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Love but not in love!!!!

(57 Posts)
user1472197143 Fri 26-Aug-16 09:32:15

Hi Everyone, I'm a 32 year old dad of 2 beautiful children, Boy (4) and Girl (14 months). My wife and I have been together for 6 years but married for 5.

6 weeks ago my wife announced she doesn't feel the spark anymore and the dreaded "she loves me but is not in love with me".

When we met we fell head over heels for one another and got caught up in a whirlwind romance and progressed quickly to marriage and children. This was very much unlike me but I put it down to "when you know, you know" if that makes sense...

We fell pregnant on our honeymoon and later the arrival of our amazing boy.

Everything was great... Accept I was feeling like our sense of adventure was drifting away.

I should say at this point my wife went back to work full time as a bank manager and I maintained my full time position as a business consultant.

As the years pass we had slotted in to a routine and wanted to grow our family. We then fell pregnant with our beautiful baby girl which completed at face value our beautiful family.

Again following 8 months of maternity leave she returned to work and again I carried on.

Between my wife returning to work and 6 weeks ago we had neglected our relationship. The effort of both of us working full time, coming home and having 2 young children had made us fall in to bad habits.

We are still a great team. We jointly tackle the children in the morning, I take them and pick them up from nursery. First one through the door starts tea and then we tag team the bed time routine and split household chores, blue jobs and grey jobs (grey jobs because I cover both).

At the end of all of this we are shattered. And the starts the vicious circle.

- we both fell out of shape
- wife sleeping lite + me snoring = separate beds
- huge reduction in intimacy
- sex is vanilla
- wife never wants to do anything involving effort.

Realising how unhealthy this was;

- I have got back in shape and feel physically great (ex gym rat so after a few weeks was easier)
- this has stopped the snoring and increased my energy levels
- I have bought bikes and trailer to try and get my wife to increase her fitness with me while having fun with the children.
- set up date nights to build us back up as a couple.

A week ago she said she wanted to take some time apart to see if she misses me. I have been staying at my mums. She only wanted to do a week. She says she does miss me, loves me but isn't in love with me. She said she wants to work on it but adds the strap line "I don't know if I can change how I feel".

I am very much in love with my wife and would move mountains for her. The thought of not being with my children every day is killing me inside.

My question to all of the mums.

- Can a wife fall back in love with their husband?
- Is counselling the next port of call?
- Am I clutching at straws, should I be placing my efforts on rebuilding so my children have a great environment when they stay with dad?

Thanks for reading.


MegFlyAway Fri 26-Aug-16 09:44:49

There's a book called "I love you but I'm not in love with you" and that really helped me!

Turned out there was an OW in my case (sadly happens to be the case a lot after an ILYB) but the book did really help me.

FreeFromHarm Fri 26-Aug-16 09:47:14

So sorry to here of what you are going through, looks like you have done a lot to remedy your issues already.
Have you broached the subject of counseling ? may she be depressed maybe ? the job is stressful (as yours is I expect to)
How long has this been going on ?

Clairemorley Fri 26-Aug-16 09:53:00

Women are very hormonal creatures and this can effect, I
Must admit personally I have been dreading my kids leaving home (we're not there yet but the thought used to
Fill me with dread) I have since started doing little things with my husband and that reminded me
How much I like spending time with him. I believe you cal fall back in love but she also needs to recognise that it takes work on her part.
Marriage is such hard work at times and she also needs to address if she's not happy with you or is it herself. I at times can feel lonely on a house of six but this wasn't my husbands fault although it was easier to blame him. Get her to write down how she is feeling this helped me.

misscph1973 Fri 26-Aug-16 10:02:41

I realise that some couples stay madly in love all of their lives, but I would say that it is not neccessary or possible for all couples.

To me it sounds like your wife thinks that being madly in love is a neccessity. Maybe it is for her. Personally I am not in love with my DH, but I do love him (and I fancy him). We have similar problems to yours, we have not invested enough in our relationship. But to be honest I don't think we could have done much better while the kids were little and we were both working fulltime. And we are not getting a divorce. We are trying really hard to appreciate all that we have together and that we are not the same people we were when we met. Both our parents divorced when we were teens, so we both know too well how much that hurts adults and children.

