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Love & Marriage Love & Marriage

Does your husband make no effort at all? *UPDATE*

Posted by on Jul. 10, 2012 at 3:07 PM
  • 84 Replies

My husband is just existing. I am a person who embraces life, while he sits around for life to happen. I have completely altered who I am in this relationship to accommodate the "nothing" that we do, and I'm done living this way. He is a good person - most morally ethical man I've ever met. He has a great sense of humor, but no one would know it, because he has no friends and we go nowhere... ever. It's been 10 long years of acquiescing to his flat-line lifestyle and begging (quite literally) for us to have a life that isn't solely sitting on the couch across from each other, on laptops with the TV on. To even go places as a couple without me being the one who initiates it would be an impossible dream. I'm done being the instigator of everything that happens in our world. He's not rude, he just doesn't think to do anything nice for me or with me, ever. Well, not unless I bitch at him about it - but then how can I appreciate it if what he does for me is only due to my repeatedly telling him to???

It's very lonely and boring and depressing. I feel like I got duped - like he presented this completely different person to me when we dated and then swapped that one out with who he is now, post-nuptuals. I even suggested to him that I just do my thing and he does his, and I can go and find someone else to take me out and do things with me, and I'll just leave him home to sit on the couch and watch the kids. He got sad, and that was it. He apologizes profusely, says I'm right, that he'll fix things, and then nothing ever happens. I'm so at a loss here as to what to do to remedy this, it's scary. And no, he doesn't take initiative to fix it. He will take me out one time, and then wait for me to freak out and lose my mind again before any attempt is made to further cultivate our relationship. I seriously don't understand. He seems to not even know he's doing it. He's not depressed, not computer addicted, doesn't watch porn or anything, isn't hooked on anything, he's just... him. And it doesn't really work for me like this. I want someone to suggest we go and do something fun that we've never tried. I would even take him suggesting us do something totally familiar.... but he barely even suggests a trip to Walmart.

And lest you think I'm looking to be wined and dined and taken to Europe or something, I'm not; I'd just like to be an adult who gets to do things with her husband... like maybe go to Outback and a movie ever once in a while instead of every 3 years. I would even love to play Scrabble with him some nights or something like that, after the kids go to sleep. But I initiate EVERYTHING. And I do mean EVERYTHING. I'm tired of it because I feel like I'm BEGGING my husband to spend time with me... and I don't want to spend time with anyone who doesn't want to make the effort to spend time with me, too.

Our relationship is one of roommates that borders on parent/child, with me being the parent. He goes to work and brings home a check, takes out the trash, occasionally does housework when I complain, and that's the extent of it. If there's anything else that needs doing, I do it, including home repair. There is no romantic interaction between us at all. We flirt, but that's as far as it goes. I have no desire to have sex with a man who makes no attempt to spend any time with me at all. I feel like he is a border in this house.

He has no hobbies and no friends. He had boatloads of friends when we met but they've all parted ways since. He has made no effort to make new friends nor find any hobbies.

He is just completely different from the person he presented himself as before we got married. I would never have married the person he is now...

I have exhausted all of my options other than counseling, though I have very little hope that it would help. If there's something I'm missing here as to how to help my situation, other than just accepting the fact that in order to be with him I have to either initiate every single action taken in our lives or just tolerate doing nothing with my life other than existing, please tell me. I am extremely desperate to have a loving, life-filled life with my husband and kids... but at this point I'm planning a divorce when they graduate high school, because I have no other answers. What I DO know is that if a couple doesn't grow together, they grow apart...

EXTREMELY sorry this is so long winded. If you've managed to get to this point, thank you for reading...

by on Jul. 10, 2012 at 3:07 PM
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Replies (1-10):
tomkat
by on Jul. 10, 2012 at 5:06 PM
2 moms liked this

I was in a very similar position at one point in my life, he had no desire to be with me, communicate, show any real affection, do anything together...turns out he was cheating and got a 19 yr old pregnant! If you don't have his attention, then someone else does. Sounds like he is not at all vested in the marriage.

ruby_jewel_04
by on Jul. 10, 2012 at 5:24 PM
3 moms liked this
I wish I could give you advice. But I am in the same situation. I feel like I'm his nanny, roommate, cook, and house keeper. But I don't feel like his wife.
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Ksmomy
by on Jul. 10, 2012 at 6:33 PM
1 mom liked this
I can't say I know how you feel or understand your situation but if I were you I'd do things with the kids or my own friends. when he asks why you're doing it tell him you're tired of sitting around. When you're doing things with the kids invite him if he chooses not to go then go on with your plans. Don't begs just inform him of the plans ask if he'd like to come along. Good luck!
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hotmommytutu
by on Jul. 10, 2012 at 8:32 PM
1 mom liked this

