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I’m not sure I love my husband anymore

(17 Posts)
CowslipXO Fri 22-May-20 15:50:47

I’m not attracted to my husband any more and it’s killing me. It’s nothing to do with how he looks. It’s more to do with the person he has become. Although I’m not sure he’s actually changed in the 16 yrs we’ve been together. He’s got such muted reactions to things, joyous things I mean. He’s well able to feel frustration and gets cross with things, but he’s never truly happy or grateful for anything. If I list all of the things he has in life, you would consider him a lucky man. I do. And I am truly grateful for the life I have too. But he just seems to have blunted happy emotions and I can’t bear it. He raises a little smile at things, never a big grin. He’ll tell me I look nice without ever a glimmer in his eye - even on our wedding day. We never ever belly laugh, never. He never initiates fun. He isn’t fun at all. He‘ll go along with every fun idea I have, but he never initiates our fun. We don’t have a good sex life at all. I find him awkward in bed. I don’t want to have sex with him so I just let him think I have a low sex drive rather than face telling him that I don’t fancy him.
I don’t know if I can face leaving him. The upheaval. The children’s heartbreak. I’ve been a stay at home mum for almost 10 yrs and I need to get my life back - I’m also trying to figure that out. Yrs ago he accumulated a huge tax debt (around £200,000) which caused us A LOT of arguments. It’s affected our whole lives financially, every decision we make. We’re tied together through all of this as I can’t face ruining him financially.
Yet I like him - and I tell myself it’s enough. But I’m 42 and the rest of my life feels like a long time. He says he loves me, and sometimes we’re really good, but I absolutely long to feel special, loved and in love. And I just don’t think he’s capable of doing that. I want to be happier than I am. I kick myself for not making better career choices and for being dependent on him. I feel like I’d be stronger and my mind would be in a better place.
(I’d like to add that his dad and brother have very similar personalities - this makes me more unhappy as I feel like I’m going to be married to his dad for my whole life)

Honeybee85 Fri 22-May-20 15:53:57

No advice for you OP other then you can not change people, they only change if they want to. Perhaps you should tell him how you feel and if that doesn't motivate him to change, start thinking what you want for the rest of your life. Good luck.

Sugartitss Fri 22-May-20 17:10:55

Some of your reasons are bizarre.

Bottom line is you don’t fancy him, you’re avoiding sex with him but would like to stay married. This is selfish.

I’m sure he’ll be a perfect match for another woman.

Oopsiedaisyy Fri 22-May-20 17:13:56

Leave.

Guttersnipe Fri 22-May-20 17:22:28

I dont think any of the OP's reasons are bizarre. They are all solid reasons that add together and make for quite a sad relationship. I can relate to a lot of what you say Cowslip. I am not sure if it is time for you to give up on the marriage though. Have you voiced any of your concerns to your husband? E.g., I relate to the one about him being similar to his dad. My dh is similar to his dad and I really don't care for his dad at all. The older dh becomes, the more like his dad he becomes. It is depressing. But my dh has expressed a desire not to end up like his dad, so at least I can point out when he is like is dad and remind him he doesn't want this, and I can see my dh trying (sometimes) to be a better person. You have to give your dh the chance to change too, I feel. But if, ultimately, you have given him that chance and nothing has changed, then I would say you shouldn't stick with him for the sake of children or finances. You deserve a better life than that.

CowslipXO Fri 22-May-20 17:41:45

I’ve questioned how selfish I’m being, but I can tell you hand on heart that I have spoken to my husband over and over again about things between us needing to change on both our parts. He always owns up to his part in things and our relationship is better temporarily but we’re always (and I mean every 4-6 months) back at square one. I have worked so hard at my marriage that I feel I’ve really done my best.
Guttersnipe - I do feel like it’s a sad relationship, it’s not how a loving relationship should be - it’s not awful and it could be a lot worse, but I feel we’re going in circles. His parents once told him that as long as he found a friend as a partner he could do much worse. And I feel that’s what he’s happy with. I can see what they were trying to say but I want a loving husband, not a friend. I do every now and then point out the similarities with his dad but I’m not sure it helps.
I could go on and on, small reasons that are maybe silly (bizarre) to some, but the bottom line is, I feel unloved.

