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Ever said 'I don't love you anymore'?

(40 Posts)
TheBreastmilksOnMe Thu 13-Jun-13 16:51:55

<Big sigh> That's it really. We've been together 8yrs got two children (one on the way) he's a very good dad, very good partner, everyone who meets him says what a kind, caring person he seems (I agree) but more and more I'm realising that the spark just isn't there for me anymore and I feel bad about it.

Bad for the future, bad for him as he deserves someone who will love him properly and bad for our children. I have conversations in my head with him about what I feel I'm going to have to say at some point and on one hand I feel a bit liberated and on the other I'm terrified of everything that comes after I've said 'I don't love you anymore'.

Would welcome any thoughts on the matter.

Repeatedlydoingthetwist Thu 13-Jun-13 16:58:04

How long have you been feeling this way? If you considered being with him for the rest of your life vs being single for the rest of your life which would you rather?

You have my full sympathy for being in this position, I've been there myself and even with no DC's it was hard enough sad

TheBreastmilksOnMe Thu 13-Jun-13 17:02:55

I'd guess since our 1st child was born. The love I had for our child (and subsequent children) just eclipsed the love I had/have for him and it's never recovered.

When I think of being single I feel free but I'm also not naïve I know that that would soon wear off when the reality of raising 3 children mostly by myself kicked in. So fearful too.

Will you share your experience Big?

I think that phrase is a bit harsh.

I have said: This isn't working for me I'm afraid.

Or something to that effect.

I don't think you should say it unless you have a plan in place - that is, either working at it together or leaving etc. Otherwise its a bit like...oh and...?

What do you hope will happen?

AnyFucker Thu 13-Jun-13 17:10:55

Please don't say this unless you are ending the relationship

There is no coming back from it, IMO

Heartbrokenmum73 Thu 13-Jun-13 17:11:24

No, but I had it said to me just over a month ago and it's soul-destroying to be on the receiving end of that.

Please try and find another way to put it.

Repeatedlydoingthetwist Thu 13-Jun-13 17:11:36

Well if you've been feeling that way since your first DC I think it's safe to say that this isn't a whim or a ML crisis and as such you do need to give it some serious thought.

I'm happy to share my experience, my ExH was probably one of the nicest people I have ever met. Kind, caring, real family man etc, and DC's we would have had would have been extremely lucky to have had him as a Dad. However like you I started to feel like the spark wasn't there, initially I thought it was just something that happened in relationships as time went on, but I started to feel suffocated. I knew I didn't love him in the 'right' way, it was more of a brother/sister thing. I did try for a year or so but I realised that it wasn't fair on either of us so I finished things. I honestly haven't looked back. When I first did it I had a wobble and a good friend of mine asked me the question I asked you and my answer was that I'd rather be single for the rest of my life than stay with him. The force of my conviction surprised me to be honest!

Six years on I saw him not too long ago and he is really happy, he actually said to me that whilst he couldn't see it at the time, it was definitely the best thing for both of us.

I think that you can only try for so long but ultimately if you know in your heart that something isn't right then you should probably walk away.

brokenhearted55 Thu 13-Jun-13 17:18:53

I've had it said to me but never said it.

It's brutal to hear. Please find another way to put it.

Lweji Thu 13-Jun-13 17:32:16

Why do you think the love you had for him was replaced by the love you have for your child?

Do you think it could be something you could work on? Allow more time for both of you and your relationship?

Love for our children can be overwhelming, but it should be different from what we feel about our partners. And you have loved all your children, not replaced one with the other.

Did something happen?

Mother2many Thu 13-Jun-13 17:40:33

Don't say it...those words you can never take back...

I said it once, and have regretted it every day since...and that was 10 yrs ago...

brokenhearted55 Thu 13-Jun-13 18:12:57

Just curious, if you feel your love for your children has overtaken your love for him, how will have a relationship with any other man. A new partner may not love your children as your dh does.

Is this just a case of being overwhelmed by motherhood and maybe the spark would come back when the children are older and there is more couple time.

TheBreastmilksOnMe Thu 13-Jun-13 19:37:42

Big- thankyou for sharing I can empathise with your story. You were honest with yourself and him and ultimately it's the only way to be.

Broken- it may be a case of been overwhelmed by motherhood. How will I know?

