APOLGISE IN ADVANCE FOR THIS BEEN SO LONG.
I'm looking for some support and advice please.
Myself and my husband have been together almost 9 years, married for almost 6.
We own our own home and don't have any children.
Our marriage has had its ups and downs but never anything too serious.
I'll admit a lot of our arguments have probably been prolonged due to me being too dramatic about them/not letting go. Something I'm working really hard on.
However over the last few months I've had a feeling that something wasn't quite right.
The last couple of years have probably been our hardest.
Around a year and a half ago he started a new job. It was his own choice, but still a possibility stressful time?
Then around 7 months later I was made redundant.
I feel like I handled it relatively well.
There were of course times when I got upset/stressed about what had happened and that I was worried about not finding another job.
I was out of work for around 3 months altogether and have been in my new job for just over 6 months
Throughout that time, he remained really strong.
He was always there for me, supporting me, telling me not to worry, however I'm sure he felt a lot of pressure and had concerns over money that he likely dealt with on his own.
For the last 2 years we've been trying to have a baby - having a family was something he has always been really keen on.
We haven't fallen pregnant and it's been tough.
I've been very emotional as I felt like failure each month and as though I was letting him down.
Towards the end of last year I noticed that every time we had sex he wouldn't finish.
I started to worry thinking was it because he didn't find me attractive anymore. Was he seeing/attracted to someone else?
I tried pushing all of that out of mind and told myself it was that he felt pressure to perform and that perhaps just as I was feeling like a failure, he perhaps was too.
Fast forward to around 4/5 weeks ago towards mid Jan, I had this feeling deep down that something wasn't right.
I decided to email him one day when I was at work.Just to say that I had a lovely Christmas and new year and that I appreciate all he does and that I hope "2017" would be our year.
Although I didn't really want to know the truth regarding what he was thinking/feeling (through fear it would be something bad) I asked him to be honest with me and tell me if there was something he wasn't happy about.
This is what he said;
For the past few months I have been struggling with my feelings, I'm confused, have a sick feeling in my stomach, I'm not/can't think clearly. And this is not a nice feeling for me.
I don't want to upset up or your make you feel sad/unloved, but I also have to think about me, and get my own feelings/head sorted out.
I have been thinking about going to stay at my Dads, just for a few days, some alone time to clear my head without the distractions that been at home give me. (ie, photos, memory's, you, etc.) although this is the last thing I want to do, I don't know what else I can do. And this is very hard for me to say/do.
I do love you, but I need some time to sort my head out because I can't go on feeling like this, its not fair on either of us.
I hope you understand and will support my decision.
He hasNEVER been this open with his feelings and it came as a big shock to me.
My reply was ; (reading it back for this first time, it sounds very abrupt. He was clearly struggling and rather than support him I likely made things worse).
I'd hoped that you would want to stay with me and if you feel you/we need to think/talk about things then surely it's best that we do that together? As a team.
You say that going to your dads is the last thing you want and you don't know what else to do? What else have you considered? What else have you tried?
What do you mean that it'd mean you were away from distractions/memories? Aren't memories good?
Also, won't there be more distractions at dads?What would you say when they ask questions?
You say you need to sort your head out? What does that mean?
You can't go on like that? Like what?
Im very very confused and I now feel that you don't love me, that you want to end our marriage and that you have given up trying.
If you honestly think the only thing that will help you "clear your head" and help you to realise "what you want" is going to your dads then go.
His reply was;
I do love you and care for you more than you will ever know. I just don't know if I'm in-love with you. And a few days apart may show me that I am or I'm not. I know this maybe hard/upsetting to read, but trust me its alot harder to say it.
Memories are good, but these can shadow feelings/thoughts because its all around you.
I don't want to fight/argue/hurt you, nor do I want either of us to be upset/unhappy. but this is just how I am feeling right now, sad and unhappy.
I feel sick just thinking that I am hurting you.
I don't want to hurt you.
I don't want to leave you or end our marriage - that's the last thing I would ever want.