Spied Fri 22-May-20 17:53:21

All the small ( and large) reasons will continue to grow and you will grow to hate him and yourself.
Can you really live like that?
He can't change the real him.
He can pretend and put on a show but would that make you happy?
With regards to the finances you need to remember you can not live your life staying tied to him because of money issues. That's no life.

CowslipXO Fri 22-May-20 18:01:05

I don’t think I can live this way forever - I’ve been feeling this eat away at me for years - maybe even 10 years. I always feel it’ll get better, we’re married, I made and took vows etc. We talk about it regularly which I feel is healthy, but nothing really changes. It’s selfish of me to want him to change. I just don’t know how to go about the next steps if I decide to leave. How we’d survive financially, how we’d work it all out. I haven’t decided if I even want to do it - I don’t think I want a broken marriage! But I’m unhappy 😔

Hopoindown31 Fri 22-May-20 18:41:12

He may well be thinking the same things about you. Maybe he isn't fun and happy because he is unhappy too. You say he is a lucky man but he is in the same situation you are - in debt, stuck with a wife that doesn't love him and doesn't want to sleep with him.

CowslipXO Fri 22-May-20 19:13:10

But that’s the thing, he isn’t unhappy - this is his normal behaviour. Maybe he is thinking the same way. When we have our talks, he doesn’t allude to feeling that way, he says he doesn’t want to lose me, but yes, maybe he is. Maybe one of our normal talks isn’t enough, and we need brutal honesty.
I do love him. I’m just not sure I’m in love with him. I know that’s a crap sentence, but it’s a question I have regularly. We do sleep together - and it’s actually me who instigates it 90% of the time as he’s always been awkward in that area. That’s not great for making you feel wanted either by the way. This is an accumulation of things over a long period. I work hard at my marriage and I’m there for him 100%.

Thank you all for your advice. It’s been good to chat and get different perspectives.

Diabetes123 Fri 22-May-20 21:28:47

OMG Cowslip exact same circumstances sad

Only...….I left 2 weeks ago sad

Extremely difficult decision as nothing acutely wrong with marriage, we both have good jobs, lovely house, nice cars, nice holidays 2 gorgeous DD's very rarely argue but...….I was avoiding physical contact with him (for years) suffered from depression (for years) unhappy on and off (for years) sad

My lid blew a couple of weeks ago and I literally could not go on pretending that everything was okay. He was and still is very shocked, devastated and still loves me and wants us to try marriage counselling. However I'm willing to go through marriage counselling but I'm worried theres just too much to change he has had 48 years of his personality and yes he is exactly like his dad and his brother and the mere thought of ending up with his dad is sad

I still love him and care about him deeply but I don't think I'm in love with him sad its very sad and the guilt I feel is enormous as I never in a million years would want to hurt him or my DD's who have stayed with him.

You deserve to be happy we all do so be strong and do whats right for yourself not anyone else.

Stegasaurusmum Fri 22-May-20 21:57:48

I told my DH, after 13 years of marriage, it was over 6 weeks ago. Lots of things but all built up to me just not really being in love anymore and lots of things about his attitude towards me that had worn that away... I didn't deal with it properly, I should have talked to him more, but he also ignored the niggling unhappiness too. We did counselling and I was surprised to find that he admitted to being unhappy for at least 5 years, which I had too, maybe more like 10. I get the bit about him being like his dad, we had both fallen into the tiles of his and my parents, I had become the nag, the martyr, doing everything for everyone, whilst he just barely spoke, barely responded to anything, didn't interact with the children or me. We still had fun. Still had wonderful memories, but they were few and far between. He didn't make me laugh, didn't light me up. I know it's not realistic to expect that and if you talk to dome married couples (I'm 42 as well) then it fades. But it had gone for me, I avoided sex, didn't enjoy it, wanted it over with. I thought it was just my age and had kind of settled to accepting it, whilst turning into a very lonely, very bitter woman. I knew really deep down it wasn't tight but I kept busy, always had a project on the go, always something to take my mind off it. But it got to the point when enough was enough.
It's horrible, I won't lie, that conversation was one of the hardest things I've ever done. But, a week later, after the worst week ever of him crying every night, shutting down, not talking to any of us, then he said thank you for me being brave enough to end it. I think if we'd gone to counselling before, maybe years before, then possibly there might have been a chance, but like you I was exhausted by the trying, constantly trying to make things better. I met someone through work and I'm ashamed to admit had an affair which put the nail in the coffin really. No excuse and very much so it's made everything more complicated, but just that very short time of feeling totally loved, feeling comfortable with someone and totally myself, made me realise just how bad things were.
It's all horrible right now as we are still living in the house, I'm hoping we will, in a couple of months, have some kind of plan of how we are moving forward. Some things have been better than I expected, we are amicable, although of course both sad.. he's not turned as nasty as I thought he would, but some things are worse, for example he's currently bring an ostrich and pretending as if nothings changed, but then getting sad when I bring it up again, which is frustrating and is having an effect on the kids.. The lockdown doesn't help, he won't go out or do anything for himself either. Daily exercise had been my escape!
I'd say do it a step at a time, look at what money you'd get, jobs you could manage, if you could stay in the house... It might not be as daunting as you think. I was paralysed by fear of where I would live, how I'd cope alone, but once I looked into the money etc, I realised I could manage and I felt nothing but relief.
One step at a time, you dont need to think about everything straight away. Maybe book some counselling, we had 6 sessions and although expensive, it did help him to come to terms with it all and the last 2 sessions we used to work out the separation.
Good luck. It's so scary, but the relief when you've made a decision... I continually over thought it, still do, but mainly I feel positive and excited about my future on my own.

