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sad marriage, fresh perspective

(14 Posts)
chicadee Thu 27-Feb-14 16:14:59

Posting for some fresh perspective please and common sense. Sorry for long post, trying to organise my many muddled thoughts about this.
I've been married for 15 years, dh and I split up once before, but got back together after an unhappy time apart, and all was good for a few years.
Since last summer DH has become very withdrawn and distant from me, he shows me no affection, although he is loving and engaged with the children. He is a bit depressed, but not deeply so. He does not like discussing our relationship - he never has done, he finds it confrontational and difficult. But a few weeks ago I told him I didn't want to continue like this as he obviously doesn't love me anymore, and it's too painful for me to love him but for it not to be reciprocated. He acknowledged that he doesn't love me anymore, but he also said he didn't want to leave. Neither of us wants to upset the children by splitting up. Also money is a reason not to split up.
I asked if he would consider counselling and he is very resistant to this. (We had Relate counselling seven years ago, it was not particularly helpful. But I'd like to give it another try.) We agreed to try our best to enjoy our family life together, and be tolerant and kind to one another, but I can't stop thinking about the fact that he doesn't love me, and he would rather be somewhere else. I am very sad and rejected. He is not having an affair.
Apart from the tension between the two of us, our family life is fine, the kids are happy which is the most important thing to both of us.
Is lovelessness something that quietly happens in lots of marriages and should I just accept it?
Should I be patient and loving and wait for him to 'come back round' like he did last time?
Should I push for counselling?
Should I make more of a fuss and push for separation because this isn't a good enough marriage?

ParsleyTheLioness Thu 27-Feb-14 16:20:50

It sounds like you are unhappy, and your husband to try to address it. Only you can decide if you live like this, or split up, and maybe find someone who would love you back. FWIW I wouldn't be happy in this situation.

WithRedWine Thu 27-Feb-14 16:34:21

I'm in a very similar position. Except dh insists he does still love me despite him being totally unemotional & cold most of the time. In our case i think our definitions of the word 'love' must be very different.

Anyway, sorry for hijack. Back to your situation. Very simply, no way in hell should you have to put up with this horrible situation any longer. He doesn't love you. I'm sorry, but you deserve love & happiness. You only live once, why waste it with someone who makes you feel so worthless? Your kids will adapt & thank you for it in the long run. I'm telling my dcs at the weekend. Wish me luck...

chicadee Thu 27-Feb-14 16:48:50

WithRedWine, good luck this weekend..

CailinDana Thu 27-Feb-14 17:01:17

So he doesn't love you and treats you badly and expects you to put up with that? I'd be telling him either he talks and tries to resolve this or he leaves.

Btw I would bet a large amount of money that he is having an affair.

Jan45 Thu 27-Feb-14 17:04:13

He has told you he doesn't love you but still expects you to carry on as man and wife - why would you accept that as normal or what you should expect cos you certainly should not. If you want to stay in a loveless marriage for the sake of your kids, then that's your call, you may live to regret that in years to come. I'm sure the children would rather you were both happy, it doesn't sound like a very happy home if there's no affection between the two of you.

Also, I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss the possibility that there is someone in the background who has been the catalyst to what he is saying.

Jan45 Thu 27-Feb-14 17:05:18

RedWine: good luck.

Latefragment Thu 27-Feb-14 18:20:41

Redwine - wishing you lots of strength for the weekend.

Chicadee - in v. similar situation, difference for me is his emotional affair, falling in love with someone else, messing around on FB and various disrespectful events. He refused to leave and also hates to talk about it. But he is still here. Finally managed to talk a bit more recently and he basically told me that his feelings have changed, he has nothing to give me but happy to stay married....... until what - next sparkly, reciprocating lady "friend" at which point it will all be my fault. I quite often get the feeling that he wants a wife and family but not the people who are that for him if that makes sense. He makes no effort and has not done for a long time. I am so disappointed that this has happened to us but am starting to gently let go... it is and has been a long and at times intensely painful process.

chicadee Fri 28-Feb-14 09:21:37

Latefragment, sorry to hear that you too are in a similar situation. I agree with what withredwine said about only living once and why waste it with someone who makes you feel worthless. It sounds like we all have partners who given up on our relationships.

Andy1964 Fri 28-Feb-14 11:33:25

Councelling or not you need to get to the root cause of your husbands unhappiness. He needs to get to the root cause.
I know you have said that he is not depressed but maybe he is. Have a search online about depression, you will probably come across the questions that are on the questionaire that the doctor has you fill in. See if you can answer some of these for your husband, see if he can answer some of them.
Us guys can be really awkward when it comes to communication, it's just not in our make up for some reason. Having said that when we do learn to communicate openly we really do see the benefits (at least I do)
I get that the communication is a really hard thing but he owes it to himself to try and learn, unless he understands his reason for un happiness he will just go from one unhappy situation to another as you have done in the past.
Even though this has not been much advice, good luck.

hellsbellsmelons Fri 28-Feb-14 11:50:22

Why would you want this for your life?
You get one shot as you have quite rightly pointed out.
How old are DC?
I could not live like this.
I think you need to start to disengage from him.
Stop doing the washing, cooking and cleaning for him.
Tell him if he has checked out then so are you and as you living like people who are house sharing then he needs to do his own stuff.
You could get in touch with CAB or a solicitor to see where you stand financially.
Do you work? Is the house in joint names?

hellsbellsmelons Fri 28-Feb-14 11:50:54

And I agree with others - you will find an OW in the background somewhere.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 28-Feb-14 13:07:19

I would struggle living in the same house as someone who was indifferent to my needs and yet comfortable enough to enjoy a domestic set-up.

Are you meant to trot along and keep things going for the DCs without any assurance he isn't going to look outside your marriage for stimulation or choose a time that suits him to annouce he's made alternative plans so cheerio? Presumably he isn't telling the families or friends how he feels so when you mope around feeling unloved and insecure everyone thinks why is chicadee always so glum, good grief how does her H put up with her?

Your DCs may or may not be oblivious to how things stand between you. It will not be easy to explain to them years ahead why you sacrificed your own happiness on the altar of family security just to keep things going when you and Dad were poles apart. It is a big guilt trip to lay on DCs later on, "We kept up a front and stayed together only for your sakes".

Also money is a reason not to split up. Excuse me for being blunt - if he dropped dead tomorrow it would be a terrible shock and financially things might be awkward but you'd cope with that aspect. If you sit together and work sums out, the money side of things is no excuse not to get some structured separation worked out.

He shouldn't give you false hope. How come he refuses this or that - I think it's time you thought in terms of where do you stand, what do you want.

chicadee Fri 28-Feb-14 20:16:52

Thanks everyone who answered, you have given me sensible food for thought.

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