to be upset by this?(16 Posts)
very quick background (there's a whole other thread....) - a few weeks ago, DH told me that he thought that he no longer loved me. The reason for this, he said, was that I had been "cold" for about 18 months (we have two young children, dd is 2 and ds is 3 months and I struggled a bit with juggling them, difficult pg, difficulties bf, part-time job etc etc) and this had eroded his love for me. We are going to Relate to sort it out but he is not sure that he can get the love back. I am trying very very hard to show him how much I love him and to look after him and our two little ones. We get on well, he cares for me (and fancies me....) but does not apparently love me.
Today he gave me my birthday presents (it's actually tomorrow but I am going away with the children to a wedding). He signed it "Mr jbcbj" rather than "love Mr jbcbj". I am upset by this - to me, writing "love so-and-so" is so automatic even in cards of people you barely know, that it would have had to have been a conscious decision not to write it. It feels cruel and calculating, even though he is not a cruel or calculating person. AIBU? Have I overreacted? (He does not know that I was upset). It just feels that I am putting all this effort into making him feel loved, and he is just putting effort into showing me how much he does not love me.
Please, someone tell me to get a grip!
bump......really can't tell if I am over-reacting or not and need some perspective!
I really feel for you. It sounds as though you are doing a fantastic job managing the demands of two very young children. I do think that the strain of babies does put pressure on a marriage, and if he is also feeling stressed, that can really affect your emotions and make it hard to feel love in the way we expect to feel it - i.e. all happy and fuzzy. But it is possible to feel stressed and grouchy but still to love someone deeply. From what you say about most of his actions (caring for you, fancying you), I should think he does love you, he just thinks he can't access the emotion. Hope counselling will help with this. Best of luck, and happy birthday.
I am so sorry that you are having a hard time.
You say you have struggled with the DC/job/life, has he been of any help to you in all of this? If he has been too hands off, you may be resenting that, naturally, and then of course it'd be hard to show love. he needs to accept responsibility for his actions/words too.
I think you could do with some time to think about what YOU want, about how much HE contributes/enriches your life. Could you have some time to yourself?
I worry that if you just muddle along and he does this cruel withholding affection/love thing, it'll destroy your self esteem. It may be easier to ask him to move out for a while to find out what he DOES want.
What does your therapist say about it all? have you spoken to him/her on your own?
So sorry, OP, you sound very sad.
What do you feel? What's your gut feeling about the way your husband is behaving? Do you think it's really all about your busy-ness and having to cope with some very difficult events? He should surely be juggling some of those events with you, going through it with you at the least...
I wonder if he's assessing his options. It's very cold to not put 'love from' on a card or present and it does indicate that he's done it consciously. You're his wife, fgs.
I think, in your position, I'd take a little step back myself. Stop doing everything you can to show your husband how much you love him, maybe that will make him stop and think how close he could be to losing you.
You deserve love and you deserve respect, jbcbj, carry on with your counselling but also listen to your gut feeling because it's telling you what you need to know.
I think he sounds horrible tbh. Like he's making you work in some vain attempt to regain his affection, like you did something wrong and are being punished. I'd suggest a reality check for him - tell him that his behaviour seriously compromises your feelings for him (could be this what he wants you to do?)
I don't know. I hope counselling helps you, I hope things improve. But YANBU at all to feel upset.
TBH I'd tell him to fuck right off and hand him a nappy and welcome him to the world of parenthood. You have enough on your plate to be dealing with. The more you give in a situation like this, the more he will take. He sounds like a big adult 3 year old, throwing tantrumd to get attention when a new sibling comes along. I hope Relate works out for you, make sure you get across your own needs too though!
So not really over-reacting then . thank you for your replies.
ormirian was what meant to be funny? his card? can't see how. or my post? sadly not.
olivetti i agree, i (usually) do think he actually does love me, but it's getting harder to keep that positive thought.
herhissyness he helps out a lot, he's great with the children (and better at keeping the house tidy than me ). we're away this weekend, some of the time with my mum so that will help. one problem is that his mother is very ill at the mo so making big decisions about our relationship kind of feels selfish which is why i didn't tell him i was upset (or give him the letter i wrote last week).
lyingwitch i have thought about leaving in the hope that he would realise what he'd lost and magically conclude that he actually does love me after all. it seems like a very big risk and my life has never exactly been Hollywood.... i am sad, very very sad. just seems like such a waste.
buxomwench i think if i told him that he was compromising my feelings I would almost be validating what he has said about that happening to him, iyswim. What I want him to know really is that my feelings for him are unconditional and I thought that his were too - clearly not. I deserve to be loved better than that, surely? if this marriage ends, it has to be his decision.
udderly i am waiting for the right time to give him the letter i wrote...my feelings there are certainly clear...
jbcbj... Don't act on impulse, assess your options carefully (the 'relationship' board has some good practical advice that you could consider).
Don't think of it as a 'waste'; it could still work out but even if it doesn't, you have your DCs and you've 'grown' in the meantime. It's not a waste to walk away from something that's making your life a misery, it takes courage to do that, just as much as it takes courage to stay and work things out.
You have the rest of your life ahead of you and you owe it to yourself and your DCs to be happy and content with yourself. I'm sure that your husband would want that for you also, as much as he wants it for himself.
I agree with LyingWitch. Its good advice.
He does need to realise how much he has to lose.
Have faith in yourself.
I have been married for a very long time, and the most difficult times were when we had small children. It sounds like your dp is struggling to adjust. Give him time, but never be a door mat. I hope you work it out.
His card I meant. Not your thread! I just wondered if it might have been a joke of some odd kind.
However I think he's being completely unreasonable and selfish - as I beleive i said many times on our last thread. I also think he is punishing you for the crime of putting your small children first.
I think I am going to have a good think this weekend - probably what I will do is mention in our next Relate meeting (Tuesday I think) that I wrote to him, and then take it from there. Either read it or give it to him. It is hard at the moment with his mother being ill but the Relate meetings are our time to focus on our relationship so I would feel a lot less selfish about saying things that need to be said there. I will also ask him about the card, whether or not it was a conscious thing to omit the love. (Haha - seems that it could be a metaphor for our marriage....it almost feels a bit like he is choosing not to love me, or not choosing to love me....).
Thank you again for your input. I have calmed down now (I was so angry and upset about the card that I was shaking....)
YABVU, he just missed out the word 'love' from a birthday card.
Instead of trying to work out the most cold, calculating angle, perhaps you should assume the best? I don't put 'love' on cards, even to parents/children - I don't mean anything by it, I just never have.
Mrs Reasonable I know, I know - I really am trying to think the best, but he is also telling me that he doesn't love me and I am getting to the stage where it is very hard to think positively. I also know that he usually does put 'love' on...
He is not cold and calculating, so I really do hope that it is a mistake or just a big fat nothing. Really hoping. Or that he is trying so hard to be 'honest' (wish he'd stop!) that he felt dishonest putting a phrase that people usually use with no meaning (I would not have read anything into it had he written 'love', probably wouldn't have noticed!!! The fact that he didn't stuck out like a beacon.)
Good username, very apt. I am trying to be, I promise!!!
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