I keep busy and do understand that hubby needs to relax....but even on weekends he's planted in front of the TV when he's not doing the home maintenance that most of the time is done by our daughters. I do love him and our marriage but wish for more companionship and am unhappy with the way things are. I've discussed this with him & we've tried to change to the point of scheduling dates and it's so short term & gets right back to where it is and starts all over again. His #1 complaint is that I complain too much and I've tried to tell him that if he showed me more love I'd have absolutely nothing to complain about...figure that one out. That's the vicious cycle...would there be complaint if one felt loved

     
    Old 09-20-2004, 11:12 AM   #8
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    Re: Marriage after 15 years...happily ever after???

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by heartlandguy
    susieq brought up some excellent points. If you are generally home alone with kids, most of your adult communication needs will be directed at your husband. Your husband probably shares his communication needs with his coworkers and you. You may drown him as he enters the door; my wife did that to me when she was “entombed” with the kids all day. When the kids were old enough for her to work, communications improved between us. (Her personality recovered nicely, too )

    I am happy to see that you and your wife have worked through the communication. This is very hard to do for a lot of people even though it seems yet so easy.

     
    Old 09-20-2004, 11:35 AM   #9
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    Re: Marriage after 15 years...happily ever after???

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by goody2shuz
    His #1 complaint is that I complain too much and I've tried to tell him that if he showed me more love I'd have absolutely nothing to complain about...figure that one out.
    Okay, try being the perfect wife for one week. Assuming he doesn't respond favorably, tell him you did it his way but that didn't work either. Now what? Hopefully that will lead to better dialog to find the real problem. If not, communication is definitely the problem.

    When communication is the problem, a counselor can help because often the couple will say things to the counselor that they won’t say to each other. (Each tries to win over the counselor to their point of view.) The trick of using a counselor is finding one he is willing to go to. My guess is he will tell you that he doesn’t need a counselor.

    Keep us posted!

     
    Old 09-20-2004, 11:40 AM   #10
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    Re: Marriage after 15 years...happily ever after???

    I would continue to stay busy with your girls and your other projects. I know how you feel though, because my husband feels the way you do sometimes. We have a wonderful marriage, but we work different hours and sometimes pass each other in the hallway! lol!!!! He works at the Pentagon and is working while I am sleeping and I'm sleeping when he's working. When we finally do meet up with each other, there are so many chores and errands to tend to I sometimes forget to tell him how much I love and need him. He is very good about it and leaves me little notes on the kitchen table or cards or whatever the case may be.
    I am very much aware of it and try to make sure I tell him everyday that he's my guy!
    I guess it's hard to give advice on this one because your husband doesn't think there's anything wrong. From your posts, it appears he thinks you're "complaining" (?) I would say a long romantic weekend is a good idea.

     
    Old 09-20-2004, 11:44 AM   #11
    eightball61
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    Re: Marriage after 15 years...happily ever after???

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by goody2shuz
    Thanks all for the replies!!!

    Eightball & Heartland....It's great to hear a guy's point of view and in response to your advice I have tried being smiley and loving, it's my natural way to be. I don't like the way things are now because in response to his lack of romance (yes he was that way when we first met or I wouldn't feel so bad) I have changed to the point of not wanting to do my part in the romance department 'cause I'm tired of doing it all...if I didn't nobody would and this is totally against my nature. For a long time now any romance between us comes from me 100%. I feel that if I were shown love more often then I wouldn't feel the way I do...that I wouldn't say some of the snooty things I say or complain as often as I do. I feel that if he showed me and made me feel more loved then I wouldn't have a thing to complain about...he's a great provider, and has worked hard to provide me and our 2 daughters with a beautiful home & security. But I sometimes feel invisible and like I said no more than a roommate which I have shared with him. I know if he told me that I didn't make him feel loved I would move the heaven's & earth to change that because of my love for him. Is that only a woman thing and am I expecting too much from him? My best friend lacks the security and material things I have and has the most romantic husband....she tells me she wold trade the romance anyday for the security and I tell her I'd rather live in a shack with a man who truly loved & adored me!!!! What do you make of that??

