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The better things get, the further he moves away from me...

By December 21, 2010 - 4:39am

Hi there,

My husband and I have been married for ten years - it is my third marriage after two previously physically abusive marriages, and his second (his first wife had an affair). We have six children between us, three each, now grown and living outside of the home. I am almost 50 and my husband is 47 (my toy boy, lol).
We have had some really stressful times over the past ten years - our kids took turns in trying to break us up - his ex's were unbearable at times; we were always short of money as we both started together with nothing; and yet we muddled through; got through the hard times and our children finally grew up and left home and we started to have a relationship for ourselves.
For ten years I have been listening to my husband tell me how he wishes I could be happier (I suffer from depression); how he wishes I could be "more fun", but I was always the responsible one - I disciplined the kids, took care of the complaints from schools, dealt with his ex's, paid the bills and kept the household running. I wished my life had been more fun but I dealt with what we had at the time.
In the last year though, I have been able to come off of my medications - my health problems have all been sorted, and I am having fun. I plan to have a big party for my 50th because I have never had one before; and I have a list of things I want to learn and do - all of which I want to share with my husband.
But he has gone the other way. He has a job he loves, but says he is always tired (no, he doesn't do overtime, home at 5.30pm every night, no weekend or evening work); I try and joke around and play with him and he ignores me or gets angry with me. I even tried to instigate sex the other week - something he has always said he wished I would do, but I never had the confidence to do before. It was a disaster - he didn't want me and it showed. When we talked about it a couple of days later he just said that I surprised him, and that he did want me, but just not at that time. That would have been fair enough, but he has not been near me since.
I am at my wits end. He doesn't laugh with me; we don't dream together like we used to and yet on the surface of things our relationship is perfect - he has a job he loves, I get plenty of work as a writer online which is what I love, we can afford to pay the bills and even treat ourselves every now and then. We live in a lovely little house by a rural beach that is a location people would kill to have for themselves and our children are all (surprisingly) doing really well and are happy in their lives. We have nothng left to worry about.
So why, after all we have been through together, does he go like this now? Do we have a relationship that can only work when we are under some sort of crisis situation (like the last ten years?) Any help would be appreciated as it is no fun being fun, or sexy, or happy on your own.

Thank you
Lisa :)

By HERWriter Guide January 6, 2011 - 12:56pm

Hi Lisa

Thanks for your post and for all the pertinent information you put in there (good writing skills!) so we can get a good picture of what's going on.

Firstly, congratulations on overcoming your hardships and making yourself an accomplished woman in her prime. I think celebrating your 50th should be MANDATORY but I hope your husband is doing most of the work or at least an equal share. The birthday girl should be able to relax a little!

I agree that it's no fun loving life if the person you love doesn't love it right along with you.

It seems like something may be going on with him. Do you know if he may be depressed? With your experience, you may be able to see signs others wouldn't. Also, this is about the age (heading for 50) where some men begin to deal with erectile dysfunction. Is this possible? And not pleasant to hear - could he be having an affair?

Another thing I'd like to ask you is how he was with you, when you were in the midst of your depression. Did he get used to a caregiving role? Was he aloof? Believe it or not, your recovery could make him feel a bit alienated. He has been used to you in a completely different state and now the balance of your marriage has changed and so has the dynamic of the home.
What to you think?


January 6, 2011 - 12:56pm

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