Is He Just Not That Into Me?

“He’s Just Not That Into You”

I heard about the book not long after it came out. Who didn’t, right? I can’t say I knew anything about it. No one actually elaborated on it’s contents, but rather just said it was enlightening. Enlightening? What more do you need to know than the title? Doesn’t ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ say it all? And don’t all of us women with our vast experience with men know what that means? Surely we should be able to tell the difference by now, right? I mean, how much more can a damn book teach us? Well, I didn’t get a chance to read the book; I didn’t think I needed to. After all, I’m married. I did happen to catch the movie Saturday night on cable though. The answer to what it can teach us? Apparently a lot.

I was laying on the couch wrapped up with Hound Dog nursing the double-whammy (the double-whammy being that time of the month when my menstruation and perimenopause join forces against me and wreak complete havoc on my body) when I happened upon the title on my cable guide. Eh, what the hell I thought to myself, and turned it on. It was about fifteen minutes into the show and I figured I couldn’t have missed that much. I really don’t know what, if anything I missed, but I do know within minutes of viewing it the damn thing sucked me right in. All these characters so confused about what they were looking for, what they already had, became so real to me and I related completely. I sat for the next couple of hours through a frozen pizza, nearly an entire bag of Twizzlers, big-girl size Symphony chocolate bar, and two glasses of Pepsi following their every move (I eat to fill sadness and depression, and to curb hormonal symptoms in case you’re wondering). I watched their emotions waltz around in a silent dance as their lives entwined and then began to unravel.

There was about ten minutes left in the movie when my husband entered the room, sat down in the recliner, and asked what I was doing. Ya know, cause it wasn’t obvious or anything that I was biting my nails through the ending of it or anything. I shushed him as the dramatic part was wrapping up with each seeming to find the harmony they were seeking in the decisions they’d made; listening rapt as one particular male character was professing his love for the object of his desire. They kissed; his lips lingering on hers as if they couldn’t bear to pull away for even a moment. Then the embrace came; resulting in a more passionate kiss that seemed to lift her off the floor. I felt a smile creep up and onto the corners of my mouth. I am not so jaded that I still can’t appreciate love. I couldn’t stop myself from saying the first thought that entered my mind “I miss being in love. I almost forgot what it looks like.”

I heard the old man shift in his chair behind me. The silence between us felt very uncomfortable. I knew I’d touched a nerve. I wondered what he was thinking but didn’t ask. I was too preoccupied with the thought in my head I couldn’t rid myself of: We never had that… We never did have that. Not in the beginning. Not now. Not ever. Not like that. And I know what you all are thinking: But it’s only a movie and these are only actors. It’s not real. And you’d be right. It is only a movie, based off a book, written by authors probably no different than most of us. But that kind of love is real. I know, my parents had it for the entirety of 42 years before my mother passed away. I have their relationship to compare it to. I believe that I’ve been fortunate enough to have experienced it, though I sometimes wonder now if it was merely on my end alone as the relationship ended without reaching fruition. I know what being in love feels like. I’ve had it. Just not with him. 

I told him that he could have the couch; I was going to bed. I climbed the stairs leaving him sitting there with a blank look on his face as he stared at the tv screen. I went to sleep alone as I had for over a month. I felt somewhat depressed, as if I were grieving over a loss. Was loss the word I was looking for? I still don’t know, but I’ve been experiencing it for a while now. Whatever it was left me with an empty sadness. No, we may never have had that kind of love, but I knew once we had something. Now it feels like nothing at all. We’ve become so comfortable with each other and our routines that we’ve barely noticed we are going through the motions of having a life together, when we no longer want or need each other. I’ve been left for the last couple of days with the realization that my husband is just not that into me anymore. I suppose I could take it personally and have it affect my ego. I don’t. The truth is I’m just not that into him either.

Ours was a relationship started between two attractive people who fell in ‘lust’. I can admit that. He wanted me and told me everything I apparently needed to hear. Maybe he even believed some of it himself at the time. So ours was a foundation built on sand that wasn’t likely to survive the waters that would eventually wash over it, and it appears hasn’t. Lust can mask itself as love as long as the passion lasts, but can only carry you so far. So what now?

