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Too late?

(11 Posts)
desertboot Wed 21-Sep-11 08:01:30

Hi, we have been married for ten years, have a small child and live and work abroad.

Lack of affection, empathy and any sort of tenderness from husband to me has been a recurring big issue for many years. We have thrashed it out, talked about it etc.

The last couple of years have been further marred by serious online flirting on his behalf, stresses because of crap employers and other things. We got counselling last year, which I stopped as he would get furious afterwards and said he felt attacked.......and we would be back at square one.

OK, so we have just finished a holiday home, where it was also our 10th anniversary,
- I got a serious flu and ear infection just as holiday started, he couldn't have shown he cared less that I was so sick,
- he spent a lot of money on sports equipment without even talking about it with me (his sport which he is unable to do where we live - so it got used just on holiday),
- the day before our anniversary, which we had booked a restaurant for lunch and my sister would look after the baby, we went to the accountants, and got all the crappy details of just how much our investment has taken a hit in the last few months (like everyone's),
he spent that night sick and vomiting, saying 'it had all just got to him' blabla, so anniversary lunch cancelled, had cold sausages and went to pub with friends while he moped around at home.

Since we have got back, I have just decided in my head that I will start planning to leave the marriage, am sick of no care or respect and that I couldn't be bothered broaching the subject again, so I have just been civil, functioning as normal, but not showing any great emotion either happy or sad or anything, I just want to get everything organised (which will take about 6 months considering our residency status and my work contract) and then tell him I am leaving. Of course, in my head I have been tooing and froing about what is best for the baby etc.,,,

So in the time we have been back, he is touching me as he walks past, coming for hugs, kissing me good night, asking about my day, suggesting things to do on weekends, all the little things that I have been begging for for seven freaking years!!!

I am just a cold fish now when he does these things and I know he will stop it soon because he is getting no response, but it has got me thinking, - why has he started trying now, what if he could keep it up and I responded properly - we could both be happy - it has just really confused me. I don't know whether I should say something like, 'thank you for trying, but I am finding it hard to reciprocate considering past history.....' I just don't know what to do.

Sorry this is so long.

Renaissance227 Wed 21-Sep-11 10:56:49

Do you still love him?

desertboot Wed 21-Sep-11 11:05:00

Yes, and we have fun together on the whole.
Just feel careworn and have lost a little respect for him regarding flirting etc.

akaemmafrost Wed 21-Sep-11 11:23:37

He is acting like that, loving and caring etc because he can sense you have moved on emotionally, I can pretty much guarantee that if you responded to him in kind, things would be back to how they were before within a month if that long. He got furious and felt attacked after counselling did he? No worry and concern at how you perceive him then and no efforts to change? The not caring when you were ill says it all really. My ex was like that, horribly so and he was an abusive twat.

buzzskillington Wed 21-Sep-11 12:46:35

I agree with akaemma - I think you've got an emotionally abusive dh there, and he's realised you're pulling back and detaching, so he's trying to reel you back in by being affectionate and trying to give you hope.

I strongly suspect he'd revert to type if you started to respond and he felt the danger had passed.

desertboot Wed 21-Sep-11 13:05:35

But why would he care if I left, when he doesn't care when I am around? That's another thing - I don't think he would ever come out and say he wanted to leave, so I will be the bitch when I do the deed...
Thanks for your input

buzzskillington Wed 21-Sep-11 13:16:34

You're useful to have around, stuff gets done, life's comfortable, it ticks the normal social status box. If you go, he'll have to sort out all the household stuff himself, there'll be noone to grump at or ignore or to listen to him.

NorthernerAtHeart Wed 21-Sep-11 13:35:55

Desertboot - you could be me (except no on-line flirting).
After the shit completely hitting the fan in November, we've been up and down since and after some more downs over the summer DH is pulling out all the stops and I really don't want him to.
Like you, I don't think he would ever leave - it would always been down to me.
Akaemma and buzz have an interesting (and quite possibly accurate) view that struck a chord with me too.
I have said the 'i can see you are trying but.....' bit and explained I have nothing left to give etc etc, but he just carries on with his mission - booking a meal out, suggesting holidays......
Hope you are ok

desertboot Wed 21-Sep-11 13:39:57

Thanks NortherneratHeart, I am actually fine - just a bit confused.
I am doing all the things that I have wanted to do in a long time, lessons, classes etc and just doing things that make me happy and content in myself so I don't need any support from him.
I hope you are OK!
Thanks again everyone.

AnyFucker Wed 21-Sep-11 14:30:44

He senses you pulling away, so turns on the charm offensive to reel you back in

He sees you detaching and looking happier for it

He may have found some concrete evidence of the plans you are making, or someone you confided in has told him to buck up or lose you

He sees you could manage without him. He doesn't want to lose his safe, cosy, socially-acceptable family set up where he gets his kids looked after and his clothes washed.

This cycle will continue for as long as you are content for him to revert to treating you like a domestic appliance when he feels you are satisfactorily brought back into line.

notsorted Wed 21-Sep-11 14:41:59

Carry on doing as you are doing ... getting stronger, detaching yourself and considering your options. You are lucky that (unnecessary gestures of affection aside) he is unlikely to explode so prepare your ground and do what you need to do when you are ready. And you know best whether to prepare for something awful when you make your decision. It may not be EA, just a man trying to save something that he realises is slipping away and not understanding that if he'd behaved differently earlier there might have been a chance ...

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