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    This Exchange simulates the original Couples Coping Support Group. It is designed to help persons with concerns in their relationships, family, marriage, seperation, divorce, etc.Offering a wide range of real world, personal experiences, information, knowledge, suggestions, & views from real people.
    MissCaptainKirk posted:
    I really miss being in love. I miss little notes, and dates, and adventures. I mean I know that once you get married it's normal for all the "romantic" stuff to fade away but it just happened so fast. My romantic life has been dead for over a year and I'm only 21. It's really depressing.

    I love hanging out with my friends and going on friend-dates with them, but it of course doesn't fill my need for romance.

    And I've done everything I can. I tell him the kinds of things I like. I point out trinkets at a store or describe in detail what kind of date I'd like to go on. I even try to take him on dates but he won't do it. I'm talking going out for a $2 cup of coffee at our local coffee place. I'm talking going on a walk when the sun is setting. I'm not asking to go to the Riviera Maya or something.

    I'm really careful not to nag or whine. The other night he was angry at me for something and I was crying because I was so mad at being talked down to (I cry when I'm mad sometimes), and I finally told him I don't feel like there's any romance because he never does anything to make me feel special. He did say that he was sorry and hadn't realized I was so upset about it. But by then I was so sad that I cried til I vomited.

    I feel really silly about that and it might have been dumb of me to tell him that, but...I can't hold all that in all the time and I make mistakes. He's made progress in some areas but then he goes back to old habits, it's a two-steps-forward-one-step-back kind of thing and I know I made a commitment and gotta stick with it but it's wearing me down a lot.

    I don't really want to do anything fun with him anymore because he's just going to ruin it. My graduation party is coming up and it's also the weekend a bunch of his friends asked him to go skiing with them. I will state for the record that he said he'd stay for the party if I really wanted him to. But now I don't. Should I tell him to go? His mom is the one hosting my party and it might be weird if he isn't there.

    I'm probably just rambling/venting but it's been a really really bad week. And my heart is lonely. This is more about me than him, it's something I have to work on and let go of.

    Does anybody feel this way? How do you get through it? How do you move on from one stage in your marriage to another?

    Thank you for any answers, my friends. And even if there are no answers, thanks for the opportunity to ramble.
    3point14 responded:

    When you get to a point where you want romance, but don't want romance with the person you're married to, that would make me evaluate if I wanted still to be married to that person.

    When you want to feel differently than the way you feel with your husband, and there is absolutely no improvement in this area despite your telling him expressly what you want and those expectations are low, that to me says that the other person simply does not care about your wants and needs.

    When this person's "better" involves making you cry until you vomit, and your having no desire for them to be there on a hugely important day for you, it shows to me that their "better" really isn't worth sh**, because it's still pretty bad.

    But that's just me. I've never bought in to marriage being the death of romance. My parents have been married for like 22 years and they still hold hands on the couch together. He bought her a beautiful emrald for Christmas last year, replacing exactly one she'd lost 20 years ago. My manfriends parents have also been married for upwards of 20 years, and they still go on dirves together, and he still teases her about hair she had in the 80's. I think romance dies only because two people don't place similar value on it, and the neglect of one person can't make up for the upkeep of the other.
    queston replied to 3point14's response:
    Well said, 3point14.

    Yes, it is inevitable that romance will wax and wane in a marriage, but this is not a situation where people have been married for years--she's only 21, for heaven's sake.

    MCK, you should not have to ask your husband to decline a ski trip with his buddies to be home for your graduation. There should not be any question in his mind which of those things is more important. His saying that he will stay home "if you ask him to" seems very manipulative to me--as if he wants a bunch of credit for "sacrificing" and doing what any decent spouse would choose to do.

    I've missed some of the backstory. He's quite a bit older, right? Has he been married before? How long have the two of you been married?
    MissCaptainKirk replied to 3point14's response:
    Thank you for the cyber-hug.

    I've gone through a lot with my husband and believe me, this isn't the worst of the problems. And I made a commitment to stay with him if he was earnestly seeking progress in changing himself. He's been doing that, so he's keeping up his end of the bargain. It's just that sometimes he reverts back to the way he used to be, and his addiction comes back tenfold, and it wears me out dealing with all the ups-and-downs. So like I said, it's more about me than him and how I should deal with these feelings.

    I think it's really neat that those people are still in love. My grandparents on my dad's side were like that. I guess that's what I want, for the little romantic things to last forever. Spose that makes me a romantic. Well, I been learning how to be realistic so this is something I need to get realistic about.

    A small part of me is absolutely terrified of him going on this ski trip for a whole weekend really far away. I'm scared of the things he might do there, I guess. But I need to get over my fears so I think that's another reason it'd be good for me if he went.