I then asked "would you rather lose me than feel this way" and is response was "I would choose being with you over anything".
This claimed me down a little and I asked that we have a serious talk that night when we got home.
It was one of the worse nights of my life.
To be told face to face that my husband doesn't know if he loves me anymore - I've never been so upset.
We got a lot off our chest and I told him that if he felt having some time away from me would help then to go stay at him dads.
He said he didn't want to leave me in the state I was in (I was very upset and had been crying for hours) and even if he did make it out the door, he knows he would just come straight back again.
That again made me a little calmer as I felt it showed he still cared.
He stayed at home and for a week or so we just got on with life. We still had a goodbye kiss in the morning before going to work, still said I love you (me more than him) and just over a week later it was his birthday.
We'd arranged to go out of town for the day on the train and I felt like we had a lovely time.
Then about a week later, we were texting during the day while we were both at work and he said he hasn't been sleeping well as he has been doing a lot of thinking.
I said I hoped they were good thoughts and he said "yes only good things".
The rest of the conversation went like this;
Me: I'm sorry for getting upset last night. I know it isn't helping you at all, I'm just struggling a lot with this. I never dreamt we would be in this situation and once you told me, I honestly thought after a few days you would be thinking clearly and it's just not happening that way and I'm scared.
Him: dont be sorry, i cant imagine how hard this must be for you, im sorry that i am causing you to be in this much pain. I too honestly thought the same, that after a few days I would have a clearer view. I think with coming back to work, and my birthday coming up I was thinking about too many things, last night while awake I was only thinking about me and you and that I do want a future with you in my life. As I said last night, Im also scared, scared to let my guard down and be hurt if we was to argue, and you are right that I shouldnt think that way. I have been thinking about things all morning, and writing things down, and will continue to think about this all this afternoon, as I hope to have a clear view and say 100% what I want.
Me: Im happy to hear that you do want a future with me. As I said the other day, looking back I am ashamed of how I've acted in the past. And like you, I've done a lot of thinking about us, but also about myself and how I want to (and will be) a better person (for me and for you)
I feel like I'm the cause of all of this and it's my fault. I've annoyed you, stressed you out, made you question things. All because of my silly moods, things I may have said or how I may have acted. I can't promise we won't ever argue again, I can't promise we won't say silly things or do things we may regret. But by being considerate of each other in every way, by being respectful and caring and above all else, by loving each other no matter what, I believe we can get through anything. I believe 100% that you are the man I want to spend the rest of my life with. These last few weeks have been tough but have shown me that you mean everything and that is worth everything.
Him: I dont just want a future with you, I want a happy future with you, I want us both to be happy. I agree neither of us can make promises the wont ever argue or say things that may upset us both, but learning from any mistakes we do make and moving past them is what really matters/counts.
I am also ashamed on how ive acted at times and how things I have done/said have upset you. Since turning 30, I starting viewing things differently, and when we did argue I held onto it, even once it was sorted out which i dont normally do, and over the year things did build up inside me, again something I dont normally do and do want to do. As i have said, a number of things have made me feel the way i do, questioning everything, not just us. but life, (abit deep i know) I agree with being considerate towards each other, and respecting each other.
I also do believe in we can make it through anything, and I want us to make it through everything, together as a team and as a husband and wife would.
Me: I want our future to be happy too. I want us to move home this year, I want us to go on holiday abroad , I want to book weekends away, go out for day trips, create more memories, I want us to take more photos. (if you want all of those things of course). We are a team, always have been and in my eyes always will be.
Him: thats all i have ever wanted. so let's not just talk about it, let's plan it and do it - together - as husband and wife. Where/how do we start?
Me:I'm not sure. Do you think maybe you need to be sure of your feelings first?
Him: my feelings seems easier to see after what we have both been writing and me thinking about things. I want to make this/us work, and not give up. I want us to have fun, laugh, and enjoy each others company. I want nothing more than to hold you in my arms and for neither of us to let go
Me: me too, but that's what you want not what you are feeling.