Lweji- nothings happened but in my heart right now I don't want to 'make it work'. I have no desire for another man. I don't want sex anymore, I don't want contact. I don't understand myself to be honest.

TheBreastmilksOnMe Thu 13-Jun-13 19:39:01

Mother- what happened?

bisley Thu 13-Jun-13 19:46:53

You said the spark isn't there anymore - did you have it once? If you could get it back would you be happy? The fact you aren't interested in another relationship or don't want sex at all may mean that you find things could change again for the better once you're out of the small child exhaustion times.

Ilikethebreeze Thu 13-Jun-13 19:48:45

I am going to put forward some scenarios.
Some might be true, some may be rubbish.

Do you think being pregnant has anything to do with it? Either hormones overwhelming you, or pregnant with the third, and perhaps subconciously thinking, no way do I want any more children.

Are you imagining a lovely life with your 3 children, and mentally pushing your husband out of the way.

Have you gone off sex, and think,I cant see that I shall want that ever again.

Do you think you just love him a bit less than you did, say 7/10 instead of perhaps the 10/10 that you used to feel - nothing much wrong with that btw, I think everyone's love for their partners ebbs and flows somewhat.

I think I have other suggestions, but they will do for now.

issynoho Thu 13-Jun-13 19:56:27

Breastmilk - I could have written your OP. Long story short, I am still working out what is going on. I'm having counselling and it turns out my self esteem is shot. I haven't been expressing emotions, needs, wants, etc, which has contributed to my lack of self worth, the enormous distance between me and DP (because I've never spoken up about some of the hurts he's caused me in our long relationship - nothing really major, but would have led us down different paths, perhaps). So our relationship is essentially stuck in the past because I can't get past the hurts I didn't express; I just thought I could cover things up and they'd go away. Turns out they don't, and now we've got 3 DCs together and I can't really believe I've let this happen. Trying to go for relationship counselling but the childcare is a major hurdle. I don't know what I feel for him.

I agree with others that saying those words would close the door. I have stopped saying ILY to DP automatically because I don't feel it but I feel we have to try and sort us out before we call it a day. REally don't know what's going to happen, but wanted to let you know you're not alone.

Have you been reading the has parenting affected your mental health thread? It's been giving me some solace.

TheBreastmilksOnMe Thu 13-Jun-13 19:58:56

ILike- I can say yes to the last 3 scenarios. The 1st scenario doesn't really apply as I was feeling like this before the pregnancy, well since dc1 really.

TheBreastmilksOnMe Thu 13-Jun-13 20:10:23

Issy- bless you. Yes I've read the thread about parenting and mental health and felt goosebumps. I couldn't stop reading it. It was so validating and refreshing to hear so many other women being brutally honest and brave and admitting what so many women/the media/family/friends deny. Its fucking hard and life changing, not always for the better either. It's one of my favourite threads on mumsnet to date and one i'll keep coming back to, thanks for suggesting it. How old are your children now?

Ilikethebreeze Thu 13-Jun-13 20:12:05

So you are partly saying that you had loads of love for your husband, but now you have less. Because if that is the case, that is a whole lot different from "I dont love you anymore".

Ilikethebreeze Thu 13-Jun-13 20:14:45

You strike me, again rightly or wrongly, as quite an emotional person.

Personally I wouldnt over worry about the lack of spark currently.
btw, I would like to ask, does it bother you specifically, the lack of feeling a spark?

Estherbelle Thu 13-Jun-13 20:27:30

My ex frequently used "I don't love you any more" as a weapon against me when we were in the heat of an argument (9 times out of 10 instigated by him). He would always backtrack and say he didn't mean it really. It got to the point where his words were meaningless to me. One thing I was sure of though was that if I ever uttered those words it would be because I truly meant them.

Four years down the line I was struggling with a horrendous pregnancy and he was being as inconsistent, flighty and mentally abusive as ever. Something just clicked inside me and out the words came: I DON'T LOVE YOU ANY MORE. WE'RE OVER.

It was such a release and I've never looked back. Of course he tried to milk the sympathy vote from people, what I bitch I was, callously telling him I didn't love him (conveniently forgetting all the times he had said it).

