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My husband has completely withdrawn from me - again

(17 Posts)
gabrielleblue Sat 10-Nov-12 22:17:41

I dont want this first post to be rambling, but I guess it will have to be. I have been married for 22 years and have three great kids. Recently we moved abroad for my husband's career. This was against my better judgement as I had a job, loved my big city life, was close to family etc, but was up for the adventure - or at least realised it would be equally impossible to refuse to move as this would seem to be standing in the way of what he wanted for his career. Took time to settle - I don't really like the place we now live in - so understandably sunk into a depression soon after arrival, but I have pulled myself out of it and thought we could now enjoy our new life here.

During my depression husband said he wanted to separate and said I should go back to the UK - but back to what exactly as we had sold everything... Anyway, came to terms with the situation and was trying to think of ways to move on and out at which point he said he wanted to try again and did love me. Things were good for 6 months or so, and I genuinely believed he loved me and wanted to be with me, but now he has pulled the same stunt again and says he doesn't want to be with me at all. Said he wants to separate, make his own decisions and move out of the house we bought to somewhere smaller with his own possessions. Don't want to sound too pathetic, but his job is the reason we are here and in a small town, I am not sure how or even if I want to justify why I am here without him (he is a bigshot in the medical field and well known here).

He will go out socially with me, but refuses to sleep with me when sex was previously very mutually pleasurable, can hardly look me in the eye and scarcely communicates with me as he says he is too busy for even a quick email. On the other hand he has recently hooked up again with an old female friend and a quick glance at his computer shows that he has plenty of time for long, intellectual and thoughtful emails with her (signed with a x. Sounds incredibly stupid to be upset by this, but I am. He will be meeting her soon - trip back to the UK, but says she is just a friend ....I'm not stupid enough to believe that, but even if it is a meeting of minds, it is certainly hurtful that he 'talks' to her and has withdrawn from me. I believe in his mind, because he has let me know that he has "emotionally checked out of the relationship" it will be a clean slate he starts with if he starts/restarts anything with her.

My marriage is important to me plus I love him. I have no idea if he could change his mind - again - nor if I should be waiting, pathetically, for him to do so.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 10-Nov-12 22:29:27

Your assessment is right. He's met another woman and wants out, hence his eagerness for you to go back to the UK. Possibly having a physical affair already if he's given up on sex. Bit clicheed but pretty common. It's horrible when you love someone and it isn't reciprocated but, once someone is heading that way, there's very little you can do to change their mind. Waiting for them to see the light or value the marriage will only crush your self-esteem even more than it is now. A dignified exit where you maintain control is easier said than done, I know, but you're less likely to regret it. Good luck

gabrielleblue Sat 10-Nov-12 22:53:09

very little I can do - or nothing? I'm not sure what level my self esteem is at - seems to fluctuate so much, but I feel my marriage is worth it to me to try and change the situation. He said he will go to counselling with me after his trip. So even if he has slept with this woman on a previous trip (which he denies) would it be entirely the wrong thing to try and get over it. Because we are hardly communicating, I feel very tongue tied around him, and his eloquence and hers in the correspondence makes me feel very inadequate and left out in comparison. The funny thing is things were bad enough here without her being on the scene, so it's one more battle to fight...

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 10-Nov-12 22:59:52

You may want to try to get over it but, if he doesn't, there's nothing you can do about that. Then again, I have big problems with concept of getting over it in the first place. IME, when your precious marriage, your lovely husband and your life in general seems to be crashing around you out of control, you think reconciliation is what you want & you think you can cope with getting your DH back, even if he is soiled goods. But swallowing your pride like that rips the soul right out of you. I don't recommend it.

ErikNorseman Sun 11-Nov-12 07:18:25

There is nothing you can do if he is being unfaithful. Even if you had proof and he stopped it he would still be in that mindset. Can you really see yourself continuing a marriage with someone who is so ambivalent towards you? It almost doesn't matter if he has had the affair yet or not - he is clearly telling you how much he values you and your marriage sad

MadAboutHotChoc Sun 11-Nov-12 07:50:35

He has withdrawn from you, stopped having sex with you so he has checked out of the marriage both emotionally and physically. And all this is because he is having an affair with OW.

The best thing for you to do is to let him go, tell him the marriage is over. He might come to his senses and realise that he does not want to lose you and his family - but you may then decide not to rebuild the marriage.

Trying to hang onto him is a strategy guaranteed to fail - he will lose respect for you and pull back.

