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My DH appears to have no emotions

(77 Posts)
coffeeisusuallytheanswer Fri 16-Nov-12 21:56:54

I've just been reading another thread about men who don't show emotions. DH and I have been struggling for a long time due to his apparent lack of emotion and affection. We are at stalemate - I think he lacks emotion, he thinks I am too emotional. Hugs are rare. He doesn't know what to do if I cry. He doesn't get excited for me or even angry at me. Yet he seems genuinely confused if I question whether he loves me.

So I am well aware we have issues. However I have just realised in ten years of being together:

I have never seen him cry
He has never got angry or raised his voice / shouted
We have never had an argument as he does not engage
I have never known him get truly excited about anything
I don't think he has ever laughed 'properly'

I have always thought his lack of emotions strange...but this isn't normal is it?

And more importantly how do you cope? I think I am likely having an emotional affair - certainly I turn to a male friend for emotional support not DH but that is because DH just doesn't seem to recognise emotion. Without leaving I'm not sure what the solution is...

thewhistler Fri 16-Nov-12 21:58:45

Am about to pm you.

amillionyears Fri 16-Nov-12 22:01:44

Was he the same when you were going out together/getting married?
What do others say about him?

coffeeisusuallytheanswer Fri 16-Nov-12 22:13:18

Thanks whistler.

Amillionyears - yes I think so and I take responsibility for choosing to marry him. However... I was very young (21 when I got married) and had come from a very angry partner and had a father who was an emotional, abusive alcoholic...he was the opposite. It's only as I've matured and found some confidence that I've started questionning it more.

Others? He has no real friends. He speaks to people in work and that's it. He sees an old friend probably once a year for a couple of hours. He doesn't text / FB. He has no hobbies. He goes to work and comes home. He won't socialise with my friends. His parents are distant - he probably sees them a few times a year.

However he shows the children lots of affection suggesting he can.

ecclesvet Fri 16-Nov-12 22:13:57

So he doesn't wear his heart on his sleeve and due to this 'fault' you blame him for your emotional affair. Hmm...

Whatnowffs Fri 16-Nov-12 22:16:50

are you affectionate to him or does he rebuff that?

SolidGoldYESBROKEMYSPACEBAR Fri 16-Nov-12 22:17:06

I think you are confusing having feelings with performing feelings. Being reserved, quite, and disinclined to weep and cackle and howl and slobber all over the place isn't wrong - we just currently live in an overly sentimental culture.

I imagine you married your H because he was decent, trustworthy and stable. It may be that you have outgrown him and you are no longer suited, and if that's so it's not such a bad thing to decide to part. But just because he has a different attitude to the displaying of emotions to yours doesn't make him bad.

coffeeisusuallytheanswer Fri 16-Nov-12 22:20:37

No Eccles not at all. I don't blame him but I don't know what to do. I can't live without affection.

I also don't understand when an EA is an EA. Talking to someone else about important stuff more? Sharing emotions more? Yes...but he won't and doesn't understand. I want to share it with him but he doesn't get it.

There is a difference between wearing his heart on his sleeve and not getting emotion. He won't sleep in the same bed as me as he doesn't understand why you would. He won't sit on a sofa next to me as he likes space and doesn't understand cuddling up to someone. If I cry he just stares at me. The midwife got more excited when the babies were born compared to him.

I don't want to have an affair. I don't want to leave him. But if you can't share emotions, dreams, thoughts, anger, stress, happiness with someone...how do you have a relationship? And are you then banned from sharing them with anyone else?

amillionyears Fri 16-Nov-12 22:20:43

ecclesvet, the way her DH reacts or doesnt, seems to go a lot deeper than "he doesnt wear his heart on his sleeve".
Actually while I am here, other MNetters might like to take note, that if you put "DH" in the title of your thread, it attracts certain posters.

ooh, interesting that he shows the children lots of affection.
tbh, I am not a professional, so am struggling with this.
I was going to suggest a couple of things, but if he shows the children affection, that may be different.
Does he show emotion with other peoples children?

amillionyears Fri 16-Nov-12 22:22:44

Is this autism or aspergers?
Dont know enough about either to know for sure.

amillionyears Fri 16-Nov-12 22:23:50

What job does he do?
Dont answer that if you dont want to.

coffeeisusuallytheanswer Fri 16-Nov-12 22:24:17

He certainly has a different attitude to displaying emotions. I'm not expecting a drama smile but sometimes...some emotion. Perhaps an I love you occasionally. Or a hug.

ImperialBlether Fri 16-Nov-12 22:28:07

What do you think his reaction would be if you said you wanted to separate?

coffeeisusuallytheanswer Fri 16-Nov-12 22:28:54

Job - a very practical one that doesn't involve people.

He doesn't really go near any other children so it's hard to tell.

He is certainly decent, trustworthy and stable smile but I can't tell him anything as he just won't react - no excitement or sympathy or understanding. He doesn't ask how my day is - we can't talk about events that happen.

