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DW not in love with me any more (a bit long sorry)

(46 Posts)
whatsthatcomingoverthehill Thu 11-Oct-12 15:44:27

So my DW has said she doesn’t love me any more. We have two DCs, 4 and under 6 months and have been together 8 years. DW says she isn’t happy and thinks we have drifted apart and can’t see having romantic feelings for me again. We haven’t been arguing (no more than the odd disagreement you’d expect), there aren’t money/alcohol/abuse/affair etc issues. She says she still sees me as a friend and doesn’t want to be breaking up our family.

It’s not completely out of the blue as she told me when she was pregnant with last DC that she was struggling with how she saw me, but it seems to have gone further downhill since then. I think it really started as we struggled to conceive latest DC. I thought she was unhappy with not getting pregnant but maybe it was more than that (but if so why did she want to have another kid?) She hasn’t said she wants a divorce or me to move out (yet anyway). To me it feels like we’ve got into a hole and can’t find our way out, and there is potential for us to get back to where we were. I’ve suggested going to Relate but she doesn’t seem too keen at the moment.

My heads in a complete muddle. I find it so hard to relate to where she is at as I’m still in love with her. The loss of affection is really hard, I miss just a hug or holding hands, I’m not as fussed about not having sex (we haven’t done anyway since we found out she was pregnant).

At the moment we are carrying on, and have a curiously polite attitude to each other. I’d find it so hard to not be there for my kids. But is this fair for us or the kids? Deep down I guess I’m hoping that her feelings will come back, but that might just be a foolish hope. In the meantime our lives are in a sort of standstill. I’m really scared of what will happen if we do split up. My DCs are amazing and I hate thinking about how it would be for them, and all the things I’d miss with my youngest especially. It’s horrible thinking of the financial and practical issues as well.

So, is there any hope? Can it work if one person in a marriage only sees the other as a friend?

Spero Thu 11-Oct-12 15:54:18

If you love her and she says she doesn't love you and won't talk about it, go to counselling etc then I am sorry but I can't see any workable future for you together. I would imagine that you would just get sadder and sadder as your feelings weren't reciprocated.

Yo have children together so I feel strongly that she had a responsibility to at least try Relate or similar with you. Splitting up will inevitably have an impact on the emotional and financial security of your children and they did not ask to be born.

It may be just a phase, or it may not. But whether she loves you or not, she should respect you as a fellow human being and the children's father and make some effort to see how this can be resolved and to look at what you both can do.

Then if you do split up at least you both know you tried.

Whistlingwaves Thu 11-Oct-12 15:56:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Thu 11-Oct-12 15:59:19

I've mentioned it. She hasn't said no, but hasn't exactly been keen either. It's only a few days since she told me. Maybe she didn't want to give me false hope that everything could be "fixed" by counselling. I guess I'll mention it again in a couple of days and see what the response is.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Oct-12 16:00:02

"Can it work if one person in a marriage only sees the other as a friend?"

No. She's been thinking about this for a long time, by the sound of it and I think you have to respect her view and accept that it's over for now. I say 'for now' because, if you handle this sensitively and maturely, there may be a very slim chance she sees you in a new light. What will really push her away, however, is if you try too hard for things like counselling or offer to make big changes to you. When someone's telling you 'its over' an offer of counselling is 'I'm not taking you seriously'.

I'd recommend you spend some time apart and allow everyone to think this through.

ScreamingManAndGoryOn Thu 11-Oct-12 16:04:25

If she doesn't love you any more and won't consider counselling then maybe you need to get yourself prepared for what may happen, even if its not what you want. Having said that, there may be a little bit of hope here as you are still living together and she's not asked to split or get a divorce.

Having two small children is tiring and hard work and a lot of couples just tread water during this time. I'm not saying that's the reason why she's told you she doesn't love you, but its possible that she's just exhausted and is getting by just putting one foot in front of the other.

Suggest counselling again, but tell her that its no pressure for her to change her mind, but actually to help her decide whether or not it is really what she wants and then take it from there.

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Thu 11-Oct-12 16:05:23

Well she hasn't exactly said it's over. She's still happy to be living with me. Maybe that's just for now and in her head it's lessening the impact or whatever. If the DCs weren't here then I'm sure that would be it for us, but we wouldn't necessarily be at this point if we hadn't had the DCs.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Oct-12 16:07:08

Then she's being cruel. It's a very, very nasty trick to tell someone that you don't love them any more but you're happy for them to stick around.... If she isn't saying it's over, I'd say it for her before your self-respect disappears completely.

Spero Thu 11-Oct-12 16:13:22

But to say 'it's over' when children are involved and refuse to consider counselling or similar is massively selfish. How can a situation change if you don't involve the other person and talk t them? Maybe there are changes you both can make.

I agree, don't hang about if 'it's over' but she wants the cosy set up to continue indefinitely. My ex offered to let me stay as his housekeeper and suggested we 'co parent' and even occasionally have sex!

No doubt he wanted to keep the nice things about our life together while he hunted for someone new and then I would have been shown the door.

I found this a fantastically hurtful and insensitive suggestion and I left him shortly afterwards.

If one half of a partnership does not return the love and respect shown by the other, at least most of the time, I think it is very unwise to keep jogging along. It risks serious damage to your self esteem at the very least.

