Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Husband says he doesn't love me anymore, but remains living in our house. HELP!

(42 Posts)
2ismorethanenough Thu 03-Mar-11 00:50:02

Hi all.
My husband and i have been together for 13 years and married for over 6. We have two gorgeous children aged 5 and 3.

My husband has been distancing himself from me for some months now. When i have questioned him he has given reasons such as 'i'm tired' and 'work is stressful' and 'my arm hurts all the time' (he broke his elbow in the summer). 3 weeks ago he finally confessed that he no longer loves me and that he has been burying his head.

He left to stay with his parents around the corner for a week but kept coming round daily early morning before work and after work until evening to keep things 'normal' for the children. We have always been close. We have never had a lot of money and my husband has always worked hard at his career as a teacher. I am an Occupational therapsist and being the primary caregiver i only work part time.

Currently my husband is lving back at our home as he said he missed the children too much and felt unable to protect them overnight while away. He is sleeping on the sofa. We are being polite to each other but inside i am screaming. I cry myself to sleep every night and i am devastated. We are starting Relate counselling next week but going for different reasons. I want to fix our marriage and he wants to go for advice on how to leave me and how to tell the children etc....Im so desparate.

I want to hold onto him but i know i can't make him love me. I don't want to let him go but i know i can't make him stay. I am going out of my mind. I am feeling all kinds of emotion. I am angry that he buried his head and 'allowed' himself to fall out of love with me. I am worried he may have let another woman enter his head and even worse, his heart (he denies this) and i am so incredibly sad that my world and future has been turned upside down and that my children are likely to have a split family.

Any advice on what i do or what you think will happen etc gratefully recieved as i'm desparate.
Many thanks

Joelybear Thu 03-Mar-11 01:42:43

I really feel for you as you are desparately hurt, upset and in shock. I am going through a similar thing myself as 7 weeks ago after 20 years together and 5 children my DH told me he didnt love me anymore and had been living a lie for a few months.

DH then stayed living in our home for 5 weeks while he looked for somewhere else to stay. It was total and utter agony for me and each day I would subject myself to his rejection of me - which only served to make me feel worse.

He moved out 2 weeks ago and now I can see it is making thing a bit easier. BUT it still hurts and I still cry daily over what has happened. Like you I love him and want the chance to work at things, but he says there is nothing to work at.

I hope by giving us both space and time his thoughts may change, but who knows. Wish I had been strong enough to kick him out when he made his announcement as 5 weeks of constant rejection from the person you love is just too hard to take and too cruel.

My advice would be get him to leave as soon as possible then take time for you and children to adjust. He has to realise his words have consequences for you all, atleast you have councelling set up for you both which may help and I hope it does for you. (My DH won't entertain the idea)

It is hard I know but you have to protect yourself and children at this time. Thinking of you

2ismorethanenough Thu 03-Mar-11 02:13:42

Thank you JB.

20 years together and 5 children?! Blimey, it's so hard isn't it?

I don't think my DH has thought this through at all. We have no savings and if he left permenantly his only option would be to live with his parents (or i suppose if there was an OW....) He tried living with his parents but like i said found it too hard being away from the children. I suppose i clung onto the fact that coming back home had to be a step in the right direction?! He is sleeping on the sofa and has become quite obsessed with the children, suddenly having lots of time and energy for them unlike recently. I think he is worried they will resent him for leaving and he feels guilty for that. He also has said he is worried i might make access to the children difficult. He says he 'won't be guilted by family and friends into staying with me'. I honestly didn't see this coming as although he has been a bit distant he always gave me reasons and denied a problem. I thought we were strong enough to cope with anything. We are Uni sweethearts and have grown up into adulthood together and i am so shocked. I think the hardest thing is the lack of communication and the fact he seems so adament that it is over before even trying the counselling or being honest with me. I cry myself to sleep most nights. My children love their dad so much and i hate that they are likly to end up in a split family. can't believe it

Joelybear Thu 03-Mar-11 02:50:34

I know exactly where you are coming from. Never thought i would end up as a single parent either. Strange how men think they can walk away from wife and family and just have fun time access to their children.

