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Love but not attracted to my husband... How did your stories end?

(62 Posts)
Lostwithoutacompass Mon 17-Dec-12 16:54:51

My husband is pretty much faultless, we have been married for 10 years and we have 3 children aged 5 and under. However I am absolutely no longer attracted to him but love him very much as a friend. I have done so much soul searching about this for months & months. I don't think I was ever really attracted to him but it didn't matter because we got on so well, never argued and that seemed enough but I seem to have just hit my limit on feeling guilty or uncomfortable about how i feel, or dreading having to come up with an excuse not to have sex, or comparing him to other men which i know it totally unfair. I think i want us to eventually end up in separate places, not too far from each other, co parenting in an amicable manner. I absolutely do not want to do the: date nights, new underwear, quality time away together, etc, etc. This is not about being too tired or stressed re everyday things, etc to have sex. I have taken the step of saying that I no longer feel that way about our relationship and that I would prefer to focus on our friendship which has always been our strongest asset. I know this must be killing him and I wish i could change things but since that conversation I am happier than I have been in months if not years and feel such relief so surely that says a lot..? We still have a laugh and are kind to eachother, etc. and I suppose I am waiting for him to be ready to take the next step whenever that might be. How is everyone else doing with their situations..?

Priya1978 Mon 17-Dec-12 18:29:17

You say you are waiting for him to take the next step - does that mean you want him to leave? What if he doesn't want to? But then you also say you do love him?

amothersplaceisinthewrong Mon 17-Dec-12 18:31:54

How would you feel if he upped and left and found a woman who is willing to have sex with him.....

EdithWeston Mon 17-Dec-12 18:35:18

You say you've been thinking about this for months. Does this by any chance coincide with when you started comparing him to other men, or even a specific other man?

didldidi Mon 17-Dec-12 18:35:49

How did he react to this conversation?

SundaeGirl Mon 17-Dec-12 18:37:13

'We have 3 children 5 and under'.

Young children are not great for relationships but they grow up. Sorry if this sounds patronising but it's true. I think you re looking outside your relationship partly because home isn't that sexy! Please, please don't do anything rash to your relationship yet. The world is most definitely not full of better single men.

SantasLittleElfycat Mon 17-Dec-12 18:43:10

I've been on a right lull in fancying my DH. I have 2 DDs under 4 and I figured it was to do with tiredness/being hugged out each day. I seem to have switched off on wanting sex and even cuddles, but not companionship and hugs. I wasn't planning to worry about it until I get regular sleep. DH is being incredibly patient about this and if the situation doesn't change after I catch up with sleep etc I'd probably go and see a GP.

I think a lot of people have hiccups in relationships after children.

CuriosityKilledTheCrapTree Mon 17-Dec-12 18:49:46

I didn't fancy my dh. Young kids weren't the issue with me. He bored me and I didn't respect him in the end. Saf but tree. We've parted and are now seeing other people. Both happy. Kids happy.

Not recommending this but once it was 'gone' and he made my skin creep a bit, I knew that was it. I should mention that he had a delightful porn habit which also did nothing to increase my attraction!

CuriosityKilledTheCrapTree Mon 17-Dec-12 18:50:47

sad but true not saf but tree!!

Priya1978 Mon 17-Dec-12 18:54:27

Yeah but OP seems to get on well with her DH and is only the lack of 'attraction' that is the problem. Or is there more to it?

Lostwithoutacompass Mon 17-Dec-12 19:10:45

Thanks for the replies, was a bit nervous about all that.
Priya, by taking the next step, I mean I am giving him time to get his head round this new situation, try to understand it, work out what he wants, etc before we potentially think of splitting up.
Amothersplace, I genuinely would rather he found someone who loved him but also wanted to rip his clothes off as he deserves that but I don't think it will be with me.
Edith, no one else involved and no it's more a case of now consciously analysing and thinking back about situations or how I have felt in the past. When I say compare to other men, it would just be a thought popping into my head like, he is def the least appealing in a group if we are not, not me saying I fancy all the others. I'm prob not making myself very clear. I just wish I felt differently about him.
Sundae girl and sana, I totally know what you are saying but this goes back to before kids. It's just accumulated over the years and I just don't want to be with someone I feel this way about. Don't think it's fair on either of us..
Didldidi, whereas I have been depressed and totally stressed out for months re what was I feeling, what do I need to do to change this etc, do I say anything, I am now feeling relieved and he is dealing with the fall out of this so prob depressed and stressed. He is not showing it much and I do ask now and again is he talking to anyone re this as its a lot to carry solo. Ironically the atmosphere is much better because I am a bit happier. Bloody ironic really..
Curiosity, think that's the same with me.

