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I don't think I love DH anymore

(21 Posts)
seaanemony Mon 26-Oct-15 14:44:42

I need some advice please mumsnet. Have namechanged for this.

This is tearing me apart. I am just beginning to come to terms with the fact I don't love DH anymore. It's been going on for some time now (2-3 years?) but it has only just occurred to me. Pretty much everything he does annoys me. I have no patience with him anymore, we just seem to be on different planets. He's very self-absorbed and quite immature but we've been together for well over two decades and these things never quite put me off him. But now I seem to have had enough. I need so much more than what we have. All I seem to do is trying to stop myself from leaving him. I go around the house muttering to myself "I can't do this anymore!" while picking up stuff he's left lying around or moved bits that I have spent a lot of time finding a place for. He is a loving dad to our DD (5) and they adore each other but he doesn't really take any responsibility for her in terms of discipline - he always wants me to play bad cop to his good cop.

We still have sex but most of the time I'm frustrated and fed up with even sharing a bed with him. I catch myself feeling a lot calmer when he's not at home - when he is I just feel tense and almost always find a reason to escape by going to bed. This is getting me down so much. I don't know what to do. I don't want to leave him because I don't want our DD to grow up in a broken home but the way I feel doesn't seem healthy either. He seems to have no idea how I feel even though I've brought it up a few times. He's in his own world when it comes to feelings and relationships. I don't think we are compatible any more. I don't think we're meant to be together. But I also feel guilty for being in this frame of mind.

What do I do? I'm mentally exhausted. Thanks for reading.

rockabillyruby82 Mon 26-Oct-15 14:52:32

I think you know what you have to do. If you genuinely can't visualise a future with him than you need to tell him. You have to be honest with him.
Is there a chance that CC could help?

RiceCrispieTreats Mon 26-Oct-15 14:57:34

Your post feels very anxious, as if you feel that you have to make a decision right now on something you don't fully understand yet.

Give yourself time, and more peace.

If you can, please put leaving him as an option on the table. Tell yourself that you are free to go, or to stay. You don't need to make any decision right this minute. You can decide whatever you want, whenever you want. All options are open. You are not trapped.

Now, how does that feel?

LuluJakey1 Mon 26-Oct-15 14:58:22

^^ What rockabilly said. If that is how you feel you have to tell him. Every marriage goes through phases but 3 years with no change is a long time. He has a chance to find someone who does love him and you have a chance to find someone you love.

Dumbledoresgirl Mon 26-Oct-15 15:00:14

Well, I could have written nearly all of your post. I don't really have any wise words as I am in a similar position and don't know what to do either, but I just wanted to say you are not alone.

He seems to have no idea how I feel even though I've brought it up a few times. He's in his own world when it comes to feelings and relationships. I don't think we are compatible any more. I don't think we're meant to be together. But I also feel guilty for being in this frame of mind.

I especially relate to the above.

Just a few random thoughts, since I can't help with what you should do:

I have been married over 20 years and have noticed that my feelings for dh do tend to go in cycles. Right now, I don't like him very much and can't see how this situation will change, but I know I have felt this way before and the feelings did change, so I feel, on balance, it is better to sit this out and see what happens than do something drastic I might regret ie break up the relationship. Do you feel that way, at all?

I would also say that if your dd is only 5 year old, that is a very trying time in your life. There are lots of demands on you, physically, emotionally, which can have a negative effect on your marriage. But obviously, she won't stay 5 forever, and as she becomes more independent you may find you have time and energy to devote to your relationship.

Also, the dynamics within the family change. Right now, your dh is playing good cop to your bad cop, but in time, your dd may relate more positively to you as you can do 'mother and daughter' stuff together. I have a daughter who is 15 and there have definitely been years when she has related more to me than to her dad, though I have to admit now she is much more a Daddy's girl - I am seen as the Enemy - and that is one of many strains on our relationship right now.

Finally, I wondered if you were doing anything for yourself? Do you work doing something you enjoy, or see friends, or pursue a hobby? These things might not directly help your relationship with your dh, but I find they are the little things that keep me feeling a sense of self-worth.

seaanemony Mon 26-Oct-15 15:31:28

Thankyou for the quick replies - I really appreciate it.

rockabillyruby82 and LuluJakey1 - you're right. I know what I have to do. But I can't imagine doing. It seems as out of the question as going to the Moon. How to you get out of a 20+ relationship? We've been together since before I finished school. Our lives are completely interlinked. How do you go...? I don't know if CC would help in the sense that I think it might be too late. Or is it that I am not interested in resolving this because I've had enough?

