Can his feelings change in midlife transition?

The Question


I'm 43 he is 42. I was laid off of a well paying job nine months ago. We started arguing over money and paying bills. My husband is on meds for high blood pressure and some other meds, and has had erection problems. He decided six months ago that he wasn't in love with me anymore and not attracted to me. He decides this after 10 years of marriage.

He was leaving our home and taking my stepdaughters to his dads to live. He hasn't left yet, says he can't find the right time but still feels the same.

He gets me cards for special days, but nothing mushy, just saying have a happy whatever. We still do everything together, so I don't think there is another woman, but he does text on his cell phone a lot.

He asked that when he leaves we still do everything together, because he wants to do everything with me. He doesn't want to be with anybody else, but has not wore his wedding ring for the last six months. I told him no, that I have to get on with my life, and it has changed his attitude some.

Now he always gives me a kiss when he leaves and says "I love you". He used to complain about sex, now he never tells me no and he lets me snuggle without him complaining. I'm so confused, please help.

Noel's response

It may be that he is just working his way through a midlife transition, and doesn't know what he wants. Your financial situation could also have a lot to do with his internal struggle. I agree with your telling him that you have to get on with your life, and I suspect that made him think about what he would be giving up if he didn't stay married to you.

If he is willing, I recommend you go to marriage counselling.

My only other suggestion is that you use your judgement on when/if you tell him it's time to make a decision, and either re-commit to your marriage, or move out. Only you know how long you are willing to accept the situation as it is, even though it sounds as though it is better than it was.

Comments for Can his feelings change in midlife transition?

Click here to add your own comments

Jan 15, 2012
His feelings changed
by: Anonymous

My fiance of four years decided he didn't feel the same about me right after turning 40. He doesnt want to go to counseling. He said he's not closing the door on forever. He's moving out and taking his 3 kids. He says im stubborn, controlling and have problems with finances. He sits and texts another woman all day. I've point blank asked him if he ever cheated and he says no. Not sure what to do. We we also have one small child im keeping and my two small children that have called him daddy since almost day one.

Jul 29, 2010
need a mans point of view
by: Anonymous

OK, it happened. My husband moved in with his dad last month. I miss and love him so much.

We talk everyday, and he even spends nights with me. He hugs and kisses me but not in front of his daughters, my stepdaughters that I have raised.

He tries to help me with stuff around the house, like mowing and he sometimes acts as if he will be back here someday. Then other times he acts like he doesn't care.

I usually know whats going on, so I usually join them in boating and camping. His daughters know that we sleep in the same bed and that he stays the night here. He hasn't said "I Love You" since he left. We used to say it everyday for the past 11 years.

I am back at my good job now, so I don't need him to help me pay bills. He acts if the only people he needs to keep happy are his two daughters. I still help with my stepdaughters (15 & 18) but now their mom, who hates me is back in the picture and single. My husband doesn't act interested in her though.

There isn't any other women in the picture. We know where each other is pretty much all the time and we call each other every night to say "Goodnight" if we are not staying together that night.

It's like we are best friends, that have sex and share everyday life and he spends a few nights a week with me, But NO touching me or holding me like he used to. He lets me touch him or hold his hand.

I am so confused, with nobody to talk to. Can some of you guys help me out on all this. Because I don't understand at all.

Mar 18, 2010
Still working on it
by: Anonymous

My husband says he will not go to marriage counseling because all they would do is tell him what he's done wrong in the marriage. He doesn't need someone to tell him what he already knows.

We are still living together and doing everything together, just no closeness (hugging, holding hands, and still no wedding band.)

I,m still hoping that we can work through this.

Mar 10, 2010
hopefull
by: Anonymous

Thank you for offering some hope with your post. I am experiencing something similar. You look like you are handling things well. Good luck. I'm hanging in there I hope you do too, let's see what happens.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask Noel.