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He said he doesn't feel anything for me anymore-my life is completely shattered

(51 Posts)
Titsyandmitzy Mon 07-Jul-14 15:40:42

Please help me, I didn't ever think I'd be in this situation and I've got no one to talk to. This morning my husband told me he doesn't think he loves me anymore and I'm completely shattered by it.

We have been together 8 yrs and married for 4. We have a 2.5 yr ds. When he was 9 months old everything in my world fell apart. My dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer, my nephew was born at 26 weeks and very ill in hospital for months, my grandma died, my husband was made redundant and my dad then passed away. This all happened in a very short space of time. I suffer with anxiety which I've had to keep under control through all of this. I didn't take to motherhood easily and found/find it exhausting, I'm not sure if this is just because I'm crap or a knock on effect of everything else going on. I love my DS to bits and I think he's been the thing that's kept me going. But it's been hard raising him with all that going on too. It's safe to say I probably haven't been the best wife. It's been just over a year since my dad passed and I'm still grieving - it's still as horrendous as in the early months. I worry about my mum a lot and as I'm the only one around (both brothers live 2 hrs away) I spend time helping her etc. I also work 3 days per week. The past 2 years have been utterly shite.

His situation isn't easy either - he lost his job and has built up his own business from scratch during this last year. He's very stressed with the workload but bottles things up. During the horrendous time I've relied on him a lot for house work, cooking etc when I've just found it all too much with everything else going on. Not all the time but he's really stepped up and been amazing. But now this seems to have backfired he's stressed up to his eyeballs and I've made him fall out of love as I've been so useless.

We've had a few major arguments in this shit 2 years about the way he behaves when he goes out with friends. He will get himself in stupid situations like walking home through unsafe areas alone in the middle of the night, very drunk and vulnerable. We row because I don't understand why you'd put yourself in those situations when you have a family to consider. One occasion he did get attacked and ended up in hospital. This was the worst incident but there have been 4 or 5 major arguments in this bad period of my life where he's put himself in silly situations.

One row occurred last night and this is how it all came to head. He's extremely stressed with work and says he doesn't know where to turn or what to think anymore. His head is all over the place. He doesn't feel like he loves me. I feel like I've been a useless wife and my world has come crashing down because I haven't been making him happy. I never saw this for my DS and it breaks my heart to think of what his future might be. I don't think I can cope with al this. Sorry for rambling on, I just needed to get it out. I think I'm still in shock.

hellsbellsmelons Tue 08-Jul-14 09:11:42

We all think that.
How will I cope?
I can't do this alone!
But we all do. You have to.
You keep going to work. You put on a brave face for your DC.
It's amazing what we find we can actually do.
You are a grown up - An adult.
I'm sure you were brought up to be independent and manage on your own.
You do NOT need a man.
It's a horrible prospect.
Please get some real life support.
My biggest regret was keeping it all to myself to begin with.
Your family and friends will want to help and support you.
Go to them for some love and sympathy.
My family and friends were horrified that I'd suffered alone for so long.
But do NOT spend your life with a man who doesn't love you.
It's a lonely life.
The more you write though, the more I am thinking OW.

GertrudeBell Tue 08-Jul-14 09:17:02

I also think that this sounds more like stress and that he's not coping.

I would try to set up some support systems for yourself so that you are less reliant on him: both for your own benefit in case you do split, but also so that you can relieve him of the pressure to look after you. Tell him what you are doing, that you recognise that he is struggling and that you are taking steps to be stronger and take back some of the burdens he has been shouldering.

It sounds as though you might also be depressed OP; have you been to the GP or investigated counselling?

Titsyandmitzy Tue 08-Jul-14 11:58:56

I've made an appointment for later today and I will ask for counselling. When my dad died they said it's there if I need it so I think it's about time I used it. Because of my anxiety I've been on ADs on and off. I went on them after the birth of DS as it spiralled a bit. About 9 months ago I withdrew slowly with the dr's permission with the view of ttc in the near future. I found to be off completely was too much and I'm on 10mg of citalopram now. Maybe I should get it increased. I probably have been depressed through all of this and trying to keep it together.

I've just had a friend round for support and it was good to talk. She says I never talk and keep things bottled up. I know I do but I think I'm scared that if I open up and get emotional I'll sink into a deep depression. That scares the shit out of me.

It breaks my heart that my DS will just have me, no family unit or brothers and sisters. I come from a close family and can't stand the thought of him not having that. I know I shouldn't think the worst is going to happen yet but I don't want to cling to any hope.

