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Dawood

"No feeling" for me but still there for our children?

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Dawood

Hi to all,

 

I tried searching but couldn't see if this had already been discussed.

 

Since my wife's Pristiq kicked in I've had the whole - I don't love you anymore / I've not loved you for years / I've never loved you; and - We're more like flatmates / brother and sister than lovers and partners thing. She's become cold as i e to me really.

 

However, this does not seem to have affected the love and affection she has towards our two children (3 1/2 and 2 years).

 

Has anyone else ever experienced this, come across it, or have any idea what is possibly going on?

 

Many thanks and all the best,

 

Dawood

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sadandconfused

Dawood,
I'm really sorry you're going through this. I'm definitely no expert but I'm just gonna tell you my personal experience with this. I'm on the opposite end of this and I have lost feelings for my boyfriend through an ssri, BUT I still feel for the rest of my family, my friends, etc. I think this is part of this awful drug. It's tough. I really hope it gets better for you and your wife gets her feelings back. I've been in withdrawal for 9 months and I feel like i may slowly be getting feelings for him again but I definitely don't wanna speak too soon. Good luck to you!

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Dawood

Thank you for your response sadandconfused, and I hope you continue to feel better!

 

My concern is that she is always adamant that she simply feels nothing  for me anymore, and treats me with derision and almost contempt much of the time. Outside of that, we're often able to chit-chat back and forth like we always have, but without any emotional content. As soon as something more 'deep' comes up, she immediately becomes cold to me and shuts off.

 

It's hard to try and discern if it's the medication causing this, or if she simply - truly - doesn't feel anything for me. The derision is completely out of character, as she considers me an excellent father and that I have been nothing but supportive to her, etc. She just no longer feels love for me, nor finds me attractive.

 

Do you think the 9 months of WD effects is due to your quitting cold turkey rather than reducing incrementally?

 

With thanks and best wishes,

Dawood

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sadandconfused

From everything I've researched and read up on over the past few months that definitely could be a horrible affect of the medication. I know sometimes people's feelings do change on their own, they fall out of love, grow apart, all of that BUT someone being on the meds and saying these things is a completely different story. I think very well someone could feel like they've fallen out of love or saying they don't find someone attractive anymore. The only reason I'm so confident about this is since I'm going through the same thing. I know I'm putting my boyfriend through hell and I definitely am not meaning to at all. I'm very hopeful that the feelings will come back but I do think it will take some time. :( sorry if you already wrote this but how long has your wife been on the medication and has she started to taper off?

And yes I honestly whole heartedly believe that if I hadn't have quit these cold turkey things would be completely different right now. I probably would have been happily married to the love of my life, maybe with the thought of having kids soon and all that, but that's all really messed up now.

Also, I've always loved art and writing. I could sit and write a story or paint for hours and in the past 9 months it's like all my creativity is gone. I just don't have motivation for anything. It's like I can feel content, no sadness but I'm gone. I'm so emotionless and selfish, it's awful.

Thank you for your feedback!

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Dawood

Aw, so sorry to hear that - from what I have read it takes time to come back is all... and everyone is different.

 

I am confident in the human body's ability to heal itself from all but the most severe illnesses and trauma.

 

In my wife's case, she started Zoloft (called Eleva here) around July 2015 at 50 mg, but quickly reached tolerance. In January 2016 she was put on 100 mg, but that made her very fatigued all the time. She is a fitness fanatic (has always been so), so couldn't bear that tiredness and being unable to train. They switched her over to 50 mg Pristiq in late July 2016, and that was when things really went downhill fast. As soon as the 8 week 'lead in' period of the medication was over in late September, her behavioural change was noticeable by me immediately. From early October 2016, I suspected infidelity and all manner of other things. She responded to my asking if she was cheating on me later that month with "We need to separate", and then it went all downhill from there. I moved out in between Christmas and New Year to my own apartment, and we split care of our two boys each week. I have now moved back into the family home as per the marriage counsellor's suggestion, which I am eternally grateful for - even though it is much harder!

