Not attracted to husband


#1

We started dating in September 2008 right after I ended another 5-year relationship, and I got pregnant in January 2009. We were madly in love and discussing marriage anyway, so he proposed 2 days after we found out about the baby. I wanted to wait until after I gave birth to get married, but my mother strong-armed us into getting married in May 2009. It all happened so fast...

Soon after we got married, I became aware of his explosive temper. If I don't tread lightly during a disagreement, he will scream at me, say hurtful things and flail his arms. He is not violent, though neighbors probably think he is. He always apologizes, and I always forgive, but I never knew about his emotional problems before.

Also, more and more, he has become a slave to his vices. He goes through stints where he drinks every day, enough to get drunk (or buzzed, as he calls it). Arguing with him about it is nothing more than a guaranteed headache, as he downplays it and makes me feel like I'm just trying to take something he enjoys away from him. He also has an intense oral fixation (or is a food addict, not sure which). He eats an immense amount at dinnertime, and will eat several more times before bed. If food is there, he must eat it. If there's still beer in the fridge, he must finish it. He's been fat his whole life, but lost 60 lbs. before he met me. He has gained 50 lbs. since September 2008 which has impacted my physical attraction to him, as well as my respect for him.

Other issues I have stem from my comparing him to other people's husbands, which I know is wrong. I feel he's well liked, but not really respected. He acts too goofy when we're out with friends or at family functions. He's like a friendly dog with his "please like me, like me, like me" demeanor, especially if he's drinking. He makes a lot of sub-par jokes and doesn't really know when to lay off them. I know this isn't a terrible vice, but I'd really like him to be more cool and collected in public. I sometimes dread going places because I feel like I'm being escorted by a clown.

Now I should point out that I do love him, very much. He is a phenomenal father and a doting, supportive husband. The thought of him being hurt breaks my heart and I know that my reasons for loss of attraction are largely superficial. I haven't told him my feelings, but he has sensed it from my demeanor and lack of interest in him physically. I told him that it's just my pregnancy hormones (yep, baby #2 is on the way).

I should say that while I'm not HAPPY, I'm content. I can go without passion for a while, but I'm not sure for how long. The thought of sex with him has been turning my stomach. It's hard not to think about other men. Though I would never cheat, these fantasies only increase my dissatisfaction with him. As a Catholic, I don't want to ever be divorced. Also, I'd rather die than break up my family, especially over something like sex. We get along and our daughter is very happy, not to mention the new baby on the way.

I guess my question is, what would a priest advise me to do? I'd like to go to a counselor but I don't want him to know that I'm not attracted to him anymore. Is a passionless marriage justified, or did God not want this for me? If I feel this way, were we even meant for each other?


#2

So many of us go through challenges in our relationships and it is seldom easy to work them through especially given that each of us human beings and marriage partners have our flaws, and some more than others. I ask the Lord to help you convey to your husband the depth of love that will bring out the best in him and vice versa.

I think you'll find that a great many women at different times find relations with their husbands an unappealing prospect...that has to be dealt with kindly, and with effort for personal growth and development.

May the Lord assist your husband in seeing where his behaviour might develop into greater maturity.

Dear magules you really do need to cut out the sexual fantasies as this is adulterous, unfortunately...and remember that Jesus said that if a man looks at a woman to lust after her he has already committed adultery with her in his heart...it goes both ways. Matthew 5:28. If you do fantasize about other men of course that sin will lead you further from your husband....and from God. Sin always brings some undesirable consequences.

I wonder if you can help your husband lose weigh by having less food around? Are there kindly but wise strategies you can us? And can you talk quietly and respectfully about the issues in which you hope to see change? If he feels criticized or that you're emotional he may simply get defensive, but is it possible to begin to foster some quiet respectful discussion about how you feel regarding certain behaviors? My mother always said, "you can't change a man, but you can influence him."


#3

[quote="magules13, post:1, topic:224206"]
Soon after we got married, I became aware of his explosive temper. If I don't tread lightly during a disagreement, he will scream at me, say hurtful things and flail his arms. He is not violent, though neighbors probably think he is. He always apologizes, and I always forgive, but I never knew about his emotional problems before.

[/quote]

I know this wasn't even supposed to be your main point, but as the child of an emotionally (and a bit physically) abusive father, this part set off a LOUD alarm in my mind when I read it. Whether he's violent or not it doesn't even matter - for the sake of both you and your child this behavior of his must be addressed immediately one way or the other!


