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Not attracted to wife anymore, but there is no easy way out

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Hi friends,


I've been in enotalone for a while but have to change my username for anonymity on this subject and my future threads.


As always you, enotalone users were right and i was wrong about me meeting my wife and settling with her. I met with my wife 4 years ago after a painful divorce from my ex as a result of her infidelity. Met my wife a year later and fell in love with her inner and outer beauty and her innocence. We started living together in a month and we got married 2 years ago. The thing is due to her painful and lonely past, my wife had lots of insecurities. She lost her parents when she was a child and her relatives gave her several years of painful life where she was forced to leave their house when she was 18, similar like "Jane Eyre". She had a few friends when i met her and she stop seeing them one by one and made me, the center of her life. In these couple of years, she due to her insecurities pushed all my friends away from our life as she didnt trust anyone and she kept on telling me that i would leave her someday due to her trust issues and her insecurities. She even has huge problems with my family and cant stand being with them which crazes me at times.


Now after 4 years, I lost my attraction to her, i just love her and she is my best friend but i am not in love with her anymore. She doesnt have anyone not anyone at all in her life and if i leave her, she will be devastated and take a huge blow like her teenager years and I dont have the heart to hurt her in anyway. I dont know if i can fall in love with her but we have almost nothing in common, our conversations are around her problems with ppl in her life (her work friends and how bad, other ppl act to her) and/or stories on newspapers. We had a language barrier when we met, which she worked on and know she can converse all right but as she comes from a very hard childhood, her knowledge is limited on most things so hardly anything to talk about.


So i am stuck with a pain which i cannot get over by myself. I cant even talk to my family about these as they will take sides right away. Fellow enotalone members helped me a lot in the past and i hope that i gave some nice advices to some ppl here also. Now i so need your help as i dont have anyone to turn to and talk about these, cause i know the answer i will get from them, just a plain 'leave her'. But i cant leave a person whose life is only me, she spends all her time and money to please me or buy me things. I am so confused and dont know what to do. Please help :sad:

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Has she gone to counselling to deal with her issues? Have you talked to her about how she pushes people away and how she needs to work on not being negative and difficult? Have you explained how you feel, that your marriage is in trouble. I think you really need to have a very big heart to heart with her...forget about her crying and tantrums and what have you when you spell it out...the only way to make this workable is to use tough love rather than enabling. You need to be very firm with her about getting help for her issues.

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I agree with CAD. You can't not to anything for fear of her tantrums or reaction. This type of thing will hurt anybody but we can't stay with people for fear of hurting them. Well we can but it isn't healthy for anyone.


You need to tell her how you feel and that point blank that your marriage is in trouble and explain to her the reasons why. We have all had painful pasts and even childhoods but we have to grow up and become stronger by facing adversity. Shiedling her from anymore pain isn't going to help her grow, in essense you will keep her locked into this dysfunctional behavior and how is that healthy?


Good luck. Definitley talk to her about this. See if she will get counseling and see if she will make some effort to change. This might not bring back the love but it is a good start to see if anything might change for the better.

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Wow, well first of all I have to say that you seem like a very loving person.. You aren't even worried about yourself in this situation, you are more worried about her and how she will cope when you leave. That is very caring of you.. and it is nice to see that you don't want to hurt her in anyway.


This is a tricky one, as she is not very social and giving her space will most likely result in her just being by herself and not doing much but waiting around for you anyway...


I would recommend 1 of 2 things.... #1.. Be 100% brutally honest with her... Tell her you love her, but don't want to be with her anymore but you want to see her happy. Maybe give it a time-line and say we need to figure out how to end this in say 3 months? 6 months? That way it can lessen the blow for her and maybe she will decide to join some classes, get in touch with old friends, etc... Knowing that she will have to be alone without you soon. It may hurt for her looking at you everyday...but I think pulling the bandaid off slowly in this case will hurt her less, since you are all she has...