JustDontWantToSay Tue 08-Jul-14 13:05:25

Have PM'ed you but just wanted to add on here that it does sound like an awful lot of stress is going on. It may be that time to let the dust settle is all that's needed. I certainly wouldn't be giving up yet. He may be so stressed that he isn't able to access his deep emotions at the moment. Let the air clear and it might be a different story.

In the meantime, stay strong, calm, centered and focussed. Don't put pressure on him. Let him see that you can cope and that he doesn't need to be a 'parent' to you. Bide your time - I hope things change for you soon. xx

settingsitting Tue 08-Jul-14 13:15:00

Dont give up on the situation op. Others on here are saying the same.

I think that it is good to talk. Very good. Perhaps it is best to get it all out slowly? I dont knwo for sure. I would ask the doctor that at your appointment, if I were you.

IrianofWay Tue 08-Jul-14 13:34:36

He's emotionally 'parked' his relationship with you. Because atm it's one more worry that he can't deal with. It's not brave or kind but maybe he feels it's safer. I am a chronic depressive and in the old days it always first presented itself as extreme anxiety as a response to stress. What I wanted was to be able to put all my issues away in a seperate box and address them one by one as I felt able to. I know I pushed H away when that happened - maybe your DP is simply being more straightforward than I was.

Titsyandmitzy Tue 08-Jul-14 14:55:43

Thank you all so much everyone, I really am grateful and this has really helped me over the last 2 days. He is going to come with me to the doctors later as he can't get in at his own surgery. He does seem to want to understand what the hell is happening in his head.

AcrossthePond55 Tue 08-Jul-14 14:55:47

Tell him that part of couples counseling is individual sessions. I think you both need counseling to work this out or to be able to deal with the consequences. I also think he is under so much stress that it's easier to convince himself that he no longer loves you than to admit he doesn't have the strength to cope with his own and still help you. That way he can separate himself from the need to support you & not feel guilty. Many men feel that 'a man can deal with it all' and if you can't you just aren't a real man. Stupid, but we none of us are really sensible when trying to just survive day to day, are we?

My heart hurts for both of you. It's like the solution is right there, just beyond reach, but he just can't see it.

ColouringInQueen Tue 08-Jul-14 15:04:58

Titzy I'd also say this sounds more like stress, depression and disordered thinking in my experience. Both dh and I have experienced depression and it does completely change how you can think about your partner - to the negative. The not being able to think straight is also classic stress/anxiety/depression. Your brain is simply completely overwhelmed and not working properly.

Try not to give up yet. It is brilliant that he is going to the docs with you - I see that as a real positive. My dh and I are about to start Couples Counselling for depression with Relate (but is NHS funded) so that might be something of interest for you. Thinking of you both.

Titsyandmitzy Tue 08-Jul-14 18:52:22

The dr's went ok. Obviously DH is not their patient so she couldn't actually do much for him but urged him to keep trying his own surgery tomorrow. Before we went in we had a chat and he said it felt good to actually talk and get things out in the open. But he said it was annoying the dr saw him in a calm state and not how he was yesterday. I've got a counselling appointment for myself and I think we're going to try relate.

Going back to the chat we had before the appointment,I'm still as confused as ever. I asked if all the stresses of the last 2 yrs hadn't happened would it of still come to this and he thought no. But he's also questioning has the damage been done and his feelings gone forever. He's been wrestling with these doubts and no love feelings for a few months. He tried to deal with it on his own as to not add to my burden. I'm beginning to think maybe that's what's been his stress and not just work as I've been thinking. He said that last week he thought he was going to tell me it was over but that was because he thought there was no other option. But now we've started to communicate he said he felt slightly better and wanted to hug. But then he doubts it all again by worrying does he only feel better because it's a relief that it's out in the open but still thinks it? It still all sounds a bit of a mess doesn't it. Sorry if I'm not making sense.

One awful thing he said was that he was lonely even when I'm there. He sometimes doesn't want our DS to go to bed as he feels lonely. And I can see that. I can often be in the room but not "present". Just wrapped up in myself. I guess that's part of my low mood, stress??

FoolishFay Tue 08-Jul-14 19:12:49

It's encouraging he went to the GP; my DH is a very experienced mental health professional and absolutely refused to see a GP. Later on, looking back, he accepts he was severely depressed, and in his case, almost ready for hospital admission. He felt our relationship was completely 'broken and beyond fixing'....

We've just been out for dinner and heading off shortly to a rock gig. Honestly, a year ago I could never imagined this...

Keep calm and focus on you and your child. I know it's terrifying, I remember it well. Get all the support you can - you've been through the mill too.

