Saturday, 5 June 2010

Now here's a question...

Have you always been "in love" with your partner? And how do you know if it is love? Could it just be lust? Does it stay with you always or does it wax and wane?
It seems the process of sorting out my stuff has thrown up some unexpected questions and made me look more closely at my life. And I am a tad confused. I have my ups and downs like everyone I suppose, but let's say, perhaps the way I conduct my marriage is a little alien to some; for starters we have separate rooms because he snores and I don't sleep well. We're not that physical, not that I am bothered. I worry because, well men are different. And therefore perhaps I should be bothered.
But then my thinking took me further am I not bothered because I am no longer "in love" with my husband? And if so how long have I not been "in love"? When did it happen? And do I actually know what love is? Does anyone? And if I have to ask does that mean I have never been in love?
I think I am a little naive and the basis of a good marriage is mutual respectand interests in common - but I fall short on those things too because I don't think I am. Do I respect him? Of course I do! He's a kind caring man mostly and many would say I am lucky to have him but I think we are out of sync and have been for a long time. Perhaps this happens to all married couples I mean it is a lot to expect people to stick at it isn't it?

15 comments:

Nicola said...

ooh. What an honest, revealing, thought-provoking post.

As one on her way to the divorce courts, your question feels impossible for me to answer. I think all long term marriages ebb and flow. I never thought my dad's 2nd marriage would last because there was a time when they seemed so distant and separate from one another - there seemed no shared intimacy or pastimes. They have now just had their 25th wedding anniversary and seem happier than ever - it was a real lesson to me that relationships can falter and then deepen over time.

Not that is helped in my case of course...more's the pity.

I hope you find some answers...

TheMadHouse said...

I have my up and downs with MadDad, but I adore him. He has and is with me through thick and thin, but I too think we go through phases when we allow things to slip. We are tired and bring up energetic children, so sex is not at the forfront of our relationship at the moment.

I think that if people work at marriage it can work. I wish you well with what you chose to do

Aly said...

I have only been married coming up 6 years, been together for 9 with three kids and I have to say it does take work.We've had to learn to compromise, adjust and sometimes our own needs have taken a back seat but have found we need to put effort into our marriage to work out those areas which before kids came so easily (and frequently).But it's not just about sex.It's about spending quality time together (usually away from home and the children)making those moments count.We found making the extra effort on the weekends to 'do' something with the children even it's just baking, planting cress or enjoying a walk together made life with the kids more enjoyable.As for love, I like I've become accustomed to love.I could not imagine life without my husband but I know I do take him for granted and he does me.

Jude said...

My husband is my best friend. I really enjoy his company, we have shared values and humour, he makes me laugh and I love spending time with him. That is why I married him and none of that has changed. He has his faults, we all do, but he is generous and supportive, and I appreciate his qualities. Certainly we're not as physical as we once were and I think he does miss that, which makes me feel guilty, but energy and opportunity is somewhat lacking these days!

I think sometimes there is something of a tendency to undervalue long-term companionship, to feel that excitement is lacking or the feelings that you get when a relationship is still new. But I suspect that these rarely, if ever really last.

PS I can totally relate to the separate rooms - we don't have a spare toom, so I have to resort to ear plugs!

Gappy said...

I can't really comment I suppose - both my relationships that produced children failed in the end. Different things work for different people I guess. Some people are happy with a marriage based on companionship and simply liking each other - others want more than that.

I don't think there's anything wrong with deciding to leave a relationship because there's no spark or attraction left though. I appreciate that good marriages can take work but I don't think anybody should be obliged to continually flog a dead horse. Speaking completely personally I would not be prepared to stay in a sexless marriage. The physical side of a relationship is important to me and it would make me miserable.

Mac n' Janet said...

My husband and I will have our 45th wedding anniversary this year and I love him more now than when I married him. Loving to me is wanting him to be happy and doing things to make him happy for that's what makes me happy.
Don't think I'm not a self-sacrificing person, I'm not, but he is my best friend and lover. I know he feels the same way about me.

rosiescribble said...

Gosh, sounds like you have been doing a huge amount of thinking and analysing. Sorry I can't help - not married you see. I think all relationships have to be worked at. The ups and downs seem quite normal. Communication is key, I reckon.

veryanniemary said...