#4

[quote="exoflare, post:3, topic:224206"]
I know this wasn't even supposed to be your main point, but as the child of an emotionally (and a bit physically) abusive father, this part set off a LOUD alarm in my mind when I read it. Whether he's violent or not it doesn't even matter - for the sake of both you and your child this behavior of his must be addressed immediately one way or the other!

[/quote]

I agree. As children we are (figuratively speaking) sponges. We pick up on everything around us, especially what involves our parents. If the child is seeing or hearing your husband's immature way of handling conflicts, she may behave like this in the future.
As exoflare advised, it needs to be addressed now instead of later when the same behavior is mimicked by your children.


#5

A lot of marriages continue for many years with some "a little" mental abuse, and others goes on for years. I have friends separating after 18 years right now, and all I can say is pray for your husband and try and find ways to get him to see that changing will be better for everyone. Unfortunately, this change often comes when "they seek it" or God reveals they need to change with some life changing event ... you leaving, drug or alcohol addiction or similar. Don't wait to try and change him, and get him to change. Some ideas include:

[LIST]
Start volunteering together to those less lucky
Get involved in a prayer group
Prison ministry (radical but will show him how lucky he is)
Some joint sport you both enjoy
Visit the priest[/LIST]


#6

[quote="magules13, post:1, topic:224206"]

Soon after we got married, I became aware of his explosive temper. If I don't tread lightly during a disagreement, he will scream at me, say hurtful things and flail his arms. He is not violent, though neighbors probably think he is. He always apologizes, and I always forgive, but I never knew about his emotional problems before.

[/quote]

Wow, this was me 25 years ago. We were madly in love. Sex life great. Then after one year of marriage,

I became aware of his explosive temper. If I don't tread lightly during a disagreement, he will scream at me, say hurtful things and flail his arms. He is not violent, though neighbors probably think he is. He always apologizes, and I always forgive, but I never knew about his emotional problems before.

He never hit me. Don't fool yourself, this is violence. When my little 4 year old girl said, "Daddy, stop screaming at Mommy" and he pushed her away, was the day I made the decision he either had to change or I would leave. We tried counseling, but I had waited too long. He said he was going to counseling but he lied. (It's all my fault). I left him.

Please get help RIGHT AWAY before it gets out of hand. There is hope. But you should not be raising children in such an environment.

You've got another baby on the way. You owe it to your children to have a strong marriage with a mom and a dad.

I'll keep you in my prayers and hope you come back here and let us know how things are working out.


#7

Well first of all the “attraction” issue is primarily your problem not his. It is right for you to be lovingly concerned about his health. However, not being attracted to him and thinking about other men points to an issue with yourself. Physical attraction is below that of attraction due to love and commitment.

His issues with anger, drinking and hurtful insults is a big concern. You are early in your marriage, you guys do have a chance to correct this. Often these situations are not one sided. Try to identify some of his triggers and try to avoid pushing his buttons. With a baby and another on the way as well as sexual issues can cause a lot of stress. You mentioned that he is very sorry and apologizes after a blow up, this is positive. Let him know that you love him and that you want to help him avoid having it happen again, be as supportive as possible, if he feels excessively shamed, it could feed the problem. Men like to be noble, to be defenders and warriors for their family, try to frame things in this light and he may be inspired. I do recommend seeing a priest to discuss these issues. You should see the priest together as well. I would not discuss the physical attraction problem with the priest while your husband is there. Again that is your issue, it is certainly connected with the health, anger and stress issues, but is more likely a symptom and not a root cause.

Also, get active with your faith. Encourage you husband to join a Catholic men’s group. Start praying together, go to confession once a month as a family. Try doing all the right things and see if things start to improve.


#8

[quote="magules13, post:1, topic:224206"]
We started dating in September 2008 right after I ended another 5-year relationship, and I got pregnant in January 2009. We were madly in love and discussing marriage anyway, so he proposed 2 days after we found out about the baby. I wanted to wait until after I gave birth to get married, but my mother strong-armed us into getting married in May 2009. It all happened so fast...

. . .
I guess my question is, what would a priest advise me to do? I'd like to go to a counselor but I don't want him to know that I'm not attracted to him anymore. Is a passionless marriage justified, or did God not want this for me? If I feel this way, were we even meant for each other?

