Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
I just don't love DH anymore.(29 Posts)
First time poster so pls bear with me. Background: We're both 30s, together 10 yrs married for 7yrs with 1 toddler. We both have great jobs, financially secure, own house and friends. We don't argue much (when we do it's the silly things e.g about leaving the towels on the floor.again). He's a great husband and a great father. Really there's not much more i can ask of him. He is always attentive to my needs, i fi want to go out he is fine with that and will stay in to babysit. He gets up with toddler in the mornings and at night. We are compatible, we have the same outlook in life and have the same goals. Aka: life is good and there is nothing wrong.
Except i don't love him anymore. Or at least i don't think i do. So that's why im here to hopefully get a 3rd party unbiased perspective. I don't feel physically attracted to him anymore. I don't want him to touch me in bed, and i swear sometimes i even without thinking: flitch. Sometimes he get a bit needy and i just lose my patience with him and that gets to me. Slowly but surly, the small things he does that i hate gets on my nerves more and more. For example, how many times have i told him to not leave the towels on the floor???!! I don't care if he doesn't come out with bub and I, actually at times i prefer if he just stays home. I don't look forward to seeing him even after months apart (yes, that really happened).
I love him as a good honest person. He's a great husband and father. But I don't think I'm in love with him anymore.
I know you mention towels on the floor - but is this really the only thing? Sometimes incrementally little resentments build and build and there's a feeling of hardness and anger where the love should be. It is not an aphrodisiac. The only cure for that, is for you to be honest with yourself about what habits of his have slowly driven you to despair. Then broach the subject carefully and kindly with a view to bringing you closer (not just deliver a laundry list of his failings), and get him to agree to a plan to make it up to you, and for him to demonstrably start making it up to you. That can work wonders.
Another thing he can sense you have gone cold and that is making him needy and annoying. Maybe you can sense that he wants sex to make him feel better and wanted, not because he is really turned on- he just seems like a weak baby. That is not an aphrodisiac. Perhaps you need to do some of the things that remind you that you "are compatible,[..] have the same outlook in life and have the same goals" and reassure him that you feel those things about you two as a couple, then have an honest, but kind conversation about the neediness being off-putting sexually.
I know that the stereotype is that men are 'visual' creatures who are turned on by objectifying others, and that women are 'feeling' creatures who get vicariously turned on by a man getting turned on by them, but that just aint true. Has your sexuality withdrawn through being sidelined by his over the years? Does it feel like any time you get a slight tingle, he is all over it, bashing around trying to get off? That is not an aphrodisiac. If so, you need space to explore your own sexuality and discuss that he really needs to hold back, and let you direct everything, without being impatient or a crybaby if you change your mind or really need to take your time. Don't have any sex you don't want, because it is causing a reaction in you - the suppression of your own desire to run for the hills - it makes you flinch. Only have sex entirely on your own terms. That can rekindle the flame.
Did you ever find him sexually appealing? What changed? Has he started wearing crap clothes, crap hairstyle, does he leave the toilet door open all the time and caused you to see him in less of an attractive light? Is he being too passive around the house - just sitting around expecting you to do everything like a little boy, instead of coping and doing like a sexually mature adult male partner? Try to revisit some of the things that made you fancy him in the first place.
These things can work
This is a very over simplified answer from an ex marriage guidance counsellor but yes you need to get a discussion going in a safe space ie with a trained professional as there is going to be some very hurt feelings.
One of the things he or she should ask you to think about is what first attracted you to each other.
You both need to think about that. If he's a good man and you're both willing to work on it,now is the time before one of you starts to look outside the marriage. ( or both of you)
I hope you can do this and that you can rekindle the feelings that attracted you to each other in the first place.
I still think of those joyous days/ weeks/ months/ years with my DH. Sadly it's not like that now and I do miss them. The day to day routine grinds away at all of us.
We are older, so health problems take their toll but we still love each other deeply and we still can make each other laugh and have good times.
I hope you can get back to yours,.
Have you had your head turned recently?
Someone outside of the home who you think is attractive?
I think you should try counselling.
For you on your own to understand where the love has gone.
It may be just that though.
It's gone and there is not getting it back.
But it may be something within you that you can resolve?
Towels!? Don't even get me started.
What is it with men and teenagers?
Although my OH would never leave them on the floor but he doesn't fold them so they dry - ggrrrrr....
Anyhoooo - rant over.
What do you want to happen?
Do you want to try to get the love back?
Do you want out?
I think individual counselling may help before marriage counselling.
Is it a case of you're not physically attracted to him anymore?
Is the sex not that good with him anymore?
Are there nice things he used to do and nice ways he treated you that he no longer does?
You need to ask whether if you left him - is the same loss of interest going to happen with the next man.
Have you gotten bored with other partners in the past?
Do you just like that new relationship feeling maybe?
I also think working out a bit more about how you feel yourself before having stuff teased out of you sitting side by side is a better idea.
