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  Posted to group - Should I Stay or Should I Go    <<Previous    Next>>

What do I do when my husband tells me he loves me, but he is NOT IN LOVE with me?

I am brand new to this site today.  I just happened upon it when I read an article in the paper by someone from divorce360.  I have heard those dreaded words from my husband 'I love you, but I am not in love with you.'  He tried to turn it around on me and say that I probably felt the same way.  I love my husband more than anything, although I have a funny way of showing it he says.  I do not want a divorce.  How do you make your husband fall back in love with you?  He said we need to take things a step at a time and start with just being nice to each other.  We have 2 young kids.  Needless to say, this is not what I imagined with him.  I just ordered the 5 CDs on Marriage Fitness.  I hope that is a start.  I really want to get back on track with our relationship and be emotionally connected again.  I almost feel like I am on some trial-basis with my husband.  As if one day, he will say 'ok, I love my wife again' or 'no, it's just not working out for me.'  I feel like it is unfair, like I am living in limbo.  He said that is the best answer he can give me right now-that he really doesn't know what he wants, but he does want to try and save our marriage.  He also told me 'I want to be happy.'  To me, it sounds like he is trying to let me down gently.  Am I just grasping at straws?  Is this going to turn around?  I don't want this marriage to end, but I have to wonder.  I know there has got to be others like me, that have heard those words from their spouse before.  What did you do?  Thank you for letting me share.

by bugganess   20 Posts 
Posted on 4/10/2011 2:16 PM
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Answers for "What do I do when my husband tells me he loves me, but he is NOT IN LOVE with me?"  (55) (You must be logged in to answer)

At least he was honest with you.
If he is still willing to work on the marriage then GO FOR IT..
Counseling..take some time away just for the two of you. Work on what it was that made you both fall in love in the begining.
You don't fall out of love..when you really love someone you always do. Those feelings may diminish but they are always there.
Keep us posted. I hope that things work out. Sometimes it happens..
Rekindle your love..work on the romance..and sponitanity. When /if you go to counseling...be willing to work on things as they arise..
by mtnvly   4119 Posts
Posted on 4/21/2011 8:59 AM

Take a deep breath...  You don't know what you don't know and making assumptions is not productive (suggest you read the Four Agreements).  Marriage Fitness is a good start, for both of you, as is individual counciling.  And remember that "love" is also a verb - it's the way you act, the things you do, not just a feeling.  You both need to understand that everyone falls in and out of love multiple times in any long-term relationship, that's normal.  If he wants to try, tell him to put up or shut up; put the ring on and commit to falling back in love with you by being in love with you through his words and actions, the feelings will follow his action.  If he won't try, at least you'll be able to look at yourself in the mirror and know that you tried, and that's invaluable.  Good luck!
by Fixer   4 Posts
Posted on 4/15/2011 7:36 PM

We have been doing a lot of talking lately.  Probably more than we have ever talked in the last two years.  I wish we were having these conversations two years ago and been more proactive because it would not have gotten to this point otherwise.  Believe it or not, my husband was the one who approached me probably a year and a half ago about going to counseling cuz he thought that we just weren't insync and disagreeing about everything.  I was the one who said I wasn't interested because in my mind yes, we weren't getting along but I didn't think it was that bad.  No one wants to admit that things aren't going great.  I thought, let's just talk more and be nicer to each other and things will fix itself.  Well, a year or more later, here we are again and it isn't better.  We just weren't considerate of each other's feelings, didn't show much affection and just didn't take time out for each other.  As he put it, we were more like roommates for awhile.  We stopped being each other's best friend or took one another for granted.  He thought that I wasn't in love with him anymore, so as he put it, he just felt void of any emotion after awhile. He wondered why I didn't take him seriously before when he mentioned we needed help.  I guess I finally had my wake-up call.  We have both agreed that we will try to get things back on track.  I have already learned some valuable tips from Mort Fertel's Marriage Fitness.  Some of the fixes seem so obvious like talk nicer and touch more.  We just weren't doing that, but we are hoping to have that  become a natural part of our relationship again.  We don't want it to seem forced or fake. He will have his way and I will have my way, but ultimately, we are both hoping that these little things will improve our relationship and marriage.  I am optimistic at this point.  Time will tell.  At least we are in agreement that we both want the same thing: a healthier, happier marriage and to improve for our kids.
by bugganess   20 Posts
Posted on 4/14/2011 7:11 PM

also....he has had some time to emotionally check out or start to by this time...mine didnt want the divorce...he wanted to have her* and at thesame token wanted to have me in the wings just in case....he has since said he has regrets.....but after this tornado left town....no way in hell would i go back after the aftermath....

