Wish Us Luck? - Hartly,DE

Updated on February 17, 2014
L.M. asks from Hartly, DE
27 answers

Been married for almost 16 years. But about 4-5 years ago I had gotten to the point of not caring...I felt like a single parent and basically functioned as one...since nothing I said or done changed that I accepted it and started acting like it (not dating of course)...even regarding family events most time. I didn't count on hubby for anything. Complete indifference.

About two years ago I decided I was done being married and feeling so lonely and I wrote my husband a letter and told him a lot of things that I had been holding in. Had told him most at various times to no avail and it finally came to a boiling point. I told him to read it, think about it and we could talk later rather than all at once. We talked a little. He became over emotional about everything (a complete deviation from his normal personality). We didn't talk much more at that point because he was so emotional and I was trying not to hurt him. Because I was really to the point of ending our marriage, I understated how I felt...trying to ease into it because he was so emotional (I had not expected that). He started doing a lot of things different...trying to help out more etc. Things that would have made a difference at any point up to and including about 3 years ago. While I appreciate his help and his efforts, I do not feel like his wife (I don't feel married at all). I know he's a good man but I don't feel love or attraction for him. I don't feel connected to him...I would almost be relieved if he told me had an affair because then I would have a concrete reason to call it quits.

I've started not sleeping again. Last night it was bad. We talked and he basically knows how I feel (told him I understated how I felt two years ago and it hasn't gotten better). I think he's still in denial about it but he wants to work on it. Asked what he can do...I don't think there is "anything he can do" at this point. It's how I feel...or rather don't feel. He deserves someone who loves him the way he says he loves me. I deserve to feel that way about someone (hopefully that also feels the same). It's not fair to either of us.

Can anyone offer words of wisdom (preferably those that have been through this)?

*Let me add that I know that our daughter comes first. If not, things would have been over 3-4 years ago. The part about us both "deserving" is just a small part of what I feel. Yes, I know he's trying but I have been trying for most of our time together...the better part of the 11 years before I just accepted the status quo. Yes, we have tried "dates" however, I always feel worse because he tells me how much he enjoyed himself and I have a horrible time. I don't enjoy myself with him at all!

**S.H. I really checked out about 2.5 years ago when I did get burnt out from being unhappy (before that I was really just burnt out). After the letter, my intent was to continue the discussion and move on. He took it as a "warning shot" so to speak that things needed to change rather than "I can't do this anymore". So, I've held my tongue and tried to see if things would change (some did) but my feelings have not. I went to a counselor but really that just confirmed what I knew...things weren't working anymore. As for him or the lifestyle...I have a son that was 15 when we had our daughter....hubby convinced me that having another child would be different this time because he would help me...wouldn't be doing it alone. That was true when it was convenient for him. I love my daughter and wouldn't trade her anything but doing 90-95% of the work (regarding the house and kids) and having a full time job was not part of the agreement. So yes the whole package got me to point of indifference but only to him.

***Although I didn't write the letter when I first felt this way, I did tell him repeatedly most of the things that were in the letter. He didn't listen. Repeatedly calmly, when upset, when mad...no approach had any affect...he ignored, did what he wanted, let it go in one ear and out the other. I did give him a fighting chance until that point.

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Not looking for approval or disapproval. Looking for understanding and words of wisdom from people who have been in a similiar situation.
*Again, let me reiterate...I am NOT looking for approval or disapproval. I am not looking for anyone to "give me permission" to end my marriage as some have indicated. Looking to receive understanding (like "I get what you're going through because I've been there"..."this is what helped us" or "this is when we knew it was over" type of feedback).
**THANK YOU to all those who took the time to reply and especially those that seemed to get the situation.
***The guilt of not feeling as he does seems to make it even worse.

Featured Answers



answers from Santa Barbara on

I recall an old co-worker of mine (not age, but a long time ago) mention that she was in-love with her husband this year, unlike the last few years. I was not married at the time and that always stuck in my head. Wow, a couple can be in love and then out then back in.

Maybe you are in a lull.

I too am very annoyed with my husband for not being a team player when it comes to the kids. I then have to think about things he does do. He helps in many other ways, just not the way I want him to regarding the kids.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

The way I see it, you never gave him a fighting chance. Had you written this note to him and given it to him when you first felt this way, you would be in a different set of circumstances.

