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DH has had ?doubts about our relationship? for 13 years (long)

(4 Posts)
secretskillrelationships Sat 18-Jul-09 17:26:43

Back history - we have been together over 20 years and married for more than 15. We are both quite passionate people so our relationship has had a few ups and downs. I love him very much and believe we had an amazing relationship. We have 3 DCs (12, 9, 5) and, from where I am now, while we do tend to go up and down, the trend over time has been consistently downwards. From around the time we had children, my DH has gradually withdrawn both practically and emotionally.

Four years ago, after he kissed someone else it came out that he had had a one night stand 9 years previously. Since then we have had 18 months of couple counselling and around 6 months each of individual counselling. He has also been diagnosed with depression and is on ADs (though I would question the diagnosis). Nothing has helped, if anything things are worse than ever. From reading threads on here, I would say that he has been behaving in an emotionally abusive way (this is recent).

In spite of all this, he has only just admitted that the impact of the one-night stand was to make him question our relationship - if this is the perfect relationship for me why would I look at another woman, therefore it can't be the right relationship for me - type stuff. He says it comes up for him every time we have an argument or disagreement (or, to be honest, every time I express a strong emotion!) in the form 'see, this isn't right' type of resentment. Tbh, now I know it makes a lot of sense of the issues we have been struggling with and I can see the threads running right through the last 13 years of our relationship.

And yes, given what I have written, why have I stayed for so long. Well, it obviously hasn't all been bad. We work fantastically well as a team when we set out to do something and we work well together as a family. In fact, I still believe that the best outcome for every member of the family would be to sort this out. I thought we were both fully committed to sorting things out and it's taken me a long time to recognise that my DH's words and actions don't match. I needed to get to the point where I felt I had done everything I could to save the relationship before I called it a day.

Tbh, since I found out I have found things much easier on one level because I now realise that I cannot sort this one out myself, that has to be down to DH. In fact, my attempts to sort things out have probably been making things worse. Before, I was feeling extremely angry because I felt I was being manipulated into splitting us up. I even feel some compassion for him struggling to cope with such difficult feelings.

However, I am also hurting dreadfully. The man I thought loved me the same way I loved him clearly doesn't. He's been my best friend for over 20 years and I simply don?t know what to do.

abedelia Sat 18-Jul-09 18:15:49

Sounds like he is suffering from 'grass s possibly greener' syndrome.

I was reading this the other day: the story isn't worth much but it is the comments from readers that are telling. So many men who thought their marriages were boring who fancied some excitement and who now desperately regret throwing everything away. ng.html

Seems like the EA stems from the fact that he doesn't know what to do with himself and is taking this out on you. He's acting like a teenager / midlife crisis hit idiot. I know that you love him but in some ways it may be good to ask him to leave for a bit to sort his head out. He knows you love him unquestioningly and he thinks he therefore holds all the cards and can treat you as badly as he likes in the knowledge you'll never leave him. If you take control, and tell him this is intolerable and you can no longer live with being treated like dirt it may shake him up into a decision. You certainly can't keep taking this - he is being very childish and unfair.

secretskillrelationships Sat 18-Jul-09 18:48:02

Thanks for your response. Yes, I suspect that might be the case. Obviously, though, he is going to need to leave for some time to sort himself out, as he clearly has been unable to do that while living with me.

However, I'm trying to work out how to do that in a way that doesn't put me in the position of waiting until he sorts himself out door-mat like. I also suspect that he needs to think it's permanent in order to really sort himself.

I am now at the point of feeling that the only way the relationship has a chance is if we 'start again'.

It's complicated by the fact that he is not working at the moment so can't use the 'daddy's working away at the moment' excuse with the children. I simply don't know what to do for the best for them.

abedelia Sat 18-Jul-09 20:35:39

Tell him to go. That puts you in the position of having made a decision. Tell the children he's gone to look for work as he can't find any locally - at first. But depending on how old they are it doesn't take them long to work it out.

To let you know that the last 13 years of your life (that you have enjoyed, mostly) have been full of doubt and reluctance by him is unspeakably cruel. To be honest, he deserves to be on his own.

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