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OH doesn't think that he loves me. What do I do now?(33 Posts)
Sorry you're in this situation and yes, it'll be OK. Largely because you seem a very together person, you're not letting him mess you around and you have some good family support. It is hurtful and lonely to be where you are now and the best advice I can give you is to look after yourself on the bad days (or let others look after you) and make the most of the good days to create a better future.
For finances there's quite a lot of help available for lone parents on low incomes in the form of tax credits and other top-up benefits. You could approach your local housing authority for accommodation or look around for something privately. Your exP is still responsible for your child's welfare so get an idea from the CSA online calculator what minimum support you could expect if you went that route.... then talk to him about a much higher amount.
As for the implications on your child, at 15 months you are his world and whether Dad lives with you or elsewhere won't matter to him. Like the financial support, how you share the parenting is something you can work out between you. The more cooperative you can be with each other, the better for your son. Maybe not now when everything is very raw and painful but in the near future. My own DS (12yo) has had no 24/7 Dad since birth and has not suffered as far as I can tell.
You are wise to think the reason for his bombshell which sounds like it came out of the blue is probably due to his head being turned by OW.
Many cheaters use the thrills and ego boosts from illicit relationships as a way of dealing with their issues, including depression - how is he dealing with his depression, is he on meds?
Does he spend much time on his laptop/phone? A lot of affairs are carried out online or at the workplace (e,g lunchtimes/fake conferences & seminars).
It will be OK, but that's not the sane as saying that he will magically become the man you thought he was.
Firstly, you need to believe him. This will be both hard and painful. Right now he is not committed to your family. You need to take the time to stop and think whether this is good enough (and permanent). Time apart may help you clarify what you want.
I think that whether you want to try to fix it (which can only be achieved if he re-engages) or if you move on without him, what you do now is essentially the same. You need to start to plan a future without him. The shock of the prospect of losing you will clarify for him whether he's going to make every effort to avert that, or if he's going to prefer life separately.
An actual separation might be the clearest way to do that, but at least planning one (so you know your options) will strengthen you, so you can live your life as you want to and provide the best family life in these circumstances. Support from RL friends/family will help you - do you have a good confidante?
Don't forget that depression is a mental illness so everything he says and percieves is likely to be distorted. And it's an old cliche- but it is very difficult to love someone when you hate yourself. The cruel part of depression is that you can end up resenting people who love you, feeling they must be stupid if they can't see how vile you really are . It's much easier to blame it all on someone else.
I agree with the advice that you need to ask for space - this will help clarify thoughts and feelings. Getting legal and financial advice is also a good move.
He needs to get the help he needs for his depression and really do hope he is not self medicating via OW. Unfortunately, this is his issue and only he can resolve it so I would focus on rebuilding your own life - friends, hobbies, work etc.
I know how much it hurts and you do need to tell him you can't stay with someone who does not love you - you are worth so much more.
Frankly, I wouldn't be able to get over a dp saying such hurtful/hateful things, nor would I seek to do so as continuing a relationship with them would leave me feeling vulnerable wondering if they're going to
destabilise my world say such words again out of the blue.
It's possible he does feel diminished and/or threatened by your ambition, but if this is the case he's got another more serious problem which is that he's an insensitive and callous twat to take his insecurities out on you.
Can you renegotiate the rate at which you're paying off your graduate loan?
My XH did the same to me last February, announced right out of nowhere, that he was unhappy and didnt feel the same any more. The shock of that was immense. We talked for hours and he came back, but left after 6 weeks.
After that, I discovered that he had been texting/emailing OW.
I really hope that isn't the case for you. It could just be that his depression has got a grip on him, but he needs to address that, get counselling and work his life out. He can't be happy with anybody, unless he is happy with himself.
I would go to your nearest Sure Start Children's Centre, they have all sorts of help and advice for parents of young children.
It might help if you recognise explicitly that you are in a crisis and need time to process what you really want. It's not that different from the discovery of an affair: you may need some weeks to clarify your thoughts - and that is why I posted above in terms of exploring options, making plans and considering a separation in order to give yourself a clear space in which to do this.
It is possible to mend marriages, and your saying you have a hope that he will say it's all a terrible mistake, suggests that reconciliation remains an option for you. That's fine. But he will only see that if the potential consequences (ie losing you and his family) are fully demonstrated to him as a real possibility. And if he then does indeed act to make the necessary changes within himself and between you. You cannot fix this alone. And if he does not come to a reconciliation with a complete determination to actually do whatever it takes, it won't work. You really need to explore all your options. You do not have to make a final decision now, but being ready to separate and knowing how it can be achieved, will put you in a much stronger position both administratively and emotionally.
" But at the same time if he says that he has made a mistake do I owe it to my son to try again."
This is principally about you, your relationship and your life. If something radical happens and he becomes a new-improved version of himself then judge whether it's worth trying again for yourself, not out of obligation to anyone else. Most children love both parents equally but, being realistic, they only have to live with you until they're old enough to make their own way in the world. By contrast, a marriage is a lifetime and you're stuck with each other well after any DCs have gone. If you're judging whether it's worth trying again, therefore, square it against the next 30 or 40 years rather than the much shorter time-frame of childhood.