ColouringInQueen Tue 08-Jul-14 20:20:01

Titzy that sounds like good progress - counselling for you and he's still willing to engage with his doc. I know its really hard to do, but if you can, try not to take what he says about your relationship completely to heart. When you're seriously stressed and depressed you can't think properly/straight. It's good that he felt a bit better after talking to you. I can imagine him doubting that feeling, but that's a classic depressed brain thinking.

As Fay says, take care of yourself, as much sleep as you can fit in. One day and at a time and hand in there.

Titsyandmitzy Wed 09-Jul-14 07:58:08

Well scrap everything I've said about it being related to work stress. I think I've just assumed that's what it was the whole time but it was actually the stress of keeping from me the fact he doesn't love me anymore.

Another talk last night, says he's been feeling like this for a few months and kept it in so to not hurt me with everything else I've been through. How can you just stop loving someone? I asked how could he do this to our DS and he said that's how bad his feelings are because he's thought all that through. I know this screams other woman and maybe I'm a mug but I really don't think it is.

I thought marriage was for life and our vows meant something. I can't stop being sick and I can't sleep. How the hell am I meant to function and carry on without this affecting my DS? I can't imagine him actually gone and leaving us both. What the hell is my life about to become?? Is this a normal reaction from me?

Bonsoir Wed 09-Jul-14 08:01:45

Both of you have been under enormous pressure for a long time now.

You both need to take steps to reduce pressure in your lives, urgently.

HazelBite Wed 09-Jul-14 08:52:04

It is human nature when things are going "wrong" in our lives to want to "change" something in our lives to improve them. This often means that people make awful and wrong decisions just to change things. eg moving house, resigning from your job, getting rid of your partner.
Its something I have witnessed over the years, people try to change something often totally unrelated to the problem, often having catastrophic effects and just making everthing a whole lot worse.

I think that this is probably the case with your husband. Life of late has dealt you both a shit sandwich. He currently is not happy so he wants to change things, you have been disconnected from him for some time dealing with your own problems, so in his mind you are the one causing him the most unhappiness, (he knows where he is with his work, even if it is stressfull, moving house is obviously not an option) so because he feels disconnected from you, it seems to him that you are the "change" he needs to make.

My gut instinct is that you can both weather this storm but it will require a lot of effort on both your parts and help from professionals. Men are notoriously bad at working out and analysing their own feelings, my guess is that you both need counselling.
You both owe it to your DS
Good luck I'm rooting for youxx

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 09-Jul-14 09:21:02

I actually thought our lives were looking a bit better lately - we had a nice holiday together in May, we've even talked about having another baby and it was him saying this more than me.

I can understand why you are in shock, as it were. But as FoolishFay urged, do focus on yourself and DS.

DH may be in a state of confusion but you need to start thinking as clearly as you can.

You're jumping to the worst case scenario - I do it myself sometimes - you're picturing DH leaves, you struggle, DS is adversely affected forever. Now as bleak as things appear now that's looking too far ahead. Yes it is a shock, and your confidence is rock bottom. But keep putting one foot in front of the other. Try not to panic.

Try to take small steps, as Hellsbells said yesterday, first get some rl support. 'A problem shared', etc.

You may not be used to confiding in people, on here we are anonymous whereas in the real world it can be a fine line between being frank and over sharing with individuals you might run into on a regular basis. But having taken the step of looking at medical help I still think you could use a listener. Pick someone discreet you trust. Do you have any family or friends you could talk to about this? Do you have religious faith, is there a minister you are able to talk with?

A relationship is 50:50, you are responsible for some of but not all of whatever condition your marriage is in. In fact each adult is responsible for their own happiness. Don't heap blame on your own head.

Thenapoleonofcrime Wed 09-Jul-14 09:35:56

This is either one of two things: he's moving on wanting a life with someone else, or that he is stresses/depressed and just looking to change something, anything, to cope with life. My husband has a period in the second category- he also told me we ought to split as it wasn't working. We didn't, we have been together many years since then and it was very much a function of his depression.

It was still devastating however and I do resent him for it, I have also had hard times and felt terrible but never ever have I seriously sat down and told him I want out. It does feel like a barrier, a boundary has been crossed by that action.

I can't say which of the two scenarios is most likely here- you will have a better idea, but what you do need is support for yourself, family friends, offloading here.

You say your son will end up just with you- but why won't your husband still be his dad? He can do childcare, weekends, I wouldn't be letting him off that hook whatsoever, he doesn't get to recreate life without a child, that's not on the agenda at all and you need to make it clear that while you can't stop him cutting off from you, he will still continue to be a dad if you split.