FloralWellies Sun 11-Nov-12 07:59:15

So sorry to hear what you are going through. Yes it does sound like an affair. How old are your DC's? Can you speak to a UK based solicitor to find out what your settlement should be, surely he should provide a house for you all.

Once your H has to start facing the reality of the nitty gritty details of divorce, perhaps flitting away to the OW will not be so appealing. But to be honest I think you should just assume it is over and make the best plans for you & your DC's

gabrielleblue Sun 11-Nov-12 15:28:19

Thanks for the comments - even though they are not optimistic. I have spent the last day reading many of the relationship threads and it does seem like there are many sad people out there in relationships that are anything but. Sometimes they are in abusive ones - mine wasn't like this. in fact I thought my husband loved me and he certainly thought I was sexy and wanted to make love often, which is what makes this so hard. Plus the fact that He has changed his mind before about separation - now around 3 times in the last five years. This emotional rollercoaster is taking a toll. I can't work out why I feel so passive (maybe its because I'm in a foreign country and not working). On the other hand, if I don't want this (separation) and have no clear plans of my own, maybe I should just string things out and see how they develop - at least until I DO know what I want. Seeing the EA he has formed to the OW is hard, but probably best I don't even look at his emails in the future. It's not much fun snooping around.

AnyFucker Sun 11-Nov-12 15:40:25

Your plan could be re-phrased thus : "bury head in sand and pretend all will be well"

I am very sorry.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 11-Nov-12 15:44:55

Didn't your mother ever tell you that just because a man thinks you're sexy and wants to make love, it doesn't mean he respects you as a person or loves you? You may not know what it is you actually want but it can't possibly be a continuation of living on borrowed time, waiting for the next suggestion of separation to come around.... waiting for him to decide if you're worth being with or not.

gabrielleblue Sun 11-Nov-12 16:01:00

I dont think I have realised that I have been living on "borrowed time". I am pretty good at living in the moment and in mutuality: when I'm happy, I believe we are happy together and I don't see how or why love has to die. But it certainly seems to be very unwell here at the moment. I know people think it is the dignified thing to either walk away, but there is just too much investment - plus I don't think that is being true to myself - and I've at least got to be that, haven't I?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 11-Nov-12 16:14:44

I had a lot of investment in Iceland Bank a few years ago. Didn't mean it was a wise place to put my life savings... Of course you have to be true to yourself. However, if you are generally the optimistic type that prefers to make the best of a bad job rather than admit defeat, recognise that in yourself and realise that sometimes it can result in you exposing yourself to being hurt more than necessary.

gabrielleblue Sun 11-Nov-12 16:49:07

I've suffered from depression in the past and when I'm sad I'm certainly not optimistic. However, I seem to be done with it now, and generally am very positive and happy and want so much for this relationship to continue and flourish. We just need to try to get to the next stage - or thru this turbulence. Admittedly this is the first time he won't have sex with me - although will just about put his arm round me. It is odd being so distant when we have been so sexually compatible and close. It feels very strange and unsettling - like both of us are ghosts at the moment and of course I feel very unloved and undesired. I'm not sure what you mean about being hurt more than necessary. Surely you're either hurt - or not?

gabrielleblue Sun 11-Nov-12 16:49:22

I've suffered from depression in the past and when I'm sad I'm certainly not optimistic. However, I seem to be done with it now, and generally am very positive and happy and want so much for this relationship to continue and flourish. We just need to try to get to the next stage - or thru this turbulence. Admittedly this is the first time he won't have sex with me - although will just about put his arm round me. It is odd being so distant when we have been so sexually compatible and close. It feels very strange and unsettling - like both of us are ghosts at the moment and of course I feel very unloved and undesired. I'm not sure what you mean about being hurt more than necessary. Surely you're either hurt - or not?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 11-Nov-12 16:59:27

What I mean by being hurt more than necessary is that, if you persist in being hopeful and thinking you can make a relationship flourish when all the signs are that it's over, (the head in the sand thing AF mentioned) you are going to find the end of this relationship a much nastier experience than if you take some control and start setting your own pace.

AnyFucker Sun 11-Nov-12 19:59:46

You will certainly get hurt more than necessary if you passively let a man shit all over you, whilst sitting there with your eyes shut and your fingers in your ears singing "la-la-la, he looooooooves me"

MadAboutHotChoc Sun 11-Nov-12 20:09:06

Sadly you can't make it work without his commitment and hard work.

You are setting yourself up for a lot of pain -you would be far better off accepting that its over and working on taking control of your life.

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