There have been many trials in our marriage. My husband responded to stress by abusing alcohol, which made him angry and violent. My teenage son has mental and behavioral problems (running away, drugs, violence) and is currently in a treatment center. I have literally become sick from the stress, resulting in Celiac disease and adrenal and hormonal problems. Loss of my husband’s job created financial stress. Throughout our marriage our sex life and intimacy have decreased and dwindled to nothing. About a year and half ago, my husband had an epiphany and realized that his behavior was a major reason for our difficulties. He promised to change. He is on medication and now does not drink. He is working, but only through a temporary staffing agency. I do not work. There are five children, ranging in age from 5 to 18. One young child has Type 1 diabetes. He is better, but still does not put me on the top of his list.
I miss feeling loved and cherished. I feel so alone. I vacillate from feeling hurt, depressed and angry at my husband for all he has done to feeling guilty for wanting my own happiness. It is very hard to forgive and forget. We have moments of “niceness”, but for the most part we are more like room-mates than spouses.
I don’t understand how he can go for weeks or months without thinking of having sex. It is difficult to discuss with him, because he gets defensive. I tend to “blame” him, because it was his behavior that led to my feelings. There are many nights that I cry myself to sleep and he does nothing to comfort me.
I do pray, almost a constant outpouring of prayer from my heart and also formal prayer daily. In fact, the fruits of these sufferings has been an increase in prayer. I am trusting in Jesus, but also I am reminded that the Lord helps those who help themselves.
What can I do? We don’t have money or insurance coverage for professional counseling. We already have immense medical expenses due to our child’s chronic illness.
Am I unworthy of happiness? My husband believes that if we are happy we will have more sex. I believe that if we have more sex, we will be happier. Meanwhile, sex never happens. It actually isn’t the sex–it’s the loving bond that comes from a sexual relationship with your spouse that I long for.
Any ideas? Any books or other materials that offer help for marriages in trouble?