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Cher, Relationship Enthusiast
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 21301
Experience:  Extensive experience as Educator/Teacher, M.A., Counselor, Spouse, Parent, Psychic Advisor
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Well, I am having trouble in my marriage. There is not enough

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Well, I am having trouble in my marriage. There is not enough time and space to explain it all. But in a very short nut shell. I feel like I love my husband, and I think he loves me, but not the way I would like to be loved. I do things, thoughtful things for him and he hardly ever does them in return. Also our #1 issue is that I want his time and attention and I feel like he only want to give it to me, when he feels like it, which is not often at all in my book. We have had couseling twice in our 13 years of marriage, with no solution. I feel lonesome and in last place in his life. He knows how I feel and does nothing to fix our problem. We have an 8 year old son and if it were not for him I would have left years ago. I desperately love my husband, but I am tired of showing him my affection and getting so little affection in return. In addition, even though I know it is wrong I am having somewhat of an emotional affair with my EX. What should I do? Conseling for myself ?
Hello, and thanks for your question.

I'm sorry you're having a hard time and feeling neglected by your husband.

At the beginning of your marriage, did he used to do the thoughtful things you feel he's not doing now, and was he more attentive?

When you say you're having an 'emotional' affair with your ex, do you mean you speak to each other and say flirtatious things, etc., but you have not had a physical relationship?

What caused the break up of your marriage with your ex, and how long had you been married?

Is there any reason to suspect that your husband is having an affair?

Is your son's father, your current husband?

Thanks for all your additional detail.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

The first year we dated and the first three years of our marriage, were wonderful and yes he gave me everything I needed and wanted, lot of attention and I felt very special and loved and valued. Now, actually the last 9 years I feel like a pain in his butt and that he loves me, but because he know he should, not because he wants to. Or he wants to but in his words "sometimes" he thinks of me or wants to spend time with me. Yes, my ex and I have always remained friends and he means alot to me. We have not had sex, but we talk about our inner most thoughts and we enjoy each others company. My first husband and I were married 6 years and I left him because he is an alcoholic, cheated on me and refused to get help. We also married young, I was 19 and he was 24 and we lost our baby the first year of our marriage (still birth), and no I was not pregnant before we got married. I do not believe that my current husband is having an affair, even though over the years I did suspect this and he finally told me he had an addition to Porn, after lying about it for 4 years. I think he has this under control now. And yes my current husband is my son's father. Actually he is adopted, but we adopted him as an infant. My current husband and I were both previously married and I thought we wanted the same things in life, but I just don't think that any more. And thanks for your empathy.

Hello again, and thanks for your reply with additional detail.

I'd appreciate your patience while I prepare your detailed answer.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
No problem. I wish you had all night, so I could explain the whole thing, but I think you get the jist. I will be patiently waiting.
Hi again, and thanks for your patience.

You explained everything very well, so yes, I did get the jist. If you would like to add more details, I would be more than happy to read them, but for now, I will answer to what you have said.

I completely understand your feeling of frustration and wishing it could be the way it was when you were first married. Some marriages just need a 'boost', as things can become less interesting as time goes on, and each partner is involved in their own work, and worries. The fact that you have your son is a positive in your relationship, but it should not be the reason you stay together if you are not happy. If you want to try to salvage your marriage, it would be a good idea for both of you to see a marriage counselor. You can each go separately, the first time, to explain your views of the situation, but then going together to an experienced counselor, should provide you with the tools you need to improve your relationship and enjoy each other more.

If you would like to go to counseling yourself, for the time being, I think that's a great idea. Something has to give, if you are to be happy again, and if your husband knows that your are unhappy, but seems to not want to do anything about it, it's possible that he doesn't know what to do, so counseling will help both of you to determine this.

I think you enjoy talking to your ex, at this particular time, because you ARE feeling neglected by your husband and it's easy to talk to your ex, because you were so close and know each other so well. This is not an uncommon situation, re: turning to your ex when things are not going well in your current marriage. You were very right in leaving him, due to his alcohol problem, but I'm glad you've remained friends and still care about each other. He's helping you through a hard time, but try to leave it at that. I'm so sorry to hear that you lost your first child with him, but it's great that you have your son.