You most certainly don't owe it to your son to try again. Children absorb so much by osmosis and it wouldn't be in your ds's best interests to grow up in a 2-parent household where, no matter how well they may think they have disguised it, one dp is on tenterhooks waiting for the axe to fall, so to speak.
You say your dp 'sounded fine'. This is because he now doesn't have a care in the world as, having made his pronouncement, he's
in a win-win situation priding himself on his honesty and embracing the joy of being free to do as he pleases in your absence OR, more worryingly, if he does feel threatened by your drive and ambition, priding himself on having taken you down a peg.
What it comes down to is EITHER he checked out of your relationship some time ago, in which case he's a consumate actor, OR he's a conniving, and most probably jealous, twunt who's thought up this ruse in order to undermine you thus enabling him to exercise some level of control over you if it emerges that your emotional need for him is greater than that of his for you.
However you look at it, it doesn't look good, does it? Even allowing for him having taken leave of his senses or being driven by a horde of imps with pitchforks, you are not a looking at a man you can rely and depend on to treat you with respect and consideration. In fact, should you be misguided enough to take up where you left off, so to speak, you are destined to have to watch both your back and your front for fear of a further blow from him.
I'm so sorry I can't tell you this will be ok, honey, but I can tell you that it's far better for you to have the measure of him now rather than making a similar discovery months/years down the line.
I dont totally agree with some of the answers here.
Or at least, there are different options and outcomes to consider.
He has depression. As is discussed on the MH board on here quite often, it basically makes your thoughts go wonky.
Some of what he is thinking is the truth when he thinks it, actually isnt.
You can actually , the next day and feeling a lot better, totally disagree with your thoughts of the previous day.
And what you thought of as a big problem, can actually not be a problem at all.
He seems to dip in and out of depression.
He may well, for example be having a much better day today, and had a rethink.
It does look like, in his case,that he has not understood the damage he has done to you by saying what he said.
And it is perfectly possible that your relationship is not as strong as you thought it was.
So, in answer to your question, yes, it may still turn out ok.
It may not, but you do need a big, calm talk with him, but try and see if you can choose a time when his depression is at a good or at least a fairly good place.
Depression can stop you feeling anything, really numb your emotions - so when he says he doesn't love or fancy you, he may be being honest but that doesn't mean he may not feel differently if he wasn't depressed.
If he is depressed, I would think it unlikely there's another woman as that takes effort and energy. Doesn't mean he's not in a self-sabotaging phase though, thinking he's an awful person and therefore acting like an awful person to prove to himself how awful he is, if that makes sense? Could be why he was so callous to you, and why he's not feeling any emotional repercussions... yet.
Assuming it's depression, he needs to get help. He needs to be aware of a) the effect it has on others - it's not fair - and b) how to manage it, e.g. recognise when he's going down and get help.
But... if he won't get help, won't deal with his demons, nothing is going to change. If you get over this bump in the relationship, then it'll recur down the line. As someone else said, your DC will pick up on it and grow up learning to walk on eggshells - and probably blame themselves for causing Daddy's moods. It's terrible for self-confidence and self-esteem.
You owe it to yourself and your DC to have a stable, happy life. You may yet be better off without him. If he does start with the late-night angsty phone-calls telling you he wants you back, be very clear about the terms on which you'd accept that with getting treatment for the depression and therapy for his issues being right up there.
Hi, you need specialist help to deal with caring for someone with depression. There will be consequences if you stay and consequences if you leave. Depression can be hereditary so your children may be prone. Really, I would suggest specialist advice. Sounds like you are a fighter, not a runner? Depressives have low emotional energy so they don't feel they can sort out their problems. You might be able to push him to meet a relationship counsellor together - if you go to Relate they will assign someone with experience of helping couples with depression.
If you're a fighter then I guess you will want to stay and work it out. Thing is you have a huge amount of emotional energy there I can see which helps you be strong, and there's still a lot of love for your partner - but his depression will start draining that away. He will pull you down harder than you pulling him up. Mental health problems are contagious. On the other hand if you leave he may sink lower, do something stupid and other people that love him will put some of the guilt for that on you. You want to be able to say to yourself and others "Look, I gave it my best shot". If your best shot doesn't force him to seek treatment then it is time to leave.
I think you will probably find it easier to push him towards treatment when he comes out of his current episode. When he's feeling more positive you may be able to get him to see what he's doing to you and how important it is for him to seek treatment. At that time he should have enough emotional energy to be dragged to the doctor at least.
I suffered from years of depression and other mental illness and my husband wanted to leave because I wouldn't get treatment but couldn't risk going and me getting the kids, or alternatively him going and taking the kids and me taking my own life. So he stuck it out. He pulled me up but he developed mental health issues of his own (anger management) because I pulled him down. We are both in a better place now, thank God.
You'll be better off without him, really. It's incredibly draining to live with someone who has depression; once you are no longer tiptoeing round his moods you'll find yourself feeling a lot happier. It's up to him to sort himself out - or choose to wallow. You can't fix him, so concentrate on taking care of yourself and your DC. It's much better, both for you and DC, to be a single-parent household than to live with a father who is depressed and behaving selfishly.
As far as I know, mental health problems are not contagious, which is what Greer123 said.
Has your OH said anything yet?
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