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I'm not in love with my dh anymore

725 Views 21 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  operamommy
It was scary to even type that.

My dh is a good man, and I think he'd make another woman a wonderful husband. Our youngest is just 5 months old, so we're still going through that new baby phase, but this is something more. We've been married for almost 5 years now, and I've been unhappy more than I've been happy. We did counseling our first year of marriage, and things improved for a short time, but quickly reverted back to the way they were.

Dh has a very hard time communicating or understanding another person's POV. He says hurtful things but doesn't understand why they're hurtful without a lengthy explanation. An example - I had a very difficult time quitting smoking when I first became pregnant. He told me since I couldn't quit smoking I should just get an abortion. Later it was, "Well, I didn't really mean it." He can be very arrogant (I don't think he *means* to be) and it makes him impossible to make any kind of decisions with. He always knows what's "right" even if he knows nothing about the subject. I used to admire him greatly and felt lucky that he picked me to marry. Now sometimes I regret that I have a baby with him because that means that we'll always be tied together.

I knew the things I dislike about him now to some extent before we married. But I think he worked a lot harder then to "soften" himself. Every year it gets worse. We've had several lengthy discussions and things don't improve. I told him I was leaving when our babe was 2 months old, and he cried and begged me to stay, saying he would change things. He did try, but already things are reverting back. The time before that I told him I needed to leave, and he begged me to stay and said he would call a marriage counselor. When I asked him months later why he never had he said he forgot. I don't think he can change; it's just who he is. I feel hopeless. I can't be in love with the person he is.

My two older children have already been through one divorce. I don't want to put them through another. And I don't want to hurt my dh, and I know that it will.

What do I do?
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Is he an only child? My DH can be very similar to what you have described. It can be really hard! Sorry, I don't have great advice for you, i wish I did.
The new-baby-not-enough-sleep period is affecting you more than you realize. Give it more time.

Originally Posted by A&A
The new-baby-not-enough-sleep period is affecting you more than you realize. Give it more time.
Ouch, that seems kinda minimizing of her feelings, doncha think?

Anyway, if I were you *I* would find marriage counseling. You do it this time. If he won't go, you go to a counselor yourself.

Maybe it'll work out, maybe it won't, but it sounds like it'd be worth a shot to you.

Good luck.
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Give it some time if you can. You must be really stressed and tired with a new babe and that can maginify things in a negative way. I know it can be so hard sometimes--my dh can be very emotional and not communicative about things until they blow up
But don't make any rash decisions until you are really sure.

And I suppose what it comes down to (to quote Dear Abby
) is that you have to ask yourself the question whether you and kids would be better off with him or without him.

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I am so sorry that you are dealing with the marriage stress on top of the normal post partum craziness. Based on what you have said, it seems that your DH actually has some serious self-esteem issues that manifest themselves in the demeaning way that he communicates with you. I suggest that you make a counseling appointment for yourself first in order to sort out what you can live with and what needs to change. Then, make a couples appointment for you and DH. My hope is that, through counseling, your DH will begin to see that his belittling behavior has caused you to turn from him and that he needs to treat you with the respect and caring you deserve.

Good luck, and many positive thoughts coming your way.
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Originally Posted by MomBirthmomStepmom
Ouch, that seems kinda minimizing of her feelings, doncha think?

No, not at all. Sleep deprivation can be extremely tough on one's emotions.

Originally Posted by A&A
No, not at all. Sleep deprivation can be extremely tough on one's emotions.
new baby doesn't INHERENTLY mean sleep deprivation. i know it might, but it didn't for me. shrug...
Have you thought through different scenarios? When little ones are involved, you need to think about more than whether you are in love. You need to think through the practicalities like where do you live? will you have to go back to work? what about custody issues? Are you prepared to not see your baby for a whole day? weekend? dealing with the emotions of kids during/after split?

Sounds to me like you need to put your feelings/emotions on the back burner for you dh and wait until you have a plan and are prepared to make a move. Postpartum is certainly not the time for that. If there's no abuse or serious problems, then there's no rush to make a decision.
I just wanted to offer you some love mama. I know how hard it can be, more then you know.

Dh and I have struggled since ds was born. Dh is a sweet loving man, but found it nearly impossible to admit he needed someone to help him change himself and his actions. He felt so ashamed, and hopeless that we went to another woman, hoping this would make it easy for me to leave him, so he could kill himself.

In the end all the pieces came together and he did attempt suicide and luckily the person he hid his feeling for for so many years, the person he felt he could never ask for help was me. For him it was a life or death change.

Now he's better than ever, he's realized how easy it is for him to change into the person he wants to be. He's realized it's not a reflections of himself as a man, to ask for help..

It may take something big to make your dh realize he needs help. Unfortunately only he can realize this.

good luck. Jess
As having (very recent) experience being on your dh's side of things, I think you have to be honest with him. My dh told me that he doesn't love me and had been hiding it for a year and a half. It hurt more that he lied than him not loving me. Figure out if that's really how you feel and if it is, tell him.
oh, I'm sorry! The PPs have such sageness. We had a REALLY hard time after babe was born, too, and are doing lotsa counseling. Find your center. One thing that really helped me (my therapist says I could make a career out of this idea) is to write hurtful things down that my DP says instead of reacting and then calmly show him later. My heart goes out to you.
He probably believes that you won't really leave, which is why he is reverting to his old ways. People in the habit of getting away with certain behaviors will slowly try them aain to see what they can get away with. I learned this from (yeah, I don't like him either, but its a good book) Dr Phil's book "Relationship Rescue." I recommend reading it.