If your husband admitted to an addiction to internet porn, this may be a contributing factor to his paying less attention to you. If you 'think' he's kicked the habit, now, that's great, but you need to know for sure, because internet porn has ruined many good marriages. It IS almost like having an affair, when a man becomes addicted to this.

Because you say you do still love him and just want to matter more, in his life, I think your next step of going to counseling, is a good one; after you find out more about yourself and the reasons behind your husband's actions, you should both try your best to salvage your relationship, and hopefully this will be the outcome. However, if things don't improve within a reasonable amount of time, you need to put yourself and your happiness first, even though you worry about your son's, and you may need to leave him, to accomplish this. Your son can't be the reason you stay; if you're unhappy, your son will know this, although your relationship with HIM has not changed. If a separation, then divorce, are handled correctly, your son will handle it well and if you are happier, you'll be that much more of a better mom.

I do hope things work out the way you want them too, and I wish you much good luck. Please let me know your thoughts and if you would like to discuss things further.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I would like to discuss this further, not to waste your time. I think your advice is wise and I appreciate it. The problem is that my husband and I have been through this exact same thing time and time again. Because I know I am a Christian and I believe my husband is too, we went to our Minister years ago, before he confessed to the Porn issue. This did not help, although he gave us great advice on ways to make our relationship better. We went again, years after that and still before I knew of my husbands porn issue, and our minister again gave great advice, however at that time, I felt I did everything he asked us to do and my husband did not, and said it was "stupid" and a waste of time. That is why I honestly don't think couseling will ever work for us as a couple. My husband says that counseling is a waste of time and he is always told he is the bad guy and does not believe it works. Well, how can it if you do not try? I am so lonesome and only want my husband's time and attention. I am committeed to him, but how long do I wait for a change? People tell me not to stay because of our son, but I do not want to be the one responsible for the break up of our family. I would die for my son, so doesn't that mean, I should stay for him? I do not want to be selfish. I tell my husband what I want, which is his time and attention, but he says he wants more freedom to do what he wants. I do not want someone's permission to leave him, or do I ? Am I just expecting too much? My greatest fear is that in another 20 years my husband is going to finally wake up and realize that a wife that wants him is not such a bad thing, and then it is going to be too, late. I don't want an easy out. This has been going on for years. Should I stay and wait, leave and be depressed, I am so confused. I have no friends except my Mom and my Ex. My mom refuses to talk about it any more and of course, my Ex tells me to leave my husband and re-connect with him. Is it a sin to want to be wanted? Am I too needy? I am tired of being married and at the same time feeling so alone. I know this is petty, but I am going to give you some examples of what I mean. This year I wanted to go to an Eagles concert, with my husband, but when I told him how much the tickets cost he told me it was stupid to go. We have the money, so that was not really the issue. He KNOWS I have always wanted to do this, but I told him we would not go. Well, I finally decided that I was going to go, because I deserved it. I bought the tickets for us both. He then said, OK, reluctantly. Then that whole week before, several times that week I heard him tell his family and friends, bad things about me and how he wanted to go watch a basketball game with a friend instead of going to the concert, but "I spent soooo much money, he had to go" This hurt me and so I told him to go to his friends and I would take my Ex and go to the concert. We went and had a great time, then my husband turned around and told everyone, that he REALLY wanted to go and I chose to go with someone else. Then, today it is Easter and I planned a big dinner out with our family. It was for Easter and his B-day, because I had to work on his B-day and we could not celebrate ( he does nothing for my b-day) I bought tickets for him and some of his friends to go to a baseball game, a shirt from our son, had a cake made and bought him 4 cards, 1 Easter card from me, one from our son and like wise for his b-day. ( plus I was the Easter Bunny for the whole family). This am I woke up and gave him all this stuff and he got me, ..... nothing and said he was sorry, he forgot and "Easter just came so quickly this year" Then all day when our guests told him "happy b-day" he said, "It is not my b-day". And then he said he really did not like cake that well and he would have preferred some brownies. Once again, I feel like he does not care, How hard is it to go buy someone a card? This happens all the time. Especially the last 4 or more years. When I say this hurts my feelings because I do for him and he does not for me, he says "Well, I never asked you to do these things, you just do them" The last thing he planned for us was 7 years ago. Anyway, thanks for your time attention to a confused married woman. Am I being petty? Should I just realize he is never going to change and live with it?
Hi again, and thanks for your detailed reply.

