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how do i get out of this rut and back into my relationship?

(16 Posts)
snowcherries Thu 16-Dec-10 20:53:23

I am having serious doubts about my relationship with DH but feel I've brought a lot of it on myself and am now in the horrid process of subconsciously talking myself out of it - just need some advice on where to go from here.

We have a toddler, who was born 2 years after we got married, 3 years after we got together. I'm quite young and I know that when he asked me to marry him I said yes partly because I wanted (needed) to feel loved and needed and couldn't face the thought of being alone. Of course I loved him very much, we've always had a good sex life and got on well, gone travelling together and been very supportive of each other.

Since our child was born though, I feel we've both changed enormously and I don't know that I love, or even particularly like, DH any more. It's not that I actively DISlike him, I just don't think I'd choose to be friends with him if we were to meet today.

We still have a good sex life, in that the sex is good, but I don't really want to have sex with him - I do it because I'm terrified otherwise he'll realise I'm losing touch with him and our relationship, which I know isn't healthy. I'm sure you'll all advise me to talk to him but I'm scared about what happens if I do - I know his reaction will be to be very hurt and I'm not sure that will result in grown up conversations about our relationship.

In the last 2 years he's become much less social, he keeps up with no friends at all and has frankly become dull and boring and selfish. His views are becoming very conservative in a way I don't like. He's stopped apologising when he's in the wrong (something we were both very good at before) and more often than not puts his needs before mine or our child's. In turn, I have started regretting the life I have, at least regretting having done it maybe too young (for me). I don't regret our child who is utterly brilliant and who I adore but I do take every opportunity to be out socialising, proving around my single childless friends that I can keep pace with them... I know this also makes me horribly selfish too.

God, I don't know really. I just know I'm lying when I tell him I love him. I'm not interested in being with anyone else, but the thought of being single but with my child is more and more appealing. I know I will never leave DH, I need to find a way of falling back in love with him - or at least finding the motivation to do something about it.

elephantsaregreen Fri 17-Dec-10 08:52:00

Hi Snow. I didn't want your post to go unanswered.

Firstly, I would just say that don't be so hard on yourself. If indeed your relationship is over, then so be it. If you hand-on-heart gave it a good go, then you have nothing to be ashamed of.

I must admit though I was quite surprised when I read your whole post and you then said that you 'know you will never leave him'. Why not? If you are unhappy with him, not in love (don't even like him anymore) then why wouldn't you afford yourself the opportunity to be really really happy with someone wonderful? (Unless perhaps chopping and changing relationships quickly is a pattern?)

I'm not saying that you shouldn't try to work things out. I'm just saying that leaving should always be an option, even if you deliberately choose to stay.

If you do really want to make things work, the my suggestions would to maybe try writing him an email or letter to really share how you feel. Can be easier than talking if talking is hard. Or write it down and then read it to him.

You say you are worried he will be hurt, which is nice and sweet. You are concerned about his feelings, but that doesn't mean they are more important than your own. So what if he is a little hurt? He is a grown-up and should, technically, be able to stand a little criticism in the form of feedback surely?

And just because he is getting comfortable in the marriage doesn't mean he is off the hook when it comes to effort.

Alternatively, parenting obviously does really take it out of you. Maybe you should suggest scheduling a date-night or something else like that so you can spend some adult time doing something you like, or something that you both used to enjoy doing.

When I read you post I really thought you were coming to terms that the writing was on the wall, that you weren't in love, possibly had married for the wrong reasons. And, that would be fine if that was the case.

Don't deny yourself a happy existence out of some, possibly misplaced, commitment. You deserve a happy life Snowcherries.

(Tbh, I'm not the best person to be providing advice. I'm in a similar situation. not sure if still in love. rushed in due to unplanned pregnancy. I've recently started counseling because I want to unpack if I am actually not in love anymore, or just bored/lazy and need to recommit to the relationship.)

How are you feeling about things today?

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Fri 17-Dec-10 08:57:37

This sounds very much the cliche of someone settling down too young.

OP, you have grown up and out of this relationship.