I don’t mind making sacrifices in a relationship, and have. I always said if a man truly loved me I would be willing to live in a cardboard box at the river with him if need be. I don’t want for a lot of material things, nor do I need them to please me. Money can’t buy me. If it could I’d be a rich bitch right now, because I had my share of suitors when I was younger and considered quite lovely, who were willing to move heaven and earth and give me whatever I wanted for the pleasure of my company, and wasn’t interested. All I’ve wanted, all I’ve ever sought out is that one man who would look at me the way my father did my mother, and love me unconditionally till death wrenched us apart. I thought I found it once, but lost it. After, I guess I just felt my one and only was gone and would have to settle. Then for a time after my husband and I got together I really believed that fate had granted me that second chance at finding love again, but apparently it was not in the cards as I’d hoped.

How do I know? A good sign that a man isn’t in love with you is when he can watch you cry and it doesn’t affect him in the least. You can be very ill and he doesn’t seem concerned. You have needs but are unable to meet them yourself, he has the means to help you but refuses. He’s more concerned about his relationship with other people then he is about the one the two of you share together, and is willing to risk yours to keep the other. He has a wall built up around himself and has never let you in. Most important for me: When your heart is completely broken, you’ve lost a loved one and are struggling with the loss, he doesn’t console you, nor does it appear it even occurs to him to do so. I guess that’s where I am.

I miss being in love, I do. I guess I just don’t know if it’s that important anymore at this stage in the game. I’m going to be 49 in a month, the sand is swiftly sifting through the hourglass at this point, and I’m wondering if it’s easier to accept the loss and live the lie, than it would be to strike out on my own and try to reinvent myself. Is love, emotional intimacy, sex, etc., that important anymore? What if we are only given one true love in this life…one so-called ‘Soul Mate’…and the one meant for me has already come and gone? What if it were up to me to recognize that was the only one I was ever going to get and didn’t? What if I don’t get second chances? What then? 

What would you do?

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25 Comments on “Is He Just Not That Into Me?”

  1. Gravitas says:

    You know what. I’m a jackass, so I’m not even interested in what his side of the story is… if there even is one. My first impression from some of your comment-replies is that it sounds like a bully situation.

    Don’t be offended, but I hear a situation like that and I get a little bit protective. I’m the type to beat the shit out of (bully, actually) the bullies. Fire with fire.

    Pissy, if you need a hand, we’ll see what we can do. Have baseball bat. Will travel.

    Damn straight. You get out if you need to and do your own thing. You’re strong enough for that. And park any of that “I’m Old” shit. Just park it and set fire to it.

    Bah, you caught me in a mood.

    • Well, Hi Hon! I wondered where you been. Hopefully having a damn life. Ha..ha.. Sorry…reference to another one of my recent posts.
      Ah, aren’t you just my knight, coming to the rescue to save my honor and ass. Good man! It means all chivalry is not dead. Honestly though, Pissy can take care of herself when push comes to shove, and I only give the old man so much lee-way before I snap straps and become a beast. A lot of the shit I’ve gone through has had to do more with his believing that it’s the way marriage is and people should live, then actual bullying. He was raised on a farm, did without almost anything that the rest of us took for granted, and his mother was a stay-at-home and had no life. I think he truly thinks this is normal. You can imagine how badly we butt heads sometimes. But he also has a really good side, and I suppose it’s that part that keeps me here. Well, that and I refuse to give up so easily. Trust me, I could leave if I really wanted and have a place waiting for me at my bestfriend, Pandora Patty’s, house in North Carolina if I want. I’m just learning not to make hasty decisions anymore that lead to further regrets.
      Oh, and honey I am old. Gonna be 49 in a few weeks. I think that classifies me as old anyway. Not so old that I can’t still hold my weight in an argument, stand my ground, or replace his ass if I have to though, so…. 😉
      Anyway, you are super sweet in offering “Have baseball bat. Will travel.” I just love ya for that! ha..ha.. You’re gonna make some woman very fortunate to find you one of these days.

  2. Spectra says:

    “I watched their emotions waltz around in a silent dance as their lives entwined and then began to unravel”.

