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'My wife told me that she doesn't love me and never did. How should I proceed?' PART 1

'My wife told me that she doesn't love me and never did. How should I proceed?' PART 1

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

throwra989872654

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, sexted, 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.

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.

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's post:

notheretojudge2

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.

The OP responded here:

throwra989872654

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?

RedsRach

I agree, couples counselling could help. They can’t make her fall in love with you of course, but they could help her realise that perhaps what she feels is love. She respects you, values you, wants to be with you, admires you as a father and feels safe and secure. To me, those things are love. You may find that she defines love as some all-consuming passion, and counselling could re-frame it.

Predd1tor

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.

StayAwayFromMySon

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.

noteasytobecheesy

You're describing the perfect marriage/relationship by many people's standards. But love means different things to different people. I know some equate lust, passion and fireworks with love. To me, this couldn't be further from the truth. What your wife describes is what I find love to be - comfort, peace, respect, tranquility, stability, security, care.

Four days later, the OP returned with an update covered in Part 2.

Sources: Reddit,Reddit
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