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Question
Posted by: bella | 2006/07/18

emotionally starved?

Hi. I am about to confess something that is shocking, but maybe many others are in the same boat.I have been married 35 years and although i was not that young when i married I believe I was immature because dependent and lacking confidence, so as I matured gradually over the years I grew away from my husband and had less liking for him, (as I realised how domineering he is and how his actual outlook on life differs from mine- although I knew he was different from the beginning he actually pretended then, that he didn't like the values he'd grown up wth, just to impress me!) . He likes me less too- he didn't appreciate the stronger me that emerged. I do think that he still loves me- he was very very upset when I was briefly in a possible life-threatening situation whereas when he was in such a situation, all I thought of was how freely I would live my life when he wasn't around. He also makes spiteful comments against me from time to time. I ignore them. Anyway as we are both down-to-earth, practical people and devoted to our now grown children, divorce was not a consideration. Our sex life is dead and I don't care. I am no longer attracted to him. I wouldn't even care if he had an affair as long as he still fulfilled his other obligations as husband and father. We function pretty peacefully in our life together- we have pets that we both love dearly as well as the kids. Our interests are not similar but he does his thing with friends or sons while I pretty much don't have the energy to do much, but follow my interests by reading about them and pursuing what I can alone at home. I don't have much enthusiasm but I am pretty contented. I know that i keep a wall up between him and me. He doesn't know my deepest feelings, hopes and fears. I share those with my pets! and to a certain extent with my children. I express myself more freely with someone I've just met than with my husband. When I read a book or see a film or news item about a heartwarming or sad situation, I cry my eyes out. My family are amused- they pass the tissues in good time.They don't know how deeply I am affected- it really shakes me to the core and exhausts me. On the other hand it's a good feeling-sort of cleansing. I suspect that I am emotionally starved but i don't really know what to do about it.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Isn't it really one of the main problems about getting married or settled in a long0-term relationship too young, that the younger partner is still maturing, and may simply grow into someone with very different wants and needs than they had at the beginning ? COuld you persuade him to join you in mariage counselling, to explore what could be usefully modified within this relationship ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: bella's spouse I believe | 2006/07/18

You're busted, bitch. You're getting a divorce whether you want it or not- and just try getting money out of me.

Reply to bella's spouse I believe
Posted by: Eyes | 2006/07/18

Dear Bella

It sounds like you have come to resent your husband. After 35 years of marriage, I imagine that some distance has grown between you. This may be your opportunity to rekindle what you once had or to focus on the relationship with your husband.

Your feelings are about you and your relationship with your husband. Your children should not have to deal with this as it does not involve them directly. Focus on the issue at hand and ask yourself the right questions.

I have a feeling that you don't really mean what you said about being relieved if your husband passed away. It sounds like you want an easy way out but every realtionship takes work. Perhaps a little introspection might help. You have both grown in this relationship and people change over time. This may be a good time to get to know your husband again. After all, you have invested 35 years in this marriage.

Turning to someone else to compensate for your feelings of loneliness and emptiness will not solve your problems. It will just complicate things. You will never know until you actually give your husband a chance to help you through this. Being open and honest with him is probably the best way to go. Sharing these deep emotions with him might actually allow you both the opportunity to work through things together, as husband and wife. It's only fair to express your feelings about your husband to him. You cannot blame him for YOUR inability to express yourself to him.

It is foolish to look to others to make you feel better. You are the only one who can do that. Until you really deal with what's bothering you, you will never be satisfied. You say you "don't care" about your sex life but could this be a defensive notion? It's easier to sweep these feelings under the rug than to deal with them.

Perhaps you should talk to a professional and consider some marriage counselling. I don't think you are ready to give up on this realtionship because if you were, you would have done so already.

Reply to Eyes
Posted by: Ness | 2006/07/18

Thank you for your story. I'm not sure why but its helped me put things into perspective wrt my life.

In the words of Tom Robbins "its never to late to have a happy childhood"

Reply to Ness

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