We live 450 miles and a stretch of water away from family and I have found out just how good the friends are I have made here. Shame it takes a crisis to find out that type of thing. This meant he has had to find somewhere else to rent. Paying rent,maintenence, his bills and a large loan (for land we were going to buy) means he has no money left from his main job for food and fuel, so he has taken on a second job. This week he will work 6 days out of 7 so he can survive. I wonder if this is what he really wants. How can working all the time be better than the life he had with me and the children??

I always thought of my DH as my best friend, and was shocked to find he didnt think the same way as me. Like your DH mine says there is nothing to work at , is adamant his feelings wont change so its over between us. He wont talk about it to me or anyone else. It is a total shock. Friends are shocked by the news so how do we feel!!! They tell me they thought we seemed to get on so well an would always be together I thought so too.

There is no way to get them to talk if they dont want too like i say i hope him getting his own space may make him think differently - but who knows. Other folks tell me hes having a mid life crisis!


Joelybear Thu 03-Mar-11 03:33:19

I really think the best thing you can do is get him to leave - HE has chosen this not you.
Its time to put the children first and for you to spend time with them. Talking to them, playing with them, cuddling them, loving them and making a new kind of normal at home for them and you. Just the picture is different to how you ever imagined it would be.
Don't let him stay just because of the children as thats not fair to you. You need space and time for you to cry, shout and be angry with him for shutting you out. Maybe real time apart will make him realise what he has and how much he would have to give up by not trying to make things work between you.
Like you what hurts the most is not what they've said but the fact they say its over without giving you a chance to work at things. Well it's his loss (my new favourite saying) and its true

onlyone Thu 03-Mar-11 04:58:21

He has to move out -do not do what I did which was let him stay for the sake of the DCs. There were reasons health wise why I had to give in and let him stay but given the choice do not do it.

It gets harder and harder to cope with and harder for the children.

He has to realise what he is doing and what it means to him and the rest of you. Most of the time I do not think the selfish wankers understand what it means. Counselling is always good, not necesaarily to keep you together but also to teach you to cope and what steps to take next. It also makes you look at yourself and what you have been doing to each other even subconsciously.

I am a year down the line and no further on because I let him saty in the house.

Feel for you - the crying does stop. I made a vow not to cry infront of the kids and this made it hard but also gave me some control. Remember you are better than this and if he is dumb enough not to realise what a gem he ahs then he does not deserve you.

gettingeasier Thu 03-Mar-11 07:36:44

2ismore and joelybear I am so sorry to read about what has happened to you sad

October 2009 my xh told me he didnt love me, there was no chance etc. It wasnt quite so much of a shock for me because I had sensed his unhappiness for a long time and he had said a few things but I chose to bury my head in the sand for a number of reasons. We were together 17 years with 2 dc and I loved him in spite of everything and didnt want my dc in a split family either.

He moved into a rented house on Boxing Day that year thrown out by me due to an ow coming into the mix. Her coming into things made everything so much more painful although she wasnt the cause of our marriage ending apart from maybe giving xh the guts to actually leave.

Those months he was in the house were for me actually helpful because the scales began to fall from my eyes about how he treated me and how actually there were so many changes in him from the man I spent the first years with and not for the better.

I had hoped he would go away and come back to me a changed man, over his blatant MLC,and in the first month or so after went I clung to that even though in my heart I knew it was over and he was too far gone to change. I am a SAHM so did all my crying while the dc were at school and also discovered what a wonderful support network of family and friends I had.

It took me 3 months of real pain to begin to start moving on although on the surface I was fine.

The next 3 months were strangely wonderful because I realised 100% how much he really hadnt loved me and I had been trying so hard for years to get his attention , make him love me , be the wife he wanted. In that time I totally lost track of myself and its a cliche but truly at 44 rediscovering the old me has been wonderful.

The last 6 months of last year were a real rollercoaster with lots of positive stuff eg taking the dc on holiday by myself which I had been worried about. Also lots of heartbreak most of which came from having to get used to my dc being involved with ow and her children and that has really only just stopped hurting very recently.

Now though I am in the process of moving from our family home which yes is sad but I see it as a new start for me. We are divorcing and have already signed off all finance/dc stuff amicably.

My dc are fine and apart from a few tears in the early days I have been astonished at how well they cope. Everyone who knew xh was moving out said to me how resilient dc are and I wouldnt hear it but actually they are. Saying that I have worked really really hard to make it happen - no bad mouthing xh or ow , smiling at news of them and what they had been doing which at times was agony when it involved ow. From day one the dc went to stay with xh one night a week and every other weekend and he never messes us about which I think helps their stability enormously.

