Marriage and the Husband-Wife Relationship/Feeling lost
QUESTION: Dear Liam,
My husband shared in January that he is unhappy and does not love me anymore. Things have slowly begun to change (ex: we sleep in same bed still and he hugs me goodnight, but no more kisses, saying I love you, and no longer wears his ring). We still watch tv/movies after dinner and weekends together. I can tell that he does not always want to spend time together, like going through the motions. I have been excusing myself early to go to bed to give him more space. As well as suggesting other things to break up time like games/going to movies (which has failed so far). Should I continue to give more space to do his own thing? Should I initiate saying I love you, even though he stopped? We had a miscarriage in December but he said it is not relevant.
I found out he has feelings for a coworker (I saw this in a message to his male coworker by accident). I wrote a letter letting him know that I was aware and how it makes me feel. I did not mention I saw a message though. He said I was mistaken, that he would not betray me and it would not be worth ruining our marriage for. This coworker may be aware of his feelings but I know it has not been reciprocated. It is painful knowing he spends each day with this person and it is taking his time and attention. Its hard that I cannot meet his needs at this time. The thought of being replaced is devastating to think about. Will this crush fade? Should I bring it up again in person?
I have done my best to be patient, limiting heavy talks, making my own changes, and checking my emotions (I got defensive at first and starting to let resentment get the best of me). It has been extremely difficult for me to do Overall. Is this a good approach to have? I am concerned with the materials he is reading. He said they are supporting his feelings but I have read that unhappiness and lack of love can happen. I told him I appreciated and loved him and want to reconnect and get through this together. He seems focused on how long it has been and he does not think he feels the same. I am scared and hope our marriage is saved.
I appreciate you reading this and for your thoughts,
ANSWER: Hello Judith,
Sorry to hear what you are going through; sometimes this situation feels like a slow death. I don't think there has been anything wrong with your approach - but the trouble is there hasn't been too much right with it either! That's why you're not getting the response you want.
The key word here (which you have mentioned) is "feelings". Ask yourself this question: "How can I put more positive emotion into my relationship with my husband?".
Why does he have "feelings" for someone else? It's because the situation with them makes him feel good! So you need to figure out how YOU can make him feel good. This is actually more difficult than it seems on the surface, because what we usually start doing is what we think will make the other person feel good, rather than what actually does. But it's all about putting positive emotions into the situation. Take your focus off trying to "fix" the problems and onto growing the good in your life and relationship.
I hope this gives you a place to start. For more detailed info have a listen to episode 7 of my podcast (available on my website) and check out my 7-day Stop Your Divorce program. Both will give you a lot more ideas.
All the best and hang in there,
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
The feedback is appreciated. Would it be wise to follow-up to the last conversation about the letter and ask him about his feelings for the coworker? I know he did not admit at that time. Just confused with that part and hope it fades away so he can realize what is important. I will continue with podcasts and committing to saving. Thank you.
The answer to your question is, "Will I be putting more positive emotion into our relationship by doing this?"
Much that you would like to resolve things and find out what is going on, it would probably only make things worse. So try to let it go and focus on the positive. Then see what happens!
All the best,