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Divorce/separation

World blown apart

33 replies

crocoonimper · 25/01/2019 14:58

I have been reading all the posts on here today and am shocked by how many of us are in the same boat.

Three weeks ago my DH told me that the spark had gone, we were like best friends, he loves me but no longer in love with me, there’s no emotional connection anymore, there’s nobody else.
We are 21 years married this September, 3 DC 16 16 and 12, together for 25 years. I’m 46.
Early 2018 he told me he felt a little like this but he can still see a future for us.
In the past year he has put up such barriers that I have not been able to get near him emotionally and physically.
I went through a rough time with work and self esteem about 2 years ago and he has been amazing, supported me throughout and I am now in a much happier place. However he says the whole thing has drained him and our relationship.
There are the normal teenage conflicts/financial worries/wider family illness but nothing out of the ordinary.
The biggest change in him was that he stopped drinking almost 2 years ago. His parents are functional alcoholics and he felt that he was drinking too much and that drive his decision which I totally respect.... but he has withdrawn socially as well as from me.
He is a wonderful Dad and husband and there is just no obvious reason - he has agreed to go to counselling starting in a couple of weeks but says he can’t see how he can change the way he feels.
I am devastated. I love him the same way I always have, despite everything.
I feel like my safe haven has been ripped away from me.
Now I am treading on eggshells all the time in an effort to not make things worse, appear normal for the kids and give him space. We went away last weekend to a mutually treasured place and had some really good talks but no further forward.

I am sure that I want to fight for my marriage but am so scared of doing the wrong thing - he asked me the other day to stop being so cheerful and positive all the time as it wasn’t natural! I can’t win can I? Do I just let him go?

OP posts:
GrandmaJane · 25/01/2019 18:05

He has a woman.
The only fight you need to be in right now is for your entitlements, with a good solicitor on your side. Anything else is a waste of effort. Be cold, be determined to be fair to yourself instead of kind to him. Start now.

crocoonimper · 25/01/2019 19:55

@grandmajane what makes you so sure? He knows that if he ever cheated I would ask him to leave as my Dad had a mistress and my Mum stayed with him “for the children”, losing 20 years of her life in the process and subsequently divorcing aged 65... so that wd be easy for him to tell me right?

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Walkingdeadfangirl · 25/01/2019 20:14

Was he a functional alcoholic? Going tee total from that can have a big impact on ones personality and a re-evaluation of ones life.

crocoonimper · 25/01/2019 20:24

@Walkingdeadfangirl - I don’t think so but he seems to have convinced himself that he cannot control his intake and therefore doesnt risk it.
But you are right in that he has altered in that he doesn’t seem to know how to relax without alcohol and has withdrawn into himself. But as I said that’s his decision and I have never challenged it, apart from telling him a couple of times that I miss drinking WITH him - I do.

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anomoony · 25/01/2019 20:30

He's following the script, unfortunately. There's even an abbreviation for the "I love you but I am not in love with you" speech, that's how common it is.

crocoonimper · 25/01/2019 20:43

@anomooney no idea what the script means?....

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Bluntness100 · 25/01/2019 20:48

I'm not sure telling him you miss drinking with him is supportive, have you tried different ways to socialise together? Without alcohol?

Bluntness100 · 25/01/2019 20:53

The comment on you going through a rough time that drained it, can you explain what occurred and what support he gave? How was your behaviour at this time, how long did it last?

Sorry that's in addition to socialising together without any booze question,

crocoonimper · 25/01/2019 20:56

@Bluntness100 that’s a couple of times in 2 years - yes we have been out and enjoyed ourselves without alcohol... but not enough so that’s actially a really good point, thank you x

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crocoonimper · 25/01/2019 21:07

@Bluntness100 I was struggling with having left a job I loved but I felt I needed a change from - into a job I subsequently hated and confidence was shattered, mini breakdown I suppose ... that lasted a year - he worked overtime and put up with all of my angst, I am now back in the same job but in a new area/team and am finally finding my confidence again... then bam.

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juneau · 25/01/2019 21:20

Sounds like you really need someone to talk to OP. Would you consider relationship counselling just for you? I think it might help you make sense of what's happening and what is to come. I also suggest that you make an appointment with a solicitor to get a clear idea of the legal aspects. It sounds like your DH has been mulling over a separation for the past year so you're playing catch up. Yes, he may have either another woman, or someone who he's lined up as a possible OW once you've split. I know that will be a horrible thing to contemplate, particularly as you are still in the mindset of wanting to fight for your relationship, but you can't make this work on your own. If he has checked out, and it certainly sounds that way, then don't waste your time flogging a dead horse. I think actually, if I were you, I'd ask him outright 'Do you have someone else waiting in the wings?' and see what his body language tells you. Go with your gut.

