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Mark Manley
Mark Manley, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 402
Experience:  Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Over 15 years exp. Married 30 years and happy.
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my husband is not in love with me anymore. its been several

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my husband is not in love with me anymore. it's been several years;he describes it as "there's just something not there anymore, something missing". i feel that love is a choice. he does not agree; what do you say to a couple in which one has fallen out of love w/ the other? we married almost 10 years, w/ two small children
I am sorry to hear about your sad situation. Can you give me a little more information so I can help you better. Sorry if these questions bring up more pain.

Is there someone else?

Has your appearance changed substantially?

How is/was your sex life?

I look forward to hearing from you.
Mark Manley

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Initially, when all this came about, I did discover my husband had been corresponding w/ an ex girlfriend from highschool via facebook, text messages, phone calls; they even met up together 2 or 3 times; this all transpired over 3 months, and it has been 2 1/2 years since. I understand why and how it happened; we had drifted apart and were very busy w/ jobs and children, not really paying much attention to one another. we weren't talking much, and for that time period were not intimate... we both admit to being lazy and getting used to not having sex. All in all, I do understand that it was a time in his life in which he was lonely, and she filled a need for him. He firmly claims they were just friends and nothing happened and he had no romantic feelings for her. There has been no contact in a very long time as far as I know. I may have thought initially that she was the reason for "all this", but I know now that that is not the case. My husband will say that he doesn't know when or how, but somehow along the way his feelings changed. To answer your next question, I will tell you that I may be 10-15 lbs heavier than when we married, but I am still just as beautiful. I take very good care of myself- I work out, I always look nice- I always have my make up on; I take great pride in my appearance. My husband will say that this has nothing to do w/ how I look. He still thinks I'm drop dead gorgeous. It's just that those feelings are "not there anymore". And really, I am kind and have a really good reputation; I'm bright; I have a BSN and have been working as a RN for 12 years. Now, as for your last question, we have a very active sex life. I will remind you that for a time period we were not having sex, but we now have it several times a week, and that's been for over 2 years now. But my husband has boundaries; he never kisses me intimately, and honestly, it's great sex, but not making love, which I yearn for. I really just don't get it. He is all over me in the bedroom, but it's not the way it should be. He never tells me he loves me- ever; he says that's b/c he doesn't want to be fake; he wants to mean it when he says it. I know couples can re connect when something like this happens in a marriage; but my husband has this wall up and he just won't let me in. When we talk about separating, he often says that I deserve better- I deserve someone to love me the way I should be loved, that I deserve someone better than him, someone who can give me what he can't. I still love my husband very much; but when someone doesn't reciprocate that love, anger seeps in. I feel angry all the time, and I know that doesn't help at all to be that way. When we met and fell in love, it was magical. It was all that I thought it should be. But I'm committed; I'm fighting so hard to keep this marriage together; a lot of it is for the sake of the kids, but also b/c I don't believe divorce is the answer; I don't think we would all be better off as a family if Jason and I were divorced.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Two and a half years ago my husband came up to me and said his feelings for me had changed. I knew things were off, but I never would have thought this. We were very busy managing careers and a house and two small children. But we had lost sight of each other; we weren't really talking, and we weren't being intimate sexually. I found out he had re connected w/ and old highschool girlfriend via Facebook. They exhanged phonecalls, text messages, e mails and corresponded via Facebook; they even met up 2 or 3 times that I know of. And I understand why it happened; he was feeling lonely and ignored and she was there to listen and laugh with and make him feel good. So I get it. As far as I know, there has been no contact for over 2 years and he states they were only just friends.
You asked if my appearance has changed; not really; I may be 10 lbs heavier than when we married, but I am still just as beautiful. I am told that all the time. My husband even says my looks have nothing to do with any of this; he thinks I'm drop dead gorgeous. But he just doesn't feel the same way about me any more. It's a shame, really, b/c I am just as beautiful on the inside as the outside. And I'm stable, you know? I have no real issues; I have good job; I'm well educated. I work as an RN in a busy ER, and I've been at the same job for over 12 years.I contribute greatly to the finances in this household. I have a very good reputation. And I'm a wonderful mother; I maintain a clean, organized household and we have two wonderful children.
As for our sex life, there was a time when we weren't having sex; but when all this surfaced, that immediately changed; we are now intimate several times a week. It's wonderful, but it's not making love, which I yearn for. My husband is all over me in the bedroom, but it's not what it should be. He never says I love you, and he with holds physical affection from me outside of the bedroom. He says that he doesn't want to be fake; that he cannot act on feelings that he doesn't really have. That's when we argue about love being a choice versus a feeling. He has this wall up and he will not let me in.
Something is going on with him that you don't know about yet. I don't know what it is but some puzzle piece(s) are still missing here.

Possibilities are: Midlife crises, more involved (at least mentally) with the other woman than you know, emotional block to attachment due to childhood emotional trauma, low level depression, unrealistic relationship expectations (you are in the working phase of your relationship vs. honeymoon or early stage),
difficulty dealing with the demands of marriage and family with young children in the picture. Or something else I haven't guessed.

What ever it may be he may or may not be conscious of the issue(s).

The best thing he could do, if he says he wants to work at the relationship, is to close all escape hatches, in every way, (mentally, physically, emotionally), and "act as if" until the feeling comes back.

Marriage Fitness with Mort Fertel (you can find him online) is a very good program to help with this.

Also some individual therapy around any of the issues above may be helpful for your husband as well.

He has a lot too loose and of course you and your kids do as well if he can't find his way through this.

Don't be afraid to be firm in your expectations/demands of him regarding working through this situation.

If you are the type of person who has difficulty with confrontation and assertiveness do what ever it takes to change because you may need to be very firm with him regarding your insistence that he work through his issues. I see in what you have written above that you do fight with him sometimes, good for you. Your healthy marriage is worth fighting for.

Be Strong.
Mark Manley

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