You have changed. It seems he hasn't (or if he has, for the worse as far as your happiness is concerned)

There is no shame in admitting you are no longer giving each other what you really need.

You have to speak to him and see if he would be amenable to relationship counselling. To figure out how to get your marriage back on track, or to find an amicable way to end it so your dc does not suffer as you get increasingly bored and lonely.

BTW...you do realise you are absolutely ripe for a head-turning infidelity don't you ? I can see all the warning signs here, even if you don't yet admit it to yourself.

Don't take that route...you will all get much more terribly hurt than if you approach this in a grown-up and open fashion.

Good luck.

snowcherries Fri 17-Dec-10 22:49:15

thanks both for replying - I have to be quick now as DH is just making me a cuppa, but hope to reply properly tomorrow.

Really appreciate you both replying, I'm just lost as to what to do. We're getting on fine - it's not that I don't actively dislike him, I just wish we could be friends who co-parent.

I don't want to hurt him or our son, but I can see no way out at the moment.

AF you are right, I hope I never fall to that, but will keep an eye on myself. To be honest I just want to be alone at the moment.

elephants - are you doing the relationship counselling on your own? Does your OH know you're doing it? Is it worth considering do you think?

elephantsaregreen Sat 18-Dec-10 07:23:24

Hi Snow
I've been to counseling in the past and have told him about it. This time I haven't told him. I've asked him in the past but he has always flat out refused. It would be really hard for him. Talking is my 'domain' if you know what I mean, he would feel very disempowered in a counseling situation.

I am going because I need objective advice about staying/leaving and if it's leaving, how to do it. and if it's staying, how to be happier.

I've only had one session but I already really like her. She said she is interested in helping me find 'tailor-made' happiness.

Imagine that! Imagine actually being really happy with your dp and relationship.

I like my life, dp is a good father, housemate, but a crap boyfriend.

Sorry for the long ramble.

Also imagine if/when you find someone who loves you truly/madly/deeply AND your son. Your son could end up with three or four adults who love him in his life.

But also you should ask yourself if this is salvageable. Sometimes couples need to get to breaking point to stop taking each other for granted.

TDada Sat 18-Dec-10 07:54:11

Hi Snow- sorry to hear. What AF and elephant said.

deludedfool Sat 18-Dec-10 07:59:58

OP, I thought I'd just give you my experience of myself - many years ago; as AF says, you are vulnerable maybe to having your head turned given how you are feeling. The good thing is you posted and before there is the vulnerability of this happening, at least you may have the self-awareness of its possibility.

My circumstances were different, but I think I felt a bit like you towards the end of my first marriage in my twenties. It was a rough time leading up to my 'head being turned'; I had married my H after five years together, late twenties decided to start a family, suffered 3 miscarriages, and then finally a very difficult and worrying pregnancy number 4 to produce my eldest child. My first H was a good man but I feel we lost the connection and closeness we had (we also hadn't had a sex life for a long time), and, I think I attempted a few times to say to my H that I just didn't feel like we were a real couple any more; unfortunately, he didn't follow this up with any talking, and I was not good at expressing myself I am sure either. To cut a long story short, I ended up having my head turned, and ultimately it was the end of my marriage. (The sad thing was the man I had the affair with turned out to be an absolute nightmare - but that is another long story!). So - I went from a faithful, good man to a nasty, abusive man.sad

Sorry to waffle but it sounds too like you maybe feel you settled down too young, and your partner is not participating enough in your relationship anymore. I think my first H and I had got into a rut (plus, going through miscarriages/difficult pregnancy took a big toll), and I wish back then something like us talking properly, maybe with a counsellor, would have dealt with the state of our relationship before I had my head turned - which turned my life into a nightmare.

Good luck.

snowcherries Sat 18-Dec-10 09:58:59

thanks again for the responses - I'm sorry deluded, for everything that you've gone through - the miscarriages alone must have been horrid to bear.

elephants it sounds like you're going through very similar things at the moment to me, maybe seeing somebody impartial will help me sort it out in my head - this is the first time I've admitted it to myself which has meant a huge step to be honest.

