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I don't know what to do. We have a temple marriage, going on 10 yrs. We have two young kids. It's just for the past several months especially I feel like I don't love my spouse anymore. I don't hate them; it's like being good friends with your roommate. I feel happier when it's just me and the kids. When they're around I feel indifferent, resentment, or irritated. I feel guilty about feeling this way.

I've tried spending time with them without the kids, I've expressed frustration at working and still doing both the all the child-rearing, housework, and yardwork, while he only works and sleeps. It's been that way for the entire relationship. I do all the house while he will occasionally help (and feels proud for cleaning once a month), I do all the yardwork because he "has allergies" (I do too), I take care of the vehicles, bills, doctors, school. The only thing he does with the kids is watch a show or do a video game.  We've talked about this before, and nothing ever changes or the change is temporary.

Adding in the mix: I have depression and anxiety and he has ADD.

Recently, he has done laundry and dishes for a week, and then expected everything to change and for me to want to be with him, got upset when I didn't want to. I haven't told him that I can't say "I love you" back because I don't feel honest saying it. I don't want to hurt him. I don't want to hurt the kids. 

I feel obligated to stay for my kid's sake, for my husband's feelings, for the church culture. I would be extremely embarrassed to mention this to the bishop. I don't really know him or feel comfortable around him. Part of me feels empty and not wanting to work on the marriage. What would you do?

Edited by Squibbles
Removed libido and intimacy references after reading topic rules on referring to intimacy

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Well, although opinions might differ on this board, "Love" has many definitions.  Love is not just a noun, the tender feelings you used to have and hope you can again.  Love is also a verb - it is a choice you make to love hubby.

Have you read the Five Love languages book?  Do you know what you want from him, and what he wants from you?

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@Squibbles, your post breaks my heart. I'm sorry you are going through this. You are communicating with him what you need and he seems to be ignoring it. Do you think he'd be open to going to a marriage counselor? That might help things. 

I'm sending love. And prayers. 

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I, too, would probably not want to go to the bishop, because the bishop is (likely) not a marriage counselor. I might go so far as to ask the bishop for a recommendation or referral to a counselor, but I would not expect him to do the actual counseling. If you are in counseling for your anxiety/depression, then your therapist may have a recommendation for marriage counselors. I think that professional counseling could be helpful if you can find a counselor that works well with both you and your husband. I have seen studies that suggest that the success of counseling is strongly predicted by how good that relationship is, so don't be afraid to try different counselors until you find a good fit.

If you are interested in "self-help" counseling, Five Love Languages is a good book. I also liked Willard Harley's His Needs Her Needs. John Gottman is good, too (start with "Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work"). There are lots of others beyond that, to the point that it gets overwhelming.

I am optimistic that your situation is still worth working on. I hope you will find some help and encouragement for you and your husband.

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So, you're saying your husband doesn't do anything.... does he work?  Does he provide for the household?  If yes, then why did you not mention this as something your husband does?

Now, in my house, my husband can't do yardwork because he has a couple herniated discs in his back.  I don't want to do yardwork.  So what I do, I take $35/week out of his income to pay a yard guy to maintain my yard.  It is the exact same thing as my husband doing the yard.  Problem solved.

 

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4 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

Have you read the Five Love languages book?  Do you know what you want from him, and what he wants from you

We have not read it, but I have read a summary of the languages. I told him that based on that my "language" is service and he said his is touch.

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3 hours ago, anatess2 said:

So, you're saying your husband doesn't do anything.... does he work?  Does he provide for the household?  If yes, then why did you not mention this as something your husband does?

Now, in my house, my husband can't do yardwork because he has a couple herniated discs in his back.  I don't want to do yardwork.  So what I do, I take $35/week out of his income to pay a yard guy to maintain my yard.  It is the exact same thing as my husband doing the yard.  Problem solved.

 

I did say that he only works and sleeps. :)

Paying someone else for yardwork would be great!....if it was an affordable option. Looks like you got a great deal. I looked into that and in my area it's out of my budget.

