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Love but not attracted to my husband... How did your stories end?

(62 Posts)
Lostwithoutacompass Mon 17-Dec-12 16:54:51

My husband is pretty much faultless, we have been married for 10 years and we have 3 children aged 5 and under. However I am absolutely no longer attracted to him but love him very much as a friend. I have done so much soul searching about this for months & months. I don't think I was ever really attracted to him but it didn't matter because we got on so well, never argued and that seemed enough but I seem to have just hit my limit on feeling guilty or uncomfortable about how i feel, or dreading having to come up with an excuse not to have sex, or comparing him to other men which i know it totally unfair. I think i want us to eventually end up in separate places, not too far from each other, co parenting in an amicable manner. I absolutely do not want to do the: date nights, new underwear, quality time away together, etc, etc. This is not about being too tired or stressed re everyday things, etc to have sex. I have taken the step of saying that I no longer feel that way about our relationship and that I would prefer to focus on our friendship which has always been our strongest asset. I know this must be killing him and I wish i could change things but since that conversation I am happier than I have been in months if not years and feel such relief so surely that says a lot..? We still have a laugh and are kind to eachother, etc. and I suppose I am waiting for him to be ready to take the next step whenever that might be. How is everyone else doing with their situations..?

Priya1978 Mon 17-Dec-12 18:29:17

You say you are waiting for him to take the next step - does that mean you want him to leave? What if he doesn't want to? But then you also say you do love him?

amothersplaceisinthewrong Mon 17-Dec-12 18:31:54

How would you feel if he upped and left and found a woman who is willing to have sex with him.....

EdithWeston Mon 17-Dec-12 18:35:18

You say you've been thinking about this for months. Does this by any chance coincide with when you started comparing him to other men, or even a specific other man?

didldidi Mon 17-Dec-12 18:35:49

How did he react to this conversation?

SundaeGirl Mon 17-Dec-12 18:37:13

'We have 3 children 5 and under'.

Young children are not great for relationships but they grow up. Sorry if this sounds patronising but it's true. I think you re looking outside your relationship partly because home isn't that sexy! Please, please don't do anything rash to your relationship yet. The world is most definitely not full of better single men.

SantasLittleElfycat Mon 17-Dec-12 18:43:10

I've been on a right lull in fancying my DH. I have 2 DDs under 4 and I figured it was to do with tiredness/being hugged out each day. I seem to have switched off on wanting sex and even cuddles, but not companionship and hugs. I wasn't planning to worry about it until I get regular sleep. DH is being incredibly patient about this and if the situation doesn't change after I catch up with sleep etc I'd probably go and see a GP.

I think a lot of people have hiccups in relationships after children.

CuriosityKilledTheCrapTree Mon 17-Dec-12 18:49:46

I didn't fancy my dh. Young kids weren't the issue with me. He bored me and I didn't respect him in the end. Saf but tree. We've parted and are now seeing other people. Both happy. Kids happy.

Not recommending this but once it was 'gone' and he made my skin creep a bit, I knew that was it. I should mention that he had a delightful porn habit which also did nothing to increase my attraction!

CuriosityKilledTheCrapTree Mon 17-Dec-12 18:50:47

sad but true not saf but tree!!

Priya1978 Mon 17-Dec-12 18:54:27

Yeah but OP seems to get on well with her DH and is only the lack of 'attraction' that is the problem. Or is there more to it?

Lostwithoutacompass Mon 17-Dec-12 19:10:45

Thanks for the replies, was a bit nervous about all that.
Priya, by taking the next step, I mean I am giving him time to get his head round this new situation, try to understand it, work out what he wants, etc before we potentially think of splitting up.
Amothersplace, I genuinely would rather he found someone who loved him but also wanted to rip his clothes off as he deserves that but I don't think it will be with me.
Edith, no one else involved and no it's more a case of now consciously analysing and thinking back about situations or how I have felt in the past. When I say compare to other men, it would just be a thought popping into my head like, he is def the least appealing in a group if we are not, not me saying I fancy all the others. I'm prob not making myself very clear. I just wish I felt differently about him.
Sundae girl and sana, I totally know what you are saying but this goes back to before kids. It's just accumulated over the years and I just don't want to be with someone I feel this way about. Don't think it's fair on either of us..
Didldidi, whereas I have been depressed and totally stressed out for months re what was I feeling, what do I need to do to change this etc, do I say anything, I am now feeling relieved and he is dealing with the fall out of this so prob depressed and stressed. He is not showing it much and I do ask now and again is he talking to anyone re this as its a lot to carry solo. Ironically the atmosphere is much better because I am a bit happier. Bloody ironic really..
Curiosity, think that's the same with me.

