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Old 16th March 2005, 12:55 PM   #16
teodor
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

Dear Squeeky,
I deeply understand you, your story reads as if it was mine, the only difference is that we married for the pregnancy reason, so I also had the problem of accepting the child from the beggining (I was not matured enough at all to have a child). But this is improving now.
I think there is no answer to our doubts and self-questions, one can only get them within himself and can take a decision. My wife also loves me and wants us to stay together, and I always felt that and couldn't separate as I know it would hurt her so badly. But my feelings are just not the right ones. We are doing councelling right now too. So far the results are good, but my doubts are so strong that I just hardly put them aside.
I think a real issue is to ask ourselves weather we divorce - would this really solve some problems, or would we just take them with us to a new location. In that case I think working on a marriage has a great sense because bad state of affairs is just the consequence of our personal (inner) conflicts, not the fact of 'being with a wrong person'.
But if it is the marriage which makes life so heavy, then divorce is a very logical step.
That's how far I came. I believe one day things will get clearer and a decision will be easier.
Take care and good luck!
T
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Old 31st March 2005, 06:20 PM   #17
robin
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

Came across this when searching on the internet about anything to do with "what to do when you admit to yourself and others that you don't love your husband and never have" I have been married for 13 years and have a 13 year old son from this marriage. We get on ok and my husband has unconditional love for me and is caring, kind, considerate and everything else positive you could imagine. However, I let myself be persuaded by him to go and live with him 16 years ago to help me get out of a difficult, cold, failing first marriage. He told me he would always love me, look after me and my 2 young sons and he was sure I would grow to love him. I was very emotionally unstable, with no money and let myself go along with everything he did for us. We are now financially stable with 3 well balanced sons, both of us have good jobs and on the surface everything is ok. However my feelings never developed as he had hoped, he is aware of this and still wants us to stay together.
Since admitting to close friends 3 months ago my thoughts about my marriage are in turmoil.
I don't know how I can carry on for the rest of my life sharing with a man I have no physical desire for. The feelings of guilt at how much I am hurting him by broaching the subject of what I have just written about are overwhelming, how can I live with myself if I leave after such a long time of being together.
I have had counselling recently and this has helped me see that I can't take full responsibility for my husband's happiness/unhappiness, but further than that I am not sure where or what to do. I would love to hear what others have to say on the matter. By the way I have tried to talk about how I feel to my 2 eldest sons and they have said they want me to be happy and would support any decision I make.
Thanks for reading this.
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Old 1st April 2005, 05:23 PM   #18
helenrw200
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

I really feel for both you and your husband as we were in this same situation just 3 years ago.Like you , I moved in with my husband many years ago, when I was 21, I had come out of an abusive marriage which I had been in since age 16 and had a very young son under 2 at the time.My ( 2nd ) ex husband was a rock for me, we had been friends for many years and he offered me and my son a safe home with no strings. However after not very long it became clear that his feelings were much deeper than mine and he started to press for a relationship, which I gave into, and then marriage. Sadly I have to now admit I married him from gratitude and not love, he knew didn't love him, but as in your case was convinced the love would come in time. It never did, at least not the passionate love one should feel for a husband , more a sister / brother feeling on my side.
We stayed together for 18 years, with me feeling a sham and eventually numb. During this time I had an affair with a man I was very much in love with and became pregnant, when my husband found out he begged me not to leave, saying he would bring this child up as he had my first, as his own. My step mother was dying of a particularly nasty cancer of the spine, my dad was in pieces and I was trying to support them whilst suffering very bad morning sickness that made me feel ill all day.
Eventually I gave in and told my lover I couldn't leave, the end result was worse than I could ever have imagined, my lover committed suicide, the love of my life died because I felt beholden to a man I could never love but who had saved me from a life of abusive hell.
Our son was born with autism 4 months after his dad's death and for the next few years I was numb, looking after my sons took all the energy I had and my marriage limped along.
One day when my youngest son was 10 , I took a step back,and started to really think about my life, my 40th birthday was only just over a year away and I realised that I was being unfair to my husband and myself, preventing both of us from finding true happiness, half of my life had already passed and I didn't want the last half to pass in numbness.
I left, it was hard, the children who by then were 19 and 11 came with me. For the first year my husband was in a terrible state, but although it hurt to see him that way, I knew deep down I had done the right thing for both of us, I should never have left it so long, never maybe have married in the first place.
My ex has a new partner now who loves him as he deserves and he and I are finally what we should have stayed. Friends.
Had I been strong enough to make this decision earlier a life would have been saved and we all maybe could have found happiness. The adage that you only live once is one by which I now try to live, if only I had realised this sooner.
I wish you luck and hope you can be strong enough to do what is right, for you, and for him, whatever that may be.
I would just like to add that my present relationship is far from perfect, but I do love him , and having that has made me realise just how much life I wasted .
Love
Helen
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Old 1st April 2005, 07:06 PM   #19
robin
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