Wow - that's heavy. I went through a very bad stage before Imogen was born..I had a miscarriage and some how it was all Andy's fault. In the end though I couldn't leave him - I am glad I gave it some time as we are stronger than ever now.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

We probably all have moments when being alone seems the easiest option . And I can quite sympathise with the separate bedrooms . Snoring renders the sexiest man unsleepable with !
But shared memories and a shared sense of humour can make the unlikeliest of couples stick together despite the odds .

Tattie Weasle said...

Nicola - thank you it's good tyo hear that though I am still mulling it over.
The MadHouse - I don't thnk I will just up and leave but I think I need to understand where I am and probably not to make too much of this glitch.
Aly - I have been married nearly 11 years now. It's not been easy adjusting in fact in the first year I thought it was going to go tits up before our first anniversary so I refused to agree to accept some emerald and diamiond earrings from him as a gift to celebrate that event. I just feel that he doesn't relaly take any notice of me and then he goes and buys flowers for no reason. One minute I am his partner the next I am being patronised. And told how to run the house or the children or how to cook or how my work is not important in the great scheme of things and he just doesn't get me. There again I don't get him oops gone on a bit there sorry! Still thinking things through! Don't mind me I'll come about!
Jude - how wonderful. Sounds just about right. And I have a feeling you're right about those first romantic feelings too they don;t last would that they did!
Gappy - but what if although you do want sex you don't with your partner? It's got that way with us and I have no idea how he stands it or why he puts up with it but it is always me that has to do the running and frankly I like a bit of romance! Otherwise it just seems rather sordid...
Mac'n'Janet - how wonderful 45 years! I think you have got it is a two way thing problem is I don't really know what he thinks or if he actullay wants to do anything to make it work....
rosiescribble - nail on head: communication. But I am such a coward!
veryanniemary - thank you that is very positive. I am sure I will come about before too long...
SmitoniusAndSonata - you're right memories are very importnat esp with two beautiful boys to add to the equation.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

It does sound like he is super critical. That is a major turn off and quite controlling. It is hard to love someone who criticises instead of encouraging. I was married to a man that did that to me. I never wanted to sleep with him. He would ignore me all day and then expect sex at night. I was no more than a blow up rubber doll to him. Has he always been like this or has he started to criticise you because he is unhappy and perhaps fallen out of love too? If there is anything there worth saving then try marriage counselling. If he won't go with you it is still hugely benefiting to go alone - it will help you unpick the whole situation to a point where you can decide whether you want this life or not. At least it will help you see if you want to or need to turn the situation around before you jumpo ship. Good luck, I hope you find the right answers. X

elizabethm said...

As someone who is married to a lovely man who always knows all the answers, I say the answer is to take the piss a bit. And be unfailingly kind, or as nearly as you can. And to have sex when you don't really feel like it and somehow find that you do after all. I have one failed marriage behind me. If I had known then what I know now I would not have let it happen. I have been reading you for ages and have the strong impression you have a good one there. Maybe the whole thing just needs a bit of stirring up. Good luck.

mollygolver said...

Oh Tattie I have to answer this one! All I can say is - if it's viable its workable! As I am forever going on about it - I've been married for 44 years.(sorry!!) We have been through every aspect of the marriage vows we took all that time ago. I think the hardest time was when the children were little but they were so afraid of us splitting up that we stuck it out. There are a lot of pressures when you've got little ones. There was even a time when we seemed to be living our lives on parallel lines but we kept going and worked through it and now in the 'Darby and Joan' years we found out that we not only like each other's company but love each other too! That's it really.

PantsWithNames said...

Tattie - I read this post a few days ago and have been thinking about it ever since. I've nothing to add to what every one else has said. I'm very lucky, I adore my husband. He drives me demented a lot of the time obviously, but we are a team, we bring out the best in each other. Like Rosie says, communication is the key. I think. But I hope you can work at it, get back to having the relationship you used to. xxx

Tattie Weasle said...

MOB - Thank you, I think he's just paternalistic and has to be right all the time. I suppose we all do to a certain extent. we did do counsellnig in our second year of marriage but it didn't help much as he never got it and then I wanted kids. I do love him I suppose just not in love with him. Complicated.
elizabethm - being kind is so difficult at the moment and I know he knows something is wrong and he goes about like a whipped cur and I feel so horrid. Urgh - maybe a little shake up won't go amiss. It's not as if I know what to do!
mollygolver - I do hope you are right. I won't do anything rash and just see as they say...
PantswithNames - communication proabbly better than shouting at him in my head but in the heat of the moment will I not say something I regret????

Go on you know you want to...

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