It is up to you to try. Try to think back to what you liked about him when you first started dating. .

or you can toss in the towel and walk away.

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Columbia on

Just one question: If there is a chance that you could have your marriage restored to the point it was when you most loved your husband, and he most loved you....would you do it?

If the answer is "yes," then I highly recommend that you find yourself a good marriage counselor.

If it fails after that, you can say with good conscience that you BOTH did everything you could do to save and restore your marriage.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Get some marriage counseling!
WORK on your marriage.
Marriage is like a house plant.
You HAVE to water it or it will die.
LOVE is a verb.
Without actively trying, it's not going to get better.
Good luck.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I have not been through this, yet. Sometimes I do feel like a single parent with an adult child. Sometimes I just want to be left alone. But I know I love him and he loves me. There is still that attraction.

However, I had a friend that also went through this. It was like they were roommates. Since he worked a late shift, they rarely even slept together, She filed for a legal separation. He moved out. And then he started "courting" her. He started calling her for dates. He would arrange a babysitter for their sons. He was like starting the relationship new. They were separated for 3 yrs while they took this time to get to know each other better. The last time I talked to her, she was talking about renewing their vows and he was going to come back home. He said he was wiling to work on things. She felt the way you describe yourself. Maybe it is something you can do or maybe not, but something to think about.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Couples counseling. You say yourself that he is a good man. Those aren't easy to fine. And he's the father of your kids. Wouldn't you regret it if you didn't at least try to revive a real marriage with him?

If you've given it every effort, and it just didn't work, then it is different. But if you haven't tried couples counseling, then you haven't really tried yet.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Have you really not been to counseling together? How can you check out of your marriage and skip over the most obvious step towards making it better (or coming to a decision to end it). I'm assuming this because you say that *you* went to a counselor, not *we*. If he's asking what he can do, then the answer is to find a marriage counselor and go. I don't know how someone could just jump ahead to the next steps (separation, divorce) without at least committing 6-12 months to sitting down with a professional on a regular basis to try to sort things out.

How is it that you haven't done counseling together yet?

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Your post is about that you have given up on your marriage, wrote your feelings in a letter that implied to your husband it was a warning, but you really meant it was over without actually coming out and saying it, and you expected him to pick up on that and be okay with it, but he's not and now you want words of wisdom.

What words of wisdom are you looking for? You've made up your mind. Are you grappling with the fact you don't actually want to say, "I want a divorce." Because it sounds like you are hem hawing around when you really know what you want.

Face it, you blind sided him. The two of you are in different places. You're done and he's just starting the journey. Out of respect for your marriage, you do need to be respectful of his feelings as he goes through the stages you have already been through. You will need to be patient.

I hope everything works out the way you want.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

In my opinion when there is one foot out the door, it's time to do everyone the favor and call it done. You (generic, not specifically aimed at you) are either all in or not. There is no part way in a committed relationship. My advice would be to figure out how to get all the way back in or all the way out. There is no recrimination in my opinion. Relationships are hard work and even harder work when both people are not putting in equal labor. Good luck whatever you decide. It sounds like a tough situation.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Abilene on

I can tell you from experience divorce isn't an answer. It is just a different set of problems. I divorced after being married 9 years. I separated first and determined I wouldn't decide anything for 6 months. We had no children so there wasn't that complication. We did counseling and like you made my husband very aware of my feelings for a period of time. At the time he was convinced it was up to me to make him happy and that any problems in our marriage were "my problems". After I moved out he then decided he wanted to work a little on our marriage. We wound up divorcing. I went through A LOT of counseling personally to come to terms with everything that happened. I never intended to fail in my marriage. I had to take ownership of my part in that and learn from it so hopefully I wouldn't repeat it ever. Divorce is HARD even if you don't particularly like the person much.

Here is my advice:

Work hard on your marriage IF you're going to commit 100% to it. Don't work on it half way. It's easier to walk away than commit and do the hard work it requires.
Know that you also have a part in the failing of your marriage. Take ownership of that and learn from it.
Realize he will ALWAYS be a part of your life because of your children. There will be graduations, weddings, etc.
Know he's going to be further hurt by your telling him that what he's doing is too little too late.
Know that your children will run a gamit of feelings. Sometimes it is very difficult. They will also have a back up plan later to be able to run between parents if they don't like the way they're being treated by you or him.
Watch the movie Fireproof. I know it sounds corny, but please watch it.

