I am having problems with my husband.
He is intelligent but not driven. He is outgoing but is rough around the edges in social settings. He rarely holds my hand, cuddles or kisses me beyond a peck hello or goodbye. We have sex less than 10 times a year, and that has been going on for 7-8 years despite my asking him how we could fix it. Recently I found out he has been taking care of his own needs with porn. If that were in addition to a great sex life I wouldn’t care. Instead it feels like it took away from our sex life.
Our conversations are superficial. We can take a five-hour road trip and barely talk in the car on the way there. He isn’t interested. When we go out to party he binge drinks, becoming another person who often flirts with other women or seems to not be present in his own body. I have begged on several occasions for this behavior to change and it never does.
On the flip side we share a common interest in my college football team, music, concerts, travel, food and more. We are true partners when it comes to taking care of the house and make all big decisions together. While our friendship is fabulous as far as going and doing our romantic life is obviously lacking. I know passion isn’t everything and it waxes and wanes throughout a marriage. But he has always lacked the ability to communicate and show affection. I guess when I married him at age 24 I didn’t realize how important a loving connection was to me. In fact our courtship was full of drama over these same issues.
We have tried counseling. He says he can change the binging, but so far hasn’t. He says he can’t change his communication style. I can’t speak my mind, share a personal frustration or cry about something and expect his support. He shuts down. There are past substance abuse issues that concern me, along with his continued looking at porn. We don’t have children. We are 38 and 40.
I’m so confused. I can’t imagine another 40 years without affection and communication. Am I expecting too much? –Annie
No, Annie, you’re not expecting too much.
You’re just illustrating Reason #587 as to why you shouldn’t get married when you’re 24 years old.
If you’re like 75% of people who marry before the age of 25, you’ll get divorced.
You’re marrying for love, but you don’t know anything about LIFE.
You may be lucky and get it right, but if you’re like 75% of people who marry before the age of 25, you won’t. And you’ll get divorced.
Which is what I recommend to you.
Now before anybody gets on my case because I’m advocating a rash measure to a total stranger who wrote me a 500-word email, I acknowledge that.