And #2, if you can't bear to be 100% honest for whatever reason.. Just take alot of space from her.. Work longer hours, join hobbies, etc. Give her no choice but space away from you. At least she will be alone and getting used to it... While you are taking space, encourage her to join some hobbies, or call her old friends, etc. Even though you are secretly planning her escape I think you are being a good person by trying to make it helpful for her.

I do think the #1 honest idea is the best way to go, she can even decide where she wants to live, start looking at places, etc. And by you being there to support her I think it would make it alot easier for both of you... That way when you do break up she won't be as devastated and give you the guilt trip.... That would be VERY hard for YOU to deal with her emotions if you were just to pick up and leave... She would maybe be suicidal? She might cry and harass you? She might not want to let go? It will ruin her self esteem more because she will be in shock and not understand why?


Just my thoughts...

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Usually, when someone makes us the center of their world, we go through a different set of emotions. First and foremost, we feel safe. Really safe. Knowing that someone adores you so much, that they are always thinking about you, always looking out for you. It's big. When you've been part of a couple for a long time, you tend to start taking that for granted.


Next, it feeds our ego. It makes us feel special, invaluable, and irreplaceable. No matter what, this person thinks I'm not just special, but also more special then anyone else. It's a big safety for sure. No matter what anyone else thinks of you, or how you may or may not be getting along with others, there is always this person in your life, true and steady.


On to passion.... It's a well-documented phenomenon that when we become a little too sure of a person's devotion for us, sexual attraction begins to wane. Eventually, we realize that we could say or do just about anything, and this person will STILL adore us. "What the bleep is wrong with this person?" you think to yourself. Suddenly, the normal * * * for tat that exists in every relationship has vanished. Now, it's that old "unconditional love", the quality that everybody claims to want, but in reality, no one can actually handle it very well once they get it.


Normally, this unconditional love can turn suffocating. You feel like your partner is having a relationships AT you rather then WITH you. It's a big distinction. If you metaphorically spit in your partner's face and their response to you is to either excuse you for your actions, say nothing, or even apologize, then you lose all respect for them. It disappears. And, as respect goes, so to does your sexuality for them. It will vanish.


So, is it possible that you could become attracted to this person again? Sure you could. However, she'd have to really change a lot about herself, and those kinds of changes usually happen when someone is on their own and they don't have the crutch of the other. If in your mind she was no longer dependent on you, for example, you may even find those old feelings coming back.


One more thing... I don't really buy that she was the cause of you losing touch with your friends. That's a copout. You can never blame your partner for something like that because the phone, the computer, and your car are all so close to you. If you lost touch with those you love then that is squarely on your shoulders no matter her jealousy or whatever else. Own that. Make phonecalls. Write letters. Fix it. You're an adult.

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I see two things that could happen here.


1. You really care about your wife and would love to have that spark again wtih her if possible.


2. You really just want out.


If you prefer option 1, I suggest you both see a counselor and figure out how you can become attracted to her again. After all, you were attracted to her once right? It is possible to happen again.


For option 2, I guess the only thing you can do is be completely honest with her. She is an adult after all. She doesn't need someone to take care of her.

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I agree with Caterina.


OP - did you seriously believe that when you married your wife you would always feel the same level of attraction for her or that the sexual passion wouldn't die down with time?


Are you and I not living in the same world? Because I have known from a very young age that that is just the course most relationships take.


It's a cop out to say "I love her but Im not in love with her". Loving her is all there is. As for the poster who says that you sound like a lovely caring person because all you care about is how your wife feels and not how you feel - I thought she was sarcastic - and when I realised she wasn't I couldn't believe it. Caring? The OP is talking about abandoning the woman he committed to sharing his life with - for better or for worse - knowing that she has deep abandoment issues - and nowing all this when he first married her.


Why would you think that is loving towards her??? All she has done is continue to be herself - an insecure and scared woman. Is there a reason she disliked your friends? Can you understand it from her point of view? Is there a reason she disliked your family?


