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I love my husband Im not in love with him, what do I do?

Becca_Maria
Community Member
So we have been together almost 17 years, married 12 and have 4 brilliant kids! I know deep down I settled for him as a string of broken relationships had left me with rejection scars. However, for the most part it worked, i fell in love with him and we managed to marry. He is a dairy farmer so from the start I have spent a lot of time on my own raising the kids. I wasnt interested in becoming part of the farm for many reasons. Fast forward and life is tougher than ever, we took a trip around Aus to rekindle a relationship, basically he had to get off the farm if we had any chance in saving ourselves. It was the best year of my life. It felt like we were different people. There was not a question of me begging him to spend time with us (farmers have no spare time) we just spent time together all the time, met new people, swam, sat on beaches, went on bushwalks with the kids, cooked together, ate together, lived together. It was amazing. We came home and still own the farm but both went off separately to work casual jobs so we still had the choice to go off and explore when we could. Fast forward we are back stuck deeper in the rut before we left, we still own and pay off the farm so on top of a 9-5 job my husband is at the farm every other waking minute...even Christmas day (which previously I had to suck up) but now we are at our wits ends. Life it toxic at home, but we are on the other side of building our life, we are in a good financial position and just sold some land and a house in order to buy a house in town (where I want to live to be closer to everything we do, school, work, kids, parents etc). But life has become so overwhelming and we constantly fight and become horrible with each other (more so me, because I am so lonely most of the time when he dosent come home I get so upset) Last night I told him how bad my mental health was and that i really was very very low. After a screaming match he just told me the sooner I got out and rented a house on my own the better. We had a brief break last November in which I came back and tried to mend things as I just didnt want a broken marriage. However, here we are again. He is a good man, a hard worker, a fabulous dad but has no concept or desire to be a loving Husband. I just crave an adult in my life and after spending day in day out with the kids I find I am so completely anxious come the end of the day because I know if he is home I basically have to fight for this attention.
11 Replies 11

Guest909
Community Member

Hi

I don't think that there is a simple answer to your problem. Your husband is probably just as confused, scared and conflicted as you are. The only difference is that men handle conflict and problems differently than women; it's that Mars and Venus thing.

Have you thought about marriage counselling. If he feels the way you do, it might be worth a try. The other option is to see your GP and ask for a "Mental Health Care Plan". This will give you access to a psychologist subsidised by medicare - that may be a good starting point.

I hope everything turns out for the best.

Thankyou, that was a very thoughtful response. We have sought marriage counselling quite a few times over the years, unfortunately we all too quickly fall back into bad habits. My mental health care plan is currently finished and i cant access anything until May this year, which isnt too far. I would love for my husband to see someone but thats asking the impossible!

PhoebeWings
Community Member

Your husband must be exhausted with all his responsibilities.

He sounds like a man who is trying very hard to be a real man, not shirking his responsibilities, providing for you all. Giving you a financially stable life.

You already know that with less burdens he can be a great companion and enjoy simple freedoms with you.

Hope you can get some help.

He sounds like a keeper to me.

therising
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Becca_Maria

Your frustration and disappointment comes across so clearly through your words.

Bit of a blunt question but does your husband want to keep the farm or sell it? Does he want to keep it out of habit and a sense of commitment? If his identity is largely 'Farmer', I imagine it may be difficult for him to identify himself any other way. This is definitely tough for you. I'm sure you'd much rather he identify himself as 'loving interested husband'. By the way, sounds like he would be pretty stressed and exhausted much of the time (no way to live). Could you downgrade or should I say upgrade to a smaller farm? By upgrading, I mean upgrade the quality of life, to include a sense of balance (work, rest and play).

By the way, I truly believe love is found in evolution. To seek ways to evolve within our self is to love and raise our self. To seek ways to mutually evolve in supportive ways within a relationship is what it means to love and raise each other. It makes sense that the trip was filled with love and excitement. You were adventuring (adding ventures)/evolving together. The greatest challenge about returning home from such an adventure involves re-turning (turning again) to sameness. I had this revelation myself on my last holiday and vowed never to re-turn to certain aspects of the person I was before I went away.

As kids, we naturally turned to adventure, excitement and so on. So, I believe the question becomes 'How do we re-turn to this natural sense of self in life in general when we're older?' If life is only about responsibility and hard work, there is little opportunity for us to turn again to what it means to feel connected to our natural self.

This will be an overwhelming challenge for your husband to face - the challenge to find balance. I believe he has much to lose if he doesn't. He faces the possible loss of good physical and mental health with a serious imbalance between work and relaxation and he faces possibly losing his marriage. Of course, these would be further stressors, which doesn't help matters. Sounds like it's time for him to make a call. Choices may include downsizing or employing help (to free up some of his time). It would be kind of like a semi-retirement period. Of course, all this is easier said than done. It's a massive consideration, re-organising the life he's always known.