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3 hours ago, MrShorty said:

I, too, would probably not want to go to the bishop, because the bishop is (likely) not a marriage counselor. I might go so far as to ask the bishop for a recommendation or referral to a counselor, but I would not expect him to do the actual counseling. If you are in counseling for your anxiety/depression, then your therapist may have a recommendation for marriage counselors. I think that professional counseling could be helpful if you can find a counselor that works well with both you and your husband. I have seen studies that suggest that the success of counseling is strongly predicted by how good that relationship is, so don't be afraid to try different counselors until you find a good fit.

If you are interested in "self-help" counseling, Five Love Languages is a good book. I also liked Willard Harley's His Needs Her Needs. John Gottman is good, too (start with "Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work"). There are lots of others beyond that, to the point that it gets overwhelming.

I am optimistic that your situation is still worth working on. I hope you will find some help and encouragement for you and your husband.

Thank you. I will check into those books. I talked to him about counseling before, but nothing came of it. I guess I will have to find a counselor. I'm afraid of being able to afford it and having to end up going to Bishop and asking for funds--I like to find a way. But it would probably be helpful

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13 minutes ago, Squibbles said:

I did say that he only works and sleeps. :)

Paying someone else for yardwork would be great!....if it was an affordable option. Looks like you got a great deal. I looked into that and in my area it's out of my budget.

Then you need to give him credit for working.

You only focus on him not helping you with house work without putting any credit nor consideration on all the work he has already done.

12-year-old kids offer their services for yardwork for very cheap especially if you provide the equipment.  But the point I was trying to make is - your husband provides value to the household that you are ignoring.  If neither of you want to do the yardwork then you need to find alternative options instead of doing something you don't want to do and resenting your husband for it.  You should be more worried about caring for your husband than caring for your yard.

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9 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

Then you need to give him credit for working.

You only focus on him not helping you with house work without putting any credit nor consideration on all the work he has already done.

12-year-old kids offer their services for yardwork for very cheap especially if you provide the equipment.  But the point I was trying to make is - your husband provides value to the household that you are ignoring.  If neither of you want to do the yardwork then you need to find alternative options instead of doing something you don't want to do and resenting your husband for it.  You should be more worried about caring for your husband than caring for your yard.

The point is I'm emotionally about done "caring" for my husband. I do everything I can to care for him and the kids, and he does nothing to help "care" for me. My love language is service. Him helping me is part of caring for me. His language is touch. I have never, until about 3 months ago, said "no" to intimacy from him because I know it's important to him to feel loved, even when I'm not "in the mood." This is not simply about having a good yard (which I don't; with everything else I don't have time to do all that needs to be done). It's deeper than that. I have done everything for him and don't feel like he does the same. I work, too. The only thing he contributes is income. I don't want more money, I'd rather have a husband.

Edited by Squibbles

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Guest Mores
1 hour ago, Squibbles said:

We have not read it, but I have read a summary of the languages. I told him that based on that my "language" is service and he said his is touch.

I'm not joking when I suggest this, but I'm also not entirely certain what would happen.  I'm just wondering.

What would happen if you said something like,"Honey, your love language is touch.  And mine is service.  So, how about:  I'll give you a hug and a kiss if you take the trash out" (or clean such a room or take care of the kids...)

For something bigger, "Will you take care of the garden for the week so we can have a really nice date night together this weekend?"

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1 minute ago, Mores said:

I'm not joking when I suggest this, but I'm also not entirely certain what would happen.  I'm just wondering.

What would happen if you said something like,"Honey, your love language is touch.  And mine is service.  So, how about:  I'll give you a hug and a kiss if you take the trash out" (or clean such a room or take care of the kids...)

For something bigger, "Will you take care of the garden for the week so we can have a really nice date night together this weekend?"

That's actually an interesting idea 🤔😇

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What would I do if my kid got hooked on drugs? Love her. What if she ended up in jail? I'd love her. What if she failed college and came home with a student loan and a host of people not to ask job references from? I'd love her.

We understand that we love our kids no matter what. Sometimes it's tough love (no you won't be moving in for the 4th time, while addicted. I'll help you get into treatment though). However, we never stop loving them. It's what parents do--especially parents influenced by God.

So...spouse isn't pulling fair share, and seems to ignore the pleas to help more and engage more. What to do? Withhold love? Use marital privileges as a bargaining tool? Of course not.  Ask the Spirit to empower, and you will find the love for him you need. I suspect he will respond in kind--and perhaps even with a measure of humility (I am an optimistic sort).