Dadaist Fri 22-May-20 23:48:13

It amazes me how people so often overlook the effect their behaviour has on the other person in a relationship!
You aren’t intimate, affectionate or loving - and you avoid sex. And yet you can’t understand why he seems dead inside? Go figure!
These things often escalate-tit for tat - gradual withdrawals lead to distance, disconnecting and blaming the other rather than recognising that the state of your relationship will affect everything else, including joy, optimism, drive, vitality.
@Stegasaurusmum has been horribly cruel and will have changed her DH forever by the trauma of such betrayal. But she could probably explain how his being down in the dumps about her infidelity is just putting her off him.
I’d suggest couple counselling before you throw the towel in OP.

IveGotFrills Sat 23-May-20 08:31:56

@Stegasaurusmum - apart from the affair, your post describes my marriage (until recently) perfectly (though I've got 10 years on you plus an extra 13 yrs of marriage). We are working on it and are currently in a good phase but i've been here before and know it fades. I think @Dadaist is right, it's 2-sided and my behaviour compounded his. But I wanted to thank you as you often think you're the only one in these situations. It has given me strength. x

CowslipXO Sat 23-May-20 11:57:04

@Dadaist I’m not sure why your first paragraph is so condescending - I don’t wonder at all why he’s dead inside, nor do I think he is. I’ve stated that he’s awkward and struggles to show his feelings/affection. I’m perfectly aware of my own contributions and how my reactions affect our relationship. I give our relationship 100%, I’ve supported this man through some really bad stuff, I’ve encouraged him to open up and we communicate regularly. It’s very hard keeping a negative person positive. We are intimate, instigated 90% of the time by me (which doesn’t help either) as I know it’s an important part of marriage. I truly feel I’m doing my best, or at least I have done my best for the most part but I’m starting to flag a little hence coming here for support. I thought about a support forum for months before I actually did it. I absolutely want the positive and the negative comments, some of which have made me think about and consider my own part in this more than I already have done. Your second paragraph makes complete sense and I appreciate it.

Please understand that my husband isn’t a bad man and nor am I a crap wife - we’re just growing apart and I don’t know how to fix it. I’m not his friend or his flat mate, I’m his wife and mother of his children and he treats me like I’m his mate as he’s uncomfortable doing much more, and his parents led him to believe that this would be ok.

Thank you to those who have commented who are in a similar situation - I feel for you and what you’re also going through. I think unless you’re in an almost loveless marriage, you can’t really understand, like most situations. My husband is my best friend, and I don’t hate him, we’re not joyless, we’re just maybe not each other’s soul mate and coping with that is hard.
I don’t think I need any more comments, thank you so much, I feel I have enough to go on now to think about what we need, but thank you, I appreciate it x

Dadaist Sat 23-May-20 18:18:18

Honestly OP - I wasn’t trying to be condescending or aiming directly at you but how people on MN often don’t consider that there is a dynamic to a relationship-not just two people ‘being themselves’.
And your update gives a completely different picture to your first!

Raidblunner Sat 23-May-20 19:52:24

Every day spent unhappily with him is a day you could be happy somewhere else. How many more will you waste....

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