If this were just an ordinary relationship it would be different but you two are married and you want to leave her because you are no longer physically attracted to her. That blows my mind. You say all you have in common to talk about is news and current affairs - well thats all most people have to talk about.


You say she made an effort to learn a new language just to communicate better with you - isn't that pretty awesome on her part?


You can always make new friends. Figure out what would make her feel uncomfortable. Was the problem the sex of your frineds? (ie were they female?) Was the problem that she thought they drank too much? Did she think they were too vulgar? Perhaps figure out what made her so uncomfortable about them and then work together towards creating a circle of friends acceptable to you both.


Marriage is about love but its also about sacrifice. You cannot bail when things get tough. That's not love.

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Well Zen, her innocent beauty and shyness was the thing that made me feel warm for her at first and she needed someone to take care of her as she had an ilness that she lived with for a year or so and if we hadnt met, she would be hospitalized for sure. I was impressed by the existence of such an innocent person but i didnt fall head over heels for her, had some intense feelings sure, but as the time passes, her low self esteem destroyed friendships, even our relationship with my family, many of these things hurt me and my feelings for her. She is not to be blamed for things that happened as I was the person who should be the responsible adult and stop these things from happening but i preferred to stay beside my wife when all these things happened. About my friends, all of them took sides against my wife, and I stopped seeing them as i had to be the person who is on my wife's side. That made me think that they werent real friends but nevertheless we have noone left in our social circle.


Btw i wasnt telling, i am looking for an easy way out. I wanna work as much as i can for this marriage. I know what marriage is all about. As i wrote on my post, i had a prev. marriage when i was the victim of infidelity and i know how unfair life could be.


About living your life with a person that you love as a friend wasnt the first lesson i've got from life and probably wouldnt be the last either. So you are telling me that no matter how ppl feel, should stick to what they have. Havent you havent dumped anyone because you dont love him anymore? As I've said, i want to do my best to keep this marriage alive if i can, although i am not in love.


Thx Sasha for your understanding post btw, well option 1 will definitely devastate her and she can go suicidal but 2nd option was what i was thinking for a long time. It would be painful for me but i want to be the person who will take all the pain from whatever happens.

She needs to work on her trust and self esteem issues if this marriage would last, she is too fragile, locks herself in the loo at times. Even if i dont offend her, never blame her, if i wanna criticize i use "we should do this like that", but still anything i say, anything i do, hurts her so thats one of the reasons why 1st option is out of the question for me.


One of the other things is that her jealousy, she is even jealous from my younger sister or teenagers. As i have been a popular guy since college, women approach me often everywhere but i am not willing to do anything that can hurt my wife or my marriage so plz before bashing me at least try to understand my situation first. I know women stick to each other in anywhere in life inc. forums which is a good thing in my opinion, but if i were a woman, would you be telling me my wows, or tell me to dump the guy and move on?

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Havent we ever dumped "anyone" because we arent in love before? I think the problem here is this is not just "anyone" - this is your wife. If you don't believe in lifetime commitment regardless of not feeling "in love" anymore why on earth did you get married?? No wonder so many people think marriage is a joke these days. Unless she's broken her vows you shouldnt be breaking yours and abandoning your wife.


If you were a woman Id be telling you exactly the same thing. You knew what her weaknesses and her strengths were before the marriage and they havent changed. Even if they had you promised for better or for worse. I think you need to suck it up and learn to love her again. Find out why she feels so jealous - are you flirting with these women in front of her or standing by while they flirt with you? We are just not getting her perspective on here so we can't judge that - but I dont think you should be even considering getting out of your marriage at this stage - you should be working on coming to terms with your promises, responsibilities and obligations.

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I also believe that marriage should not be thrown away for reasons that may seem trite and selfish. This does not seem to be the case here.


Having said that, the important factor to me is the connection that the couple shares. That connection can seem to change over time as in a roller coaster ride. That connection can, and is often renewed (obviously not enough while looking at the divorce rate) and made stronger through meaningful communication. Top counselors see, as their primary goal with a couple, to teach them what none of us have been schooled in, communication skills.


