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Can stress stop you loving your DH?

(9 Posts)
AuntieFanny Mon 09-Dec-13 13:51:03

I've also posted this on Mental health, but thought I might get some useful insight on here too.

DH and I have been through a really tough time these last few years thanks to the recession and we've been crippled with money worries. I've battled through and been fairly okay, but recently I think the stress has finally won and now I spend a good part of most days feeling hopeless and defeated.

Even worse is that the love I normally feel for DH seems to have suddenly drained away like someone's turned off the tap. I don't understand and I'm worried sick that this signals the end for me and DH.

Or, is it just the stress I'm under that's making me feel nothing for him? Has nayone else been in this situation, please?

onetiredmummy Mon 09-Dec-13 13:59:28

Stress can make you think about nothing else except problems, so at times you would normally have a cuddle on the sofa or have sex then you can be too stressed to relax in your usual ways. This could probably manifest as not loving although its not true. If both parties do this for a length of time then its like ships that pass in the night. It doesn't mean your love has gone, it means that there are too many pressing problems jostling in your brain for you to allow some time for love as other things have to be sorted first.

Are you resentful in any way towards your DH? Do you feel that he could do more?

I don't think stress can stop you loving, I just think it can cover that love up.

AuntieFanny Mon 09-Dec-13 14:10:27

Thank you onetiredmummy you've described how I feel. It's like the love is smothered over and there's no room left for it.

If I'm completely honest I must admit I do feel resentful towards my DH because he's the main breadwinner and he admits that he's felt down for a long time which has stopped him being very productive at work, which I'm sure has only increased our financial worries as he works for himself.

janesnowdon1 Mon 09-Dec-13 14:55:17

If you have a good GP I would go see them to have a chat. They may be able to refer you for some counselling and assess you in case you are depressed due to all the stress (depression can cause loving feelings to be subsumed). You both sound very down about your problems - could you both sit down and talk about things (don't say you don't love him) and maybe come up with a plan?

Some counselling
Date nights
More affectionate touching etc.

I think stress and money problems can really cause a disconnect in relationships. I have been battling similar problems lately and you have my sympathy - it is bloody awful !

AuntieFanny Mon 09-Dec-13 15:08:18

Hello jane thanks for replying smile

WE did talk last night and he admitted he's been feeling very down which I'm sure has rubbed off on me, and I've rubbed off on him. We've agreed to make a real effort to be more productive and positive (I didn't say I felt nothing for him because that would have been so cruel, and I can't even trust how I feel). But they just feel like wempty words really.

I'm sorry you're going through the same, there's that saying isn't there 'when poverty comes in the door, love goes out the window' sad How are you dealing with it, if you don't mind me asking?

I'm sure (hope) the love is still there it's just hidden by all the stress.

janesnowdon1 Mon 09-Dec-13 15:59:40

I'm glad you talked Auntie. I think it's really important to keep doing that - even if sometimes it's painful. My DH had a big breakdown over the failure of the business and a bereavement and felt he did not love me,in fact he positively detested me for some time - it's been difficult and exacerbated by him not taking meds.

I felt his depression was rubbing off on me too. I have been retraining as I will now have to be the breadwinner and we have to start again . Through my uni I got some free counselling. It has been great just to talk to someone once a fortnight - it kind of keeps things from overflowing. It has also helped me see that I need to put my needs and wants first and that by giving some of my energy to myself I can stay strong for everyone. It also helped me "distance myself" a bit from the situation so that it does not take over my mind and make me feel so hopeless.

We have been trying to have date nights, touching etc. but my H often reneges on arrangements or does not iniate things when it's "his turn". I am not sure we will survive but I don't feel as broken as I did a few months back.

Good luck xx

AuntieFanny Mon 09-Dec-13 17:38:50

I'm sorry to hear how hard you've had it jane. I admire you being able to re-train when your home life is so hard right now. I wouldn't have the mental energy to tackle anything new.

Did you feel really disappointed in your DH when his business failed? I must admit I feel very disappointed in my DH and feel resentful. His business hasn't failed but he certainly could have done much better if he'd been more sensible and worked smart, rather than just pottering about.

I used to admire him so much but now he's really shrunk in my eyes sad

janesnowdon1 Mon 09-Dec-13 18:54:29

Thank you for your kind words Auntie
I did feel disappointed and angry with my husband - he took a lot of (bad) decisions over several years without consulting me. Now, at midlife instead of having some form of security we will have none. Yes - I know all about the "pottering about" aka "doing work" whilst tinkering on the internet for months on end. ( Probably a sign of depression).

I have found it really hard retraining - my brain is not functioning at full capacity - it takes me longer to do assignments and in seminars my mind has wandered or I find myself struggling for the right words.

My GP advised me to take on a light challenge . Apparently it is very good in rebuilding esteem. I think I should have chosen something easier.

I think it's really postive that your DH wants to work on things and be more positive. Would he agree to a plan with some "baby steps" on it?

AuntieFanny Tue 10-Dec-13 12:07:22

It's very hard isn't it to forgive them and regain the necessary respect when you realise they've made some really bum decisions along the way, and then you have to live with the financial fall out of their mistakes?

Just like your DH he's basically spent the last year or so just mucking about, looking busy but not really doing anything useful or the really necessary but boring stuff that has to be done when you're self employed. The work which has come his way has all just been through recommendations or other people handing it to him on a plate, he's generated nothing himself really.

He openly admits it now and says it's because he feels burnt out with stress and too fed up to be any more productive and it becomes a self defeating cycle I suppose?

We have talked quite a bit this week and he's decided to 'fake it until he makes it' because he won't even consider ADs. So, he's eaten much more healthily this week (he's just been self medicating with junk food for quite a long time) and 'appears' to be more upbeat? So that's a first 'baby step' I suppose?

I think that's very good advice to take on a small challenge in order to feel better about yourself. I really admire you for taking on studying again. I did a degree years ago but my head feels like mush now and I just don't think I could concentrate properly.

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