 

It was only in late January 2017 that I came across the possible connection between the SNRI she was taking and all of this - I am so grateful for the information here.

 

Throughout this time, she has repeatedly stated that she feels nothing for me whatsoever, is no longer attracted to me / never was attracted to me, and never loved me at all. I was a convenient escape from her dysfunctional family, etc. Very hurtful things. :-(

 

She began coming off the medication in February 2017 to "prove me wrong" - i.e. that it wasn't the medication causing her to not feel love for me, but that she truly didn't love me and wanted a divorce.

 

I have all manner of messages (WhatsApp), emails and letters from her over the years - including 'love poetry' from as late as July 2016 calling me her soulmate and best friend etc. Which is why I, and her family, and friends, were completely sidelined by this sudden urge to separate and divorce. I mean okay, life was hard (2 kids under 4, not much family support etc)., but we were solid before that.

 

Anyway, I am so happy that in your case you are at least aware of what is going on, and can see how you may be treating and hurting your partner - and not *want* to do so. My wife has absolutely no concern at all, besides recently when a few "glimpses" of her former self have appeared - followed by even worse downward spirals due to withdrawal.

 

Sorry, I didn't mean to type so much!

 

Dawood

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Bridgetini

Hi Dawood, sorry to hear about your relationship problems. I am glad that you got a counsellor and are back in the family home. Thanks for sharing your story.

I am the one in our family with long term depression and am on the max dosage of an SNRI plus some other meds. I opened up to my husband on Sunday about my lack of feelings and how we should probably separate. Poor guy, his head is melted now. Maybe it is the meds talking. But for me it is real. So many problems, and recovery and withdrawal take so long..

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Dawood

Hi Bridgetini,

 

I am so sorry to hear that! I can definitely relate to what he is going through.

 

From my lived experience and what I have read here and elsewhere, it is most likely due to the Venlafaxine (Effexor?). 375 mg seems like a huge dose to me! My wife was only on 50 mg of Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine), which I think is equal to about 100 mg of Venlafaxine and this is what happened to me.

 

Your husband's head is going to be all over the place, and he will crumple or has likely already done so. I was literally on the floor crying my heart out, with heart palpitations, our 2 kids (3 1/2 and 2) crying while climbing all over me wondering what was wrong, and my wife just stared blankly at me for a few minutes then went back to watching Netflix as if nothing had happened.

 

It definitely feels real to my wife - no matter what reasoning or logical counterarguments are given by me, her family, friends - it is something *felt* by her. Or rather not felt at all. So because she doesn't feel anything for me anymore, she has rationalised this in all types of ways as if it is ultimately me to blame for keeping her back from being "free" and "happy". She even told me on Valentine's Day that our 12 year marriage was a sham from her perspective - that she has never loved me from the start - and simply used me to escape her dysfunctional and domestically/emotionally abusive family. This is demonstrably false, yet her *feeling* is not shaken in the least by that.

 

I am not sure if you are willing to look into the possibility that it is the medication further; I only came across it as an option in late January 2017 after I caught her cheating on me in early October 2016 - immediately after the 8 week introductory period for the Pristiq was finished. If you value your marriage (you didn't mention how long etc.) and can even remember how you guys were before the medication, then I would suggest looking into it further.

 

I want her back, and am only still here because of the kids and because of the memory of the person I loved before she transformed. That person is essentially dead to me right now, even though her body is still working and there right in front of me. It sounds silly to you - I know - but it is the truth in my case. There have been oscillations between her being cold/flat/awful to me, and glimpses of her old self shining through. Or even instances of her being willing to listen to reason and ask for help in solving this issue etc. So I am not giving up quite yet, even though each day - or each moment - I don't know which "her" I am dealing with.

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peacepresent

I think it may be the meds, although you need to talk to her about this because if it is not you need to decide if you stay together for the sake of the kids. If you do I recommend you look for a girl friend who can keep it secret from kids until they are the ok age to be told.

