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isn't love supposed to be forever?

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Old 08-16-2005, 07:56 PM   #1
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joep1016 HB User
Question isn't love supposed to be forever?

I need some advice and figure what the hell go to the internet.

My wife of 21 years has decided all of a sudden that she doesn't love me anymore. She likes me but is not in love with me anymore. She doesn't want a divorce(yet) and wants us to stay together but not like we were.

I retired from the Navy 2 years ago. We have 3 kids, b11, b16 and g19. Our daughter just followed in daddy's footsteps and joined the Navy. She has been gone for 1 year now. I have been working as a restaurant manager since leaving the Navy. My wife has been a stay at home mom for most of our marriage. She did home based business's (Avon, Tuperware, Mary Kay, Discovery toys and a few others). She did well with all of them but never stuck with anything long enough to make a lot of $$$. Money has never been a problem for us. Last year she decided to get a Job in retail sales and is doing very well there. She will be in management training by next year. She also was heavily involved with activities that our kids were into like scouts and baseball and dance and gymnastics. Things have been good in our marriage and our life together. All of the kids are very smart and none are into drugs or wearing their pants around their ankles. We have a great house with a pool and both of drive nice cars.

She says that her feelings are not because of something that I did. I have been faithfull to her for the entire marriage( I know that's hard to believe in these times, but it's true) I love her more than anything and was crushed when we had this discussion. I asked why and all she can say is that we have different dreams and we are drifting in different directions. My dream has always been to have a happy family and loving relationship. When I asked what her dreams were she says, "I don't know"

Some one please tell me if this just a phase that she is going through. Mid life crisis or something? I have suggested counseling. she refused. I've tried leaving flowers and cards and notes saying that I love her and that just pisses her off more. We still sleep in the same bed but i'm not alowed to touch her. She just wants to concentrate on her right now. I think she is obsessed with the new Job too. That is all she wants to talk about. Her friends and family are all just as shocked as I am.

I told her to take all the time she needs and that I will be here for her when and if she wants me again. But this is hard. My heart is breaking.
What can I do to fix my marriage?

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Old 08-16-2005, 08:27 PM   #2
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Gundam HB User
Re: isn't love supposed to be forever?

I'm so sorry to hear that you rmarriage is @ risk. I'm much too young & inexperienced to advice you but I'll throw in my 2 cents anyway.

Would it be someone she met @ her work place? Her excuse is that: - you guys having different dreams, just sounds a bit lame to me. Because if you guys really have different dreams, you & her would have figured that out many years ago. It takes a long long time & much effort & sacrifise to have brought up 3 kids. & obviously you are a caring husband & father, & has been providing all what your family needs, including nice cars ... I just can't visualise what the real problems are.

Or she might just be bored with life, with the marriage. Anything that you can do to create some sparks again? Like take her out to a movie & dinner, follow by a romantic walk on th beach. Most women love that.

I'm only 32 & not married, have a GF. & she constantly say bad things tome just because she needs attention. So maybe that's what your wife needs too ... just my personal guess.

Communication is also very important. Talk to her, find out what's bothering her. I think it's irresponsible to just say "OK I'm fed up with you, but I don't know why yet ..." If she doesn't know, maybe it's wise to try to find out together, as a couple, soul mate & soul mate. But remmeber, don't press too hard that you might push her away.

I hope I have been helpful here in some sort.

Best of luck buddy.

Last edited by Gundam; 08-16-2005 at 08:28 PM.

Old 08-16-2005, 08:48 PM   #3
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glamourgal HB User
Re: isn't love supposed to be forever?

Working at this new job might have opened up career interests in your wife's life that she had pushed away when she was younger in order to be with you while you were in the Navy. She might now be thinking that she "missed out" on being able to follow her dreams (in this area) when she was younger because she was busy being a wife and mother. Now she could be having feelings of resentment towards you because of this.

Old 08-17-2005, 07:07 AM   #4
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kellis HB User
Re: isn't love supposed to be forever?

Hi....I am so sorry to hear about your marriage. I have to say that I commend the both of you for making it work this long and for the fact that you have been totally faithful to your wife! I don't know your whole situation personally, but I feel that maybe she is just starting to venture out into life after having raised kids and taking care of the home,etc. I am a mother of 5 and I know how stressful it is to spread yourself so thin with responsibilities over the years. Maybe you should just give her the space that she needs to grow and be successful in an outside job. I don't think that it means that she don't want to be with you, just that life is taking a different turn right now. If down the line that is the case though, I learned long ago that you cannot make a person love you if they no longer do. You sound like a very loving and caring person and believe me, there are so many women out here looking for a special man like that!! Please don't be down on yourself about this. You have done a great job with your family and if life takes you down different paths now, then all that you can do is make the best of it that you can. But just give her some time and a little space and I guarantee you she will see how lucky she is to have you in her life. I wish you both the best and keep us posted on how things are going!

