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Love but not attracted to my husband... How did your stories end?

(62 Posts)
Lostwithoutacompass Mon 17-Dec-12 16:54:51

My husband is pretty much faultless, we have been married for 10 years and we have 3 children aged 5 and under. However I am absolutely no longer attracted to him but love him very much as a friend. I have done so much soul searching about this for months & months. I don't think I was ever really attracted to him but it didn't matter because we got on so well, never argued and that seemed enough but I seem to have just hit my limit on feeling guilty or uncomfortable about how i feel, or dreading having to come up with an excuse not to have sex, or comparing him to other men which i know it totally unfair. I think i want us to eventually end up in separate places, not too far from each other, co parenting in an amicable manner. I absolutely do not want to do the: date nights, new underwear, quality time away together, etc, etc. This is not about being too tired or stressed re everyday things, etc to have sex. I have taken the step of saying that I no longer feel that way about our relationship and that I would prefer to focus on our friendship which has always been our strongest asset. I know this must be killing him and I wish i could change things but since that conversation I am happier than I have been in months if not years and feel such relief so surely that says a lot..? We still have a laugh and are kind to eachother, etc. and I suppose I am waiting for him to be ready to take the next step whenever that might be. How is everyone else doing with their situations..?

berksbabe Thu 03-Jan-13 15:20:59

Oh dear, how sad for you all - you, hubbie and kids.
I thought I felt this way about my ex - no, I DID feel this wayabout my ex. I felt he did nt value me and he did nt value the family and he was only concerned with his own Happiness, Achievements and Development. He also had a bit of a sexual fetish that I was not going to indulge which totally revolted me.
BUT when he left me for a woman 18 years younger than both of us I suddenly realised that its not just about me. The effect on the children - even though they were 14, 16 1nd 21 was immeasurable. And if I had been really thinking about their happiness, achievements and development then I would have put more into (at least pretending) to care for the ex's.

Divorce is not great for the children - emotionally or financially.

Lostwithoutacompass Fri 21-Dec-12 11:22:09

Thank you everyone for your feedback and ideas, even the ones that are hard to hear. Will get through Xmas and then definitely sort out counselling. Lots of good advice from you all and I will take it all on board, thank you!

GoldenFrankincenseAndMyrrh Thu 20-Dec-12 23:43:25

Keep with the counselling, give it your damndest and if it really doesn't work they at least you know you have done everything in your power.

Yes, you could go on to meet someone else, but how do you know you will not feel like this again?

I wish you well.

THIS! wink

alphabetspaghetti Thu 20-Dec-12 23:04:55

OP, I possibly could have written most of your initial post a few months back. DH and I married far too young and whilst both of up have changed, I have certainly changed to most. With two young dc's really close together, lack of sleep and taking on far too much our relationship really suffered. He has said there were times if would have liked to have walked but I know I had wished this almost on a daily basis.

The turning point for me was at a friends wedding. I looked at them happy and them looked at my DH and wished that I could feel the same, but I couldn't. I came to terms with the fact that I would need to have a talk with up about going our separate ways, but when I thought about it, and I mean really thought about it, the possibility of not having him in my life have me the clarity that I needed.

We had a chat, I told him that I was unhappy, but what surprised me was that I actually feel quite neglected (think Peter Andre and you won't go far wrong)!. We decided to make time for each other. Just little things like letting the dc play and up just talking for a few minutes. We also decided to put our happiness before the dc's. Don't get me wrong, they do not go without love or our time but in order to reconnect we had to put ourselves first. We also touch a lot more, nothing sexual, just touching. This has made a big difference.

A friend has the motto of "fake it til you make it", and I have tried to adopt this and so far its working. If I have negative thoughts about him I rush them to the back of my mind.

Keep with the counselling, give it your damndest and if it really doesn't work they at least you know you have done everything in your power.

Yes, you could go on to meet someone else, but how do you know you will not feel like this again?

I wish you well.

AzureBlue Thu 20-Dec-12 11:24:29

As you will see from previous postings, I'm also in a similar situation. But my kids are 22,20,17 and 9. It's been over 2 years since I told DH I could not stand it if he touched me.

Still waiting for things to improve or the right time to leave. It's agony being on the fence. I thought it would be too traumatic to leave when the kids were little (and as I was a SAHM impossible financially).

Recently I finally decided to leave after Xmas, despite AS levels this year for one child, but now probably can't as I've just discovered my 17 year old has eating issues. I think it better to leave when they are young if you can afford to. Another reason to stay always crops up and they just get bigger and bigger reasons! Everyone I know thinks we have THE perfect marriage which somehow makes it even harder to carry on the sham. But I guess we would all do anything for our kids....