My story is very similar to yours....a few things vary, but not by much.  I'm hoping in September we can part ways before I totally hate him.  After 13 yrs of this life, I'm ready to move on.

lovinglife0682
by on Jul. 10, 2012 at 8:46 PM
Talk to him. Try to plan some fun activities. My husband grew up that way and his parents are still like that. I grew up in a family that liked to go a lot. We have both compromised. He will go at least one night during the week and one day on the weekend. Tonight we are just going to my parents and making dinner and swimming in their pool, while they are on vacation. He has learned that even something that simple is perfect for me.
Momof5kids84
by Lauren on Jul. 10, 2012 at 8:51 PM
I agree. In every relationship there is an initiator. Looks like that is you. Sometimes, things are just the way they are, and you can either accept it or move on but you can't change it. Your husband has been this way for a long time.

Quoting lovinglife0682:

Talk to him. Try to plan some fun activities. My husband grew up that way and his parents are still like that. I grew up in a family that liked to go a lot. We have both compromised. He will go at least one night during the week and one day on the weekend. Tonight we are just going to my parents and making dinner and swimming in their pool, while they are on vacation. He has learned that even something that simple is perfect for me.
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KittenKrump
by on Jul. 11, 2012 at 12:33 AM
4 moms liked this

I am in your husband's shoes. I am happy to be just us. But, the difference, my husband doesn't sacrifice his happiness because I am a home body. We spend every weekend at friends houses, we go out on dates, we have fun, but he always initiates. I don't think it's a problem, if he ever wants to do something, he puts the idea to me and I usually say yes. I think the problem here is that you are unwilling to make this compromise, you either want him to sweep you off your feet every week or so or to forget it.

**EDIT** I feel it pertinent to clarify in case it wasn't clear, I am only talking about the going out. The housework and stuff is done by me, almost exclusively, and I initiate bedroom stuff almost every time. This set up works for us, but it's not for everyone.

When the heart of a thousand stopped,
Who was there,
Keeping time?

LonelyWifey
by on Jul. 11, 2012 at 2:22 AM

First, I have no desires to be swept off my feet. I'm not really a romantic in that way. What I'd like is to be in a working relationship with someone who equally contributes to the betterment of our family. If something needs to be repaired on the house, I initiate, plan, make a list of materials, draw up the rebuild idea, and then - because he's much stronger and bigger than I am - he carries and cuts the lumber (I taought him how to use a circular saw...lol) and then together, under my guidance, we rebuild/repair whatever it was. I also plan ever shopping trip, every financial step, every family outing, every restaurant visit, every purchase, every EVERYTHING. I'm tired of being the one who makes all of the decisions and then I get no down time from that. It is incredibly stressful to be the only person in a two person relationship who makes all the grown up decisions and then actually carries them out. he's a "whatever you want" kinda guy, meaning, whatever you want to do as long as I don't have to make any decisions or initiate us doing something that I actually thought of myself. I am the problem solver, the vacation planner, the perty maker, the cook, the maid, the waitress, the nurse-maid, the accountant, the bill payer, the landscaper, the contractor, the designer, the taxi driver, the schedule and appointment maker, etc... He jsut gets up, goes to work, comes home, eats the food I make and that's it. Well you knwo what? I didn't sign on for that. The least he can do is maybe plan for us to go out for a slice of pizza without my initiating it... no?

I went into this 50/50 and I'm getting 95/5, with me doing all of the heavy lifting as far as being the adult. It's not fun having to be stressed out with a billion and one things on your plate and having to be the only one to make big decisions or be the adult. Before we got married, he would plan things for us to do - whether it be dinner, a trip to Target to pick something up, ideas for Sunday drives, places to visit, etc. He had thoughts and hopes and dreams of what he wanted to do in the future, and they were right in line with mine. But it's like once we got married, he stopped initiating anything at all - and he no longer had the same goals, dreams and desires out of life. To this day I am still in shock over how quickly he changed into a person I didn't recognize. He quite literally just stopped and became a sedentary person who went nowhere and did nothing... that is, unless I suggested and planned something for us to do. I mean, how much fun is it to CONSTANTLY be the one planning EVERYTHING. I married to SHARE my life - not to take responsibility for dragging an adult behind me while I depserately attempt to carve out a happy life for myself and my kids.