Lack of attraction is the main thing but it encompasses so much more though. Am fed up of being the one who is strongest, gives advice but don't really value his advice, have to run the house and kids. I want and need someone strong who will teach me stuff, who I can lean on and my husband isnt that person. I think I have prob changed and he hasn't. I do love him but I don't respect him nor value his opinion hugely and I think that is corroding our relationship.

SundaeGirl Mon 17-Dec-12 19:19:11

I'm going to repeat this again: the world is not full of sexy, strong men. Just so as you know, which you probably do, but right now you are with a good guy. If you break up that won't necessarily improve the situation.

Really, I think it would be better if you worked at finding your friend/DH sexy. Sorry, but it would be better (financially, stability, etc) for you and your DCs.

Lostwithoutacompass Mon 17-Dec-12 19:45:01

Thanks sundae, but now do I do that? Don't get me wrong, there is so much at stake here and i am not treating this lightly or desperate to throw it away. I know i am with a good person who will always love me and we could grow old together knowing I will always be able to count on him but unfortunately I think I bring more to his table than he does to mine and I not mean that in an arrogant way. I test myself the whole time and think ok we stay as we are, we have a platonic relationship, raise the kids and continue being friends. Then i know that I would just die a slow death inside, as would he surely because neither of us gets any affection, sense of worth and closeness. Its not a real partnership. It's friends raising their kids and that can't be healthy ultimately can it?

maleview70 Mon 17-Dec-12 19:54:14

If you felt this way before kids why did you have 3 kids with him?

Doesn't really seem very fair that as he went into that decision oblivious to the way you felt and what therefore might happen (and is happening) now.

Do you think there will be a queue of strong and intellectual blokes waiting for a women with 3 under 5's in tow? It's not going to be easy.

It also seems like you are waiting for him to leave you. Why don't you make the decision if you are so unhappy?

Lostwithoutacompass Mon 17-Dec-12 20:08:59

Maleview, your comments are totally fair but no I didn't have any doubts whatsoever when we got married. I have been unhappy for a while now and it's when I look back at lots of situations when we were together that I realise it was never quite right if that makes sense but i wasnt that fully conscious of them at the time, its more the accumulation of the all. But I never consciously set out for this to happen. We really happily planned and had our kids. I think "motherhood" or the last few years or life in general has made me a different person now with different needs and or I longer want to feel unfullfilled in this relationship and frustrated with him because he can't handle something and I then have to handle something solo because I don't get the support I need from him or worry re when we have to have sex. Surely it shouldn't be like that and obviously he deserves to be with someone who doesn't feel that way.

And no, I am definitely not telling myself that there will be a queue of men waiting for me! Especially with my brood! But I am not scared of being by myself and I am categorically not planning on leaving him for anyone. If I leave him it's because he and i werent working. Believe me I have no illusions of how tough it would be for all of us if we did split and I know I will be seen as the bad guy but I am just trying to find real happiness.
No I'm not waiting for him to leave. I'm definitely not planning on being a coward and making him do the crap stuff (believe it or not). I am trying to do this gently step by step so we can both test the ground.

SundaeGirl Mon 17-Dec-12 20:22:09

You married beneath you, all women do!

Sorry, but women ARE the stronger sex, we care and we carry others by instinct. Although men can do this too, it don't come so naturally. The dynamic in your relationship may be affecting your DH - a vicious circle of your strength making him weak.

You can get counselling but friends of mine dealt with it by the DH having Neuro Linguistic Programming. He stopped being so dreamy, got focused and got a PhD in an unusual field and is on track to becoming a seriously influential guy. (and definitely attractive!)

maleview70 Mon 17-Dec-12 20:25:19

Fair enough. Good luck....it's a tough road as I've been down it.

Lostwithoutacompass Mon 17-Dec-12 20:30:37

Thanks for the feedback sundae and Maleview. M you said you have been through it and I'm sorry it was a tough road. From your perspective/opinion do you wish somethings had been done differently, any regrets, advice..without wishing to pry..

maleview70 Mon 17-Dec-12 20:37:09

No regrets. It was slightly different in our case as my exw had an affair but looking back I can see I was just as much to blame.