Helen, thank you for replying so quickly to me. I had also posted my message on another thread and have just read a reply that says don't hurt your husband by leaving him as he is a great guy and gives you everything. So that basically is my dilemna, go for my own mental health sake or stay for everyone elses. I know that no-one can tell me what to do for the best, but it really helps to get different peoples advice as everyone has a different viewpoint. I have got as far as enquiring about a mortgage in my own name and even have found a possible house locally, but am unable at present to make that big step. My husband wants to keep our son in the marital home and I know this will be best for him, but I don't know whether I can exist without being involved with him on a daily basis. I can't make my husband sell our house as he is not the one who wants to go and I couldn't be that cruel. Fortunately I have a good job which means I could support myself financially. Some of my friends have queried how I think I would be better off by moving out, they think I will be lonely and miss my son too much, and that my husband's qualities compensate for my lack of desire for intimacy. I also think who would ever want to get involved with me in the future as I have left 2 husbands, I feel ashamed of that and think that people will think that there is something wrong with me.

It really helps to talk this through and I welcome yours and others comments.
Thank you
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Old 1st April 2005, 11:18 PM   #20
pjf
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

I recently was able, through psychoanalysis, to admit that I had never loved my wife and that I was desperate to find someone and fall in love (I feel the pleasure of this prospect even as I type) for the first time in my life. There are many other factors about my marriage which compound my problems but I wanted to ask if anybody had successfully left a marriage and found lasting love and happiness with another woman. All the books I read seem to say that I will unhappilly drift from relationship to relationship and that my kids will be permanently damaged. This is my fourth bout of clinical depression in 5 years and I do think they are caused by my repression of the truth. I know that it's also not been good for my wife although she says she loves me and wants to work at it. I feel I have nothing to work on
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Old 2nd April 2005, 10:11 AM   #21
robin
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

I know exactly how you feel, I have all of the same concerns about relationships and my children - I feel an enormous obligation to give them as normal a home situation as possible so that they can form healthy relationships themselves. When I gave my elder boys a brief outline about how I was feeling, they are supportive BUT say they had no idea that anything was"wrong" which just goes to show how well I had covered it up for so long. Can I do that for another 5 years until the youngest is 18? I really appreciate viewpoints of people, it helps to see things from all possible angles.

Thank you.
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Old 2nd April 2005, 11:58 AM   #22
Kate
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

I just wanted to refer back to my posting further down the thread.

I hear that several of you are saying that you are not in love with your spouses, but that doesn't mean that you cannot find happiness and fulfilment in your marriages by choosing to act lovingly and with commitment towards them.

I think that we are heavily influenced by pictures of love that involve strong emotional attachments, rather than other sorts of deep bonds such as companionship, shared values, respect, affection. These romantic views of marriage have their roots in Hollywood, popular entertainment, novels etc. I'm not saying that romance and emotions are not important, but I am challenging the pursuit of personal happiness which is so embedded into our culture.



I also think that some of us were not parented securely and often look for a partner who will father or mother us and then as we grow up within the marriage we find it difficult to make the change to being equals in the marriage.



I'm not sure I believe that there is a perfect partner for us, but that there may well be a number of people who we could build a good marriage with. Once we have found one of them then we will find the most satisfaction in remaining committed and learning about love that is a choice and a commitment, based on the promises you made when you married. We should never expect our marriage partner to fulfil all our emotional needs - it just isn't possible, but how good a job are we doing for them?



I also feel concerned about involving children in your concerns about your marriage. Isn't that an unfair burden to put on them?


So, a little challenge, stop focussing on how you feel and why not pull out all the stops to see how much you can express love, care and concern for your wife or husband. Read some of the articles I mentioned below, book yourselves onto an enrichment weekend. If you've got problems of your own then get some counselling or therapy for those.

