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"I love you but i'm not sure i'm in love with you" - is there any way back from this?

(54 Posts)
tiredoftherain Mon 20-Oct-08 14:28:39

DH and I have had a rotten year. He's been working nonstop, a lot of the time away from home, we've got 2 dc's, one has mild special needs and there has been a lot of stress to deal with sorting him out before school. He is thankfully improving but I have a lot of appointments to juggle with him, which are very emotionally draining. dc2 is gorgeous, but a very demanding baby.

Through looking after the dcs on my own most of the time, in an area which is new to me, and a long way from my family, I'm often totally exhausted.

DH and I were talking last night, and he told me he doesn't know what he wants from life, he feels a bit trapped in our situation, and that he's grown a bit bored with the relationship. He thinks I've changed and become obsessed with the ds' (I admit I was a little, as ds1 has really needed me this last year) I think he's changed and become obsessed with his work. We still get on very well and aren't rowing constantly or anything, but he's always had a selfish streak which has really shown itself in the past few months, and there are days when although i love him, i'm not sure I like him very much.

But - the thought of leaving and starting over, in all likelihood miles away, and on my own with 2 small dc's in tow, fills me with sickening dread. We all need to be a family and there's no way i want to give up on marriage as easily as this. Have suggested relate but dh thinks we should be able to talk it through ourselves. Trouble is, he isn't always the best communicator and i think an independent person would really help.

Is this something which can be fixed? I can't get him to commit to trying, he just keeps saying he's confused about what he wants. How much time do I give him? Help!

ambercat Mon 20-Oct-08 14:48:05

Good book called "I love you but i'm not in love with you" may help. Not sure who its by but it has been recommended on here before.

tiredoftherain Mon 20-Oct-08 14:49:12

thanks ambercat, will have a look for it

luckylady74 Mon 20-Oct-08 14:52:39

My friend has just got back together with a dh after he said this and that was after an eight week trial separation.
I think a lot of other people feel like this after a stressful time.
You've talked honestly - so can you keep on doing that? Maybe arrange nights in the week when you'll make the effort to connect with each other?

Tortington Mon 20-Oct-08 14:57:23

i think this saying is such an immature shit thing to say.

its what 18 yo's say when they want their BF's attention.

i think you do need to see relate - the third person in the room makes the difference - and if he is really interested in trying, then he will go.

and tell him this from me

diddums mr tiredbytherain, so now you area famioly man - its all suits and no play - awww dincha become a rockstar, is work hard OH NO!!

its all kids kids kids and no blow jobs any more. no one looking after MR PINKY ?you don't feelspecial. your not a top footballer, your not a racing car driver

jesus buy a red sportscar shag a 16 yo schoolgirlang get your crisis over with you selfish immature twat in a box

Liffey Mon 20-Oct-08 14:59:18

That old chesnut.

I'm scared to risk losing you by being brave enough to let you go, but I'm bored and fancy some excitement.

Call his bluff, tell the fekker you love him but you're not sure you like him.

luckylady74 Mon 20-Oct-08 14:59:49

I have to agree that is a very immature thing to say - in my head I was saying to my friend ' you really want to be with a tosser that says that?', but men can be crap at expressing themselves and also need it pointing out that they're being a little unrealsitic in their expectations.

Liffey Mon 20-Oct-08 15:03:04

Hellmouth, excellent post.

BTW op, being single is not the worst thing in the world you know. Hard to start with, the transitionis hard, but after that, many things are easier. Don't leap into it blindly, but don't fear it above all else either!

Being stuck with a selfish, mean, controlling, immature, uncompromising (delete as applicable, or leave them all in) boy/man/mouse/bully is the worst situation in the World.

Spellcheck Mon 20-Oct-08 15:03:32

Hi tiredoftherain, I'm going through the same situation as you, could almost have written the post myself. Probably worse though, as my H had an affair, which he's justified in his mind because he wasn't in love with me any more, anyway. Not that he bothered trying to communicate that with me at all!

Stress and exhaustion do all kinds of horrible things to relationships. You both have different priorities at the moment. This is normal in a relationship, we all go through different stages in our lives, and it doesn't necessarily mean the end. It all depends on how you handle it. My H panicked when he thought our perfect relationship was over - it wasn't, it just changed as we grew up.

Advice from me would be: Don't hassle him, pressure him, nag him, or try to issue ultimatums. Tell him calmly you are worried about the future of your relationship, and that you need to talk more. Then, work on yourself. Get fit. Make local friends (easy with small DCs) at playgroups, parks, anywhere. Get out on your own in the evening. I have finally started doing this, it takes effort and juggling, I have no family living nearby but it's worth the hassle. I'm having a great time, and it's really piqued my H's interest. At last. He is starting to see the woman he fell in love with again, very slowly but surely. Am storing up these tiny victories in my mind, and it's giving me so much confidence. Ha ha haaa!!!

He still says he's leaving though. We didn't talk about this early enough, and were too far down the line. He thinks he wants a single life. I have started agreeing with him, and giving him his freedom, but he hasn't left yet - just why am I suddenly so happy to give it all up? So good to have a bit of power back! And we are communicating more, and much better.

