My husband recently told me he has not had any feelings for me for years. He says he doesn’t want a divorce because of our children, but how can I live with someone who does not love me?
I can say that we have not had a marriage to speak of pretty much the whole nine years we have been married. But I have had a revelation that I would like to start working on our marriage. I sat him down one night to talk about it, and that is when he told me there is nothing to work on.
He has agreed to go to a Christian counselor, but very unwillingly. He says he doesn’t want to waste a bunch of money on something that is not going to work. I know it’s pretty much my fault. In the past I have been less than a wife to him and I want to change that, but I guess it’s too late.
My question is, should I go to counseling or just file for a divorce. This is something I do not want, but I feel I don’t have a choice. There is much more to the story, but I could be up all night writing to you. Can you give me a clue what I need to do?
Judith, you can’t read between the lines of your own letter. “Should I go to counseling or just file for a divorce” is not the issue. Your letter is a double confession. Your husband admits he hasn’t had feeling for you in years. You admit, from the beginning, you haven’t had feelings for him.
What caused your revelation? Did someone hold a mirror up to you, did you hear something on a TV talk show, or did you see someone with a good marriage and now you want a change? You are ready to take away the one thing your husband wants, which is the kids, and punish him for his honesty.
We aren’t saying people should stay in a loveless marriage. But it appears you drove the marriage and had kids by a man you weren’t interested in. You trapped him. But the kids are his and he loves them.
What is he saying? “I am no fool. You are going to drag me into counseling, and it will become all about me and what I need to do, not about what you did to drive this marriage.” If you get a divorce, there will be boyfriends, the kids won’t live with your husband, and it may cost him his financial footing.
You are not saying, “I married a man I didn’t love.” You are saying, “He doesn’t love me so I can go.” That shows the difference between the two of you, and it is a difference not in your favor. Where is the credit to him for not leaving you when he understood you did not love him?
In your own mind, you have managed to put the divorce on him. And if in the divorce proceedings you put yourself ahead of the welfare of the kids, that will, once again, be on you.
Do yourself a favor and go to counseling to understand why you did this. If you don’t reflect on your own behavior, you will do exactly the same again.
You will do what you will do, as you always have. But when you divorce him, we can only hope that somehow it all works out. For him.
~ Wayne & Tamara
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Wayne & Tamara answer as many letters as they possibly can.
Column for the week of February 4, 2019