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Husband doesnt "Do" Valentines Day, Birthdays etc..

  • 10-02-2023 9:43pm
    Registered Users Posts: 103 ✭✭

    I have been married 17 years and have been unhappy for most of it. I settled because I was afraid of being alone as I have no family, friends or a support network. I had a fantastic social life in my teens and twenties but all that stopped when everyone else got married and had kids and had to move away due to house prices but men never approached me, asked me out or bought me drinks. I am not ugly BTW and none of my friends could understand why this way. I went on-line and eventually met "Michael" who proposed after 6 weeks of dating. I liked him but was not in love. I remember waking up on my wedding day wanting to go back asleep and not wake up. Anyway I had to remortgage my house to pay off his €30000 debt right before the crash so my house price was decimated. I like to make a fuss on my birthday and Christmas but have found out that Michael doesn't do this. He likes to be in bed by 9.30 and is always exhausted and shattered. hence we dont go out, never. He didn't even bring me out for dinner for my 50th birthday, no cake, no flowers. I was absolutely heartbroken. I have spoken to him about not going out and he has promised he would do a date night once a month but he needs his sleep and I am still waiting. We haven't been intimate for 8 years and he is desperate with money, before I met him I was on my 2nd house, now I am 36,000 in debt and are struggling. He is a lovely man in many other ways and we have a laugh but god I am desperately unhappy. My mental health is in tatters, I have no self confidence and I now have social anxiety. I cant afford to move out but I am afraid for my future of being with someone I dont love. I am now 55 and We have no kids. Any advice would be great. Thank you.

    Post edited by HildaOgdenx on



  • Registered Users Posts: 23,628 ✭✭✭✭Larbre34

    To address some big mistakes, you have to take some big steps.

    You say you can't afford to move out. I'd suggest you can't afford not to.

    If I put it to you this way, you're 55 now and in 20 years you'll be in exactly the same situation only with 20 more years of misery and mental exhaustion behind you, with nothing to look forward to but death. What would you think then?

    I'm not even exaggerating, thats the bleakness your post portrays and its so very unnecessary.

    Separate. Sell the house. Take whatever few quid is left in it and go your separate ways. Let him deal with his own debt by the way, its not your problem.

    If you have no family ties here, do something drastic, go and work in Spain or somewhere in hospitality or tourism where the sun is warm and the rent is cheap. Meet people, take lovers, explore the wider World.

    I actually know someone who was in a similar situation to yourself, stuck in a very unhappy life in Ireland. She walks dogs for wealthy expats in Portugal now and has a beautiful little villa for herself, plays tennis and swims and barbecues on her terrace. She left here in her 40s with basically nothing.

    I'd rather be poor and happy for the last years of my life than poor and absolutely miserable.

    Take the leap.

  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 79,705 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sephiroth_dude


    Moved from after hours, you'll get better responses here OP.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,118 ✭✭✭Idle Passerby

    Thr title of your post has nothing to do with its content. This problem is a lot bigger than not getting a valentines card. You married man you don't love to avoid loneliness but I'd imagine your lonelier now than you would be by yourself. At least if your single there's the opportunity for things to improve and your not putting yourself in debt for someone else.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,251 ✭✭✭✭road_high

    Only one bit of advice here that sounds simple but isn’t- Leave!

    A selfish thoughtless guy like that is what he is. He’s never going to change. Get legal advice on the financial aspects as it sounds like you’ve been carrying this dead weight for years- to end up losing your money as well as everything else for this loser is just shocking- cut your losses best you can. Can’t understand why you baled him out like that. It’s nuts. Maybe it’s the lack of close family you mention meant you weren’t able to access that kind of advice family often bring

  • Registered Users Posts: 930 ✭✭✭TheadoreT

    Did he used to be more thoughtful or buy you presents back in the days you were having sex? Or was intimacy always forced due to your low attraction for him?

    My hunch is if you started being affectionate again with him, even if you weren't feeling it at first, he'd start engaging a lot more with you on these sort of things. And then maybe your feelings would grow a little again.

    That obviously sounds very transactional but you're in a relationship with the guy, so you need to communicate and at least try to meet each others needs. Or else it will be miserable forever more.

    You see the flipside of this situation written by men all the time here, and the lack of sex/affection is nearly always the most important part for them, and they eventually just withdraw from everything as its so disheartening for them. Wheras from the female side, things like not being appreciated, him not dating you anymore, no gifts being bought tend to mean more.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,554 ✭✭✭kerryjack

    Your story is a very common one OP if the truth was known, the preasure to get married and settle down was greater back than for both men and women, I remember getting it from the ould pair when I hit the 30 mark and I did find myself a nice Quite, attractive, sensible Lady that ticked all the box's, not my usual type by the way and we are together over 25 years, now .We are not rocking the bed every night but she does her bit to keep me interested and I do my bit to keep her happy. OP I don't know what you can do with your Husband sounds like he has given up years ago no one likes a tight ass, a bit of effort is required. But you can start by sorting out your finances and looking after yourself.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,799 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hannibal_Smith

    You're in a marriage you never wanted to be in. You've tried it seems to change things, that hasn't worked. You've no kids, nothing tying you to where you are, why not leave? You've spent 17 years being miserable, go live your life.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,209 ✭✭✭AyeGer

    It’s clear you have significant problems in your marriage. Ask yourself what could he do to change that could make it better. Or realistically would it even make a difference.