Edited by prisonchaplain

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44 minutes ago, Squibbles said:

The point is I'm emotionally about done "caring" for my husband. I do everything I can to care for him and the kids, and he does nothing to help "care" for me. My love language is service. Him helping me is part of caring for me. His language is touch. I have never, until about 3 months ago, said "no" to intimacy from him because I know it's important to him to feel loved, even when I'm not "in the mood." This is not simply about having a good yard (which I don't; with everything else I don't have time to do all that needs to be done). It's deeper than that. I have done everything for him and don't feel like he does the same. I work, too. The only thing he contributes is income. I don't want more money, I'd rather have a husband.

Have you considered that your husband working to provide for you is caring for you?  

The thing is - we can't advice your husband.  We can only advice you.  And my advice is simply - your love for him should not be dependent on whether he cares for you the way you want him to.  So, you'll need to recognize how he is expressing his care for you in the way he is expressing it and not just in the way you want it expressed.

P.S.  If you haven't picked up on it - my comments has not much to do with a yard but more to do with husbands.

Edited by anatess2

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1 minute ago, prisonchaplain said:

So...spouse isn't pulling fair share, and seems to ignore the please to help more and engage more. What to do? Withhold love? Use marital privileges as a bargaining tool? Of course not. 

Honestly it's not my intention to withhold sexual intimacy as a punishment; I just can't make myself have sex with someone who I honestly can't say "I love you" to. I feel deceitful and mean and awkward having sex. But after your post I can see that my husband might see it that way.

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1 minute ago, Squibbles said:

Honestly it's not my intention to withhold sexual intimacy as a punishment; I just can't make myself have sex with someone who I honestly can't say "I love you" to. I feel deceitful and mean and awkward having sex. But after your post I can see that my husband might see it that way.

His comment was not about withholding sexual intimacy but withholding love.

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25 minutes ago, Squibbles said:

Honestly it's not my intention to withhold sexual intimacy as a punishment; I just can't make myself have sex with someone who I honestly can't say "I love you" to. I feel deceitful and mean and awkward having sex. But after your post I can see that my husband might see it that way.

I would argue that as things are right now you do not LIKE your husband. He is not being likeable. The fact that you have given him intimacy means you have been choosing to love him despite not liking him. It's exhausting though. We just don't have that much love to give, being corrupted versions of God's creation. So, sincerely ask the Spirit to empower you with God's love. Then the love you extend will be sincere and true. IF hubby realizes (perhaps by conviction of the Spirit) that he's not doing well by you, your unmerited love just might help bring him around. In the end, at least you will know you gave it your Spirit-empowered all.

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As an aside...

This thread reminded me of a conversation my mother and I had a few weeks ago.

My mother is an OCD clean freak.  She was visiting me for a few weeks and every time she comes into my house she starts cleaning because she can't stand my "dirty house".  My house is not really dirty.  It's a mess and can be unkempt with laundry piling up and things like that which drives my mother bonkers.  Anyway, we were talking and she mentions that ever since we were little kids, I've been the clean person while my sister was the not so clean person but now my sister's house is the clean house and my  house is the dirty house.  She says it's because I didn't teach my husband how to clean.  And so I told her, I'm not my husband's mother and I don't want to be and neither does my husband want me to be his mother.  I married him knowing his clean standards so if I wasn't prepared to live in a house that is not as clean as I want it to be without doing all the work myself, I shouldn't have married him.

Anyway, yes, I get frustrated at times to the point that I start yelling at my husband, especially when I go to my siblings' houses that are my standard of clean and then my siblings come to my house and they notice the messiness.  I sometimes yell at my husband to clean... he does... and it's still not clean according to my standards (e.g. when I clean a room, there wouldn't be a thick layer of dust on the ceiling fan blades)... so I end up cleaning behind him.  But I can't really blame my husband for that.  He is pretty good with other things - like surviving a zombie apocalypse.  :)  

So, this is may not sound related to the OP but it's related in this way - I don't look at what I want my husband to do for me as the measuring stick of his love for me.  Rather, I make it a point to notice everything he does to show his love for me even if it's things that can get irritating - like when he used to call me every hour on the hour when I travel without him or his penchant for surprising me.  He loves telling me he has a gift for me and when I ask what it is, he'll tell me I have to wait because it's a surprise.  Grrr - I can't stand surprises and he knows it but he can't help it because he loves surprises and he likes watching me be on pins and needles begging him to just tell me!  But I learned to just let him be with his surprises because that's one of the ways he shows me he loves me.

