View Full Version : Struggling with my partner - no feelings

07-06-19, 01:20 PM
Hi everyone,

I've made this post into 2 parts as it's quite a long story.

I'm living with my partner of 2.5 years and the last year has been hell. I love him with all my heart but I'm desperate for things to settle down.

When I met him he told me he was on fluoxetine for depression and these were helpful. He was the most loving person I'd ever met. Saw me every day, helped around the house, took me away on long weekends, wrote poems etc. After 9 months we moved in together.

Things were in general good for the first year. Some arguments happened, nothing major, just the usual getting used to each other in a small space that everyone usually gets. I wasn't too worried. We got on well, including looking after his children from a previous relationship who stay with us at weekends and regular visits to his mum who had severe MS. We spoke regularly about marriage one day, having a child of our own and buying a house etc. Things were good.

From around last summer his mum was in and out of hospital with endless infections and ended up with sepsis. Not long after this she died. We were both devastated. Just before he got a new life changing job and was due to start shortly after the death. It was a very tough time dealing with all the changes.

Sadly my partner has a history of infidelity in past relationships which he assured me wouldn't happen again, but his past became a worry of mine when I saw some messages to one of his mumís carers which were I felt were a bit flirty around the time she'd had sepsis.
Stupidly I began checking his phone after that (bad move I know) and there were messages to other women he knew - none of which were flirty or anything to actually worry about in content but he was trying to hide them from me by archiving them and lying when I asked about them. Probably as a measure of conflict avoidance but I needed honesty and trust to feel safe. I think looking back he just needed a distraction and someone, anyone to talk to. He has no real friends so this was his only way of connection.

Due to all of this worry at the time, I had an anxiety breakdown at the start of March. I felt like a prisoner mentally. I wondered what he was up to 24/7 and it was killing me and I wasn't able to function and I kept pressuring him for reassurance. There were lots of arguments. I've never been like that, not even a bit. I somehow managed to pull myself out and got back to normal. I have since sought the help of a counsellor to make sure I don't drive myself mad with that again and can deal with it should the fears arise again.

His new job involves a lot of training for him to be qualified in a few years with courses/exams and he's so stressed about that as he's not getting much guidance, it's all new to him and it's all he talks about at home. He can't take anything in he's done and he doesn't do a lot most days he's there. He says he just can't.

So in short - there has been a lot of external stress and life changes since last summer for us as a couple.

For the past few months he has been saying to me he doesn't feel anything anymore. For me or for pretty much anything. He said this started happening a few months before his mum died. I noticed a big change in him around that time. He can't cry for his mum (last time he did this was at the funeral) and he doesn't feel anything towards me and he said he is desperate for both. He wonders if this is the tablets. He says he is desperate to feel. Every other day when I try to be affectionate with him or say loving words I am pushed away with him saying he canít and he doesn't feel anything anymore (he does clearly feel anger and frustration still however as he'll get stressed out with me over small things quite often).

He's suggested a few times over the past months that we break up as we canít go on like this him feeling nothing and me feeling upset all the time. He says when we have sex he enjoys it at the time but doesn't initiate it anymore because he can't feel. Other times he's told me it makes him feel sick which killed me. What he says to me about this changes. Since saying those things he has initiated it a few times. I am beyond confused. He will Ďsort himself outí if you get me, which hurts me a bit as I miss closeness together. He said though when this happens itís not even enjoyable anymore either.

There are great days like yesterday and today when he's happy. Yesterday we went for a run, cooked together, had a laugh and shared cuddles and spoke about future days out etc. It was nice. He says he feels on the edge of feeling but it just wonít come through. We've had several nice days where heís motivated, wants to eat well and exercise etc then a few days later he pushes me away again and shouts he feels nothing.

07-06-19, 01:20 PM
When he's at home he can't switch off. His mind races from one topic to the next and I struggle to keep up. He can be very loud - shouting in excitement about things on TV out of the blue and any spare time is spent gaming and getting fired up. It can be very erratic. Even with all the ups and downs of his mum when she was here he seemed more stable and calm.

We've both been researching emotional blunting and wonder if this is what's causing the lack of feeling and emotions. I think it's a mix of that plus the immense stress we've both been though as a couple over the past year which we cannot underestimate (I think he does underestimate this). I think he's encased himself in a bubble emotionally to protect himself and doesn't know how to burst it. But the stress is gone between us now. Instead of associating me and home with stress and tension it can be calm and fun again like it was.

It's hard to watch the person you love not feeling & getting stressed and more than anything wanting him to feel for me again. He went to the doctors yesterday to discuss coming off the tablets (30 mg) as he says he is desperate to feel again and wants us to be ok. The doctor said said the feelings might come back or they might not.

He's been seeing a counsellor for about 4 months now but it doesn't seem to be helping. The odd session seems to help but usually comes back not wanting to talk and seems even more confused about us every time. Sometimes he has gone and hasn't been able to say anything at all he says.

