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Can love just disappear?

(95 Posts)
ShakespearesUglySister Wed 26-Mar-14 11:47:29

Having experienced my husband stopping loving me without any build up or reasons to explain it I am confused about how this happened.

I have googled "signs he is no longer in love" and he didn't show any of them. I googled "sings he truly loves you" and he showed all of them.

We'd been together 4 years. Married for less than a year. Then suddenly he said all feelings for me were gone.

I asked him if he ever really loved me the way he said he did, and he said everything before was real and true and that he thought I was the love of his life, but that it's just not how he feels anymore.

There's no other woman.

He just stopped loving me.

Is this possible?

I have accepted that he has checked out of our marriage and is not interested in any solutions or discussion and I am accepting it now after a lot of months of fighting it.

All I really want to know was whether the relationship I had before was real. He came to me on the rebound after his ex partner cheated on him. He was very infatuated with me and our relationship was very sexual. I am worried that I was a band aid to hide his pain of losing the woman he really loved. I am worried that he never loved me, because if he did, why would he just stop?

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 26-Mar-14 12:28:28

I think you've got it in one when you used the word 'infatuated'. A working definition of infatuation would be an excessive but temporary rush of affection based on nothing very solid and which can be confused by all concerned with love. It's real enough while it lasts but it disappears as quickly as it appears.

If he was on the rebound from an ex partner that's also a very common set-up for disappointment. People who have been rejected in love or a grieving and have a lot of affection with nowhere to go can easily fixate on someone/something new to 'do love at' to the point of obsession. A stand-in for the thing they've lost.

How long after you met did he start saying he loved you? Was the relationship characterised by genuine thoughtfulness and kindness or was it more 'full on' and filled with grand romantic gestures? How long had you been going out before you moved in together?

I would also still suggest you cherchez la femme.... sudden 'loss of feelings' are so often code for having found someone new that it's practically a cliché

ShakespearesUglySister Wed 26-Mar-14 12:30:59

Can infatuation go on for three and a half years CogitoErgoSometimes?

ShakespearesUglySister Wed 26-Mar-14 12:31:49

And so you believe "real" love cannot just disappear rather quickly for no solid reason?

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 26-Mar-14 12:38:22

Yes of course infatuation can last that long. Ask anyone who had a serious crush on a pop-star growing up. 'Real' love rarely just disappears. People put up with all kinds of things and go to all manner of lengths when they believe they really love someone. Even when they know a relationship isn't working out and even when it has completely broken down, they can still love the other person.

ShakespearesUglySister Wed 26-Mar-14 12:38:23

Sorry, I am writing before reading. He said he loved me after about 3 weeks :/ Not a good sign is it? He said at the time I was so much more compatible than him and his ex, all his friends and family said the same and that it was so good to see him happy.

I was wary when he said he loved me after 3 weeks, but he continued to "feel" and "act" just as mad about me for the rest of the years and he always just said it was fate, meant to be and destiny and all that so after a while I just believed it was true.

This is what is making me feel like I was a band-aid.

His LTR with the other woman had not been romantic for years. Separate bedrooms and all that. He was very convincing when I said maybe we should wait. He said "I have been single for all intents an purposes for years". He said their child was the only reason he hadn't left years before and that they had grown apart.

I think he believed he was over it, but maybe he wasn't. I don't really know.

There's definitely no other woman. He never goes out. Mutual friends have expressed concern. If anything he seems more devastated by the split than me. He has stopped seeing friends, going out, stopped playing tennis which was his passion, stopped going to the pub and he looks dreadful. A mutual friend told me he has been saying he is hopeless about finding love again.

ShakespearesUglySister Wed 26-Mar-14 12:39:15

Thanks CogitoErgoSometimes.

I suppose then the answer is that he never really loved me. I suppose I can't actually blame him though. He thought he did.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 26-Mar-14 12:39:17

What would your answers be to the questions in my third paragraph?