    OK, I know everyone else gave marital/relationship advice, but since I leave guys the minute they insult me (assuming it’s a truthful omen of their real, up and coming natures, and not willing to contend with dickheadedness. AT ALL.) I haven’t any advice to add.

    But I will say, I enjoyed the eloquence of that line, above, and others. You really do have an artfulness there. I’d like to keep seeing more of that 😉

    -and this shit where you are trapped and he won’t help you get your wings… that’s not teamwork, that’s dictatorship.

    • Spectra says:

      One more thing. Maybe you need to just sit him down, now, before this drags on any further. Give him the ULTIMATUM. He helps you get the license straightened out, an affordable car, for your own mobility and sanity, or the deal is over. You walk. And that’s it. State your terms, let them stand. Do NOT recoil, compromise, or try to make things better. These are your feelings, your demands. Any decent therapist would advise similarly. Living in limbo is bad for the soul. It’s not growth, it’s not moving forward. It’s treading mud in a sinkhole.

      Well. guess I did have some advice, afterall. Imagine that 😉

      • Yeah, Spectra….WHAT YOU JUST SAID! Gotta get these girlie-balls in check and stand my ground.
        Actually he did finally take my car into the shop. Hmm…could it be cause I ‘cut him off’? Hmmm… Any-hoo, I’m just waiting on the call for them to tell me how much and how soon it will be done. I feel that license in my hot little hands as we speak. Who knows…I might get froggy and find myself up in your neck of the woods one day after I get it. Ha..ha..

        • Spectra says:

          Just Google and Map Quest your way across the country. I’ve got a futon!

          • Girl I can’t put together a birdhouse from directions, but give me a map and I’m a warrior on the road. Ha..ha.. Even if I don’t make it there soon, remember to keep next Halloween open cause Pandora Patty and I are going to be in Salem, Massachusetts…and you’re just a hop, skip, and a jump away. I say we all enjoy the holiday together. I’ll be celebrating my 50th birthday! It falls on November 5th, so it’s called killing two birds with one stone.

  3. What would I do? I’m not sure you want to know that. After being married to the same guy for 52 years (hey, I was a child bride!) I probably have a warped perspective.

    But I guess I’ll spout off anyway. When you combine depression, Sully’s death, perimenopause, and general dissatisfaction with your life, and let it all stew for a while, it’s inevitable that eventually everything else is going to feel out of alignment, too, including your marriage. Before you take an irrevocable step, consider that ‘love’ is rarely an authentic emotion. It’s a noun, just like marriage and commitment, and to keep it polished takes a heckuva lot of deliberate effort. Even if your hubby won’t go, there’s nothing stopping you from making your own appointment to talk through things with a psychologist or counsellor. When we gals are unhappy we like to heap blame on what we believe is the cause, but sometimes our rose-coloured glasses are fogged up so badly from all the steam and tears, that we can’t see what direction we need to take… at least not as well as maybe a neutral party would.

    I believe all marriages go through some pretty rocky patches, but of the people I know that split up, only one ended up content. (And she still hasn’t gotten into another relationship. She’s gone back to university.)

    Something to think about: Nobody can fix another person. We only have control over ourselves.

    There now… betcha that’s more than you wanted to hear from me. 🙂

    • Nah, I always welcome your input Carol. You should know that. I’m not one of those people that want someone to tell me what they think I want to hear. If anything, I’m excellent at accepting constructive criticism. Ha.Ha..
      I did go through counseling for over a year, but stopped nearly two years ago when it became difficult for me to get there. My counselor told me to leave him, in no uncertain terms. At the time he wouldn’t put a phone in the house (although he had his cell phone) so I was alone all the time and couldn’t even reach out to anyone via internet. It was the dead of winter, we had no propane in the tank, he wouldn’t spend the money to put any in there, I was feeding the fireplace as much as I could during the day, but even still it got so cold that the water in the back of the toilet tank and in the dogs dishes froze, and the pipes with it. We were without water for months till it warmed up enough to fix them. When it’s below freezing in the house and you can see your breath it’s pretty darn cold. She told me the conditions I was forced to live in were deplorable and talked me into going to my sisters for a couple of months. He begged me to come home, told me he’d go to marriage counseling and things would be different. I came back, he didn’t, and the only thing that’s different are at least he’s making sure I have a phone, heat, water, and my internet so I’m not alone. I’ve done more than my share of struggling to remain with this man because I loved him. And although the living conditions are much better than they were, his attitude is not, and he still doesn’t share things with me the way a man should his wife. I have no doubt that recent events have just added to my being fed-up, but eventually everyone collapses when being weighed down with burdens. I think my anger is more than justified at this point. I just don’t know if what we have is worth salvaging anymore. Any other woman would’ve been gone long ago.