Relate was helpful to me - 14 months of weekly sessions. I found it sorted all sorts of my personal issues out but did absolutely nothing at all for my marriage. In fact it made me realise I was totally self-reliant and has distanced me completely from my husband. We hardly communicate at all now. Everyone I know comments on how I am a totally different person to a few years ago - far more confident and out-going - largely due to counselling I think.

notanotherstatistic Thu 20-Dec-12 10:32:27

Lost, I have no problem with telling you about my experiences. Pry away! However, I'm not sure whether it'll be that relevant to your situation, you see the initiator of the separation in my case was finding out that my STBXW was having an affair (which had been going on for about 3 years). I have posted about this before, so you should be able to find out the details by searching through my posts.

The affair and its aftermath were incredibly damaging and corrosive, and it would have been much better if my STBXW had voiced her concerns the way you have. From what you say, like myself and my STBXW, you and your DH should not have married in the first place. There is no way to completely avoid the heartache that comes with separation, but you are going about this in as responsible and respectful way as possible.

I would echo what others are saying about counselling. A good counsellor can be tremendously helpful in cutting through the bullshit that we tell both ourselves and others to justify our actions, and pin-pointing our real motivations and insecurities.

novembery Wed 19-Dec-12 22:59:01

Sorry , phone! SO many positives and negatives!

novembery Wed 19-Dec-12 22:57:21

I have been where you are and I did leave- long story, best in a pm. Regrets- yes and no. I think tbh that you're damned if you do and damned if you don't- this situation is a real conundrum and it's a balanced one- do many positives and negatives either way. Think very, very carefully and get help.

Phineyj Wed 19-Dec-12 20:27:40

I agree with the poster above, go to Relate and talk ths over properly before doing anything drastic. We have been twice and they were incredibly helpful.

QueenieLovesEels Wed 19-Dec-12 18:00:00

Go to counselling to unravel what is really going on here.

He will then have time to come to terms with your marriage ending-if that is the outcome. If not -you may find that you are able to communicate your way through this and feel differently about your relationship.

You are more likely to be on a more amicable footing if this relationship is over if you both feel you have had the opportunity to express your feelings.

My point is that you haven't said you have tried this yet. Also it sounds like there night be underlying resentment issues which are affecting your relationship.

These may have nothing actually to do with your husband.

Lostwithoutacompass Wed 19-Dec-12 14:09:33

Notanother thanks so much for your post. I have been trying to approach this as honestly and kindly as possible but some posters here, (and popmusic, I do want to take them all into consideration otherwise what's the point of coming on here) believe I am actually being totally unfair. So I'm not quite sure what to do. I thought I was giving him space to think about it, take it in, decide what he thinks is the right thing to do but some posters think I am just creating more agony than necessary. In your experience and with the benefit of hindsight, and also without wishing to pry, would you have any advice about how we move forward, what would have helped you, what you wish ,ight have happened differently..?

Pinkdelight your post is really helpful, thank you.

However, I do just want to reclarify to everyone, I am not waiting for him to make the next move or leave. I have told him how I feel and am giving him space to take it in and work out how he feels, then we hopefully eventually find a solution together. I am trying to make sure we walk next to each other on this, not me in front or me pushing him forward.

CuriosityKilledTheCrapTree Wed 19-Dec-12 12:04:53

<applauds notanotherstatistic>

notanotherstatistic Wed 19-Dec-12 12:01:25

Lost, your feelings are very similar to those described by my STBXW. She realised in retrospect that almost from the beginning of our 19 year marriage she wasn't physically attracted to me. We separated in 2011. We have two teenage children (a boy and a girl) that we amicably co-parent. We live a few streets away from each other. My son lives with me and my daughter with my STBXW, but my daughter regularly comes round at mealtimes and frequently stays the night at weekends. The arrangement is not as ideal as a successful family unit, but it is a reasonable compromise and the children appear to be happy and thriving with the new situation. The key, I think, is that we have separated amicably and still get on as friends.

Neither of us have partners at present, though I have had two short term relationships that ended largely because I went into them too soon after separating. One ended quite painfully and prompted me to seek counselling, which helped enormously, even allowing me to work out why I had got into my less-than-happy marriage in the first place. I also realised that I needed to spend some time being single, so I could focus on my son and daughter as they adapted to the new situation without the additional complications of a relationship with someone else. However, in both of these relationships I was bowled over by what it felt like to experience reciprocal physical desire: something that was lacking throughout my marriage.

I guess I was prompted to share this with you to offer a possible perspective from your DH's side. I didn't want to separate, and tried to cling on to the marriage at all costs. I now see that separation was the right decision. Certainly, trying to stay with someone that didn't feel about me the way I felt about her in terms of physical desire, killed my self-esteem. Since separating I feel much better about myself and more secure emotionally.

Helltotheno Wed 19-Dec-12 11:55:48

Could they not still have 50/50 custody?
Also he may want that... we don't know.

CuriosityKilledTheCrapTree Wed 19-Dec-12 11:32:01

If op left her DH in the family home then that would mean he'd have custody of their children - may be what he wants but unlikely really?

PopMusicShoobyDoobyDoA Wed 19-Dec-12 11:26:54

Agree with helltotheno. I think this is potentially going to be a messy, bitter separation.

OP, it seems you are only taking in the comments from posters who agree with you.