I've gradually stopped showing affection as he doesn't respond. I've explained I need more affection so he robotically gives me a peck on the lips when he leaves the house. I can't remember the last proper kiss or spontaneous hug.

coffeeisusuallytheanswer Fri 16-Nov-12 22:30:43

Imperial - I have suggested it. He simply didn't understand. He thinks the relationship is fine. He was confused as to why I thought he didn't love me after all 'he married me didn't he - why would he need to say he loved me?' ... 9 years ago.

He thinks marriage is automatically for life...you get married and that is it.

amillionyears Fri 16-Nov-12 22:34:02

What is he like when watching tv
Does he show any emotion then?
Does he say smile at a baby, or laugh. Does he watch the news?

What was his childhood like?

tbh, I am not sure I know the answer to this one.
Am sort of partly bumping, as hoping someone can come along who will know the answer.
Have you ever discussed it with your GP?

coffeeisusuallytheanswer Fri 16-Nov-12 22:43:52

He either likes practical programmes where they build something or road cops / paramedics - anything with people in pain or danger it appears. Whereas I flinch he has no reaction. He comes home from work, put tv on and sits there til he goes to bed. No internet, no books, no games, no conversation....

I'm actually a psychologist (academic not practising). I know the signs of AS. I am just loathe to label him myself and don't get whether it is him...or me...or my reaction to him. I'm not blaming him - I'm just at the end of my tether knowing how to enjoy our relationship.

For example I had a really important event/outcome type thing in work this week and came home so excited...'oh that's good' he said and carried on watching tv.

I can share emotions and news with other people - but I don't know what is left any more to share with him.

amillionyears Fri 16-Nov-12 22:53:52

My next post was probably going to say to consult a psychologist. Sounds like he is what he is.
Do you think he watches people in pain or danger, to try and trigger some emotion in himself?
Would he care if he died? I mean that in a sort of way of, what is he like about funerals sort of way.

Does he think or know he is different to other people?
Does he care if he is?
In what ways does he show his emotions to the children?
Does he play with them?

Sorry for all the questions.

totalinjection Fri 16-Nov-12 22:59:01

He sounds quite similar to DH. I have known him for 7 years and also never seen him cry, raise his voice, get excited, we never argue. My personal hunch with DH is that he's somewhere on the spectrum - I have a DS with AS and am also dx myself so I have researched it quite a lot. I'm also not a massively emotional person, so it works pretty well for us!

I rarely get sentimental and DH and I rarely tell each other that we love each other. My logic is actually a bit similar to your DH - I've told my DH that I loved him before, I'm sure he remembers me saying it, so why would I keep saying it?!

Having said that, I have learned to make modifications with my behaviour. I hug more because I understand that other people seem to need it (though actually I find it a bit of an invasion in my personal space). And I will politely coo over babies without really feeling much enthusiasm.

amillionyears Fri 16-Nov-12 22:59:48

Actually I have 2 more, then bedtime for me.
Has his life ever been in danger, or the childrens,and if so, how did he react.
And now a silly question.
If you started acting like a child, might he then show you affection? I know you wouldnt want to do that, but I am wondering what he would do about it.

ecclesvet Fri 16-Nov-12 23:09:07

amillionyears, when I was writing the OP had only posted the original post. Her later posts do show someone who is far more than just introverted, I agree.

AnyFucker Fri 16-Nov-12 23:16:15

If you started acting like a child, would he show you more attention ?

What sort of Bollocks is this ?

meditrina Fri 16-Nov-12 23:22:32

His myriad faults do not give you 'permission' to embark on an emotional affair.

If your marriage is intolerable, then end it and forge ahead into your own pattern in life.

It will only make your life harder if you bring in a third party to your marriage and start investing intimacy and emotional energy to them. Do you already have exchanges with your 'friend' that you would be embarrassed if your DH witnessed? It might be better to find a different confidante whilst you work out if you still want your marriage.

AboutToSelfDestruct Fri 16-Nov-12 23:26:10

Coffee, your posts have really struck a chord for me. I will try and pm you over the weekend as I could have written almost everything you have said. How does he feel about your close male friend? Would he consider counselling?

SolidGoldYESBROKEMYSPACEBAR Sat 17-Nov-12 01:44:24

Actually, it does sound like he may 'have Aspergers'. Which is just another way of saying that he is different to you.. That doesn't make him a bad person. It just makes him someone who can't give you what you want.

So your options are:
End your marriage and look for someone who displays or performs emotions (though doing so is no guarantee of someone being a good person or a good partner)
Get your emotional needs met from friends and family
Talk to your H about the fact that you have emotional needs that need to be met, and ask him if he would object to you meeting those needs with someone else (in terms of a romantic/emotional Other Person), and what his boundaries would be ie you can hug and kiss but no shagging, or you can discuss feelings but no snogging...

Meet your emotional/romantic needs with someone else and don't tell your H.

The option that is NOT available is: Force your H, with a combination of counselling, drugs and Everybodyelsesopinions, into displaying emotions, regularly and obediently.

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