Someecards Logo
'My wife told me that she doesn't love me and never did. How should I proceed?' UPDATED 2X

'My wife told me that she doesn't love me and never did. How should I proceed?' UPDATED 2X


There are few feelings more soul-crushing than finding out the person you love doesn't feel the same way. Even moreso, if you've already been partnered with them.

"My wife (38F) told me (39M) that she doesn't love me and never did. How should I proceed?"

I overheard my wife telling her friend that she doesn't love me and never did. She married me because she was pregnant and thought that after giving birth to our baby, she might fall in love with me, but that never happened. When her friend left, I immediately asked her about it, and we had an emotional discussion.

She didn't deny it, she told me the same thing she told her friend and said it's true, that's how she feels. I asked her why she married me then. She said she'd rather marry a man she doesn't love but who treats her right, with respect, takes care of her and her children, than a man she loves but who is a fool, incompetent, or lazy. I was shocked and hurt.

I asked her what she thinks about our marriage, and she said it's the marriage she always wanted. To our credit, our marriage is really good. Respect is everything, so we never overstep each other's boundaries, and when we have a problem, we figure it out as a team.

She never cheated, s#xted, or did anything like that because she respects me too much, respects our marriage, and loves our children - her words, not mine. She also said she knows it's the same on my part. I told her I'd like some time to think about it, and she said to take as much time as I need, assuring me she isn't going anywhere and will accept and work on whatever I decide.

I don't know what to do. I'm hurt and confused. So I've been living a dream marriage with a woman who doesn't love me one bit. Basically, she settled for me because I was the best option at the time. To her credit, she's been an amazing wife and mother to our kids (Boy - 9 years old, Girl - 11 years old). I have no doubts about her, she never cheated or hurt me in any other way.

She is hardworking, always honest, and is a good role model for our children. I've been thinking of some things I could do. Maybe marriage counseling, but our marriage is one-sided in the love department. I love her with all my heart, and she knows that.

I don't know how marriage counseling will help because it won't change her feelings towards me. I don't want to divorce, I love her, our marriage is amazing, and our children have parents who are really there for them and who, if I can humbly say, are good role models.

To sum it up, my part of the marriage is completely filled with love and respect, while hers is entirely based on respect alone.

TL;DR: My wife told me she doesn't love me and never did. I live in a perfect marriage where love is one-sided. I don't know how to proceed.

Not long after posting, OP shared a small edit.

Minor EDIT: She earns more than me so she isn't with me for my money. We have been married for 12 years and have known each other for about 15. I would like to add something here that I answered in the comments. We started as friends, then became friends with benefits, and over time, we evolved into what we are now.

I was her only FWB, she had many friends, but I was the only one with benefits. Her ex-boyfriend treated her very poorly, so I think that might have affected her to some extent.

The internet had a lot to say in response to OP's quandary.

notheretojudge2 wrote:

Therapy could be good. There was this one post some time in the past which was basically the same thing, but from the wife's perspective. In the end she realised that her definition of love was really stereotypical and that she actually did love her husband in her own way. It would be good if she verbalised what she thinks of you and what precisely she feels when she thinks about you/when she sees you.

OP responded:

I'm willing to have that conversation. How should I approach this? Should I just tell her that I would like to go to some couples counseling, or maybe individual therapy could help?

predd1tor wrote:

It concerns me she says she doesn’t love you. I can understand she may not feel in love with you, which is sad and hurtful on its own — but after this many years of marriage and raising children together, in what you’ve described as an otherwise happy, healthy, and functional partnership, you would think she’d at least be able to say she loves you.

Maybe not in a passionate, romantic way, but at least in the way one feels love for a close friend or family member whom they respect and deeply care for.

The honeymoon phase doesn’t last — if there were at least another kind of deep, abiding love here, I could see this being salvageable. But I don’t know that I could live with a partner who can’t even say they love me after a decade plus of marriage. I’m so sorry, OP. This must be crushing. Seek counseling at the very least, to help you sort out whether this is a relationship it’s healthy for you to stay in.

Miss_Elie wrote:

Yes, I agree completely. Sounds like op’s wife saw too many movies and thinks that love is being forever in love like HS sweethearts or the unnecessarily conflicted plot, that makes both lose their minds…

StayAwayFromMySon wrote:

Just want to throw some support your way. Too many people are commenting "You have a great marriage, what are you complaining about? 🙄" As if finding out someone you love doesn't love you back isn't excruciatingly painful.

Your wife got to make these very informed decisions for herself, whether she could forego love for stability, respect, etc. But you didn't and she took that right away from you. If she'd told you prior to marriage that she didn't love you but respected you, would you have married her?

