Not in love anymore


#1

I’m praying that someone can help me with advice. I have been married to my husband for 7 years. Over the last year or so, I have felt rather consistently that I am not in love with him anymore. Our marriage has been extremely rocky. Here’s a little background: as a child, he was molested and abused by his stepfather and neglected by his mother. Naturally, this has caused a lot of problems, which we have worked hard on together. He has hidden many secrets from me, including a porn addiction (I never would have married him had I known) and alcoholism. He has lied to me so much for so long that I do not trust him anymore, and becomes angry and frustrated that I “can’t let go of the past.” I think he has kept his porn addiction under control, but I can’t be sure because I never fully believe him. Worked worked for a long time on that together, with books and pornnomore.com. Unfortunately, we live in Japan and can’t receive adequate counseling on base for these problems.

I don’t feel we are on the same page in life in general. At one point, we were really growing in faith together, but now that has all but ended. He has to work on Sundays, so he never really gets to mass. I struggle with OCD and depression, and sometimes it gets so bad that I question my faith, whether or not God really cares. When I try to talk to him about this, he gets exasperated. I want him to help me grow in faith, but he doesn’t seem to care.

He was doing well in college, won a big Air Force award, and seemed really driven. Then he took a couple of terms off of college to study for his E-6 test. We were all excited about it - I just know he would have made it, because he is very smart. Well, he missed the test and won’t be able to test until next year. This is typical of his behavior. And of course, I am not allowed to be upset about it.

He drinks a lot again, but doesn’t think he ever gets drunk - even after a few mixed drinks and 6 or 7 beers. Also, he has gained a lot of weight lately, about 20 lbs. I am home visiting my family, and this weight gain happened during the 6 weeks I was gone with the kids. I am concerned because of all the health problems in his family, and he has a big belly now. I know this sounds shallow, but I am having problems being attracted to him anyway, and now this. I’m trying to help him without nagging, but he seems to think anything is nagging. I really don’t know what to do. He has no sense of humor about anything, and is always touchy. In short, he is a downer.

Sometimes I wish I had never met him, but then I feel awful because we have two absolutely wonderful, sweet, adorable little boys. I don’t want to divorce him, but I admit I do think about what could have been. I don’t know what to do. It seems that I am never a good enough wife. I pray for him, for our marriage, and it just doesn’t seem to help. I am willing to do whatever it takes to feel the way I used to about him, but I don’t know how to do it.

Can anyone help?

Thank you.


#2

You are in a tough situation being on base in another country. This limits the resources you can pull from to resolve all these issues. How long will you be stationed there?

Have you heard of Dr. Harley? Has has a collection of books that provide guidance for learning how to work together. His claim is to keep your marriage affair-safe and to bring back that love you had when you married.

I especially enjoyed his book, “His Needs, Her Needs” where he goes through the top ten expectations/needs spouses have in marriage. And he has a book called, “Love Busters” that devotes a chapter to 7 common hurtful actions spouses do to eachother and how to redirect/change the behavior.

www.marriagebuilders.com is his website. You might be able to find used copies on eBay for less money.


#3

Love and Respect

http://home.adelphia.net/~annunciation/crazycycle.gif


#4

I will pray for you and your intentions Irish Becca.

God Bless,
matt


#5

Thank you for your prayers and advice. The books/programs you recommended look promising. I’m going to purchase them.


#6

First and foremost I do feel for you in your situation, it seems insurmountable, but it is not. With God all things are possible right? Let me say that love is not a feeling it is a choice. You can choose to love your husband, the man that you took vows with 7 years ago, or you can choose not to. You can choose to give up on this man just like so many have in the past or you can choose the be the one constant thing for him right now.

Mind you, I am not taking sides here, I am just trying to help you see this from an angle that you are not looking at as you are so close to the situation.

You mentioned one key word that makes this entire situation change and that word is kids. Boys. Boys need their fathers more than you can ever realize. Trust me on this. To remove them from the family situation would be very hurtful to both of them now and in the future. That right there is reason enough to do everything that you can to make things work out.

Marriage is not about you and it is not about your husband. On your wedding day you took vows before family and friends, but more importantly in front of God. The three of you (God, your husband and you) became ONE. What hurts you will hurt the other two, and vice versa. You took the vow that in good times and bad you would be there for each other. This is taken all too lightly these days. Couples just say “I do” without really thinking of what this means. This is what it means for the “good times and the bad” you are living the bad. But there is hope. All is not lost. You may think that it is, but it is not.

My :twocents: and I am not psychologist and I am just taking your post at face value to provide what I think is happening. You husband is crying out for you in ways that you do not understand. Alcohol, pornography, weight gain, these are warning signs to you that he needs something. He needs a constant in his life. Now it is up to the two of you to decide if you will be the “constant” for each other or if it will be something (or someone) else. (I am not implying that there is someone else so do not take it that way) The marriage is now about both of you as one person, he is struggling therefore you are struggling.

