Devastated by husband's announcement

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powderpuff
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Devastated by husband's announcement

Postby powderpuff » Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:19 pm

Not sure what to do next. On the last evening of our week long summer holiday my husband announced that he wasn't sure that he loved me anymore and wanted some time to think about his next steps. I am devastated. I keep asking myself how I could not have noticed something wasn't right. I have asked him about counselling but he says he doesn't think it is for him? My only conclusion is that there is someone else (which he denies). I feel very low and very stupid and also very scared. Has anyone else been in this situation, I feel I need to be prepared for what might happen next.

Thanks for listening.
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Londonista
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Re: Devastated by husband's announcement

Postby Londonista » Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:40 pm

I haven't been in your situation but didn't want to read and run. 
Big hand-hold for you, I would be feeling exactly the same in your shoes.
I'm also a bit shocked at his refusal to consider counselling, I've had friends who've found it very useful.
I hope he reconsiders - it's the least he can do. Do you have children?
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powderpuff
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Re: Devastated by husband's announcement

Postby powderpuff » Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:15 pm

Hi Londonista, thanks for your reply. Yes we  have 2 children. Both primary school age and he adores them and is really good with them. Takes them to clubs and out on the commons. I keep coming back to maybe he's met someone else? Thanks again for taking the time.
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chorister
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Re: Devastated by husband's announcement

Postby chorister » Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:52 am

First of all, deepest, deepest sympathy to you.

Now, you may not want to read on, as I'm over 70, have no children and am to boot a man.

But if your are still reading then you have to recognise and come to terms with having two challenges.

The first is to take care of yourself, because if you don't then you won't be able to care for your children or deal with all the shock and hurt you feel.  You seem to have made a really good start by having the courage to post here, but now is the time to call in close friends whom you can trust not to gossip and to talk to them, and to confide in parents and siblings.  Don't bottle the hurt up, and don't believe either the silly mantras about positive thinking.  Sometimes life is simply **** and one has to grit one's teeth and get through it.

Secondly, if you want to repair your relationship then that can only happen by you and your husband talking to each other about it.  You sadly aren't the first person this has happened to, and won't be the last.  Perhaps try contacting Relate to discuss them seeing just you, not so much for counselling (that may come later) but for advice and guidance, and also for a disinterested ear to listen to you.  Then take it slowly from there.

One final thing.  It sounds from your second comment as if you may be a stay at home mother, and that your husband may have been doing the alpha male hunter-gatherer bit, providing for you and your children.  If that is the case - don't underestimate the possibility that under the surface he may have some vulnerability.  Perhaps there is some disappointment at work that he hasn't told you about, or if he works long hours perhaps he feels he is an inadequate father or husband.  If there is something, then eventually it will have to come out so that the two of you can resolve it.  Many years ago I knew a seemingly hugely confident colleague who was made redundant and took 10 days to tell his wife, getting up as normal and leaving the house each day without anywhere to go.

Very best of luck, and do take care of yourself.  Remember the old line - "that's what friends are for".
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EHMorris
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Re: Devastated by husband's announcement

Postby EHMorris » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:12 am

This rings almost exactly true to the situation a friend of mine found themselves in. Trust your instinct, it is very likely there is someone else and the lack of interest in counselling (also exactly the same as friend) is telling - does not want to try to save things.

I am so so sorry, this is a horrible shock for you and extremely painful to process.

If the playbook plays out, he will say “do you want me to move out” as if to make it on YOU to decide. He will constantly deny there is anyone else which is maddening.

My friend eventually moved on to a much happier time with a wonderful new partner, a very happy ending. I hope, and would bet, yours will be happy too although things must seem so dark right now.
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Chucka
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Re: Devastated by husband's announcement

Postby Chucka » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:28 am

I know he has declined counselling.  But if there is any chance then I hear wonderful things about these events even in the most "hopeless" of cases.  
https://www.helpourmarriage.org/


 
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clapham curious
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Re: Devastated by husband's announcement

Postby clapham curious » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:24 am

I have been through this exact scenario and though I have older children the devastation and fall out are the same. If he won’t talk then I suggest you get separate counselling so you are supported in your own shock and pain while you work out what you want. His next move may be to leave I think as this will not have come out of the blue for him - he may have been considering it for a while. You may be right that there is someone else but regardless all you can do if he won’t engage with his announcement is to examine what you and the children need to take the next steps forward and assume it may be without him in the picture then you will stronger and in more control.
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shil1625
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Re: Devastated by husband's announcement

Postby shil1625 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:31 am

My heart went out to you when I read this. I would like to pause at the point where your husband said he “wasn’t sure” if he’d fallen out of love with you, rather that thinking automatically about separation, living separately, other women etc. Let’s pause there for now...

