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Am I not trying hard enough?

(105 Posts)
AzureBlue Fri 07-Dec-12 14:03:27

After 23 years of marriage, 4 kids, 14 months of counselling (which we have recently stopped) I find I just do not want to be with my husband any more. But he says all I need to do is think more positively and make little moves like touching him or sending a loving text and it will all be OK.
I would really like to be in love with him as I cannot see how we can ever afford 2 places to live, and the children will not have two parents to care for them together.
How do you fall in love with someone? He is a good person.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Sun 09-Dec-12 17:22:05

Don't stya with him for the children, if you stay with him

people who are no longer romantic partners can still be great collaborative parents. In fact, in some instances it is the best thing to more expectations, no more arguments

WantToMakeThingsRight Sun 09-Dec-12 18:12:20

Ok I'm back.... Busy day at the church been chucking my holey water about no end today lots of sinners would pass a little arround issy but I do not think she wants to repent her sins just yet
so original poster do you want to leave your partner have you really reached the end

I was just joking about the holey water I wouldn't really slosh you with it

AzureBlue Sun 09-Dec-12 18:34:29

We do not argue at all which is one of our problems. We both do anything to avoid confrontation. In the past disagreements have resulted in a week of silence from DH. Now we are both expert at avoiding this. But it does drive you crazy after a while!

I wish I could just slip into the role I should be playing. My husband loves me, helps around the house etc. it's just me that wants no physical contact and prefers being with friends. I would like any ideas on how to enjoy being with a long term partner...I feel such a louse being so cold towards him.

He will not countenance divorce and life would be perfect if only I enjoyed being with him.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Sun 09-Dec-12 18:38:05

You can't make yourself love him by power of will sad

Btw, he can't stop you divorcing him if that is what you wish.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Sun 09-Dec-12 18:42:59

Aren't you looking at this through the wrong end of the telescope? If you've essentially picked the wrong person ... albeit for reasons that seemed good at the time ... why are you surprised when you don't 'slip into the role' of loving wife? Why do you think you can suddenly switch on feelings that, by your own admission, were never there in the first place?

Most people select a life-partner because they feel something very deeply for them to begin with. This means that, when life chucks challenges in their way, they've got some resilience even if it ultimately doesn't work out. Start with nothing and, frankly, I'm amazed you've lasted this long. Although if you both avoid talking about personal matters because it ends up with a week of sulking, maybe that goes some way to explaining it.

Why does he have to 'countenance divorce' btw? You know you could instigate it single-handed?

AndrewMyrrh Sun 09-Dec-12 18:48:32

Talk about a hi-jack hmm.

dequoisagitil Sun 09-Dec-12 18:52:45

You don't need his permission to split up.

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Sun 09-Dec-12 18:54:42

"In the past disagreements have resulted in a week of silence from DH. Now we are both expert at avoiding this."

Stonewalling someone for a week is emotional abuse.

If you've become expert at avoiding that abuse, no wonder you are unhappy.

You don't owe him a marriage.

WantToMakeThingsRight Sun 09-Dec-12 18:54:50

Sounds to me like you may have fallen out of love with him and the way I see things is your have a few options
either work together with your partner to try and improve things and try to work to getting love and respect going again or look to separate.

You say that he loves you how does he feel with the current position

It should not be about you falling into a roll you have to want to do it

good luck lookup lovedare it might help I don't know

my wife told me that she was deeply unhappy and I took it upon myself to make things better 2 weeks ago we could not spend time in the same room now we are getting along way much better and each day we make a point of trying to improve things further

make quality time for each other if this is what you want to do

AndrewMyrrh Sun 09-Dec-12 18:57:28


Xenia Sun 09-Dec-12 19:27:15

1. YOu don't need his permission to split up.
2. Why would you have to sell the home? If you divorce him and remortgage and buy out his half of the equity you could stay where you are and he has to leave OR if you cannot afford that it may be he earns more than you do and you get to stay until the youngest child is 18 or you remarry and then you sell assuming the children will stay with you.
3. How old are the children - which of you would they choose to live with after a divorce?