We married at 23 and grew apart. I wanted out but wasn't brave enough to leave and was scared she would move away with our child which was a possibility.

It worked out well for both of us in the end but it wasn't without the odd spat, a bit of jealousy on her part and some hard work to keep our parenting relationship on a good footing.

lostaswell Tue 18-Dec-12 10:09:58

I have name changed to post on this as my DH knows my posting name. Sadly I am in an almost identical position. Although I was warned about it at the time, I did sub consciously settle for a 'good' bloke. Someone who wouldn't mess me about and was looking to settle down and have kids. Someone with stability who was also in to me!
Don't get me wrong he is pleasant looking but there was never any real passion there and the fact that the sex life has always been mediocre has not helped.
I was always the one pushing to move things on - house move, marriage, children as I like change and need something to look forward to.
Now several years later and I'm thinking is this it? we get on well but I think what I need from a partner now isn't the same as it was when we met.
I told him I didn't love him any more because I know I just feel as much as I should and it's not fair on him. He suggested counselling which we have been going to for a few months now.
In the solo sessions it became clear that a lot of what I am feeling stems back to childhood issues and having all the distractions of marriage, house and kids just put off the inevitable crises but knowing that doesn't help me yet decide what to do...my husband is devastated and I know that there's no guarantee if I left I would meet anyone else. But I just can't get past the fact the switch has gone off in my head and it might never go back on...

Lostwithoutacompass Tue 18-Dec-12 11:24:09

Poor you, it's really hard to know what to do isn't it?

I think the trouble is, as far as i can tell from your message, but def for me, that we arent in really awful relationships with violence or abuse of some kind, there is no jealousy or cheating so it seems perhaps spoilt (as one very honest friend told me) or shallow not to be happy with our lot, especially when there are children involved.

Someone said if you were just going out together, no kids involved etc, would you end the relationship? If yes then that should be your answer. That may be shockingly simplistic and unrealistic but maybe there is also some sense in getting back to the bare basics.. This did initially start with just two people, we should be the string foundation and when the kids have left home etc, it will be back to those two people, so that all needs to be right surely..?

If someone is really unhappy then perhaps that in itself sound be enough to know to make a change. I don't think it's fair or honest on anyone to stay with someone because we are scared we might not find anyone else. But it does give pause for thought as I have read some threads saying they felt like we do and years on now regret what they left behind.

I haven't been to counselling yet but will do just to make sure I am doing all I can and doing right by my husband. I have a feeling that my parents divorce and strange relationships and the fact that I do remember feeling very proud that I did have the perfect family/husband/father may come into play...!! Maybe continuing with counselling may help you and you might come to see things differently, I honestly don't know. I don't think there are any answers other than not rushing anything.

If someone said to you, that's it, you stay put in your marriage and do the best you can with it all, how would you feel? Would it call your bluff.. Wish I had the answers.

QueenieLovesEels Tue 18-Dec-12 14:59:53

I think most marriages go through quite lengthy periods at times where either partner can be questioning their respective feelings.

What have you done to try and reinvigorate your relationship? Things get really stale quickly if you don't sort out issues and all marriages require work as they are not a static state.

Personally, I don't think it is acceptable to promise a partner a lifetime of support and then (as in your opening post) stubbornly refuse to put the effort in required to sustain a healthy relationship. You haven't done enough yet to show this relationship is beyond salvaging.

I think you need to stop being so self indulgent because you have chosen to bring other human beings into the equation who are going to be impacted upon by the further choices you make.

Think about what else you can do -positively.

dipndunk Tue 18-Dec-12 15:05:18

havent read the full thread. I was with my H 13 yrs, divorced him after 2 yrs separation, amicable as it could be. I no longer fancied him, we didnt have sex for years. We now co-parent. He has met someone else, i am happy for him, although struggle with the idea another woman spends time with our son. However, i wouldnt want to be with him now. Our relationship was more of a friendship. It was not a marriage. anyway, it has worked out ok, finances ok etc, our son is very happy. you only get one life, dont torture yourself! It will be kinder for both of you to separate. Have you tried relate? We did, then I did alone. Might be worth considering before making "the" decision. good luck, it is still very painful x

lostaswell Tue 18-Dec-12 15:25:59

Yes you're right lost, nothing bad in the relationship, I'm generally perceived as quite 'lucky' to be honest if I met him now I doubt I would go out with him. But then if I met him now I would have had my husband and kids in the past so not looking for the same qualities in a relationship. I think my attitude changed when we had kids, I just don't feel as tolerant about anything anymore and of course we don't get the time to do all the spontaneous stuff we could before we had them.
I can recommend Relate but it is expensive.