It sounds from your post that you both communicate well doesn't it?
It is also worth remembering that psychologists, therapists, counsellors, etc all have their own perspectives and opinions - which impact upon their work- no matter how much they may think their own professionalism prevents this. Some are sexist, some are pro-porn, some are simply ill-informed and ignorant of red flags, some are just nosey, curious because they haven't really lived a life of their own. If you do choose professionals, make sure that you do click with them and trust that they can help otherwise you could waste your time or be sent down the wrong road.
But the most important thing is to dig deep into yourself and work out what you are truthfully feeling. Articulating your post was a good start.
That was me 4 years ago. We are currently separating.
How long have you felt this way for? Do you know how he feels? Do you get couple time away from your LO? Is it just the monotony of life that is making you feel this way, or something more?
If you aren't 100% sure then it isn't too late to fix it. Go to counselling, either together or by yourself, and explore what's going on.
You have a toddler, your lives and relationship have changed massively in the last 3 years.
I certainly wouldn't be throwing away a decent relationship with digging inside myself and trying therapy first!
What would you suggest Random? The OP is obviously distressed about the situation.
Ime OP having babies and breastfeeding really did kill my drive - which has now thankfully returned - but it took until the youngest turned 4 years old! I would second what Random said about not throwing a decent relationship away, but disagree about it not being worth trying to work out what you feel by 'digging deep' within. Within is a good place to start in order to work out where the cracks are to begin mending things - that's if OP you are with us on not wanting to throw the relationship away.
Thank you all. Wow, you moms have certainly got me thinking. Anyways here goes:
1 There is nobody else at all. Not even close.
2 He has no idea and he thinks everything is just dandy. He's so excited with the upcoming holiday we've booked.
3 I've been feeling like this for the past 2.5 years. Some days more/less than others.
4 No, I'm not that sort of person who gets bored after the initial heady rush to the head love/lust. I'm actually a boring person who loves routine and familiarity.
5 And yes i desperately wants us to stay together.
I don't want to rock his boat. Why ruin what he thinks we have as perfect for him? So i do think the individual counselling is a good idea. Only problem is finding the time to go without him finding out.
If you didn't have a child or children would you want to stay with him, if no, then you know the right thing to do by both of you, just not sure counselling is going to make you realise you are in love with him, it's a feeling and you can't make it happen, it's just there, it does sound like you're more like brother and sister, could you not consider separation and still co parent.
Staying with him out of a sense of loyalty and because it's what he wants won't change anything, in fact you might grow more resentful of him.
Do what is right for you OP, you matter just as much.
I don't feel attracted to him. We haven't had sex in 2 months (we're both tired). If I'm honest he has wanted it a couple times but I've used the headache excuse because i don't want him physically touching me even. It's terrible and i feel so guilty.
The towels thing is nothing really. I was just using that as an analogy to highlight the triviality of our arguments and perhaps how "normal" our marriage seems.
Only problem is finding the time to go without him finding out.
That's quite a telling statement. Why would you need to keep it from him? You don't need to say 'I'm off to see a counsellor because I think I don't love you anymore.' But not telling him at all would just be another brick in the wall between you.
Do you have any emotional intimacy? As in, do you feel that you can share your deepest feelings about (almost) everything with each other?
As others have said, don't underestimate the effect that having a baby/ toddler etc can have on your sex drive and general mood/ energy levels. It's a difficult time for the strongest of couples. I had 2 children close together and there were a couple of years where his sex drive took a nosedive and I felt very neglected, and then it took me a good few years to feel the same way about my husband as I did before. After DC3 it was my sex drive which dropped and I'm just getting it back now (she's 2!) I think it's perfectly normal for that feeling of lust to fluctuate, but I think it's that deeper love and appreciation for each other that keep you going through the dry spells, so I would advise you to think about all the things you do love about him, and try to appreciate each other for the little things more.
I don't want to tell him because why burden him with my true feelings which he is totally unaware of, when perhaps some individual counselling can fix me? There is no point both of us being miserable. And i don't want to be dealing with an issue about "us" because right now: i see it as an issue about "me."
Yes a toddler isn't easy and i understand that it totally changes the dynamics of any relationship no matter how good it is. All my friends are in the same boat. We joke about the non existent sex drive, the mundune of daily life washing, cooking and cleaning. But from what i know, they all are in love with their husbands. Last week i saw my friend hugging her husband and kissing him coming in from work. And I'm sat thinking i don't want to hug nor kiss mine.
Hi OP - if it is any consolation - I went through all that - even thinking "F*CK OFF!" when DH would come near me - but recently my drive has taken an upturn that is freaking me out with its intensity.
The turning point for me, funnily enough, was getting into feng shui and putting lots of symbols of love and passion in the Southwest corner and dotted around the house. Although I am undecided of the mystical power of it, I found that even having the intent and symbolising my intent in my surroundings to get the love and passion back, seemed to change things all of a sudden.
