Ask Andrew – My husband can’t decide if he loves me or loves me not
Hi… I read your book I love you but I’m not in love with you and really enjoyed the reading. My husband has recently said those words to me (and this isn’t the first time)…we have only been married for 11 months and together for 6 (both 29 years old). Throughout our relationship he always said things to me like “I don’t know if this is what I want”, or “I don’t want to be in a relationship”, he even once said “I’m not a good person.” He did this again 2 months before we were married, then one month after we were married and now most recently. Writing all of this out makes me want to scream at myself “What were you thinking”, but I’m not sure – everytime he would come back to me crying saying he doesn’t know why he says those things that all he wants is me and that there is something wrong with him, so the sucker I am has always believed him because I do love him. I feel like I have finally reached my breaking point and if I don’t end this cycle now, it will continue to go on and we will have children when he decides to leave for good.
Here’s my dilema, he began therapy on his own and I believe he will come out of it again saying you are amazing, I want to work on it, etc., but I feel like I need to follow my gut and put my foot down and leave this marriage because it is clear that I have loved him too much. I tried to fix a broken person and it worked for a while, but now he says he wants to go back to who he was/how he lived before we were married, he said he just feels we have grown apart.
What are my next steps? I don’t want to rush things, but I feel that I should tell him he has to leave until we figure out what to do about a divorce. It’s almost as if he is okay staying in the house pretending that everything is normal, but I can’t live like that (yet still telling me he doesn’t love me like I love him). We have a vacation planned in a couple weeks and I told him I wanted to ask my friend to go with me instead and he got very upset saying he still wanted to spend time with me and has fun with me. It’s like he just wants to be friends and expects me to be okay with that (I can’t at least for right now) – I need to move on with my life before we get sucked back into a downward spiral of these back and forth games. Please help.
It does seem to have become a pattern. ‘I don’t love you’ and then ‘I do’ and then ‘I’m not sure.’ It seems like you’ve had enough and certainly it does not sound like a marriage to bring children into at the moment.
One of the problems of loving someone ‘too much’ is that you put their interests first and yours second (not a problem in the short-term but it really eats away at happiness in the long term). What you need to be is assertive (where both of your interests are equally important). I cover this is in ‘Resolve your differences’. You could use those skills to discuss the holiday where you both want different things. You want time away to think (with a friend) and he wants to spend time with you. Instead of one of you immediately giving in, talk through the options, negotiate and see if a compromise can be found.
I would also look at ‘Are you right for me?’ as it explains more about when to keep fighting and when to bow out gracefully from a long term relationship.