keep a very close eye on it...
by __STRIKER__   2341 Posts
Posted on 4/14/2011 7:45 AM


Oh boy, do I remember those words. What do they mean? If you analyze them, can you decipher what they mean? I was so confused, I didn't know what to think.

Then I came across the Marriage Fitness program, like you did. I did it by myself, even though I was skeptical. It completely changed my life. I found that by focusing on my wife's needs instead of my own, I was empowered to become a phenomenal husband. Think of it like being a tower of moral authority and selfless love. Your spouse cannot help but be influenced by a person of that character, and will be inspired themselves to change. That is what happened in my marriage. It tooks about 3 months for our relationship to start to heal, but here we are 3 years later and happily married.

So, my advice is to embrace Mort Fertel's words of wisdom.

Wishing you all the best,

Take care.

by zhugeliang   2 Posts
Posted on 4/13/2011 8:14 PM

He said he's not in love with you. Believe him. A man who wants to fix the marriage doesn't say that - EVER.

Yes, counseling will give him time to arrange things his way as he keeps you off balance.

This is like watching a slow motion train wreck. I know I can't change your mind because you don't want to acknowledge yet that your marriage is over. My heart breaks for you. We'll be here to pick up the pieces.
by bluebird   3248 Posts
Posted on 4/13/2011 4:37 PM

We have been talking a lot the last couple of days.  I have told him I want to make sure that we are trying to both make an effort to get things back on track with our marriage.  I told him I don't want to be the one doing it.  I said that I am not going to be reading these ways to improve our marriage and learning about 'Marriage Fitness' if he isn't going to make an effort either.  I don't want to be the  only one who has to improve and show my undying love for my spouse and show how much I care.  I want some of the same from him.  Right now, I guess time will only tell.  He said that he wouldn't have come to me in the first place about trying to communicate and get into counseling if he didn't want things to work out with me.  He said that he would have left awhile ago if he didn't care about me. He said he does care.  Maybe it's a start.For now, I have to believe that.  Like many of you have said, all I can do is work on my end and he has to work on his end.  Ultimately, I hope that what we do brings us closer together.  I told him that I had been talking to people online about this because, believe it or not, it helps to vent and read about other people's similar experiences. I don't want to talk to my family and friends about this because I am hoping to get things back on track and only talk to them if it becomes necessary.  I  know that many of you will think I am trying to hold onto false hope, but I am willing to try anything now and see what effort he puts in as well.  If there is no effort on his part to improve our marriage and he is distant, then I probably have my final answer.
by bugganess   20 Posts
Posted on 4/13/2011 11:59 AM

When your husband tells you he loves you, but is not IN love with you, stops wearing his wedding ring, conveniently loses it, you find yourself the best lawyer you can, along with a good counselor to help you get through the next few months.  IF he really is interested in fixing your marriage, he'll work just as hard as you.  If, instead, he puts all the work on you to 'fix' things, he's not interested in fixing the marriage, he's interested in someone else. 

I wish I could be optimistic, but like many others here, I heard a similar line.  I also had my ex look me in the eyes more than once and swear he wasn't having an affair.  I wish I could tell you he was telling the truth, but I found out the hard way that he was lying through his teeth.  Eventually, I came to be grateful.

