Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Had my world turned upside down last week, now feel like I'm on probation.

(33 Posts)
Supercold Wed 22-Jan-14 21:10:06

Have NCd for this as my usual NN is known to some people and I really don't want them to know about this.

Last week DH did something pretty thoughtless and selfish (too long to go into details about). When I challenged him about it, he admitted that he had been, but during the conversation told me that he didn't think he loved me 'enough' anymore and that was part of the reason he had done what he did- he didn't care about how I would feel.

It just completely floored me, I had no idea that anything was fundamentally wrong in our relationship. We talked a lot, and he was saying he felt disconnected and, I felt, trying to blame me for that.

At no point previously had he said he felt we had any problems in our marriage. We've been married for a long time and had been chatting about what we would do once both of the DCs were at university, which isn't that far away.

He did say he wanted us to stay together and work on things. He has had some issues with losing his erection during sex over the past few months, but said he didn't know whether they were physical or psychological issues. I haven't wanted to push the subject in case it made him more anxious about it.

Monday I got pretty annoyed with myself as we slept together twice at the weekend. I was upset that I had lowered myself to sleeping with a man who didn't know if he loved me enough to stay married to me. I told him this and we ended up having another long discussion. I don't know exactly what I said, but I said something that seemed to resonate with him and he said that everything would be fine and that he really did love me.

I am just completely confused. On the Monday night, I hadn't been particularly cheery when he'd called to say he was on his way home, as I was upset about sleeping with him. Before we had our discussion, he said that me being like that made him not feel good.

How the fuck am I supposed to feel though? I do love him and want to stay together, but I feel like I have to be permanently on my best behaviour and show him the best of me. I feel I have had every right to not feel positive all the time as I am the one who has had this dropped on them completely out of the blue. To be quite honest, I don't if I will ever feel secure in our marriage again as this episode came without warning.

I have absolutely no clue what to do about having sex with him. I am not going to initiate anything, but I don't know what to do if he does. On the one hand it's part of the marriage and would help with feeling closer, but on the other I'm still feeling very hurt and insecure and don't want to give that part of myself to him.

He has said he will go to the docs and get his hormone levels checked, but finding time to do it is another matter. He moved into a much more stressful and busy job about 10 months ago. I don't know if that's had anything to do with his issues, but I don't suppose it helps. I asked him outright if he was having an affair or if he wanted to have one, and he said not. I do believe that.

hermionepotter Wed 22-Jan-14 21:18:07

It sounds from what you've said that your relationship is a one way street with you putting in all the effort sad
what he said about not loving you enough any more must have really hurt.
Haven't got advice as such but it may help to say what it was he did last week? its very supportive on here.
I've been on receiving end of this and my exh was having an affair, even though he denied it, sorry sad

MadBusLady Wed 22-Jan-14 21:26:54

I feel I have had every right to not feel positive all the time as I am the one who has had this dropped on them completely out of the blue.

I think you're quite right. He is, at best, being extremely thoughtless. "I don't love you enough any more" and then radio silence while you torture yourself with how to fix the problem.

Going to the docs to get his hormone levels checked is not going to cut it - that's what a man with a few erectile problems would do in an otherwise sound and happy relationship. If he actually gives a shit about you, he will set out a plan of what he intends to do to figure out where all this emotional self-examination is going, i.e. counselling or some time apart or whatever it takes and then follow through with it. In the meantime, I think you would be more than justified in asking him to move out for a bit while you get your head round what he has said.

But I say "at best" because, as I'm sure you realise really, from the outside this sounds like an affair.

PrincessWellington Wed 22-Jan-14 21:29:16

New job? New colleagues? I think he could be having an EA or more. I could have written your post with my EXH.

Supercold Wed 22-Jan-14 21:36:10

What did he do?

We both had our cars parked at a hotel. I was away from the hotel with a group of people and texted him to say I was on my way back. He left before I got there to go to an activity (with a floating time period) so I wasn't going to see him for the rest of the night. Wouldn't perhaps have been an issue but it had snowed quite a bit during the day and the car had a good few inches of snow on it. He was also the only spouse who didn't wait for their partner to get back.

I know it sounds like an affair. I really don't think it is, I do think he would tell me if it was so. I've read enough threads on here though, to know that these things can work their way out later.