I do not know how much “alone time” you get with two children, but personally I can find it very difficult to achieve. Maybe as parents and partners he still very much loves you - as the mother of his children and life partner, but perhaps that dedicated time as a couple has gone. This may be an ok adjustment for some parents who really don’t mind, for example, the kids always coming out to dinner or evenings and weekends revolving around the kids. For some, I think it can be hard to “feel” the love if there’s no time to focus pure attention on your partner without juggling looking after the children, full-time work, managing bills, social occasions etc. Or when you do get that alone time you’re still talking about the kids.

I wonder if you’ve been able to go on holiday just the two of you, without the children? Summer holidays can be quite a stressful time due to less available childcare - perhaps that’s what has triggered his current feelings. Perhaps you could ask him the last time he felt really in love with you, what you were doing, where you were, what you were talking about at the time etc. This could help you both arrive at some goals for your relationship e.g. get a babysitter for a date night, send the children on playdates and take the afternoon off work together etc. Did it link to a more care free time of life? Or is it nothing to do with “alone time” and more about differences in what your expectations were for your marriage or differences in parenting styles?

I really hope all goes well for you. Take care of yourself and you could try individual therapy, so you can look after yourself as others have said; but also a good therapist may also be able to help anticipate your husband’s needs and make some educated guesses about what could improve your relationship. I very much hope that helps. Best wishes
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MagnoliaMum
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Re: Devastated by husband's announcement

Postby MagnoliaMum » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:44 am

My heart goes out to you too. I don't necessarily think there is someone else; there would most likely be other signs, such as him changing habits, buying new clothes, going to the gym more, if it had gone any distance.

I must say, my first thought was that he might be having a 'mid-life crisis'; a sudden realisation that he's getting older, that life isn't fun and excitement as a couple, that a holiday with two young children isn't really a holiday... But in trying to fix this feeling of being trapped, it seems easiest just to blame you and throw it all away, rather than try to engage with these scary feelings. Like another poster said, this may not actually be about you at all. 

In any event, you deserve to understand more what's behind this and to have a proper discussion, now that you're through the first shock. This can be difficult just the two of you, which is why having a counsellor present can be more constructive. Maybe that is a way you can persuade him to go for counselling: "I feel I owe it to the kids to explore whether there is any way to save our marriage and if there isn't, for us to work together to make it the least damaging for them..." 

I agree that it is quite positive that he said he wasn't sure if he still loved you, not that he didn't love you any more. It may well be that there is a way forward there, if you are able to listen and empathise and come up with suggestions, like the sensible ones the poster above has mentioned, if you are able to put aside for a moment your very deep (and understandable) feeling of hurt.

Good luck, stay strong.
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BalhamDaddy
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Re: Devastated by husband's announcement

Postby BalhamDaddy » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:34 am

I used to be your husband. Having a young family is challenging, and the more selfish among us struggle a lot with losing our freedom and youth. He may have been feeling a bit "trapped" by his life circumstance for a while, and bottling it up. If he has lots of single or child free friends this feeling can be exacerbated. In my experience there probably is someone else who has acted as the catalyst here though. Not definitely, but probably. 

My advice is to try stay strong. If there is someone else, be prepared for some unreasonable and out of character behaviour from him. He'll say and do some things he'll really come to regret down the line, once his chemical infatuation with the new woman has worn off.

Don't lose hope though. I know first hand that it's possible to build an even stronger and happier marriage from all this. It takes honesty, open communication, and time though... and he needs to put the effort in. I really hope he sees sense soon before throwing it all away.
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Daffodil79
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Re: Devastated by husband's announcement

Postby Daffodil79 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:23 am

Three years ago to the day I was in the same situation.
It was slightly different as he was having an affair and I was heavy pregnant with our 2 child.
After lots of his friends telling him the grass wasn’t always greenier and counselling we are on the rd to recovering. So if you can talk to his friends or mutual friends to make him realise what he has if he looses you now he will regret it in time. And lots of counselling and talking - try and get a grandparent over for once a week.
But if he really isn’t up for it - really look after yourself and it hurts and is a black hole right now but just remember he will be the one with the biggest regrets in the years to come.
Life with children is Tough and isn’t as easy and fun as it used to be but that’s just life and if he can’t cope then his lose and if he is having an affair good luck to the next one having to deal with his selfish behaviour was what I kept telling myself.
I really hope you can get through to him before it’s too late and carry on as a happy family for you and the children x
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LastMumStanding
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Re: Devastated by husband's announcement

Postby LastMumStanding » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:15 am