How do you break this cycle? I don’t know the exact way, but I do know that there are resources out there. Some have been mentioned on this website already and I am sure that there will be more to come. Look into information by Dr. Gregory and Lisa Popcak. Reading Theology of the Body or related material by Christopher West. Looking into Marriage Builders. The Proper Care and Feeding of your Husband.

This is not all about him. This is also about how you can build up yourself to better help him in this battle. This is a battle. The devil is attacking your husband where he is the weakest and he is at a point that he feels that he does not have the strength to fight it. You have to be his strength, his rock, his constant.

Jesus never said it would be easy, only that it would be worth it. Continue to pray for him. Pray to Our Lady, a rosary for him each day. Pray for yourself, pray for God to give you the strength.

You CAN DO THIS!! You can save your marriage…if you want to, if you are willing to give it the time and nurturing that it needs. Your husband needs you now more than he ever has in his life, don’t run from him, be there for him.


#7

www.retrouvaille.org Get help. You don’t have to deal with this alone. If you both want this marriage to succeed, it can. You’ll be in my prayers. :crossrc:


#8

My hubby is in the Air Force also. It is not unusual not to pass the E-6 test the first time or even the second time. Your hubby isn’t unusual. If you know that your hubby studied for the test then this is just something that was out of his control.


#9

Becca, all I can say is don’t give up. The other posters here are giving you good advice. I’m going through a divorce right now. I am a devout Catholic with a wife who just walked away. Divorce is SO, SO painful. Take your worst feeling of loneliness, hopelessness and pain and multiply it by at least 20. This may seem hard to believe but it is true. It is EVIL and you don’t want to even go down this path. There are SO many other options. You probably haven’t even begun to explore them.

Like your husband, I admit that I struggled with some of the same things. I know in some ways, I turned my wife off to me because I became complacent in our marriage, too focused on work and missing some of the clues that she was unhappy. My struggles were because I felt that I wasn’t being affirmed, respected. I realized my disordered desires were because they were “filling me up” in ways that I used to receive from my wife. But that fill up was empty. What I was really crying out for was support, respect, affection, and the knowledge that she would go to any length to be there for me no matter what. That never came.

The book Love and Respect is an amazing book. It has lots of great tips. As a guy, I have a feeling that he is hurting because he sees disappointment in himself with seemingly no way out. Be that hope for him. Go out of your way to let him know how much you love him but also RESPECT him. There are probably times at work that he doesn’t feel respected, then comes home and is lacking it at times too (notice I didn’t say love, just respect). Let him know that he is your HERO…treat him like one (minus a ticker tape parade, of course). Because in the spiritual sense, he is your hero. He might be soiled from a hard life, a little course, but that knight is just waiting to be awakened. You will be amazed at his reaction. Deep down, you know that the core of him is probably still a great guy. It just needs to be reawakened.

In short, Becca, exhaust ALL possibilities before making a rash judgement or giving up. Life and marriage can be so much better. Don’t give up on him, not because of him, but because of your faith in God. The goal of marriage is to help you get to heaven with your partner there too. Now is your chance to help save a soul. It starts with respect. Be strong. It must be tough being an overseas wife. But God is with you. He loves you. He loves your husband and he loves that you are serving Him through the ups and downs of your marriage vocation.


#10

You sound so hurt. :frowning: This has to be very hard for both of you.

I read a long time ago that love is a choice its not a feeling. The feelings come and go but the choice is up to us. We cant always change our feelings but we can decide what we do about our feelings. I think that’s right.

Don’t give up.

Praying!

:crossrc:


#11

Becca,

You mentioned your husband was molested by his stepfather. I can only asume you mean sexually molested. I’m the spouse of a survivor as well. I know it’s hard but try and hang in there for your husband. There is light at the end of the tunnel. I cannot stress highly enough good counseling. Has your husband found a good counselor to address his childhood abuse?

You may want to try and read *Ghosts in the Bedroom *for some insight on being the spouse of a survivor.

I second the Retrouvaille weekend. It saved my marriage and was actually the catalyst that brought all the abuse out of my wife and into the open. It’s possible that you don’t know everything that happened to your husband. Victims (particularly men) are very wary of sharing their abuse experiences. There is tremendous guilt on the victims part (totally unwarranted) but there none the less.

Fell free to PM me if you would like me to share more on our experiences.


#12

Stay Strong. You and your Hubby are in my Prayers.

God Bless.


#13

I can completely identify with your situation. I know that horrible,lonely feeling. In my case, I tried a simple prayer…not even really feeling that I wanted the answer…“God, please put love back in my heart for my husband.” I have had to do this twice, and the results were amazing both times. Usually, I began to see myself in a different way which softened my heart toward my husband. Your situation is difficult, tho with no easy answers. You can’t stay if you fear for your safety or your boys wellbeing. Maybe if you try the prayer first, the way will become clear for you. I know how lonely it can feel. Do you have access to AlAnon? I wish you the best. Sometimes don’t you just want a miracle right now?


#14

Hi, Deb,

Thanks for your response. Unfortunately, it was in his control. He did not show up to take the test after a year of studying, and giving up college for two terms. They will not let him reschedule his test date, so he has to wait until next year. He didn’t even take the test because he missed it.


