Marriage problems & workplace encounter
I am in my early 30s and have been with my husband for 8 years, married for less than 1 year.
Our relationship was brilliant in the start but has been harder since around year 4, which coincided with him setting up his own business which has put a lot of pressure on our relationship both in the time we spend together and financially (remortgaging our house to support the business, etc and I am also the main breadwinner now).
He spends long hours at work, takes calls, emails etc every evening, and is away a lot (in the last month he has been away 3 weekends for work events and exhibitions). Partly because he enjoys it and partly because he is determined to make it a success.
This leaves me at home on my own a lot and I have found this difficult to handle. I have tried to pursue my own interests and use the opportunity to socialise with friends and family but I do feel I am missing something in my life.
Even when he is home, he is not keen to make the most of our time together. We have been away twice this year on cheap European city weekend breaks, both have been under my instigation and he wasnt overly bothered about going. He also spent a lot of time sleeping whilst away, probably through exhaustion from working so hard.
I have been asking him for around 2 years about how I would like us to do a regular 'date night' so we can spend more quality time together when he is free (rather than sitting at home in front of tv and not talking). I arranged a few date nights, just simple meals out or pub quiz nights, nothing extravagant but then stopped because it was never reciprocated. I bring the subject up every few months and mention how unhappy I am but he has not yet done anything to try to change it. He has no interest on going on holiday, I think partly because he travels so much for work so on his down time he just wants to relax at home. I on the other hand love to travel and work hard in my 9 to 5 job but am not able to do this as much as I would like because of his work commitments and also he doesnt seem keen. I'm sure if I never suggested or instigated a dinner or holiday again, we would never, ever do it.
I am also emotionally unfulfilled. We never talk about us or the future, and if I try he just says 'I dont know what to say'. Our whole life also hinges on this business and whether it will be successful or not as we have so much invested in it. I try and talk about where he sees us in the future and he just says he doesnt know.
I feel his business has sucked everything out of our relationship. The business is also his personal hobby (he has a sports company and used to compete himself) so there are no chances of it ever ending.
I feel I could cope with him being away if when he was home he made me feel loved and special but he doesnt seem to have the energy or inclination. I find myself pulling away, spending more time with friends and our sex life has been affected because I don't feel I want to be as intimate with him (although I still find him very attractive).
It has come to a head for me because on a recent work night out after an evening of lots of drinks, a work colleague made a move on me. He also told me how beautiful he thinks I am, how much he likes me, etc etc. I pushed him away but I found myself much more tempted than I should have been and since that night I have really been questioning my marriage.
I discussed the drunken night with this work colleague after and we agreed it was fuelled by the alcohol and shouldnt have happened. But it led to a conversation about relationships (work colleague is not married but in a very long term relationship) and I felt he talked to me more in that awkward embarrased chat about relationships etc than my husband has in years!! Since then I have been questionning more about whether my husband can meet my needs emotionally and from a 'what I want to do with my life' aspect.
I should mention here that I do love him a lot. He is a great man with good morals but is obviously a workaholic (his parents are the same) whereas I am a work to live sort of person. I know he loves me but I really need more emotional involvement from a relationship which he doesnt seem to be able to give to me. I feel guilty as he is obviously trying to make a success of the business but it literally is everything to him. I help him with his business too as well as working full time so I am supporting as much as I can. I know he is trying to secure a good future for us but I don't think our relationship will last if we dont invest some time and energy into it.
Does anyone have any advice for our situation?
Thanks for reading and sorry its so long!
You're absolutely correct, your relationship won't survive the way it's going. Regardless of the alcohol, if you find yourself thinking of going outside your marriage for the support that you need, then it's this statement that you need to convey to your husband in plain English. If this fails to get him to sit up and take notice, then you will have your answer as to what he thinks of his relationship with you. You guys need to understand that this issue probably won't be solved, rather it will have to be managed and it's up to both of you, rather than just you, to manage it together. It's all very well for you to contribute, using communication and organizing 'time out' activities to strengthen your marriage, but your efforts need to be reciprocated and appreciated for you to have any success.
He needs to understand that there is a such a thing called work/life balance and if the circumstances are that his work is his life, then you need to make a decision for you, regardless if he's a good man with good morals. Your marriage needs more than good morals to survive. He wouldn't make excuses for not spending time with you if he was committed to you and your marriage together and it wouldn't matter how tired he was, he still would find the time for you. It's the little things which show his affection for you and if these little things are few and far between, then that alone should tell you where you stand.
There's no need to feel guilty because your husband isn't maintaining his marriage for whatever reasons, rather you may need to make decisions which are about your future rather than "our" future.
Thank you for your reply, you have really hit the nail on the head as to how I feel.
I feel bad because I know he loves me (in his own way) but I need more than he is giving (and perhaps able to give?). He is very money and career driven whereas I am more about making the most of life and enjoying our time on this planet. His parents are also very work orientated and do not spend time together so it is what he is used to. I think he probably thinks I am just being a 'high maintenance female' which I really hope I'm not.
I am going to try and speak to him today now he is back. Perhaps I will put it in a letter for him. I know I can't go on like this.