I feel like I'm living in a constant limbo and praying the feelings return and he gets well again. He is a beautiful person with a loving partner, beautiful children and such a bright future ahead of him. I just wish he could see :(

07-06-19, 02:15 PM
Hi and welcome. It sounds to me that you both have been through an awful lot over a short space of time and youíve both been affected by it. When he saw the doctor, did the doc suggest that itís depression thatís causing the lack of feelings or the meds? I ask because itís common for people with depression to subconsciously Ďprotectí themselves by shutting themselves off from feelings they canít cope with. I know itís something I do and itís very painful for my family to deal with. It never meant that I didnít love them, just that I couldnít handle that intensity of emotion. Did the doctor discuss alternative ADs with him?

07-06-19, 02:53 PM
Hi and welcome! I completely agree with Paula. When did he have a meds review... I remember my now husband telling me that he didn't know if he loved me or our children. He knew he had loved us and couldn't see why it would have changed, but he didn't feel anything.... We're still together and are stronger now than ever...

07-06-19, 03:11 PM
Hi Suzi. Do you know how I can get the second part of my story to post? All the meds info is in there. It says it needs to be approved.


07-06-19, 03:17 PM
Not sure how it got moderated but you should be able to see it now. :)

Hi and welcome by the way!

07-06-19, 03:32 PM
I can see it now. Thanks and hi to you Jaquaia! I can't see Paula's reply that Suzi mentions though... maybe it will take a while. I'm in work!

It's reassuring to hear you say Suzi that things worked out ok with your now husband. My partner says he still feels towards the kids however but not me. He said he can't see any reason not to feel towards me but he just doesn't. He's hoping these return by stopping the meds. I think he's using that as an experiment to see if he's just fallen out of love. If he comes off the meds and he still feels nothing he thinks he'll have found his answer. I don't think it's that simple though. A lot has happened and he'll still be depressed even when he comes off the meds.

07-06-19, 03:39 PM
Thanks Paula I can see this now. No the doc wasn't very helpful. He just listened to his suggestion about coming off the meds and said to try just stopping them and see what happens. He said one of three things will happen, get better, get worse or stay the same. I don't think this doctor is very helpful!

07-06-19, 03:42 PM
I've fixed it so you should see Paula's reply too.

Marc - my other half - said that he saw the kids as kids, but it wasn't until he changed meds and came out of the breakdown that he saw them as "his" kids itms? It was the same for me. I remember how much it hurt, but I had asked him to be honest and tell me what was going on and that was much better than what I'd been imagining. I told him that it was fine because I loved him and the kids enough for all of us. It's not been easy - far from it. But has he had talking therapy?

07-06-19, 03:47 PM
Hi Suzi, yes he's been seeing a counsellor for about 4 months now but it doesn't seem to be helping that much tbh. The odd session when its around grief seems to help but usually comes back not wanting to talk and seems even more confused about us every time. Sometimes he has gone and hasn't been able to say anything at all he says. She uses transactional analysis but I don't think she's actually been using that with him, sounds like it's more of a person centred approach. I've suggested I'm not sure she's the right counsellor. I think a relationship counsellor might help more.

07-06-19, 04:51 PM
Have you spoken to him about you thinking she might not be right? Marc saw 4 or so different CPNs 4 psychs and 3 counsellors until he found the right one who literally changed our lives completely.

07-06-19, 04:59 PM
I have mentioned it a few times yes. He's signed up to another 5 sessions so he says he's going to see how he feels after that's done.

I felt it from the start though that she wasn't the right one but I didn't want to make it seem like I was managing things, so I didn't go too strong on it.

What type of therapy worked best for Marc?

When I talk about things too much he said he find it smothering and pushes me away more. He says I make it worse and talking all the time feels like constant pressure. He hates it when get upset/cry too. He can't deal with that. I get that. It's just difficult sometimes as I'm finding this very hard.

He's trying to make friends in his new work and signing up to lots of things which I think is great but it's also making me sad in a selfish way almost that I wish he would try with us. I have said this to him and he said he has no feelings to want to try and that he doesn't know what to do. I keep asking him if he wants 'us' and he says yes so I can only go by this.

07-06-19, 09:20 PM
Can I be honest? Sweetheart I put my whole life on hold and walking on eggshells and making the kids do the same. Don't fall into the same trap I did. Plan to do things with the kids, go out! Go on picnics and woodland adventures. Go out and meet people for coffee etc. If he can do it then why can't you?

07-06-19, 10:59 PM
I do I see friends often. It helps but it's not changed things in here.

He just sees it that he has no feelings for me so it's over. He doesn't even want to wait and see what effect stopping the meds does today now he says :(

08-06-19, 09:19 AM
Would it help if you wrote it down for him? Maybe then heíd be able to understand things from your perspective.

Has he considered grief counselling?

08-06-19, 09:20 AM
I have to say I'm struggling to see why the doctor would just agree to him coming off the meds without swapping to something if he's still showing symptoms of depression and that actually he doesn't seem any better. Swapping to another Anti D yes, but stopping?
Has the doctor talked him through stopping? Just stopping cold turkey is not something that is recommended. Also noting that 30mg of fluoxetine isn't the highest dose, but if he's emotionally numb then the option of changing sounds sensible... There are so many other ones though, it's definitely worth trying another...