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'Ok' marriage – do I stay or leave?

HomeForumsRelationships'Ok' marriage – do I stay or leave?

This topic contains 27 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  anita 6 months ago.

Viewing 13 posts - 16 through 28 (of 28 total)
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  • #140701

    Lea
    Participant

    Hi Anita

    Yes I do. I don’t mean that negatively, just that my mother is content in her life so that’s good for her. I want to be content, but want to live in a different way to her. She is in her early 60s and has a progressive illness which is terminal and caused by smoking all her life.

    I guess this may have an impact on why I’m so keen to really live my life. In recent time I gave noticed that there are similarities between my husband and mother in the fact they are both content with living a simple life…

    Again, nothing wrong with that but I feel I want more.

    #140771

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lea:

    Personally, I do not consider it wrong for a daughter to want to live a life different than her mother’s, or to be a different person. Not at all. Often is a positive aim.

    In my last post, as in the previous ones, I am trying to figure out what motivates you, so to get a better understanding of your mind and life situation. I hope that such pursuit will help you.

    If you were aware, as a child, of your mother’s smoking being a danger to her; if you were aware of her discontent with her marriage to your father, if you wished intensely that she would be different: not smoking, healthy, happy- if you wished to have a happy mother-

    then it must have been very frustrating for you to observe the opposite of what you wished for, day after day, year after year. And maybe, you promised yourself that since you can’t change her, you will make sure YOU are different.

    I can continue, but I will be building on assumptions, and I need your response first.

    anita

    #140787

    Lea
    Participant

    Hi Anita

    I think you are right. It’s not something I have really considered until recently and since posting on here. I have always known I wanted ‘more’ in life, but it’s only since my mother told me recently that she felt I expected too much from life that I’ve really seen the differences between us.

    She thinks I should be happy with my lot and not strive for more. Eg my husband is a good man, does DIY around the house, works hard, what more could I want? There doesn’t seem to be much emotional depth with my mother or my husband. I’m only just seeing the similarities now…

    #140797

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lea:

    By “emotional depth”- what do you mean?

    anita

    #140799

    Lea
    Participant

    I’m not sure if ’emotional depth’ is the right phrase. I guess I mean that both my mother and husband do not strive for growth or self improvement or to do things with their lives, other than what society expects from them.

    My mother was content settling for a husband she didn’t love, in a job she didn’t enjoy. She wakes up, watches TV, goes to bed. My husband wakes up, works hard, goes to bed. Neither seem to want any more than that.

    I feel that I need more from my life. I want meaningful connections with people. I want to spend my time well and not waste it… I want to push myself and really live and love well.

    I hope this makes sense

     

     

    #140803

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lea:

    Let’s say you had a “meaningful connection” with a partner, a husband. How will life with him look like day in and day out, week after week, year after week? Please take your time to describe such..

    anita

    #140809

    Lea
    Participant

    Hi Anita

    I would like to be in a relationship with someone who values me and also I can really talk to. My husband and I find it difficult to communicate beyond the day to day simple things like ‘was your day OK?’ And ‘what shall we eat for dinner?’ Etc.

    I would like to be in a relationship where we shared more, whether that be plans for the future, books we have read, an article we thought the other might find interesting. Just more interaction beyond the essential. Perhaps we might watch a movie together and talk about it after. Or eat a dinner together and spend quality time together.

    I would like a partner who has a shared vision for the future and wants to do things with me-travel, days out, just generally share a life with.

    I want to feel listened to, understood and an important part of my partners world. I want to be occasionally made a priority. I want someone who wants to share their life with me.

    I don’t want to feel lonely in my relationship and that is how I feel now. My husband doesn’t understand me, thinks I have unrealistic expectations of life, and that my talk of an emotional connection is mumbo jumbo. It makes me feel like I am wrong for wanting a more meaningful relationship.

    I want to be with someone where we are content just in each others company.

    Am I being unrealistic?

    Thanks

    #140815

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lea:

    I don’t think you are unrealistic in wanting more than you have in your marriage.

    Thing is, I doubt the lack of emotional connection is due only to your husband’s lack of ability in this regard. It may very well be- and I am inclined to think so- a result of your own lack of ability and practice in this regard as well.

    What else can explain the fact that lack of such has been in effect for so long, years of relationship with your now second husband.

    If you leave this message, I think, you will be taking this lack with you, to the next relationship. What is the nature of your own lack of emotional connection to others, I don’t know.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by  anita.
    #140861

    anita
    Participant

    Correction, Lea, in the last paragraph above: “If you leave this marriage” (not “message”)

    anita

    #140879

    Lea
    Participant

    Hi Anita
    I think you have an interesting point about whether this issue will follow me into any future relationship, if I do leave.

    However I did have more of a connection with my ex husband, and subsequently my work colleague, than I do my current husband.</p>

    I wonder if it’s more that I married him unconsciously knowing he would never hurt me in the same way that my first husband did, because he doesn’t seem to display emotion in the same way my ex did?

    I feel that my current husband won’t hurt me (in the fact he wouldn’t leave me), and is reliable and steady, all things which my ex wasn’t in the end after his  breakdown.

    However the lack of emotion and connection between me and current husband makes me feel dead inside.

    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by  Lea.
    #140931

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lea:

    It seems so little that you ask for from your husband, to discuss a book the two of you read, or a movie the two of you watch… hard to  imagine you asking him to do that, to watch a movie and then talk about it, and that he refuses to do so. Hard to imagine he will decline to accommodate you in such a simple way.

    You wrote above that you “want to feel listened to, understood”-

    I think this is a key statement. This may have been your childhood experience with your parents who watched TV in their free time instead of attending to you, and so you weren’t listened to and understood by them. And then, you shared, that for a few years, your first husband went from I-love-you to I-don’t-love-you, suffering from deep depression, and so he was not available to listen to you either.

    Did you ask your husband that the two of you watch a movie and then talk about it, and did he refuse to do so?

    You wrote that he referred to your efforts to talk about feelings as “mumbo jumbo”- what specifically did he refer to as mumbo-jumbo?

    anita

    #140949

    Lea
    Participant

    My husband is not a talker and he doesn’t read or watch movies. I asked before why not and he says he struggles to understand them. I think this is because he is a very straightforward person and struggles with the imagination needed to get into a film, and doesn’t have the patience or interest for reading.

     

    I have tried to talk to him about the fact I feel we are missing an emotional connection that makes us different to being just room mates or friends. The intimacy of being emotionally open with your partner. He said he didn’t understand what I meant, that I think too much and it’s mumbo jumbo to him.

    I asked if he considered we could be more like friends rather than husband and wife (is we love each other but perhaps not ‘in love) and he said he didn’t understand the difference and love is love.

    I hope that makes sense.

     

    #140965

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lea:

    So you told your husband things like: We are missing an emotional connection. We are missing emotional intimacy. We live like roommates, not like husband and wife. We love each other but we are not in love.”

    Remember I wrote to you a couple of posts ago that the lack of emotional connection with your husband is not his doing alone, but yours as well?

    Such communications on your part as in my first two lines above are vague and so, I am not surprised your husband does not understand what you are saying.

    You have to be specific, especially with a pragmatic man. Instead of saying something like We lack emotional connection, tell him: I feel sad and lonely. I want to tell you more of how I feel, and I need you to listen to me. Can you sit down with me on the sofa and listen to me?

    anita

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