 

Otherwise stay and try to give her time.

 

Don't give her too long though.

 

Other wise leave and be an active father for your kids still but be aware it damages kids some times.

 

You seem like a good guy so don't worry so much things will work out!

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TeaBea

Hi Dawood, sorry to hear about your relationship problems. I am glad that you got a counsellor and are back in the family home. Thanks for sharing your story.

I am the one in our family with long term depression and am on the max dosage of an SNRI plus some other meds. I opened up to my husband on Sunday about my lack of feelings and how we should probably separate. Poor guy, his head is melted now. Maybe it is the meds talking. But for me it is real. So many problems, and recovery and withdrawal take so long..

 

Bridgetini-- can you remember a time when your marriage did mean something to you?  Did it mean something prior to going on venlafaxine?  Do you have children in this marriage?  I think you owe it to the person you took a vow with and started a family with to at least see if the drug caused this problem in your marriage.  

 

Sorry, that's just my two cents, as a "spouse of Effexor".  Halfway off his dose (of only 187.5 mg) my husband said he could feel a blanket lifting off his mind and just a short bit later apologized for all the things that he'd done to hurt me because "that wasn't him, not who he was."  He's incredibly grateful now that I managed to weather the storm and that we're still together.  What happens if you wake up one morning off the med or onto another one and your feelings and memories come back?  Would you regret anything? This might just be that part of "for better or for worse, in sickness and in health" that you have to deal with.  

 

I came across a woman's writings online (might've been part of the SSRI stories, don't remember) who said she realized that if she was on Effexor she started hating her husband, but it was the only med that worked for her.  She'd go off it for awhile and love her husband again, and then when the depression got intolerable again, she'd go back on until she started hating her husband again....and on-and-on (for how long, I don't know).  I certainly don't recommend this!  I'm just sharing it to show how these meds can change or influence your feelings!  

 

Don't mean to come off hard on you, and not to say that even without meds that you wouldn't some day decide you didn't love your husband anymore since it happens all the time out in the real world, but still...... what if?  Maybe tell him about this forum so he can get some support?  If you're fine taking your med and know what you want in your life, I think he might need this forum more than you since his life is now outside of his control and he needs some help in making sense of it.

 

Good luck to you both.  

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Dawood

TeaBea: I do know that my wife seems to have a 'fuzzy memory' of past affection, but can't quite remember it clearly. And even, for example, the few times she has hugged me recently or whatever, she cannot remember actually doing it or how it felt.

 

It is very strange!

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Effeffexor

Wow. Your story resonates with me.

I hate Effexor. I can't express how much.

I'm so very sorry this has happened to you. Why did she get on the meds? This.. fitness obsession.. please forgive me for asking this but has.. your intimacy been an issue? You mentioned she was fine in June? Has she gotten friendly with any males?

I'll be completely off by September (our anniversary). Most days I'm happy go lucky, though it seems like it has taken forever to get here. But some days I'm depressed again or the terrible numbness comes back.

I guess the only differences between your wife and I is that I keep everything inside. The thing is.. it truly feels responsive. I feel justified in feeling this way. I feel unloved...unwanted. But I know I'm messed up because of the Effexor. So I stuff it down and trudge on. I just pray it will all be ok someday soon. Write back.

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Effeffexor

Definitely fuzzy memory. My life is fog. I'm in the moment... but then it's gone. When I'm told of any hurt I've caused.. it almost feels unfair. Because I don't remember! I remember one waitress crying and saying I was mean. I started crying. I hated myself so much even though I don't remember it. I don't know how long it will take to get my memory back. Or if. I've been on it since I was a teenager.

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Dawood

Wow. Your story resonates with me.

I hate Effexor. I can't express how much.

I'm so very sorry this has happened to you. Why did she get on the meds? This.. fitness obsession.. please forgive me for asking this but has.. your intimacy been an issue? You mentioned she was fine in June? Has she gotten friendly with any males?