You are right, some kind of marriage counselling would help, but like my H, yours doesn't want to go. Don't force him or he may sit there like a sulky child, and it could make things worse. But communication is absolutely vital, so you know him better than anyone - how can you start the ball rolling without it turning into a argument or mud-slinging contest?

I wish you so much luck, please keep posting! smile

snowleopard Mon 20-Oct-08 15:08:20

rofl at Custy. Maybe men like this should go to Relate, or else to Custy-style therapy where they have to sit in a room having stuff like that said to them. they get to choose.

Seriously, I think it's a wanky thing to say as well - I take on board he's maybe trying to express himself and doing it badly, but it basically means "oh dear I would like to be single, shag around and have no responsibilities".

After the year you've had your relationship has come last - that's normal. I think it can be repaired if you both make the effort to talk, do things together and try, as you say. I'd be talking to him about the alternatives that lie in wait for him if he doesn't, like losing his relationship, hurting his kids and regretting it sorely. He thinks the grass is greener, he needs to look at men who've decided that a lull in their relationship means it's time to escape, and see how happy they are. Often, they're not.

Alexa808 Mon 20-Oct-08 15:15:16

So sorry to hear this. Yes, amber is right: get the book: www.amazon.co.uk/Love-You-But-Not-Relationship/dp/0747585520

I can heartily recommend it. Very insightful.

Alexa808 Mon 20-Oct-08 15:18:44

Jesus, custy, just saw your post. I literally just tinkled myself ROFL. My pelvic floor isn't fit enough yet...

I've copied your comment to show DH.

grin

LostHorizon Mon 20-Oct-08 17:35:45

HMC's post was very funny but not entirely constructive :-)

Telling him he's a failure, and a life with you that he hates is as good as it gets, risks bringing on a Reggie Perrin episode.

IME, no matter mentally prepared for it you think you are, having children is utterly fucking shattering. I had no idea I would have no free time at all (for five years so far). I had no idea they'd be up till 11pm and I'd be sworn at if I dared to complain about anything. I had no idea I'd be pestered forever to father more children to keep the first (accidental but I don't agree with abortions) company. He's probably thinking "Fuck, is this it? The next 30 years are like this...shit? This is as good as it gets? Can't I die young instead? I'd enjoy that more."

Remember, men die younger because they want to.

Honestly I think you two need to find a way to get some of your lives back. You have to find a way to have some fun, and in his case perhaps that needs to be without you and with his mates for the odd evening*. He doesn't necessarily want to shag other women or anything. I don't. I haven't fancied the missus for years, but then I don't fancy other women either. I'd settle for a few hours of good hard action with my classic car. Tsuh. Chance be a fine thing.

* The bloody office is now the only place I can say "c**t" as often as I'd like to! Can you believe that?! Even there, it's not a great idea. It's harsh.

tiredoftherain Mon 20-Oct-08 18:51:10

thanks everyone, you've cheered me up!!

He has always been a bit flighty, always wants a bigger job, to move house, change the car etc but never been like this so far with me in 10 years. We've always had fairly independent lives but shared them happily, if that makes sense, lots of our own friends and lots together. I had a good job and so did he, and we both socialised with our respective workmates a lot. I think my complete change of role as sahm has made him see me differently. But that's tough, the children have to come first at the moment, as if i'm not looking after them, nobody else is.

spellcheck, so sorry for you too, I think your advice is great. I've been lucky and made lots of friends in the area, (easy as you say with dc's!)and started a part time job which is helping. do need to get fit though, am carrying an extra stone which is knocking my confidence a bit.

And yes, it was a stupid thing for him to say but I think he can be a bit "emotionally retarded" to quote Madonna..

LurkerOfTheUniverse Mon 20-Oct-08 18:58:51

sorry, agree more with Custy than LostHorizon

It's not just his life that's changed, at least he can fuck off to the office to say 'cunt' as much as he wants hmm

Liffey Mon 20-Oct-08 19:18:39

But Lost, he's shifting all the blame on to her that their life isn't exciting. She understands that it's young children that makes like not so glamorous right now. Men who don't get this do need a bit a wake-up before they lose something very precious; their family......

gagarin Mon 20-Oct-08 19:32:48

Tell him to get some pzazz back - cos you agree that life is boring and he is unattractive at the moment - you need him to take a weeks leave from work to look after the children all day and all night (no cheating and going to in-laws) while you go off FOR THE WHOLE WEEK to visit your friends & family.

You can then return the favour and give him a week off (he must go away though - not stay at home!) and you will both feel happier and more relaxed?

SylvieSprings Mon 20-Oct-08 19:42:24

Have you heard of the book, "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman? It is a highly recommended book by some marriage counsellors. It is available in audio CD as well.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Five-Love-Languages-Heartfelt-Commitment/dp/1881273105/ref=sr14?i e=UTF8&s=books&qid=1224527346&sr=1-4

Alternatively, you may find useful online resources here:
http://www.garychapman.org

LostHorizon Mon 20-Oct-08 20:10:36

Yeah, he shouldn't be blaming her, it's not all her fault nor all his.