The breakdown of communication in intimate relationships leads to that loss of connection. That loss of connection can be viewed by one or the other as the loss of the feelings of love. Love is an emotion as can be as fleeting as any other. But when that connection is in place, it is constantly be re-created.


I am certainly not one to tell you how to live and under what moral obligations that other think that you should have but the connection with your wife has been established. Though it has been somewhat covered over or strained, it can be renewed and so can the love that you feel for her. The saying, "I love her but am not in love with her", has been used too many times to justify the dissolution of an intimate relationship. Those are just words and an indication that the connection is not what it once was and not a dead end sign that the relationship is over.


As for marriage being a sacrifice, I disagree. Many people advised me that I was sacrificing my own happiness by trying to help my ex-wife through her emotional troubles. I did not and do not see it that way. Those troubles eventually forced her to leave our home but, to the detriment of my physical and emotional well being, I was there to help her in anyway no matter what happened to me. Even if the outcome would be the same, I would do it all over again. I cannot view this as a sacrifice only as compassion for her through our connection.


When asked why his marriage of 50+ years had stood up, the man responded, "We never fell out of love at the same time".

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Wow John,


That was a perfectly thoughtful and helpful post you have written. Would ye be our counselor? You explained everything. Its all about connection between and my wife. WE hardly talk or do anything interesting together as its very hard to make her happy sometimes. It's very hard to impress her, she even didnt like NYC as a place so she is very criticizing and unhappy at times. I believe maybe she has high expectations for things but it could be good to be appreciated at times for things i've been trying for her.


Btw, of course i dont flirt with women or anything, they just seem to ignore my wife beside me(maybe her being a petite woman) and approach me, which could hurt her confidence, but i politely reject them, telling i am married, and even introduce my wife. So there is no need to be being jealous or untrustful.

I want to spark the light and work on our marriage but she changed a lot during these 4 years, she doesnt work on our relationship, she just wanna take everything for granted. Maybe at least 100 times, i've asked her to join me for a counselor as we have issues understanding each other alot, due to language barrier, she tells that she doesnt believe in psychology and it is a waste of time. I told her that we have to work on our relationship, without hurting her, by not telling about my feelings.


So all I can do is to try and love a person who i dont know anything about as she isnt the woman i've met. I wish i had a magic wand and fix everything. I am so confused and depressed. Thanks for the constructive posts and your understanding. How can i restore the connection when my wife tries to close all the doors inc. counselling?

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We are all "fixers" (actually a pyschology term used by counselors) or we would not have found the need to post here for advice. I too, did not believe that my relationship could not be fixed. I was not correct for as long as he other person does not want to do try and do so, nothing can be really accomplished for the relationship.


The analogy I use is the two of you sitting in a sinking boat and you are trying like the devil to patch the holes. Your partner is either just sitting there denying that the boat is sinking or glad that it is bc it is all your fault and telling you so. They might even be drilling more holes while you do not notice being busy trying to fix the ones that are already there.


Counseling is great but both parties have to actively participate in a truthful fashion. The connection through communication takes the effort of two. Go to link removed for some insight into the dynamic that you may be involved in.

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  • 1 year later...

To the OP:


I hope you have already gotten a divorce, as your original post is over a year old at this point. If you have not, I urge you to ignore the people in this thread who would have you stay in an unhappy marriage because of your vows. That's ridiculous.


Your wife is a manipulator, and by the way you talk about her, I'm going to guess she is not your race. She is making you think that you are her lifeline to the world, but she knows she could be okay if she really made an effort to get out there and meet new people. But in her hyper-critical world, it's easier to just keep you around and never let you leave. Trust me, she knows you aren't happy. But she will never willingly let you go. And with the guilt issues you have, it's apparent that she can guilt-trip you into staying forever.


It's time for you to make a declaration of independence and leave this relationship, if you have not already.


Good luck.



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