Lack of attraction is the main thing but it encompasses so much more though. Am fed up of being the one who is strongest, gives advice but don't really value his advice, have to run the house and kids. I want and need someone strong who will teach me stuff, who I can lean on and my husband isnt that person. I think I have prob changed and he hasn't. I do love him but I don't respect him nor value his opinion hugely and I think that is corroding our relationship.

SundaeGirl Mon 17-Dec-12 19:19:11

I'm going to repeat this again: the world is not full of sexy, strong men. Just so as you know, which you probably do, but right now you are with a good guy. If you break up that won't necessarily improve the situation.

Really, I think it would be better if you worked at finding your friend/DH sexy. Sorry, but it would be better (financially, stability, etc) for you and your DCs.

Lostwithoutacompass Mon 17-Dec-12 19:45:01

Thanks sundae, but now do I do that? Don't get me wrong, there is so much at stake here and i am not treating this lightly or desperate to throw it away. I know i am with a good person who will always love me and we could grow old together knowing I will always be able to count on him but unfortunately I think I bring more to his table than he does to mine and I not mean that in an arrogant way. I test myself the whole time and think ok we stay as we are, we have a platonic relationship, raise the kids and continue being friends. Then i know that I would just die a slow death inside, as would he surely because neither of us gets any affection, sense of worth and closeness. Its not a real partnership. It's friends raising their kids and that can't be healthy ultimately can it?

maleview70 Mon 17-Dec-12 19:54:14

If you felt this way before kids why did you have 3 kids with him?

Doesn't really seem very fair that as he went into that decision oblivious to the way you felt and what therefore might happen (and is happening) now.

Do you think there will be a queue of strong and intellectual blokes waiting for a women with 3 under 5's in tow? It's not going to be easy.

It also seems like you are waiting for him to leave you. Why don't you make the decision if you are so unhappy?

Lostwithoutacompass Mon 17-Dec-12 20:08:59

Maleview, your comments are totally fair but no I didn't have any doubts whatsoever when we got married. I have been unhappy for a while now and it's when I look back at lots of situations when we were together that I realise it was never quite right if that makes sense but i wasnt that fully conscious of them at the time, its more the accumulation of the all. But I never consciously set out for this to happen. We really happily planned and had our kids. I think "motherhood" or the last few years or life in general has made me a different person now with different needs and or I longer want to feel unfullfilled in this relationship and frustrated with him because he can't handle something and I then have to handle something solo because I don't get the support I need from him or worry re when we have to have sex. Surely it shouldn't be like that and obviously he deserves to be with someone who doesn't feel that way.

And no, I am definitely not telling myself that there will be a queue of men waiting for me! Especially with my brood! But I am not scared of being by myself and I am categorically not planning on leaving him for anyone. If I leave him it's because he and i werent working. Believe me I have no illusions of how tough it would be for all of us if we did split and I know I will be seen as the bad guy but I am just trying to find real happiness.
No I'm not waiting for him to leave. I'm definitely not planning on being a coward and making him do the crap stuff (believe it or not). I am trying to do this gently step by step so we can both test the ground.

SundaeGirl Mon 17-Dec-12 20:22:09

You married beneath you, all women do!

Sorry, but women ARE the stronger sex, we care and we carry others by instinct. Although men can do this too, it don't come so naturally. The dynamic in your relationship may be affecting your DH - a vicious circle of your strength making him weak.

You can get counselling but friends of mine dealt with it by the DH having Neuro Linguistic Programming. He stopped being so dreamy, got focused and got a PhD in an unusual field and is on track to becoming a seriously influential guy. (and definitely attractive!)

maleview70 Mon 17-Dec-12 20:25:19

Fair enough. Good's a tough road as I've been down it.

Lostwithoutacompass Mon 17-Dec-12 20:30:37

Thanks for the feedback sundae and Maleview. M you said you have been through it and I'm sorry it was a tough road. From your perspective/opinion do you wish somethings had been done differently, any regrets, advice..without wishing to pry..

maleview70 Mon 17-Dec-12 20:37:09

No regrets. It was slightly different in our case as my exw had an affair but looking back I can see I was just as much to blame.

We married at 23 and grew apart. I wanted out but wasn't brave enough to leave and was scared she would move away with our child which was a possibility.