    I just want to go on a date. I just want to get little gifts. It's horrible, and it makes me hate romantic movies lol. My Audrey Hepburn movie collection is gathering dust.

    But I really do need to get over this. Just not sure how?
    MissCaptainKirk replied to queston's response:
    He's not too much older, about 5 years. No, he's never been married before. We've been married a year and 4 months. Feels like 15 years, lol.

    I don't necessarily know if he was trying to be manipulative when he said that, and when I asked him to stay for the party he said he would (this was a while ago). But I'm saying now I think he should go, and it'd benefit us both.

    I think that because we've been through so much already, maybe the literal amount of time we've been married doesn't really apply. Like I said, feels like a lot longer. So maybe it makes sense that the romance is "waxing and waning".
    I just know that literally I'm still relatively young and sorta feel like I'm missing out.

    I just don't want to feel so depressed about it. Any suggestions for how to get over it?
    queston replied to MissCaptainKirk's response:
    Well, since you asked, my suggestion would be to divorce. I just feel like any marriage as young as yours that has already had such issues is probably a losing proposition, long-term.

    I'm sorry if that's too blunt.
    queston replied to MissCaptainKirk's response:
    Oh, and you are not "relatively young." Your adult life has just begun, and you have everything in front of you.
    3point14 replied to MissCaptainKirk's response:
    How to get over the fact that staying married to this person means completely giving up on your ideas of what romance are or can be?

    How to get over the thought that being "realistic" to you means being not being treated how you want?

    How to get over his mistreatment of you, your insecurity of what he could do if he goes away for a weekend, and the fact that he's addicted to pornography and doesn't make you feel beautiful?

    I have absolutely no idea how to do that, or why anyone would want to get over that. I have no idea why you find the way he treats you to be acceptable, and I disagree even with the supposition that it's something you need to "get over". I can't imagine why you would want to compromise the ideal of marriage for the sake of your marriage. Isn't the whole point of marriage to be a partner to someone? Aren't you supposed to love, respect, honor and cherish the person to whom you're married, shouldn't you be able to expect that back?

    I'm not saying leave your husband. I guess I'm just saying most people wouldn't just "get over" the fact that the man they married doesn't show them any affection. I'm sorry.
    MissCaptainKirk replied to queston's response:
    I think I feel "relatively" young because I grew up so fast. But I never really consider my life to be just beginning...I think it feels more like I'm at the middle than the beginning.
    I will think about that, though, because you brought a new perspective to it.

    If he were to quit going to his recovery groups/counseling and discontinue trying to make any progress with himself, then he'd be breaking his commitment and I agree that that would mean divorce. But for now, he's overall progressing so I'm sticking to my commitment.
    MissCaptainKirk replied to 3point14's response:
    Well, I don't really believe in an ideal marriage, if that's what you're saying (could be wrong though and correct me if I misread you).

    In general, if he talks down to me or mistreats me in some way then I do not stand for it. I may get mad and/or cry or something but then I tell him he cannot treat me that way, and how he should treat me instead in that situation. And he's getting better about not doing that.

    So I don't think this lack of romance is mistreatment, I think it's just a difference between me and him and the fact that we're working on ourselves and our relationship and that's what I need to focus on. And he does show affection, I think, in small ways. Like hugs and stuff and sometimes he compliments my character traits which is important.

    There's just an extreme lack of any excitement or anything that makes me feel...I don't really know what word to use...special? Magical?
    And I think I need to get over that, because it's not exactly a necessary thing in a marriage it's just something I want.

    But if you don't think it's something that can just be gotten over...I guess I'll just have to deal with it for a while.

    Thank you for your input.
    ImMe26 replied to MissCaptainKirk's response:
    I am completely dumbfounded by your whole situation, while I have compassion, I also have common sense, and this marriage to me is no marriage...very sorry your going thru all this.

    Your basically asking , "How do I become a robot that my husband will interact with ?'"...There is nothing here , seriously. And he isnt improving ,if in the very next breath you say...BUT sometimes he resorts back to his oldways....NO improvement to me.

    Why do you just have to find ways to deal with it?? Do you really want to spend the rest of your life ,trying to figure out how to make HIM happy, while you are pinning away for attention , love and companionship....just cause you made a committment, doesnt mean you have to sacrifice everything YOU want , for him, ITs about compromise, there is none here.

    He seems to be very stuck in his ways, and only shows these glimmers to get you out of his hair for the moment, then bam right back to who HE IS.