I found MN last summer and read so often how its better for dc to have positive parental role models and be living in a happy house. I suppose only time will tell but I think its probably true.

Certainly for me now I am a far happier, more relaxed and emotionally stable person than I was. Yes there is still the odd bad day but then there were far more when I was married. Sometimes the feelings of rejection hit me , the Why Didnt He Love Me refrain in my head starts up. In time though it honestly does get less and less and actually although to begin with I thought he had taken my future away the fact is by leaving he gave it back to me.

On a practical level 2ismore I would just take each day as it comes, get as much from the counselling as you can and I think you will know when you want him to move out. Be kind to yourself and dont feel guilty about junk food /loads of TV etc for the kids its about surviving. Also allow yourself to grieve and dont try to be fine and ok , much better to go with the process and let it out imo.

Everybodys story is different but I hope you can take some solace that in 14 months I have gone from heartbroken to thriving and you can too even though it may not feel like it now

2ismorethanenough Thu 03-Mar-11 13:38:49

Thanks so much for your kind words and support. Not sure if ranting on here is helpful or not though, as hearing other peoples' stories of how they were in the exact same position and ended up separated or divorced leaves me deflated and in tears. I don't want to let him go. I am in bits and can barely breathe

onehotmomma Thu 03-Mar-11 13:45:01

sorry to hear this op I agree you should get him to leave. IMO the longer he is around the more 'hope' you will get and in the end it will fuck with your head

iambroken Thu 03-Mar-11 13:48:40

Just coming over to hold your hand from other post - can we save our marriage. I know my story is a little different as it involves other women. But I wanted you to know I know what you are going through. Its horrid.

2ismorethanenough Thu 03-Mar-11 14:00:46

Thanks IAMBROKEN. We are going to relate but i expect that's for different reasons. I am literally in such shock. I suspect my DH has 'let another woman enter his head' or worse his heart. He denies affair but i think his definition of an affair probably involved sex and he doesn't see an 'innappropriate friendship' as being unfaithful at this stage. Oh God i am so lost.

WhenwillIfeelnormal Thu 03-Mar-11 14:42:51

In these situations, when a man says he doesn't love anymore and won't pursue counselling with an agenda of saving the marriage, IME, it always points to an affair. When he stays in the marital home after dropping this bombshell, it is only about protecting his interests and no-one else's. His need to see the DCs, his need to have a roof over his head and home comforts, all the while he pursues his affair.

As you rightly say, emotional infidelity can be even more devastating to a primary relationship than physical adultery and it's obvious that you have a good idea about the identity of the OW concerned. I have to tell you that by the time it's got to this stage and moves to leave you, I have never known it not to have been a combined affair (emotional and physical) but have lost count of the number of men who have claimed that they haven't been physically unfaithful, just because they haven't had penetrative sex.

This might sound strange and it applies equally to Joelybear but learning that there is an affair involved can actually be quite liberating. At the moment you are both being expected to believe a tale of sudden lost love, or years of secret unhappiness. If that doesn't feel true, it's because it isn't.

However, there is nothing like an affair to convince people to lose their own truth, find causative factors that didn't exist and generally, avoid responsibility for their own deceit and lies.

Knowing that this is the oldest story in the world and that you haven't suddenly become unloveable or unattractive and that your only "crime" is that you are not new, takes some of the sting, erroneous self-blaming and introspection away.

That it is not about you, or your marriage. It is about him and his affair.

Tell him to leave, because giving him safe harbour while he continues to lie to you, will make you feel much worse in the long run. In your shoes however I would just tell him that you know there is an OW and he can either tell you the truth about it or continue lying - his choice, just as it is your choice not to let him deceive you any longer.

WhenwillIfeelnormal Thu 03-Mar-11 14:44:24

Both of you, have you seen this site about this book?

