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Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).
I am very sorry to know about this frustrating and concerning situation.
Could you please tell me for how long you have been married and how long ago did these issues start?
I am sorry. When his could happen in marriages, for sure when it happens it does show poor intimacy, empathy and fulfillment in relationships. Spouses could forget special dates, but to remember them and just ignore it uses to be very frustrating and hurtful in most marriages. This is consistent with the issues you mentioned around sex, which were confronted, and even when she agreed these were issues, she did not take any consistent action in order to make changes and improve your marital relationship.
We have been married for 11 years. We dated for two years and my wife (girlfriend at the time) could not get enough of me. But as soon as we married things started to change. After a year she through out her lingerie. In relation to the sexual aspect our sex life has been like this for the past 5 years (that is sex once every 4-6 weeks) pre that average once a week. I do talk and discuss issues but my wife does not want to talk about anything. generally we get on well. We dont have yelling matches and I am open to talking about her needs but she just wont talk.
You seem to have been doing a good job being helpful and supportive at home and with your children, on the other hand, she seems to take most of her time doing things that could be necessary, but leaving no time for you as a couple, for your marital life and enjoyment. I imagine you work full time and do help this much at home. Being a full time mom is tough without doubt, but for a housewife not to have time for her husband and to disregard sex life, intimacy and even so special dates like your birthday, all show serious problems in the marriage.
This sound truly frustrating. It seems she felt confident that once you got married, she did not need to do much work about taking good care of your relationship as a couple at multiple levels, from romance, to intimacy, sex, passion and mutual fulfillment. Without both of you being able and willing to understand and support each others' needs and expectations, there is no way your marriage could develop and be enjoyed as a healthy and fulfilling experience.
This is serious since without her openness and willingness to talk about your issues, to work on them, taking responsibility for the role she plays there, there is no way for your situation to improve at all. Most times people in your shoes would feel increasingly frustrated, depressed, annoyed and resenctful, developing different mental health disorders because of these chronic unresolved issues.
I work 12 hour days 3 times a week with my days off helping around the home. The pay is above average and I can and do extra work from time to time, so money is not a big issue as we budget well. I dont go drinking or partying with the boys as I would rather be with my family but sometimes I wish I had someone who was supportive and attentive. I discussed with her the option of having sex at least once a week with her taking the initiative once a month.( I always have to initiate sex) I suggested to her that she could do anything that night just as long as she initiated it. She seemed to agree but each time I approached her about sex she said she was too tired and that "tomorrow night we would" as the saying goes, tomorrow never comes' as she is to tired and gets angry at me for going on about it.
I honestly do not see how your situation could improve at all if she remains perpetuating this approach, which obviously neglects your marital life, does show lack of caring about your feelings and needs, and no consistency with those times when she agrees about doing something about it, then manipulating things using excuses around house keeping and being tired just not to take care of your relationship. If she has no physical or mental disability, no serious medical problems, good finances and you are not a bad husband at all, then there would be no reason for her to keep this chronic neglect and serious lack of accountability.
I think she truly needs to work on her personal issues leading to and fueling this marital problems with professional psychotherapeutic support, only then she would be able to work with you on healing the marriage and making it grow as a mutually healthy and fulfilling experience-sharing.
At work (Im a registered nurse) i work with a lot of women and from time to time meet women visiting my patients. some have asked for my number, sometimes i feel a connection to either a staff member or patients family member but because I have two children I wont put them through a divorce as Id rather just make the most of it. I guess i just dont know what to do. I wont say anything to anyone as i dont want anyone looking at her in a negative way. I do care about her but do i love her i just dont know?
I am sorry. I do believe you truly love your wife, but at the same time it seems that this love has not led you to develop a healthy and fulfilling marriage, once for that to happen, both spouses need to offer same real affection, understanding, caring, compassion, passion, respect and support. Without them it would be unrealistic to expect a marriage to work. Psychotherapy is not about judging nor exposing yourself or loved one to be judged, it is about people looking for necessary professional mental health support, when serious issues arise undermining the integrity, health and well-being of individuals, marriages and families. The same way you look for a medical doctor for a physical health problem, we all need to consider professional health support when we do have serious life issues, mental or emotional problems undermining our life and well-being.
Sadly, whenever unhealthy marriages develop, children are the first helpless victims suffering the impact from it. While people many times facing similar scenario do find thinking about their children's well-being as the main or only reason to keep an unhealthy-non fulfilling marriage, they do not realize that most times perpetuating such situation do negatively impact in their children's personality, mood and lives as adults too, much more than if they face reality and work on creating healthier lives.
She wont go see any therapist. And I know im not mr perfect. But maybe because Im a nurse and spend a lot of time with people consoling them etc(I work in intensive care) I suppose im used to talking and discussing things. Before we had our children my wife worked in the bank in customer service. and when we had the boys she stopped work. But when the boys go to school she wants to resume work which I think would be good for her. She admitted the other day she felt flat and a friend suggested a business proposition to her (dealing with makeup etc) and she is keen as she feels this may help her. I am happy for her and support her as i hope this may help her.
I suggest you to seriously consider getting individual counseling to work on better coping with these serious issues, once due to their tenor and chronicity would continue to demand from you a lot of resilience and support.
What you say about your job and changes since you got married makes perfect sense
I do agree about the affect on the children, but at this stage our home is quite a happy home. I dont ask for sex, I dont discuss any deep issues about us, but I will ask her again to see a therapist. And at the same time i feel I need someone to talk to as i feel so alone at times. And I need to discuss my thoughts with a therapist like yourself to get feed back. I keep wondering what I have done wrong. I have never had an affair. I used to have female friends but when we got married that all stopped as she felt it was not right once your married. I can appriciate that but sometimes its nice to talk with a women. I dont say much to the girls at work as I am fairly private and as I said before I dont want anyone judging her.
I think I understand your situation and fears, but only you know how it feels, its challenges and limitations. I support you, and the plans around suggesting and looking for therapy, it seems truly important.
Thankyou for your time.