SundaeGirl Tue 18-Dec-12 16:26:40

Totally agree with Queenie. Life doesn't owe you a super-sexy husband.

you do owe it to your DCs to keep them in a stable happy relationship if possible.

GoldenFrankincenseAndMyrrh Tue 18-Dec-12 19:02:27

I am just trying to find real happiness.

What about your children's happiness? You've had three children with this man, then you want to take them away from him because you're bored and looking for something new and more fulfilling?

Sorry, I'm trying not to be harsh here because I can see that you are agonising over this, but it does get me a bit angry when people seem to blithely end the relationship with the parent of their children. I'm not throwing stones from my glass house here - I am not with the father of my DD. It was an unplanned pregnancy and we never lived together. Fairly disasterous few years trying to make a relationship work, then split up when DD was two. I've worked bloody hard at keeping things amicable with xDP and we both do pretty well at co-parenting DD - I'd consider him a good friend. But even so, I know it has affected DD, and know it still affects her now (she's 9). She adores her dad, and he her, and very much wishes that she could see more of him than she does. She still fantasises about us all living together in one big house (I've explained that it would have to be a veeeeeeeery big house for me, DP and xDP to co-exist happily grin) and I know she is absolutely happiest when she has us all together.

Please don't underestimate the effect that their dad moving out will have on your children (assuming that their relationship with him is good, and that there is no abusive or damaging dynamic between you). It shakes their little worlds, it really does, and anyone who tells you otherwise is in denial.

How do you think it will affect your children having their father move out? Moving between two homes? Rarely, if ever, having both of their parents present at key events? Having to think about mummy and daddy and why they split up, rather than never giving a thought to 'mummy and daddy' other than this entity that's always there, providing for their needs. wink

I'm not saying that you should stay in a dreadful relationship 'for the sake of the children', but honestly, I think you should take a long hard look at yourself and what you can do to save the relationship with the man you chose to marry and have three children with. You made promises to him when you married him, and if he is a decent man (as you seem to be saying he is), then he deserves better than this.

CuriosityKilledTheCrapTree Tue 18-Dec-12 19:27:23

I completely disagree with the people who are suggesting op stays as promises were made, and she owes it to everyone else.

Does the op's husband deserve no better than someone who us staying because she has to?

What about the kids? Does any adult child ever thank their parents for staying in an unhappy marriage?

EtoilesPleinLesYeux Tue 18-Dec-12 19:38:02

Only leave him if you would be happier being alone. The next man is not round the corner.

FlourFace Tue 18-Dec-12 19:45:15

Have you thought about having an open relationship? Get your jollies elsewhere.

Sorry but I'm with Golden a bit on this.

I don't understand the point of marriage if you give up like this. Do people really think they are going to fancy their DH in the same way forever???? Through raising little kids, through stressful events, through illness, through hormone changes, through insomnia....?

Also the perfect man DOES NOT EXIST. Much less so if you have three kids in tow I imagine.

MistletoeAndVino Tue 18-Dec-12 19:56:19

I'm with Golden on this too.

Also can't help but think that the replies would be very different if it was a male OP saying he just doesn't fancy his wife anymore.

SnowProbs Tue 18-Dec-12 21:10:12

I disgree with Golden et al, sorry.

Yes, marriages take work etc etc but if you arent fulfilled in key areas, I wouldnt stay. How is a sexless, unfulfilling marriage providing any kind of role model for your children? They're babies now, but they wont always be. They'll clock the dynamic eventually.

How many people here grew up with parents who werw together but obviously not happy? Just as many as grew up in divorced families, and with as many sob stories to boot, I bet.

Better off to be single and happy.

SnowProbs Tue 18-Dec-12 21:11:14

And as for the 'if it was a male OP' thing....I would say the same. Would you like to be married to a man who did not find you attractive? I would rather be alone!

PopMusicShoobyDoobyDoA Wed 19-Dec-12 08:17:05

I'm not sure that you can make such a life changing decision if you have been depressed and stressed for months. That, coupled with the stresses of having three under 5. You don't say how old the youngest is.

But if you want to split up and you are the strong one, why don't you make the decision to split? All this talk of letting him come to terms with it and seeing what he wants to do is cowardly, selfish and very unfair to someone you say you love. Poor bloke. Also, I'm not sure how you can say you love someone (yes, even as a friend), when you don't respect his opinions and views.

