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What if you just don't love him any more?

(129 Posts)
itschristmasagain Wed 23-Dec-15 20:33:20

My DH is a lovely man. We have a DS (3), they adore each other. I just don't think I love DH any more. We got together when I was 22, I'm now 35. I care for him deeply, I don't want to hurt him. I know he still loves me and he is happy with his life. It makes me sad just thinking about the consequences of leaving, the hurt it would cause. Do people cause this hurt just because they aren't in love any more? I feel like I want to experience life on my own for a while, but that seems an extremely selfish thing to do.
We have a comfortable lifestyle, and perhaps it's completely mental to leave a comfortable life to become a single mum, but don't feel happy. We have a pretty non existent sex life, I'm sick of initiating it and he rarely does so we're down to every 6-8 weeks. This doesn't help matters.
I'm currently doing solo counselling, it doesn't seem to be helping with my decision making!!

Daenerys2 Wed 23-Dec-15 20:49:13

Sounds like me but I never want sex and he does. He is a good man, brilliant husband and father but I just ge there is more to life for me and him. I don't want to hurt him or our 2 children. I'm being a selfish cow but don't know how to fix it.

Joysmum Wed 23-Dec-15 20:52:16

Have you had the 'our relationship has something missing and could be better so needs some tlc' talk?

itschristmasagain Wed 23-Dec-15 21:05:57

I have talked to him about how I feel, I've told him I'm not happy. He said that he's not the type of person to do 'not happy' so if I wanted to end our marriage on that basis then okay. Although he said he wanted to try and make things better and he wants to 'fight for it'. Hence why the counselling started up, we were going to go together but the counsellor thinks I have a lots of 'issues' I need to work on, so I'm going by myself for a bit. DH is happy to try couple counselling. He's a brilliant Dad, loves hanging out with DS, they can play together for hours, very sweet.
I feel like I'm on the verge of crying all the time because of the enormity of realising I don't love him. DH was away for a couple of days this week. I felt like I didn't really miss him, I felt much more calm around our DS. I'm so tense at the moment that I'm snapping and everything is pissing me off.

Daenerys2 Wed 23-Dec-15 21:34:50

Sorry if this sounds rude but are you in love with someone else? X

DadWasHere Wed 23-Dec-15 21:37:21

What I hear you say OP is 'I love what he does but not what he does with me.' Try this:

Both of you should do that survey (and buy the book if you like, its short but good). The idea is that while libidos vary between partners there can arise a disconnection from mechanisms that trigger desire. Broadly, while its not necessary to love someone to desire them, if you fall OUT of the right KIND of love, the one that triggers desire, then sex packs its bags as well.

Many people (both men and women) need sex with their partner to feel 'complete' in a loving relationship, but others do not. So, what can happen, is that one partner can think 'why do they just want sex' while the other simultaneously thinks 'why dont they love me'.

itschristmasagain Wed 23-Dec-15 22:01:44

Thanks for your replies.
Dadwashere. Thank you, I'll take a look at the link. Sounds interesting.
Darnerys2. Not a rude question. No I'm not in love with anyone else. In all the years I've been with DH I've never looked at another man but lately I have a bit of a wondering eye. When I'm shopping or getting a coffee before work I'm checking the blokes out! Not good!

Sadsanta75 Wed 23-Dec-15 22:13:01

It's probably a case of getting together too young. My ex left me 9 months ago for exactly the same reason as you are saying. He wasn't in love with me anymore and didn't think he ever would be. Told me he had been unhappy for 6 years the other day which came as a shock. It has hurt me to be honest but I think we too got together too young and have just grown apart especially on his side.

R3alxmastr33 Wed 23-Dec-15 23:03:04

What do you want ?

DurhamDurham Wed 23-Dec-15 23:13:04

I went through this about 18 months ago, our girls were growing up and we grew apart. I posted on here and it was unbelievable how many people asked if I loved someone else or was having ( or thinking of having ) an affair. It seems some could not understand how I could struggle to love my husband while not loving someone else. The thread went on for pages with people asking 'are you sure there's no one else' ' are you not just a little bit in love with someone else'.........I gave up defending myself in the end and focused my attention on those who had been through similar.

One poster in particular was going through the same thing, we keep in touch. She called an end to her marriage and it was the right thing for her, she is very happy and looking to the future.
I decided to stay to see what we could do. Both children have now moved out, one to uni and the other to work. I was nervous about it just being the two of us at home but it's actually been good. We both make an effort to communicate, it doesn't come naturally to my husband but he is trying. We go out to lovely places to together and make time for friends.

