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After 11 years, he doesn't know if he wants to be with me anymore

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Relationship advice My husband and I have been together for 11 years. He recently told me he's not sure he wants to be with me anymore. He says that we never do anything fun together and we don't make each other better people. The thing is, he's the one that never wants to do anything! He works very long hours during the week and is usually traveling so by the weekend he just wants to relax at home. If I want to go do something on a weekend, I always ask if he wants to go. 95% of the time he says no and I just take our son and go have fun with him. It's just not making any sense to me that that is his reasoning for being unhappy when he's always the one who refuses to go do anything.

We have been through a lot over the past 11 years. We have moved 11 times and recently moved out of our home country for his job. Life has definitely been a little crazy for us but we've always gotten through things together. This news that he doesn't know if he wants to be with me anymore came as a complete shock to me. I thought everything was fine between us but apparently he's been unhappy for a while.

I told him I think we're worth fighting for and he agreed. He doesn't "believe" in therapy, which is how I would prefer to deal with our issues, so I told him I'll do whatever his idea is to work on us. Well, he hasn't come up with any ideas and the last week or so has gotten much more emotionally distant from me to the point that he doesn't really say much to me at all.

I just really don't know what to do. I have spent a couple of weeks now just being really sad but now I'm starting to feel some anger. I deserve to be with someone who wants to be with me, you know? I really want that to be him but I can't make him put in the effort and it obviously takes 2 to make a relationship work. Things are super crappy with his job right now so part of me thinks I should just wait it out and see if things get better, but another part of me can't live like this for much longer. What do I do?!

After 11 years, he doesn't know if he wants to be with me anymore

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I'm sorry your going through this, it must be such a hard thing to hear when you thought everything was fine.

He clearly has some issues that you need to find out about and and need to ask him to be more open with you and tell you. Its not fair that hes keeping you hanging on and letting the upset/tension rise its not a healthy atmosphere to be in.

You say he' works long hours and he's tired, if im completely honest so is every one who works all week! But you still see people go out And enjoy their lives at the weekends with loved one. We all have busy lives but we all still make time to be with the people we have chosen to be with and not neglect them. It doesnt have to be anything strenuous either, if hes really tired. But good for you for going out and making things fun for your son.

Doesnt 'believe in therapy', ok it's not for everyone but he cant just leave things at a stand still and unsolved.

The only other way is for you both to sit down talk propperly . Communicate is the only way unless im missing something! Get some answers from him, find out what is bothering him. Is he depressed, you say he stays in all the time? Is he stressed from moving all the time? Or is it work? Awhy is he so unhappy? To move forward make plans get him to commit to family time, to go out with you and you son more. Plan things to do so it opens is eyes to what it could be like :). He needs to work with you.


After 11 years, he doesn't know if he wants to be with me anymore

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Emotionally distant, doesn't want to be with you. Red Flags for an affair I'm afraid.

You need to sit down with him, and be frank and get to the bottom of this. He has already checked out mostly from the relationship, and it is a short walk to ending it completely.

Is he on the computer all the time, as you say he is not going out much. Working hard may be necessary, but it could also be an escape mechanism, a way of being away from you. Sorry.

Without counselling, honesty and transparency, you really have not much to look forward to. Focus on your own needs, and what you want out of life, and walk that path for a while. Go to a gym, get a makeover, and some new clothes. Find a hobby, something you enjoy and pursue it. Make new friends, or reach out to old ones.

Either way, resolve this as soon as you can, as he is already half way out the door. The next thing he will ask for is 'space' or a separation. That will be hard to come back from, trust me. I know.

Do NOT be too available, and say you will do anything, that will give him complete control over you. Be nice, but keep your sense of yourself intact.

I wish you luck, if you need further advice, just ask.

After 11 years, he doesn't know if he wants to be with me anymore

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I don't smell cheating. All I smell is [1] a weathervane couple (he's had too much of being out + being peopled out and wants to stay in at the weekend; you've had too much of being in and not enough people-ing and want to go out) and [2] a woman who's been left for too long in a situation (ever-changing environment, non-conducive to putting down roots, including making friends, husband never around thanks to work) where she's grown to rely on herself as well as her child as her sole or main source of outings company and, accordingly, is used to there being no 'committee' where concerns forming the decision in the first place about where to go/what to do. So she makes specific plans for herself and kid as per her long-standing habit and *then* - basically - without realising how she's coming across - asks husband whether he wants to TAG choice, no input as to What and Where (atop, presumably, of deprivation of choice and input at work).

What are these outings, anyway? Kiddie orientated stuff with Mum and Dad, like farm parks or National Trust houses, that sort of thing?

What happens if you suggest a NIGHTTIME pursuit, you and he as Lovers, having hired a babysitter? Have you even tried it? Do (even if just the cinema) - see whether you get an entirely different response?

