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DH doesn't love me(98 Posts)
I'm going to try to stick to the salient points, but I'm sobbing as I type.
DH and I are in our mid 40s and have been together for over 20yrs (met at uni). We have four lovely teenage DCs.
About 18 months ago I felt a difference in our marriage - general coldness, lack of affection and so on, but didn't say anything initially while I tried to work out what was going on and tried to put it right.
About 12mths ago things deteriorated and I initiated a conversation in which DH said that he loved me like a sister or a friend, but was no longer in love with me.
From that time I have lurked on this board and know that the general perception is that this behaviour usually indicates an OW. Unfortunately I have no way of checking this out - DH works away for weeks at a time, often abroad, often with female colleagues, and his credit card bill is basically full of hotels and entertaining. His phone and email account are also password protected. I have asked him about it and he has denied it, but not very convincingly.
Anyway, I have lived through hell over the past 12months - he is polite, but distant. We have not had sex for 12months, and he has now had a vasectomy. He says things will 'get better' but they haven't, and he will not try counselling.
I think he is quite cruel - has no trouble falling asleep listening to me cry etc. I once text him after a row to say I wished I was dead because I was so lonely (not generally this dramatic) and he texted a reply an hour later, so couldn't even be bothered to call me, even though he was away all week.
I can't bear it any more. I love him and thought we would be together forever, and every time he recoils when I accidentally touch him it breaks my heart.
I texted him today to say that I wanted to separate. He is away until the weekend and he replied to say we would 'talk' but what do I say?
He has got a big job and earns lots for a national company while I have always been a SAHM. I have no doubt he will marry again and continue living a wealthy lifestyle. How will I cope, financially and emotionally? All I know is that I can't keep up this miserable existence.
You say 'I want to separate. It makes sense for you to move out because you are rarely here anyway. I would like you to go by xx date. Shall I see a solicitor or would you like to go through the finances and arrangements together?'
Or something like that. He sounds like an absolute complete cunt to treat you like he has been doing for 18 months.
You don't need to explain. He knows what is going on and yes, no doubt there is someone else. What a coward not to admit it.
You will cope, especially if you keep posting on here and get the wonderful support that is always doled out by the wonderful people that have walked the same path and come out the other side.
The chances are, if he is well paid, then you will be ok financially.
So sorry for you. It does sound like another woman.
I suggest you get a good solicitor as soon as possible. If he is a high earner and you a SAHM, you will be able to get a financial settlement to protect you and the kids financially. Don't despair. I know this will be cold comfort for all your emotional pain but do it for yourself and the children.
As Ivana Trump said, don't get mad, get everything.
Hi OP, how awful for you. I understand that this must be very scary and unsettling. You definitely need to talk - if he's committed to making things better then he absolutely must attend counselling with you. If he's not then he needs to let you go - not keep you hanging on like this. Please get some legal advice - get copies of bank statements, payslips, whatever you can - you need to start thinking about protecting yourself, as your H is clearly only concerned with himself.
Hang in there - you've had an awful 12 months, a resolution one way or the other will be a relief. Look after yourself and show your kids what an awesome strong mum they've got
I wouldn't be able to forgive someone for a year of treating me like that. If he did want to try to make amends would you be able to really forgive him for how cruel he's been? Personally the only talk you should be having is when and how you separate. This is unforgivable treatment of another person over such a long period of time, especially as it's been very clear to him how much he's been hurting you.
Thank you for your replies. I cried (again) when I read them because it felt so comforting to hear someone saying nice things to me.
I haven't talked to anyone in rl because I didn't want people to think badly of him if we managed to work it out.
It really has been an awful time. I can't remember a day when I didn't fall asleep crying. I keep thinking about how we used to be, and all the plans we made that'll never happen.
I'm interested that people do feel that he's behaved badly, because I wondered if I was being over sensitive or something.
He is perfectly civil and polite, but just avoids me as much as possible. He will eat a meal and just leave the table without saying a word, and never sits with me in the evening. If I am talking about something important (I never talk about trivial stuff any more) he will be looking over my shoulder or checking his emails.
He used to want sex almost every day that he was here (it didn't happen that often but he would've liked it too iyswim) so to not have sex for 12months really confirms that he has had, or is having, an affair I think, although he does view porn a lot too.
I think people in rl think I'm lucky - he is good looking and provides us all with a nice lifestyle, whilst I'm an overweight SAHM. When he first told me he didn't love me I lost 3stone in an attempt to interest him again, but he didn't even notice.
Thank you for the advice. What a fun conversation I will be having on Mothers Day.
For your own sake and no one else's, don't waste any time or effort trying to win him back. He has forfeited the right to any indulgence from you.
