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Am I falling out of love?

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I've been going through some hard emotional times over the past year. My relationship with my wife has gone from strained to seemingly healthy and now - I've seem to hit a strange sort of ambivalence toward this relationship. I'll start from the beginning.


My wife and I have been together for nearly nine years as a couple, but only married for approximately two of those years. We met when we were still in the first years of college. I had several relationships before her, but I tend to have a problem with identifying when a woman truly likes me or not. it took me nearly a month to finally ask her out, but once I did, it felt like magic. We have only been apart for one summer break and then a week or so once in a while when she has visited her parents and I was unable to go along. I was completely happy and in love during these years.


About three years ago, we went through a major stumbling block in our relationship. After recently proposing, I went out of town for a week. This was the first time the two of us were apart for about three years (and one of the first times she was truly "on her own" after college). Upon returning, I found out she had cheated on me with a coworker while I was gone out of town on business. Being young and worried to be alone, I fought for her through what seemed to be insurmountable odds. After three months of total emotional hell, I finally "won" her back. However, during those three months, I lost all confidence in myself as a human being. She put all the blame for her cheating on me. She said if I had been a better boyfriend she would never have been driven to that point. I tried to leave a few times and move my things out of our place, but she refused to let me leave. She also refused to leave this guy alone and insisted she needed to keep seeing him "as a friend" or she was worried about repurcussions from him (details for another time). In the end, six months after the affair, she quit her job we got back together and everything seemed to be getting better. Part of me still wonders if she really ended it, or he did and she fell back on me.


Now, after these events, I felt like I was back in love. As did she. About 1 year later we were married and had moved to a new city. In this new city, I started realizing a lot of things about myself. First, I found out there are hundreds of more people like me than I had previously thought. I found out making friends is a lot easier when I'm out on my own.


And then I started feeling depressed, especially around the anniversary of our relationship troubles. I found myself having a harder time communicating with people outside of our relationship. I started looking back over my life, and realized I had essentially isolated myself from many of my old friends (many of whom were indeed no longer friends) and sometimes afraid to make new ones. I started acting out of character for the type of guy I am - getting angry at people for stupid reasons, distrusting everyone, unwilling to be honest about things with others afraid to judge them (a quality my wife first brought to me years ago), disliking things I used to find great joy in, not able to express my true excitement about things I do enjoy, feeling ill randomly throughout the day, making excuses for everything I do wrong... I felt like I was always belittling myself.


Then I began noticing the things in my wife I never noticed before. She doesn't drive - and claims that she will never drive any significant distance in her life (that tends to be anywhere beyond a few blocks). She still acts like she did about nine years ago in private - funny voices, her wanting me to "coddle" - sometimes it feels more like having a child than a spouse. She tends to do all the talking when we are in public together - even though I tend to be fine socially on my own. She has absolutely no desire to be independent. Our careers that we want to pursue tend to keep us out long hours, and sometimes away from home for months at a time. I don't mind it, and if she wants to pursue that as well, I let her - but she never seems to have any drive. And now I feel like I'm holding myself back from truly succeeding in life because she guilts me, not fully supporting me. And her lack of self confidence - encourging her is fine, but then I feel like I drag my emotions through the mud and I end up with lower self-confidence in the end, as it happens at least a few times a week. And I've seen more of her parents attributes shining through, and I do not want to be in a relationship with someone like them (which I would prefer not to get into details on that aspect).


Overall, it feels like promises made years ago and dreams of the future are ending. And the more I see her, the less I feel for her. I find myself thinking that we won't survive forever - and there's a good portion of myself not caring. I think I actually want this relationship to end, but because I don't want to hurt her or have others judge me for this as being "shallow," I want her to hurt me again so I can do right what I should have done three years ago. In retrospect, I should have left her when she cheated. But being young, I didn't. An error in not knowing myself better when I was younger.


Right now I feel like an a-hole saying that I am falling out of love, but I'm getting the feeling that I might not have been in love in the first place. As I said, I always had a hard time reading women - and I'm wondering if this just seemed so easy and obvious, that I thought it was the real thing. Now, however, I find myself wanting to grow beyond this relationship as a person. I honestly don't even care if I find someone new for a while. I want to concentrate on myself. I've been happier when I've been alone or with friends than I have with her. I still love her and care about her - and still feel like she's my best friend whom I can confide in - but I feel I'm not "in love" with her anymore. If ever. I am even beginning to not care if she finds someone new (and I almost hope she does so things could be easier for her). I care about her so much, but my depression seems to be stemming from the fact that I feel trapped.


I'm so confused. I'm by no means perfect, but I'm afraid I might have married too young. Now I feel like I'm stuck in an unhappy relationship that does not allow me to become a true adult.


Please, if anyone knows what I'm feeling, please help me out a bit. I'm still afraid of taking steps of confronting this. I've tried talking to her about these feelings, but all she does is turn them into a endless battle that she makes excuses for. It always comes down to her feelings first and foremost. Like she loves me more than I could ever love her. And when I even get a thought of leaving her passing my mind, knowing how she is as a person, she would slander me and hurt me and possibly even sic her brothers on me. And she always thinks it's about another woman. But it's not. I just think I was not ready for marriage at that point. The more often I've spent time alone in the more I've felt like an adult. Right now I feel like I just want to be alone again. I care about her, but I think I just feel like she's my best friend, not someone I want to have a family with.


Please - anyone - let me know if you can help offer some perspective on these feelings. Does it sound like I am falling out of love? And does it sound like it would be better to start looking at ending this relationship? And how can I go about that without dropping a bomb on her and having her fly off the handle dangerously (which, I'm sorry to say, makes me afraid for my own life)?


Any advice or perspective? Maybe if someone can even relate a similar story - that would really make me feel less confused about everything.


Thank you all so much.




PS Andif anyone is wondering - I am also losing sexual interest in my wife. Role playing or trying different tactics doesn't change things. I'm feeling less and less attracted to her daily. We tend to only have sex about once a month. And oddly enough, I don't miss it. Which is strange as I tend to have a very heightened sex drive. I wish I felt differently, but the more I see her, the more she feels like a friend.

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You married young and it sounds to me that you have matured and grown over the years while she has remained stuck in immaturity. It sounds like she has emotional problems...and people with emotional problems never grow up unless they recognize they have problems and work at them. I think the writing was on the wall when she did not take responsiblity for her cheating...she pinned the blame on you and acted like she did nothing wrong. In emotionally immature people, typically people with personality disorders, control freaks etc. nothing is ever their fault, they don't own up to their mistakes, they have a very child-like view of things, and life revolves around them and their whims and fancies. She will remain stagnant unless she recognizes that she has a problem...which is not likely to happen. You might have loved her at one point, or you might have even found her immaturity endearing...but as you get older and mature and grow, it is harder to be with someone whose emotional level has not evolved. If you are unhappy, get out of the relationship regardless of what she may do to trash you. You can't be held hostage by someone who has emotional issues...you have to take a stand for yourself. Do not sentence yourself to a life of unhappiness with someone who has not evolved much and shows no interest in evolving.

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Very well put by both of you!!!!


To the poster, i am very much in a similar situation. Although the details vary, I now question whether or not I love, or can trust the girl in my life but am paralyzed to end it. How long have you felt this way? Weeks, years?

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What I am doing now is analyzing every moment together. And while looking at her, silently asking myself, if I leave, will i have any regrets? I look back at how hard i fought for this girl, and now all i see is the BS she put me through, she is now treating me good, but i feel like it will not last.


I guess I would as yourself that question, if you split will you have any regrets?


It is a hard question to answer honestly.

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