Him: my feelings for you are I do love you, I couldn't see myself without you in my life and I am in love with you. You mean the world to me.
Me: Do you really mean that? Or are you just saying it because you feel like you need to?
Him: I do mean that as in my head and saying it out loud to myself feels right
Me: I'm really happy to hear you say that and I really hope you mean it and never doubt these feelings again.
Him: I really do mean it. And I hope I never doubt my feelings again.
Another couple of weeks went by and although things were 100%. back to normal, I hoped we were working through things and it would get better with time.
In that time he said he wasn't sure if he wanted to have a baby any more.
He said it wasn't because of what had happened, it had been something he had been thinking of for a while and just wasn't sure if that's the direction he wanted his life to go in.
He said he valued his "me" time, that he didn't think he wanted that responsibility any more. And he said he wanted me to be protected before were intimate again to avoid me getting pregnant.
This came as abit of a shock. As I mentioned he had always been very open about wanting a big family.
As I thought about it more, I started to wonder about everything. Those times (as I mentioned early) where he didn't "finish" was it because he didn't find me attractive anymore (like I originally thought) or was it because all long, months and months and months ago, he was thinking about/questioning our relationship.
This is still playing on my mind.
Then a week or so later, he went out with some friends and got home at 6am. That's unusual for him but I thought that was maybe what he needed to chill out/blow off some steam etc so I never mentioned anything.
Then a couple of weeks later he went out again and got home at 7am. I had woken up at 4am that morning and panicked as he wasn't home.
I sent him a text message asking if everything was ok - I didn't receive a reply.
In that four hours from 4-7 I sent numerous texts, and called 26 times to try and get hold of him.
I finally got through just before 7 and he answered as though everything was fine with "hi darling I'm just waiting for a taxi".
I was so angry I just said ok see you at home.
I was waiting on the sofa when he got in and he was so drunk
I explained I had been so worried for this 3 hours and I was close to calling around the hospitals to see if he had been admitted.
I realise now that as he was so drunk it probably wasn't the best time to talk to him but I pushed him as to where he had been all this time.
He said the night had started out as he had told me, out for drinks with work colleagues.
Then at around 1pm they went home (most are quite abit older then he is) and he decided he wasn't ready to come home yet so decided to stay out on his own.
He then got talking to this group of friends and for the next 6 hours just tagged along with them.
I said I found it strange how he would rather stay out with stranger, then come home to his wife and explained I was very upset that he hadn't let me know that's what was happening and more importantly that he was ok.
He didn't see what the problem was and basically just went to bed and surfaced later that afternoon.
We didn't really talk much until the next day.
He admitted that he felt bad for what had happened and understood my point of view.
I said I was disappointed that considering our conversation earlier that month (see messages above about being respectful and considerate) that this has happened. And that it had happened so quickly.
I also said I was worried about his safety, that he didn't know these people, what they could have been up to, what might have happened to him.
He apologised and said he agreed and that he would try harder.
Another week went by and things were still feeling strained. But I was trying my best to remain positive and to focus on making this work.
Then, this Friday, he went out again. He said he was going for a meal with people from work and that there weren't any plans to go out afterwards and he'd be home around 10-11.
He asked if I wouldn't mind dropping him off which I agreed to. When I got home he had text me saying "thanks for dropping me off, have a nice night".
Now that might seem ok, but even when we were going through the whole "not sure of my feelings things" he still ended texts with I love you.
So I sent one back saying "no love you?" And he then relied with "love you".
I then got a text around 10:30 saying the meal was taking longer then expected and he'd get a taxi home (he'd previously asked that if he was finished quote earlier would I mind picking him up which I said was fine.
So I said "ok goodnight love you" and I didn't get anything back.
I then woke up at around 1:30 to some banging, which was him coming home and trying to get in the door.
It upset me to realise that he was home later than expected (for a third time in less than 5 weeks) and that he was really drunk again.
I gave him some time to get in etc and expected him to come upstairs to bed.
After 20 mins of silence I went downstairs to check everything was ok and he was just sat on the sofa.