Old 08-17-2005, 09:39 AM   #5
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martensite HB User
Re: isn't love supposed to be forever?

I can give you my view on the subject since I went through what your wife did, about 6 years ago. I think of it as a mid-life crisis. I got to the point where my husband and I spent a lot of time separate from each other and not as much family time. This was something I desired - so I'm not saying it was the cause. But I went through a lot of soul searching and wondering if I wanted to be married anymore. I too had a new job, which - in a sense - changed me - I grew to become a different (better) person, and either my husband didn't notice or appreciate it, nor was he growing at the same pace. Once again, this was not the cause of my "crisis" but simply contributed to it. I have always been someone who likes change in my life - and my 18 year marriage was not changing (dispite having a child, moving several times, etc). I don't know how to explain it any differently besides the fact that I questioned whether or not I wanted to be married. And I don't know what advice to give you. Because I am now divorced (though my ex and I are on very good terms). But I never could get the feelings back for him and I admit I was not up for trying much either. I guess I knew deep down that I wanted to be divorced, but couldn't admit it, thus it was easier to say that I needed my space and hope the feelings would magically return. If I could give you any advice at all, it would be to notice how your wife has changed (more independant? more secure? due to this new job) and compliment her on it, make sure she knows that you approve of the "new" her. And also do something different or new yourself. Something that she might appreciate also - take up a new sport, get into better shape, learn a new trade, anything that helps you also grow. If you do this - and it helps "change" you for the better, it could get her to see you in a new light - that you are not the same ole man she's been married to forever, but this interesting man who she now wants to get to know again. And if it doesn't work - at least you have learned a new skill or have a new activity to enjoy. I'm not sure if I am making much sense but even after so many years, I still cannot tell you exactly why I fell out of love with my husband. Good luck!

Old 08-17-2005, 06:31 PM   #6
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joep1016 HB User
Re: isn't love supposed to be forever?

Thanks for the response but I have a question for you . If your ex had noticed or changed himself would it have made any difference in how you felt?

I have done some of the things you talk about. I started running in the mornings, I have just gotten a new Job. I do alot more of the things that need to be done around the house.

We do talk a lot but mostly about her work. I listen and am very supportive. I always have supported her in whatever she wanted to do(Home based businisses) I also let her know how well I think she is doing with her job now and have told her countless times how good I think she is at sales. She could sell snow cones at the north pole. She is working in a retail shop making 8 something an hour, which is fine. Money is not an issue with us.
She has told me that she feels more independent now that she actually has a steady paycheck and that the people at work want her to move up.

I'm hoping that this will blow over, but in the back of my mind i feel like I'm beating my head against a wall by even trying. I figure with statistics the way they are I've got a 50/50 chance since about half of all mariages end in divorce.
I am glad thet I can finally talk to someone about these feelings.
thanks for listening.

Old 08-18-2005, 02:36 PM   #7
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tenagain HB User
Re: isn't love supposed to be forever?

Her life has changed, her kids are growing up and one is in the Military (scary thing right now). She has a new job and she is starting to feel differently about herself and her life. She see's "old age" coming up sooner than she wants it to, her hormones are shifting and she feels as though she doesn't have control over too many things affecting her life.

In her job she is probably viewed differently than she is viewed at home...she is valued for a skill that no one at home knows she has. Possibly there is a man at work that pays attention to her, she likes it but it confuses her. Or...maybe she is having an affair.

I could be all wrong here....but something tells me I'm not.

She won't go to counseling...then go to counseling by yourself...leave her alone for awhile and let her get her feet on the ground and adjust to the changes...continue to encourage her to go to counseling with you(don't push just offer)...and pray if you believe in that sort of thing. Ask her what she needs from you...if it's not flowers...maybe she just needs to know that you appreciate all she has done over the years and that you see her as a woman first and mom second.

That's about all you can do. Good Luck with all of this!

Old 08-18-2005, 07:36 PM   #8
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joep1016 HB User
Re: isn't love supposed to be forever?

thanks for the reply. some of the stuff you say sounds right on the mark. as for the affair thing I'm pretty sure that is not happening. She does work for a man about the same age as me, and they are friends because they work pretty close all the time. We have had him and his wife and kids over for BBQ and I don't believe that he would be into that. I have asked her about it and she assured me that that is not what's going on. the other stuff about feeling old and kids growing up and all that is exactally what I think is the problem. she keeps talking about wanting a boob job and tummy tuck. today she even mentioned that her hands are looking old.