I'm not sure what my advice would be but only you will know whether you'd be happy trying to make it work or having a clean break. There's notify or wrong, you have to do what's best for you thanks

Morganly Thu 24-Dec-15 00:33:01

I don't think it's that unusual for marriages to go through this sort of thing periodically. It is a weird thing we expect of ourselves really, to spend 50 to 70 years living with this one person who is supposed to be our one true love etc etc. Life isn't like all those books and films.

Unless there is something really bad going on, I don't think you should make any immediate decisions. It's interesting about your counsellor thinking you have issues you need to work on. Do you agree?

Relationship counselling is a good idea, though I don't think it should be with the same counsellor who is doing your individual counselling. You have clearly had discussions about how you feel and his reaction seems a little odd, a strange mix of passive, saying he doesn't do not happy so if you want to end the marriage, that's OK, but then saying he wants to fight for the marriage. Has he said anything about why he seems to be content without a sex life?

You can build an independent life without leaving your marriage. That may be the issue. Sometimes mums of very young children lose their sense of themselves other than as wives and mothers. Do you work? Have a rich life outside your marriage?

captainflash Thu 24-Dec-15 08:57:06

Are you me?! I was thinking of starting a thread for exactly the same reasons. I met my DH at 19 and am now 35. We have two DC whom we both adore. He's a good dad and a good man but I completely what you are saying about just not loving him anymore.
I really feel like I've changed hugely in this time and he hasn't. What made him exciting to begin with, now bores me to tears as it's still the same stories 16 years on. He has zero ambition, happy with menial jobs whereas I am quite a high flyer at work and really push myself to achieve more. He has no hobbies, barely any friends and is quite happy just to sit on his phone all night. He does very little around the house other than taking the kids to school and contributes little financially. I honestly feel that we are just together for convenience and habit. He has no idea how miserable I am.

I don't know where we go from here. Enriching your life outside of marriage is one thing. My life is quite rich, I love my job and my friends. But in a way, it has made me realise what I'm missing at home. Feel free to PM if you would like to talk more directly. Sorry for hijacking- that was quite a rant!

itschristmasagain Thu 24-Dec-15 09:13:09

Sadsanta, Yes I think you are right. I do feel like we got together too young. (although DH was late twenties so perhaps not for him) I know it's cliche but I feel like a different person now. How are you getting on without your DH? Do you understand his reason or do you think he should have worked harder at trying to get the love back?

Durham, it's good to know that you have got through it. DH is not a natural communicator either, I struggle with this. I worry that I will be in this 'non decision' state forever and it's horrible. I know that I'm not happy with how things are and I feel that I would be happier on my own at the moment. But equally things aren't that bad either and I think a lot of people would think I'm crazy to leave and have the struggles of being a single parent.

Morganly, with regard to counselling, yes I do think I have issues from my childhood that I need to work on. Although I didn't realise it before I went there, as soon as I started chatting it became clear that I still harbour issues with my parents divorce, and my mothers inability to cope as we were growing up. I do work part time, I love my job. I get a great sense of satisfaction from it. I have booked to do a hobby once a week in the New Year so am trying to find other ways to find fulfilment. DH hasn't given a reason for lack of sex life, he's generally an extremely passive man and I think that extends to the bedroom too.

I think because my parents split when I was 4 and it turns out that I still carry this around with me it scares me that I will cause issues for our son. Although to be fair my dad wasn't great post divorce. He didn't turn up when he said, we didn't see him for weeks, he didn't support my mum. And so subsequently my mum couldn't really cope with 3 kids. She made some bad decisions and so muggins here felt the need to sort stuff out even though I was a child.
I don't believe my DH and I would let that sort of situation occur though, I think we could co parent well. But does this still screw people up?!

itschristmasagain Thu 24-Dec-15 09:19:28

It's good to hear from someone else in the same situation although it is not a good one! It's the indecision that kills me. DH does have a hobby so at least he does have other interests and actually lately spends more time out of the house than me at the moment!
But equally he is very passive and not particularly ambitious whereas I am more so.
I'll PM you!

Daenerys2 Thu 24-Dec-15 17:37:57

I could've written captain flash's post. I would like to keep in touch with you and op if that's ok xxx

captainflash Thu 24-Dec-15 20:28:46

Daenerys2, PM anytime you'd like a chat. I think it's good to get these thoughts out of your head. I'd never said them aloud until a week ago when I opened up to a sympathetic colleague.
Just knowing that someone doesn't think you are a selfish bitch for even contemplating blowing up people's lives for no good reason made me feel so much better!

WhatAm1doing Fri 25-Dec-15 19:54:21

Are you all me? Married 23 years together 26, kids are 16 and 13. We've had the talk about not being happy in October and have both agreed we're just floating along, he was surprised and shocked to start with, but after a few weeks he agreed that we don't work.. We have agreed that he will move out after Christmas after we tell the 13 year old, the 16 year old is aware and agrees we should give each space.