I don't intend to be unsympathetic, my marriage hasn't always run smoothly, but it's very easy to get sucked into the "look after yourself, do what feels good" way of thinking. Marriage isn't about that - it's about 100% giving and receiving. What has kept me going has been the commitment to go on being the best wife I can be and challenging my husband when his attitudes and behaviours are unhelpful for us as a couple.

Just an aside to Robin - your counselling showed you that you weren't responsible for your husband's happiness. That is true in one way, but much counselling seems to focus on helping the individual to find what's best for them, but marriage does involve sacrifices for the other person - there are two of you in there, and only true marriage counselling focusses on finding what's best for the couple. Sometimes the other person's happiness has to be more important than your own. We have to do that for our children so why not for our spouse?

I'm sure that in all your relationships just as in most marriages there are other issues that concern you, but beware avoiding them because you don't feel "in love".

Kate
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Old 2nd April 2005, 12:42 PM   #23
robin
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

Thanks for your notes Kate, I thought long and hard about burdening my children with my marriage concerns. But they knew I was distressed about something over the last few months and kept asking me to share whatever it was with them, in the end I felt they were worried I was ill. They told me they were not children anymore but young adults and wanted me to to talk to them.I have been at great pains to tell them that they must not dwell on my problems too much and get on with their daily lives, I have been assured by them that they are OK about me telling them about my marriage concerns.

Re the counselling, I agree with you that to an extent it is one sided, as the counsellor was supporting me not my husband. The next step may be for us both to go relate, but I know that my husband will not cope with hearing me be brutally honest about how I feel in front of someone else.
Thank you for listening and replying.
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Old 3rd April 2005, 01:19 AM   #24
squeeky
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

I opened this thread when I was looking for justification to leave my wife. I too had not been open with myself about how I felt and that I was wasting my life when I could leave and find happiness “somewhere” and with “someone” else. I was convinced that I could find happiness elsewhere and that my wife would ultimately find happiness with someone who loves her. I wanted “Passion” in my life. I spoke with several close friends about my situation and I received mixed advice. I don’t know if I should give more weight to advice from someone who has been through a divorce or someone who has worked things out—they offer two distinctly different perspectives. I was hoping someone could tell me “you should leave your wife and both you and her will find a more loving and fulfilling relationship and will live happily ever after”. Unfortunately, life is not that simple.



I had made up my mind to leave and told my wife that I wanted to have a trial separation. I received mixed reactions from my family as well as her family. My Mom said that my decision was a difficult one understanding everything that was at stake. My brother asked me why I was “throwing away my family” and that my relationship with my wife was not that bad. He couldn’t understand what was so awful that I would want to leave. A coworker suggested that I would be much happier if I left. Others say that my problems may follow me. Still others say that I need to work on the relationship and that as I work on being unselfish and when I think about my wife before myself that I will find out what love is. And the advice goes on and on. Ultimately, we didn’t separate and we’re going to counseling.



Setting all that aside, my wife and I have been going to counseling for the last month or so to try and resolve these issues. There are things that we both do to contribute to a less than ideal marriage. I know that I can improve our relationship and I am committed to improving it if not for the only reason that the things the counselor has told us to do will be beneficial for me regardless of what I decide to do. But, since I told my wife that I didn’t want to be married because I didn’t love her and never had and that I wanted to leave, my wife has understandably had ups and downs as we work things out. On the "down" days, she dwells on the underlying fact—I don’t love her and this makes her very sad. Counseling focuses on helping the relationship. It teaches us how to interact so we can both be happier. The principles taught in couples counseling can help “anyone” to live happier with each other. That is both the good news and the bad news. I can be happier in my relationship and that the principles of good relationships will make me as happy with my wife as with anyone else who lives by good relationship principles. What it doesn’t address is the fact that I am not attracted to my wife in a passionate way. Can I live without that passion or will the passion develop as we live harmoniously together? That I think is the question that can only be answered with time.



I have stopped dwelling on how I feel and what will make “me” happier. I’ve been trying to think of “her” needs and what will make “her” happy. As I do this, I feel better. I have come out of a mild depression. I feel that I will be able to develop unconditional love for her. My hope is that as I love my wife with “unconditional love” that I will be happier with or without the “passion” that I desire.