    Post edited by AyeGer on

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,344 ✭✭✭YellowLead

    It’s hard to have sympathy OP. We reap what we sow, etc. You married a man you considered you were ‘settling’ for. you think he doesn’t know that? Why would he shower you with affection. You said yes to marriage after 6 weeks of dating - that’s insane, you barely knew each other. As mentioned by other posters you don’t share kids so why on earth are you still there? Both of you deserve to be in happy relationships - it’s as much in his interest for you to walk away as it is for you. I know it’s not easy but you have to have a conversation with him - maybe you can fix things and maybe you can’t, but you can’t keep living in this limbo of misery and expect things to magically improve.

  • Registered Users Posts: 103 ✭✭Midlands Minnie

    Thank you everyone for your comments, all of which I have taken on board. I have told him multiple times that he would be better off without me and go find someone who would be better for him, I even said we could have an open relationship but he has said and keeps saying that I am the best thing that's ever happened to him, he talks about me all the time in work and they have said his face lights up when he speaks of me. I am kind, funny, compassionate and these are the things he loves about me but I am also moody and quiet when my depression and meno hormones hits with a vengeance. I would rather stay with him that hurt him and I have realised this after reading your comments and all your perspectives. Thank you. For my own sanity, i have decided that if I find someone who I am attracted to and vice versa, I will go for it. Its horrible and its messy but I deserve some happiness,

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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,799 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hannibal_Smith

    In the meantime you're going to remain unhappy and heartbroken? I can't imagine he's happy either - constantly under pressure to be someone that he's not. It doesn't sound like much of a solution staying until someone turns your head.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,287 ✭✭✭✭Dial Hard

    OP, constant unhappiness seems to be the recurring theme of your threads. Would you not take the opportunity to make your own happiness for once in your life? This isn't a once-happy marriage that has just hit the doldrums; by your own admission you have never loved or been happy with this man.

    Set yourself free and go and actually live your life.

  • Registered Users Posts: 103 ✭✭Midlands Minnie

    The thing is, he is happy. He has his computer games, his comics and his sofa. He knows we have problems but he is keeing his head in the sand. I have cried and pleaded with him to go out more and socialise and its always the same, we'll go out when he gets paid then we dont have the money or he has forgotten. I know it might seem that I am heartless but I have given him every opportunity to split and he doesn't want to. I dont know what more I can say.

  • Registered Users Posts: 930 ✭✭✭TheadoreT

    So wait, you wasted almost 2 decades of his life by entering a marriage to keep up with the Joneses, and now you're going to compound his misery by cheating on him instead of doing the decent thing and ending it with your dignity intact and being someway mindful of his mental health.

  • Registered Users Posts: 103 ✭✭Midlands Minnie

    Well, it looks like I am the hugely in the wrong. I will certainly think on what you all have said. I am not a bad person, I just have no courage and hate conflict and dont want to hurt him, he will fall apart.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,344 ✭✭✭YellowLead

    You don’t want to hurt him so you’ll stay with him, all the whole hoping to meet somebody else and THEN you’ll end it???

    Far more hurtful for him to be left for somebody else than left because the marriage isn’t working for you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 852 ✭✭✭radiotrickster

    OP, it’s incredibly selfish to stay with your husband because you don’t want to be alone, while waiting for the moment someone better comes along so you can leave him.

    If you hate conflict and don’t want to hurt him, why are you actively hoping that another person will come along that you can cheat on him with? That’ll be far worse than leaving him now.

    I’d advise you try counselling so you get the support and whatever tools you need to leave him.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,929 ✭✭✭rolling boh

    The idea you will stay while maybe looking out for something better in the meantime was bound to draw some negative comments .You would be better ending things in the right manner than doing that I feel.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13 Overdehils

    Hi Midlands Minnie....sending *hugs* your way. Just going to comment re your intention of not leaving and running with that scenario and just suggesting a small adjustment on your part. You say that he is content with where he is in life, perhaps it is time that you find a corner for yourself also? Focus on something that you have or MAY have only half an interest & throw yourself into it. It might take a few attempts but the only thing holding you back is fear! Join that club, go for coffee, go for drinks & form friendships. You will be happier in yourself, hubby may follow your interest but its not a problem if he doesn' are married not joined at the hip! That may bring a new dynamic to your relationship, but, also, it might not.....but whats the harm in trying? xxx

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,179 ✭✭✭bottlebrush

    OP you say on your first post you have no family friends or support network. So are you relying solely on your husband to go out with, as in, to dinner etc. Do you have a social or work life outside of the marriage?

    For what it's worth I think your husband might have depression. Going to bed at 9.30, needing his sleep, exhausted, avoiding going out. Or does he have a very demanding stressful job that might explain the exhaustion at least?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,628 ✭✭✭✭Larbre34

    My dear woman, given how absolutely useless to you he sounds from your description, I would plead with you to consider your own feelings first before worrying about his.

