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Can anyone help?

(92 Posts)
wendynut Mon 29-Jun-09 09:37:20

I've never done this before so it feels a little weird, but I'd love some advice, I feel very desperate. My husband told me that he didn't love me any more about 6 weeks ago. We've been together for 19 years and married for 15, we have 2 beautiful daughters aged 8 and almost 13 and a lovely home. We agreed to try and make it work and I thought things were going pretty well. But the thought of him not loving me had been gnawing away at me and it came out on Saturday night. I walked out and stayed at my sisters close by. I didn't sleep and left at 6 am to see my mum. I came back home early yesterday morning and we've been trying to talk it out.
I just can't believe he doesn't love me, i feel like he's ripped out my soul. He's the love of my life and I can't live without him. We've always had a good relationship and are best friends. I am adamant that I don't want us to split up. I don't want to destroy the kids, they know something is wrong, and I don't want to lose everything we've built up together over the years. I haven't worked since I had the kids and have always looked after them and supported my husband in his career. I know that no-one else is involved, he isn't having an affair. The prospect of waking up every morning without him and dealing with the kids all by myself is terrifying. I barely managed to drive them to school a minute ago and I feel like I'm falling to bits. He's trying to reschedule things so that he can get home from work earlier but I need him here. I'm 37 and I don't want to start again. He's my soulmate and if it wasn't for the kids I think I'd rather be dead than have to live without him. I'm going to my mums soon, can't sit here alone.

WhenwillIfeelnormal Mon 29-Jun-09 09:40:27

Wendy. So very sorry for this heartbreak. It must be awful to you. In my experience, though, men very rarely say this unless there is someone else. Why are you so sure there isn't?

wendynut Mon 29-Jun-09 10:02:28

I know that is usually the case but I'm positive there isn't anyone else. He spoke to my sister yesterday and she asked him and she believed him. He would have told me if there was and I know that sounds naive, but I know he's telling the truth. He doesn't want to split our family up either but he can't see a way forward because he doesn't love me.
We have always had such a good relationship. I want us to stay together and find another way to co-exist. I love him so much. He's never been the romantic type, I've always known that, but we should be bringing up our kids together and giving them stability, not breaking up everything and ruining lives.

WhenwillIfeelnormal Mon 29-Jun-09 10:11:40

Ok. I understand your belief in him and that might well be the case, but (and I know you're in shock at the moment) can I as gently as possible suggest that you back this belief up with some hard evidence? In other words, do some detective work? Phones are always the best place to start, as are E mail accounts.

What led up to all this 6 weeks ago Wendy? How had he been before this and think back to the first time you sensed anything might be amiss? See if there is a pattern of behaviour or a catalyst that you can pin this on to.

I'm so sorry this is happening to you, it's horrible. It's hard at the moment though to see the wood for the trees. If you possibly can, take a step back and ask yourself this. If another person in your life dropped a bombshell out of the blue like this, wouldn't you be looking for other ways to test out the veracity of what they were saying?

NotQuiteCockney Mon 29-Jun-09 10:20:37

Could he be depressed?

It's entirely possible there isn't anyone else, but he's generally dissatisfied with his life, and tying that (unfairly) to your relationship.

How is communication between you?

Is Relate or similar an option?

You will cope if he goes, plenty of people manage just fine as single parents. And you probably need to come to terms with that possibility, to allow good communication while you sort things out ...

wendynut Mon 29-Jun-09 10:22:05

I know that I could look on his mobile (his work laptop is always open and I can see all his emails) but I really don't think that he is. I appreciate where you are coming from and yes, if it was happening to someone else that I knew, I would be thinking exactly the same thing. Things hadn't felt right for a while leading up to it all going wrong 6 weeks ago. We'd had a couple of problems in bed that had never happened before and I think I knew subconsciously that something was up. I asked him one Sunday morning what was wrong and that's when he said it. He's apologised a lot for hurting me but I don't think he could ever know what this feels like. I feel absolutely hollow and that my whole future is gone. I've been studying for a new career but graduating is a very long way off. If he does leave, I won't be able to afford to carry on with it and we can't afford to pay rent for somewhere for him to live. This is such a mess.

charlotte1978 Mon 29-Jun-09 10:42:33


My heart goes out to you. I am madly in love with my husband and I think I would react like you have.

