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He doesn't love me anymore.(164 Posts)
I would like some advice, please.
My lovely husband of 16 years has been unhappy and distant for at least 6 months. I've tried asking him what's up, scared to hear the answer, but he's just said, no, he's fine, and I didn't want to push it. We haven't had sex for 8 months.
The night before last I woke him up at 2 o'clock (there's never any time alone together with a 9 yo, 12 yo and 14 yo) and told him I knew something wasn't right with 'us.' He said that he didn't love me anymore and hadn't for about 2 years(!) and wasn't sure if the marriage could be saved.
He finds it hard to talk about his feelings but he's told me that we seem to do nothing but argue, that sometimes/often I pick faults in everything he does and he dreads coming home from work in case I'm in a bad mood, as nothing he does is right. He's tried to keep the peace by doing more and more of the cooking but the more he does, the more I seem to expect.
I have to say that everything he says is true and I am a difficult person to live with. I am a very argumentative person and I enjoy a 'good' argument. I had a very stormy relationship with my dad, that we both enjoyed. I'm the sort if person who likes a good shout but I don't hold grudges and it's all over and done with quickly. My DH is very quiet, hates arguments and feels very upset for days (months?) afterwards.
I'm not painting myself in a good light here but I'm trying to be honest. I thought he loved me and the boys so much that none of this would ever matter. I could just say sorry and I would mean sorry and we would be back on track. Til the next time.
He is saying that he's willing to give it another go, but that at the moment he doesn't love me. Can I change/stifle my fiery personality enough that this could work? Otherwise he wants to leave, get himself a house and have the kids with him every other week.
Before having kids I had a good, well paid career. I took a lot of time out of work as a SAHM and my DS2 has SN so I now work as a TA in a school so that my DS2 doesn't have to go to a CM or after school club, as finding one that would have the facilities to look after him would be difficult and he is much happier at home in his routine. Therefore I have very little chance of earning much money myself, or of getting back up to where I was before I left work to look after our children. I am terrified of being on my own and having the responsibility of my children on my own. My DH would be very fair with me, I'm sure, but if we had to fund 2 houses there wouldn't be very much left over.
And more to the point, I still love him. He's a really nice bloke and I haven't treated him as he deserves. If this was him writing you would be telling him to run a mile from this woman who just uses him and that he deserves to be happy.
We had an ordinary day yesterday, we took the kids out for a walk and tried to make it an enjoyable time. I am just about holding it together this morning in front of the kids as DH is back at work. We had another chat last night at about 11.00pm and he's still willing to try for the sake of the kids, but he can't see it being forever as he can't imagine ever loving me again.
What can I do? Is it too late?
Are you able to go out together without the children, in the evening or something? Just to spend time together. Life gets in the way, and if you are both willing to spend time together to try and rekindle things.
Are you, and is he, willing to try Relate?
We did talk about maybe getting some counselling. He's very private, though, and wouldn't find it easy. I'm willing to try anything.
It's very hard getting a babysitter for my DS2 so we mostly go out separately, which is part of the problem.
If he said he want to try, what does that mean? Has he suggested something in particular that needs to happen or change in order to make it work?
Counselling isnt for everyone, but if you can afford it I would say try and as it might help you to understand each other better and appreciate each others stresses.
Individual counseling for you and /or him might also help. It is not unreasonable for him to expect to be treated politely and with respect. It sounds like certain behavior means different things for both of you- when you argue he takes it much harder than you mean it. Knowing how he interprets it, do you really want to be saying that to him? You may have to earn his trust / love back.
Jeannie, I was going to advise seing a counsellor too, both together and for yourself.
I think you have a few issues here that you need to tackle separtely.
1- your communication methods within your couple : you might be too argumentative and in some ways coming out moody/grumpy/aggressive (?). Your H isn't able to be assertive enough to tell you he is unhappy and what makes him unhappy (so it has been festering for a long time and he didn't say anything which stopped you from being able to change). Hence the couple counselling
2- Your H feels like you are very difficult, picking up on every single thing that isn't quite right. I am wondering why it is like this. For me it is very different from being argumentative the way you describe it. It's more about being fed up with the way things are (eg are you happy with his level of involvement with housework? - He seems to think he had to do more - Are you resentful that you had to change job because of your dc but he hasn't?...) It's just that normally people who are happy, relaxed with each other don't have the need to be stroppy and grumpy. So something is making you unhappy and you need to find out what it is (for your sake as well as the one of the family unit)
3- Your fear of being alone and looking after 3 dcs, one of which has SN. I would go to CAB and look at what you could be entitled to if you were a lone parent. Not that I am implying you will need it. but knowing where you stand and that you would be able to cope financially is already a weight of your shoulder I found.