RiceCrispieTreats - thanks for that. Reason I feel so anxious is, I think, because I've been bottling it all up for such a long time and I'm at my wits' end. Everyday life has become really really difficult. I know I am not trapped in theory but I do feel utterly trapped in practice. And I can only assume that leaving him is the only right thing to do. But I can't face it, as I mentioned earlier.

Dumbledoresgirl - thankyou. I am sorry you are in a similar position. You know, I want to believe it's temporary. And I am not desperate every day. But overall, I feel lost in this relationship. It feels like a prison.

I do things for myself, go away and spend time with friends, read a lot, organise events for fun, have an ok job - but there are two weird, conflicting things here too: on the one hand, the things I do outside of our relationship only serve to remind me just how there's a whole world out there that he's not part of and is not interested in and, on the other hand, because I'm getting more and more depressed about the situation at home, I find myself staying at home more and not wanting to see people because I can't talk to anyone about this.

spudlike1 Mon 26-Oct-15 15:53:04

I think you need to work on yourself, you sound like you could have a whole raft of issues that you are perhaps blaming your partner for. This anger ,resentment, frustration could have deeper roots your husband is closest and easiest to blame .
Therapy counselling whatever you call it .
I'm not saying stay with the current relationship but leaving him might not be the answer
I'm saying this as I've been in a very similar frame of mind .

spudlike1 Mon 26-Oct-15 16:12:50

Relationships have to be 50/ 50 Are you demanding enough on him for what you want and need he's sounds rather selfish .

Auntpetunia2015 Mon 26-Oct-15 16:14:34

Oh god are you me? I've thought about writing a similar thread for weeks, but couldn't work out how to name change and now can't be bothered!

I plucked up the courage the other week to say it all, I started by asking as he happy, and was gobsmacked when he said yes, he couldn't see anything wrong with our lives....Id assumed he was as unhappy as me, but he couldn't see what was wrong. We've agreed a 3 month trial to get back on track which means he's got to engage more in family life and not spend all his time on his computer, he used to walk in after work and put it on before even saying hello, and would settle down in the dining room for the night straight after tea. No interaction in family life at all. He's trying currently , but all that it's doing is driving me mad as I'd gotten used to my own space (contrary cow I am).

Like you I've been married 20+ years, so the thought of it all scares the life out of me , but I can't imagine another 30+ years like this.

Jan45 Mon 26-Oct-15 16:27:20

Life probably feels doubly hard when you feel this way, I think you need to be honest and tell him exactly how you feel, if the two of you are not willing to change the dynamics and deep down you don't feel you want to spend the rest of your life with him then call it a day, it's noting about a broken family, your 5 year old can happily be parented by both, you just sound scared of the unknown which is scary but no reason why you can't have the kind of life and relationship you want, maybe just not with him anymore.

Twitterqueen Mon 26-Oct-15 16:34:38

So many of us have been where you are OP. My advice is to be completely open and honest about how you feel. I wasn't. I bottled it all up until it was too late and I ended up making the decision it was over on my own.

A marriage is an agreement between 2 people and the breakup should be that too. You can't get things back on track on your own, and it won't happen unless you tell him how you are feeling. It will no doubt be horrible and traumatic and upsetting and you don't know how it will end, but you need to talk. Because it will still be horrible and traumatic and upsetting - 10 times over - if you don't talk.

FWIW I don't regret leaving but I do regret not talking beforehand.

whatyouseeiswhatyouget Mon 26-Oct-15 17:54:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

seaanemony Tue 27-Oct-15 12:35:50

Thank you all so much. You've no idea how helpful this is. I thought just getting it out of my system would be good but this is a hundred times better. Thanks.