This is what I did with my DH. I told him I didn't like being married to him anymore and that we could either change this or part ways. I set up a counseling appointment myself and said he could either come with me or move out. He chose to come with me, and we go regularly. I also changed my own behavior to show that I wasn't going to tolerate refusal to change, like not making him dinner and being less affectionate. I didn't do this to be controlling or mean, but it just seemed natural to not reward him for not being supportive. When he is supportive and caring, I become more supportive and caring, and when he starts to slack, I do it right back to show an immediate consequence.

The thing is, he's not mean, he's just complacent, and I know I can be just as annoying to live with, but I try, and I need him to try too.

Marriage with children is worth doing everything possible to save. I hope you will try every avenue before you decide its time to move on, and then I hope you will in fact move on, because you deserve to be loved and cherished.
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Originally Posted by A&A
No, not at all. Sleep deprivation can be extremely tough on one's emotions.
I agree it COULD add to problems, and make things seem a bit worse, but to insinuate her ENTIRE issue is ONLY that of having a brand new baby, is minimizing, and rude of you, IMO.

I hope the OP reads the OTHER posts, and ignores yours.
I woke up one day and realized I was unhappy in my marriage and that I didn't love my dh anymore. It took about 4 years for me to act on it. Better late than never. But I also gave it that chance to work. Follow your heart.

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Find some space and time for yourself to *really* think. Listen to what your head and your heart tells you. This is a really big decision to make and although I agree that the new baby period is hard, there's obviously more going on here than just that.

You need to have time and space to think about what it is you really want and need for you and your babies. It's hard to honor ourselves sometimes, but writing it out is a first step.

Sometimes really great relatsionships aren't founded on love anyway - there are a lot of other things out there that can bring two people together and keep them together for a long time. I think love is important, but maybe not all it's cracked up to be (you know how it is in fairytales - love solves everything?).
Mamas, thanks for your support. A&A, I just assumed that you didn't read my post all that carefully. While having a baby certainly has made our lives more chaotic, I posted that we were having marital problems even during our first year of marriage - these are long-standing issues.
Oh, and my babe sleeps through the night, so I'm not all that sleep-deprived.

Dh and I ended up talking, and while I won't hold out hope that the discussion magically solved all of our problems, I think it helped dh realize that he's very controlling without intending to be. Since he automatically assumes he's "right" it makes him question all of my decisions, so that means he feels the need to be involved in *every* decision I make, even things that don't concern him. He was actually pretty shocked at himself. And he actually seemed to understand why I wouldn't be in love with someone like that.

anniej, you've touched on something I've been wondering it ok to love your partner, but not be "in love" with them? I hope that at some point I'll feel "in love" with dh again, but we are definately connected by a thread of love even though we're having problems.

But yes, as many of you suggested, now is not the time to make a final decision. I think I'll do some work on my own (maybe call a counselor for me, as suggested) and get my head straight. I don't think my children and I would be better off with dh in the long run, but it's difficult to stay sometimes with someone who makes you feel small.

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In my own humble experience, it is very difficult to feel "in love" with someone who is critical and disrespectful of you . . . who makes you feel "small."

It isn't divorce that damages children -- it's the inability to maturely deal with conflict that does the damage. Staying in a relationship in which you are unhappy teaches your children to do the same. It takes a lot of courage to be able to say, "Enough. It's time to move on."

That said, is there anything remaining of the man you did fall in love with? What did you love about him in the first place? If you met him now, do you think you'd still be interested in him?

to you and your family. All the best . . .
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well reading about your husband was like reading my own journal writings about my dp! i haven't been in love with him for probably 8 years....i do however love him deeply,although its more of a sibling/friendship love...he has been trying really hard lately to communicate more/better and see my point of view....the ways i deal with not being in love with the man i live with is concentrating on myself more...i have surrounded myself with wonderfully beautiful friends and decided recently to go back to school...i think it is totally ok to love your partner and not be in love with him....i am in love with my dd and that definantly is way better than any love i have shared with a man....our society teaches us some very strange things about love,in my opinion....another thing is whenever i feel small because of something my dp says to me i tell him...he may or may not care but it helps to get it out of my system....
Your husband sounds like my father...

He loves my mom. He really does. I don't think he would know what to do without her. But he is arrogant, has an opinion on everything, no ability to empathize, constantly belittles everyone around him, assumes the worst about every situation - believes everything that goes less than perfectly for him is because of someone else's malicious intent - and is, in general, very unpleasant to be around.

(He's also a great dad, smart man, caring in his own way, blah, blah - no one's all one thing or another, and I don't hate him, but he is, to put it simply, difficult.)

It was very painful growing up around him - not because he didn't love me or because he hurt me on purpose (he did and he didn't, respectively), but because his, for want of a better word, energy is so prickly and hurtful and painful to be around. He's like a toddler - not a happy, attached, well-adjusted toddler, but a neglected, CIO'd, unloved toddler.

He's been diagnosed as having schitzoaffective disorder, and possibly Aspergers. That is, there's a reason he's so screwed up. Is this possibly true for your husband also?

I offer this not as an excuse for him, but as a possible avenue to explore that would offer him a chance at real change, whether or not you ultimately decide to continue living with him.

Just wanted to put that out there.
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