If you love him and your kids then fight to save your marriage. Recognise and take responsibility for the fact that his needs are not being met and that you can help chance that - just as I’m sure there are things you want and need him to do differently. Loss of intimacy and connection is very common post 2 kids and can be reversed relatively easily with effort on both sides. Don’t let him simply refuse to go to counselling - book and appointment and tell him the time and place and ask him to consider that he owes it to himself and his kids especially to give it his best shot. If there is no progress after 6 sessions then he will have a clearer view on his steps and you can move forward knowing you did all you could - and your kids when they are older can know that too. Dissolving a marriage needs to be done with care and mutual respect to minimise damage to kids and preserve relationships for the long term.
Encourage him to think long and hard about what it means for the kids and his future life -and relationships with them. Do you have divorced friends he can talk to about the reality of only seeing kids on weekends and every other Christmas, being more removed from the events of their daily lives and their growing identities. And that’s before you even think about finance - will your money stretch to you staying in the family home with the kids - putting him out in a small, empty flat with his new life and still paying child support or will you have to sell up and buy new places, more disruption and upset for the kids.
This is the point where the grass looks a lot greener on the other side. It rarely is in practice and even if it is there is a whole load of “s**t” to wade through before he gets there.
Remember the man you married and remind him of the woman you were and still are before kids and routine got in the way.
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yellowrose20
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Re: Devastated by husband's announcement

Postby yellowrose20 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:41 pm

Dear powderpuff

My thoughts are with you. This is such a tough time for you.

I’m sorry if I’m on the negative side. It can go either way. At this stage you really don’t know how it’s going to pan out. Expect the worst and hope for the best.

7 years ago I was in a similar situation with my now ex-Husband and a 2 year old. My husband regretted settling down too young and not having a wild time. He told me ‘I haven’t loved you in years’. I was devastated that all I thought was real was an absolute lie. My first thoughts were denial and how can I ‘fix us’. I was scared of being a single mother, my world was starting to fall apart. In truth ‘fixing us’ involves both parties.

Is your husband meeting your needs?! It’s easy to suggest that he’s busy, stressed etc and having two young children dampens the love you once had. But I’m sure you are busy, stressed etc and your love continues regardless.

If he’s not interested in counselling you can’t convince him to go. We did couples counselling for 3 months when we had ‘problems’ prior to our split. I dragged him along, he came, I talked, he didn’t! He just didn’t want to talk it out. He had other plans which I discovered in the following months. I hope your husband does counselling with you and you can resolve what’s really going on.

But if not, you could suggest that while he works out if he loves you, you could suggest that you carry on for a bit with some quality time together BUT match any time apart he has from you, with time for yourself, to work out if you love him too! It’s a blow to hear such words from a husband you thought you knew inside out, and perhaps you should consider whether he is worthy of your love. Carve some time for you - seeing friends, going to the gym, whatever it maybe. It may get him seeing you in a positive light and fall in love with you, the woman, again. If not, you’ve started the process of building a life for yourself after your marriage.

I eventually moved on from my Husband. I met a wonderful new partner. My ex on the other hand found that the grass wasn’t green at all. He remains single.

I would suggest counselling for yourself. When I did counselling myself and struggled to come to terms with the breakdown of my marriage I found it life-saving.

If someone no longer loves you, you can’t do much about it except love yourself, be healthy and strong for your kids and gradually try to move on. I wish you well in your journey wherever the road takes you.
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Balance
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Re: Devastated by husband's announcement

Postby Balance » Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:44 am

I would certainly tell him that it is not fair to rip your kids lives apart without him having at least tried counselling.  Stating that its not for him is pretty self involved to be honest and his announcement has ripped everyone else in the family's life apart so he needs to be open to taking in other people's needs, not just his.  You could also ask him what his thoughts for the future are, how he intends to do his 50% of childcare, how he sees you setting up your lives with him living somewhere else, what his plans are for counselling the children through his actions.  No doubt he hasn't given this much thought about the damage he is doing to his children, but as a parent, that should be his first thought.  Maybe ask him to start thinking of how he is effecting them and his responsibility for getting his head straight in order to limit the damage he is doing to you and them.  At the moment, he sounds pretty much like he is only thinking of himself.
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Chucka
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Re: Devastated by husband's announcement

Postby Chucka » Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:44 pm

I love BalhamDaddy's comment. 

I have heard great things about "Retrouvaile" marriage help programme - even for couples who thought they stood no chance of staying together.  Life is long and a marriage is worth saving.  I know he has turned down counselling but maybe suggest to try this in good faith before he asks you and the children to  "accept"  what he suggests.
 
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