Lostwithoutacompass Wed 19-Dec-12 08:33:05

Thanks for all the feedback. It's also comforting to hear of those in similar situations or for whom it eventually worked out somehow for the best...

Even before living this myself I would have said something similar to snowprobs. How can a sexless marriage survive? I still believe that. I know that friendship and respect remain long after the physical may have waned but i am not yet 40 and dont want to settle for a life of cohabitation with a friend and my husband equally deserves to be its someone who loves him on all aspects too.

We have only one life so should make it as good as possible BUT before you all shoot me down, i EQUALLY believe we have to achieve it in a way that does not hurt anyone UNECESSARILY, hense the whole crux of this dilemna...

I am from divorced parents who were clearly not meant to be together and remarried very happily. As someone posted earlier, I do also definitely remember as a child wishing I could have both my parents in the same house, etc and I remember thinking that children who had intact families were lucky but also naive about life (my thoughts as a 14 year old, not what I would say now). So i know divorce is awful, it is a failure of some sort (or an acknowledgement that the ideal didn't work out). But i also never blamed my parents for it. It's their relationship that failed not theirs with me.

Golden, flourface, honestly, if you can think of how I can change the way I feel about him, any ideas, I am all ears..

I look at him and know I love him as a friend, that I wish him the very best, never want to hurt him but the thought of kissing him or being intimate with him is an absolute no no. I have been depressed, stressed out, spent days crying buckets over how I was feeling, why was I feeling this way, what to do, who to speak to about it, etc until months and months later I finally pulled up the courage to speak to him about it and since then, I obviously still feel confused, sad, (as does he unfortunately) but I also feel real relief that I no longer have to pretend how I feel. Seriously, any constructive ideas welcome.

CuriosityKilledTheCrapTree Wed 19-Dec-12 08:38:00

I had PND after both my dcs I stayed on anti depressants for agesssss. When I finally came off them, I could see through the fog. The marriage broke up because it wasn't working. Not because I was depressed.

I remember feeling all the things you describe op. I don't think I really was depressed. I think I was just really unhappy.

Lostwithoutacompass Wed 19-Dec-12 09:22:56

Ah thanks curiosity, kind of makes me feel better. I did think i was going mad being so down. One of my friends is also on anti depressants. I suggested that maybe she needed time out from the kids, away from the monotomy of it all, to have a day to herself. She replied that she didnt want to be by herself but wanted to spend quality time with her husband. That spoke volumes to me as In all the bad days i never wanted to do that, its actually one of the last things i wanted to do.

Popmusic, I don't see it that way at but totally respect your opinion. Youngest is 2 so it's full on and rather mad but nothing like the first year! If I turned around now and said lets separate I think it would be horribly violent emotionally for him. By talking and then giving him time to process it and see how he feels I believe he is getting some amount of control over the situation too as opposed to me calling all the shots. That's not being a coward. We are living pretty nicely as friends at the moment. I know that it's not possible to live indefinitely like that and I don't think we can ever be more than that but he has not accepted that yet. Either we eventually agree that friendship is as good as it gets or I guess I will have to leave. But I would rather we amicably reached the same conclusion together.

fluffyraggies Wed 19-Dec-12 09:34:13

Been in your shoes OP. Married young and grew into a different, stronger person over the years. He didn't grow up at all. We grew apart, if that's what that means.

I stuck it out for way too long. I left in the end.

Now we are both happy. Both remarried (this year, within months of each other in fact) The kids are happy. They see both of us. Sticking dogmatically to the the idea that mummy and daddy "being together" is best for children' is rot, sorry. Every situation is unique. My kids are happier now than they were when i was married to their father. So is he. And so am i.

It wasn't a breeze, splitting up, but it could bring more happiness in the long run.

EtoilesPleinLesYeux Wed 19-Dec-12 09:41:03

When you leave you husband because you've fallen out of love isn't it really horrible with you parents and in laws? How the hell do you get the children through it?

fluffyraggies Wed 19-Dec-12 09:50:15

For me it was horrible with parents and in laws etoiles. But that can't be a reason to stay unhappy for the rest of your life. So as not to upset the in laws or your mother! (although it did take me allot of years to convince myself of that fact).