I just don't think telling him his life is a load of shit and he should get used to it is necessarily going to be reconcile him to said shitty life.

skidoodle Mon 20-Oct-08 20:49:28

Sometimes somebody says something on here that is so wise I have to make a note of it so I'll always remember.

Liffey: "I'm scared to risk losing you by being brave enough to let you go, but I'm bored and fancy some excitement."

Perfect

I just can't get my head around a man with two children, one a baby, who thinks it is important that he is "bored with the relationship".

Bored?

Face up to your responsibilities you pathetic little toe rag. You're "trapped" in a situation entirely of your own making. Be a man and deal with it responsibly rather than bleating on like an indulged adolescent.

He doesn't know what he wants?

For real? NOW, when he has two children and a wife.

I just have no patience for this kind of shit. It's so embarrassing. I can't believe any man with any self respect would think something so puerile, never mind actually say it out loud and expect to be taken seriously.

tiredoftherain you can go to couples counselling on your own. If he won't go, you should go anyway. You need to work on your terror of being without him. That puts you in a very weak position wrt his little mind games.

NotQuiteCockney Mon 20-Oct-08 20:53:45

I think Custy's words were more for Ms. tiredoftherain, not Mr. tiredoftherain.

LostHorizon, you write a lot like a certain oddly-named brightly-haired column-writing (and novel-writing) ex-blogger.

LurkerOfTheUniverse Mon 20-Oct-08 20:58:23

mil millington?

don't like him either

shhhh Mon 20-Oct-08 21:49:02

I think custy's comments were a bit harsh imo...Im not backing up totr's dp BUT life takes its toll on us all and things can be hard...

Its esp hard having a lo who is ill or who need additional attention.
Yes, it is totr who is doing the childcare in the relationship BUT it seems that its her dp who is the wage earner and he must also be finding things hard.

Men, have feelings as well and imo men deal with things differently to women.

IME, ds was born very ill and needed several operations. I remember at the time fearing for ds's health and fearing for dh & i's marriage and our family...dh showed little emotion when I was around and a few times stormed out of the home. I honestly felt at fault that ds was ill and felt that dh would leave me BUT I now know that dh was dealing with emotions he had never experienced before. He felt helpless and given the fact that he was self employed and due to the birth and ds's illness he didn't work for 6 months this also added stress onto him...he felt everything was on him to provide for his family.

Dh always has been a family man and a proud man BUT I guess ds being ill was something he couldn't control.

All im saying is, there are reasons as to why someone behaves as they do. Yeah, I agree its not mature adult behaviour as it took both of you to have 2 lo's BUT sometimes most of us get faced with a siuation where we want to take flight and not stop and flight...

Sit down and talk to him, there must have been something there when you 1st met and the same thing there when you have 2 lo's and its worth trying to talk it through.
He needs to be aware that he stands to loose everything he has achieved so far and he needs to be told what your feelings are.
Yeah, we all get caught up in life with our lo's BUT you also need to make time for you as a couple....

I have never been single with lo's and never want to be BUT its not the end of things and may be the best option. BUT you need lots to sort and discuss before your decide on that option.

Life is to short and you both deserve to be happy...give him more time....

hth x

shhhh Mon 20-Oct-08 21:49:04

I think custy's comments were a bit harsh imo...Im not backing up totr's dp BUT life takes its toll on us all and things can be hard...

Its esp hard having a lo who is ill or who need additional attention.
Yes, it is totr who is doing the childcare in the relationship BUT it seems that its her dp who is the wage earner and he must also be finding things hard.

Men, have feelings as well and imo men deal with things differently to women.

IME, ds was born very ill and needed several operations. I remember at the time fearing for ds's health and fearing for dh & i's marriage and our family...dh showed little emotion when I was around and a few times stormed out of the home. I honestly felt at fault that ds was ill and felt that dh would leave me BUT I now know that dh was dealing with emotions he had never experienced before. He felt helpless and given the fact that he was self employed and due to the birth and ds's illness he didn't work for 6 months this also added stress onto him...he felt everything was on him to provide for his family.

Dh always has been a family man and a proud man BUT I guess ds being ill was something he couldn't control.

All im saying is, there are reasons as to why someone behaves as they do. Yeah, I agree its not mature adult behaviour as it took both of you to have 2 lo's BUT sometimes most of us get faced with a siuation where we want to take flight and not stop and flight...

Sit down and talk to him, there must have been something there when you 1st met and the same thing there when you have 2 lo's and its worth trying to talk it through.
He needs to be aware that he stands to loose everything he has achieved so far and he needs to be told what your feelings are.
Yeah, we all get caught up in life with our lo's BUT you also need to make time for you as a couple....

I have never been single with lo's and never want to be BUT its not the end of things and may be the best option. BUT you need lots to sort and discuss before your decide on that option.

Life is to short and you both deserve to be happy...give him more time....

hth x

Tortington Mon 20-Oct-08 22:40:16

harsh ....moi?shocker

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