He is not an active participant in our marriage. In my mind, you split up what needs to get done - divide and conquer - and you make the bigger decisions together. But when that doesn't happen and instead, you allow someone else to make all of the decisions for you and you just go along with it, you create a relationship that is much like that of a parent and child... and I don't know about you, but there is nothing sexy about a man who is basically the emotional equivalent of your son. I want a life partner who is equally invested in helping our lives run as smoothly as possible - not a slacker who just lets me do everything for whatever reason (be it laziness or just plain too blind to see he does it, I have no idea what the reason is). I'm just sick and tired of taking care of ALL THINGS, and then not even getting to have him initiate taking me somewhere once in a while, something that I don't have to plan. I feel like the high school girl who is constantly chasing the guy she likes but he's not really interested... but he'll go along with her just because he might get lucky after all is said and done. It's desperate. And that's how I feel about having to beg my husband to want to do something nice with me. Again, I don't care if it's a movie... I'd just like him to take the reigns once in a while instead of always letting me steer the ship. I'm not his mommy and I never signed on for that role... but I feel like that's where we're at, and quite frankly, it totally sucks.

And about sacrificing happiness - he was NOT this person when we met, got engaged and then married... it was just shortly after we married that this side of him emerged, and has been with us for the almost 10 years we've been married. Before the "I Do's", he wasn't like this AT ALL. Makes me feel like I was duped, and that all he wanted was someone to take care of him and wipe his butt. I don't know if he lacks the confidence to be a big boy and make real decisions or what - but I know that lack of confidence isn't sexy, either. And how can I respect a man who can't even pull the trigger on which toilet paper to buy? I mean the man calls me 6 times from the store every time he goes, just to be sure he's buying the right thing. I've even told him I don't care anymore what he brings home, as long as he makes the decisions as to what to buy. But as for happiness - no, I'm not happy with this setup. It's not what I signed on for. And screw the in good times and in bad, because this doesn't fall into that category - this is a bait & switch. he baited me into a marriage with being one person, then switched into his lazy human being who takes no responsibility for his life once we tied the knot.

I've struggled my entire life and I've never, ever had anyone else to be able to depend on when the going got tough (not even my own parents). So I meet my husband and he's all responsible and mature and honest and morally sound and whatnot, and I'm like, "This is so attractive to me! I love a man who is actually a responsible, active and productive member of society, and is also someone I can depend upon when times get hard (not financially, but in all ways)". Well guess what - he ISN'T there for me, because I can't trust him to take the initiative to do anything without my first telling him to do it. I swear to you that man would ask me how to wash a dish if he had two different sponges on the counter to choose from. So no, I'm not happy with this arrangement AT ALL. And, I don't think I should have to settle to be someone's momma when what I initially signed up for was to be his wife. Is it really so much to ask that he just step up to the plate and be an adult once in a while? *very, very sad*

Quoting KittenKrump:

I am in your husband's shoes. I am happy to be just us. But, the difference, my husband doesn't sacrifice his happiness because I am a home body. We spend every weekend at friends houses, we go out on dates, we have fun, but he always initiates. I don't think it's a problem, if he ever wants to do something, he puts the idea to me and I usually say yes. I think the problem here is that you are unwilling to make this compromise, you either want him to sweep you off your feet every week or so or to forget it.

**EDIT** I feel it pertinent to clarify in case it wasn't clear, I am only talking about the going out. The housework and stuff is done by me, almost exclusively, and I initiate bedroom stuff almost every time. This set up works for us, but it's not for everyone.


needtobreath
by on Jul. 11, 2012 at 3:18 AM
1 mom liked this
I totally agree, go live life without him.
Do you still love him? If you do then invite him and don't divorce him. If you don't love him then divorce him and find someone else to have fun with. Frankly I couldn't be married to someone that didn't want to go out and do things with me.


Quoting Ksmomy:

I can't say I know how you feel or understand your situation but if I were you I'd do things with the kids or my own friends. when he asks why you're doing it tell him you're tired of sitting around. When you're doing things with the kids invite him if he chooses not to go then go on with your plans. Don't begs just inform him of the plans ask if he'd like to come along. Good luck!
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sbreece
by on Jul. 11, 2012 at 3:36 AM
1 mom liked this
I would say talk to him..but it seems like you'd be beating a dead horse, so to speak. Maybe divorce would be your only option?

The feeling of drowning in a marriage and constantly being held down has to be overwhelming. I couldn't do it. You're a better woman than I. You've exhausted all your efforts for him and your marriage but when is it time to start exhausting efforts on yourself?

Good luck hun! I hope you do find the happiness you so desperately long for!
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