SSRIs and the end of romantic love
December 18, 2013 1:15 PM Subscribe
Four months after my husband went on Lexapro, I could see it in his face that he didn't love me anymore. At seven months, he asked to separate after four years of marriage. After finding this article
online, I'm curious as to whether others have had similar experiences. Have you or your spouse experienced a decline in attachment/romantic love after starting an SSRI?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (71 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Main question is above. This is just background:
He was dealing with anxiety-induced depression for a long time before starting on the drug. He sought out medication after repeated urging from me over a period of several years, in a last-ditch attempt to function and continue working at his job (the source of the anxiety in the first place). Leaving his job is not an option so please don't suggest it; he's on his dream career path right now and it's going to be a long slog to the top. He has no desire to abandon it, only to be more productive. Lexapro has given him that.
It's also made him angrier. Whereas before he was kind and extremely loving toward me, and loathed confrontation, he has been eager to yell back and defend himself since starting on the drug. But it's not just arguments with me--he'll start them himself now, which is a complete personality change. He raises his voice and does all of the things he used to hate it when I did (I'm from a family where we hashed out our disagreements by shouting at each other; he's from one where they never talked about them at all).
Over the summer this anger morphed into a lack of love for me. When he asked to separate, he said that he hadn't felt romantic about me for several months. He said that since we had both been unhappy for a long time, there was no point in continuing, and we should go look for other people to make us happy. There has been no rancor, only this maddeningly cordial rationality.
I always approached our marriage with the idea that it would be forever. I had no fear of conflict because I believed that these issues needed to be discussed so that we could work them out and have a happy life together full of good communication. I believe that Lexapro flipped some kind of switch in him that has removed the love that gives a person the wherewithal to work through conflicts. Now he just wants me to leave and move on with my life. If you or your spouse has experienced anything similar involving an SSRI, I would really like to know what your next steps were or if you have any advice you could give me. Thanks hivemind.