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How do you show your DH you love him?

(16 Posts)
HerRoyalNotness Sun 25-Oct-15 12:29:21

Those small daily things that make him feel loved? Marriage is at crisis point and my inability to show DH my love has managed to push him away to the point of him not loving me.

How do you actually show this, amongst the stresses of life? It doesn't help that he is emotionally unable to talk about things as they happen and has just buried his feelings until we are at crisis point. It's given me the shock I needed to do something about it, but I fear it is too late.

I've started counselling and he will next week (for grief due to loss of DD last year which is is struggling with immensely due to not talking about it, but doesn't want marriage counselling). I don't want to lose him, I feel sick to my stomach at the thought of it.

AnnieKenney Sun 25-Oct-15 13:29:22

I know this sounds like stating the obvious but if you don't know, its best to ask. I have learned that what makes me feel loved doesn't always have the same meaning for other people so there you are, making tons of effort and then feeling resentful when it doesn't work because the other person didn't recognise it the way you meant!

I do know my DP very well and no longer have to ask. I tell him I love him / fancy the socks off him / think he's sex on legs at least once a day. I make cups of tea and his favourite food and whilst we have a more or less 50-50 split of household chores, i do make an extra effort to do the tasks i know he dislikes doing. At least twice a week we turn off all things electronic and talk (about anything at all but rarely about 'us'. I still think he's one of the most interesting people I know). I do lots of things I know will make him happy / feel appreciated by me and he does the same in return. Both of us are good at being single and feel that there's not much point in being in a relationship unless it's better than being alone.

HerRoyalNotness Sun 25-Oct-15 14:00:06

He says more physical affection, more sex, telling him I miss him when he is away. I guess for the latter, I just took for granted that he knew that.

For the former, I need from him to feel wanted to be intimate, pour me a glass of wine, rub my feet, progress that. He admits he has been lazy in nurturing our marriage. I did a lot of the booking things to do, holidays, concerts etc and organizing sitters and just grew weary of it. And stopped trying in all aspects I guess.

It's hard now, as since he told me he wanted to split, he won't let me hug him or hold his hand. I've told him I miss him (he is sleeping upstairs) and he says too late. But I then ask, if you could imagine yourself happy tomorrow, what would it be like. And he says he doesn't know.

I have asked him for a long while to actually be an active participant in our family, ie be assertive, say, I am getting xyz for dinner, we are going to do abc. Instead of do you want, what do you think, shall we do x. And I really think if he had more input of his ideas he would feel happier in himself and we'd be happier in our marriage.

I really think we should go to counselling as there is enough remaining to build on, but I can't make him go.

pallasathena Sun 25-Oct-15 14:20:55

Is the loss of your dd a massive factor in what he's going through perhaps? Sometimes, when we lose someone we've loved very much, your world is thrown off its axis and the only way to cope may be to jettison that world and all its pain and loss. A bit like reinventing yourself and the world you inhabit.

Additionally, I suspect that in blaming you for everything, he's projecting his own issues onto you. Sometimes, people attack others as a means of distracting themselves from facing what really is going on. Its a cowards way out sadly but very common.

I'd give him his head. Tell him that you've no intention of begging him to stay if he doesn't want to or being blamed for things you're not guilty of, or being guilted out because he can't articulate his needs and expects you to be his cheerleader/mindreader/domestic organiser/bedroom gymnast.

I suspect once you call him out, he'll suddenly decide he does want to try again - but only if you make more of an effort to....see above...

I think you underestimate yourself and what a strong, decent and thoughtful person you are. You deserve so much better o/p.

HerRoyalNotness Sun 25-Oct-15 14:42:49

palla I absolutely think our loss the underlying factor. But he says he has been unhappy for years. I am totally broken by what happened but at least have been able to talk to friends and get some support.

He hasn't been able to talk to anyone, apart from me, then I guess he has seen how upset I am so has grieved on his own. It is a big step for him to see the counsellor. He had taken 5weeks to mar the spot since I first suggested it. I've been suggesting it for months actually but he has paid no heed.

To make matters worse, we had been trying for another baby as recent as beg. Of sept!! I asked him if DD hadn't died would we be having this lets split conversation, he said no, likewise if I was pregnant right now. He was happy to plod along in relative harmony and not talk about unhappiness or what we could do to change it, just let us drift and drift.

Interesting that you use the word cheerleader as that is exactly how I see myself, the family cheerleader, but no one has been cheering for me and I just ran out of energy.

pallasathena Sun 25-Oct-15 15:08:05

Hopefully the counselling will help him but it sounds very much as if he doesn't understand grief, doesn't understand himself and is looking to you to make everything alright. His world has fragmented. It can't be his fault (male ego) so it must be yours. Hence all the projecting.

I really think you need to get tough with him. Stop pandering to him and begin to put your needs first. If nothing else, it will earn you his respect and I do believe its this, or the lack of it, that's at the heart of your troubles with him.

If he respected you, he wouldn't be treating you so very shabbily. If he respected you, you wouldn't have to be constantly 'cheerleading' in order to maintain the peace.

He's quite a catch isn't he? I'm sure you could do so much better.