CailinDana Wed 22-Jan-14 22:19:03

Almost definitely an affair.

hermionepotter Wed 22-Jan-14 22:55:26

sounds like it..but irrespective of that OP the question is what do you want to do now? Sod pussyfooting around him waiting for him to be back in love with you - your self esteem will be through the floor sad
I'm sorry you're in this situation, it's very hard. Be kind to yourself above all

RM0104 Wed 22-Jan-14 23:06:46

have recently been in almost the exact same position as you.

found out he was having an affair. he vehemently denied this when asked. so had to do some digging.

Supercold Wed 22-Jan-14 23:22:44

Hermione what do I want? Truthfully I just want us to be happy again. I know it seems trite and weak, but I do love him. I do want him to get his finger out and get to a doctor ASAP, though. I want him to know how desperately he hurt me and that it's not all on his terms.

We have discussed counselling, but he couldn't explain what was even wrong to talk it through with a counsellor. Either of us moving out for a while isn't practical, I do have places I could go and stay for a while, but he has a lot of business trips over the next couple of months and we can't leave the children to fend for themselves.

Leavenheath Wed 22-Jan-14 23:28:17

Well I've also read enough threads on here and know enough people who've been rocked by an affair in real life, to recall that I've never known someone to admit at this stage of the proceedings that they were having an affair, even when asked outright.

In my experience, it just doesn't happen.

The only time I've ever known there to be an outright admission was a bloke I once knew in real-life who left his wife and more or less had to come clean about his affair because the OW was pregnant.

Add all this to the scenario you describe; the incident when he left you, the erectile dysfunction and the new, allegedly stressful job role (with new colleagues no doubt) and I'd be very surprised if there wasn't infidelity behind this.

The most sensible advice in this situation is to withdraw, not compete. End your relationship yourself and explain you can't stay with someone who doesn't love you enough and who's stopped caring how you feel.

Of course you might want to short-circuit all this by snooping. That often seems to bring things to a head and discovery sometimes bursts the affair fantasy bubble. Whether you could forgive an affair is another matter, but I do think you need to know the truth rather than living in this horrible limbo.

Loggins Thu 23-Jan-14 00:20:22

He says he can't explain what is wrong so can't talk to councellor because he isn't being honest with you

bunchoffives Thu 23-Jan-14 00:34:51

You are not on probation you are on notice. He's prepping you to leave the marriage. Sorry sad

If I were you I'd ask him to leave until you have made up your mind about whether you want to work on it with him.

Mellowandfruitful Thu 23-Jan-14 01:02:31

bunchoffives's suggestion (and Leavenheath saying 'withdraw') is good. He has basically set off a grenade in your marriage, and is now being clueless about what to next - hard not to see this as either hoping you will pick up the pieces and make everything better all by yourself, or hoping you'll give him the out.

I would also (sorry) be wondering about an affair, and whether he dashed off to this other event with the hope of meeting up with someone there. That last bit may or may not be the case. But I think you have to brace yourself for the possibility of someone else.

I would now be saying that if he has started to doubt his love for you, then you yourself have serious doubts about your future together and you want space to think about that. So you take some time out and tell him that when he is away on business you will be there for the kids, and in return right now that is his job because you are taking time out. (I know MN wisdom is to make him leave, not you, but I wouldn't necessarily say that now because it makes it easy for him to jump ship to anyone else he may have met, whereas you are stuck with the household responsibilities. So make him have to step it up while you get some space from him. However, if that can't be done, make it clear you expect him to pull his weight with childcare while all this is going on.

And absolutely do not sleep with him again any time soon. Totally the wrong signal - understandable as you were all over the place before - but don't let him think it can carry on as if all is fine and dandy. He needs to worry he has let you down, not the reverse.

newbiefrugalgal Thu 23-Jan-14 01:12:25

I also think affair. Sorry. Change in behaviour. New job etc

Of course he is going to deny

AmberLeaf Thu 23-Jan-14 01:27:45

Most people having an affair wouldn't admit it at this stage.

The talk of not being sure about loving you is him trying to justify his affair to himself. IMO. if he tells himself that he doesn't love you, then it makes it ok (in his mind) its quite possibly what he has told the OW about your marriage too.