You are absolutely right that DH needs to know exactly how I feel. He needs to have a say in this and to see if we can try and fix things together. This however assumes that I'd be talking to someone who's willing to listen, who's not completely defensive all the time, someone who actually acts like an adult and takes responsibility and can talk reasonably and take things in. This person is not my DH. There is absolutely nothing I can say to him that he doesn't take as criticism and doesn't end in an argument. From sweetly asking if he could possibly do the dishes while I'm cooking, to coming to a parents' evening without a fuss, to letting me tell him about a particularly bad day at work without him interrupting me to tell me about something he's reading on Twitter while I'm speaking... to much more serious and important stuff. You get the idea. It's hopeless. In 20+ years we haven't really talked properly, despite me trying endless times. For most of that time, I just took it as a thing that was normal. But since our DD was born, it has become a real burden.

And it's true, I do need to work on myself. Apart from anything else, I can see I'm starting to become someone different to the person I used to be - because I feel so frustrated. I've had counselling in the past about this but we since my DD was born, we haven't had the money for me to carry on with that, past the NHS sessions.

I'm just so worried about making everyone unhappy, including my DD. It seems like, either way, she can't win and that kills me.

Twitterqueen Tue 27-Oct-15 14:17:19

Forget your DD for now. She is young enough to roll with the punches and will survive. Children are inherently selfish and at her age as long as she has her dolls / teddies / bed / she will be fine.

My exH didn't listen either. He never apologised for anything, ever, at all. He had no respect for me and was the most selfish person - and subsequently the most spiteful and vitriolic person - I have ever met. However, it's not necessarily about your DH listening to you (which is obviously what you want), it's about you feeling that you have given him every opportunity to change and to understand what you are feeling. if and when you know you have done that, and tried your very hardest and you still want to leave, then you will leave with more calmness and more confidence.

spudlike1 Tue 27-Oct-15 19:04:18

This guy needs to know how serious this is .

spudlike1 Tue 27-Oct-15 19:11:18

And you need to be totally serious with him.
Confident and assertive at the same time his behaviour is poor to say the least .
He exploits your vulnerable side without even realising it. Your child will not benefit from having an unhappy mum do this for you ..but know that she needs a happy confident mum . Good luck counselling of some sort would help you with this its good to talk it all through .

damncat Wed 28-Oct-15 07:35:03

Try writing down exactly what's wrong, then how you think that could be fixed - in an ideal situation. Read it thoroughly, then put it in a drawer for a week and try, during that week, not to think about the situation. Then take it out and read it again. Rewrite if necessary, then, as he won't listen, give it to him to read.

seaanemony Wed 28-Oct-15 13:40:16

Thank you all (again!)

I guess part of me is DREADING what would come after a conversation like that. He has a way of turning the tables every time so it always ends up being my fault and I end up apologising and feeling even worse. I just don't have the confidence any more. I've lost it in the process of trying to keep things going. How do you regain that confidence, that feeling that your life is yours to decide upon?

Maybe writing things down would help. This is certainly helping.

spudlike1 Thu 29-Oct-15 08:56:01

He sounds manipulative and you are vulnerable to this ..
Counselling can specifically work on this and objective view point and a safe place for you to vent.
Another life outside of marriage and motherhood, would build your confidence it's sounds like you've lost yourself .It shouldn't be all about giving to everyone all if the time . Be aware that he will challenge this the current status quo works fine for him .
If he's a good bloke , loves you, wants you to be happy , wants a happy marriage he should welcome this project .
Project :You:-)

ohdearymeee Thu 29-Oct-15 09:06:54

Hi OP I've been in your position and it's incredibly hard to talk to someone who doesn't want to acknowledge the issues. I went round in circles with my xh he just didn't see anything wrong in our relationship, he still doesn't now after 6 months apart. I feel sad that we couldn't talk about our problems or him at least see that I was unhappy and for him to adjust, or us to adjust together, he thought I was just annoyed because he didn't help with the housework but it was deeper than that.. ??

seaanemony Thu 29-Oct-15 12:49:36

Thank you, spudlike1 - I really appreciate all your level-headed advice. It is manipulative behaviour for sure. But he's not a bad person - just absolutely rubbish at communicating. I always blame his upbringing but, after such a long time together, you'd think he'd see how things can work better with talking. Nope.

ohdearymeee - solidarity. It's always deeper and there is always that horrible element of denial that makes it impossible to navigate. Glad you got out of that painful vicious circle. Thanks for sharing.

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