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Hey, I'm new, and am looking for some external views/perspective on my current situation.

My husband and I have been together 4 years, married for 1.5 of those. We met at work, both leaving relationships to be with each other. Throughout our relationship we have had continual emotional stresses in our lives, having lost my mum after a 5 year cancer battle last year; taking the most amount of our emotional commitment and time as well as loosing grandparents. Throughout this time we were committed and strong for and with each other, genuinely relying on each other to survive the bad times. We made time for the good too, having bought a house together and getting married. Our engagement was borne out of a final diagnosis for my mum, being told she had weeks/months to live. We knew then that we wanted to get married and we pulled off a full on church wedding, and a beautiful day in 15 weeks so that we could have mum there.

Mum passed in November last year. After the loss of my mum I felt that family was an important part of my life and told my husband I felt that I wanted a child, he is younger than me by 3 years and quite fairly said he wasn't ready at that time, which I respected but by-time March of this year came around my husband had drawn distant. Spending many hours on the computer and often coming to bed very late, meaning I spent many evenings on my own in the house, and more often than not going to bed alone. This continued for months, I attempted to get my husband to understand how isolating and lonely this was, and at the time saying quite 'strong' things such as that if we weren't married I didn't think that the relationship would survive on this path (I don't know if that was a right or wrong thing to do on reflection). Come to June and I'm feeling more and more isolated, lonely and to be frank, bored. I'm 27 and felt that I should attempt to spend some time 'enjoying' life.

As of July I started to connect with old school friends and 'go out' more than I had. My husband didn't initially notice this, but it led to me booking a 'girls' holiday in the summer. During this 'lonely' time a very old school friend (male) reconnected with me, he text me with suggestive/flirty texts, which to my own shame I didn't outrightly 'bat away' but would dodge the bullet but be flirty in response. At the time I was so relieved to have someone pay me attention (I should add the late nights/bed alone meant my husband and I had little time for intimacy and he appeared to be shying away from it). This was seen by my husband in the August, unfortunately the week before I went away and he rightly challenged me on it, and we layed the cards on the table as it were. I had not cheated, I had not met or seen the guy, it was texts. But I do know that I hurt him in this process. I'm not shirking that blame.

After the holiday and some time away this summer (I'm in education and so had a summer break) and some time where I felt I *needed* to focus on doing somethings I wanted to do such as nights out as an attempt to do something, and having the first real chance to reflect and react to the loss of my mum this has now led to a far more critical point.

My husband told me 2 weekends ago that he no longer loves me, or rather, he's no longer in love with me. Delivering the line 'I hate who you've become and who you are' and that he felt that he was better off without me. I'm also suspicious of him being in contact of a woman (possibly out of revenge on the texts I had received), he has changed his phone pin/unlock code. He has denied it, but there's a *feeling* I have about it. There's something that continues to niggle at me about that. He is also distant, continuing to come to bed late. He has said that he wants to try and work on our marriage, but I'm so honestly scared that he's giving up, or already decided that he wants to leave that this is just delaying that.

I want to make improvements, I really do very honestly love him and want to stay with him. I just don't know what to do/where to go next with this.

My heart is literally aching and I feel ill from the anxiety. I would appreciate any comments (sorry it got so long!)

Pandorasbox
 

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I appreciate that you've tried to lay out as much of your situation as possible in your post.

Even with this background, I can't tell if your H is really interested in working on your relationship, or whether he is done. If there is no one else, then you two would really benefit from counseling. The reality is that you've reached the point in your relationship where the initial "limerence" has worn off and you either will find that there is a strong attachment between you two or there isn't. You can *definitely* do things to have a strong, loving attachment between your and your H. For example, one of the most common reasons why marriages fail is because couples do not spend time together -- some therapists say it requires 15 hours of couple time each week! But, if he doesn't want to take the steps to make that happen it won't and you'll end up doing a lot of work.

You two are pretty young. He got together with you at 20 years old, so it's quite possible he's *never* had a relationship that has had to move out of the initial infatuation/ romantic love phase (when your brain chemistry basically forces you to want to spend time with your new partner) to the loving attachment phase of a relationship.
 

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Thank you for your reply!

I can't tell if he's really interested in working this out either! That's the problem.

I've suggested a very cliched 'date night' and we did that last week and it went well but last night he told me he found it "hard work" and he thought it was hard to do things this way.

I've sent some emails tonight for couples counselling and to try and start that process, but he feels so distant from me now. I don't want to cling on and make things harder when he's pretty much made up his mind.

I've been more open to imitamacy this past few weeks too in part to reconnect with him but even that was perceived as wrong last night with him, as apparently that's not normal. I tried explaining there is no normal right now and we're working on things to try to create a new normal.

I'm at a loss as to what is the best approach, or what I am going to be able to do that is right as I am doing so much wrong at the moment.

I asked him outright today if he had been in contact with another woman, knowing the answer, whilst wrongly knowing the answer because my suspicions took me to look at his Facebook and he lied. He said he didn't, and now he's angry that I questioned him. I'm upset that he's been messaging another woman, but actually I'm willing to discuss what's led to it as part of the counselling. I don't believe for a second he's been unfaithful, but I do think now we have to be honest.

My brain is all over the place, sorry for the fractured response. And thanks again for your reply.
PB
 

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My sense is that a lot of men don't really like "date night" since the focus is on eating and talking.

Try to think of dates that will involve you being out and active. Go to a sporting event with him. Go on a bike ride, or canoeing, or challenge him to a game of tennis or go drive go-carts around.

And, follow through with the counseling.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I know date night is cheesy,and I do get that it's a little bit false. I was looking at short breaks today and if going away for a night or two would help, but how he is tonight, I'm not entirely sure he'd even go away with me. The anger is the harder emotion to work with, I feel like he's on the verge of exploding at me.

Counselling: I hope the replies come through and that it can be a process that starts soon; I've emailed 3 different people so far.

Thank you again, as totally terrifying as this is, I'm hoping communication can really be the key.
 
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