You sound like a good husband, you sound like you are making an effort. I think you should seek counselling. I think you should try to stay together, I think that you both have far too much to lose.

user1472197143 Fri 26-Aug-16 10:15:14

Thanks guys. I was thinking there is underlying postnatal that has gone under the radar.

Her diet isn't the best and she is always too tired to exercise (normally collapses in front on the tv of an evening).

She says it's been bubbling away for 8 or so months but the last 6 weeks she's become robotic which I think is her way to self preservation.

I wear my heart on my sleeve which I worry may be making the situation worse.

On top of all of these stresses she is body conscious and is on the coil which I understand can make thinks worse.

I have always complimented her on a daily basis. Her shape isn't what it was when we met but the reason for that only makes me more attracted to her.

I know her job is stressing her out and rightly or wrongly I have offered her a solution to this. She is to independent to take it though.

misscph1973 Fri 26-Aug-16 10:24:21

Sounds like your wife has very annoyingly common problems ;) It all sounds too familiar.

Your kids are very young. It will get easier. Personally I have not got many memories from the first few years, it's all a blur of lack of sleep, nappies and stress. I remember someone saying that when you have kids under the age of 2, you should make no rash decisions regardg marriage ;)

Branleuse Fri 26-Aug-16 10:36:18

shes got a very full on life, and a baby at a high needs age. Im not surprised shes not finding her love life to be full of sparkles and fulfillment. Its taken a nosedive. That doesnt mean it wont come back but shes obviously worried its over.
I think if she wants to be completely in love, then she might have to resign herself to starting afresh and getting a new relationship every few years, rather than building a deeper connection that lasts.

i hope you can work through it

misscph1973 Fri 26-Aug-16 11:24:32

I think if she wants to be completely in love, then she might have to resign herself to starting afresh and getting a new relationship every few years, rather than building a deeper connection that lasts. - I was thinking the same myself. I think it's easy for all of us to believe that our relationship has to be free of conflict and always perfect, as that is what popular culture would like us to think. Maybe your wife thinks all her friends have perfect marriages? Sometimes I can get really down when I see pictures of the perfect life on Facebook, and I have to remind myself that we never see any pictures of marital rows here.

PastoralCare Fri 26-Aug-16 11:30:37

I'd say lead by example do whatever you think would improve your situation (like loosing weight) but don't put pressure on her.

Suggest you invite friends, go on week ends, cinema, walks etc... but again, without making it an expectation and without suggesting that if she doesn't agree your life is a failure.

user1472197143 Fri 26-Aug-16 11:34:34

I do hold my hands up and acknowledg I let things slip but explained I'm tired at the end of the day too.

Trying to get her to invest in our relationship is tough and I think her barriers being up doesn't help.

We are meeting tonight to discuss next what to do next. I want to fight and I know there is no guarantee her feelings will return or change but by her placing emphasis on that point earlier on are we already doomed?

Thanks again guys. I have very few people to sound off to as I don't want everyone around us to know.


Trifleorbust Fri 26-Aug-16 11:36:50

I am very reluctant to post to this effect because you do sound like you are a nice person and trying to do what you need to to fix your marriage BUT you sound quite fixated on the physical side of your relationship. 'Sex is vanilla' and 'huge reduction in intimacy' all blamed (essentially) on your wife being fat. I'm sure you don't mean anything by it but is it possible that you have inadvertently made your wife feel like she has to 'shape up' for you? This can be very quickly alienating for a woman, particularly when she has been through stress/childbirth and is looking after a young family.

What do you mean by you have offered her 'a solution' to her job stress? Again, not meaning to sound rude here, but you seem quite 'solution' led - sometimes people don't want to hear solutions, they just want some understanding and cuddles etc.

Am very sorry if I sound like I don't empathise, it's not that. I just wonder how your wife sees all this.

user1472197143 Fri 26-Aug-16 11:51:51

If I have come across that way it wasn't my intention. My wife is body conscious I know this because she tells me. I give her assurance all the time.

I understand my words may not change the way she feels. I certainly do not alienate my wife in any regard to that.

I accept I am solution led and want to support her in making the changes that in effect would make her feel better/happier.

In terms of it all being physical I think that is a slightly unfair assessment. Again that may be my fault in the way I have worded this.

Appreciate your view though as is food for thought.


Trifleorbust Fri 26-Aug-16 11:56:52

I really didn't mean to sound like I was judging you. Again, there is a massive BUT... (sorry).