Yes, there's almost certainly at least one OW if not several. He's decided that you are obsolete as a partner and useful only as a housekeeper and childminder, which is immensely selfish of him. When you tell him that you are ending the marriage, he may well 'promise to change' but this will be because he doesn't want to lose his home comforts or share the assets with you. What men like this want is Wifey at home, doing the domestic work and sufficiently desperate to keep hubby that she will put up and shut up WRT any OWs he may run after. You'll feel better faster if you get him out as fast as possible and with as much cool dignity as possible. Rage and weep all you want in private but as far as he is concerned, you tell him that you feel you've grown apart and will be happier divorced. Don't give him all the power to make the choices. Good luck, you will get loads of support on here.
Thank you. I hope I can carry on getting support on here because honestly I feel like I'm going mad.
I don't know how to behave. At various times I've tried weeks of being super nice, feigned indifference, tearfulness and open hostility. Hostility was met with hostility, but nothing else seemed to register at all. Once or twice I've forced a conversation in which he'll say something like 'I'm sorry you're hurting'.
I know I can't make him feel something he doesn't feel, so I can't blame him for all this really.
Hi OP, so sorry you are going through this. He says he thinks of you as a sister or friend. He wouldn't treat a sister or friend the way he is treating you, would he. I think you need to start being selfish and protecting yourself. Keep posting, you will get all the support you need here.
hi there . you can blame him though as he has allowed you to love in this way and has allowed you to carry on trying to save your marriage. whilst, however, he does nothing to do that which just eats away at every part of you. I know I was in your position last year. 13yrs together married for 10, two dcs. whilst I went on about planning our 10th anniversary away he pulled further away.
I felt like I was hideous, like I was going mad, scared everything. and he continued to say things would be OK and nothing was wrong.
you will be OK. in the end I said I can't live like this anymore either work on our relationship or admit you want out . he left. this was 4 months after the I love you but I'm not in love with you speech.
get his wage slip and you can look online about how much he will need to give you. go and see a solicitor its invaluable for getting your head around everything.
he is cruel to do this to you. you sound lovely and I'm so sorry. things do I get better. I promise. just at the start it is day by day as it is so incredibly raw.
use mumsnet. it saved me as I knew no one in RL close to me to turn to who would understand. x
How awful for you adeu
It cannot get any worse than this, to be honest. You can be pretty sure that 12 months of coldness and hostility is much worse than living alone with your DCs and moving on with your life, so please take a little comfort in that if you can.
I have no experience in dealing with this stuff but I am furious at him for you, for his selfishness, inability to see the big picture, inability to see what is of value and what is not.
All I can say is that eventually he will regret it. No matter how much money he has, even if he marries again, he will always feel like he let himself down and sometime, somewhere, that will hit him.
Also IF he does have OWs, when he is officially 'out' that bubble of compartmentalisation will burst. He will get demands and ultimatums from them, their expectations will change - life will not be as rosy and light as he has been used to, with you at home and them for the 'fun' bits. Things will not be a breeze for him.
Please post here as much as you want, Mumsnet is here to help!
He is cruel.
You are crying now so even if separating from him will make you cry..there's no difference, is there? & I do think there is an OW. Without him making you feel like rubbish you may have the chance in the future to meet someone who isn't as cold and callous as he is. I agree with Pink - he wouldn't treat his sister of friend with the coldness he is showing you. Don't be his 'at home comfort zone'. Put yourself 1st. Thats what he's doing, after all
What you are going through sounds incredibly painful, specially when you are crying yourself to sleep and he shows no attempt to make you feel better.
I really think you need to reach out to someone close to you in real life, you need some emotional support, you cannot bear this pain on your own.
IMO it is irrelevant whether there is another woman or not, and I wouldn't drive yourself crazy thinking about it.
You have tried your best to repair the relationship, but if he is not willing like others said it is time to put your own needs first. It isn't your fault - in relationships you can give your all but you can never predict or control the behaviour of your partner.
You're not alone, many people have been through this and have come out the other side. You deserve happiness and not misery and if he has chosen to disrespect you and take you for granted, he doesn't deserve to have you in his life. After this length of time it is probably time to move on I think.
I'm sure you will get lots of helpful advice about the next steps available to you. MN is a good place to talk.
Thank you everyone. It's so good to know that others have been through this and come out the other side, and your thoughtful advice is really helping.
To those who have said that he wouldn't treat a sister or friend like this, I'm afraid he would. He is superficially charming so neighbours and work colleagues probably think he is a nice guy, but he doesn't have any friends at all and I could write a long list of people he's treated badly or spoken to unforgivably rudely. His siblings don't really bother with him, and sometimes I wonder why his parents do.
Reading that back, it's ridiculous that I still love him. But it used to feel like 'us' against the world and I used to feel special because he didn't like many people, but liked me. Obviously I'm on the outside now too.
