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Husband loves me but doesn't fancy me - does this ever end well?

(214 Posts)
Loisatwitsend Tue 15-May-12 14:15:30

I am new to all this but over the last 2 days I have been reading all the helpful comments and support peiople give eachother on here so thought I'd try myself.

My H and I have beeen together nearly 20 years with 2 young C aged 5 and 2. Everyone thinks we are soul mates and made for eachother. He has never been good at opening up and in 20 years has only cried 3 or 4 times!

He told me this weekend he still loves me and has the prefect life and family but that something is missing. He doesn't fancy me and never has really. He thought it wouldn't matter as he loves me and I am his best friend etc. We have been through a tough few years with 2 little ones, a lot of pressure rebuilding our home and financially and no doubt we have not spent the time on our relationship that we should, but he says he has felt these feelings on and off over the years before all this.

He now says he needs time to sort his head out but doesn't want to leave (because of the kids). I have said for ages we need to spend more time together just the 2 of us and he has not responded to this. He now says it is beacuse he doesn't and didn't want to because he knew he already didn't feel the right way about me.

I have done a lot of crying and talking to him. He is saying little or nothing. I know I now need to shut up and try and give him some space but I can only think that if he wants to fix this ( which I think he has already convinced himself he can't), he has to spend time with me and talk. Has anyone been here and managed to work through this or am I kidding myself? Am I prolonging the agony or is this worth fighting for. I love him to bits and am devastated - he is my world - should I have hope!

waltermittymissus Tue 15-May-12 14:20:44

I'm very sorry for the short reply but I'm running out the door.

The first thing that springs to mind is OW. I'm so sorry. Hope you are ok

CailinDana Tue 15-May-12 14:22:25

The thing that would worry me is the fact that he said he has never fancied you. Do you think that's true?

countingto10 Tue 15-May-12 14:26:46

Sorry sounds like an OW sad - another variation on "I love you but not in love with you".

How long has the distanting been going on, any picking arguments, mentioning a woman's name a lot and no more mentioning, secretive with mobile etc?

Hopefully you can do some digging - have you suggested counselling? If you have and he has refused then yes, definintely OW.

Good luck.

Loisatwitsend Tue 15-May-12 14:26:58

He said i never made him go Wow! I have challenged this as it taints everything like our wedding and honeymoon but he says all those moments were special and I mustn't think they weren't. He says he has fancied me but sometimes he has stopped but the feelings come back.

I think cos we have had a tough time lately and have let our relationship take a back seat the feelings have not come back and he has built it all up in his head that he shouldn't be married to soemone he can't feel that way about. It's not like I have changed much physically but I am a less content person and have been having a tough time at work which has knocked my self esteem. So you can imagine the place I am at now!

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 15-May-12 14:27:53

What a cruel thing to say. Of all the reasons why you might want to end a relationship 'I've never really fancied you' has to be right up there on the shite-ometer. There will be some other reason like another woman or man (I'm amazed how many married men are secretly gay) but don't drive yourself mad thinking it's your fault or yours to fix. Let him go.

kittycatwoman Tue 15-May-12 14:29:01

Sorry, but he is having an affair. The pattern matches. He hasnt got the guts to tell you about the affair but is trying to somehow blame you.

Loisatwitsend Tue 15-May-12 14:29:26

I honestly don't think OW - I'm not just being naive but he does seem to feel bad for saying all this and hurting me. He isn't a bad man. He told me he had talked to his best mate and I know I shouldn't but I checked his phone and it all ties up. I help him run his business so i know where he is all the time and he just doesn't come into contact with OW!

daffydowndilly Tue 15-May-12 14:29:28

If someone told me they didn't fancy me and never has, I don't see how I could have any self-respect left if i didn't just end the relationship then and there. If he is your world, this is the time to refind yourself and make you your own world! Any chance, he either has another woman somewhere or prefers men?

daffydowndilly Tue 15-May-12 14:31:16

You never made him go wow. What an arse.

Loisatwitsend Tue 15-May-12 14:32:24

I have suggested counselling but he immediately said no. He and hisw family are dead against gettinh gelp from outside and he thinks counselling is a load of old b****x! I guess it is still early days. He is still living here and hasn't said YET that he doesn't want to fight for us. I just hoped there were some happy endings out there!

PorkyandBess Tue 15-May-12 14:34:55

My friend's husband told her there had 'never been any fireworks between them'. She was absolutely devastated by this and lost all her self confidence.

It later transpired that there was another woman in their case.

Either way, I would find it impossible to move on from.

Miggsie Tue 15-May-12 14:36:37

So what does he want with you? Friendship with sex? Sex with you when he really wants sex but can't be bothered to find someone he does fancy?