Don't make quick decisions. Separate for a time before you divorce. Serious decisions should never be made quickly.


6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

When I get to the point of feeling my husband and I can't get on the same page, we do counseling. We've had a lot of shakeups in our relationship, and counseling really helps us figure out if we still have the desire to make it work. So far we have. Neither of us plan on not being together, but sometimes it takes that complete honestly and vulnerability to get us back on track.

I suggest counseling.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Honestly, it sounds like you want us to approve your walking away. Have you really made up your mind that you are done? If you have then BE done.

If you really want help then you need to step back into considering yourself married. Truly married in the whole sense of your vows. Make a list of all of the things about him that make him a great guy that "deserve some one who loves him". Once upon a time that person was you. You are clear about why you checked out. You are not clear about why you checked in in the first place or why you are staying now and asking us to help you decide.

The decision is yours really. He says he loves you and is "trying". Can it be enough for you if you change your frame of reference? Perhaps you have stumbled on the way he communicates. Perhaps he can only really "hear" things in writing. Discuss the idea with him of writing out what you want and need - be concrete. At this exact point making your marriage work is your choice. But, it has to be your choice, not a bunch of strangers on the internet.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I mostly feel bad for your husband.
You don't want to be married! If someone is ready to call it quits it almost doesn't matter what your spouse does. He could become a millionaire who waits on you, cooks for you, massages you, and buys you 5 homes and you just wont be happy.
Nothing against you. You are no longer in love.
Have you been to couseling, as a couple AND by yourself? I mean, I could be wrong, but you promised to love, honor, cherish, until DEATH, right? You need to give your marriage a fighting chance. If he's willing to do the work then YOU need to be willing as well.
If you are not willing, then quit prolonging the agony for your husband. Divorce.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Not what you're looking for bc you just want approval but you have children and this would be your second divorce. Before I let that happen, I would do everything in my power to work things out and take a serious look at my contribution to two marriages ending.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Hi, Boss:
Have you thought about doing a "Wife Swap." This program helps families by changing homes for 2 weeks. This might give you a different perspective.

I have experienced similar issues in my life. Here are some things I learned from my experience:
1) I had never learned to be in touch with who I am.
2) By not knowing who I was or am, I allowed other people, not only my husband but others to control my thoughts, my feelings, and my life.
3) Finally, I went to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, I earned my Master's Degree in Restorative Practices.
4) What I learned: I learned to express how I am affected by people's behavior towards me. I learned how to set boundaries and ask for what I need.

5) It is not about your husband, it is about you.
6) You need to learn how to love yourself, what you need from others, and then ask for it.

The question is: Did you fall in love with your husband and then marry him, or did you get married because everyone else was doing it?

Here's my suggestion: Write these questions down and remember them.
Pay attention to your thoughts because they will guide your feelings all the time. Get to know yourself and how you are affected by everything. Here are the questions to guide you when things happen. Ask yourself:
1) What am I thinking when I realized what had happened?
2) What impact has this incident had on me and others?
3) What has been the hardest thing for me?
4) What do I think I need to happen to make things right?

Take these questions, put them in your mind, and practice using them.
As you learn about yourself, you can then ask for what you need, and set boundaries on what it is that you will not tolerate.
Good luck. Save your marriage and your family.
Being alone is worse than being with someone you don't know how to cope with.
All the Best.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I have felt like this before too. We went to a marriage seminar over a weekend thing. It really helped me to see him as the man I married again. It took a while for feelings to grow, I was ready to see the door hit his hiney for sure, but after a while and working on my feelings I have made some good changes.

I wish you could do some special time alone and away from home. It helps you to focus on just him and him on just you. It can be the start of a growth spurt.

But in the end, if you divorce you make your little one unhappy, your husband unhappy and yourself unhappy for a time. It can also be a great time of growth for you too. I hope you can find a way to have these feelings again, a family breaking up is very very hard no matter the reason.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

Do you go on date nights? Have you done couples counseling? He's trying. It's not perfect but you have young child. That child's well being comes first IMO bc you decided to bring her into this world. Divorce will be very bad for her. Are things so horrible you can't put her first? She's just a child. Not like your husband is abusive at all. "I deserve." "He deserves". Sorry but I think this should be about what your child deserves first.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I totally empathize with your situation.