It worked out well for both of us in the end but it wasn't without the odd spat, a bit of jealousy on her part and some hard work to keep our parenting relationship on a good footing.

lostaswell Tue 18-Dec-12 10:09:58

I have name changed to post on this as my DH knows my posting name. Sadly I am in an almost identical position. Although I was warned about it at the time, I did sub consciously settle for a 'good' bloke. Someone who wouldn't mess me about and was looking to settle down and have kids. Someone with stability who was also in to me!
Don't get me wrong he is pleasant looking but there was never any real passion there and the fact that the sex life has always been mediocre has not helped.
I was always the one pushing to move things on - house move, marriage, children as I like change and need something to look forward to.
Now several years later and I'm thinking is this it? we get on well but I think what I need from a partner now isn't the same as it was when we met.
I told him I didn't love him any more because I know I just feel as much as I should and it's not fair on him. He suggested counselling which we have been going to for a few months now.
In the solo sessions it became clear that a lot of what I am feeling stems back to childhood issues and having all the distractions of marriage, house and kids just put off the inevitable crises but knowing that doesn't help me yet decide what to husband is devastated and I know that there's no guarantee if I left I would meet anyone else. But I just can't get past the fact the switch has gone off in my head and it might never go back on...

Lostwithoutacompass Tue 18-Dec-12 11:24:09

Poor you, it's really hard to know what to do isn't it?

I think the trouble is, as far as i can tell from your message, but def for me, that we arent in really awful relationships with violence or abuse of some kind, there is no jealousy or cheating so it seems perhaps spoilt (as one very honest friend told me) or shallow not to be happy with our lot, especially when there are children involved.

Someone said if you were just going out together, no kids involved etc, would you end the relationship? If yes then that should be your answer. That may be shockingly simplistic and unrealistic but maybe there is also some sense in getting back to the bare basics.. This did initially start with just two people, we should be the string foundation and when the kids have left home etc, it will be back to those two people, so that all needs to be right surely..?

If someone is really unhappy then perhaps that in itself sound be enough to know to make a change. I don't think it's fair or honest on anyone to stay with someone because we are scared we might not find anyone else. But it does give pause for thought as I have read some threads saying they felt like we do and years on now regret what they left behind.

I haven't been to counselling yet but will do just to make sure I am doing all I can and doing right by my husband. I have a feeling that my parents divorce and strange relationships and the fact that I do remember feeling very proud that I did have the perfect family/husband/father may come into play...!! Maybe continuing with counselling may help you and you might come to see things differently, I honestly don't know. I don't think there are any answers other than not rushing anything.

If someone said to you, that's it, you stay put in your marriage and do the best you can with it all, how would you feel? Would it call your bluff.. Wish I had the answers.

QueenieLovesEels Tue 18-Dec-12 14:59:53

I think most marriages go through quite lengthy periods at times where either partner can be questioning their respective feelings.

What have you done to try and reinvigorate your relationship? Things get really stale quickly if you don't sort out issues and all marriages require work as they are not a static state.

Personally, I don't think it is acceptable to promise a partner a lifetime of support and then (as in your opening post) stubbornly refuse to put the effort in required to sustain a healthy relationship. You haven't done enough yet to show this relationship is beyond salvaging.

I think you need to stop being so self indulgent because you have chosen to bring other human beings into the equation who are going to be impacted upon by the further choices you make.

Think about what else you can do -positively.

dipndunk Tue 18-Dec-12 15:05:18

havent read the full thread. I was with my H 13 yrs, divorced him after 2 yrs separation, amicable as it could be. I no longer fancied him, we didnt have sex for years. We now co-parent. He has met someone else, i am happy for him, although struggle with the idea another woman spends time with our son. However, i wouldnt want to be with him now. Our relationship was more of a friendship. It was not a marriage. anyway, it has worked out ok, finances ok etc, our son is very happy. you only get one life, dont torture yourself! It will be kinder for both of you to separate. Have you tried relate? We did, then I did alone. Might be worth considering before making "the" decision. good luck, it is still very painful x

lostaswell Tue 18-Dec-12 15:25:59

Yes you're right lost, nothing bad in the relationship, I'm generally perceived as quite 'lucky' to be honest if I met him now I doubt I would go out with him. But then if I met him now I would have had my husband and kids in the past so not looking for the same qualities in a relationship. I think my attitude changed when we had kids, I just don't feel as tolerant about anything anymore and of course we don't get the time to do all the spontaneous stuff we could before we had them.
I can recommend Relate but it is expensive.

SundaeGirl Tue 18-Dec-12 16:26:40

Totally agree with Queenie. Life doesn't owe you a super-sexy husband.

you do owe it to your DCs to keep them in a stable happy relationship if possible.

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