    Don't you think that if you keep this up for a few more years, that you might fall apart?

    I would seriously worry for your personal safety if you remain on the path you are on. I think you know what I mean and it sounds like you are quite a way down a path to hopelessness. And there is nothing worse in the human condition, than having no hope.

    He cannot expect to only contribute in a negative way to your relationship and have you tolerate him indefinitely. If you can still even call it a relationship.

    Your happiness is a matter for yourself and no one else. Absolutely nobody would criticise you for taking care of your own needs in this situation.

    Just look at what he has taken from you. Surely he doesn't deserve anything else.

  • Registered Users Posts: 103 ✭✭Midlands Minnie

    I honestly dont have any support network, no brothers or sisters and friends have all drifted away. My formerly best friend of nearly 40 years has let me down so many times, I feel embarrassed now of how I kept running after her. It took the ice bucket challenge for me to realise I was horrified and very upset, I will be starting an evening class next week so looking forward to it and getting out. Other than that, its home, work, home, work etc. I have mentioned going out for cinema or drinks with colleagues and that went down like a lead balloon. Its amazing really how people view me. My customers love me for my wit and friendly nature but others..... I dont know what it is.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,628 ✭✭✭✭Larbre34

    How others view you is entirely irrelevant.

    I learned when I was about 25 to stop being a people pleaser. Its ****ing exhausting. Now I please myself. And it doesn't cost anyone else a thought.

    That doesn't mean I'm selfish, it actually means my mind is present and uncluttered for my loved ones and dealing with life. No resentment, no frustration, no mental exhaustion.

    Its a bit like the aeroplane evacuation rules. Look after your own life vest first before attending to your companions. You're good to go and then they have your full attention.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,121 ✭✭✭screamer

    Right I’m not trying to be mean but I’m going to say it as I see it.

    your marriage is a sham. You married him not to be alone and from the sounds of it you married a financially irresponsible man child who saw someone relatively setup in life with no family. A marriage of convenience if ever I heard of one.

    all I can say is that life is short, in your 50s it’s shorter. In your shoes, I wouldn’t waste another minute with him. No family to worry about, just me, I’d be gone and living life to the full.

    why do you put his happiness above your own, he clearly doesn’t. Time to look after yourself, because he won’t. 8 years with no intimacy….. financial bills from his foolishness… jog on I’d say.

    good luck with it, but remember the only one who can help you is you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,209 ✭✭✭AyeGer

    I'm sure there are 3 sides to this story, your side his side and the truth. I wouldn't like to put all the blame on your husband. You settled knowing you were settling which is unfair on him if he truly loves you. Which it sounds like he does when he talks about you all the time at work and his face lights up when you are mentioned.

    Its hard to give advice here when we don't know your husbands side.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,706 ✭✭✭zoobizoo

    "He is a lovely man in many other ways and we have a laugh".

    You know, you were both coming from places where you needed a "fix" when you met.

    You needed someone..... anyone?

    He was a guy in his 30s who was financially irresponsible (many people were back then .... ). Had He been a successful property investor for example, he'd have been bankrupted a year later.

    You rescued him financially, he rescued you from being alone. Your relationship was transactional in a way. It's just that he seems to like you more or is more accepting of what you guys have.

    He doesn't sound sociable and there are many people who are happy staying at home particularly as they get a bit older.

    Is there any way to build on what you have or salvage something? The laughs ... companionship.... That he's a nice guy.....

    I'm not suggesting it would be easy but if you do get on and that is the main part of any relationship, there could be something there for you?

    The Road Less Travelled has a great section on Love that is worth a read.

  • Registered Users Posts: 103 ✭✭Midlands Minnie

    I think marriage counselling is the thing we have to do next. I have talked to him about what is wrong many many times, but he promises to change and then nothing happens. As I mentioned we have a laugh and are good friends but romance, intimacy, consideration are all but dead. And the money situation is out of control. I also said that I would have an affair if I meet someone but I am not that person, I dont know why I said it. So I will talk about counselling and see what happens. I feel I have done everything to make it work but am met with a lot of promises but no action. Thanks everyone

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,194 ✭✭✭Jarhead_Tendler

    8 years without intimacy . This is not a relationship you are in. How have you put up with him for so long? I think you would be best to stay where u are and start dating other people. Michael will be in bed at 9 and won't even notice

  • Registered Users Posts: 930 ✭✭✭TheadoreT

    I think personal counselling is of more immediate priority than marriage tbh. You're absolutely all over the place here. You're entertaining cheating on him one moment, then not the next with a worrying lack of empathy for the man. You bring down your husband, your former best friend, and your work colleagues and blame them for everything while self-aggrandising all your own personal qualities.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 438 ✭✭mykrodot

    counselling, counselling, counselling........start with yourself. If you had kids with this man maybe you would consider every option in the book, but as you don't I genuinely don't understand why you are together anymore. Life is for living. Its a leap of faith to go it alone, I did it and I am a different person in terms of personal growth.

    Its better to be lonely on your own than lonely in a relationship. But as someone else said, you are all over the place, start with yourself. Get support and someone professional to give you some feedback.

This discussion has been closed.