Worth a try?
Thanks all. I was browsing through the net and came across an older lady who was in the same situation as me 18 years ago, and we got talking. She was in the exact same situation as i am in now, but she left her husband. It was a decision she regrets to this day: that she walked out of a good, solid, financially stable marriage with a husband who loves her and the children.
Now it turns out, he has re-married and has another child with his new wife, whilst she is still single and looking. If she could turn back time she would. She advised me to take stock, seek help and don't end up like her, single and alone and living in regret.
Thanks all for your suggestions, that is what i will do.
That is only one persons experience though.
There are hundreds of women on here who left and have much better lives now.
This is you, your life and your decision.
Your child is young. Dh and I went through bumpy patches after the births of each of our children. We're currently 9 months in with no. 3 and my sex drive - which had pre-birth and even for a bit after it been higher than it has ever been, though I've never been a must-have-it-several-times-a-week person - has gone comprehensively AWOL. I think it's because we moved house/area a few months ago - the stress has been harder on me than I can really compute myself.
I can't help thinking that, at least on paper (in bytes), your marriage sounds a wonderful thing of potentially decades of love and mutual support, and it would be a shame to throw that away due to the waxing and waning of physical attraction. 'In love' is by its very nature not an enduring state. I think you're possibly hitting the long haul and finding it tough - and it is. We're nearly 19 years together, 16 married here and things can get better and blossom.
But of course I may be wrong. I don't know. I can only second counselling, first for you (you don't have to tell him it's about your marriage), then, perhaps, as a couple.
I know that that is only one person's unhappy ending. I'm sure there are loads of women who have upped and left for better pastures. But right now, i need to read more of the sob stories than the happy-ending ones.
Our relationship does have a great foundation for decades of a happy, solid marriage. Like i said, there is nothing fundamentally wrong within the relationship.
Off to make my first appointment with a marriage counsellor.
It was a decision she regrets to this day: that she walked out of a good, solid, financially stable marriage with a husband who loves her and the children
This really resonated with me. My husband adores me, he tells me every day. He would never, ever leave me. Together we are financially stable. He loves the children.
But none of that changes the way I feel about him. It's not enough. I lost my love for him, it has trickled and was chipped away by horrible resentment until there was nothing left. No amount of rationalising will change that. I can't stay in a marriage where I can't stand physical contact with him. I can't stay in a marriage where I don't trust him, or really even like him a lot of the time. I am choosing to end the marriage, and yes, I might regret that in the future, but often when 18 years have gone by the rose tinted glasses come out and she may well have forgotten now how she truly felt all that time ago. What I feel now is anger, resentment, distrust, hating to even be in the same room as him, not wanting to go home after a day at work because of having to see him. That is not any kind of life that I want to live.
It sounds from your posts as though you really want things to change, and you can work on your relationship to do that. Good luck with the counselling, I hope you manage to work things out.
I went through a spell like that last year.
After some soul searching realised that with all the stresses of day to day life, I wasn't looking after myself well enough. It's difficult to have room for us time when you have no me time.
So I prioritised me time and within a few months had the capacity for us time.
What I did was nothing huge. Regular massage, having a fancy coffee out on my own every now and again, taking time choosing and buying new make up for a new look over a couple of months ( really researched it and went to a shop and tried lots of stuff), taking the time to do a sudoku puzzle most days.
A little while into that DH and I reconnected enough emotionally to have a proper talk about it.
He felt a bit the same, so he made a few changes too. He goes to the gym more often (huge stress buster for him), found a snooker game for his phone that he likes, started buying either a football or s health & fitness magazine every month and actually reads it, buys himself the odd treat like new music or a new top not because he needs it but because it's something he will enjoy.
A few months into that we started flirting with one another again, dancing a bit in the kitchen whilst unloading the dishwasher, cooking one another special meals, buying little gifts, just being more romantic.
Soon enough, the spark turned into a flame
Good luck OP. I think you are very sensible to listen to that lady.
@GoldenOrb: It sounds like you were really unhappy. I don't know the ins and outs that has drove you to the ulitmate decision to end your marriage. But i wish you all the luck and hope you will find happiness. The resentment, hate, anger and mistrust that was in your marriage is not in mine. And i do think those are the key ingredients that has to be absent for a good marriage to work. Hence why i plan to work on mine.
@Miaow: That is great news!! It is these kind of stories that i need to know that can happen that keeps me more focused. With a young child and full time jobs dh and i never get time to ourselves separately. And you have totally highlighted the importance of enjoying our own time alone to recharge. I will try to schedule some time whereby i can at least get a coffee and cake and be alone for a couple hours a week. And Im so happy for you, you sound happy and positive. I hope i will get to your place some time, preferably sooner rather than later.
Just wanted to post to say I'm going through the same. Look up my posts on incompetent husbs. Just finishing Relate and it has helped me to define what's wrong. Can't write more but joining in solidarity.
Join the discussion
Please login first.