I wrote in a response recently about having to hold men's feet to the fire -- and look, your story is the perfect example of what I was talking about. But how sad that you didn't do it earlier, and force him to change before you lost all feeling for him. (Not blaming you though -- I get it.)

You still have a kid with him. I don't know how old your child is, but it's a good reason to try to see if, with your husband's continued investment, some spark can be rekindled in you.

I think it's possible that a spark might be rekindled, if he works hard and long enough on it. Maybe it will take the two of you separating first. Reread the first response you got below about the friend separating from her husband and then falling in love again -- that scenario seems like a possibility to me. Or maybe you can do it without separating.

Good luck.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

If you're just marking time, you're not doing yourself, him, or your kids any favors. If you are well and truly done, then it is in the best interest of everyone that you part ways and move on with your respective lives.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

You did give him a chance to save the marriage. You gave him 16 years of chances to save the marriage. Marriage counseling only works if BOTH of you are willing to go, are being honest about your shortcomings, and are committed to working things out.

Before you have made any final decisions, please talk to an attorney. It's good that you have a job. If he doesn't work, then you might have to pay him alimony.

Be prepared for high drama if and when you tell him you want to divorce. And you should have a place in mind for you or your husband to stay until the future and permanent living situation can be sorted out. There is nothing worse than sharing a house with someone that you are divorcing. It's especially hard on the kids.

I am so sorry you are going through this. It's a shame that your husband was and is unable to even meet you halfway. I have a feeling that you are in a good emotional place and are seeing things in a realistic light. Good luck with your decision!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Cook or get off the stove.
If you want a divorce then do it now.
No more letters - no more talking - see a lawyer and serve Hubby the papers.
If you want to stay married then put your whole self into it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

You are emotionally checked out, already.
And this happened, 4-5 years ago.
And I guess, at that point 4-5 years ago, you did not tell your Husband?
But then, 2 years ago, you decided you were done being married, done with feeling lonely etc. And you told him that, 2 years ago.
But when you told him, you were already checked out emotionally.
So at that point, when you told him.... its not like you were looking to him, to improve anything. In him or in yourself.
You made your decision, already. So no matter what he did after that point, it wouldn't matter, anyway.
And you told him in the letter, and yes, that would hurt anyone.
But, that does not mean, that life will change, after that. Nor that he will change nor that you will change. So there should be no "expectations" upon him, from you, anymore.
You washed your hands of it, of him, already.
And for the recipient of that, well of course, they are in shock or in denial.
And MOST people, just do not know how... to make things better.
Everyone has differing abilities for knowing how to cope.
Or most people just do not know how to cope.
And you said, there is nothing that he can do, to improve anything.
Because, you are detached from it, already.

I don't know how you got to the point of not caring and feeling indifferent of your marriage and of him.
Is he a Jerk? All this time?
And you just got burnt out?
Burn out.
Can do damage.
And well, you don't feel like his "Wife" anymore.
And you feel no connection to him.

However, DID YOU or he or you both together... seek any kind of marriage counseling? Before?
Or now?

And anyway, well presently, you just do not feel any feelings, at all.
It is unfortunate.
So yes, at this point, I don't think there is anything that he can do.
Because, you are checked out already.
But if it bothers you, as to how you can feel so.... indifferent and unfeeling... then seek a Therapist for yourself.

AND, has he ever told you, about any grievances he has, with you?
In any relationship... usually both partners does have... gripes or problems with the other. Too.
WHAT are HIS gripes... with you??? Do you know that?

Or, are you just... not into being married and having kids and having that life? Meaning, is it really.... your Husband who got you to this point... of indifference with your situation?
Perhaps, delved into yourself, and explore why you got to this point?
Or again, is your Husband just a total jerk.... and you have just burnt out on the whole relationship?

I had a long term relationship before. Almost got married to the guy. PERFECT guy and all. But then, well, just one day I had no feelings for him. I... had changed. And then just something in me kicked in, and I just detached myself from the relationship. And him. I just did not want the "lifestyle" that I would have had, with him. It was just so, monotonous. For lack of a better word. But it hurt him, deeply.
But you see, I never regretted it. Nor did I miss him or anything. I just moved on.