I think your husband really does care about you because he is trying to make it work. He has told you so, he is coming home from work early to chat isn't he?

I hate to say it because I don't want to upset you further but would it be worth it to ask him why he feels this way. It sounds strange but you need to get to the bottom of his feelings before you can move forward.

I hope you work it out. I really do.

Take care


wendynut Mon 29-Jun-09 10:43:01

I have wondered if it's some sort of mid-life crisis because he's 40 in September. We've also endured a lot together in recent years. We moved to Dorset from Cambridgeshire 5 1/2 yrs ago to have a new life and rented a house for a while before we bought again. So we've moved twice, he has changed jobs 3 times (once was because of redundancy, he's back there now), we've had a few financial ups and downs, our young cat was killed which was awful and our eldest daughter had an emergency op to have her spleen removed last year when a tyre swing hit her in the side and she nearly died.
We've had a difficult time settling in down here as well and I think it's all been too much. My family live down here now which I am very grateful for, especially now. I have no idea what to do or how to cope with this. I keep trying to get a hold of myself but I can't stop crying.

Mumfun Mon 29-Jun-09 21:10:59

So sorry because my husband told me the same over a year ago.

I do think a sort of mid life crisis was involved.

I would wonder if he has a emotional attachment elsewhere if he isnt actually having an affair (sorry)

The sad thing is that you cant change someones feelings. Please do look after your kids and yourself as best you can. Its good he wants to talk and hope you can work something out. I really hear you on the financial worries too. Its a very tough time so take all the support you can!

norksinmywaistband Mon 29-Jun-09 21:23:46

I am in the middle of a very similar situation sad
DH told me he didn't love me in February(together 16 years)

I am 36, he turned 40, 6 weeks ago.I am a SAHM

He was also so I thought in a mid life crisis -noone else involved.

Tbh 6 months on we are no further on he lives about 5 mins away in a rented room and I am on benefits.

It sucks as I still love him so much.

But I have had some individual counselling(through GP) and know that I can survive, have many strengths and am a good mother - It is his loss.

I would love him to come back, but joint parenting is actually more important to me.

I do hope things can turn around for you, but be strong, you will survive and your DC need a mother around to support them through this as well

anothermum92 Mon 29-Jun-09 22:04:53

Message withdrawn

wendynut Tue 30-Jun-09 10:57:34

Can I just say thankyou to everyone on here who's responded, it's good to feel that I'm not alone. Thanks anothermum92, I've just ordered the book you've recommended, I'm willing to try anything to make this better.
Spent most of the day at my mum's yesterday in pieces, then started to try and think more clearly. I arranged for my sister to have my girls after school and I told him to come to my mums from work. He did leave work earlier and we went to my mums, I haven't talked to him with anyone else present before and I thought it might help. My mum doesn't interfere in things but she has felt like he's being very stupid. We talked for a long time and he did actually talk a lot more than he ever has really done before. For him, the problem is still the same in that he doesn't love me, but he agrees that there is affection there. We both don't want to split our family up and we agreed living together is better than breaking up.
We're going to write down everything that has made us angry with each other and to try to put into words how we've felt about everything. I think that would be better for him because he's good at putting things into words on paper but no good at saying them. I think it'll be good for me too. I'm sure that he thinks that I won't be able to cope with what he writes down about me but I don't honestly think I could be any more hurt than I've been already. Am I being a doormat? My priority is protecting my girls and I'll do anything to stop them being hurt.
My sister is angry (but keeping it to herself), she doesn't want him to do this again in a few weeks and thinks that the girls would be more protected by her and mum and me rather than being potentially exposed to heartbreak from him. I feel like I'm doing all I can and my mum's just suggested us all getting away this weekend to break this tension and to actually have some fun for a change, instead of sitting around brooding over it all.

WhenwillIfeelnormal Tue 30-Jun-09 11:26:39

Wendy. I'm glad you talked. I would reverse this though and ask you to both write down what you LIKE about one another, not just what you hate. This is a really good exercise and helps you to focus on your DH's good qualities - and him on yours.

I accept what you say about your Mum not interfering, but I don't think family can ever be neutral in these situations. You've said your sister has very strong views about it all and even if she's keeping a lid on it, it must permeate yours (and his) consciousness.