MrsWinnibago Wed 09-Jul-14 09:43:28

Titzy my DH and I had a terrible phase a few years back...there was no affair but a lot of stress and a few knocks professionally. He and I felt nothing but irritation for one another and rowed a LOT. It's gone now and we're more "together" than ever but if you had asked me then if I loved him or was in love with him, I'd have said "Not sure."

Now I see that having small children and babies places a LOT of stress on couples.

FoolishFay Wed 09-Jul-14 09:46:45

I totally echo Hazel.

I quickly became the focus for my DH's unhappiness, he felt if he got rid of me, everything else would somehow resolve itself. His real issues were that he'd made a massive mess of the finances and ended up losing his consultancy job because he just stopped coping with life. He is a proud man and everything he'd built just crumbled around him because he ignored all the warning signs. I always knew there was nothing fundamentally wrong with our relationship.

I know I'm banging on about what happened with us, but the parallels seen so strong.

Keep strong, and look after yourself. You can be supportive but you are not solely responsible for his happiness. Don't try to persuade him and reason with him, he has to realise himself who the important people are in his life. It's possible he may only do that by having some time apart. That would be very tough, but it's not, by a long chalk, terminal.

Feel free to pm me if I can be of any help.

Jan45 Wed 09-Jul-14 12:20:05

Sorry but I don't see how stress and worry stops you loving your partner and I would investigate the OW possibility if you can. If he has a lot of freedom then he'd have plenty opportunity, it just sounds so scripted with regards to having his eye on someone else.

Maybe I'm just ultra suspicious by nature but when a man says he doesn't love you or a woman for that matter, take it as read.

AcrossthePond55 Wed 09-Jul-14 14:46:28

I agree to keeping all options open. Encourage him to go to couple's counseling. It may help him realize that he does still love you and that things are not as bad as he thinks they are. If, indeed, he still wants to leave counseling will help you and DS to deal with it and (most importantly) it will help you and DH to separate as kindly and compassionately as possible. Not that I think that's inevitable. I still think he's just looking for a way 'out' of all the stress, but it is best to be prepared. So, I'm going to trot out that old MN chestnut, please take a look at your finances and be sure you are familiar with assets, income, etc. Don't think of it as looking for trouble, rather like checking the your tyres. You aren't expecting a flat, you're just checking.

Jan45 Some people project or transfer onto other people and make them the 'cause' of their problems rather than looking inward for a solution. Unfortunately it's usually their nearest and dearest, 'you always hurt the one you love' and all that.

Titsyandmitzy Fri 11-Jul-14 13:17:28

We've just had our relate session. Thinks it's pretty much confirmed to DH that it's over. He said he hasn't felt love towards me for a long time. He feels we've drifted apart. I'm swinging between feeling angry at him for not communicating a long time ago how he was feeling so I had a fair chance and just feeling desperately sad that the man I love doesn't love me back. Can I really be angry at him for that? This is fucking horrendous.

hellsbellsmelons Fri 11-Jul-14 13:50:56

Of course you can be angry at him for that.
They are your feelings and they are valid!
I'm so sorry for everything you are going through.
From the sound of it though, it's time for legal advice.
Get to CAB and a solicitor to see what you are entitled to.
You will get through this but it's won't feel like it for some time.
Keep coming her for support.
Many many many of us have been where you are now.

Jan45 Fri 11-Jul-14 14:03:38

Yes time for you to move on and stop waiting on him changing his mind, he's not going to.

Re the OW scenario, doesn't mean he's met anyone, there's a lot of secret communications going on with men and women on the internet, do you now if he uses any sites, won't really matter now I suppose.

Chin up and keep going, I'm not long out of a 12 year relationship, it's like a death but I know I will get there, and so will you.

AcrossthePond55 Fri 11-Jul-14 15:15:17

Damn skippy (American phrase) you can be angry! I'd be furious! Now, use that energy wisely.

Get to a solicitor ASAP. Get/make copies of ALL financial records and assets. Separate finances immediately. Don't let fury or heartbreak blind you to what is fair and equitable for you and your son.

And now that he's confirmed how he feels, he needs to leave. The sooner the better. And you need to stop being a wife to him right NOW. He can do his own laundry, fix his own meals, clean up after himself. All your energy needs to be focused on YOU.

As hard as it can be to accept, people do fall out of love. It just happens, sometimes for no apparent reason. At least you found out now rather than wasting more of your life trying to 'fix the unfixable'.

Let yourself grieve, that's OK, too.

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