Are you perhaps, just TIRED of life... of your life... of the 'status quo', of the life you have?
And thus, since your Husband is the 'closest' one to you, you have put all those non-constructive feelings... upon him???
And you have kids.

Is it really, all of your Husband's, fault?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

Have you guys tried counseling? There was a point that I was done with my marriage, I felt no love for my husband. Before we filed the papers to end things I agreed to 6 months of counseling, and it changed our lives and our marriage. We have been together for almost 17 years and have never been as happy, connected, or in love, as we are right now. Finding a good therapist you both connect with can work wonders. We ended up staying in counseling for almost a year, and it has been almost 5 years since then and I am so thankful I stayed and decided to really try to make it work, and that he decided to do the same.

A couple of months into counseling I told my therapist (we also had individual sessions) that I just did not feel anything for my husband, that I was afraid he had hurt me too badly for me to ever love him again. She told me to fake it until I either felt something or was ready to leave, and amazingly I actually started to feel something for him again once I really let myself, and that grew into love as I watched him care and try so hard to reconnect with me.

If you ask anyone who has been married a long time you will more then likely hear about both good times and bad, and how the bad times almost tore them apart, but how they fought to make it work and how happy they were that it did. But in the end only you know if you have any fight left in you.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I don't have words of wisdom for you, but I do think that it would be good for you both to go to counseling together so that you don't have to deal with his emotionalism by yourself. The counselor can help you two communicate a lot better than doing it yourself. I think that you'd have a whole lot more clarity in terms of what you want to do is concerned.

Do you have a divorce attorney lined up? Have you put all your ducks in a row? Just because he doesn't want things to change doesn't mean that he wouldn't get mad and slice and dice you monetarily. You need to have everything ready, and the attorney could help you with that.

I wish you much luck.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

I don't know, ......but I could've written this. We've been married for 12 years and I have felt this way for about the last year.........just really not caring anymore and feeling like, at this point, even if he stepped up, I'm not sure I would have any feelings for him come back..........No words of wisdom, just wanted to share.......

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Sometimes we know what the right thing is to do, but we're too fearful to do it.
Single parenting is hard. Coparenting is hard. If your marriage is harder than those, that's a bad sign. When I realized that, the fear was just the ticket price to a happier future.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from McAllen on

Sometimes efforts for improvement do come a little too late. You can't really help that you don't want it anymore. Sometimes that's just a defense mechanism, because you've wrapped up your heart so tight that nothing can get in. If there is any chance at all that your heart and mind might turn back around, you should try it, for a couple of reasons. 1) You owe it to yourself to stretch outside your area of comfort and show yourself what you're made of. It's not about your husband; it's about your self-love and the commitment that you made to think and act outside the box...not to run and hide when things got too hard.... You thought that you were making a commitment to your husband that was a bit more than perfunctory, but you were actually making a commitment to yourself, to your future and growth. 2) You owe it to your child(-ren) to show what you're made of.

I'm not one to tell everyone to stay married and preach about your religious duties to stay married. I just think that when we marry we have certain ideas of what marriage is, and then we learn that it's something totally different, and we don't always allow for a bridge between what we thought and what we got. Marriage is not a goal or a place we end up. It's a piece of our individual journey. We don't learn everything in life and THEN get married so we can apply that knowledge. We get married to continue to figure stuff out, while helping somebody else figure stuff out, too. We get married when we're REALLY ready to get some life answers.

It's easy to put everything into a relationship when you're not being challenged, when your "love" is being received and reciprocated by someone whose struggle hasn't really affected his/her grip on the world. When your grip (or lack thereof) on the world is the only one that you have to consider. The hard work comes in when all that changes and you have to figure out how to see through it. It forces you to get in touch with what keeps you anchored and connected, and it can hurt and run your human sensibilities into hiding.

If it took you however many years to lose that loving feeling, you should try at least that long to get it back. How great if you could stop the world from turning so you could bring all your feelings up to speed. Unfortunately, you have to figure out how to fix it while also keeping your balance with the ever-turning Earth. That is enough to make you want to quit. Doing so would not make you a bad person. Just know that the same disappointment will be found with another man, and retreating and settling cannot be your go-to response. You've got to figure out how to respond to feeling let down and abandoned, so you don't carry the dysfunction around with you.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful
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