You get the children though it by treating them with love and respect and thoughtful handling. Age appropriate. From both parties ideally. I have never ever said a bad word about my DCs father to them. Their greatest need was to stay in the local' and keep their friends and school and hobbies the same. Which we did. It's massively important how it's handled, i think.

fluffyraggies Wed 19-Dec-12 09:52:53

Can i just add that when i sat down with my mum and explained that i was ending my marriage one of the first things she said was "But you've just had the kitchen done!" hmm !?

jenny99 Wed 19-Dec-12 09:54:36

Just want to add a little something...in cases of 'staying for the kids'....is it better if a split is inevitable that it is when they are younger and therefore grow up not knowing any different? Where I am right now is looking at a split with 2 DCs at very vulnerable ages both in early years of secondary school. Is it actually therefore better to do it rather than hang in there. Is there ever a 'good' age for the kids to cope with it?!

DeXavia Wed 19-Dec-12 09:54:48

Can I ask if you work? And if you'd be prepared to leave the family home? And I am prepared to be flamed for this but it strikes me that you've decide you aren't attracted to him. Now you are waiting for him to make the next move (which is presumably for him to move out). I'm guessing next step after that is for him to leave you in family home and pay maintenance while he finds somewhere (smaller?) elsewhere and with what visitation rights?
I'm not saying stay or go but why is it his life that will be turned upside down for your decision? Your decision - why isn't it your life that changes so radically?

pinkdelight Wed 19-Dec-12 10:16:48

You say you've changed. I totally get that. But you have 3 under-fives. It can't be that long since you wanted to have sex with him. This is a time of change. So much of attraction is hormonal. You could change again, and again. And things could be much worse with a new partner, assuming you managed to find one and make it work with all the extra problems of your broken family. I'm not saying stay in a sexless marriage forever. But don't think of it like that. Of course you're going panic if you think of being sexless for eternity. Take a day at a time. Stop thinking about what's wrong with him and rewriting the story of your relationship to make it seem like he was wrong all along. Think about what you need apart from sex, other opportunities for growth and satisfaction in your life.

Please don't do anything rash right now. Your tone is strangely detached enough to suggest you might not be feeling too rational - the whole thing about waiting for him to end the relationship, as if that's what he wants and it won't involve an unthinkable amount of agony for you all. As DeXavia says - do you want this enough to make the move yourself and move out on your own? And if not, why should he when he doesn't even want it?

Lostwithoutacompass Wed 19-Dec-12 10:34:06

Fluffy your mums comment re kitchen, needed a good giggle this morning!

Dexavia, not at all the case, you've actually got me totally wrong. I will start work again next year. I actually used to be main bread winner but am now facing a career change which will earn me far less just due to logistics, kids school etc.

I haven't looked into the finances but we would both have to leave the family home and live in2 very tiny little places. I have looked on websites and it's definitely a wake up call but there you go. So long as we live reasonably close to one another I am hoping we could do 50/50 of seeing kids as he absolutely adores them and they he and he is a brilliant dad. Don't get me wrong, would be nice to have lots of money, big house and another pad but that is more certainly not part of my world!:-)

Believe me I know my life would change pretty radically too as we will will both be single parents with all that that entails.. I am not waiting for him to make a move, I instigated it but am hoping we can reach a joint decision so we are all as happy as possible.

DeXavia Wed 19-Dec-12 10:42:44

It's very obviously not the right word but I'm "happy" to hear that.
It's a huge life change you are instigating and you can't for one moment expect him to be happy about it - or even to accept it especially short term.
I guess I'm not clear or how you are instigating this - you've told him you are no longer attracted and now waiting for the next move from him. What if he says nope not doing it? Maybe counseling would help - more as mediation than reconciliation. But still even from your own Op you sound like have taken a fairly unilateral decision that doesn't seem to have taken his feelings into account - you can't expect him to just go with this...?

Helltotheno Wed 19-Dec-12 10:56:24

OP this shows no signs of being amicable (because obviously you offloading your feelings on him with no hope of any negotiation to improve things is not the basis for an amicable split). What do you want from him now? Him just to say 'oh right Lost, let's just split and do the friends thing, it'll be better for everyone all round'? Because obviously that's not going to happen, especially when he has to process the fact that you just used him as a sperm donor and have now decided the whole thing isn't for you any more.

Also, in relation to both of you having to downgrade houses, no actually, why can't the children and your DH stay in the family home, since their stability wasn't threatened by any action of theirs? So you move out. You downgrade. Why stop at telling your DH how you feel and that's it and nothing can be done about it? Stop waiting for him to react, just move out!

