I finally opened up to my husband of 22 years and told him I am unhappy in our marriage and that I feel like I want to separate. And at my doing, our sex life has ended. For the past 2 years I have come to realize I don’t love him like I use to and being intimate with him is a huge turn off! After having sex with him for the past 2 years I would cry and feel violated and untrue to myself but I felt like I had to do my wifely duty none the less. I finally came clean with him 2 months ago. Needless to say we have had a rough few months but he is beginning to understand how I am feeling and why, but he still has hope that I will come back to him fully as a wife. I am not in another relationship nor am I interested in other men.
I am sexually dead at the moment and I have no interest in reviving this part of my life at this moment. I truly just want out, I feel trapped, but I also feel guilty for not living up to the wife I know he expected me to be. I wish he could find someone to love him in every way that I won’t and can’t. But he is holding on to a sinking ship. We have 2 grown children ages 17 and 20 and they both live at home. I don’t want to lose our house and break up our family but I don’t know what else to do but wait for him to realize it’s over with us.
He is angry and hurt and he is happy with how things are. I am no longer attracted to him and do not want to be with him intimately. We have not been together for 3 months. I’m not sure what I need to be happy, I just know how I feel. But seeing him hurt and angry really has me second guessing myself at every turn. My stomach is in knots and I feel like crap. I don’t know what to do anymore. I went to bed regretting telling him anything and thinking maybe I should just continue as I have been and see if we can put things back together, but I’m not sure we even can. What do you suggest? ~Diane
From both of the emails you sent, I am taking it that you are contemplating leaving. You told your husband that you are not happy and no longer attracted to him. You also stated that you have no desire to reignite “those feelings.” You also stated that for the past two years you have had sex with your husband because you felt it was your “wifely duty” and that afterwards you would cry and feel violated and untrue to yourself. You feel trapped and want out. You feel bad because he is hurt and angry. You also believe that he is holding onto hope of a sinking ship.
With all of this said, he will have hope until you are physically separated. I have seen this over and over again in relationships. By his point of view, you are saying you are not happy, but you are not leaving. This in of itself gives him hope. You have been having your thoughts for years; he needs time to process them.
What you wrote makes me think, you feel lost and alone, and probably don’t have much self-esteem. This happens to so many women as their children get older. So what can you do?
First off, start finding things that you enjoy. Maybe you can join a group in your town or sign up for a cooking class. Do something that sounds like fun to you where you will be amidst other people. It is important to socialize and find people that you enjoy doing things with. Be selfish and take care of you!
You state that you feel sexually dead. This is hard for me to respond to, since I don’t know the facts. Typically when someone starts feeling this way it is either a matter of not loving the person due to things they have said or done, or it’s a medical issue. If there is any chance of it being a medical issue, then please see a doctor. If you don’t love him because of his past words or actions, then so be it. Accept that it’s over. A lot of times, sexual interests die because as a woman we do not feel loved, cherished and accepted for who we are.
Thus, if you are feeling like an object rather than a person, it is time to start taking care of you for you. You can soak in the bathtub, get a massage, go to the spa, anything that makes you feel pampered! This will go far for your own self-esteem. This is ALL for you!
You stated that you do not want to lose your house or break up your family and that you don’t know what else to do rather than wait for him to realize it is over. I’m wondering why you are giving him power over your life. What is your happiness worth to you? Would you prefer to stay in the house with him, or be happy living somewhere else? Is your family healthy and whole? Probably not, it is more than likely already broken (hurt) due to the current stresses. What do you have to offer your children by staying with your husband? What would you be teaching your children if you left? What would you be teaching them if you stayed?
There is no right answer; the trick is for you to make a decision one way or another. ONLY you know what is acceptable and not acceptable to you.
Once you make a decision to stay or leave, you will also feel a little better. Once a decision is made, it tends to lift a burden.
You might be interested in the 50 Questions to ask yourself, to help you decide if you should stay or leave.
Know that if you keep on doing what you have been doing NOTHING will change. My son told me once, “Change happens when the fear of staying the same is greater than the fear of change.” Where do you fall along these lines? Are you ready to do whatever it takes to claim your life and choose to be happy for you?
The biggest and best advice I can give you is to start finding yourself. Figure out what you like and don’t like. Meet new friends. Try new things. Be happy for you. As you grow, one of two things will happen, either you will naturally reconcile with your husband or you will free to move on. Either way, you will be able to feel good about yourself and your future.
Wishing you a lifetime full of peace and happiness!