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.
DH loves me, not in love with me and emotional affair(97 Posts)
I am a long-term lurker and have only posted on a couple of threads previously to do with my sons' long term illness.
Please bear with me as this may be long but don't want to drip feed. I can't believe I'm writing this about my own life. I am hoping for advice as I feel utterly broken.
DH and I have been together for 26 years, married for nearly 20. We have a DD 13 and 2 DS's 11 and 9. The DS's both have a long-term life-limiting illness which requires a high level of medical intervention. I gave up work to care for them when the youngest was born.
I do all of the housework, ironing, cooking and 90% of stuff with the DC's as well as the care of my DSs.
DH has a history of being selfish and becoming obsessed with his hobbies. He has also let me down on many occasions.
Some examples are -
We struggled to conceive and had fertility treatment for our first 2 DCs. During this time I was very upset and became depressed to the point of feeling suicidal. He told me there was no point talking to him, he doesn't do feelings, talk to someone else.
When DD was 2 weeks old my DM nearly died. He was no support and continued his hobbies as normal.
DD was a difficult baby, cried constantly if she wasn't being fed or moved around and would never take a bottle meaning I was still breastfeeding at the end of my 6 month maternity leave. When I talked to him about the possibility of taking more time off he told me he wasn't going to pay for me to sit around drinking tea.
During the whole first year of her life he went to every football match his team played - home and away (supporter not player) as it might be his only chance to see them in the premier league.
We had a big family party the day before DDs 1st birthday instead of a christening. He went out afterwards and didn't come home - too drunk. I couldn't contact him and after waiting until lunchtime DD and I opened her presents without him.
During all of this time and since the boys were born he continued going out either Friday or Saturday nights getting drunk and many times staying out all night and phoning me to pick him up the next day. This only stopped when his mates started having children and didn't go out anymore.
He has since dropped the football but has took up a new obsession about 10 years ago which takes up much of his time at weekends and involves attending meetings 2-3 evenings per week. At one point he went PT at work to be able to do all this.
A couple of years ago I had to have a lump removed from my neck. This fortunately turned out to be benign but he called me on the ward to see if I knew where some leaflets relating to his hobby were.
There have been other incidents and our marriage reached the point where I no longer had any expectations of him and just considered it a bonus if he helped out or spent time with me and the DCs.
Anytime I have tried to talk to him about how I felt or how tired I was he shut down the discussion with a flippant comment e.g. He needs more sleep than me so has to have lie-ins both weekend days.
I realise that I probably have withdrawn emotionally from him and have not been initiating sex but rather enduring it to keep the peace. Up until recently he seemed happy and we got in well as friends enjoying each other's company while the DCs are at school.
I supported him to make a radical career change a couple of years ago but I realise I may not have given him the emotional support he has needed with aspects of the job.
He has recently been on a couple of works nights out and stayed out all night without contacting me.
About 3 weeks ago he asked me if I was happy which I wasn't because of all the above and I also felt he had been acting strangely for a few months now. He then said he thought we should split and there was no point trying counselling.
This week we have talked further, he delivered the "I love you but I'm not in love with you" bombshell, and eventually I managed to get out of him that he had got emotionally close to someone at work and he was falling in love with her because she was fulfilling an emotional need which wasn't being met in our marriage.
He was then being all nicey, nicey with me but saying it was too hard to say goodbye to her, most of him wanted to stay with me but he needed more time to think. I was v upset remembering the good times and worrying about the children until yesterday when I told him he had to commit 100% to our marriage or it was over. I told him he has always acted selfishly and if he wants to save us he would have to get rid of her and come to counselling. Up until this point he seemed to think that I would either wait around until he made up his mind or we could do counselling with him still seeing her.
Today he is barely talking to me and now I'm thinking maybe I went too far.
Any advice would be gratefully received as I am struggling today. I have no family close by to help out with anything as I moved away from my home town to be with him.
Thank you if you have read this far and please be gentle I am feeling delicate.
You havent gone too far, you have rightly established boundaries.
He has behaved selfishly and has a sense of entitlement.I know your instinct is to save your marriage but you can't do that alone.
He has to be commited to you and tge family and I suspect he isn't.The grass appears greener.
I have an elderly aunt, who is very traditional in her views but she always says "if a man wants to leave, let him".
At the moment you will be in shock, grief and sadness follows and then anger.You will feel fear of having to cope alone but the reality is you have mostly been alone.
Be brave, either he is serious about your marriage or let him leave.I'm sure the OW will discover his selfish and entitled nature but by that time you will be flourishing on your own.
He has taken you for granted and needs a wake up to realise what he is losing.
Thank you for your reply Hermione.
We have been together since I was 18 so I know no other life without him. But you are right, I have largely been on my own anyway.
At the moment part of me wants to save us for the sake of the children and part of me is thinking I might be able to build a new better life without him.
I have always lacked self-confidence but I know I am a strong person.
Miremont, he has behaved dreadful to you for almost your entire marriage. You absolutely didn't go too far. Many women would have kicked him to the kerb long ago. You sound like a lovely caring person and he has taken full advantage of you.
He sounds exhausting to live with and you already have so much on your plate.
Wow what a selfish entitled man child he is!
You have barely had any life since being with him.
Let him go and insist that every weekend he accommodates his children whilst you carve out a life for yourself.
See how his mistress likes that!
Thank you chipmonkey.
He can at times be lovely, is v active in the community and works in the emergency services. He is v popular and well liked by people who come into contact with him.
This sometimes makes me doubt myself and think it must be something I have done.
Thanks, QL5. She had no children, I think it would come as quite a shock to her!