      • You got me at the frozen water reference! Yikes! Sounds like he was punishing himself as much as everything else in the house last winter! I’m glad at least living conditions are better this year. And if you’ll soon have a car and your license that will help counteract the sense of isolation which ought to help, too.

        I like Spectra’s suggestion that there needs to be a conversation about what’s acceptable and what’s not, and some kind of ultimatum (although angry confrontation will likely just cause a not-so-helpful scene). If you can’t get him to talk (and I know there are men who simply can’t or won’t talk about emotional issues, especially with a wife) maybe you can convince him to write something down. Just like a grocery list… both of you take sheets of paper and draw a line down the middle. Hand him his sheet and a pen if he won’t put out the effort on his own. Ask him to list on either side of the line what he thinks is good and not-so-good about the relationship. It could take a whole evening… it’s hard to produce words when pressured by someone who’s watching and waiting, so maybe do it while you’re both watching TV or something (or let him take it out to the barn to do). Then have him go back and put a check mark against the not-so-good things that he thinks could be changed, and/or that he’d be willing to help change. You do the same, and the next day compare lists. It could be very enlightening.

        It takes guts to acknowledge weaknesses, and it takes work to change the status quo. But if you’re not content in the relationship, it’s likely he isn’t either. That counsellor was right… something has to change. And maybe it’s going to be up to you to facilitate that change, whatever it will be.

        That’s about as far as my two bits will stretch. And, truthfully, I’m not in your shoes so what do I really know about what you guys should do?

        • Oh, I’m thinking after 52 years of marriage you probably have a lot more insightful wisdom than I do on the subject. And I wish I could get him to do any of those things, or really anything at all, but sadly you can’t coerce someone to make an effort when they really REALLY don’t believe that they are at fault for anything. Not saying that I’m not–because I know I carry my share–but I don’t believe that one person in a relationship can fix anything without cooperation from the other.
          I’m just biding my time right now, as I have been for a while. Sometimes things just have to run there course. Even if it runs completely out. Well, at least he came back up to bed. I suppose that’s a start.

  4. Renee Mason says:

    Lou, I think livelaughloveliquor hit the nail on the head with her advice. What’s the downside? And what if, instead of only one soulmate, each of us has, say, 300 potential mates hanging out on this earth plane, just waiting for one of the right ones to find us?

    • Ha..ha.. I’d like to believe the 300 potential soul-mates. With my lousy record it’s probably going to take that many till I find the right ‘fit’. And if I did anything it probably wouldn’t be till after winter anyway, so it’s not like I’m rushing into it. I’m just tired of always being the understanding one. It ain’t got me shit!

  5. Back to your imaginary friend Lou. What would you tell her? Go do it for yourself.
    And no, your best years are not behind you. You have energy, drive and a beautiful caring nature. We love you for all those things. If they are being stifled, only you have the answer that is right for you. And the answers you find for yourself are always the best.

    • What a co-inky-dink. I just dropped you an email, Sue. I must’ve let things get to me more than I thought it would, because I’m doing the drinking..emailing..blogging, thing. Is that like drunk-calling? I hate it when that happens. Shit! My next question: Am I too old to be tying one on when I have problems, or is there no age limit to this kind of thing? Ha..ha.. I just crack myself up! And in answer to your question: My imaginary friend would tell me to go pack my shit, move out and on with my life, and find a younger man like I have every time before when my heart is broke. Ain’t nothing like a pretty boy to ease the pain. My bad! I’m a Cougar.

