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Can you recapture the love?

(28 Posts)
bigsighs Mon 11-Nov-13 16:03:16

DH and I had a couple of huge rows at the weekend. On Saturday morning when we woke up he said that he wanted us to clear the air so the weekend wasn't ruined and wanted to know why I was in a bad mood. I told DH I wasn't in a bad mood and he asked why I was I was being short with him then (he felt I had been very short and dismissive with him recently). I told him I didn't think I had been. By this point I was beginning to get cheesed off as he didn't seem to accept that I wasn't in a bad mood and it escalated into a huge argument (so much for clearing the air so the weekend wasn't ruined).

The essence of it is that he doesn't think I make an effort any more; I'm not affectionate towards him; I don't initiate sex; I don't wear sexy underwear; get my nails done; etc. etc. He feels unloved.

I'm not a particularly affectionate person, but the level of affection (on both sides) has definitely declined since our relationship started (but isn't that a bit normal after 8 years?); I don't initiate sex as I'm not particularly sexually confident and I don't have a particularly high sex drive - but I do enjoy it when we have sex; I wear thongs all the time - but he would prefer me to wear really low cut ones which I don't find comfortable - I think he thinks I should put up with the discomfort a bit if it's something he likes); I have stopped having my nails done because since going back to work after maternity leave, I'd rather spend my precious weekends with DD. So, much of what he says is true. But I feel very hurt that he can't love me for who I am - he wants me to be some sex diva and I was never that when we met (although admittedly I was probably a bit sexier at the beginning of the relationship than I am now).

I do think over the years I have withdrawn from him at bit. I think it's because there have been things which have been said or done over the years which have hurt me/upset me and it's just chipped away at the love I feel for him.

How do you put the things that have hurt you behind you and rekindle the love?

CailinDana Mon 11-Nov-13 16:08:22

What are the things that hurt you?

bigsighs Mon 11-Nov-13 16:46:15

He hasn't had an affair or anything like that.

But it's stuff like criticising me in front of our friends & family - I tend to think that we should act like we're on the same team and would never point out his faults to friends and family as it would feel like I was being disloyal; he also speaks quite rudely to me in front of other people and when we're alone (when we're alone I do tell him that there's no need to be so rude); he wouldn't even consider selling a holiday home we jointly own where he grew up to enable me to be a full-time mother; was extremely resistant to the idea of me even asking my boss if I could reduce my hours to 4 days a week (so I haven't asked as if it didn't work out financially, I was worried he would basically say 'tough'); he was very insensitive to the fact I was in some discomfort the first time we had sex after having given birth (I'd had stitches); I didn't get a card on my first mothers day (I KNOW this is petty, but all the other mothers in our antenatal group did and it hurt that he hadn't even thought of me); I covered all my usual contributions to our joint account to cover the mortgage and utilities etc. while on maternity leave and he never once even asked if I was okay financially - despite the fact we'd had a conversation when I was pregnant about sharing the financial cost of maternity leave; and he doesn't seem to want to accept it when I say I don't want to do something because it isn't comfortable (like wear really low-cut, tiny thongs; or going topless on the beach; or wearing really high heels) asks why his opinion doesn't count, i.e. I should do it because he likes it regardless of the fact I don't feel comfortable; and generally, he's very critical (apparently my technique for painting walls is wrong - wtf?) and rarely shows any appreciation for anything I do (and I do all the household stuff, social life organising, holiday organising, gardening - everything except DIY, car maintenance or IT stuff) or compliments me.

One of the things that he raised in the arguments at the weekend was that he doesn't feel like his opinion counts. Whereas as I think he shows scant regard for my opinion.

At the moment, I'm really struggling with the idea I can put all this behind me and act all lovey dovey and get back to where we used to be.

CailinDana Mon 11-Nov-13 16:51:47

The relationship sounds in very bad shape from what you say. He seems to have a lot of power in the relationship - do you think that's true? Could you elaborate more on the incident where he was insensitive to you being in pain during sex? The stuff about thongs and high heels sounds very controlling. It's perfectly ok to say "you look sexy in..." but expecting you to wear it to suit him is not on. It's up to you what you wear.

Dahlen Mon 11-Nov-13 16:57:25

What does your DH say when you tell him everything you've put in your second post?

MadBusLady Mon 11-Nov-13 17:06:41

Good grief. And his good points are??

Have to admit I did read the first two paras of your OP and think "affair". It sounded very much like a history rewriting exercise in which you're moody and unloving and not sexy enough, and he's the reasonable one who tries to "clear the air".

That could still be true, but it's also evidently part of a bigger picture in which he's always highly critical of you. I'm not surprised you've gone off him. It's difficult to "recapture love" towards someone who treats you like crap. And I don't see how you can put the hurt behind you if he's going to KEEP being hurtful. That's just wearing a "Kick me" sign.

Backinthering Mon 11-Nov-13 17:13:48

I'm sorry but he sounds awful. You are being treated terribly.