To summarize, my current thinking is that it is right to try and work things out because if I don’t try, I will regret not having given 100%.
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Old 3rd April 2005, 10:18 AM   #25
robin
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

Your last message really sums up how I feel and also what I feel I should do, especially as it is my second marriage. You have given me a lot to think about .Thank you
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Old 5th April 2005, 05:19 PM   #26
helenrw200
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

Robin, I feel so much for what you're going through, and yes, the decision has to be yours . I also was told by many people , including my family , that I should not leave the husband who loved me and stood by me , but in the end I had to go with my heart, and my heart knew that staying wasn't right , for either of us. I too had been married before and so felt the stigma of two failed marriages, but still better that than a lifetime of regret for " what might have beens ". I hope that you will find a solution for your dilemma and feel free to post to me anytime, even if only to get some of the frustrations out, it does help to talk and even though I left myself, I am not biased, I do know that what was right for me , won't necessarily be right for someone else, I could take my sons with me , if that had not been the case , I don't know if I would have had the strength to leave them behind.
Love
Helen
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Old 5th April 2005, 06:59 PM   #27
robin
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

helen, thank you for replying, I have also posted some thoughts today on the other thread about not loving my husband
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Old 5th April 2005, 10:09 PM   #28
helenrw200
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

It's true that you can build a marriage on other things than love, but, in reality why should you have to ? I'm not saying that we should all keep searching for " the one " , but their comes a time when you deserve to think about your own needs and unfortunately they don't always coincide with your partners. If you can be happy with someone without loving them then there isn't a problem , I certainly wasn't looking for romantic love , more personal fulfillment and I knew deep in my heart that my husband also deserved to experience the joy of requited love, which I could never offer him.
As to involving children, most are pretty good at picking up signals if all is not well, and surely it is better ( taking into account age and ability to understand ) to be as honest as you can be with them ?
My mother left the marital home when I was 5, for 2 years she continued to return before I woke and leave after I went to bed , she may have thought it was better for me to keep up this pretence, but in effect it has made me very distrustful of people, I felt that I had been kept in the dark, and for years I couldn't allow anyone to be close to me, I felt betrayed. I would far rather , even at that tender age have known the truth and been given the time and space to come to terms with it. I try to always be honest with my children, sometimes this is hard as the youngest is autistic and very nervous of change, but handled properly and sensitively, information helps him.
Robin has said that she feels unhappy in her marriage, so surely she deserves to find out if she could be happier out of it ? She has after all spent many years trying to make it work, waiting ( sorry if I'm presuming here Robin ) for the love to grow, if it hasn't, does she not at least deserve to find out if there is someone or something greater out there for her ?
Sorry if this seems inflammatory, it isn't meant to be, it is purely my opinion. I feel as wives and mothers we give a lot of ourselves to other people, and rightly so, at some point we also have to give to ourselves.
Helen
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Old 5th April 2005, 10:14 PM   #29
robin
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

You are right, I have spent many years "forcing" myself to believe it is right and that maybe I will eventually love my husband, but deep down I know it never will.

I have always thought I must be the only person in the world to be feeling like this, I am forever trying to do the right thing both for myself and others, one day I think I might crack up under the strain.
Thanks for your encouraging messages.
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Old 6th April 2005, 01:01 AM   #30
Concerned Reader
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

Dear Helen

Your story is fascinating and colourful, but it is an illustration of how cheating and divorce just hand misery down the years. The question is how best to stop it.

You don't say why your mother left the marital home, but since she was able to come and go at will, the assumption is that she chose to, and that she was cheating. I can see that this sets up a terrible tension in a child, but I don't understand why the conclusion is that she should have tried to excuse this to a five-year old child, rather than that she should have been faithful in the first place. Of course, I don't know the situation with your father, but what ever it was, infidelity will have made it worse.

In respect of your ex-H, from what you write he was prepared to keep his promises in the face of your coolness, your infidelity, and even accepted the child of another man despite the extra problems that caring for this child must entail. However, you chose to leave this exceptional partner against the advice of your family.

Although your ex-H is happier now, his first choice was that you should keep your promises. You cannot use his current situation to justify what was done purely for your self-interests. Thank goodness it worked out for him, but that is not something you can claim credit for. That's just spin, like a company saying it is 'freeing people to pursue their economic freedom' when they mean 'we've just sacked half the staff'.

Just recently you have posted that you have had a temporary separation from your current partner, and that you left but returned.

Is this really making you any happier?
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