PopMusicShoobyDoobyDoA Wed 19-Dec-12 11:26:54

Agree with helltotheno. I think this is potentially going to be a messy, bitter separation.

OP, it seems you are only taking in the comments from posters who agree with you.

CuriosityKilledTheCrapTree Wed 19-Dec-12 11:32:01

If op left her DH in the family home then that would mean he'd have custody of their children - may be what he wants but unlikely really?

Helltotheno Wed 19-Dec-12 11:55:48

Could they not still have 50/50 custody?
Also he may want that... we don't know.

notanotherstatistic Wed 19-Dec-12 12:01:25

Lost, your feelings are very similar to those described by my STBXW. She realised in retrospect that almost from the beginning of our 19 year marriage she wasn't physically attracted to me. We separated in 2011. We have two teenage children (a boy and a girl) that we amicably co-parent. We live a few streets away from each other. My son lives with me and my daughter with my STBXW, but my daughter regularly comes round at mealtimes and frequently stays the night at weekends. The arrangement is not as ideal as a successful family unit, but it is a reasonable compromise and the children appear to be happy and thriving with the new situation. The key, I think, is that we have separated amicably and still get on as friends.

Neither of us have partners at present, though I have had two short term relationships that ended largely because I went into them too soon after separating. One ended quite painfully and prompted me to seek counselling, which helped enormously, even allowing me to work out why I had got into my less-than-happy marriage in the first place. I also realised that I needed to spend some time being single, so I could focus on my son and daughter as they adapted to the new situation without the additional complications of a relationship with someone else. However, in both of these relationships I was bowled over by what it felt like to experience reciprocal physical desire: something that was lacking throughout my marriage.

I guess I was prompted to share this with you to offer a possible perspective from your DH's side. I didn't want to separate, and tried to cling on to the marriage at all costs. I now see that separation was the right decision. Certainly, trying to stay with someone that didn't feel about me the way I felt about her in terms of physical desire, killed my self-esteem. Since separating I feel much better about myself and more secure emotionally.

CuriosityKilledTheCrapTree Wed 19-Dec-12 12:04:53

<applauds notanotherstatistic>

Lostwithoutacompass Wed 19-Dec-12 14:09:33

Notanother thanks so much for your post. I have been trying to approach this as honestly and kindly as possible but some posters here, (and popmusic, I do want to take them all into consideration otherwise what's the point of coming on here) believe I am actually being totally unfair. So I'm not quite sure what to do. I thought I was giving him space to think about it, take it in, decide what he thinks is the right thing to do but some posters think I am just creating more agony than necessary. In your experience and with the benefit of hindsight, and also without wishing to pry, would you have any advice about how we move forward, what would have helped you, what you wish ,ight have happened differently..?

Pinkdelight your post is really helpful, thank you.

However, I do just want to reclarify to everyone, I am not waiting for him to make the next move or leave. I have told him how I feel and am giving him space to take it in and work out how he feels, then we hopefully eventually find a solution together. I am trying to make sure we walk next to each other on this, not me in front or me pushing him forward.

QueenieLovesEels Wed 19-Dec-12 18:00:00

Go to counselling to unravel what is really going on here.

He will then have time to come to terms with your marriage ending-if that is the outcome. If not -you may find that you are able to communicate your way through this and feel differently about your relationship.

You are more likely to be on a more amicable footing if this relationship is over if you both feel you have had the opportunity to express your feelings.

My point is that you haven't said you have tried this yet. Also it sounds like there night be underlying resentment issues which are affecting your relationship.

These may have nothing actually to do with your husband.

Phineyj Wed 19-Dec-12 20:27:40

I agree with the poster above, go to Relate and talk ths over properly before doing anything drastic. We have been twice and they were incredibly helpful.

novembery Wed 19-Dec-12 22:57:21

I have been where you are and I did leave- long story, best in a pm. Regrets- yes and no. I think tbh that you're damned if you do and damned if you don't- this situation is a real conundrum and it's a balanced one- do many positives and negatives either way. Think very, very carefully and get help.

novembery Wed 19-Dec-12 22:59:01

Sorry , phone! SO many positives and negatives!

notanotherstatistic Thu 20-Dec-12 10:32:27

Lost, I have no problem with telling you about my experiences. Pry away! However, I'm not sure whether it'll be that relevant to your situation, you see the initiator of the separation in my case was finding out that my STBXW was having an affair (which had been going on for about 3 years). I have posted about this before, so you should be able to find out the details by searching through my posts.