Back2Two Sun 09-Dec-12 19:40:13

It's clear that is isn't a situation where love and respect can be worked for and re-gained: as the love, at least, was never truly there. I would suspect then the respect was fairly fragile.

*life would be perfect if only I enjoyed being with him"

It's not a lot of frigid miserable feminists crowing "leave the bastard" is it?
It's a group of women (including feminists) who think life is too short to spend it unfulfilled, unhappy and in the confines of a relationship that does not allow you to find your happiness potential along with probably your creative and social and romantic potential. Hence, missing out on the real stuff of life. There is a lot of love in mumsnet, it's just that it often has to be tough love.

AzureBlue Mon 10-Dec-12 13:10:45

Given that DH has been like a rabbit caught in the headlights since I told him I was unhappy over 2 years ago, I cannot see how to improve things at all. He says he feels under such pressure and so miserable that he cannot work on the relationship - and as he is happy with me, then he (justly) throws at me - what am I doing about it? Things are now so strained and awkward between us it is hard to spend any time with him at all - one reason I have found an exercise class and an adult education class to occupy my time, even if it means I see less of my kids sad

Given the downward spiral, I do dwell on divorce but the actual timing and how to split up are beyond my imagination...I can picture a flat in a year's time with my kids, but not how to get there.

Smallest DD is only 9 so would want to stay locally near her school and friends. I care full-time for her (I work only school hours, or when she is in bed at night). So terribly traumatic to be moved from her house...would I need to try and find a bed-sit to live in and go and sleep there after doing the child-care until DH came home?...not sure I can afford even this. Another DD in AS year so cannot jeopardise her exams - maybe summer holidays are the time to mention it? But still either DH or me would have to go somewhere that was not the family home...where????It's an impossible conundrum.

So back to plan 1 and trying to enjoy living with DH!

Lueji Mon 10-Dec-12 14:07:27

It's always hard to be the one complaining.

Ex didn't have any problems living with me and he would have continued, except for his abusive attitute, and then physical abuse.
Also because he was living in a nice place, off my salary and doing very little work in the home.

Do you have a clear idea of what it would take for you to enjoy living with your OH?

AzureBlue Mon 10-Dec-12 14:16:18

Don't think I can hack the Lovedare/Fireproof stuff as I lost all faith when DH chose to teach Sunday School over visiting me in hospital when I was v v v ill with pneumonia and 3 months pregnant. So upset to discover I had been put in the bidding prayers (ie I was going to die).
We have unpacked this in counselling - he could not face the fact I might die. I still find this a delicate issue, however. I do understand now why he did this, but still feel if push came to shove he would run away from me again in similar circumstances. It is hard to emotionally lean on someone in this situation.

oldwomaninashoe Mon 10-Dec-12 14:53:04

Op your Dh does not sound very "lovable" person, so that is why you are having difficulties. He thinks you are at fault so is waiting for you to make all the effort not realising it is a joint affair.
You cannot make yourself love someone unless they are lovable in some way, is he making himself lovable? What would he have to do for you even to feel vaguely fond of him?
Think hard OP if you see no answer, and he is unlikely to make any effort, perhaps it is time to go it alone.

Xenia Mon 10-Dec-12 15:11:41

Why could you not stay in the house and he continue to pay the mortgage and some costs (and you perhaps get a bit more work to help make ends meet)? Also if your income is lower you might get tax credits etc.

AzureBlue Mon 10-Dec-12 15:22:50

He kindly brings me tea in bed in the morning and loves looking after the children. He will do child-care when he is at home to enable me to work or do classes etc.
He is scrupulously honest and principled. And intelligent.
Maybe it's a man thing that I feel he lacks any empathy with me. eg when I was complaining that after 3 visits (to deliver her shopping to her) in 1 week and a weekend away with me, my mother was saying I never had time for her...the response of DH was 'at least you weren't born in Cambodia" (ie I might have died before I hit 5? hmmm). So maybe it's a guy-thing and I need to just cool it - it's normal. I did not grow up with any men in the house or at school so don't know really.
It would be nice if he'd said "yes, I understand".