As your husband is an attorney himself, he knows first hand that it's in HIS interest to keep you in the dark.  Divorce, even the most amicable, is an expensive business.  It's devastating emotionally, too, but time is a great healer.  Time will tell.  It will either put you and your marriage back on the road to recovery, or bring you here again.  I hope that your stay here will be short.  Regardless, protect yourself and your children.  When your spouse tells you he isn't 'in love' with you anymore, the warning signs are there.
by stCheshirecat   2624 Posts
Posted on 4/12/2011 10:09 PM

Oh my gosh....I am so sorry. I heard those words a while back, then we went to marriage counseling twice a week for six weeks. then I found proof of the emotional affair. It was damning evidence, not even woth trying to deny, e-mails to and from her. One week later she said "divorce or separation" we tried the separation, it lasted about two weeks, then she told me, she just was never coming back.

 I am sorry this is happening to you, I admit I have not read all of the replys, but, you got the dreaded words, and he "lost" his ring. In 17 years of marriage I never lost my wedding ring. I always knew exactly where it was. When I needed to remove it, (work) it was in my pocket, and back on ASAP. If I did lose it I would have told my wife right away, not wait for her to ask.

 I do not know if your husband is having an affair, but I would bet yes.
 At the very least, he is "done" with the marriage, he may want to save it, but unfortunately by the time those words come, it's too late. I hope you can make it work, I hope you can be the exception, if you want try, keep trying, but, be prepared. Your life is about to be turned upside down.

 Keep posting and asking questions, we are all here to help.


by VillageIdiot   444 Posts
Posted on 4/12/2011 6:49 PM

The x looked me straight in the eyes the day he left and said there was no one else - then went to that one the same day. 

He doesnt' want you to tell your friends because he's already told them something else. He wants them to believe his lies.

He's not wearing his ring? He's having an affair.

I feel that maybe this is too straight, but you need to hear the truth. I am so sorry. See a counselor. I might be wrong, but this is the most likely thing.
by bluebird   3248 Posts
Posted on 4/12/2011 6:20 PM

What would you say if you wanted to stay married but had problems in the marriage? I'd say we have to talk, I am feeling this or that, we need to do this. Our marriage is off track. Would you say I'm not in love with you and I want to be happy? No. This is what you say when you want a divorce. 

This is what I would do if I had a chance to do it over. 
Get into counseling. 
Get a good lawyer right away. 

Get all of your financial records in order. 
Figure out what you want your life to look like after he is gone.

Tell all of your friends. They';re going to find out sooner or later and they might know something that would help you now.
If you do work it out, what damage have you done? None. At some point even if you stay married one of you is going to die, so you need to know where you stand financially anyway.

I did everything the x ever wanted me to do. It didn;t matter. Romance? How about revisiting the place where you spent your honeymoon? He took me on that trip, his idea - right before he walked out the door.

Your husband loves your or not. He says not. Believe him and take care of you. I am so, so sorry and I do know how much this hurts.
by bluebird   3248 Posts
Posted on 4/12/2011 6:10 PM

I said the same words to my now ex.  There was no one else, but the emotional abandonment had take its toll on me.  I tried every way I knew how to get him to understand the way I was feeling, seeing things, experiencing things.

Can I look at that man today and say I love him?  Of course I can.  He's the father of my kids.  He was my best friend for 15 years.  But, I also know that too much has happened to kill the love a woman has for her husband.  He killed any shred of respect and honor I had for him at one time. 

I don't know if this helps or not, but I can assure you that from my end, I was more than willing to do the work needed to save my marriage.
by Dactyl   5834 Posts
Posted on 4/12/2011 5:21 PM

(...Continued) Limbo could be your best friend for a while if you choose to work this through together - and if you do choose to work together remember these things:   First and foremost, take care of YOU!;   You are still married for better or worse (worse does NOT include dealbreaker issues!!!) consider this a time of "worse" and part of your marriage;   Your husband didn't get to this point overnight, he's not going to sort it all out overnight;    You'll need to reach into your inner most depths for patience, understanding, and support of yourself as well as him;    Don't allow yourself to be treated like a doormat, (respect for each other should remain) tune into your intuition, give yourself time to process and sort through his words/actions (make sure they are in sync and question when they are inconsistent); Don't forget he is on this roller coaster ride also - be as kind and gentle as you can. Take any opportunity for communicating and communicate effectively! You are in my thoughts - best to you both.
by googdood   1080 Posts
Posted on 4/12/2011 3:05 PM

I heard those dreaded words from my husband two years ago...I was devestated! He didn't want a divorce (and I certainly didn't!), but he told me he was unhappy. He wanted things to be the way they were before we were married...before life, family, and responsibilities, took over so rampantly that we forgot about us in our marriage.