Helltotheno Wed 19-Dec-12 10:56:24

OP this shows no signs of being amicable (because obviously you offloading your feelings on him with no hope of any negotiation to improve things is not the basis for an amicable split). What do you want from him now? Him just to say 'oh right Lost, let's just split and do the friends thing, it'll be better for everyone all round'? Because obviously that's not going to happen, especially when he has to process the fact that you just used him as a sperm donor and have now decided the whole thing isn't for you any more.

Also, in relation to both of you having to downgrade houses, no actually, why can't the children and your DH stay in the family home, since their stability wasn't threatened by any action of theirs? So you move out. You downgrade. Why stop at telling your DH how you feel and that's it and nothing can be done about it? Stop waiting for him to react, just move out!

DeXavia Wed 19-Dec-12 10:42:44

It's very obviously not the right word but I'm "happy" to hear that.
It's a huge life change you are instigating and you can't for one moment expect him to be happy about it - or even to accept it especially short term.
I guess I'm not clear or how you are instigating this - you've told him you are no longer attracted and now waiting for the next move from him. What if he says nope not doing it? Maybe counseling would help - more as mediation than reconciliation. But still even from your own Op you sound like have taken a fairly unilateral decision that doesn't seem to have taken his feelings into account - you can't expect him to just go with this...?

Lostwithoutacompass Wed 19-Dec-12 10:34:06

Fluffy your mums comment re kitchen, needed a good giggle this morning!

Dexavia, not at all the case, you've actually got me totally wrong. I will start work again next year. I actually used to be main bread winner but am now facing a career change which will earn me far less just due to logistics, kids school etc.

I haven't looked into the finances but we would both have to leave the family home and live in2 very tiny little places. I have looked on websites and it's definitely a wake up call but there you go. So long as we live reasonably close to one another I am hoping we could do 50/50 of seeing kids as he absolutely adores them and they he and he is a brilliant dad. Don't get me wrong, would be nice to have lots of money, big house and another pad but that is more certainly not part of my world!:-)

Believe me I know my life would change pretty radically too as we will will both be single parents with all that that entails.. I am not waiting for him to make a move, I instigated it but am hoping we can reach a joint decision so we are all as happy as possible.

pinkdelight Wed 19-Dec-12 10:16:48

You say you've changed. I totally get that. But you have 3 under-fives. It can't be that long since you wanted to have sex with him. This is a time of change. So much of attraction is hormonal. You could change again, and again. And things could be much worse with a new partner, assuming you managed to find one and make it work with all the extra problems of your broken family. I'm not saying stay in a sexless marriage forever. But don't think of it like that. Of course you're going panic if you think of being sexless for eternity. Take a day at a time. Stop thinking about what's wrong with him and rewriting the story of your relationship to make it seem like he was wrong all along. Think about what you need apart from sex, other opportunities for growth and satisfaction in your life.

Please don't do anything rash right now. Your tone is strangely detached enough to suggest you might not be feeling too rational - the whole thing about waiting for him to end the relationship, as if that's what he wants and it won't involve an unthinkable amount of agony for you all. As DeXavia says - do you want this enough to make the move yourself and move out on your own? And if not, why should he when he doesn't even want it?

DeXavia Wed 19-Dec-12 09:54:48

Can I ask if you work? And if you'd be prepared to leave the family home? And I am prepared to be flamed for this but it strikes me that you've decide you aren't attracted to him. Now you are waiting for him to make the next move (which is presumably for him to move out). I'm guessing next step after that is for him to leave you in family home and pay maintenance while he finds somewhere (smaller?) elsewhere and with what visitation rights?
I'm not saying stay or go but why is it his life that will be turned upside down for your decision? Your decision - why isn't it your life that changes so radically?

jenny99 Wed 19-Dec-12 09:54:36

Just want to add a little something...in cases of 'staying for the kids'....is it better if a split is inevitable that it is when they are younger and therefore grow up not knowing any different? Where I am right now is looking at a split with 2 DCs at very vulnerable ages both in early years of secondary school. Is it actually therefore better to do it rather than hang in there. Is there ever a 'good' age for the kids to cope with it?!

fluffyraggies Wed 19-Dec-12 09:52:53

Can i just add that when i sat down with my mum and explained that i was ending my marriage one of the first things she said was "But you've just had the kitchen done!" hmm !?

fluffyraggies Wed 19-Dec-12 09:50:15

For me it was horrible with parents and in laws etoiles. But that can't be a reason to stay unhappy for the rest of your life. So as not to upset the in laws or your mother! (although it did take me allot of years to convince myself of that fact).

You get the children though it by treating them with love and respect and thoughtful handling. Age appropriate. From both parties ideally. I have never ever said a bad word about my DCs father to them. Their greatest need was to stay in the local' and keep their friends and school and hobbies the same. Which we did. It's massively important how it's handled, i think.

EtoilesPleinLesYeux Wed 19-Dec-12 09:41:03

When you leave you husband because you've fallen out of love isn't it really horrible with you parents and in laws? How the hell do you get the children through it?

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