AzureBlue Mon 10-Dec-12 15:26:37

No way could I work more...I work every week-day (and work calls during swimming lessons etc) most evenings, often through to eleven or twelve, plus most Sundays.
Need to get down to my accounts to see what I actually do earn. Certainly a quarter of DH or less.
I think my DH would never accept leaving the house - he sees it as ours...his as much as mine.

Xenia Mon 10-Dec-12 16:24:25

AB, my children's father did not want to move out and was happy married. However as I earned 10x what he did he could not prevent the divorce and he could not prevent my buying him out of the house and he got more money than I did as I earn more. If you only earn a quarter then it is fairly likely you would get the house - it would not be a 50.50 split. We were advised that he could be forced out once the finances and divorce were organised if necessary. In the end he left after decree absolute and money and property transfers.

It is likely your husband could be forced to move out at the same stage. In our case it took 7 months. Unless the house is too large for your and the children's needs and unless the children would choose to liev with him it is likely he would have to pay 25% of pay for the children and also may support to you as you earn a quarter even if that means he just moves to a tiny bed sit and does not get his equity out of the house until the youngest is 18 or you remarry or move another man in. It might be worth talking to a solicitor for an hour eveni f you haven't decided to split up just sdo you know where you stand.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Mon 10-Dec-12 16:28:33

Good advice from xenia there

AB, in this day and age no-one is forced to stay married and living with someone if they don't want to

Lueji Mon 10-Dec-12 16:53:22

Essentially, it's the same advice as usual.
Seek legal advice.
Only then you'll be able to really make plans and know what to expect.

BTW, a coleague divorced her husband for lack of support during her cancer treatment.

If he is generally nice, but not empathic, etc, then you have a choice of accepting him as he is or leave.
Particularly as he doesn't seem to want to work on himself.

AndrewMyrrh Mon 10-Dec-12 16:57:10

Does he have aspergers?

garlicbaubles Mon 10-Dec-12 17:09:42

Azure, I started reading your thread with an open mind. I think there are things one can do to generate more of a loved-up feeling in a partnership that's gone stale. I even think it can be worth doing this when only one partner has lost the feeling. But, I'm sad to say, reading your thread has made me dislike your husband. I feel you'll be a happier, more fulfilled and generally more enchanting individual when you are single.

The first red flag was where you said you're realising it's possible to have fun, thanks to your hobbies and renewed friendships. If you only realised that fun is possible outside your marriage, then that marriage has not only been joyless for you but has closed your mind to the very possibility of joy. This is no good. In 23 years, a good marriage would have been at least 30% fun. Hell, my parents had a godawful war of a marriage but even theirs was about 25% fun!

I'm deeply unimpressed by an inconvenient weekend away, in which you had to prioritise economy over comfort. That wasn't a treat; it was an imposition. If this is as good as his romantic gestures get, he's in no position to lecture you on relationship building. In fact, the whole lecturing thing is extremely offputting. Why should you be doing all the running, making all the effort? His efforts seem rather feeble at best.

His behaviour when you had pneumonia was unforgivable. I can only imagine how ghastly it must have been for you, to feel so poorly and to realise your partner had given you up for dead, yet still couldn't be bothered to come and comfort you! One of the primary reasons for forming a long-term commitment is to have support when things are bad. When your partner cannot face supporting you, he fails you and, in a meaningful sense, nullifies the commitment. A partner who's done this has no right to demand continued commitment.

I think his demands on you are founded in a recognition that you actually deserve better than him. He's trying to tie you to him by guilt, fear and obligation. This won't work long-term and is bad for you now. I also don't like what it's teaching your children.

You don't need permission to end a marriage.

AndrewMyrrh Mon 10-Dec-12 17:58:09

Yes, I am always a bit hmm with religious types who care more about being perceived as being upstanding and devout rather than actually being there for their spouse when needed.

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