I asked if everything was ok to while he said yes and he was coming to bed, he stood up and almost fell over and I felt like i was losing it.
I told him to stay down here and sober up. He said he was going to bed so I said "fine I'll stay down here and sleep on the sofa". He asked what my problem was and when I asked him to explain what he meant he just walked off upstairs.
I spent all night and morning crying on the sofa and didn't see him again until he surfaced at lunch time on Saturday.
He sat down with me and basically said this isn't working. That he wants a divorce.
He said he wasn't happy, that he hasn't been happy in over a year and wants to leave and that he didn't love me and wasn't in love with me. His feeling had gone.
It might sound silly but this came as a shock to me.
Even given what we've been through over the last couple of months, I never thought it would come to this, especially considering all the things he said in the messages about wanting to hold me and never let go and not being able to imagine a life without me.
I told him that and asked how he can go from telling me I'm his world 3 weeks ago to now telling me there aren't any feelings and wanting to leave.
He said he felt pressured into providing an answer and although it pains him to do so, he has decided this was what he wanted.
I was surprisingly calm and I think it's because as he was saying all of this, he was crying.
He has NEVER cried in front of me. Not when we've argued in the past, not when we've lost people, not when he told me he wasn't sure if he was in love with me. Never.
We spoke for hours, a lot of the time covering the same thing, and I told him that divorce is not want I want and I want us to keep trying.
I said that I knew I had areas of myself to improve upon and I was trying hard to do that.
I asked him to try again and after a while he eventually agreed.
He said he wanted to be able to have some "him time" to go out or see friends without feeling like he is leaving me alone on my own or that he has to rush back.
To put that into context I have been guilty of asking him - while he is out - when he will be home and if he's later then he says he was going to be making a big deal out of it.
I don't know why I do this. I feel as though I just want him home with me all the time.
He said he felt a little smothered and that we didn't have any life's of our own, that everything we did was together and I can kind of see his point.
I've been guilty of declining invites from friends as I would much rather be home with him.
I've said I agree with what he is saying and want him to feel that he can do things without me and that I need to work on knowing that that isn't a bad thing, and that's it's ok.
I've also agreed to go out more and see my friends. This, he believed will be good for me and it will also give him some time on his own to do what he wants to do.
We had already planned on going out that night and I asked him if he still wanted to do that.
He said yes so we went through the process of getting ready and went for a meal and to the cinema.
Weirdly, we agreed that we actually had a nice time. I felt oddly relaxed and during dinner the conversation didn't feel strained like it had in the past. It flowed easily and we laughed. It was nice.
Although it was me who was instigating it, he did hold me hand and he did kiss me if I leaned over for one. The only thing missing was the "i love you".
It kills me that I was saying it to him and he didn't say it back.
Even when we were going though the "unsure of feelings" thing, he still said he loved me, it was the fact he didn't know if he was in love with me that he was unsure of.
So yeah, not having someone say it back really hurts. It hurts a lot.
We went to bed on the Saturday night and both woke up on Sunday saying we slept quite well.
Sunday was spent doing chores around the house.
I was making every effort to tell him I loved him
Whenever I could, I would hold his hand whenever I could, be touchy feely as often as possible.
When we went to bed on Sunday we cuddled and watched a film and I asked he, of all things considered, he had had an ok weekend. He said he had.
It's Valentines day tomorrow and This morning he said he hasn't got me a card but would get one today. I said all things considered, I would understand if he didn't get me one but he said he would.
We are now both at work and I honestly don't know what is going on/ what's going to happen.
I don't want to speak to family/friends so thought I'd post here and hope some of you can offer some advice.
I've read endless articles over the weekend about what to do/not do and I'm so confused.
Some say to try and distance yourself and do things separately but that scares me.
Some say stop saying you love him and give him space.
I just don't know what to do.
Do I try counselling just for me?
Do I suggest we both go?
Do I not consider counselling at all?
Do I just give him some space and hope for the best?
I really don't know. I feel really lost.
Any help/advice would be appreciated.