    IDK....just is a very hard situation and your getting no where.
    Don't put off tomorrow, what you can accomplish today!! Procrastination is a KILLER!!--ME(26)SO(28)DD1(10yr)DD2(8yr)DS(2yr)SO's-DD(8yr)DS1(6yrs)DD(5yr)LUV THEM ALL ALWAYS WANTED A HUGE FAMILY
    BalconyBelle replied to MissCaptainKirk's response:
    MCK...I've been following your story for a while now, on multiple threads, and I honestly believe you'd be better off without him. I know you've received lots of advice, opinions, and counsel on the forums...and I'm siding with Pi, and queston, and several others, when I tell you, from the bottom of my heart: Please leave him.

    Yes, relationships take work, yes, they take commitment, but what you are asking for--a way to deal with, let go of, and realistically accept the unacceptable--is something that I cannot and will not give. You deserve better than a husband that talks down to you, that makes you so upset and sick that you vomit, that completely ignores your needs to the point that anything he does that approaches basic humanity is held up as amazing progress. You deserve more than an unending uphill battle to be treated as a decent human being, you deserve better than a constant war to have your needs even considered, much less met.

    You deserve better than him.

    I know that you will do as you see fit, and whatever you decide, it's a choice that yours and yours alone...all I can do is implore you to consider whether you'd be happier without him. Whether you honestly want to resign yourself to a life wasted, a life where you settle for never having lived, never having what you want. Romance doesn't die out after marriage (unless neither party places value on it, or one is blatantly inconsiderate of the other's needs). My parents have been married for 28 years. They have a rocky relationship--but they still love each other. They go on dates, vacations, away for the weekend. She treats him to movies, he takes her to dinner, they buy each other trinkets...

    What you want from your husband is not unreasonable. Your request that we tell you how to accept his behavior is. Your request that we tell you how to resign yourself to life where your needs are neglected, to a marriage that has nothing in common with a healthy relationship, to settle for less than any reasonable person has a right to expect is something that we cannot in good conscience give.

    I am sorry that your marriage is the way it is, I am sorry that your husband is the way he is, and I am sorry that the best advice I can offer on how to improve your life is end your marriage and live your life without him in it.
    naggingwife74 replied to BalconyBelle's response:
    I have to agree with Balconybelle, PI and queston that this situation is not healthy for you. Why would you even consider looking for a way to deal with not getting what you want in a relationship? You deserve to have the things you are missing and he is not going to give them to you. I would also suggest finding someone that will.

    I wish you the best.
    tmlmtlrl replied to ImMe26's response:
    I was just doing a quick read and need to go to bed, but after reading ImMe's questions to you it reflected me on the Dr. Phil episode I watched today. It was one I recorded. One of his 'End the Silence on Domestic Violence'.

    It was a very harsh show. The husband beat her all the time and when she finally left him he killed her best friend and came within moments of killing her.

    When Dr. Phil asked the woman when she knew she needed to leave in relation to when she actually did she told him 2yrs. Then he asked why she continued to stay for those 2yrs knowing it was a bad situation and she said "because I always wanted and believed that we could have that happy family". Her response actually surprised me.

    MCK, you may want to separate yourself from this story because there was physical abuse going on, but I'm here to tell ya that is you. I don't know how long you will stay, but I know you will stay for a very long time. You are lost in this belief that you will have a happy family with this man someday. It is sad.

    I wish for you almost as much as you do athat he would really come around and be that person. But we can wish til we're blue in the face and all that's gonna happen is your life is going to pass you by and one day you'll be staying because you're too old to leave and wishing you would've had the balls to stand up and live the life you wanted when you had the chance.

    I'm sorry. I really am. I'm sure this sounds harsh. I have more to say, but more that would really only debate what's obvious to everyone else. Plus I'm tired which makes me cranky.. Just please understand that we are people that actually care about what happens to you. We don't say these things to be mean. We would love for you to have happiness in your life.
    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.
    fcl responded:
    MCK, for once I'm lost for words. Your post left me feeling numb and angry. I cannot quite take in the sheer and utter emptiness that your husband has created around you. I am stunned to learn that you have only been married for 16 months, I thought it was much longer. Do you realize that when you first came here you had only been married for 10 months and yet you had HUGE problems... You yourself have made a lot of progress but I don't think your husband has. I feel he may just be paying lip service to keep you quiet.

    Having said that, you asked whether you should ask him to stay for the party. My answer is that you tell him that the choice is his and don't try to sway him either way. If he isn't at your party and anyone notices well you just tell them that he preferred to go skiing with his friends. It's the truth. If people draw the conclusion that he is a selfish dolt who is neglecting his wife then LET THEM. If he's not happy with that then he needs to change his behaviour. It's not up to you to hide things that you feel are not "right".
    There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.

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