He sounds like a basically decent man who is wrestling with a terrible dilemma. You've had the most awful lot on your plate in recent years and it could be that it's all proving too much for him at the moment. 40 is a bit of a milestone birthday and lots of people take stock at this time and review their lives.

It is entirely possible to fall in love again, but this requires you to change your view of your partner. At the moment, he sees you in victim mode, which isn't conducive to feeling in love.

I do think a really good counsellor would be better for both of you, than family.

As for a break away, I would suggest that it would be much better for you to do this as a couple, without the children - and certainly no-one from the extended family should be there. In my view, this might be too soon for you both. I'd ask your family to have the children for this whole weekend coming up and spend the time at home with your DH, working through your lists and trying to connect again. You could treat yourselves to a nice meal out or a takeaway in, with alcohol to oil the wheels!

Later on, have those breaks away for just the two of you. They really do help.

wendynut Thu 02-Jul-09 13:18:43

Thankyou whenwillifeelnormal for your advice. I've decided not to book anything, you're right, it's too soon. We're supposed to be going on holiday next month and I need to pay the balance of that in the next few days, so I need to be sure that we're actually going to go. We received the book recommended by anothermum92 ('I love you but I'm not in love with you') yesterday and we started to read it together last night. Everything that we've read so far has described us really accurately and I hope he really opens himself up to trying to benefit from the advice, it's so hard to tell if he's as dedicated to saving us as I am. We're both writing lists about good and bad points and I've got a feeling that his is going to be awful to read. It must be if he says that he feels like this now I suppose.
I feel like I've pulled myself together more (well I haven't cried for 2 days which is a start!) and have made a big effort to stop coming across as a victim. I have no idea how this is all going to go but I have to try and stay positive, even though I am clueless most of the time as to what he's really thinking or feeling which is so annoying (this is one of the things on MY list). I really resent him for putting us all through this.
Thanks all x

Dazmum Mon 13-Jul-09 16:08:48

Wendy, I was watching your thread and noticed that you haven't been back. I hope things went positively for you both, and hope you are ok. x

wendynut Wed 15-Jul-09 16:25:38

Hi Dazmum
I haven't posted because I've been waiting to see what will happen between us I think, it's all really confusing. I gave DH my list early last week because I felt like I'd had enough of sitting around writing things and he gave me a written response along with his list last Saturday afternoon. I know that we should have swapped them at the same time but it's too late now. His was devastating. I had written about 13 points in each pro's and cons column and he'd written about 4 tiny 'pro's' about me that were vague things like 'I think you're a good mum' etc. In the cons part, he wrote that he doesn't love me, that he's not in love with me, that he doesn't fancy me and also doesn't want to kiss, cuddle or have sex with me anymore. He had said these things back when he first dropped the bombshell, but seeing them written down was absolutely awful. He'd been avoiding eye contact with me before this and the tension has been unbearable so I really ripped into him after reading it. I told him to look me in the effing eye because I bl**dy deserve it.
After our blow-out, talking has been a lot easier and Sunday was much nicer. He doesn't want to leave the house, but he knows that I've almost thrown him out. We've talked more and it seems that he's been holding so much in for so long, that he's made himself completely numb, to the good things in life too, and more or less shut down. The book that I mentioned in previous posts is unbelievable, every chapter is completely about us and we're both still reading it. He wants us to go on holiday as a family and I agreed so I paid for that yesterday. I've been holding back on that because I've been very unsure about going. My head is so messed up, he gave me a nice lingering kiss when he came home from work yesterday and I said 'that was a nice kiss' and he smiled, but then he's distant again. What is going on?? Sorry this is so long by BTW! (blush)

Dazmum Thu 16-Jul-09 16:24:32

Hi Wendy, phew, that list of his is really tough isn't it? I was lurking before because things are a bit similar for me too. My DH told me two years ago that he didn't 'feel the same about me', which was devastating. We have had several ups and downs since, because I have felt so depressed about it all, but things seem to be getting better for us at the moment, so there can be light at the end of the tunnel. No sex for 5 months though,sad but lots of kisses and cuddles - so what is that about? Why are these men so inconsistent? Where you have the 'advantage', such as it is, is that you are talking. That book is amazing isn't it, but my DH wouldn't even look at it. Good for you for having a good rant after seeing his list, which incidentally sounds like it's full of all the things my DH originally said about me - better than crying!! Sounds like he's doing a lot of thinking, but do keep the talking going between you. Hark at me, wish I practised what I preach! Think mine is partly down to a male mid life crisis/ male menopause too, from what he has said, which I have no idea how to deal with - and why should I really?
Just wanted to let you know that you aren't alone and that lots of other women on here know how you feel.And no, we certainly don't deserve it do we? Sorry, long too!