As for counseling, I am finding great comfort in this message board. Just being able to talk about it makes me feel better. i have taken some of the advice here and applied it and, I don't know, I see some slight differences. I don't expect that we will be jumping in the sack any time soon (it's been about 8 months) but we are talking and I am paying more attention to her and trying to let her know that I am supporting her. I have backed off and let her do her thing. that seems to be helping too.

Thanks again.

Last edited by joep1016; 08-18-2005 at 07:38 PM.

Old 08-18-2005, 09:29 PM   #9
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laurie864bla HB User
Re: isn't love supposed to be forever?

Sound like female MLC (mid life crisis) Lots of info out there on the signs so you can tell for sure. Get a book by Dobson tomorrow called "Love Must Be Tough" It is a huge eye opener. Has some Christian stuff in there, but not preachy at all if you can hang with that. Very, Very good book. Talks about shifting this turn of events in your favor, without your SO (significant other) even wanting it. Very good book indeed.

Old 08-19-2005, 03:17 PM   #10
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OokieWonderslug HB User
Re: isn't love supposed to be forever?

"Sounds like female MLC (mid life crisis)"

Does it work in reverse too? Can a woman have a pretty much perfect husband and wonderful family at the ripe old age of 21, throw it away to pursue men and drugs for 15 years, then decide she royally screwed up, change and go back to her family and act like a normal human being? I have known and read of many women being perfect wives and mothers for like 20 years and then going "nuts" and leaving them and becoming "women of poor reputation and loose morals", but do they ever do it the other way?

Just curious.

Old 08-21-2005, 08:17 PM   #11
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joep1016 HB User
Re: isn't love supposed to be forever?

thanks for the advice. I ordered the book online today. should be here in a few days. I looked for it in a book store but couldn't find it but I did get another by Dr Phil. called relationship recovery. I've only read a couple of chapters and it's pretty good so far.

thanks again

Old 08-22-2005, 08:03 AM   #12
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hillaryb HB User
Re: isn't love supposed to be forever?

The majority of the time I read topics like yours, the spouse discovers an affair. In fact, probably every time i have read a post like this, that is the outcome. My suspicion is that she has met someone at work.

Old 08-22-2005, 11:07 AM   #13
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Bark HB User
Re: isn't love supposed to be forever?

I've been married 11 years and just posted my own problems. I can say I understand your feelings. I'm just curious did you see the signs? I discovered my husband whom I've always trusted has been talking with his dental ast. for eight months behind mine & her spouses back. Now finding this out 3 weeks ago & confronting. I realize the communication has been gone. I have tried to get him to open up to me for a long time now and I find out he's been sharing with her instead. I can honestly say though nothing else in our marriage could be faulted. Our sex life is good, two kid's, nice cars & house as well. He just stopped communicating with me and can't explain why. We're in our middle 30's. I suggested counseling to my husband and he as well was against. I just don't think you can sit back & say I'll wait for you. I know you've been married a long time & 3 children to think of, and I understand you love her. She has to give you more to go on than don't touch me and let me pretend were separate. You'll drive yourself crazy with thoughts & ideas of why? Your children are old enough to notice these changes. How are they dealing? Take my response for what its worth ) Like I said I have a world of trouble of my own, but just noticed your post and thought I would respond. Good luck!

Old 08-24-2005, 06:04 PM   #14
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joep1016 HB User
Re: isn't love supposed to be forever?

In the few weeks that I have been doing this board I have learned a lot about relationships. I have also found that there are a lot of books out there to help people like us. I've started reading relationship rescue by dr Phil and it's pretty enlightening. I have also ordered a few books suggested in this and other threads. I'm sure that there is no affair going on. The affair she is having is with her job and not a person. Yes there are people(men) at her job but none that I think she would do that with.
I have just started a new job and have to focus on that for now. Not giving up on the relationship though. I made a vow 21 years ago and I mean to stick to it. I may be kidding myself but Nobody will be able to say I didn't try. Yes it is hard and some days I feel like giving up, but then I just look at one of my boys or an old photo and I remember what I had.


Old 08-24-2005, 07:29 PM   #15
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LostMyHeart HB User
Re: isn't love supposed to be forever?

Originally Posted by joep1016
Not giving up on the relationship though. I made a vow 21 years ago and I mean to stick to it. I may be kidding myself but Nobody will be able to say I didn't try. Yes it is hard and some days I feel like giving up, but then I just look at one of my boys or an old photo and I remember what I had.
Good for you!

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