I think that if you press ahead with what you told him - commit 100% or leave - you will discover your self-confidence. You are already half-way there with your ultimatum to him. Don't weaken now.
He has got everything exactly the way he wants. He gets to follow his hobby while you stay at home and look after the children and see to the house. And now he has got his "emotional fulfilment" too! And quite possibly rather more than just "emotional" if you are being really honest with yourself.
But you are spoiling his cosy little life by daring to demand that he makes up his mind. Of course he's barely talking to you.
You know in your heart of hearts you'll be better off without him. Don't even try to talk yourself into staying in this sham of a relationship by using the "for the sake of the children" line. Do you really think you want them to realise, years down the line, you stayed and were miserable for their sake?
Split up and be happy.
Holy fucking shit
Erm, Miremont I really don't know how to say this. I know you're feeling delicate and I don't want to hurt you.
But for the love of all that is holy, dump this manipulative, drunken, cunt of a man child. He is an absolute fucking tosser who does not deserve you or your fantastic dc. You didn't go too far - you didn't go far enough.
See a solicitor in the first instance. Then chuck his sorry, pathetic arse put.
Gosh he sounds so familiar to my exDH! I could have written your post, I too was with him from 18 years old, together for 30 and married for 25. The difference in my case is that all the things he did, or didn't do destroyed my feelings for him. This is ultimately why I left him- I am amazed you still have feelings for him after being hurt time and time again?
I left last year and although it hasn't been plain sailing it's been a revelation. It feels amazing not to be always putting his needs first and actually discovering who I am!
I would say stand your ground- establish those boundaries but also don't be afraid of being on your own. Men like him can't be alone- they need someone else to prop them up. But you- you are stronger than you think.
Dear god, the man is a useless waste of space! He's a terrible husband and seemingly no more than a sperm donor where parenting is concerned.
You deserve so much more than this. You have a right to a life outside of the family home as much as he does and he needs to step up as a husband and father or get out.
You would really lose nothing by letting him leave.
There is a Saying that goes something along the lines of "If you lose someone but find yourself, it's not a loss"
Shocked and saddened that you can even class this as a relationship; he has used and abused and did whatever he likes without a single bit of consideration for you; he sound absolutely horrible and there is nothing you have written which would even look like a possibility of you getting this on track to being normal, it's not, it's not even a relationship OP, you must leave and start living as this is not it.
He is in a huff because for (what sounds like the first time) you have pulled him up on his behaviour and given him some boundaries.
I agree the problem is not that you have gone too far, he is the problem.
Stick to your guns - he must stop having a relationship with the OW AND he must attend counselling. Leave him to organise the counselling as a sign his commitment to you and his children.
Chances are that your life would be easier without him, not harder, as you would no longer have to consider him in your decisions and planning.
I am sorry about your DSs life limiting condition - he may be trying to 'run away' from the heartbreak of that, but frankly he only has the luxury of doing that because you are there to pick up ALL the slack.
Well done on taking control and giving him an ultimatum. I guess he is used to,you maintaining the status quo, (and has taken advantage of this with all the clubs, socialising etc). If you decide you want to stay in the marriage, then he needs to,grow up and realise he has responsibilities and is no longer a single man.
It doesn't surprise me that he's a community man, it's all about his external appearances.
Alot of people are not fooled however..I know of one man who does so much for the community and I can't help but comment "how lucky he is to have a wife who holds the fort at home".
The good men are the ones you are at home dealing with family life not seeking glory outside the home.
If anyone tells be about their sporting achievements I can't help think that they have left a partner for hours on end to train.
I suspect you are stronger than you feel and will thrive.
I won't minimise the journey however, you have been with him a life time so it will be a roller coaster but you will get through it and feel better.
Thank you for all your replies.
I am already feeling stronger after reading them.
Sorry to hear you have been through this too POF but lovely to hear you are getting on well in your life without him.
I am going to try and speak to him after the DCs have gone to bed (although I know he is going out for at least an hour with his hobby tonight) as I gave him a deadline of today to dump the OW.
Good idea about getting him to sort out the counselling Pacific.
I am taking the DCs out tomorrow to meet my DSis for the day. Hopefully that will give him time to think about this and what he has done.
I agree with you Hermonie about community/sporting activities - I always think exactly the same thing!
In the name of good fuck!!! Where's all these fuckwits creeping out of the woodwork coming from?? Seriously!!
Leave him. You've done everything yourself up to now anyway. Hes told you he loves but not in love with you. Don't lower yourself begging and crying for him to pick you. You deserve so much better.
He's a prick.
let that other woman have him.
You would be better off without him, honestly.
OP, bluntly, I am not sure what you hope to achieve from marriage counselling. It can't change your husband from being an intrinsically unpleasant man into a decent one, and it can't resurrect a marriage that you've never had - he has never been there for you.
I have no idea how you would find the time to go on your own since you sound like you do everything yourself and have two DCs with special needs. But if you could, it might help you to accept that YOU ending the marriage could be a very positive thing for you and the children, and give you the confidence and the tools to get what you and the children need out of the divorce.
I feel so sad reading that
Your marriage is completely one sided
Let it go. Find yourself.
Oh bin him off, the awful twat, life is too short for this kind of relationship. Get the household documents together, get a shit hot lawyer, and tell him to move out.
Thank you so much for all your replies.
You are all helping me to be strong and focused and see him for what he really is.
I am so grateful as before I posted this I was thinking of apologising to him.
Oh Christ no, please don't apologise to him
Why are you giving him a deadline? Why are you giving him any power?
Please, take back control and throw the fucker out
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.