 

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There is the possibility that your feelings are a symptom of your depression.  Perhaps it is not as well treated as it could be.

If that isn't it, then you have an obligation as his wife to get past this.  If you focus your mind on no loving him, that is what you'll get.  Loving somebody is far more of a choice than most people realize.  Focus your mind instead on all the reasons to love him, the good things he does, and the bad things he doesn't do.  There are a lot of single women in the church who would probably love to trade places with you.

What are you doing to serve him?  You come to love those who you serve.  You need to make a point of meeting his relationship needs, and yes I would even include meeting his sexual needs in that.  You will not draw your heart closer to him by pushing him away.  You can't tell the fireplace you will add some wood after it gives you some heat.  After a certain amount of rejection he will have to defend himself from further hurt by shutting down his feelings for you and that will make things worse.  In the temple you promised God and your husband that you would be a wife to him, not just a live in maid or whatever.  Give him the chance to awaken your feelings.

Perhaps lan a weekend together to reconnect.  Send the kids for sleepovers with grandparents or friends and spend the whole weekend as a couple, either in a hotel (getting away helps remove distractions and interruptions) or hotel-at-home if you can't afford that.  No chores or anything, just being together, talking, watching movies and discussing them, games, looking through photo albums, whatever.

Here is another VERY good book to read.  It is essentially marriage counseling for LDS couples in book form:
https://www.amazon.com/They-Were-Not-Ashamed-Strengthening/dp/1587830345/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=and+they+were+not+ashamed&qid=1564946703&s=gateway&sr=8-1

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I read through the comments.  I went through something similar.  I probably could have been your husband.  Now I am not saying you are like this, but I will tell you my experience with my wife.

I loved my wife, but I do have my lazy habits.  And those frustrated her to no end.  And her approach with me was to nag me.  "why don't you do this?"  "Why don't you do that?"  I felt rather worthless around her.  Yeah, she would be intimate with me but I eventually shut down.  I didn't feel like I was loved and I gave up trying.

Some guys react very poorly to nagging.  I react far better and work way harder with positive reinforcement, knowing my wife is my cheerleader.  Our marriage was dry for a good. 10 years and it lead to other issues as well.

I wanted her to change in the worst way.  I don't know how many countless times I prayed for her to love me.  Things didn't get better.

I have a high IQ, but when it comes to relationships, I can be a total moron.  Our marriage was about over.  But I ended up giving it once last chance.  I decided that for the next year, I would treat her with kindness everyday regardless of how she treated me.  I committed to do 30 minutes of house work everyday.  I tried to do this when she was not home as I didn't want to hear comments from her.

I did this every day for a good four months before things started to change at all.  It has been a year and a half and things are much better now...  Certainly not perfect.  We have a long way to go.  But I am a different person.  And she is becoming a different person.  She hasn't nagged me for a long time even though I still give her reason to on occasion.

What could I have done differently 10-15 years ago that would have made things better?  The easy answer is that I could have not been lazy.  But I think I was also quite depressed at the time.  Instead of nagging, I could have really used some understanding and a hand to help me out.  I don't blame her for how she treated me.  I probably would have done the same in her situation.  It was not her fault.

At the same time though a different approach on her part would have made a tremendous difference at the time.  As would have a different approach on my part.  Neither happened.  We were both relationship morons.

I know you would like your husband to be a different person.  You can't change him.  You can only change you.  As you have stated, you have depression and that is difficult to deal with.

When I started my quest to be a better me.  I did not love my wife.  And I am sure she didn't love me.  Doing these things were difficult.  I got no reciprocation.  But in doing them, I started loving her again.

I don't know if there is any magic pill for you and your husband.  I do know when when my wife didn't think of me as her King, I didn't think much of myself.  And had no motivation to make a change.  My wife became my queen again because I made her to the best of my ability feel like a queen.  Neither of us had done that for each other in a very long time.  And it is a very hard thing to do when your aren't feeling it.

Edited by Lost Boy

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