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I left my husband a year ago because I knew I no longer loved him the way a wife should... but I'm worried he'll talk me into staying

Tagged as: Breaking up, Marriage problems<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (24 May 2007) 29 Answers - (Newest, 30 August 2012)
A female United Kingdom age 41-50, anonymous writes:

I left my husband a year ago because I knew I no longer loved him the way a wife should. We had grown apart, and I felt no physical attraction for him anymore. But I didn't rush into divorce either because my husband insisted that I wait, hoping I'd change my mind. I waited because he was so freaked out by the thought of a divorce, I feared he would kill himself. So we've been apart and now for more than a year and I've fallen in love with someone else. I can see a brighter future ahead of me, with this new man, but I still have to deal with the divorce. My husband is still hanging on to the hope that I will come back, even though I've told him that I won't. I had hoped, by living apart, he would begin to accept the inevitable and be prepared for the next step. He's in complete denial and it's making me question my decision. I know my feelings for him haven't changed, it's just the guilt of knowing I'm causing him so much pain that's killing me. I'm afraid if I don't go through with it soon, I'll talk myself into staying another 10 years in a relationship that feels like I've outgrown. I care for my husband and I hate hurting him like this. I wanted to let him down easy, but it hasn't turned out that way and now I feel paralyzed about what to do. Please help.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (30 August 2012):

Im quite shocked! as this is my situation at the moment just im the one being dumped.

Where is the commitment? I think there is toxic people who we have to run as fast as we can for our own safe.

But lately it had become like " if is not the way i like, well there most be someone better waiting for me around the corner" "life is only one"

Im 30 and after 7 years living with my husband ( 5 married) he decided to run away. ohh he found out he was not ready for commitment. now he is going out with any 19 year old girl he bumps into.

I know we had disagreements we are from different countries and that had made it tougher, but As I always tell him he had been so blessed in our marriage, we have done amazing stuff together, we had grown up together etc.

but it seems it was not enough because in my case all the bad things that had happened to him is because of me, because he came to my country, because he is away of his family, because my friends don't speak english. But he hadnt realized is because He is very apathetic!! he is depressed.

I try to convince him because for me my marriage was for ever in the good and in the bads and understanding that love changes, but is in us to keep the new flame on. But he said I dont love you enough and to be honest im not ready for commitment. I like my role as a play boy and in this country I can have all the girls I want ( dunno which ones at he seem to be dump by every girl as he has not a car, lives with his friends, etc)

I think one day he will realized that there will never be another person that loves him unconditionally, because I had been his support in every moment since I met him. But well he had tried to hurt me as much as he can to push me away and finally I think he will get what he wants, he even mention that marrying me was the biggest mistake he could ever made and that the last 5 years had been the worst of his life.

I didnt see him that unhappy 6 months ago.

But my point here is to invite you to analize, if is really your husband's problem or is he just like me being unconditional and respecting his marriage as I do. And you just pretending that the universe is not enough for you or that you deserve much better than him? Where is the commitment people??

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (6 December 2009):

Lets face it marriage is only good as long as we feel "in love".The emotional feeling just doesn't last with anyone unless we figure out how to grow and nurture it. I think most guys are not even aware that women have emotional needs or how to meet them.I hear the desperation in these womens words here.Yes some people are breaking their wedding vows out of lust but most are literally starving emotionally and feel hopeless.Todays men need to learn how act like a real man and stop acting all needy and wimpy.I just wish yours could have been retrained before you "lost that loving feelin" I sympathize with your plight.

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A female reader, AlreadyGone United States +, writes (4 December 2009):

I am so glad I came across these postings. I am in exactly the same situation. I have been married for eight years and I no longer love him as a wife should. I have delayed leaving, although I am now battling clinical depression, because I am worried it will destroy him. He tells me all the time I'm his whole world, yet he doesn't do any of the things he knows he could do to strengthen our marriage. Every day I get a little stronger and tell myself I can leave, but it is scary as hell. I don't want to hurt him, and my heart breaks at the thought of him being on the other side of all the ugliness I know is going to follow. It's hard. To all of the men on here who are making us out to be selfish and horrible for wanting to reclaim our lives and our happiness, you can all bugger off. You have no idea what you're talking about.