[/quote]

did you speak to a priest before you married? I ask because most priests would discourage you strongly from marrying before the baby was born to eliminate the pressure of that situation as a possible cause for contracting an invalid marriage. If you did not marry in the Church any wise priest would strongly discourage you from convalidating a marriage that does not seem destined to last, or where there are already evidences of invalidating circumstances (the concealed aspects of your husband's vices for instance).

See a priest today and get an answer specific to your own individual circumstance, but if you want honest advice, be honest and open with him.

By all means seek counselling for yourself, which is confidential and no reputable counsellor would reveal what you say to your husband. But admit that lack of passion is the least of your problems.

ps good loving fathers and supportive husbands do not act out their anger and engage in verbal abuse. and a man who abuses his wife is always at risk of abusing the child at some point. always. without exception.


#9

You lack of physical attraction is normal and healthy. It is you telling yourself that there is something wrong and some serious some work needs to be done in your marriage. The bad part (and you already know this) is that you have allowed yourself to think about other men is an unchaste way.
This won't help you or your marriage.

I'm not going to say bad things about your husband but there are big problems, you know this too.You guys really need help to heal this marriage. Please seek help. A Priest is good place to start. Just tell him what you told us.

God bless you and your family. I will pray tonight for you.


#10

[quote="puzzleannie, post:8, topic:224206"]
did you speak to a priest before you married? I ask because most priests would discourage you strongly from marrying before the baby was born to eliminate the pressure of that situation as a possible cause for contracting an invalid marriage. If you did not marry in the Church any wise priest would strongly discourage you from convalidating a marriage that does not seem destined to last, or where there are already evidences of invalidating circumstances (the concealed aspects of your husband's vices for instance).

[/quote]

I am concerned by the part of this post quoted above (the rest was good). It appears to make the judgment that if a priest doesn't recommend a civil divorce, that he is not wise. I don't think it is our place to plant seeds of divorce based on one limited post. It is best to recommend that they discuss the situation with a priest and leave it at that. The priest knows how to deal with and make recommendations in these situations. Also, the existence of lack of informed or free consent can latter be consented to once is if fully known. The priest can help guide these important decisions.


#11

The problems in your sexual relationship are probablky because of the problems in the relationship in general, the emotional disconnect, the budding lack of respect you feel for your spouse, maybe the lack of good communication and emotional intimacy. Sounds to me like it is time for counseling., . Don't wait too long. The longer behaviors are entrenched, the more distant you become from each other, the harder it is going to be to correct, fix the problems in the relationship. You are describing , it seems to me, more issues than you are going to be able to fix alone or by just posting here.


#12

I am going to sound like a one-note symphony, but...

Al-Anon. It's for people who are being affected by someone else's drinking.

al-anon.alateen.org/

Look up a meeting near you and go. You will get support and caring. The people at the meeting will understand what you are going through. They won't tell you what to do, as in give advice, but they will share their own experience, strength and hope with you, and love you right where you are. Very unique fellowship. It's the spouse's program that dovetails with AA, but also works for any family member or friend of an alcoholic/addict.


#13

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:12, topic:224206"]
I am going to sound like a one-note symphony, but...

Al-Anon. It's for people who are being affected by someone else's drinking.

al-anon.alateen.org/

Look up a meeting near you and go. You will get support and caring. The people at the meeting will understand what you are going through. They won't tell you what to do, as in give advice, but they will share their own experience, strength and hope with you, and love you right where you are. Very unique fellowship. It's the spouse's program that dovetails with AA, but also works for any family member or friend of an alcoholic/addict.

[/quote]

This is exactly what I was going to say. I went because of a loved ones drinking problems but It helped me in so many ways. There are a lot of different meetings out there. Look around until you find one that you like. I've seen people take their babies too. Good luck.


#14

Sounds to me like he is FULL of insecurity...full of it. He has low self esteem and eats and drinks to compensate. He is a bit socially inept and acts 'nerdish' (for lack of a better work) and overly silly trying to fit in.

BUT, he takes a lot of this out on you when he yells. He may have explosive anger disorder. I know someone who has a lot of your husband's traits. A counselor told him that he has a lot of anger based on being picked on and feeling unpopular as a child. He lashes out because of that and still feels inept. He then acts out more.

Sounds to me like your husband is similar. Get to counseling to protect YOUR self esteem and positive spirit. Then, try and get him there too!


#15

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