BestestBrownies Wed 26-Mar-14 12:45:42

I think Cogito is talking a lot of sense OP. I recently met a man online dating. He was working away, so we chatted for almost 2 weeks before meeting, then on the first date he told me I was very special, we had a real connection etc. I told him gently but firmly that it was too soon to tell and that I personally didn't feel any chemistry, but I thought he was a nice guy.

I agreed to a second date. We went out for the day. He had put great thought and effort into making it 'romantic' in a very obvious way, culminating in him declaring he was in love with me and I was his soul mate. I was very direct and honest. I told him I thought he was simply infatuated and on the rebound from the mother of his child. He disagreed emphatically and became almost desperate in his attempts to convince me we were made for each other. Then upset when I didn't acquiesce.

I'm really sorry this has happened to you and that you thought your relationship was something other than it is. I don't doubt he had feelings for you, but have to agree that he was probably infatuated rather than genuinely in love sad

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 26-Mar-14 12:46:23

I think he sounds like the kind of person who was desperate to love something. If he'd been in a loveless/sexless relationship you will have been on the receiving end of years of pent-up affection looking for a home. I've done it myself... not to the point of marrying someone but, after a few years single, the next boyfriend practically ran screaming for the hills because I was so enthusiastic in my affection I almost suffocated the poor thing. I can't even remember his name now... that's how shallow that was. hmm

If he's a decent sort of bloke otherwise he may have realised it was fizzling out a long time ago but kept it going for fear of hurting you. Doesn't really help, I know.

ShakespearesUglySister Wed 26-Mar-14 12:47:19

We dated for 8 months before we moved in together. We had a long engagement and I felt like we'd gotten to now each other incredibly well. I would say that looking back the relationship was characterised by romantic gestures in the beginning because he definitely chased me.

Then after the first year it settled down and he was just everything you'd want really. He was kind, thoughtful and seemed genuinely devoted. He was considerate all the time of my needs and always wanted to hear my thoughts. He always called me first with news. He was attentive all the time. He treated me like his main priority. He brought me a coffee in bed every morning. He seemed to take time to think about the future, he seemed like he could not wait to grow old with me, to have kids with me.

It's hard to describe but it just felt genuine on a day to day basis. I felt loved. Like I never had any doubts about it.

I suppose extreme infatuation can mask as love though. I know even know he finds me very sexually attractive and maybe with men this can cause "love" feelings that might not run that deep?

ShakespearesUglySister Wed 26-Mar-14 12:51:33

I think if I'd not felt the same way I would have run a mile. He was not my type at all. Not very good looking at all. He was someone I would not have looked twice at but once we started talking I sort of never wanted to stop talking to him and after only a week I found myself thinking about him all the time. Sounds silly but when he kissed me that first time my knees shook and so when he said it was "love" I believed it partly because I actually felt the exact same way. For me though, it was real and over time developed into a really deep kind of love and commitment. He had said he felt the same.

ShakespearesUglySister Wed 26-Mar-14 12:54:55

I think he sounds like the kind of person who was desperate to love something. If he'd been in a loveless/sexless relationship you will have been on the receiving end of years of pent-up affection looking for a home.

^ CogitoErgoSometimes this is exactly what has gone through my own head and when you say it, being the person in it, I think it rings true.

I think his devastation and loneliness now is probably that he doesn't want to be alone (he is the type who is desperate to be loved and be in a relationship) he just realised I wasn't "the one" and had to put himself through that painful process where he lost a loving relationship that in a lot of ways he enjoyed.

I wish he'd not been so vocal about loving me so much. I am completely broken hearted and wish he'd not married me.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 26-Mar-14 14:38:28

Everyone feels broken-hearted when their spouse says 'I don't love you any more'. I don't think it makes that much difference why or what's gone before. Whether it's been good, bad or somewhere in the middle; whether it comes out of the blue or after 25 years of sniping; whether you are thrown over for another woman, another man, or for the execrable 'I'm not sure what I want'... it's appalling that it's all being taken away and you have no control whatsoever. That's why you're searching for answers.