Looking back, two years into a wonderful relationship with someone who's right for me on every level, I realise that what I had with my ex was an antagonistic "brother sister" relationship - I'm an only child, so never recgonised that for myself at the time.

Obviously your partner is not emotionally abusive like mine was, so your situation is different from mine, but the point I'm trying to convey is: only say "I don't love you any more" if you are truly sure that is is the end and that you won't be swayed.

AnyFucker Thu 13-Jun-13 20:34:30

What can anyone really reply to "I don't love you any more" ?

If my husband said that to me, I would tell him to go then immediately. I wouldn't dream of doing it myself if I was equivocal, undecided or wanted things to change in some way.

I also wouldn't do it in the midst of young dc and pregnancy unless there was abuse. There is still so much potential for things to get better.

Heartbrokenmum73 Thu 13-Jun-13 20:46:21

AF - do you really believe there is any coming back from that? (Sorry to hijack OP). As far as my STBEx is concerned he doesn't feel the same and that's that. I'm devastated. We have three dc, all in primary school, the youngest almost 5. I've asked him what needs to change and why he doesn't want to work on things and we just go round in circles of tears and upset.

I personally feel that there's still life in our relationship, but he's depressed beyond belief through long working hours and stupid male pride (being the bread winner and all that shite) and honestly can't see any light.

I don't know what's harder - thinking that he truly doesn't love me (although he can't pinpoint reasons for this) or kidding myself that we may have a chance.

Heartbrokenmum73 Thu 13-Jun-13 20:47:51

Not wanting to 'suck up' blush or anything, AF, but I always keep an eye out for your advice because it's so bloody solid and reasonable. Yours is one of the names where I think 'this will be worth reading'.

AnyFucker Thu 13-Jun-13 20:51:25

I don't think so, HBM, sorry

I think he is being very cruel to you. Don't subjugate yourself to him, please don't

Tell him to go and work on himself but you might not welcome him back when he decides he does want his family after all

Don't change yourself into a Stepford wife thinking it will make him stay, he will despise you

make him leave and work it out. These vacillators are motivated by loss ...and he needs to feel how it is without the soft landing of you and the kids

OP, there is a message here for you too. Be very sure of what you are proposing.

AnyFucker Thu 13-Jun-13 20:53:27

That is a sweet thing to say, HBM. It gives me no pleasure at all to be so harsh, but I do think you need to consider forcing the issue and make some decisions for yourself

Heartbrokenmum73 Thu 13-Jun-13 20:55:35

Af, ha, I'm already doing this. I've been through denial, grief, anger, etc. It's actually been like losing someone. Now I'm getting strong (panic attacks aside) and me and dc are (hopefully) moving down South over the school hols to be near my family. He's not coming with.

He may then realise what he's lost. I may decide I don't want him. I've already decided that if he does change his mind he'll have to go a long way towards proving he means it and won't EVER decide to just chuck me again.

Still hurts though.

AnyFucker Thu 13-Jun-13 20:59:29

You are doing the right thing. Have you had a thread, btw, I don't recognise your situation.

he has left you no choice, of course. I am sorry you are hurting.

Heartbrokenmum73 Thu 13-Jun-13 21:09:51

I have had a couple of threads, mostly tearing my hair out about another woman. Could be there is, could be there isn't. Don't really care anymore. Trying to be blase about it all now (on the outside at least) and telling myself that me and the dc (and cats!) will go and live by the seaside, in a nicer house, with more space and better schools.

I know it's not going to be that wonderful and that I'm going to hurt and be up and down, but looking forward is infinitely better at this point. And I'm either going to work or study - not sure yet, but I'll actually have help with childcare (via my Mum) so that makes things easier. And learn to drive - finally.

And marry Tom Hiddleston.

World domination.

AnyFucker Thu 13-Jun-13 21:22:11

Ah, I think I remember now

I agree it is immaterial whether there is OW at this point

You sound lovely, btw

Heartbrokenmum73 Thu 13-Jun-13 21:24:48

It was the Tom Hiddleston that tipped it, wasn't it? Be honest, I obviously have great taste in men.