Would you have had a second child with her? And in terms of respect...well Idk how respectful it is to tell her friend while you're in the house that she doesn't have feelings for you. Also respect isn't just about what you say to that person, but what you say about them.

I'm not saying you should divorce, only you can decide if the pros outweigh the cons. Counselling would be the best choice right now. But personally I would feel paranoid about what happens if she falls in love with someone else? What about when your kids are grown and she doesn't need that kind of support? Questions your wife needs to really dig into with a therapist.

Patsy5bellies-1 wrote:

That would be a dealbreaker for me. She doesn’t love you and never will. No amount of therapy/marriage counselling is going to make her love you.

Four days later, OP shared a major update.

I went through most of the comments on my first post and wrote down some questions I wanted to ask my wife. I also figured I'd talk with her a few more times before bringing up marriage counseling, only if we can't find common ground or fix things ourselves. Like I said in one of my comments, I thought about small trip over the weekend, just two of us, no children.

We could relax and have a proper heart-to-heart discussion. So, I decided to take her to my grandparents house. It's remote, surrounded by fields, forests, and there's even a river close by. It's pretty much holiday house, when you want to leave the city and spend some time in nature. She loves nature so I thought it's a good place.

I would be lying if I told you that I wasn't anxious and really worried about asking certain questions and the implications of those questions. I decided to ask, even though I was fully aware that it could be painful. We left our kids with my parents and departed. She pretty much knew the purpose of this trip from the beginning, so in a way, it was easier.

When we got there, I didn't want to have a discussion immediately. I wanted us to spend some time together. We went for a walk in the forest, did some light work in the garden, took some pictures, and I made her dinner. I also made her a bouquet of flowers I found in the fields. After we had dinner, I brought it up.

I told her that what she said a few days ago really hurt me and that I would like her to share her feelings about me and our marriage so we can at least find middle ground. I also told her that I really didn't like her sharing that with other people before talking to me first. She apologized to me and said she would explain. Basically, her friend is having problems in her own marriage.

She's been married for two years and wondered how our marriage is so stable. She and her husband have a dynamic of fighting with each other one day and loving each other the next. My wife and I have never had a fight, we've had many disagreements, but we've never hurt each other, at least not until now. Eventually, she got to the problematic part and asked me if I heard what she said after that.

I said no because I really didn't. I overheard it when I entered the house to pick up some things I needed and then left. I was also zoned out and didn't pay attention to what was going on around me after hearing that. She explained to me that she never experienced that 'love' with me. She thought it would get better over time, but it never did.

I asked her why she didn't explain that when I asked her that day, and she responded by saying that I was emotional and whatever she said could've made it worse. She pretty much understood that whatever she said would've come across as an attempt to make someone feel better or forced. That's why she left me alone, knowing that we would have a talk about this. She was right.

I then asked her some of my questions, not all of them because most of them got answered, but I was interested in these:

What does she feel when she sees me?

What happens after our children grow up?

Did she ever feel that "love" towards somebody else?

What will she do if something happens to me?

- She said that she feels at home. So she does love me and loves our marriage, but she isn't 'in love' with me. When she sees me, there are no butterflies or fire that make her want to jump on me and rip my clothes off, she feels at home. As for our children growing up, nothing changes, we will still care for, help, and guide them.

- She explained that over the years, she had felt attraction towards certain men, but it quickly faded. When I asked her why, she said that even though she was initially attracted to them and they showed interest, something always felt off soon afterward, which is why she removed herself from those situations.

I asked her if she was never into me, why she slept with me and not her other friends or other guys. She had plenty of friends, and as I mentioned in my first post, I was the only one with benefits. She explained that she felt safe and comfortable with me, something she never felt with anyone else. We became a thing after she broke up with her boyfriend.

She opened up about the relationship, saying that he had been physically and emotionally ab#sive. This was the first time she had spoken about him, I had asked her about her first relationship many times before, but she always brushed it off, saying he wasn't worth mentioning due to how horribly he treated her.

- She said that she wouldn't want to be anywhere else but next to me and that she would take care of our children. At that point, I really felt bad about everything, and the whole discussion made me sad. I would really like her to go to therapy, I think she still carries scars from all that ab#se, especially emotionally, and a proper therapist could really help her.

TL;DR: As some of you pointed out, she isn't in love with me, but she loves me in her own unique way. I understand that as years go by, you may lose some attraction towards your spouse, and the feelings you once had may fade, but that person still remains. I can live with that.

The internet had a lot to say in response.

