Real Relationship Advice
We are often asked about unrequited love. This is not an easy subject to just give a few words about so we decided to take our time to formulate an answer and devote a week to these questions specifically. Here is today’s question:
I have been married for 12 years and I thought everything was going pretty good. Last month, my husband told me he didn’t love me and believes he never loved me. I thought he was going to ask for a divorce and he told me that he will not leave me. I have been walking around in a fog ever since. I can’t believe he doesn’t love me. I don’t know whether to pretend that he never said that or do something about it. Maybe counseling? What do I do?
First may I say that that conversation must have been devastating to you? I am sorry you had to go through that. That being said, counseling is for a couple who has an issue they wish to work through. The couple has to be committed to the marriage. He appears to be committed but what is the real issue? The issue is that he was honest with you and said he didn’t love you. I know that is hard to hear but he was being honest with you.
Now, what you should do is totally up to you. You can pretend he never said that and you can go on with your life, oblivious to the knowledge that your husband does not love you. You can also decide that you deserve better. Yes, your husband is probably a good guy. He is great with the kids, nice to animals and considerate to all. However, he does not love you. I am not repeating this to make you angry but I am being clear with you.
He is your friend. He is not your husband. Yes, you may be legally married but I am referring to the deeper sense of someone who loves you. If you recall the vows you took they probably mentioned the word love, honor and cherish. He probably honors you but cannot cop to the rest. The real question is, are you really happy? Were things really “pretty good”? Did you feel loved and fulfilled as a woman? Did you feel wanted?
If you answered ‘no’ to any of these questions you need to ask yourself if you feel that you deserve better. You need to decide that you are an amazing woman and deserving of love, not friendship. You deserve a husband who is crazy about you and loves everything about you.
I understand that you are married and that there have been many married people who do not love each other who have had nice lives. However, the reality is they have settled for ‘nice’ when they could have been ‘happy’! Ultimately it is your decision but I think a conversation is in order. Perhaps he is having a mid-life crisis or even a period of ennui. Regardless, discuss how you feel honestly with no expectation as to the outcome of the conversation. You may decide to go to counseling or perhaps he alone should go. Regardless of the outcome, choose to be happy and work at that. How it will look when you get there, your guess is as good as mine.
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So sorry to hear your tale. It must have been a devastating blow to hear such words from your husband. I can't even begin to imagine how that makes you feel so like the guys have said people can only offer advice from a rationale perspective which is always the kind of advice that is easier said than done but here goes... If your husband really doesn't love you I'm not sure such a thing can ever be mended. Sure you can stick together out of loyalty and friendship and some people cohabit for years together without any physical love but you need to ask yourself whether you can live with that. Life is fleeting and precious so you really need to think whether you are willing to live such a life or whether you deserve more. I'm feeling the latter as everyone deserves love and to be loved. So whilst the enormity of the situation probably puts the fear of God into your heart the sooner you deal with the situation a step at a time the better.
I say this because I have known couples stay together "for the kids" or "because no one else will have me" and they always tend to live to regret it. 10, 15, 20 years pass before they realize they should have started over and sometimes, by then, it is too late. So if you truly believe your husband doesn't love you, and you really do need to sit down and discuss that at length before going any further, then you may need to face difficult decisions. The only consolation being the sooner you start the sooner you are likely to find happiness again.
I wish you luck and big love.