#15

I also am no professional but it seems that you are also depressed or heading for depression. First of all i think the 7 year thing is just a cycle of marriage. Everyone goes through phases of life, even if all was well in your life you get those phases. So keep that in mind,. The next thing is Love isnt something that you just get. Love is something that grows and grows. Its like a plant you dont water it or take care of it, it dies. But if you give it alot of attention it grows and grows and gets more beautiful with of course Time. But trust me if you would get divorced and remarried you would be in the same boat in another 6 or 7 years. You must get help through the Church would be the best thing. Yes he has alot of issues, but you will find out you both do. Life is hard, raising kids is hard, its not like you think it would be, but together you could make it that way. Together, work together, I think you lost that. Trust me we have all felt that way one time or another. Find something once a week, month, whatever to do together just you two. Just to talk, cry, yell, whatever it takes, just communicate, Work on it. At least try, God Bless. And the most important think Go back to God together, God, My husband and i call him the Glue, He keeps us together. Trust him, with you and your husband and God all working together Magic comes as fast as it left. You cant lose!


#16

I also am no professional but it seems that you are also depressed or heading for depression. First of all i think the 7 year thing is just a cycle of marriage. Everyone goes through phases of life, even if all was well in your life you get those phases. So keep that in mind,. The next thing is Love isnt something that you just get. Love is something that grows and grows. Its like a plant you dont water it or take care of it, it dies. But if you give it alot of attention it grows and grows and gets more beautiful with of course Time. But trust me if you would get divorced and remarried you would be in the same boat in another 6 or 7 years. You must get help through the Church would be the best thing. Yes he has alot of issues, but you will find out you both do. Life is hard, raising kids is hard, its not like you think it would be, but together you could make it that way. Together, work together, I think you lost that. Trust me we have all felt that way one time or another. Find something once a week, month, whatever to do together just you two. Just to talk, cry, yell, whatever it takes, just communicate, Work on it. At least try, God Bless. And the most important think Go back to God together, God, My husband and i call him the Glue, He keeps us together. Trust him, with you and your husband and God all working together Magic comes as fast as it left. You cant lose!


#17

I also am no professional but it seems that you are also depressed or heading for depression. First of all i think the 7 year thing is just a cycle of marriage. Everyone goes through phases of life, even if all was well in your life you get those phases. So keep that in mind,. The next thing is Love isnt something that you just get. Love is something that grows and grows. Its like a plant you dont water it or take care of it, it dies. But if you give it alot of attention it grows and grows and gets more beautiful with of course Time. But trust me if you would get divorced and remarried you would be in the same boat in another 6 or 7 years. You must get help through the Church would be the best thing. Yes he has alot of issues, but you will find out you both do. Life is hard, raising kids is hard, its not like you think it would be, but together you could make it that way. Together, work together, I think you lost that. Trust me we have all felt that way one time or another. Find something once a week, month, whatever to do together just you two. Just to talk, cry, yell, whatever it takes, just communicate, Work on it. At least try, God Bless. And the most important think Go back to God together, God, My husband and i call him the Glue, He keeps us together. Trust him, with you and your husband and God all working together Magic comes as fast as it left. You cant lose!


#18

Thank you all so much for your prayers and responses. It helps to know there are people who understand! I am sorry to hear of what some of you are going through. I will definitely be praying for you, that God strengthens and heals your hearts and marriages.

First, I know I wasn’t clear enough, but I am not considering divorce as an option at this point. I am a practicing, devout Catholic and realize this isn’t a way out at this juncture. I admit I do believe that I would receive an annulment, but that still leaves the fact that our boys would be from a broken home, and that is the last thing I want. It is not possible.

I understand what you mean about love being an action, not a feeling. I do try to treat him with love, though this is very difficult sometimes. The feeling I am speaking of is the attraction I had for him, what drew me to fall into the love-feeling with him,

I am going to go up to the Catholic bookstore today to look into these books you have recommended. Our marriage needs serious help, and I am beginning to fill my needs with spending, which we can’t afford, because we don’t make enough money, and my husband spends, too.

Thank you for praying for him. I have faith that he can be the man I fell in love with again. He was doing so well, I was so proud of him, attracted to him, delighted to be his wife. He’s made an almost complete regression. We talked a little yesterday, and he is open to some changes. It gives me hope for our marriage and life with eachother. I don’t want to be with anyone else. I want to be with him, and I will do whatever I can to help him heal. Please continue to pray, and thank you so much again.


#19

Good for you! What a great attitude. God bless you and your husband. I will pray for you.


#20

Why did he miss the test? Was there a reason? My husband does very well in college because he can just glance over a text book and sit in class and automatically get an A. Yes, he is that smart. But when it came to actually studying for his test to make rank, he was very lazy about it. It took him a couple tries to make his next rank.

A year isn’t that long to wait. I know that the extra money that comes with a higher rank is very, very helpful. But at least your husband does have a chance at making a higher income in a year. I have friends who are stuck at the same income, year after year

I am not belittling the aggravation that this has caused you, only trying to give you some hope.:slight_smile:


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