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A female reader, DanielleLynn United States +, writes (29 December 2008):

My husband has no male friends. He is only attracted to females that smell and look pretty. His friend's relationships are unsuccessful, both male and female. He himself is dealing with way to many "immature" issues. Where do I get off? I smell and look pretty, I am a good wife, but I am longing for a mature and stable couple to come into our life. It is sooo hard to love alone. He tells me I stink- although I do not. He doesn't seem to know the difference in reality, and every morning when he wakes, he is the same guy. I feel like a new person. I am ready to explore fidelity, but my husband's own inner strugle is hindering the new experiences z I am ready for. I'm not sure if he is going to die. He acts like a guy contimplating suicide. I think I am helping him, but in so many words and ways he tells me I am not. I wish he were dead, although not everything I wish for will come true. i want to be happy again like a teenager- this time around with fidelity. 1-10 i explored my parents relationship, 11-20 I explored my own, and 21-now (26) I've explored his, but just where does we get our own? I guess at 30, but he will be 40. I thought oldere guys were more mature. I was wrong. Why- at 30-40 is he not romantic? Here I am blossoming into a romantic woman and he is the bad guy. I want to go on romantic dates, and right asbout now I'm just waiting for perfect to come along and ask me out. How old will I be, and how old will he be when we begin perfect together? How long did I have to wait on him to come around enjoying his own sexual freedom, self-assuradeness, success? What are we going through now? I feel inner success, self- assuradeness, and sexual freedom. I am working on a great body image, but I just may have to wait forever. The meaner he treats me, the meaner i look. The less he takes me out for comfort and fun- the fatter I get. When we go out together I look like a ho-be. When I am alone I look beautiful. He chooses my clothes when we go out. I know women like that who are self hatred because my husband is immature and untrustworthy of himself- he treats me like that. He cannot control his desires for me , so he hates me, dresses me like a boy, and denies the day I was ever born. I feel like someone here. An unsuccessfull, unloved virgin in boys clothes and men;'s perfume. When I was a teen - I loved wearing boys clothes because I felt like a boy. Now I feel like he is forcing me into this immature immage of an unloved woman in boy's clothes. Sorry babe- women do not look like boys anymore.

When I watch t.v. I should not think of my husband as a little boy, but in comparrison; that is all that he is. Sexually forbidden from his wife, free to explore other womn's bodies, and really boreing clothing. He looks like he dresses himself everyday. He looks like his mother bo gave clothes to his father to give to him because they are embarrased by him. So sad- I know. I think his role model is some child somewhere which is really sad. Sorry-my role model is Kyriokous. He smells good, looks good, buys me presents, takes me to church and teaches me what he has learned from his bible. He even aloud me to read it for myself aloud to him. {Kyriokous did}/ My husband on the other hand is hostile about everything. He makes his friends look bad, his wife look bad, and his family look bad. Somebody- if you are out there in the world- Please Help Us All. () Danielle Lynn- Pentitent prayer.

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A female reader, truthfully Australia +, writes (7 June 2008):

Seperation is the pits, You are dying to get out but no one tells you about the infinite black whole you fall into once you do leave. Im not sure whats worse staying with stability or being free but falling endlessly though the empty black pit that unfortunately takes about 12 months you hit the ground And then you can stand up, catch your breath and dust yourself off. Then start the repair work from the fall. If you have a heart this is the way it will be my friend if you dont you'll be cool

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A female reader, trx United States +, writes (4 June 2008):

For all those that are thinking of leaving (or in the case of the OP, have already left), have you considered couples counseling? This doesn't mean that you have to work on saving the marriage, but it can also be to help you both ease through the transition of separation/divorce.

I was with my XH for 14 years, from the age of 23. He was not a great partner, was actually very emotionally abusive, but he was all I ever knew in my adult life and I was taught that marriage was forever. We even told eachother in the beginning that we would try to work through everything and go to couseling. There were times in the marriage that I almost left. He flirted with other woman, hid bills rather than paying them, and eventually 'made out' with my best friend at a party in front of our guests. That was nearly the last straw, but after a week of debating and him begging me to reconsider, I stayed.

There reached a point where I started to love him more every day. He was still flakey, but we had managed to buy our first house, made new 'couple' friends and started a new life. Then he found an ex from years ago via the internet. They started to reconnect, and he started to drift away. I had no idea what was happening accept that he was treating more poorly than ever. He left me for her several months after they started reconnecting. He simply abandoned me and moved to another state. I gave him a 'chance', but he never could do the same for me.