His retort is loaded, IMO. Noting the gross contradiction between complaint and subsequent lack of remedial suggestion/action, he says 'No... you go and have fun with son'. That's a martyr-like response if ever I heard one - indicating an unspoken extention along the lines of, 'don't you worry a THING about ME! (mew-mew/mleugh!)', itself smacking very heavily of feeling hard-done-by. PROBABLY because work's so very crappy (- Am I going to lose my job? If I do, what do I have left? *or* Work obviously isn't worth it, I want to concentrate on my relationship instead, now'.) And probably because your answer, rather than 'in that case we'll stay home too (because we've missed you)' is - basically - 'well scr*w you, we'll go without you, then, who needs you anyway!'. Seeing it?

In other words... For whatever reason(s), he left his pan of milk on the hob where it got the chance to cool right down and form a thick skin, now leaving him with zero idea of how to heat it back up again (emotionally unintelligent, unsauve man). Aside from by pushing your buttons. (Question, did he EVER chase and woo you or were you the one to play Tarzan to his Jane?)

...So, job precarious and/or disheartening - looks to you and son as his other security blankie, sees this cuddly, exclusive twosome and feels all-round picked on and neglected (by life and everyone and everything). And then sulks to himself...and because of that, rather than dealing with the problem head-on, grows more and more despondent. Particularly as you - Mrs Action Stations - seem not to want to chase him on what ideas he's managed to come up with. I sense a stalemate in the form of 'you do it / no you / no YOU'...

How (ref upping stix every single year for 11 long years) do you ever get to examine someone to the point of capable of predicting how they'd behave in any given situation (aka develop Trust) if both you and he are constantly this fast-paced blur with constant backlogs in your in-trays to deal with following every massive upheaval and disruption? "Romantic Neglect, anyone?". Neither of you has 11-years-worth of Trust in the other. More like ONE year! Hence you talking to us, not him (observation, not criticism...obviously).

After all, if he were at that 'Houston, I'm gearing up to leave you for someone else' stage whereby HE'D risk raising 'the issue' as opposed to doing what cheaters normally do, which is, gleefully and gratefully trying to benefit from as much peacetime as possible in which to continue secretly and silently playing around, unhindered, therefore waiting until YOU'RE the one to notice or at least sense something's up (WHICH YOU DIDN'T!...YET WOULD HAVE, 'IF'!) and say something, then - you can bet your bum his mistress would accordingly have had ample time to have grown in confidence whereby she'd have begun pressuring him about spending at least SOME weekends with her. And yet - there he is, weekend-in-weekend-out [scuse latter pun], doing nothing but mooching around the house. And meanwhile, making you feel overly responsible so that you'll feel obliged - as nest mover-shaker - to take the fixing-it reins...which you've failed to do...ergo he's growing even more self-pitying (as you see).

Nah, he's doing the usual 'Treat her mean to keep her keen/make her keener' tactic. And not very well. Which is why he doesn't want counselling ("rumbled! - there IS no major drama, he's just being a manipulative wotsit!"). Yet, conversely (i.e., as opposed to the cheating, "I-still-don't-know", continually time-buying merchant), is all too keen to plonk the fact he's not happy onto the top of the table and then hold the implementation of a solution-ANY solution to ransom via simultaneously agreeing *not* to even consider abandoning ship.

I mean, why *deliberately force* the spotlight and microscope squarely onto yourself if cheating capability relies on the opposite (her looking anywhere BUT)? Answer: You're supposed to hover around his table like an anxious waiter, waiting to find out (or take the hint about taking the initiative yourself). The hovering, waiting and staying focused is the point ("Look-at-mee-Look-at-meee!"). Only he doesn't realise things have gone too far for that, hence you, YL, are resorting to the habits of the last 11 years (just me + kid and we're perfectly used to it, you sort YOURSELF out).

I think this is a case of 'let me back in!', after having realised work/career is not in actual fact the answer, but where the guy feels too inadequately attached thus insecure and paranoid to just say so... [1] due to the fact he feels vulnerable at work and [2] because he's for so long had to leave his woman unattended thus vulnerable to other advances...both together meaning, he'll be damned if he's going to show his vulnerable Achilles and possibly make things feel even worse for his already insecure-feeling, 'rejectable' self. So he's pressed PAUSE (or so he thinks) at the point where you did sit up and start staring at him (waiting, waiting, waiting for his brilliant solution).

So, in a nutshell, basically *saying* a solution is needed *IS* his solution. *Provocation* Hence doesn't need to be solved, least of all by counselling. Only his tack's failed...because, as said, you're too long used to reacting to neglect of any fashion by wandering off and doing your own thing. Which is, I'm betting, why HE'S scrabbling mentally for a reason and coming up with "2 plus 2 [she's constantly a sitting duck + doesn't appear that into me] equals FIVE [MAYBE SHE'S CHEATING ON ME?!!!].

At least eliminate cheating on his part from the enquiry by suggesting the romantic twosome invitation first, see what you get?

(Sorry for the waffling - got considerable post-op pain at the mo and can't articulate as succinctly as I'd like.)

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