There are a lot of pointers of an affair in his behaviour.

Sorry that you are having to deal with all of this.

Dirtybadger Thu 23-Jan-14 01:49:36

I assumed he'd had an affair (and told you) reading your OP and his "explanation". His explanation sounds like the excuses people give for affairs (or something equally huge) not selfishly going out for the night (missed something- this is what happened yes?). He could have given all sorts of "lesser" reasons but went straight in with not caring how you felt. Odd.
Hope that makes sense.

MadBusLady Thu 23-Jan-14 08:16:40

Very good point badger. He was answering a different question to the one the OP asked.

brokenhearted55a Thu 23-Jan-14 08:37:32

Look for the woman

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 23-Jan-14 08:48:40

This doesn't look good. At a point where one person thinks we're entering a new phase, the DCs are almost off our hands, life is really coming together, more time on our own, the other looks for the escape hatch.

Getting lazy about little acts of kindness that are part of the glue that keep a couple together is an immediate give away things aren't right. You are not feeling secure enough to be intimate with H. He is not rushing to see if there is a physical reason for not sustaining an erection but in the meantime you're supposed to carry on as normal after he pronounced he isn't sure he still loves you?

He plays for time by talking about working on things. Not "we'll work it out". You get the feeling you're on probation somehow. This must be awful if you still love him but what is he doing prevaricating about counselling and seeing his GP? There is dysfunction OP in more than one area.

ChippingInWadesIn Thu 23-Jan-14 08:54:14

I know you think he would tell you if he was having an affair, but you thought everything was OK before this bombshell. I bet, if you were honest, you would have thought he would have spoken to you before this if he was unhappy.

Sadly - many, many affairs are conducted by men 'who you wouldn't think were the type' sad

BrunoBrookesDinedAlone Thu 23-Jan-14 09:20:30

Was the other event something to do with the new job?

Big red flag for affair if so...sadly I'd agree that it's by far the most likely reason. Classic in fact, with him starting a new job.

Can you check phone/email/FB?

TotallyBenHanscom Thu 23-Jan-14 09:41:52

Please don't automatically assume it's an affair. Erectile problems, and the pressure of a new job could explain his recent behaviour.

See below quote from this website www.healthcommunities.com/erectile-dysfunction/effects.shtml

" ED Effect on Self Esteem
Because sexual performance is often a big part of a man's self-esteem, experiencing erectile dysfunction (ED) can be devastating not only to a man's sex life, but to his entire sense of being. Men with ED can become uncertain of themselves and avoid intimate situations with their partners; this only increases the pressure and anxiety associated with a condition which is often treatable.
In addition, erectile dysfunction can cause men to feel inadequate in their roles. Men who are suffering from ED tend to isolate themselves from their relationships and withdraw from their partners.
The psychological effects of ED can invade every aspect of a man's life, from his relationship with his partner, to his interactions on a social level, to his job performance. Therefore, it is important for a man who is suffering from ED to feel as comfortable as possible discussing his condition with his partner, and with his physician, in order to discover the treatment strategy which can best help overcome this condition. "

SirRaymondClench Thu 23-Jan-14 09:55:11

I hope you're ok Op, your head must be in bits.

I think the sleeping with him twice at the weekend probably comes under the banner of 'hysterical bonding' (happy to be totally corrected) and like you said you've read enough of these threads to recognise that hence feeling bad about it.
Please don't beat yourself up. You've done nothing wrong.
Whether he is having an affair or not, ask him to leave while you get your head together. It isn't fair on you for him to drop this bombshell and then expect you to 'deal' with it.
And please have a hug from me.

AmberLeaf Thu 23-Jan-14 10:38:10

Totallybenhanscom

the OPs DH was able to have sex with her at the weekend, so it obviously isn't a physical issue.

Sparklysilversequins Thu 23-Jan-14 10:43:06

He may not be having an actual affair yet but he is definitely interested in someone else. He probably doesn't even know himself yet that he is trying to undermine the marriage in order to allow himself to leave with less guilt. This may sound harsh but it's best you know now, a clean break if you will, rather than months of being hurt and messed about while desperately trying to be "better" so he will love you again.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now