It can be torturous dealing with someone else's imbalance, based on their perspective and priorities. I truly feel for you.

Take care

Guest909
Community Member

Hi

When I read through your post I was reminded of an article that I had read a few months back. That article might be of relevance to you and your marriage. Unfortunately, I no longer have the link, so I will try and give you the synopsis.

According to the article, 70% of divorces are initiated by the woman whom generally find themselves worse off after the divorce.

The article then looks into why this is might be happening. One of the reasons proffered was that men and women enter a marriage with different expectations. Men in general enter a marriage with low or no expectations; women on the other hand generally enter a marriage with higher expectations - "and they all lived happily ever after". Unfortunately, life gets in the way and the fairytale ending does not eventuate.

I'm not saying that this article applies to you, but I can see that your expectations are not being meet. Life seems to be getting in the way.

Don't give up; don't conflate a fairytale with your marital issues.

All the best

Betternow
Community Member

Hello Becca_Maria

Your post is different to many others we read here, you and your husband both sound like hard working, solid loving parents. The external pressures of life in general have gotten on top of you and your struggling to find a way through. I know dairy farming is 24/7 and I fully sympathise your plight but I also understand your husband’s commitment to the farm.

Can I ask a couple of questions? I wasn’t interested in becoming part of the farm. Are you able to expand on that for us?
Did your husband inherit the farm (has it been in the family for a few generations) ?

Is there a Men’s Shed or similar that your husband could engage? Also, is it possible that your husband could seek solo counselling? In my experience many farmers are stoic introverts with a strong sense of responsibility to their family and farm. They work alone and don’t necessarily read widely and are often unaware of mental health and emotional relationships, especially in understanding the female perspective. It’s not necessarily their fault, but rather their upbringing. Talking with another counsellor who maybe is male and roughly his age may help him see things more clearly.

I know you’ve tried marriage counselling but I wonder if her needs personal insight coaching.

I agree with other responders that your husband seems like a decent man and it is sad that you are both unhappy when I sense in the long term you two could enjoy a fulfilling marriage.

Despite your current unhappiness, I sense this marriage is worth fighting for, it’s a question of finding the balance between your husband’s desire to work the farm (huge commitment) and your need to achieve a stable home life with more adult contact and attentive husband. I’m sure your husband doesn’t want to lose you.

My husband desperately wants to keep the farm. It is a generational farm (5 gens including him) however we were not handed the farm, we had to buy it. We are currently halfway through paying it off. My husband sees the farm as our "super". Meaning we keep paying off now at a really stressful rate (I have suggested we lower payments as we pay directly to his parents through a legal contract, they have said yes, husband says no) and later on we can lease the farm off and live off lease payments which may equal approx $60k a year. Farming is no longer his prime occupation. We have a sharefarmer running the farm and it just kind of runs itself and pays for itself. There may be a tiny bit of income out of it and we can use it a little for tax purposes. My husband now works elsewhere as part of our transition back home after our trip away. He now likes to work on the farm in his spare time as basically its all the stuff that needs to be done that couldnt be done when he was actually milking 7 days a week. Apart from him working on the farm, most of the time, he just takes off and does it, there is never any communication on where he is, how long he will be or what he is actually doing. there is high expectation of me to just understand and know it needs to be done. I am more of a planner and If i know there is something coming up to be done I can kind of plan around it. Say if on a Saturday I know he has planned to work on the farm all day, Ill plan to take the kids away for the day, as that gives me satisfaction as If i dont have him at least I can have a relationship with the kids! Does that make sense? So we are paying off the farm as an asset so the asset still needs a lot of work to be done on it. So therefore now he works a 40 hour job and then the farm on the side. There is nothing i can say that makes him not try and convince me that all the work has to be done. I absolutely know it does. But I just cant convince him our marriage, family and commitment to each other means the same. So yes he is hard working and may be seen as a real keeper by most, including my family. I am just really upset and tired about what he brings to our marriage. I expected love and attention (which he makes me think is a needy thing). I want to be wanted and attracted to by him (I could be naked in bed and he wouldnt even notice, that is such a serious thing for me, it guts me everytime I go unnoticed by him).

that makes total sense. I do constantly believe that we had very different expectations of marriage. One reason why i keep working through it i guess. I made the commitment so i am stuck with it. Take me back 15 years and I would have thought long and hard about whether I could commit to someone with such different values!!

You already know that with less burdens he can be a great companion and enjoy simple freedoms with you.

I have honestly tried to explain this to him so many times. I dont win the argument. He knows I want/need a companion, he is just too busy to be one.