Once loving husband no longer loving

by Mae
(Lincoln Nebraska )

I am at a loss and I need advice. Advice more constructive than “just talk to him” or “leave him now” preferably.

My husband and I have been together for several years. In the beginning of our relationship I had a mental health flare up so to speak and I said terrible things I did not mean, like I wanted to be over and hated him. it was manipulative and very bad on my part, and also the only way I knew how to deal with emotion given my childhood (mom was an addict terrible anger management and mood swings, neglect sexual assault, had terrible relationships they screamed at each other all hours of the night left played games etc).

I responded desperately to him requesting a two week break, crying begging pleading demanding seeing him at least once a week acting happy until the end of the night when I’d fall apart asking for him back. this made a two week break extend into a three month break. And he eventually chose to end things with me and about ten days later I was going on a date with someone else and as I walked into the movie theatre he sent me a text saying he missed me. Looking back I understand I reacted poorly to his need for space and when I felt familiar feelings of abandonment I responded in a way that was unhelpful. I continue to have that problem but I did not want to get back together at that point because I was still hurt about all the times he was not there for me during our break. We also still had sex once a week and this was different because we did not live together have kids were not married etc.

we ended up getting back together but I always felt like he was in the wrong for how he treated me on our break. I brought up old stuff frequently once we made amends, and I was always asking more of him and criticizing him, we had great inside jokes went to an eight week parenting class had tons of fun vacations and adventures together and were the type of couple who cuddled all night.

I did not realize what I was doing when I’d make little comments like he was not passionate enough of a lover or I wanted more surprises though he already did lots of romantic gestures. I would get emotional from time to time because I still have not dealt with stuff from my past. I don’t think he knew how to handle this and I’m now realizing the whole time I demanded more love from him I actually needed it from me.

My mom when my son was born told me I did not deserve him that she could kill me herself spit in my face and told me that my husband was going to cheat on me and all men are bad parents and actually went as far to break into my apartment when I blocked her. I’ve dealt with her irrational behavior my whole life and while I have not made it to her level I see similarities in myself like my emotional responses and manipulative responses trying to get my partner to do what I want and show them how hurt I am by threatening and belittling.

My husband has some of the same issues like saying he will kill himself if I don’t work with him, crying begging etc. I understand some dynamics of our relationship are not healthy and I understand why even though this is a small percentage of the time, it may warrant space. We had an argument after opening a joint account and I told him I felt lonely and said I regretted some things and he immediately left when I said that I’m sure he had it with me constantly criticizing him he said he felt he didn’t make me happy said I didn’t encourage him to see his friends enough which I can now see but he could have asked me if he wanted to see his friends and every time he’s asked I’ve said yes.

But after this things started to drastically change and he would not have a conversation with me about it he won’t tell me what he needs if he wants to work on this if he needs space if he wants to be a family still. He doesn’t even know if he can commit to renewing our lease. I told him I’d give him a designated guy night a week if he thought that’d be sufficient and maybe I could have a girls night and we could try couples counseling all to which he said he’s not happy doesn’t know
what he wants and maybe on the counseling.

Since then things have gotten worse and better, he’s stayed out very late claiming to be doing maintenance calls but I’ve found him instead being with friends and I confronted him by staying at the place he was when he said he was somewhere else and he laughed in my face when I cried said he didn’t give a fuck if I didn’t believe him, etc. I was tired of the disrespect tired of trying to understand his needs and intentions and working so hard on myself. I even started therapy and am trying to make real changes and not respond emotionally.

Since Sunday I’ve been staying on people’s couches and I don’t know whether to go home or give him space. I don’t know how much contact is too much and honestly with the way he’s been lying and laughing in my face and constantly running off to be with his friends and avoid me and not caring about my feelings at all, I’m starting to lose respect and feelings which may also be what happened with him in regards to me. I don’t know what to do because I can’t talk to him and it feels better to not be with him right now.

I don’t want to tell him how I feel but honestly I’ve been starting to think about a life without him, I want to better myself for my son and future relationships so I need to make some real changes but all I know about what he’s feeling is what his mom has told me, he’s not ready to talk, lied about where he was to be left alone, thinks we might have moved too fast, is not ready to throw in the towel and has said this probably won’t last forever he does plan on talking to me at some point, I can come home if I want, and I haven’t lost him. I am willing to work on this if he is, I didn’t mention a lot of his mistakes that I forgave him for because I’ve honestly decided it’s time to stop letting it be relevant. I don’t want to carry the grudge anymore even if he does call it quits. And I’m not ready to tell him he’s doing a lot of damage by being mean inconsiderate slightly selfish and childish... I’m not ready to tell him I’m slowly losing love and that I want a partner who will get through these times and fight with me for a healthy relationship. I know I’ve messed up but I still feel I can’t hold this relationship alone.

I want him to read this article but don’t want to criticize and don’t think he’ll read it. I want this to work out but I’m feeling less passionate about it everyday that passes with no affection, he literally scowls when I touch him when he used to be a clingy loving man he doesn’t joke with me even though we used to constantly, he doesn’t Care when I cry or talk when he used to relentlessly talk to me and force me to talk whenever he noticed something slightly off and wouldn’t let me sleep until we resolved it, doesn’t want to spend time with me when he used to race home, doesn’t touch me when he used to randomly pat my back or give me a loving touch all the time, doesn’t feel the need to be honest with me when he used to tell me everything even stuff he hadn’t told his friends, he’s been cold and distant and I just need advice and to vent.

I know I suck which is why this is anonymous but please tell me any similar experiences even if it’s a personal message or what you think I should do. Thank you if you read this far. We also aren’t technically on a break have no guidelines for who sees our son when or when we’re going to talk and I’m in the dark completely. I’ve already tried asking questions and expressing a sincere desire to work on things and feel that has only made things worse and it would be unhelpful to repeat myself and making him say I love you hugging him only pushes him further away. Things had been going really well for several months before I had a weird depressive week and that overly emotional argument st the bank. He always wanted to talk on the phone after work and would be sad when I’d get off would constantly text me “I miss you WIFE” would act cute and pout to get attention and “loves.” and now doesn’t speak or touch at all. This behavior has been going on about ten days.

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