It's truly wonderful and I think, contains all the answers to your situations.

gettingeasier Thu 03-Mar-11 14:47:49

Sorry 2ismore I didnt think sad

The man who 'no longer loves you' but won't leave the family home is the man who expects you to continue servicing him domestically while he does exactly what he likes. He is basically telling you that you are completely unimportant, that you should put yourself last because that's where he puts you, bottom of the list behind him, his dick, (maybe) the DC, and his public image as a respectable married man, a 'good' person.
Do your practical research WRT whose name the family home is in, what benefits you would be entitled to and how much maintenance you would be awarded - it's vital to know these facts when you aredealing with a selfish man.
Then give him a time limit - he either commits to repairing the marriage or he moves out. DOn't let him get away with using you as a domestic appliance/prop to his ego/big part player in his lifelong love affair with himself.

jumpforjoy Thu 03-Mar-11 16:13:57

I agree with Springchicken. Whilst you let him stay you are letting him use you. I know it is hard, and your heart breaking so painful, but empower yourself and tell him to leave.

When this happened to me (very similar story to OP) A good friend of mine told me he would never leave under his own steam because things were too comfortable for him even whilst sleeping on the sofa.

The whole situation began eating away at my self esteem and self confidence.

Please be brave enough to tell him to leave. It will only make you ill with all the what if's, and if you are anything like myself, when he did actually leave nothing in the household really changed as he had been doing a disappearing act for years with very little support for me and the children.

You will find inner strenghts and your children will respect you for being so strong.

Hugs to out to you

bonkers20 Thu 03-Mar-11 17:21:23

In a similar situation. Many of you say "tell him to leave". What if he won't, says it's his home, his children, blames the breakdown of marriage on me.
What then? Do I have to make all the effort to split even when 100% of my time is already taken up with childcare/housework/my job?

2ismorethanenough Thu 03-Mar-11 21:18:55

Thank you for all your advice and support. I'm feeling calmer than i was earlier. I find one minuite i'm fine and actually want him to leave and the next minuite i panic at the thought and can hardly breathe. Bonkers, i can't imagine what it would be like to feel so trapped because DH will NOT leave! I think at the moment my DH and i have kind of backed off and are biding our time waiting for the miracles of counselling. DH is still adament it's over but i know he doesn't want to leave the children. So i suppose i may face the same agonising issue as you next! In my situation i will be telling him that it is his decision to split so HE has to leave. Also i am the primary caregiver for the children so if he won't leave i will and take the children with me, naturally! I hope my situation never comes to that. What are you going to do? If you are the primary caregiver surely your OH can't expect YOU to leave?

If he won't leave, consult a solicitor WRT who has the right to stay in the home. If it's mortgaged, a court may order it to be sold or* give an occupation order to one of you which means the other *must move out, if it's rented that will depend on the landlord.
If the man has been abusive it's easier to force him out, if it's a relationship breakdown and you can afford to move out it may be you that has to leave, however that doesn't mean you have to leave the DC and give him custody of them.

abedelia Thu 03-Mar-11 23:52:15

Listen, you have to first speak with a solicitor asap - and I mean this, make that appointment tomorrow morning - to find out exactly what you are likely to be entitled to as maintenance (and this includes a slice of his teacher's pension, btw, if he ticked the box to add you as a potential beneficiary).

Then sit him down and tell him you are no longer prepared to live under the same roof as him owing to his cruelty - if he is moving on and won't save the relationship then you wish to have the chance to move on yourself and find your children a better, reliable male role model.

You are primary caregiver, and if you have to go then the children come with you. But that given, he will have to help fund this move - and I will bet that once a monthly chunk of money for 2 kids is lopped off his measly teaching salary (my H used to be one so I know!) he won't have enough to keep the house on himself. He needs to know this and see the exact consequences of his decisions so he can start being more reasonable.

By the way - I too would bet my last penny that he is involved with someone else. In my H's case it was his ever so helpful teaching assistant. I was at home with two children of much the same age as yours while she was running round after him constantly and doing stuff as she was actually paid to do for him, so he thought she was the loving attentive woman he deserved, not the frazzled creature at home who kept house and worked part time while he worked ridiculous hours and probably saw less of him than her during the week.

Were you close and loving as normal then suddenly he seemed to withdraw and have a personality transplant? Welcome to The Script. Take wwifn's advice...

LittleMissHissyFit Thu 03-Mar-11 23:52:52

I had this recently. 'H' left 2 weeks ago today to go back to Egypt. The weeks before that were like a plaster being taken off one hair at a time.