Oh Adeu, what an awful situation. He is treating you with great indifference which regardless of OW or not is crippling your self esteem. While you stay with him, a part of you will always be trying to get his attention and that's not good for you. I have been in this situation and it took me 3 years to break free. Once I finally did I started to see the situation for what it really was...... My DP wanted out, was too cowardly to do it so treated me like shit for years until I finally made the break. He was cold, distant, unfeeling and generally made me feel worthless. When I left I felt like the greatest weight ever had been lifted from me!! Within a month I was feeling so much happier and optimistic about my future. Its tough to make the break but ultimately you have to break free for your own sanity and pride. You must tell people in RL so they can support you. Enough is enough. He does not value you, but you can value yourself by LTB. Don't focus on the question of an OW..... Its truly not the issue. Focus on yourself and you will be surprised how strong you can be.
Good luck, you can do this.
V V cruel behaviour on his part for sure. But, if he truly doesn't love you any more it really doesn't matter why (OW vs none). He's already 'gone' from your marriage, from what you've described. I wouldn't worry or expend my precious energy trying to find out if there were an OW because it won't make any difference, in the end. The truth will come out eventually anyway.
You are desperately unhappy, my dear, and you deserve to be happy again. You must start by taking charge of your life. And you start taking charge of your life by gathering any/all financial information you can get your hands on and seeing a solicitor. Don't wait for your DH to start controlling what happens next & making financial decisions/offers that will greatly impact your future.
It's all checks and balances for now. You will cry but you can balance that by taking pride in having controlled your own future by seeing a solicitor. Things will change, probably a great deal, but you will balance that by ending up a happy woman in a home full of peace and love with your children.
I can't tell anyone in rl yet because I feel ashamed - my parents live a long way away but will actually be cross with me I think because they think he's great (because he earns a lot).
I'm starting to feel more optimistic though. You are all amazing.
oh op. I know that feeling. I felt so ashamed and sad that what I thought was a great family unit was gone. that it wasn't worth saving in his view.
I too was worried my parents might be disappointed in me. but I couldn't have been more wrong. and I told my two closest friends too. every bugger else can wait
Please stop doing the humiliating and demeaning dance of pick me
You are wasting your time and simply making him despise you more.
Detach yourself, OP. He doesn't want you, I am sorry.
I am sorry that you are going through this. I agree that there is probably OW, but also agree in your case that it is not worth wasting your time worrying about that. You need to put yourself first now. If there is no relationship left then the right thing to do is to separate.
See a solicitor to get some good legal advice on where you stand with the house and finances etc as it will help you to stay strong.
MN was a lifesaver for me so please keep posting for support and also tell a close friend. Hopefully your parents will support you too.
I was with XH for 10 years, married for 6 when I got "the speech" and there was an OW involved. I went through hell, but 2 years on, I am much happier and seeing somebody else now. I have 6yo DD. There is light at the end of the tunnel and those who have been through it all are here to support you.
What a cheeky fucker he is . Please, Op , no more telling him you wish you were dead ect. You deserve better. He sounds disordered , cruel , and manipulative.
Tell him to fuck off out . Tell him you agree , your marriage is shit and you want a divorce. Tell him your sick of being in a marriage with someone who's dead from the waist down. Sock it to him. He isn't all that. Start getting glammed up and go out.
You really shouldn't interact with him emotionally , do not let him know your upset as I get the feeling he enjoys the power it gives him. He sounds like a nasty parasite and its not your fault he's like this.
I'm annoyed on your behalf Op. He recoiled when you touch him ? Divorce him and get yourself a nice bloke.
* He is superficially charming so neighbours and work colleagues probably think he is a nice guy, but he doesn't have any friends at all and I could write a long list of people he's treated badly or spoken to unforgivably rudely. His siblings don't really bother with him, and sometimes I wonder why his parents do*
Oh no...not another one of those. I was married to one previously and eventually (although it took me too long, I think) bailed out. Best thing I ever did, or I wouldnt have found the happiness I have now. Staying with him would be like flogging a dead horse who doesn't feel it. He'll never feel any remorse and never change. Hard as it may be, just get rid. & you're too old to worry about what your parents think so that doesn't need to be in the equasion. Do whats best for you right now. Glad you're feeling a little more optimistic, at least. Its not nice when these things happen but you will get through it, in time.
This is such an upsetting thread. You are clearly in great distress and for him to pretend you have no feelings- barely talking to you, ignoring you crying, not showing you affection- shows are really quite awful level of callousness. For your own sanity, you must put yourself and your needs first. I know you are worried about money, but the fact that he is wealthy and you had an agreement for you to be a sahm means that you will be entitled to support should you decide that things are irreparable. He clearly isn't happy either- it's just pretty cowardly of him to avoid the issue and carry on with his life without any real regard for what it is doing to you.
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