SymblePharon wrote:

What I'm getting out of this is that she does love you, completely, but she doesn't know that it's real love. She may have been used to the kind of dramatic, tumultuous partner who ab#ses her and then love bombs her, and have come to know that as "love." But she has chosen every day to be a loving partner and a good parent, even when presented with alternatives.

Her sense of love is screwed up, but her actions speak louder, to me. Definitely try and get her into therapy. I'm sorry for the way she thinks about this - it must be k*lling you - but I just don't think it's true. She does love you. I hope I'm right and that you can come to an agreement. I wish you both the best.

OP responded:

I felt the same, and that is why I think it would be really beneficial for her to have a talk with a therapist. I will always be there for her and I will always listen to what she has to say, but I lack knowledge and experience in order to help her with this. The thing that's killing me is how long she has been in this state, she can't sort out her feelings and emotions.

Even during our talk, I always felt that her feelings are misplaced and all over the place. I will talk to her and I will encourage and support her in getting professional help.

OatmealCookieGirl wrote:

As someone whose first relationship was ab#sive, her feeling "safe" with you is 100% love. Everything you described her saying is what I feel with my husband. I don't feel butterflies, never did, and for me THAT IS A GOOD THING because butterflies are just anxiety. I could not picture my life without my husband, he's my person.

I am happy with him and I don't want to be with anyone else. That is love. It just isn't the type of love we see in movies, or that we feel when in the twisted clutches of an ab#ser, and that's a good thing. Ours is a love that stands the test of time.

nopingmywayout wrote:

There was a post some time ago about a guy who had been taken in by this family and eventually married their daughter because he felt obligated to, and subsequently built a family with her. He posted because he felt super guilty over marrying and having kids with a woman he said he didn’t love.

The commenters pointed out that the life he described in his posts and comments DID sound like love, albeit under unusual circumstances. He later posted an update after he had talked things over with his family (and I think a therapist), where he’d had a revelation that he did indeed love his wife, but hadn’t parsed those emotions that way for certain reasons.

Your story sounds like a mirror of his, and I wouldn’t be surprised if something similar (emotionally speaking) was going on. As you yourself noted, it sounds like your wife has some unhealed scars from that relationship and could use some therapy.

If you haven’t already, you might gently suggest therapy to her—not for the sake of your relationship, but for her own emotional well-being. But don’t push the point if she refuses. Ultimately she is the one who needs to make that decision.

GodisaGas wrote:

I read both of your posts and, firstly, I am sorry you are going through this and I am sorry it is causing you so much pain - understandably so.

I hesitated before replying, because I don’t want to confuse the issue further, but I do just wonder if some of this isn’t simply confusion over semantics. If you think about mature love and try and define it - she’d tick all of the boxes: she respects you, she’s loyal towards you, she’s devoted to you, she feels safe with you, she regards you as ‘home’.

And so then flipping it on its head, what’s missing? The passion and infatuation of early love?!? - but, realistically, that often does fade over time and becomes something else and something different. If you look at my post history, I’m not a fan of people settling. But I’m not sure that is what this is.

I do think therapy would benefit you both. If only to work through, in a forensic way, what you believe love is and then triangulate that with what your wife feels. Please don’t take this as me suggesting that you ‘settle,’ but what she is offering and giving you and the kids - many people here would k*ll for that. Because when it comes to the big, important, foundational stuff - it seems as if she’s there.

OP responded:

I'm not leaving. I will help her overcome this. She needs professional help. I think her view of love is completely screwed up due to what that idiot did.

Motchiko wrote:

I think people put too much pressure on the word love. They imagine the crush feeling at the very beginning of a relationship. Dopamine and oxytocin are very high at that stage and it can feel like being on dr#gs. Love has several stages and she has entered a stage where you are her home. She either is in the stability stage or attachment stage.

What is concerning that she never experienced that, but everyone’s hormones level are different from each others and there are plenty of people, who can physically not experience soul crushing love. They rather bond with people and skip the honeymoon phase.

OP when someone said they should walk away from the situation

Like I said, I don't want to search for something I might never find. I've seen so many marriages and relationships fail because of 'love', with cheating and ab#se being the most common, especially cheating. My wife isn't perfect, but she isn't a cheater or ab#ser. Our marriage is stable and safe.

Our children have everything they need: stable and good parents, which is most important to me. My purpose in life is my children, and if I have to suffer for their good, I have no problem with it. But I'm not suffering. I'm doing well.

It sounds like OP and his wife are doing all the work they need to salvage this.

Sources: Reddit
© Copyright 2024 Someecards, Inc

Featured Content