HerRoyalNotness Fri 30-Oct-15 03:37:47

Well he has been to his first session and the counsellor has said he is depressed. In his head now we are separated and heading to divorce. She told him to really think this through to be sure it is not the depression talking, which I suggested to him also (and Was not believed). I can't force him to feel anything, get help or change his mind. So I guess now I make plans.

I have started already and bombarded my contacts to find a job. Very complicated as at the moment I am totally screwed.

Expat in a country I can't stay in without being attached to DH. No job (quit in May as we were supposed to be elsewhere),no savings to move. Unable to live separately as we have only one income. 2 living DC to move and support, totally alone.

What a fuckup.

APlaceOnTheCouch Fri 30-Oct-15 04:34:02

flowers I'm sorry he has, and continues to, shut you out. And I'm so sorry about the loss of your DD.

I hope your counselling can help you to find the strength to start making plans.

kittybiscuits Fri 30-Oct-15 07:00:26

Very difficult in the circumstances you find yourself in, but his behaviour is vile and I would give him the divorce he's seeking. Is there anyone else he is leaning on? Someone at work? Very sorry for the loss of your daughter and that he is not supporting you at all in your grief flowers

HerRoyalNotness Fri 30-Oct-15 07:08:49

No evidence of anything going on, of course that doesn't mean there isn't. He is so british stiff upper lip that he has just buried it. Getting help for himself is something, maybe he'll sort himself out for the next past of his life.

Can't sleep and have started sorting out kitchen cupboards. Cried my way through putting DDs clothes away and turning the nursery back into the spare room. Yesterday was what should have been her first birthday. He couldn't send me a text in the day even to see how I was getting on. Said he'd been crying at his desk and had to man up and get on with it do could not support me.

Boo fucking hoo

kittybiscuits Fri 30-Oct-15 07:14:25

I can't imagine your grief. This man has no feelings for you. I imagine you would give anything for a loving arm around you and to be able to share your grief with someone who cares x

HerRoyalNotness Fri 30-Oct-15 07:28:14

I would indeed Kitty.

It's just so odd, hiding that he had been unhappy for years and not bothering to say anything or try to actually work on our marriage. Coming in from work on a sunny Friday afternoon and telling me he doesn't love me and hasn't for years. Rewriting history along the way and now just so shut down emotionally I have zero support. Just putting up with me until I can find a way to leave I guess.

Has no thought to the DC, how he will see them or when. Best case is I move 20hr drive away, middling is moving back to UK where he can see our 2 and his oldest in the same trip, worst case, moving to the other side of the world, from whence I will not be able to return due to finances.

I'm just so drained thinking about it and trying to come up with a plan. I need something bright on the horizon to keep me going.

kittybiscuits Fri 30-Oct-15 07:40:53

Can you access counselling for support and to consider your options? It does scream OW to me, but it doesn't matter why he's disengaged just that he has, and as you say is rewriting history. Has he got any interest in your DC at the moment? I think you could probably get his agreement to relocate now - I would consider taking it before the worm turns x

HerRoyalNotness Fri 30-Oct-15 07:51:29

I started counselling last week, was supposed to see her again today but I turned up and she was in hospital.

He has said he won't stop me relocating. If it got nasty and went to court, he has form, so I'm confident I can take the DC. This isn't their habitual home either and neither were born here. He will move on for work eventually too, so at some point he knows that we won't be staying near him.

He is ok with them, does work very long hrs, but tries to be home early once in the week to play with them and does story time before bed. They don't seem too bothered just now. He breezes in as if everything is normal but if I want to talk about the future or emotional things he breaks down. Then shuts down and goes to bed.

ravenmum Fri 30-Oct-15 08:15:41

My husband was just the same - didn't say anything for 20 years then suddenly I could do nothing right. It started after his mum died so I thought it was depression, but it turned out he'd got a girlfriend. (I imagine it was linked to his mum's death anyway, though.)

He also said I was unloving, uncaring and he'd been unhappy basically throughout our relationship - but he didn't say the last part to me, he wrote it to his girlfriend. I am sure that he believes it himself, but it really is all just rewriting history. At first I thought his criticism was justified and I'm cold and uncaring, but I came to realise that a) I'd been trained to think that, b) actually he did not do anything more loving than me - in fact I could think of a dozen times he'd acted as if he couldn't give a shit about me, and c) even if it's true and I'm a bitch, why wait 20 years and 2 children to bring it up?

I really don't think my husband was deliberately emotionally manipulating me; he was just looking for a solution that didn't make him the bad guy, and his subconscious happily latched on to that one. But it is emotional manipulation, and you shouldn't take it at face value.

I also live abroad, but the kids were born here and I have work here, so I'm staying. In your position I'd move back to the UK. If your husband wants to be closer to the kids, he can be the one to make compromises to achieve that. Don't let him guilt you out.

HerRoyalNotness Fri 30-Oct-15 08:33:01

Oh Rave, sorry you have been through this. It knocks you for six.

I've told him quite clearly the guilt that he thinks I'm trying to "make him feel", is the guilt he deserves, of his own making and the blame is squarely at his feet.

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