I'll be completely off by September (our anniversary). Most days I'm happy go lucky, though it seems like it has taken forever to get here. But some days I'm depressed again or the terrible numbness comes back.

I guess the only differences between your wife and I is that I keep everything inside. The thing is.. it truly feels responsive. I feel justified in feeling this way. I feel unloved...unwanted. But I know I'm messed up because of the Effexor. So I stuff it down and trudge on. I just pray it will all be ok someday soon. Write back.

Hi Effeffexor,

 

She was prescribed the medication after a severe case of postpartum depression after the birth of our 2nd child, which she began after the baby was 5 months.

 

She has always been a fitness fanatic due to self-esteem issues regarding her body image and being teased about her weight by her family growing up.

 

Intimacy - on the medication, definitely, and even before it there were some issues due to unresolved childhood trauma which is still unresolved until now. The meds made everything 'go away' due to emotionally blunting.

 

Males - yes, I caught her at the beginning of everything in October 2016, so not sure exactly how far it went. She was still speaking to him as late as February/March this year by phone, so I called him up and spoke with him. I assume the worst and if it didn't go that far then it's only because a guardian angel or something was watching over her as she became infatuated (and still is to a degree, but getting over it).

 

What did you mean when you said "it truly feels responsive..."?

 

Wishing you all the very best - it must be so difficult for you if you cannot remember things and how you acted, or how you made people feel.

 

When did you begin to be able to differentiate between "you" and the medicated you?

 

My wife took her last Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) pill over 2 weeks ago after tapering since the end of January.

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Effeffexor

Responsive.. perhaps that isn't the right word. Is it a word? lol I mean that it feels like I'm only upset in response to something done to me. It feels justified.

I guess the waitress incident is what really made me realize the medicated me was different.

Congrats on her being off it!

Pristiq.. ugh! The brain zaps are killer on that one.

There's some suggestions somewhere on the boards about supplements that can help repair the brain after tapering. My own lil suggestion would be that before she does that to start her on two things. (I'm not a doc but yah) The crap prob still in her system though I'm sure people will fight me on that one. Buy capsules of a mushroom blend. They will act like sponges and absorb any toxins. (They also give great energy. Tell her that if she fights you on it) Then have her take Milk Thistle. It's what people take to detox. It will get rid of it from the liver, etc.

As far as what to take after that, people here know more than I do. I know an amino acid blend smoothie was recommended to me as lil building blocks to start over.

I think the board has mentioned ginkgo and fish oils.. but double check on that.

In addition to repairing, you can give her natural stuff to help with depression. It's important if you are going to supplement, that she was on stuff for serotonin and norepherine. If you take St. John's wort, etc. you are only boosting serotonin.

The best advice I have, and something that has helped me more than anything (though the detoxing was pretty crucial and I'm not even completely off my meds), was my diet change. I feel reborn most days. I never in a million years would have believed it. Food is perfect medicine. Masterfully created.

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Losteverything
On 10/03/2017 at 0:58 PM, Dawood said:

Thank you for your response sadandconfused, and I hope you continue to feel better!

 

My concern is that she is always adamant that she simply feels nothing  for me anymore, and treats me with derision and almost contempt much of the time. Outside of that, we're often able to chit-chat back and forth like we always have, but without any emotional content. As soon as something more 'deep' comes up, she immediately becomes cold to me and shuts off.

 

It's hard to try and discern if it's the medication causing this, or if she simply - truly - doesn't feel anything for me. The derision is completely out of character, as she considers me an excellent father and that I have been nothing but supportive to her, etc. She just no longer feels love for me, nor finds me attractive.

 

Do you think the 9 months of WD effects is due to your quitting cold turkey rather than reducing incrementally?