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Thu 11-Oct-12 16:14:12

I see how it looks that way and maybe I'm being incredibly naive. I think she means well and is trying not to hurt me any more than necessary. I feel like we need to go to Relate or similar so at least if it is over I can understand it better and process it.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Oct-12 16:18:25

Why do you need Relate? Can't you sit together this evening, talk about how her statement has made you feel and see what the truth is behind the statement? Be clear about your own wishes & what you want for yourself and your children for example. Be proactive about how you can spend some time apart - think of somewhere you could go for the time being. It shouldn't all hinge on waiting for her to give the thumbs up or down.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 11-Oct-12 16:21:53

Can you not try the angle of relate also being a place where you can both go to help with a separation/split. Or go yourself if she won't to help you come to terms with things.

Sad for you OP but maybe you need to set the ball rolling towards ending things yourself.

Yes, she's being cruel here to you.

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Thu 11-Oct-12 16:22:13

I guess I was thinking of counselling because (as I understand it) they help guide the conversation. Otherwise it's very easy to get sidetracked, and emotions are perhaps easier to keep in check when there's someone else there.

geekdad Thu 11-Oct-12 16:25:25

I suspect that there is more to this than she is telling you, especially since she seems to be happy to maintain the status quo even though her feelings for you have changed. It would explain her reluctance to go to counselling.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Oct-12 16:25:25

You can't avoid emotion in these situations and in the time it takes for a Relate appointment to come through you might have had several weeks of this curiously polite atmosphere, eating an enormous hole in your confidence.

Spero Thu 11-Oct-12 16:25:28

As she hasn't displayed much emotional intelligence thus far, I can't see it likely you will achieve much b asking her to sit down and talk with you. But give it a go, nothing to lose.

But I suspect you will need some help from a third party if you go down the talking route.

But however you do it, you have both got to communicate. I am afraid I just don't buy this tread gently approach. She blows up a massive bomb under your family and then leads you dangling. It is cruel, selfish and cowardly. If she won't communicate, you will have to make decisions based on worse case scenario.

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Thu 11-Oct-12 16:26:35

Just feels like such a waste. I'm almost in mourning for the life we should have. Very self-pitying I know.

MisForMumNotMaid Thu 11-Oct-12 16:29:09

Why would you have to leave? If she has decided it's not for her then, she needs to explore her options. you and the kids should keep your worlds as much together as possible. I don't understand why you're talking about you'd miss the kids.

On the other hand could it be PND?

Does she get any time to be a person in her own right not just mum, housekeeper, wife etc? Is this an area you could explore with her to allow her time to get her head straight whilst you work on doing the same yourself?

A lot of solicitors do free half hour appointments. It may well be worth not discussing with her but quietly learning about your legal position.

My XH one day after no arguing just said I've realised I never loved you. After the initial shock I asked him when he was leaving that day or the next and he left. We had two DC's of 1 and 3.

He refused all counselling and mediation. After thirteen years together and two DC no discussion was the hardest thing to come to terms with. My advise would be you do need to look out for yourself whether she gets help, excepts the need for mediation or leaves you need to work out what you want from this point forward.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Oct-12 16:29:41

Perfectly natural. You're in shock, confused, upset, hurt, looking for explanations, rationalising her behaviour, looking for something that'll fix it back to how it was. We've all been there.... What you're not feeling yet is angry although you'd have every right to be. That'll come in time but the longer you let this twilight situation fester, the worse you'll feel in the meantime.

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Thu 11-Oct-12 16:30:13

She will talk to me. When she told me we spent quite a long time talking about it, so she's not leaving me dangling. It takes time for things to sink in though and thoughts to formulate (for me anyway). My first reaction was wanting to protect the kids from the trauma and that's probably what's been guiding how I've reacted.

geekdad Thu 11-Oct-12 16:33:44

You have to avoid playing the victim here. The other posters are right that she is being very cruel and selfish. I can see that her behaviour will have given your self-esteem a real kicking and it's perfectly normal to grieve for what you might have lost, but self-pity will not help you. You need to take some initiative and not leave it up to her to decide what happens next. Why should you want to stay with someone who has so little respect for you?

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Thu 11-Oct-12 16:34:40

MisForMumNotMaid, with a baby a few months old there's no way they shouldn't be with their mum. Of course I'd still see them but not the day to day things like getting older DC breakfast before going off to work etc. Can't imagine getting up and them not being there with me.

fiventhree Thu 11-Oct-12 16:35:18

I wonder how she sees you, as a person?

Too kind, too passive, what?

Some women, a few, can have issues with what they expect a man to be, however unfairly. If you could ask and it would be good, i think, to be a little less friendly and ask assertively, what her problem is and why she thinks it is enought to risk her children's happiness, she may tell you.

It may be possible that you are in fact a bit unhappy deep down yourself and possibly quite angry with her. I think I might be, in your shoes.

Feel free to express it. It might help.

snuffaluffagus Thu 11-Oct-12 16:35:52

It's very difficult with such young children, but I do think some sort of counselling would be good for the pair of you if she is willing. People do have ups and downs in their relationships, I know I go through periods of slight boredom (for want of a better word) at times.. I think it's natural after being with someone for years. Perhaps this would be exacerbated by having tiny children to consider I guess, but I wouldn't give up hope without further discussions.

Can you have time alone as just a couple? Is there anyone who can look after the kids for a while so you can try and have some time together?

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Thu 11-Oct-12 16:41:23

There is other stuff going on which has affected us. Her dad is dying (at a relatively young age) so obviously that will have a huge affect, but her concerns about our relationship predate all that.

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