The affair and its aftermath were incredibly damaging and corrosive, and it would have been much better if my STBXW had voiced her concerns the way you have. From what you say, like myself and my STBXW, you and your DH should not have married in the first place. There is no way to completely avoid the heartache that comes with separation, but you are going about this in as responsible and respectful way as possible.

I would echo what others are saying about counselling. A good counsellor can be tremendously helpful in cutting through the bullshit that we tell both ourselves and others to justify our actions, and pin-pointing our real motivations and insecurities.

AzureBlue Thu 20-Dec-12 11:24:29

As you will see from previous postings, I'm also in a similar situation. But my kids are 22,20,17 and 9. It's been over 2 years since I told DH I could not stand it if he touched me.

Still waiting for things to improve or the right time to leave. It's agony being on the fence. I thought it would be too traumatic to leave when the kids were little (and as I was a SAHM impossible financially).

Recently I finally decided to leave after Xmas, despite AS levels this year for one child, but now probably can't as I've just discovered my 17 year old has eating issues. I think it better to leave when they are young if you can afford to. Another reason to stay always crops up and they just get bigger and bigger reasons! Everyone I know thinks we have THE perfect marriage which somehow makes it even harder to carry on the sham. But I guess we would all do anything for our kids....

Relate was helpful to me - 14 months of weekly sessions. I found it sorted all sorts of my personal issues out but did absolutely nothing at all for my marriage. In fact it made me realise I was totally self-reliant and has distanced me completely from my husband. We hardly communicate at all now. Everyone I know comments on how I am a totally different person to a few years ago - far more confident and out-going - largely due to counselling I think.

alphabetspaghetti Thu 20-Dec-12 23:04:55

OP, I possibly could have written most of your initial post a few months back. DH and I married far too young and whilst both of up have changed, I have certainly changed to most. With two young dc's really close together, lack of sleep and taking on far too much our relationship really suffered. He has said there were times if would have liked to have walked but I know I had wished this almost on a daily basis.

The turning point for me was at a friends wedding. I looked at them happy and them looked at my DH and wished that I could feel the same, but I couldn't. I came to terms with the fact that I would need to have a talk with up about going our separate ways, but when I thought about it, and I mean really thought about it, the possibility of not having him in my life have me the clarity that I needed.

We had a chat, I told him that I was unhappy, but what surprised me was that I actually feel quite neglected (think Peter Andre and you won't go far wrong)!. We decided to make time for each other. Just little things like letting the dc play and up just talking for a few minutes. We also decided to put our happiness before the dc's. Don't get me wrong, they do not go without love or our time but in order to reconnect we had to put ourselves first. We also touch a lot more, nothing sexual, just touching. This has made a big difference.

A friend has the motto of "fake it til you make it", and I have tried to adopt this and so far its working. If I have negative thoughts about him I rush them to the back of my mind.

Keep with the counselling, give it your damndest and if it really doesn't work they at least you know you have done everything in your power.

Yes, you could go on to meet someone else, but how do you know you will not feel like this again?

I wish you well.

GoldenFrankincenseAndMyrrh Thu 20-Dec-12 23:43:25

Keep with the counselling, give it your damndest and if it really doesn't work they at least you know you have done everything in your power.

Yes, you could go on to meet someone else, but how do you know you will not feel like this again?

I wish you well.

THIS! wink

Lostwithoutacompass Fri 21-Dec-12 11:22:09

Thank you everyone for your feedback and ideas, even the ones that are hard to hear. Will get through Xmas and then definitely sort out counselling. Lots of good advice from you all and I will take it all on board, thank you!

berksbabe Thu 03-Jan-13 15:20:59

Oh dear, how sad for you all - you, hubbie and kids.
I thought I felt this way about my ex - no, I DID feel this wayabout my ex. I felt he did nt value me and he did nt value the family and he was only concerned with his own Happiness, Achievements and Development. He also had a bit of a sexual fetish that I was not going to indulge which totally revolted me.
BUT when he left me for a woman 18 years younger than both of us I suddenly realised that its not just about me. The effect on the children - even though they were 14, 16 1nd 21 was immeasurable. And if I had been really thinking about their happiness, achievements and development then I would have put more into (at least pretending) to care for the ex's.

Divorce is not great for the children - emotionally or financially.

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