 

With thanks and best wishes,

Dawood

I believe it's the medication. I told my partner the father of my kids that I no longer was in love with him not attracted to him love him like a friend etc all of this after 14 years of love 4 kids love was displayed every day between us both we were very much in love and very happy right up until I began lexapro and had dosage increased. Within 3 months I had completely changed towards him. I was emotionless when I told him I no longer loved him barley gave him a hug when he broke down crying. I feel so horrible. Off for around 6/7 months and was myself again. Loving caring honest faithful person that I always was. Not only was In love with him like I used to be but I feel that I love him even more than I ever have. Sadly it doesn't matter anymore I lost my soul mate and my kids lost their dad in the end its tragic and unfair. Hang in there I'm sure once its all out of her system she will love you how she did before. I have researched for hours and hours read so many stories now that I think I can finally let go of my doubt about the medication I honestly thought I had just turned into a monster. I wish  my partner sadly ex now found forums like this maybe we would be together rebuilding and understanding together. Maybe our family wouldn't be broken :( our poor kids lost out most and suffered most and sadly still are because mummy started medication for anxiety. I blame myself so much. Hope all works out for you and your wife

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aberdeen

I too lost my affection for my husband of 17 years but somehow managed to feel the connection for our kids. Its because the connection to our kids is primal, hardwired in for their survival I think. It must use a different neural pathway, require a different energy source maybe. WD and meds maybe aren't able to impact that part of our more pirmal senses. The efforts a relationship between two adults requires something different maybe?. I know I love my husband but at times I feel like I need to get away from him. I feel irritated and confrontational about everything he says and does. He works from home and we see entirely too much of each other which only increases the resentment. However....I KNOW this is a combination of real life valid issues we have within our marriage, plus some hormonal stuff (its always worse 2 weeks before my cycle) and of course the meds i was on. The meds are less of an issue now as I have now been off everything for a year. I have worked hard at telling myself that he is a good husband and father and that its not so much HIM, but something within me. I have explained this to him as well. We have lost the closeness we had, and its very easy for me to assume its all because of things he has done, or that Ive simply grown tired of him, but I hold out hope that it can be restored. I work hard to not ever tell him how cold I feel, and to find things to do outside the home on days I feel really irritated, and on other days to try to engage in things we can do that make us happy together, because I know the relationship needs it and at the end of the day I don't want to hurt him or break up our marriage as we have two children and I honestly don"t actually want to be divorced. Its hard, and your post makes me feel terrible for you, my own husband, and all the other partners out there on the other side of this experience. I hope htings work out for you guys....give it time and give her space. Somewhere in there, she still loves and cares for you, but the chemistry required for feeling this stuff is haywire and offline for the time being.It should come back eventually!!

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PapayaShake

Hi, Dawood and everyone else.

I am going through that same situation right now. I always come here when Im feeling really down( to the point that I start beliving that I never felt any kind of feeling towards anyone) So I hope my experience can help to confirm that this loss of feelings is due to the meds, not her. I lost feelings for my girlfriend too, I was madly in love and in a period of 3 months or so I sopped feeling, Sometimes as others have mentioned  I even feel irritated by her just speaking. Thankfully I learned early that this was a side effect of the drugs. I've been tappering for 8 months or more, but I still have not been able to recover my feelings. On some days I get a little glimpse of them or about myself but, Im pretty much numb. 

I really fight to be kind and show myself loving, buth the truth is that inside I feel nothing. 

 

At the same time I don´t want to loose her, I dont want to get my feelings back and discover she is gone so I am just trying to be pacient and keep in mind that my brain is just not working well, but somewhere inside I still love her.

 

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Coopergirl1

^ Papaya shake! I could've written your post as if it were me! That's exactly how I feel about my boyfriend of 3 years. I hate these drugs!!!!!

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PapayaShake
On 7/31/2017 at 2:22 PM, Coopergirl1 said:

^ Papaya shake! I could've written your post as if it were me! That's exactly how I feel about my boyfriend of 3 years. I hate these drugs!!!!!

 

I know, I hate it I wish I could give her all the love in the world but I just can't.

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Coopergirl1

Hang in here. You will get through this. 

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