HappyWoman Thu 16-Jul-09 17:01:16

wendynut - only just read this.
You sound as if you are walking on eggshells - it really is the most awful place to be.
As hard as it you must live your life the way you want to. You cannot make him stay and love you and you need to make yourself happy and not think it is him and his wellbeing that makes you happy.

Whilst reading i too wondered if there was someone else - but whether there is or not he is not 'giving' to the relationship is he?
Do you think he would like you to 'kick him out'? So he can really be the victim? If he really believes those things enough to comit them to paper i think you need to ask yourself whether you deserve more than he is willing go give you.

Anyway i wish you luck and hope it works out for you.

wendynut Thu 16-Jul-09 17:57:02

Hi Dazmum and HW
It's so comforting to know that I'm not alone with this! Things changed again (slightly) last night after dinner. I said that I missed him and missed kisses and cuddles with him and we hugged for a while and kissed a bit. I asked him if he missed it too and he said that he did and he's confused about his feelings. HE'S confused?! I wish he'd become un-bloody confused TBH. But I was secretly pleased that we might be having tiny breakthroughs (unless it's just my imagination!) He kissed me properly twice this morning which cheered me up. When I read this back to myself, it sounds like I'm a complete drip, just waiting for her man to make all the decisions, but I'm not. I just trying very hard to be patient and see what happens because I still believe that there is far too much to throw away. I would like to stick around to see if he manages to get his head together and finally stop being a complete pillock.
I don't feel like I'm walking on eggshells, I'm just being myself and keeping my self esteem intact. I don't think he wants me to kick him out at all and he knows that whether he walks, or I kick him out, that it's all his fault and that he's the one who sits down with the kids and explains to them what he's done.
Thanks to both of you and hope it keeps on getting better for you Dazmum.
(Another long one!)

Dazmum Fri 17-Jul-09 09:57:38

Wendynut, you are saying exactly what I have been thinking about my own situation, it's uncanny, think we must be related! It's so nice to have someone to 'talk to' on the same wavelength, although I wouldn't wish this on anyone. We have been married for 13 years and it is worth fighting for, working on and hopefully saving, and thankfully he agrees. I think it was all such a shock because I genuinely thought everything was fine, so probably we were both taking each other for granted. I too, am just being patient, and I have at last stopped wondering what I have done to cause this to happen, because it's not all my fault! I don't think he even knows what the problem actually is, but he has had a lot of work stress over the past couple of years, our house seems to take all of our spare money etc, and I think I just was there as a convenient someone to take it all out on.

Sounds like you are having some genuine breakthroughs too, not your imagination, if you were so repellant to him, he wouldn't want to kiss you at all (been there too, in a past life, with me not wanting to do the kissing!), let alone go on holiday with you.

My biggest breakthrough came just this week, when we were sorting out the kitchen, and I jokingly said that he might like to trade me in for a tidier model like Anthea Refern? grin), and he said very seriously, that he wouldn't trade me in for the world! Don't think he realised how happy it made me, I probably should have said shouldn't I?

Stay positive and tough! We need to metaphorically bang their heads together!

wendynut Fri 17-Jul-09 16:16:07

Hi Dazmum
It's great to talk to someone with the same outlook and having the same experience. I feel that we have both been taking each other for granted too and have stopped being interested in what the other one feels. We've built up such high walls around ourselves that we've been living separate lives without even realising it.
That's such a lovely thing for your DH to say, I bet you're really pleased! My DH has had a lot of work stress too over the last year or so and his work load has increased enormously. I have felt resentful about the amount of time he spends working, and I don't mean physically working, but it's the thinking about work nearly all of the time and never switching off. I'd say that work was about 85% of his life.
A friend rang last night about us all going out to dinner and DH was keen to go (so was I). That's in 3 weeks time and it's nice to actually make some plans for a change, instead of dreading that evening or the next day and trying not to think of the future.
I don't know if everything is going to be alright in the end, it could still all go horribly wrong, but I've got to keep my faith in us and keep things together.
Stay strong too DM!

sickofthisrain Fri 17-Jul-09 16:31:17

Hi wendynut, I'm also in a spookily similar situation. It sucks and I understand how you feel, it really does gnaw away at you. We have very small dc's and it scares me to bits to think of having to raise them alone, this really wasn't what I'd planned!