Retroformica Mon 11-Nov-13 17:17:30

I think you need to arrange to have an honest conversation about all the things you have listed _ working part time/the way you talk to each other/clothes expectations (do you have any yourself?) /considering how you feel/falling out of love

Sit and be all grown up with the discussion. List the issues and ask how you both plan to resolve things.

bigsighs Mon 11-Nov-13 17:27:22

Cailin The sex after giving birth thing was that I asked him to stop because it hurt (because of the stitches) and he said 'you can't stop me now'. I was sooo shocked, so continued to have sex but had an argument afterwards. I had interpreted his comment as 'we are going to continue having sex'; he said that he'd meant 'if you stop me now I'll lose my erection and we won't be able to start again. If I was doing something and someone said it hurt, I'd stop immediately - not tell them, well I can stop but if I do don't think we're going to be able to start again.

I'm not sure he's got power - he simply doesn't seem able to see some things from my point of view. He claims the holiday home is our pension and it would be financially stupid to sell it. In his eyes, DD is happy at nursery so what's the problem. His view on wearing high heels is that if I loved him, why wouldn't I want to do what turned him on? He's not trying to be controlling, he genuinely thinks that if I loved him I'd want to wear stuff that made him happy.

Dahlen I've raised the stuff about criticising me in front of family & friends and he understands where I'm coming from - but that's not to say he never does it again. Re. speaking rudely - sometimes he'll justify why he's been rude (he's in a bad mood) other times he will deny he's been rude, other times he will say he'll try not to be rude; selling the holiday home - he'll argue that it's financially sensible to keep it; the sex after birth - see above; finances on maternity leave - he knew I'd received an unexpected bonus (which I'd told him about) but he never asked if it was enough to cover my costs or felt he should share in the cost of maternity leave for our DD - I think he saw maternity leave as a 'holiday'; wearing thongs/heels - see above.

I think this has all back-fired on him quite badly. I think he was expecting me to agree that I wasn't making enough of an effort and do something about it. But I'm furious with him for thinking that I should wear/do things that I find uncomfortable - why doesn't MY opinion count?

MillicentTendancies Mon 11-Nov-13 17:28:12

At the moment, I'm really struggling with the idea I can put all this behind me and act all lovey dovey and get back to where we used to be.

Was he ever a kind and loving partner? Is this all this nasty behavior recent or have you just become aware or it / ground down by it?

bigsighs Mon 11-Nov-13 17:40:41

I think over the years he has become less complimentary/more critical and more grumpy. I think it's a familiarity breeds contempt situation.

I often say 'you'd never speak to our friends X,Y or Z like that, why are you speaking to me so rudely' and his view is that he can just be more himself (ie. grumpy) with me!

In the argument at the weekend I pointed out that I'd never been a sex diva, so it seemed unfair to expect me to start to be one; but he'd been much less grumpy at the beginning of our relationship, so it didn't seem unreasonable to expect him to be less rude and grumpy to me. His response was that he was getting grumpier as he got older. At that point I did say that our relationship was definitely going to end if he just saw grumpy behaviour as something I had to accept as part of the ageing process.

Phalenopsis Mon 11-Nov-13 17:43:14

The sex after giving birth thing was that I asked him to stop because it hurt (because of the stitches) and he said 'you can't stop me now'. I was sooo shocked, so continued to have sex

* His view on wearing high heels is that if I loved him, why wouldn't I want to do what turned him on?*

So you're an object then? That's what the above and your OP screams at me. You have the right to wear exactly what you want. who the flying fuck does he think he is telling you that you should have your nails done? or wear certain clothing and as for the sex, words fail me. Apart from: Neanderthal.

As for the housework, you're a drudge to him. You are expected to do everything but look good whilst doing it.

His words are: if you loved me you'd do as you are told/as I want. That's emotional blackmail in my book.

I don't know how you can tolerate this I really don't.

CailinDana Mon 11-Nov-13 17:45:01

That sex incident is rape. It's absolutely no wonder you don't want to have sex with him. He treats you like a pet - there to please him but with no feelings/opinions of your own.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 11-Nov-13 17:50:14

I'm sorry but he's displaying a lot of the characteristics of a controlling and selfish bully. Depressingly common for this kind of behaviour to really show up after the arrival of a child. Nit-picking, unkind remarks about appearance, disregarding your point of view. It's pretty horrible disrespectful stuff and it's miserable to be on the receiving end. He should love you for who you are... you're quite right.... so don't tolerate being told you're not coming up to scratch

HairyGrotter Mon 11-Nov-13 18:54:55

He sounds awful. He is controlling, demanding and treats you like a lesser being. Has he always been misogynistic and full of self worth?

Opinion is not the cause here, his misogynistic, entitled attitude is.