Terrifiedandregretful Fri 25-Dec-15 20:14:26

I identify with this too. Dp and I love each other very much but not in love and no sex (maybe twice a year). We have actually broken up a couple of times in the last couple of years but never quite follow through with it as we have a lovely life together. It's exhausting. Have you read the book 'too good to leave, too bad to stay'? I found it useful (although not useful enough to stick to a decision...)

itschristmasagain Sat 26-Dec-15 15:22:55

Terrified: Yes, I have read that book. It pointed me in the direction of leaving! But like you I can't follow through.

WaterAngel Sat 26-Dec-15 16:40:51

I'm in this mess too. Together 18 years. It was a mistake, the marriage, but we have 2 lovely kids, a good life and we are kind and affectionate to each other.
I can't remember the last time we had sex, and it would have been initiated by me.

He doesn't seem to care. Maybe he's screwing someone else. I'm 45, in great shape, enjoy my job and being out in the world. I'm not prepared to shrivel up and go without sex for the rest of my life. Nor am I prepared to blow up my family for the sake of my needs.

So I've found someone. He's in exactly and precisely the same situation. I don't feel in the slightest bit guilty.

WhatAm1doing Sat 26-Dec-15 20:28:49

Waterangel that's how I feel about the lack of sex, unlike you though there is no affection, and I have decided that I not choice but to break up the family.

itschristmasagain Sat 26-Dec-15 21:04:38

Waterangel: How does that work for you? Do you see it working like that long term? Would you ever leave?
Whatam1doing: How have you made steps to leave? How has you DH taken the news?
Sorry for all the q's! I think I am leaning more and more towards leaving at some point. I don't think I can live like this forever, but I'm not not sure it will be a move I can make straight away. I feel as though it will be a gradual slow decline. Is that a bad way to go about it?

WhatAm1doing Sat 26-Dec-15 22:40:45

It'sChristmas Im not leaving-he is! Isn't that awful, I'm the unhappy one but he's the one that's going.... This is so that the kids can stay at their school and have the least disruption, also he works from 7 am to 7 PM so can't look after them, not thst they need looking after, but he just wouldn't be around for them. We agrees that he's gonna stay with a friend for 4 or so weeks to see if the old adage "absence makes the heart grow fonder " is true and to use that time to see if we can rekindle anything by texting and almost dating. This is our last chance and if I'm honest I can't see it working but I feel after 23 years I need to try everything. During this break were getting independent legal advice and possibly sorting out mediation so we can plan ahead.
Mine has been 6 years in the falling apart and yet I'm such a good actress everyone has been surprised when I tell them how bad it's been.

itschristmasagain Sun 27-Dec-15 00:04:16

Whatam, is you DH in agreement with your feelings or does he think the opposite? I feel it's a hard decision for me because DH is happy with his lot and I would hurt him so much by ending it.
I might be being unreasonable here, but yesterday afternoon I texted DH suggesting that we meet upstairs! I was feeling a little frisky (we were both at home with relatives visiting). It had got to the stage of people either milling about chatting or falling asleep on the sofa and I thought we wouldn't be missed for 10 mins (even just for a a quick snog or something) I prompted him to look at his phone, he went out the room to get it, saw my text and I had absolutely no response from him. I totally understand it if he felt uncomfortable disappearing upstairs whilst we had visitors but I thought at the very least he could play along with my flirtatious mode by texting something back about later on. But he just didn't mention it. I'm 35, I want a bit of passion and excitement and I've sadly come to the realisation that my DH can't provide it. Where does it leave me!? Looking elsewhere like WaterAngel, leaving, or just making do. All 3 options to me seem like such a difficult choice.

WhatAm1doing Sun 27-Dec-15 01:44:33

When we had the initial first conversation back in October he couldn't see that there was a problem looked horrified when I told him how I felt. He cried and was all manner of aplogetic bit to be fair he listened and accepted how I felt. We agreed to see how it went until Christmas my main reason for that was as I said so he could sort out his relationship with DS. We talked again 5 weeks later and he'd obviously actually thought about what id said and agreed it wasn't working and hadn't for a number of years. I've described it as floating along but not getting along in anyway except as polite work colleagues. He agreed at that point that we needed a break and would go to his friends after Christmas. I'm dreading telling dd but although I know she's going to be devastating I also know I can't stay in this relationship just for them, 2 years and ds will be at uni and 5 dd will be, by that time I'll be 52. I want and need more now..I don't think I could do what waterangel has done but then I've not looked, but I do find myself eyeing up guys when I'm out and about ...

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