Family & Relationship Issues

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Ask Dr. Schwartz
Psychotherapy and Mental Health questions

Unhappy Marriage

I can't remember long periods of happiness. My childhood was abusive, filled with physical as well as verbal abuse, no sexual abuse that I can recall. I'm on my second marriage. The first one I cheated on my husband, but I realize now I was too young mentally to be married. I was single for 10+ years and married a friend of my brother's. I can't really say why I've stayed married to him other than the fact I remember how bad his divorce was from his first wife (after she cheated on him, but then she married the guy afterwards). I am a very needy person. I need attention physically as well as emotionally. Neither of these attributes are qualities that my husband possesses. He's cold, and distant and has been for the entire marriage. His idea of a great sex life was on weekends only, because he had them off, meanwhile I worked as a nurse which included weekends and off shifts. So that's how life was and it was never enough for me. In the past 5+ years he has chosen to have a sexless marriage. I still don't know why I have stayed. My sister, who is 74, is always complaining about her husband's overactive libido, and my 63 year old brother and his wife have a sex life...when I hear them talk or when my sister complains about how she wishes her husband would lose interest. I just want to sink into a hole. I don't know why I stay... I have gained over 50 pounds and am 57 years old. It tears me up to think my life is over, and that I live with a man who never really had the same desires I have. He used to always say I loved to cause turmoil whenever I tried to talk to him about my needs...but I was never comfortable talking to him about my needs because I never thought he wanted to change. Tell me why am I such a moron that I allow my life to go to hell. I am retired and am not fully comfortable with the thought of being on my own financially...but his retirement will be even less than mine. Any advice would be so absolutely precious to me. Thank you, Dorian

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