ShakespearesUglySister Wed 26-Mar-14 14:50:38

I just wanted to know he felt the same as I did when he was with me, or on our wedding day. Seems silly and irrelevant, I know but I thought to this one person I was the world and find out I never was. I know that's pointless self abuse, but it would be nice to know he once loved me.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 26-Mar-14 14:55:31

You can't ever really know what someone feels. You can only judge by how they behave and what they say. It's all a matter of judgement and I suggest, for your peace of mind and in the absence of anything better, you run with the working hypothesis that he loved you then but doesn't love you now.

In time, you won't love him either... In the meantime, love yourself and be with people that make you feel loved.

ShakespearesUglySister Wed 26-Mar-14 15:52:54

Thanks CogitoErgoSometimes

SirRaymondClench Wed 26-Mar-14 16:15:04

I'm so sorry you're going through this OP.
It's really shit.
For what it's worth you sound lovely and I doubt you will have many problems meeting someone 'in the right place' when the time comes and you're ready.
So what happens now? Will he move out or are you expected to find somewhere else to live?

arsenaltilidie Wed 26-Mar-14 16:18:58

*There's no other woman.
He just stopped loving me.
Is this possible?*

No it's not possible.

I can bet my house there is an other woman.
I'm not trivialising your feeling but you are not the first woman to be told "I'm not in love with you" -- because of another woman-- and you will not be the last.

ShakespearesUglySister Wed 26-Mar-14 16:52:40

He already moved out SRC, he moved out a few weeks after making his announcement.

arsenaltilidie I know people sound sure that there is no other woman and they turn out to be wrong, but I can tell you I am very sure there isn't.

He lives down the road. He is home bang at six o'clock every day, he never goes out (ever!) since this happened and I have never seen anyone coming or going. He talks to me all the time, never acts strangely. The only time I see him with anyone is with his kids every other weekend and even then he seems to just stay at home with them whereas he used to be an active Dad. He seems to have become a hermit.

When I knock on his door, he is in his bathrobe, looking a mess, playing xbox and seemingly drinking heavily as there's heaps of bottles in his recycling and on the kitchen counters whenever I go in there.

Friends who say he cries a lot and is miserable, he plays xbox, his house it a complete mess and he is talking about being alone forever.

I just don't believe there is another woman, although for seven months I have been on the lookout for signs of it.

I suppose I am glad this happened in the long run because I would not want to be a consolation prize to anyone or to be with someone who didn't love me the same way. I have been expecting a change of heart, and although there have been times he appears to change his mind he always goes back to the same again.

elizalovelace Wed 26-Mar-14 17:09:57

op i wonder if there has been an OW and thats why he checked out of your marriage,but things havent worked out with the ow and thats why he feels so down? look after yourself op and try to move on.

ShakespearesUglySister Wed 26-Mar-14 17:22:40

I'm really sure not eliza. There was no change in him, no signs no time away from home. He was always home on time, he spent all his spare time with me, no reduction in affection, no reduction in sex, he seemed like he always had done. I checked over his phone, internet, credit cards...everything going back a year. Nothing. No contact with women, no activity that was unusual.

I know it's the easy explanation but I think he would have just said by now, I have asked him so many times and it's been seven months.

deepest Wed 26-Mar-14 20:53:46

He sounds deeply depressed - there doesnt have to be a trigger for it to happen - but it is hard to love when you are in this state - you freeze, go numb emotionally. You withdraw and "self harm" by cutting off relationships. Yes the ability to love and to feel love can disappear or be paralysed by depression.

ShakespearesUglySister Wed 26-Mar-14 21:21:59

Really? That can happen? He goes to work and is fine with other people. Tells everyone he is okay.

Scornedwoman67 Wed 26-Mar-14 22:23:34

Shakespeare I don't think there is another woman either. I think he is in a very deep depression, and everything you describe points to this. Now it may be that this has been caused by the break-up, but it is equally possible that his feelings for you have been blunted by the depression. If you feel able to talk to him about it I would suggest he goes to the doctor as a matter of urgency. He could easily be appearing fairly normal at work- colleagues will probably assume he is just a bit down about his personal life.

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