    What do I think of that Well as you see we all have different views and see what we want in a relationship differently. You feel you put so much but the thing that seems to lack is communication. You need to tell him everything that you told us and prey he understands. You can try doing some new stuff like I listed earlier but if you have a romantic night get things that will please you and not just him for example; if you like messages get lotion for yourself and tell him you like to have his hands on you.

     
    Old 09-20-2004, 12:56 PM   #12
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    Re: Marriage after 15 years...happily ever after???

    Thanks again guys!!!

    SusieQ...you seem to be doing things right and your guy is certainly lucky to have someone like you to remind him that he's still your guy. Leaving notes would be something I'd really appreciate especially since my hubby gets up 5am or so. Only he doewn't think of doing little things like that to remind me that I'm still his gal!!

    Heartland...Tried to suggest counseling & as you already predicted my guy is like most guys and feels we don't need one. That's when we came up with going out on dates only to revert back to where we are now. IT's not that our marriage is bad...I just feel disconnected and one time last year while in an argument and he had a little bit to drink he blurted out that he didn't feel like he was in love with me anymore. Ever since then I can't help thinking that he doesn't, even though he reassures me that he didn't really mean it. I mean,...how can somebody ever take those words back?? They seem to be ever so real on a day to day basis when I don't receive loving actions and the words "I love you" only seem to come out as an automated response at the end of phone conversations etc. After that argument I find it hard to believe he loves me without evidence of it either in word or action whereas in the past I could get by and chalk it up to our busy schedules.

    8 ball....your last suggestion was much appreciated, however, we really don't need help in the "hands on" department in the bedroom. I often tell my husband if he could only put half the effort outside the bedroom as he does inside it...then it would be great!!! I don't want much...just little hints here and there that take some imagination of reminding me that I still mean the world to him. I intend on showing him some of what I've written here since he's walked in and I told him I was seeking advice on how to work our issues out...he said he's open to all suggestions guys...so let it roll. It's the next best thing to getting him to a counselor so don't disappoint me....Goody

     
    Old 09-20-2004, 01:04 PM   #13
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    Re: Marriage after 15 years...happily ever after???

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by goody2shuz

    8 ball....your last suggestion was much appreciated, however, we really don't need help in the "hands on" department in the bedroom. I often tell my husband if he could only put half the effort outside the bedroom as he does inside it...then it would be great!!! I don't want much...just little hints here and there that take some imagination of reminding me that I still mean the world to him. I intend on showing him some of what I've written here since he's walked in and I told him I was seeking advice on how to work our issues out...he said he's open to all suggestions guys...so let it roll. It's the next best thing to getting him to a counselor so don't disappoint me....Goody

    I didn't mean to cross the line but I through a suggestion to get some hints on what may be lacking for your needs. I strongly feel that you do need to communicate everything you told us to him though.

     
    Old 09-20-2004, 01:16 PM   #14
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    Re: Marriage after 15 years...happily ever after???

    eightball...everything I am saying on here has already been told to hubby. His response is I'll try better...it lasts a day or so & then reverts back. I didn't mean to put you or anyone on the spot....I just found it surprising that he was open to other people's opinions/suggestions. Who knows...perhaps he'll post on his own although I truly doubt it....Goody

    Last edited by goody2shuz; 09-20-2004 at 01:16 PM.

     
    Old 09-20-2004, 01:19 PM   #15
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    Re: Marriage after 15 years...happily ever after???

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by goody2shuz
    eightball...everything I am saying on here has already been told to hubby. His response is I'll try better...it lasts a day or so & then reverts back. I didn't mean to put you or anyone on the spot....I just found it surprising that he was open to other people's opinions/suggestions. Who knows...perhaps he'll post on his own although I truly doubt it....Goody
    He is trying new stuff. I think that would be a great idea that you both do post. We have a great team and maybe he could get through to him. When he says he will change its for a short time but its like I said over and over that you cant just change someone over night. Change takes time and some people(like me) cant adapt to change well. You can give up hope on this. If you see him slumping on trying then try to pick him right back up. Be supportive and walk with him because its a team effort.

    Last edited by eightball61; 09-20-2004 at 01:19 PM.

     
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