4- Do you love each other or is his love for you gone forever? That unfortunately, he is the only one who can ansser that question. I don't think you can bring love back/recreate it. but you can rekindle a loving relationship if there are still some ashes burning iyswim. The best you can do is to improve your behaviour & communication so that he doesn't feel like running away anymore. And then see if there is a little bit of something left. IMO seeing someone making huge efforts, taking responsability for his/her behaviour (which you seem to do) and seeing actions change is a very good way to 'reignite' love.
So sorry but it sounds like he may be having an affair - if you look on the affairs threads on here, you will see that your H is following the I am not in love with you anymore script (which happened to me).
I would advise you to do some snooping - mobile phone, email, internet history etc.
I don't want to add to your concerns, but could he have another woman sharing his attentions?
Thank you, babyocho. I think he realises how devastating it will be for DS2 to have his routine changed, and wants to try for the kids' sakes, but all I think I can do is make it bearable for him. It's me and my attitude that's got to change. I discovered MN this year (have namechanged for this because he knows my NN) and I've been spending a lot of evenings just MNing. I will do my best to improve the situation, this has been a huge wake up call, but I'm really afraid it's too little, too late for my DH.
Jeannie, sorry I've just notice the last sentence in your OP.
but he can't see it being forever as he can't imagine ever loving me again.
I actually have a problem with that. If he knows and is that sure he isn't in love with you anymore, I don't see why he is trying to stay with you. Staying for the sake of the kids is never working and in some ways cruel to you as you will be hoping for better times when he is disengaging more and more (whatever the reason).
I know this is not what you want to hear but to get throught that you will need both of you to make a huge effort to make it work.
Please don't think its you and your attitude that has to change- if he does not feel for you, the worst thing you can do is to become the perfect wife. The distancing suggests that his feelings are elsewhere.
I have, of course, asked if there is someone else. I know he has a friend at work who is recently separated from her husband and I've asked him about her, and anyone else, but he has denied it. I looked at the PC but he's been using his smartphone for emails and I don't know his pin code. He's set up a hotmail account for email, I don't know how to access it. I told him it isn't easier to be told it's all my fault rather than he's found someone else, but he still denies it. I don't know.
I'm with hotchoc all the way here. Get snooping and I think you'll find your problems are external rather than internal.
When my H told me he didn't love me anymore, I decided I didn't want a loveless marriage so started to detach myself e,g seperate bedrooms, not doing his washing, cooking etc, with a view to a formal seperation which gave him a jolt and then when I found about the affair a few days later, it all made sense.
Some of the trouble is that I do feel he's always been a bit of a pushover, he's not assertive and bloody bends over backwards. I think, deep down, that I feel he's a bit weak and I've taken advantage of this and him. I'm contantly provoking an argument to get a reaction, and he won't react. I'm not coming across well, here, but there's no point my pretending.
Right, I'm going to have a look at the laptop.
You are being honest and you don't sound like a horror. It sounds like you were looking for attention. You are perhaps prone to this behaviour, but it has become magnified because your DH's attentions are elsewhere!
I don't like the 'Oh I am sure he has an affair' line.
But it is true that when a marriage fails, both parties have something to do with it and you shouldn't put all the responsability on your shoulders.
And the least you should do for partner is tell them you are unhappy before it's too late.
he's not assertive and bloody bends over backwards. ... I'm contantly provoking an argument to get a reaction
Is he in some ways passive agressive ? see [http://divorcesupport.about.com/od/abusiverelationships/a/Pass_Agg.htm here]
<<Sorry if I am jumping at the wrong wagon here>>
I do wish he'd said something way before this. Obviously I know that I've not been the nicest person to live with but I really didn't realise it had got this bad for him. I really hope it's not too late. We've been together 22 years, married for 16, nearly half my life and I'm so scared.
TBH, he could well have found someone who makes him feel good about himself, but it won't have become an affair yet, I don't think. But I do worry that it may do.
Ask to use his phone on some pretext of your phone playing up and see how he reacts.
I know what wonders is getting at, but I have a feeling there is more to this.
No, I don't think he's passive aggressive. Passive, maybe, but not underhand. He does have difficulty expressing his emotions. Some of the points on that link described me better than him, the constant nit picking, nothing being right sometimes.
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