  6. mkultra76 says:

    Ditto on the marriage counseling. Even the best of marriages can benefit from it when there are life changes, and in growing older and/or growing apart. Plus, sometimes men just do not realize the things and emotions that are happening right in front of their eyes until it’s pointed out to them. Good luck.

    • Well, you know the old saying “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”? In my case the horse doesn’t realize it’s thirsty and won’t budge. What then?
      Ah, don’t mind me. I’m just boo-hooing. Tap the keg, break out the beer-bong, and call it a good evening in spite of the pain. Isn’t that what the young folk do? Ha..ha..

  7. Hon, youre only 49 and youre still lovely. You have alot left in you, i know you do.
    With that said, marriages wax and wane and some years are better than others……is it possible this is just a rough patch? if so, marriage counseling may help. If not, give it 6 months. Journal during that time, sort your feelings towards him, record them, good and bad. then after 6 months, re-read your journal, and you will have cold hard tangible facts to review your decision.

    • Well thank you for the compliment. I don’t feel so lovely anymore. I feel old and very tired lately. I feel like my best years have passed me by, and there’s not a lot left to look forward to. And I know that marriages have their good and bad times, but we’ve been going through bad now for quite a few years, and the only time we get along and things look positive is when I let him do what he wants, and don’t complain about sacrifices I’m having to make. I also wish counseling was an option, and I’ve brought it up many times, but he refuses. I honestly think he’s afraid that someone will tell him he’s wrong and that he should make an effort to change…and that is something he won’t do. Sadly I believe deep down he does want me and ‘us’, but have a feeling he’s not going to realize it till I’m gone and there is no going back. I guess it doesn’t matter. If it comes to that I won’t give a damn anymore anyway. And if it has to come to that then he’s not worth it.

  8. I suggest marriage counseling — seriously. Men aren’t monogamous creatures by nature, it takes hard work to know when to do what. Knowing how to treat a woman may seem easy to you, but some men were never instructed how, they just think that women are men with a pocket between their legs to have sex with.

    The trick is finding out if he’s willing to work for the sake of your marriage and your children.

    • We don’t have children together. Mine are grown and out of the house. His son lives with his ex. The only thing we have is a few farm cats and Hound Dog (our chihuahua). We have a large, four bedroom farmhouse, and a whole lot of material things that fill it, and I suppose neither of us wants to let go of any of it. As far as I know he’s monogamous. His mistress is fishing, hunting, and his friends. And your right, he doesn’t know how to treat a woman or be a husband. His mother was stuck on a farm her whole life raising kids, and unable to go anywhere. He thinks this is normal for a woman to live this way; to live a man’s life and not have one of her own. And he refuses to go to counseling. Why should he? He doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with him.

      • Not to be preaching to the choir, but marriage isn’t an individual’s responsibility it’s the ability for two people to work toward a synergy.

        • And that my friend is the reason you should never get married. You never know till after the fact if you’re going to wind up with one that takes absolutely no responsibility for their actions and refuses to work on it. Marriage is a crap-shoot. You have better luck at a casino with a wooden nickel.

  9. mairedubhtx says:

    Wow. I don’t know what to tell you. I’ve been down this road with my second ex-husband and hung on as long as I could until he divorced me. I was in shock over it but it was honestly the best thing that happened to me. I was much better off without him. Only you can tell if you’re better off with him or without him. You’re in my prayers.

    • I appreciate the prayers but think what I really need is a shrink. What in the world motivates a woman to make excuses for a man who doesn’t love her? See, all this time I really thought he did and was just having difficulty showing it. And you know, even if I’m wrong and this is just the only way he knows how to love, don’t I deserve better than that? I might add, I didn’t send him to the couch. He knows how funny I am about two people going to bed at night together whether they are pissed or not (I never remember my father or mother once sleeping apart in our home), and I think he went to the couch to make a point and punish me. After a few weeks of him being there I just told him to stay. I don’t need the games.
      Like you, I’ve walked away from marriages and relationships before and it was the best thing that ever happened to me, but just wonder if maybe I’m getting too old and am too tired to bother reinventing myself again. I’ll tell ya though, that movie really made me think. I’m going to get the damn book now. I guess you’re never too old to learn something new.