<Preens at compliment>

AnyFucker Thu 13-Jun-13 21:33:03

smile

notanyanymore Thu 13-Jun-13 21:37:08

I went through similar when pregnant with dc2 and it was worse in the months following the birth too. Long story short, we split up. Over the next year I got myself back. And then we got back together and it was great (splitting up with children involved is a whole other ball game). However, since having another child I'm starting to feel I'm on the same slippery slope. I'm hoping now that for me, its just the pressures/distractions of having small children, it can really put a bit of a barrier between you IME. I'm trying not to let it get any where near as bad as it did before and hoping it will pass!!

Maleeka Thu 13-Jun-13 22:21:03

Think long and hard before you make any decision but i was in the same boat as you nearly a couple of years ago and am finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

My ex is a wonderful caring guy who only wanted to love me and our kids forever but i went and spoilt it all by falling out of love with him. It took 3 long years of faking how i felt because i didnt want to hurt him or break up our family, but i finally had to say those horrible words to him.

I truly regret the hurt i caused and the fall out for my family but i dont regret my decision and we are all much happier with new partners. The trick is to make sure the kids are your priority and feel able to talk about anything thats on their minds.

issynoho Fri 14-Jun-13 12:43:32

Breastmilk Sorry for slow reply - was exhausted last night. DCs are 7, 5 and 2. And 43, because the 'not taking responsibility' thing means it feels like I have 4 DC sometimes. And not surprisingly, he doesn't feel like an equal to me, we're not a team pulling in the same direction, hence the lack of attraction and love. But if we can sort that out, who knows what might return?

Honestly, if there were no DCs, I'd be gone. But there are, so I have to give this my all. But I am conscious I don't want their example of a healthy relationship to be what DP and I are modelling for them at the moment.

Can you identify what your wants and needs are from a relationship? How and why is your DP not meeting them? Exactly what is the spark that is missing?

ChasedByBees Fri 14-Jun-13 12:58:40

Hi OP - just wondering about your username as I don't know how old your children are. Have you been breasfeeding since your first child was born or was there a break? I am still feeding a 17mo and since she was born have felt pretty much asexual - I have pretty much no sex drive at all. With having my DC so time consuming during the day, by the time the evening comes, I'm exhausted and I don't want to speak or be touched. For me, partly it's tiredness bone numbing exhaustion but I think it might be hormonal from feeding too.

I was wondering if there could be some hormonal reason you feel this way. This in particular made me wonder if it could be this:

I have no desire for another man. I don't want sex anymore, I don't want contact. I don't understand myself to be honest.

I think it's really worth thinking about before you end your marriage.

TeaCuresEverything Fri 14-Jun-13 21:49:41

breastmilk are you me? I could have written your post.

the part about feeling like your love for your child has eclipsed your love for dh and you don't know how to fix it?

you don't want sex or to be touched?

I feel exactly the same. my ds is 2.8yo and he's everything but I don't recognize myself anymore. I've turned into a highly strung stress head and nag. I still love dh but not in the way I should do. its hard. I feel for you .

Wellwobbly Sat 15-Jun-13 15:01:48

Please, before you open your mouth, LOOK IN THE MIRROR and book some counselling sessions.

Examine yourself and your issues very carefully before you blow up someone's world with such cruelty.

Please. Surely it is worth spending some time carefully examining yourself and how YOU tick, before you go for the initially easy point and blame solution.

Wellwobbly Sat 15-Jun-13 15:04:49

sorry, posted too soon:

there are many many factors to be considered: post natal depression, perhaps your hormones are in a tangle, old issues stirred up by birth, hidden resentments, longings not articulated.

So do the right thing and carefully look at all these things before you blow up your world.

Reality is how things are in the moment, but those things can change. So make sure you have examined all the contributors to help you be clearer moving forward.

Good luck OP I am picking up some depression here.

TheBreastmilksOnMe Sun 23-Jun-13 16:28:59

Hi again I've been absent for a while as work has been busy but just reading through the replies I just want to rule out depression and breastfeeding as neither are a reason. I'm not at all depressed or even down and I stopped breastfeeding about 4 months ago so I know it's not that. As someone else see mentioned I just feel asexual maybe it is just to do with the physical and emotional demands of having 2 young children.

Wellwobbly- I'm not blaming anyone, least of all my partner.

I'm not ending our relationship anytime soon but will try and work at it and see how things pan out as the children grow up. I have immense respect and 'love' for him (although it feels more like sibling love) and I wouldn't want to hurt him unnecessarily.

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