No sex but can you do his meals and laundry?
You might as well be his employed housekeeper by the sound of this...if he says he doesn't fancy you then it isn't going to just suddenly happen and it is likely that you could live in the same house but you can't really have a happy marriage under these circumstances (unless you are keen on celibate marriage???)

countingto10 Tue 15-May-12 14:36:40

I am afraid he is following the affair script to the letter. I think if he is not prepared to commit to the marriage and go to counselling if necessary then all his stuff in bin bags is the order of the day to focus his mind grin

You do not deserve this and it is not your fault and get yourself some counselling if you are having issues re work etc - stuff him!

Onlylurking Tue 15-May-12 14:39:44

A friend of mine went through something similar. They had been married years, couple of kids. He decided that he had never really wanted to get married, had never really loved her ect.

Yes, there was OW. He was trying to rewrite history to justify himself.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 15-May-12 14:39:44

I don't see how this can be a happy ending. Saying what he has said is like putting you on notice.... 'I'm happy being the family man and you're OK as a friend but I have no interest in you sexually so bear with me because I might decide you're tolerable & do you the big favour of sticking around, or I might decide I'd like to get a bit of wow-factor poontang elsewhere'

If he has to 'get his head together' I'd be seriously suggesting he does so from a distance.

Loisatwitsend Tue 15-May-12 14:39:45

Could he just be muddling the fact that feelings change over the years and it is just the spark going. It's not all a bed of roses but you work through the rough times and enjoy the special times.

I wonder if it is because he never had another proper relationship before me. We were so young when we got together

Can't see myself without him.

Emphaticmaybe Tue 15-May-12 14:40:09

So sorry you're going through this.

Agree with Caillin it worries me that he says he never really found you attractive - I'm not sure how you can reconcile that.

He owes you communication though - you cannot drop a bomb like that in a relationship and then expect your needs to take priority over the person you've hurt. You have done nothing wrong, if anything, if he has has never mentioned this before, he married you under false pretences - he owes you an explanation.

I hope Walt is not right, but OW might be an explanation. It is sometimes convenient for men to say they in fact never found you attractive, when the reality is they have just found someone else who at this moment appeals to them more.

Sorry and good luck.

zookeeper Tue 15-May-12 14:41:43

Classic tale of OW I'm afraid. I'd love to be wrong but I doubt it. sad

Fooso Tue 15-May-12 14:44:16

What is "fancy" anyway - and after 20 years together! It's bloody naive for him to think that this is still a feeling you have to have after all that time. It undermines everything you have been to each other over all these years if it comes down to "I don't fancy you" . Of course "lust/fancy" changes and becomes something else. He needs to speak to someone who can talk some sense into him before he makes any decisions.

Loisatwitsend Tue 15-May-12 14:46:20

I have asked him is he wants to find an OW so he can be happy but he says he wouldn't even know how to find an OW! And that it isn't about that just that he knows he should feel something diifferent towards me.

I said if he did meet anothe OW then the 1st 6 months would no doubt be the honeymoon period but after a few years wouldn't he realise everything else he had given up and he says he knows he has though about all that.

His answer to nearly everything is he doesn't know!

Teaandcakeplease Tue 15-May-12 14:46:47

Would he consider a marriage course? If he isn't keen on counselling? I have heard good things about them, you have a meal for two, each couple sits at their own table and there are short talks at the front and then you speak to each other as well. It has done wonders for friends marriages, it saved my brothers marriage doing a course like this too. It is very different from counselling though. You only share with each other at your own table iyswim?

I would say affair too but if you work together and you've checked his phone. Perhaps not.

Do you think you should also speak to your GP about how low you feel? If you have felt like this for some time, perhaps it wouldn't hurt to talk to your GP as well.

Need to dash to do school run. I am so sorry you're going through this.

SeventhEverything Tue 15-May-12 14:47:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fooso Tue 15-May-12 14:48:42

Will he go and chat with his GP? He could speak to someone via the GP it might be easier for him to do that...?

MaybeICan Tue 15-May-12 14:49:48

Oh, this does not mean that your marriage is over necessarily. Maybe there is an OW, maybe. Only you and him can figure that one out.

But let me tell you my story. I've been with DH for 14 years and I recently raised the fact (with much encouragement from Mumsnetters) the fact that I didn't fancy him any more, and hadn't really for a very long time. the fact is that it can happen. And it is more common than you think. But I love him, and I want it to work. So eventually after years of avoiding raising the subject I did it. And now for a few weeks we have been going to counselling. I don't know if we can fix it, and I also know that if we don't, our relationship will probably end. But (and this is the important thing), Im really glad I raised it. We are closer than we have been in years already, just from the honesty. PLEASE try to persuade him into counselling. Sexual counselling really can work. There's also a book I quite like called ReKindling Desire which I got from Amazon.

The bottom line is - you can't easily get this back on your own, he'll need to work at it.

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