Essentially I'm a coward, and have spent my life pretending everything is ok when it isn't - kept depression and self harm hidden for many years etc. I know I've expended a lot of energy in the last year especially on making it look like I'm happy that I'm lost as to how happy I am or how unhappy I am.

I don't want to break up our family, and there is of course the fact that so many people said we rushed into this, we were too young and it was too soon. I don't want my son to see his father just on the weekends and I know my DH would HATE me for tearing apart the family, I think he would make my life very difficult whereas now he is supportive, he loves me, is attracted to me.

It's so horrid but sometimes I wish he'd have an affair so I would have a valid excuse to leave. God I feel like a horrid horrid person, and the thought that this is our one shot at life fills me with dread that I will spend all of it pretending

NoNamesNoPackDrill Sat 18-Dec-10 10:14:13

snowcherries you are not a horrid horrid person you are just an unhappy one.

I knew when I started wishing DH would die or that I would get knocked down by a bus that I had to make an actual decision for myself to leave a troubled relationship.

That was AFTER I had a stupid affair, got over it, had counselling with and without DH and eventually having given it my all took the decision to move out.

Things are not magically better but I am being honest with myself and DH and we are both looking at ourselves and how we got into this situation.
The DC are upset but they had picked up on the tensions and didn't like it.

There isn't any hurry to act, but "moving slowly forward is better than standing still" TM ILMT

Be kind to yourself you are doing the best you can.

elephantsaregreen Sat 18-Dec-10 10:31:25

You can still be family that lives in different places. If you and your husband work cooperatively you can help forge a good out come for DS.

and NoNames is right when she says be kind to yourself.

I really would recommend the counseling, especially if you have a history of self-harm. You deserve to be happy.

You'll probably find if you have find the strength to leave after the initial shock you'll find your bearings again and wonder why you didn't get out sooner.

Also you are just at the beginning of this. You say you are only now admitting how you feel to yourself. That's huge. Take it slow. You don't have to rush anything or make any big decisions.

Give yourself permission to be confused for a while as you sort things out in your own head. Have you got some RL support?

snowcherries Sat 18-Dec-10 22:17:10

oh NoNames your past strickes such a chord - it's horrid to admit but I do envisage situation where DH has passed away, makes me so incredibly sad to realise I can think this and it doesn't break my heart.

He isn't a bad man, and god when you read some thing that women go through with their partners I know how incredibly lucky I am. I just feel like I've grown out of my relationship, or that it's made me grow up much quicker than I wanted or needed to, it also just exhaustes me not just being mother to a toddler but to a grown man as well.

Maybe a counselling session on my own would be good, to just give the motivation to work on my relationship rather than digging myself into this hole...DH has absolutely no idea I'm feeling this way. He thinks it's all good - we've even been trying for DC2 for the last few months but I'm sure part the reason it hasn't happened is because I don't really want to be here anymore

snowcherries Sat 18-Dec-10 22:18:10

where do you go for this kind of counselling? Relate?

No real RL support, it feels like a total betrayal to tell anyone - although I have caught myself being more negative about DH and bitching about him more, which can't look good anyway

elephantsaregreen Sun 19-Dec-10 00:16:27

I would recommend you stop trying to get pregnant. If you get pregnant you will find yourself in this same situation again just a couple years down the line. '

Please, sort out your relationship first.

There is nothing wrong with falling 'out of love' and deciding to split. Thousands of people separate all the time and we don't judge them. People won't judge you either. He doesn't have to be an abuser for you to decide you want something different in your life.

I'm not sure where you find counseling, I'm in NZ, but if you google counseling and your town I'm sure you'll find something.

good luck!

EdwardorEricCantdecide Fri 21-Jan-11 08:21:11

hi just wanted to ask what happened i'm going through something v. simliar & was thinking about counselling, but don't know where to start?

snowcherries Fri 21-Jan-11 18:35:59

am still struggling along....see another thread I've started, along pretty much the same lines

Maxehrlich Sat 03-Jan-15 09:47:32

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