replied 8 years ago.
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.
Cher and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you