Walkingdeadfangirl · 25/01/2019 21:21

IME problem drinkers need to replace that with something else when they quit. If they dont it causes 'issues'.

Can I ask your relationship to him when he did drink and if that changed when he stopped?

ConfessionalProfessional · 25/01/2019 21:23

He has a girlfriend or wants to.

ConfessionalProfessional · 25/01/2019 21:24

Sorry, that was so blunt. Flowers Men are like this when they meet someone else or suddenly want be young again (and meet someone else)

Bluntness100 · 25/01/2019 21:27

Hmm,, ok, that doesn't sound too bad. I don't know, I'm trying to find another reason other than another woman, but I'm struggling.

Has he also been on a health kick, lose weight, get fit, new clothes?

crocoonimper · 25/01/2019 21:29

When he was still drinking things seemed fine tbh.... but he could be snipey sometimes and Im not backwards in telling him that - he professed to not remembering. On the other hand we have had amazing nights and just chilled together - that’s what has gone x

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crocoonimper · 25/01/2019 21:30

@juneau I have asked him and he is adamant. I want to believe him....

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crocoonimper · 25/01/2019 21:35

Bluntness100 if anything the opposite - we joined a functional gym together in the summer (one of my attempts at improving things) and we both love it. However he ripped a bicep muscle and in the past 7 weeks has been unable to ex properly - he is frustrated and has put on weight and feels shit about that. I have supported him as best as .. xx he is now addressing things x

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crocoonimper · 25/01/2019 21:39

confesssionalprofessional I really dont know - he has said he wants to find himself but I have spent years telling him to do things he enjoys - he is very much a family man and gives his all to that - but his Dad was the same and then lost when retired... so I have always supported him to do what he enjoys but he said he was happy with the way things are... so why the f can’t he find himself within our current family unit???

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Walkingdeadfangirl · 25/01/2019 21:39

Possibly he was using alcohol to 'cope' with life. And without it now he cant cope. When that happens all they can do is take it out on the ones closest to them.

I dont have an answer but unless you have evidence of another woman I wouldn't give up yet. Are you at breaking point or can you cope longer? What does he say about counselling? Have you ever talked about alcoholism and is impact?

crocoonimper · 25/01/2019 21:48

@walkingdeadfangirl not at breaking point because although there are brief flashes of anger I still feel there is more to explore. We have counselling booked in two weeks.
I agree - I think the alcohol was a coping thing but also I think he sometimes misses it... argh xx

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Walkingdeadfangirl · 25/01/2019 22:08

I hope counselling helps. Its possible he could get back to who he was. Its also possible he could continue to become a different person. It all depends on how long you are able to hang around.

I wouldn't believe the standard MN comment that every man has another woman the second anything changes in their life.

Could it be a mid life crises? Any other differences in his life? Drugs? Gambling?

Iloveautumnleaves · 25/01/2019 22:09

((Hug))

You need to brace yourself for finding out about an OW. It’s very, very unusual for a man to leave without one in the wings. ‘I love you, but I’m not in love with you’, ‘I need to find myself’, ‘YOU have drained this rekationship’...it’s all part of the script. It would fucking funny if it wasn’t so bloody sad. They all swear there isn’t an OW 🙄. Better to be prepared than blindsided.

However, this might be down to his withdrawl from alcohol...and life.

Whichever it is, don’t ‘cling’ and don’t do all the ‘pretence’ that it’s all going to be fine. Be loving, be supportive and be present at the counselling. However, you ALSO need to be sorting things out for yourself and planning what will happen if/when he leaves. He needs to see that you will cope and that he’s free to go if that’s what he truly wants to do. That you might want him to stay, but you’ll be ok if he doesn’t. There’s a difference between the choice of staying or leaving being his and the power over you life being in his hands.

Whatever happens, this is going to be HARD, but you WILL be ok 💐

Honeyroar · 25/01/2019 22:17

I’m not sure that it’s simply another woman. He’s still there and agreed to counselling- if he wanted to be with someone else he’d probably just go.

I think, if you’re going to do counselling then you both have to try and be cheery until then. You can’t sit around crying all the time if you’re not sure what you’re doing, the kids need some stability. If, after the counselling, he still feels the same then he needs to move out. It wouldn’t hurt for you to forearm yourself by finding out what you’re entitled to and valuing the house etc. Show him that if he’s really decided this thins will majorly change.

crocoonimper · 25/01/2019 23:30

@Walkingdeadfangirl thank you. No other changes. He has thrown himself in to work (police intelligence) but he loves his job.
I am doing my best to be cheery but at the same time be realistic so yeah - I’m currently at my Mums 150 miles away to tell her what the situation is because she put money into our house and I need to start getting my ducks in a row.
I still have small hopes but you guys have been amazing tonight. ❤️

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