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Does it matter if you're not in love with your partner?

(35 Posts)
Nikitasol Mon 16-Nov-15 18:07:04

He's a good dad and partner but I'm just not in love anymore. I don't feel anything about him really, just an absence of emotion. Does it matter? Can you carry on being in a relationship with someone when you're not in love. I don't mean in the early stage lovey dovey feeling but just generally loving someone. Can we just keep ticking over as a couple without that? It's all fine, not horrible, just a void really

Sparkletastic Mon 16-Nov-15 18:08:18

Yes I think you can as long as you like them as a friend, are compatible housemates and can maintain a decent sex life.

Sighing Mon 16-Nov-15 18:13:56

An absence of emotion a void? Are you possibly detatched in life generally? Could you be depressed?

Nikitasol Mon 16-Nov-15 18:48:45

I did wonder about that sighing, but I don't feel that way about anything else in my life currently. Just him.

RiceCrispieTreats Mon 16-Nov-15 19:00:28

Sounds soul-destroying. Why would you want to?

firesidechat Mon 16-Nov-15 19:00:39

Yes, I think it does matter, or at least it does to most couples.

In many ways indifference is more of a death knell than hatred and could be quite soul destroying in the long run. What if you fall in love elsewhere, which I think is more likely of you aren't emotionally enmeshed with your partner.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 16-Nov-15 19:07:16

Yes it does matter. Your children will likely pick up on all your unspoken indifference and lack of love towards him. By staying together you are really doing that solely for your own (selfish?) reasons.

Do you really want to show your children that a loveless relationship could be their norm too?. What do you want to teach them about relationships here?.

He can still be a "good dad" to his children even if he becomes the non resident parent.

applecatchers36 Mon 16-Nov-15 19:09:32

You only have one life, so it sounds a miserable kind of existence, a half life really...
You both deserve to be in a happy, loving relationship & what you describe doesn't sound good for either of you long term

firesidechat Mon 16-Nov-15 19:10:14

Oh, and are you going to fake love? I would hate to be married to someone who either didn't love me or pretended that they did. It wouldn't be difficult to spot either, if he has any sensitivity. Not fair on him at all.

onemorechance Mon 16-Nov-15 19:12:09

If you are not getting love in your relationship, you/your partner will sub consciously seek it elsewhere.

Nikitasol Mon 16-Nov-15 19:24:58

Hmmm that's all interesting. I'm not saying it's ideal by any stretch and it's only recently that I've started to feel this way. He does seem To be in love still, so I also feel I'm shortchanging him. But are all couples with DC really in love? Or just ticking along? I feel just not really feeling much would be a really selfish reason to break up a family.

Nikitasol Mon 16-Nov-15 19:26:32

He has twigged that all is not rosy for me recently with regards to him, but not to the extent I'm actually feeling id say.

RiceCrispieTreats Mon 16-Nov-15 19:29:03

Do you respect each other?
Treat each other with kindness and thoughtfulness?
Value each other as human beings?
Wish good things for each other?

If you don't, please split up, as you would be teaching your DC damaging lessons about relationships.

Sagethyme Mon 16-Nov-15 19:37:02

Have you and your Dh managed to have some child free time together? Are you children little? You may find a bit of 1:1 time togther helps restore your former feeling for him.

donajimena Mon 16-Nov-15 19:47:39

But if you tick along what will happen when you meet someone else? Its likely that you will.

firesidechat Mon 16-Nov-15 19:52:17

Of course not all couples with children are still in love with each other and some are just ticking along (whatever that means), but I doubt they are happy and contented.

If you really feel that you don't love him any more and that this won't change, then you need to tell your husband. Then he can make the choice about whether he wants to stay in a relationship like that. It's not just up to you.

lavenderhoney Mon 16-Nov-15 19:54:48

When did you start to feel like this? Can you pinpoint anything?

pippistrelle Mon 16-Nov-15 20:14:01

I would say that such feelings (or the lack of them) can be part of the ebb and flow of a long-term relationship. But, clearly, there are many factors: how long have you felt like this; what have you done to try to get things back on course? what does your partner think? Going straight to splitting up is a bit of a nuclear option.

eddielizzard Mon 16-Nov-15 20:18:13

i agree ltr are cyclical. i would make more effort to spend time together and talk. it may come back. i wouldn't do anything drastic just yet. i'd also re-evaluate everything and see if other things can be improved on that will make a difference to your quality of life. dissatisfaction could be with many things but you're focussing on one. who knows?

but i wouldn't be giving up just yet.

Nikitasol Mon 16-Nov-15 20:21:41

As I said, he's a good man and dad. I do respect him and his values whilst getting frustrated with him for the usual things that MNetters get frustrated with their partners, but nothing bad. My feeling is to just see how things go for a while, I am hoping my feelings will come back and everything will be fine. But I do worry, what if they don't.

We do get some time together, but we have had some money worries amongst some other things recently so there has been a lot more stress than usual.

I can't think when exactly my feelings started to change, but it has been fairly recently I'd say. And possibly related to worrying about money.

pippistrelle Mon 16-Nov-15 20:33:31

I would guess that stress could be quite a big factor and, fwiw, think you're right not to do anything precipitous.

But in the meantime, is there any way to reduce stress, or to address any smaller issues that might be contributing to your sense of unease? You say you have some minor frustrations and irritations - is it worth tackling those?

Nikitasol Mon 16-Nov-15 20:40:50

Tbh I'm wondering if I need some time to myself. Not a break, but I just never have a minute to myself even on the loo and it's driving me spare. DP doesn't seem to need time apart like I do and I quite often just feel swamped and suffocated at the lack of space. He seems to be hurt if I mention that I so need some time to myself but it honestly feels like breathing properly to have some peace and quiet.

Blodss Mon 16-Nov-15 20:51:27

Are you still having sex OP?

pippistrelle Mon 16-Nov-15 20:57:54

I can relate to needing time alone without people demanding things from me, and I definitely function better - in my relationship and my life in general - if I have regular time to spend as I please. It can be hard finding such time if you're working and/or your children are young, but it can be done. Maybe that's something you and your partner can work on together.

Mrstumbletap Mon 16-Nov-15 21:02:41

My belief is that in any long term partnership, you fall in and out of love. Stress, arguments, monotony make it easy to pull away and not feel loving and feel indifferent to each other.

Weekends away, sex, undivided attention, shared experiences, holidays and basically quality 'couple' not 'family' time help couples fall back Inlove with each other.

I would measure your feelings over a substantial amount of time, a year maybe, see how many times you feel in or out of love. Also increase your affection and love towards your partner and see what happens, when I feel we are a bit crap and not very Inlove and more like roommates, sometimes I cuddle more, kiss more, stroke his hair, take more interest in his day etc, and he then naturally does the same, we then will seem closer for a while. Could you give that a try?

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