I loathe this little man, he let me and DS down so badly. He was abusive, manipulative and refused to take any responsibility for anything. He tried to blame me for his lack of everything.

Now he has gone I feel relieved. DS feels relieved too I think. He is calmer, more polite, better behaved and all round lovely.

Paulo Coelho tweeted this last week "The fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself"

Your H has thrown all this away, not you. He lost the right to camp at your home through all this. It's making you miserable, it's affecting the DC.

Joelybear Fri 04-Mar-11 00:20:40

WWIFN can't believe you mention OW when I have not talked about my suspicions of this, but it all seems to fit. He works in a mostly female environment and has been very friendly with one of his female colleagues, they often play jokes on each other and just have a laugh in general. She has texted him several times to meet him with our children and her dd so the children can play together. I think he has seen this as a come on and this has attracted him to her. When I asked if he fancied her he replied 'she wouldn't fancy me' NOT the answer you expect from H!! I spoke with OW and she says she would not welcome his attentions in that way. BUT it has made DH think other women may find him attractive and he could get a better younger model than me.
2ismore YOu are a strong woman and will get through this, there are times when you cant breath and other times you realise you are breathing without thinking, then you almost feel guilty about it! You have done nothing wrong and have nothing to feel guilty about. His actions however are unfair and selfish. You have to make priority now dc and yourself. It will take time to come to terms with things, allow yourself time cry shout and be angry and upset, you have taken your 17 years together seriously - unlike him who wants to walk away from you.
I am sending you a big hug and keep looking up, take it a day at a time and things will be ok just maybe not the ok you were hoping for!

WhenwillIfeelnormal Fri 04-Mar-11 00:58:52

Well Joelybear it looks like you've identified a likely suspect. This will be her dialogue (it's called the "I'm Not That Sort of Woman" script):

"I really like you and yes, if things were different something could happen. But I'm Not That Sort of Woman, so come back and ask me if your situation changes..." This is then followed up by more flirting, more texts and more suggestions to meet with the DCs - and all of this will be matched by your H of course, lest you think I'm letting him off the hook.

Meanwhile, he will have been telling yarn upon yarn about not being happy for years and she will have been making soothing noises about how awful it must be to live a lie and wouldn't he and his children be better off if he was truly happy? Come to think of it, wouldn't his wife be better off if she were freed of this "dead" marriage?

Had you been a fly on the wall of course, all of this would have been news to you, but such is the level of deceit and subterfuge in these affairs.

If he's left to be with her and pursued the "dangled carrot", both of them will be at pains to tell anyone prepared to listen that absolutely nothing happened between them until after he had left his "already dead" marriage. At some level, this is also probably what she will want to believe, ignoring of course the evidence that you were invested enough in your marriage to once ask her about her intentions.

The truth of this situation is of course very different, as you know.

Joelybear Fri 04-Mar-11 01:33:41

WWIFN - thought i was going nuts over this you have certainly helped me to see the light much clearer now.
OW has been married for 4 years has 1dd and shortly before christmas told her H to leave as having problems with him!! How "odd" that my DH behaviour changes he becomes withdrawn, secretive with his phone and works part of every day from 13/12-7/1/11 with no time for our dc's (x5) - very odd.
His work colleagues assumed it was me who told him to leave rather than him deciding to go, they thought I'd finally had enough of his behaviour and lack of time for family!!
Think he was withdrawing from family life in preparation for leaving. Avoiding time with children over christmas shows no real interest in family life!!
He being very selfish and told 16 year old ds his leaving did not affect him! What kind of father is he?! if this is his attitude OW is welcome to him and in for some shocks when reality sets in don't think she'll take the c??? from him like I have over the years.
Thank you for opening my eyes but i still feel dissapointed, abandoned and a failure in my marriage. Boy this hurts like mad

Joelybear Fri 04-Mar-11 01:42:34

At moment he is living on his own. But is now 20 miles from DC's and 15 miles from OW, so much for being on hand to help with DC's morning and evening. Sure I'll soon he and OW are sharing journeys into work as she passess his road on the way in now!!
Sorry 2ismore, not meaning to take over your thread, but WWIFN has made me realise thoughts of OW are clearly on my DH's mind hence his change after 20 years together. Hope you sleeping better than I am

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now