As a woman, I know what I want when I say to my partner that I am feeling fat. I want him to say, "You're gorgeous, I love your body."

I don't want him to buy me an exercise bike.

This is a classic man/woman misunderstanding in my view. The man is thinking yes, you're right, and if you were thinner you might want more sex. The woman isn't going to want sex until she feels desired as she is - not as he might wish her to be.

Now I might be barking up the wrong tree entirely here. Your problems may be nothing to do with the way you have approached the physical side of your relationship. It's as you say, just food for thought.

MatrixReloaded Fri 26-Aug-16 12:16:10

Unfortunately the phrase "I love you but I'm not in love with you" often means there's someone else on the scene.

user1472197143 Fri 26-Aug-16 12:33:38

That was my first thought but after conversations at length I am fairly confident that isn't the case (Or so I have been convinced).

I guess in some regard that would make the whole situation easier as we would both walk.

Trifleorbust Fri 26-Aug-16 12:39:39

Have you asked her to explain her feelings? This was 6 weeks ago. What has she said?

user1472197143 Fri 26-Aug-16 13:00:25

She said;
I'm a good husband, great dad, she loves me but doesn't feel the spark or in love with me... In terms of attraction towards me she does "fancy" me but "doesn't have the urge".

When I try to probe for more info to help me understand better I am met with a lot of "I don't knows".

She said we both get on really well. It's just she feels the connection isn't there.

I asked her to describe what she is looking for and she doesn't know...

Trifleorbust Fri 26-Aug-16 13:04:36

She is definitely not telling you something. I don't believe feelings change to the extent that you would consider breaking up your family hwithout a reason, even if it is one you don't want to articulate. When you meet her tonight, I would explain that you can't discuss where to go from here because you don't feel she has been open about her feelings.

HuskyLover1 Fri 26-Aug-16 13:19:07

wife sleeping lite + me snoring = separate beds
huge reduction in intimacy
sex is vanilla

^^ This is your problem. Fixing the above is your best shot at getting things back on track. Not easy with 2 young children, I know. Could you get grandparents to babysit and you could get a few romantic weekends away?

Trifleorbust Fri 26-Aug-16 13:23:23

HuskyLover: I really wouldn't advise that. Surely the OP's wife would say so if a lack of intimacy was the issue? And the OP is obviously keen to have that intimacy back, so it is doubtful that a sex deficit is the problem.

MatrixReloaded Fri 26-Aug-16 13:24:11

People typically don't split up because there's no connection. It really does sound like she's comparing a long term marriage to something new and shiny. When an affair occurs much of what they say is a kind of backwards forwards confession.

I'm not in love with you= I'm in love with someone else
I've been feeling this way for 8 months=I've been seeing someone for 8months.

I would try to independently verify if there is someone else on the scene. I really hope that's not the case. Has she always been body conscious or is this a new thing ?

user1472197143 Fri 26-Aug-16 13:44:43

The snoring has stopped since I am now back in shapeand we were back in bed... She has probably been more body conscious since the birth of or second (but seemingly having no energy at the end of each day to fix it).

She has made it pretty explicit there isn't anyone else (meeting or even texting). I get she wouldn't be the first or last person to lie, but I actually believe her.

She believes the cause is as a result of the separate beds... That is now sorted so maybe it's giving us time... Intimacy can go on the back burner as far as I am concered as I believe that will be ok if we can fix the main issue.

We have more options available to us in terms of work but if she isn't interested maybe I will reraise the question of; has her head been turned...


misscph1973 Fri 26-Aug-16 13:46:50

Personally I very much doubt that the working mother of a 14 month old and a four year old would have time for an affair!

I don't share a bedroom with my DH for similar reasons. I know that for some people that is a symbol of a broken marriage, but it doesn't have to be. I once heard a marriage therapist say that the marital bed crushes a relationship.

With all the "I dont know" it sounds like the OP's wife is having a bit of a crisis - she's probably too young for a midlife crisis, but something similar. Maybe she thinks that leaving her husband will solve all her problems.

OP, couples counselling might help your DW clarify what she is going through.

Trifleorbust Fri 26-Aug-16 13:51:01

Whose decision was it to move into separate rooms and how did she take that? She has told you that was the cause - do you think she stopped feeling loved/wanted by you?

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