I've got a different take on this because of what I am going through with my husband (yes, still but we are making progress) - To me, your husbands words/actions suggest he feels something is "missing" that was there before. To say he "loves you but is not in love with you" is something speculation cannot extract what he truely means. Perhaps he needs help expressing/sorthing out what he meant...he may not know and is why he says he doesn't know what he wants. The two of you can try and talk it out together...if he feels the need for "space" between you as a means of getting back to himself (as an individual, not the roles) allow him that with boundaries discussed between you. I suggest consideration of counselling for both of you.

When two people "fall in love", its because each person views and is accepting of the other as a whole person. A person able and wanting to share a life with you and visa versa - physical attraction, mutual goals/values, emotional support, and in general whatever the "it" value is between the two. The two of you committed to each other with this kind of forethought, I assume. So after all these years together, for him to say he loves you but is not "in love" with you suggests something with the mutual, whole person, attraction package is different, has changed, or weaked, in some way. Perhaps he feels this has occurred on both ends. Whatever is going on for him at this point in time, he is at a crossroads. (Continued...)
by googdood   1080 Posts
Posted on 4/12/2011 2:54 PM

Oh...and as for what I did....I asked about going to marriage counseling to try and save our 20 year marriage.

He said no. He contacted a mediator. He went into therapy.

I concentrated on saving my house.

In the end, I saved the house, he paid the mediator and we parted ways fairly amicably.

He is still in therapy...but has a "wonderful" new girlfriend that he just moved in with...good luck to her! 

by zuki   801 Posts
Posted on 4/11/2011 8:28 PM

I'm not going to candy-coat it.  He's done checked out of the marriage, honey.

Those words are the kiss of death to marriage.  I wish it were not true...

Miracles do happen and I do think you hsould explore every venue possible to reconcile, but my gut feeling is, there is someone else.

by rubyslippers   2625 Posts
Posted on 4/11/2011 8:25 PM

Now that I read your comments about his wedding ring, may I have a take-over?

He may not have found anyone with whom he'd like to be with, but he's looking. Once that happens, it's pretty much over. He's checked out, and is now open to finding someone new.

I heard the same thing about loving me but not being in love with me, and my ex was having an affair at the time.
by Natalie   1518 Posts
Posted on 4/11/2011 8:15 PM

Ah yes, I received the same line.....and feel the same way as Iam posted...they already have one foot out the door and think they are being kind by using this cliched bit of clap-trap on us.

Good luck, hope things work out for your marriage - if that's what you really want.
by zuki   801 Posts
Posted on 4/11/2011 8:11 PM

Thank you for all of your responses.  By the way, my husband is an attorney.  Figures, right?  There will be more posted later I am sure...This really is helpful to share this with people with similar experiences.  I don't know if I can share this with my family or close friends right now.  They really have no idea what our current state of our relationship is.  We are not the fighting in public or bad-mouthing couple, so I think they would be shocked to find out things are not so great.  He thinks I worry too much what people think, but I think he should be more worried since his "good guy" image is going to take a hit with his friends who are all family guys who are committed to their wives.
by bugganess   20 Posts
Posted on 4/11/2011 6:26 PM

My first reaction to your question was to tell you to put your finger down your throat and puke on his shoes.

Perhaps I've been around here too long, but I see others agree with me that this is the most overused, cliched line in relationship-speak.  Yes, it most likely means that he is "in love" with someone else.  What he doesn't realize is a good part of his physiological response when she texts him is due to the excitement of doing something "forbidden."

Maybe he's long gone, and maybe he's just teetering on the edge of doing something he'll really regret.  You can try to win him back with "date nights" and such, but if his response to that is similar to his response to you finding his ring for him, good luck.

