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Like him more, love him less?

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Exhausted in OH posted 6/24/2014 11:53 AM

We are almost 3 years out from initial DDay, almost 2 from last major issue (not A related, but selfish lying). I've been struggling with acceptance of all of this, trying to figure out where my feeling lie. No regrets about R - but I just don't feel the same way about him. I LIKE him so much more than I did for years before the A - he is happier, more generous with himself, boundaries are 1000x stronger, better dad, better husband. He is a pretty awesome guy now. Not perfect, of course, but pretty great. But I just have this nagging feeling that I don't LOVE him the way I used to, even when I didn't like him very much. I don't know how to explain it exactly, but just wondering if anyone has felt similarly?

ncharge posted 6/24/2014 12:30 PM

Sometimes I think I love him less. But, that can't be true or I wouldn't try to R. So, I also think that I love him just as much, but not with the innocence I had before. It isn't a storybook kind of love. It is a very real kind of love, that knows people can be broken and they can hurt you and do stupid things. All that said, if it happens again, we are done. It means he is too broken, in a way that leaves me bleeding. And I won't bleed out for anybody - even people I love.

seethelight posted 6/24/2014 12:34 PM

Exhausted:

Wow. You hit the nail on the head.

That is exactly how I feel.

The selfish thing has really been highlighted after his affair.

He was always selfish, really, when I look back, but my IC said that I was such a giver that given I thought he was a faithful husband, I overlooked his selfishness.

But now after his affair, I can't overlook it.

I just don't feel the same about him anymore.

seethelight posted 6/24/2014 12:36 PM

Sometimes I think I love him less. But, that can't be true or I wouldn't try to R.

I thought that at first, too. I still love him, but I don't trust him, and without trust, it's not the same love.

If not for the children, I could easily leave him, and be quite happy on my own.

JustSoSad42 posted 6/24/2014 12:37 PM

I love mine less. He is in the military, and I was very upset when we watched "Lone Survivor" (movie about SEALs in Afghanistan) and realized that it didn't affect me the way it used to. Like I wasn't triggered to be sad about something bad happening to my husband at work like I used to be. I used to be very uncomfortable watching war movies, and regularly had horrible visions play out in my head of my reaction to being told he had been killed. Watching that movie and having no reaction just made me very sad that I no longer feel that way. I would be very sad if he died, but I don't feel like I would have the same visceral reaction as I would have prior to this. I feel like I already used up that visceral grief on the part of him that died when I found out that he did this to me.

JustSoSad42 posted 6/24/2014 12:40 PM

I'm not sure why my post above has a little target thingy....

Exhausted in OH posted 6/24/2014 13:29 PM

Sometimes I think I love him less. But, that can't be true or I wouldn't try to R. So, I also think that I love him just as much, but not with the innocence I had before. It isn't a storybook kind of love. It is a very real kind of love, that knows people can be broken and they can hurt you and do stupid things. All that said, if it happens again, we are done. It means he is too broken, in a way that leaves me bleeding. And I won't bleed out for anybody - even people I love.

This speaks to me. Maybe I don't love him less, but differently. I love him, I love our family, I love our life together, but the butterflies are gone. I kinda miss those butterflies.

He was always selfish, really, when I look back, but my IC said that I was such a giver that given I thought he was a faithful husband, I overlooked his selfishness.

This was us. But he's not that selfish guy anymore - I really, truly believe that. Which is why I "like" him so much more. But see above re: those damn butterflies.

I would be very sad if he died, but I don't feel like I would have the same visceral reaction as I would have prior to this. I feel like I already used up that visceral grief on the part of him that died when I found out that he did this to me.

All the heartache has been used up. I get it.

Thanks all

Jrazz posted 6/24/2014 13:39 PM

I feel the same way. I admire the things he has worked on, and he is much more attentive to both me and DD. He tries to be considerate and this is huge because he NEVER put anyone first before.

What hurts and is sad is that I feel the love detatchment you're describing. I don't get scared for him when he goes on trips. When he hurts himself, I don't have the strong compulsion to help him fix it - you know, play nurse. Now my kneejerk seems to be "He can take care of himself."

Sometimes I don't know what that means. It sounds to me like a step away from codependency on my part which may actually be a good thing, but I miss how my heart used to care for him.... if that makes sense. There's pragmatism now where there used to be warm fuzzy pink love.

Part of my journey is figuring out whether this is healthy growth, or whether I just don't love him as much.

crossroads2010 posted 6/24/2014 13:47 PM

I am going on 5 years out...over time I have come to realize that my love for him is sort of multi-dimensional...there are aspects of that love that will never go away and some that I will never feel again...I do like him better...I think. I think he has been ...still is trying to be a nicer person. But, honestly, it IS kinda breaking down...he is starting to slip into the "old him" a little. We just have to make it on what we have...or not.

Chinadoll30 posted 6/24/2014 13:53 PM

I get it. I will never love him with wholehearted abandon again. But I think that my view on love has evolved. I used to think we were a team, albeit a team that went through a whole heap of shit, but still a team. Now I know that while we may be on the same team, we are individual players. My therapist thinks that is healthier. And I guess it is. But I miss being a team. But truly, he was always out for himself, so I was never really that team, I just didn't know it. It is sad to say, but I have realized that in life you really only have yourself. Everyone else is also looking out for themselves, and while they may help you, you will never come before them.

hopefullromantic posted 6/24/2014 15:48 PM

I still love my H very, very much, and I appreciate his love and friendship, but the adoration is gone and so is the degree of respect that I once had for him. Consequently, he doesn't excite me the way he once did.

2married2quit posted 6/24/2014 15:57 PM

I love her less. It is strange but I do care for her a lot. I'm just scared that if I break it off I'll feel those awful feelings like when she was in the A. So it's a catch 22.

Exhausted in OH posted 6/24/2014 21:05 PM

Thank you all. I don't post much anymore, but it is always so nice to know that my feelings are "normal", if there is any such thing in post-infidelity land

0115 posted 6/24/2014 22:51 PM

Thanks for this post. It sounds like I wrote it. I understand your feelings completely.

[This message edited by 0115 at 10:52 PM, June 24th (Tuesday)]

2married2quit posted 6/25/2014 08:24 AM

This morning my wife hugged me tight and I basically wasn't feeling it. I feel terrible for many reasons, but numb is a safe place to be.

fourever posted 6/25/2014 08:40 AM

Wow, What's in the water today? 4 years out soon, and feeling exactly the same way as you all are describing. Hard time this week.

theroadahead posted 6/25/2014 08:58 AM

Do I love him less? No, but it's different. I love the man I thought I married more that the man I am married to. He had integrity, morals, and was not capable of such utter devastation. But he is doing his best to show me that he will not go down that path again and I love him for that.

hopefulmother posted 6/25/2014 09:06 AM

I am only 19months, but feel exactly like you.

2married2quit posted 6/27/2014 09:44 AM

I feel guilty for loving her less. Some people make me feel like I'm in this relationship because it is comfortable. And sometimes I wonder.

Verynaive posted 6/27/2014 12:09 PM

You could not have described how I am feeling better. I really am starting to believe it is a loss of respect that I had for him. I really like this "new" person a lot. The selfishness was horrible from the time my oldest son was born and got worse over time. I adapted and kept my mouth shut. He is now loving, caring, tried to anticipate my needs, involved for the first time completely in the boys life, my oldest is 17, but I still just do not respect him. It is shifting thinking for trying to respect who he is working on becoming than what he was, but the pain gets in the way of that.

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