My situation has been going on for months now (since around dc2's 1st birthday, great timing!) and I know I need to find some closure as it's very difficult not to be able to plan for the future. I also don't think there's anyone else, and the workaholic tendencies and mid life crisis comments ring true for me also.

I hope you get some resolution quickly, don't let it drag on as long as I have!

wendynut Tue 28-Jul-09 22:43:17

Hi Sickof and Dazmum
It's been a little while since I posted - waiting to see how it goes I suppose. Things have been on an even keel for the last couple of weeks. We've been a bit closer as in he'll kiss me (not passionately) when I want to, but he's not instigating things. We've talked about it and he's still finding it hard to get close to me because of everything that's happened before and I'm finding it very difficult to be patient. I know it's still early days yet and I can't expect things to be alright quickly, but I'm climbing the walls because I miss sex so much. It's been quite a few weeks now since we last did it and I've got no idea when we will do it again. We've discussed the fact that I'm a red-blooded woman who has 'needs' and that he needs time because he doesn't feel ready yet, and we both want to stay together and have a 'full' marriage again in time, but it's bloody hard being stuck in a no-mans land, waiting. I also miss proper intimacy and feel like I'm holding back on showing affection myself. I don't feel like I fancy him as much as I did before everything blew up, but I think that's because the rose-tinted glasses are gone for good and everything is so different now. I do still want him though, and believe that we need to work on the whole intimacy thing a lot more in order to rebuild trust and to get closer. How did you cope without sex for 5 months DM? And how's it going for you Sickof? DH is off yachting in Portsmouth tonight on some trip he won through work so I'm home alone with glass of wine and DD's in bed!

wendynut Mon 03-Aug-09 15:50:01

Well, things haven't improved at all and we ended up having a (drunken) row on Friday night, which was also DD's 13th birthday (they were asleep in bed thank god). I told him that I'd had enough and that it was over and I was just livid with him. I suppose the booze brought everything out that has been brewing inside and I'd had enough. We talked the next morning and I couldn't go through with what I'd said the night before, solely because of the kids. I still can't break everything up for them and he can't either, but we're going round in circles. I was quite withdrawn yesterday, was just sick of talking really, which he commented on a couple of times, and had a bad nights' sleep. Kept thinking about seeing a solicitor and trying to make this situation move on even though I just wish I could wake up from this nightmare and everything is fine.
DH got up early because of travelling today and staying overnight on business and I (foolishly) tried to start things off while he was still in bed. He said that he 'couldn't' and got out. I said to him (after he'd got ready) that I'm sick of doing all of the work in trying to keep us together, I'm the one who pushes him all the time to read that (bloody invaluable) book and wanting him to start talking. I said that it's completely up to him now to begin to talk and unravel everything that got us to this point otherwise I will be contacting a solicitor and we'll go our separate ways, but what an enormous shame that will be without getting to the bottom of everything first, to just walk and not know why. When we were arguing on Friday night, he actually started to bring things up from our past that he sees as being a factor in all of this, and I could clearly see patterns and how things can be improved, but I can't do it all alone and it's so bloody frustrating! angry
He took the book with him after complaining 'well, when do I have time to read it?' and I said that he has to make time and stop making excuses. God I just feel so sad all the time, this has gone on for 3 months now and I can't sleep properly, have lost 2 stone, my Nutritional Therapy course has ground to a halt and I can't make any plans.
Sorry for a long vent but I've been keeping things to myself, have stopped talking to my family about it and none of my friends know.
Any advice anyone? Thanks

WhenwillIfeelnormal Mon 03-Aug-09 15:58:59

Wendy. So sorry things are not better. Look, I won't suggest this again - but your last two posts have included stuff about him being away, either through business or pleasure. There is also the non-functioning sexual dynamic you've mentioned repeatedly. Add all that to the "I'm not in love with you anymore" and I'm afraid I reach only one conclusion; he's got someone else. Seriously, have you actually checked this out yet?

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