(Just for grins, ask him how he would feel about tattooing your name on his ring finger instead of buying another gold one for him to lose.)
by mike1493   3673 Posts
Posted on 4/11/2011 2:11 PM

my ex told me that his ring became to loose on him....my guess is he *hocked* it in the lake while driving over the causeway...also he was envolved in a affair that had been going on for some time....

i say run* to an attorney ( and a good one) so that you can get the upper hand on this...

don't sit back and try to fix something he doesn't want to fix...those words

I love you but i am not in love with you* hold deep secrets...just my opinion...
by __STRIKER__   2341 Posts
Posted on 4/11/2011 1:12 PM

As much as you love him, and want to save your marriage, he has told you that he is not in love with you. And as much as it hurts, the truth is, you cannot make him feel something he doesn't. Your background story tells alot more than what this thread here does, and you have every right to suspect that he is having some sort of a relationship with someone else, whether emotional or physical does not matter. In my opinion, emotional affairs are much more damaging to a marriage.
I was the unhappy one in my marriage, after years of verbal and emotional abuse. I was the one who became emotionally unattached, after unsuccessfully trying to convince him that we needed help. I was the one who told him I no longer loved him, and I was the one who ultimately fell in love with a long time friend, and ended my marriage.
I speak from experience here. Once you emotionally detach yourself, even though you deal with feelings of guilt, and you truly feel bad for your 'spouse' because as a person, as the parent of your children, you truly do care about them...there usually is no going back. One foot is out the door, and it is only a matter of time.

Why do you want to be with someone who openly admits he is not in love with you? Everyone deserves to feel loved. I would never settle for less than that.

by tormented   128 Posts
Posted on 4/11/2011 12:53 PM

Thank you to everyone who has answered me back. I might also add that he no longer wears his wedding ring either. We have been married for over 12 years. The only time he took his ring off was when he was golfing. When I noticed that he wasn't wearing it for the last couple of months, he replied that it was still in his golf bag and he had just forgotten to get it out. So, I got it for him. He wore it one day and then took it off later the next day and said he put it in his pocket. Now, it is lost! He said he looked everywhere and apologized to me for losing it and said he would get another one. A month later when I asked if he was ever going to get another one, he replied that he didn't really want to have that discussion again. Conveniently, he lost it but he seems to be in no hurry to go out and get another one. It wasn't so much the cost of the ring, but more the sentimental value of it for me which I feel like he doesn't care about anymore. He says he wants us to get along and be happy and he even has suggested counseling. I just feel like he is emotionally detatched from me. Him telling me that he isn't really in love with me, does nothing for my self-esteem and security in our marriage. I know there are things I need to do to show him I still love him and have his best interest at heart, but all I ask is a little of the same thing in return. I guess I have been a little skeptical of counseling because I know it is expensive and I don't know if it will solve everything, but I am willing to try anything at this point to save what I think we still have. I have also asked him point blank if there was anyone else (which he denied and said there isn't anybody else he wants to be with). It's like, so there's nobody else, but you just don't want to be with me. I  feel like I am left hanging, waiting for an answer from him. Makes me sick to my stomach. Honestly, if it weren't for the kids, I think he would've considered leaving me a year ago. Thnx for letting me vent!
by bugganess   20 Posts
Posted on 4/11/2011 11:50 AM

Get into counseling, both as a couple and on your own.  Whatever is going on, he's 10 steps ahead of you.

If he's willing to do the work to repair your marriage then great.  One person can't do it alone. 

Everyone  has their ups and downs, but it's the one's who don't give up, look outside their marriage for a quick fix who make it.

Good luck!
by Kitty7470   3803 Posts
Posted on 4/10/2011 9:24 PM

I agree with Milli, date night can do much to set those sparks flying again.  Surprise him with a special treat and do something out of the ordinary to create the environment when you first dated him.  It's more difficult with kids and the rest but make the effort.  He will appreciate it.  Then let him know it's his turn the following week.  Best of luck!
by curious123   1430 Posts
Posted on 4/10/2011 9:16 PM

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