What you relate about your husband is not uncommon behavior in men of this age; however, YOU deserve to feel sure, loved and happiness in your own marriage. You're not getting that, so entertaining thoughts of leaving him is not something bad on your part. You would NOT be responsible for the breakup of your family, if you decided you didn't want to be married to him any longer, based upon his attitude and his treatment of you. His response of, "Well, I never asked you to do these things, you just do them", when you try to discuss the problem with him and make him see that he is hurting you by not 'giving back' what you're giving to him is just inappropriate. It's almost like a child saying to a parent, "I didn't ask to be born", when a problem arises.

You are definitely not being petty; I think you should just realize he's not going to change and you don't HAVE to live with it. It would not be appropriate for me to tell you to leave your husband, as that can only be YOUR decision; however, I do think you want someone to give you permission, and no woman who deserves love, equality and happiness from a marriage would remain in this type of situation. YOU deserve to be happy and YOU deserve to have a man do for you, 'just because' and 'just because he loves you'!

Do not make the mistake of getting back together with your ex. I think you already realize what a bad idea that would be, but, if he is a good listener, he's your shoulder to cry on for now, and you said you're friends and you will always care for him, that's fine, just don't make that mistake in a moment of weakness. Continue your friendship with him, but don't allow it to become anything else.

You have so much to give; you sound like a lovely woman, to whom it is important to 'give' as much as you can, to make those she loves, happy, and you certainly deserve it to come back to you. That's not the reason you do it--you do it because it's in your nature, and that's wonderful--but you do deserve to get it back, and you shouldn't feel lonely in your own marriage. Couples grow apart, and many factors can be responsible for this, and/or influence it; you should not feel guilty if you have the desire to leave this marriage due to the fact that you are giving 110% and he's giving 10%.

Telling his friends that you REALLY wanted to go to the concert with someone else, when you begged him to go with you and all he did was complain, was just plain ridiculous. And not being grateful, but complaining re: all the effort, thoughtfulness and love you put into your Easter celebration and his 'late' b-day party, plus not even getting you a card, seems hard to forgive.

He's not putting forth any effort, and doesn't seem to care whether your happy or not. Nothing further you do, will make him happy. It sounds like he's turned into a 'malcontent' who always has something negative to say about ANY good thing that happens or is planned/given to him. There are some people like this, who can never be happy, no matter what. Some people are like this from early on, and others 'turn into' this type of person. Since things were different when you were first married, you KNOW he has it in him, or had it in him, and now he's lost it. He sounds like a troubled, sad man, and you've tried everything in your power to help him be happy, but I think he's past the point of achieving that happiness, now.

I agree with you, that in 20 years, perhaps, he will look back and regret his actions now, but you can wait that long for the happiness you so richly deserve. You should not be a martyr and continue in a marriage where you are not happy and you've given him a chance to change or treat you with more love and attention. You've TOLD him what you need and want and he doesn't seem to want to provide it, but this is not because of anything you did or didn't do. It's all him.

I know where you're coming from, re: the counseling; most men in situations with problems in the marriage, will say counseling is a joke and why bother and what will I find out that I don't already know, etc., etc., so I do believe you would be better off going yourself, especially if you've already been that route, with your clergyman, and there was no change in your husband's attitude or treatment of you.

I hope you have the strength to do what's best for yourself and your son. I'm sorry that you only have your mom and your ex to discuss your problems with, but please, feel free to share anything with me, and I'll try my best to help you.

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