Dahlen Mon 11-Nov-13 20:07:36

I often say 'you'd never speak to our friends X,Y or Z like that, why are you speaking to me so rudely' and his view is that he can just be more himself (ie. grumpy) with me!

Reading that makes me feel so sad for you. Whatever happened to wanting to be the best and most respectful you can because you love your spouse and want them to feel good? Why is "warts and all" taken by some people seem to mean "I can behave like a complete shit and you have to put up with it."

FolkGirl Tue 12-Nov-13 06:49:23

That sex incident is rape.

When he said, "you can't stop me now", what he meant was he was in the zone and he didn't want to stop because he was enjoying it. At that moment (although by the sounds of it, it's not the only moment) you were unimportant to him. All that was important to him was him finishing what he was doing.

LessMissAbs Tue 12-Nov-13 13:50:24

Tell him you find thong wearing men attractive, and if he wouldn't mind wearing one all the time because it might just turn you on.

He sounds like a nasty person, and I don't think you can change that. Im not sure what you get out of being with him, because you don't have a particularly easy life or anything.

You could try counselling.

Anniegetyourgun Tue 12-Nov-13 14:28:31

I think it is perfectly right and acceptable to take your partner's feelings into consideration with what you wear, as with other things you discuss and compromise on. However in the end it is you wearing it, and a partner who loved you would not expect something that makes you uncomfortable. Why do you have to do something that hurts so that he has something (I don't say some one advisedly) nice to look at? What would he do for you that made him uncomfortable? Would you even ask it?

The sex after stitches behaviour is just shock

LifeofFibonacci Tue 12-Nov-13 14:54:25

He sounds unpleasant and manipulative. It's fairly common for people with anger issues to project them onto other people, and rewrite history so its "your" moods?

Google "narcissism" and "passive aggressiveness": this "man" fits it to a tee.

And let me guess, he plays the whiny victim card whenever he can to trigger your compassion: "I don't feel loved". "you should want to make me happy" blah blah blah when he doesn't get his own way? He's basically in a relationship with himself, cause he's incredibly weak, overly touchy, and sees you as a "function of his needs" not as a person.

Also, I call bullshit on all this "logical argument" thing that he's doing - often weak men try to present it as "well I'm a logical man and you're being overemotional and oversensitive" here so you have to beg him to behave like a normal, decent man and he gets the ego kick of you trying to please him or make things work.

He knows FULL well what he's doing, which is trying to get you all worked up and worrying about yourself and thinking there's something wrong with you rather than looking, properly looking at him. It isn't about clothes or sexiness or effort: its about him trying to engineer a dynamic where you're constantly trying to meet his (bottomless pit of) needs?

Dump the loser. Then he can be some loser trawling town trying to get women he doesn't know to wear what he wants to boost his ego. I do hope he has a six figure salary and looks like Brad Pitt, because otherwise I suspect he'll be trawling town alone for a lllllllllooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggg time......

LifeofFibonacci Tue 12-Nov-13 14:59:47

Oh, that instinct you have "not to feel lovey dovey"? Spot on, your instincts are 100% right, cause he's not really someone to be in love with. Don't try and change it, go with it.

Granville72 Tue 12-Nov-13 15:00:26

He sounds like my ex. All I ever got was - can you dye your hair blonde, wish you were taller (I'm already 5'9), not leaving the house with you unless you wear make up and heels, wear sexy underwear all the time...............sound familiar?

Up to you whether you continue the relationship but it's a form of Emotional Abuse and you are worth more than that.

I told my ex to do one and find someone that was already all those things instead of manipulating me to be something I would never be.

KouignAmann Tue 12-Nov-13 15:03:36

If my DH expected me to wear high heels and a G string and have my nails done on Saturdays I would say "I will when you do".

Unkind and a loser. You deserve better! And If you split up the holiday home will have to be sold won't it? So he should treasure you a bit more not treat you like a malfunctioning domestic appliance.

CailinDana Tue 12-Nov-13 15:14:25

Are you ok bigsighs?

LifeofFibonacci Tue 12-Nov-13 15:15:27

Re: clothes etc

Don't think its a crime to have preferences and an opinions: my man likes that I'm the body shape I am (as do I) he hasn't explicitly said but I don't think inside he's the biggest fan of my very short hair, he likes red, etc etc.

Just as he has some outfits that I think are hmm and some where I look at him across a crowded street and think "blimey, my ships all came in at once." And I wouldn't have started going out with him if he wasn't fairly active and sporty.

When we first started dating he did mention "oh I love X look" and I'd choose to wear it "as a one off to seduce him" and then the usual appropriate casual gear the rest of the time.

But there's a massive difference between having a preference and starting a discussion to FORCE and emotionally blackmail someone into doing what they say.

OP, it sounds a bit like along with the nastiness, your partner has some sexual issues and is blaming you for them? I reckon a lot of men think "oh it would be sexy to see my woman in X for a change" but ultimately they are capable of getting a hard on when she's not dressed up in "extreme" stuff.

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