I'm here a year and a half later and pulling my life back together (I'm even engaged to a man that understands the pain I still suffer). My XH left me in finanacial ruin with very deep wounds that are still healing. The pain would have been diminished if he had done this the right way. OP has given her STBX a year of living apart, but I think proper couseling would have helped during that time. If you must leave, work together to try and come to an amicable and honest end. Your fears of his sucidal tendencies will be lessoned if you are working through the pain together with proper counseling. It can be done.

I wish you, and the others here, the best of luck.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (28 April 2008):

I think "male anon" needs therapy. Please don't take your frustrations out on people who have nothing to do with your pain. Whatever you have gone through with your ex is between the two of you. Don't displace your anger on others. Either be helpful to people who seek advise on this website or keep quiet and talk to therapist. This website is not intended to be an avenue to spew out your personal venhom.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (28 April 2008):

By the way, you sound as cold as my soon-to-be-X. Is that what deserters do? Just decide that all their former husband's feelings are just hate, anger and a lack of compassion? Does that make it easier for you??? We are all angry and we have a right to be.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (27 April 2008):

To the last male anon, you sound very angry. I'm sorry your life's path has failed to provide you with some compassion. I guess this story hit home for you and you decided to dump on everyone who writes on this site. You must be a very angry, angry, bitter man.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (26 April 2008):

You are all very selfish. You are ruining lives, children and families. Who says that YOU have always met your HUSBAND'S wants, needs and desires, yet YOU expect the same from HIM??? He has STAYED WITH YOU and he LOVES YOU despite the same regrets he might have about you that you have about him. Pull your head back into reality. NOBODY is perfect. LIFE is not perfect. You think that the guy you meet tomorrow (or met yesterday) will turn out any different??? Life changes happen to everyone and you want to blame your husband for all that you feel. The difference between women and men is that MOST men don't blame their women for their problems. WOMEN DO!!! Have a happy life alone becuase you will never find what you seek. You can always blame someone else for your feelings and that will always leave you alone. You all feel guity for your husband because he has NEVER STOPPED LOVING YOU and YOU KNOW IT!!! You are all blind and you will never see. The only thing that you can see is your quest for independence and that will always leave you ALONE! Today that sounds great - tomorrow it won't sound so good. To the woman who has a new man only a year after leaving her husband - Don't you think there's something wrong with you??? SEEK HELP! That is the one thing I'm sure that nobody here has done. SEEK HELP - SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE. The problem is YOU, not your husband, but you are so wrapped in yourself that you can't see it.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (23 April 2008):

Dear all,

Well I have also stumbled upon this web site, well I say stumbled I was doing some research. I have to say there are many conflicting arguements from both sides and I can see all points of view. I was with my husband since I was 15 years old! I am now 40, we have two children one 23 years old and one 17years old.

He is an accountant! In the early years there was both physical abuse and mental abuse, more recently just mental. I dont make dinnners, I dont wash up, I sont help even though you are working 60 hours weeks too. I can't be bother with our wayward son too much hastle so wont see him, I don't like your friends so wont come out - wont stop you tho. I don't want to go out with any friends as I don't have any. Don't watch that crap it's bad for you!!! and so on. Mind you it's ok he loves and adores me, can't live his life without me as I am his world! Yes I do empathise with the lady, I know what you are saying and I think we beleive we care and we do, that is why men like this love us, because they know we care and use this mental abuse to control our lives.

Darling break that control - they can focus there control onto learning how to behave in their next relationship and beleive me they will eventually move on!

I am not saying by the way that this is all Men and I am sure my soon to be x is in a terrible place, but I have been there Farr too often for him, even my children are clapping at the fact I have gone (that say's a lot!).

I am starting my new selfish life yes - I only have one and by god I have wasted farr to much time on someone else...............

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (8 April 2008):

Well, I was one of those males that was unexpectedly dumpted after 13 years. I guess this is the new way of doing things.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (31 March 2008):

Hi -- never mind the jealous reactionary male 'agony uncle' below. Clearly he would tell a suicidal depressive to go ahead and jump because people with depression are weak, stupid wastes of space.

My piece of advice to you is to file for divorce. It's the only way you'll move on. Look at all the years you wasted -- look at all the years MOST women waste with useless husbands purely out of a sense of politeness to them. You are afraid to move on with your life (let me stress that again, YOUR LIFE) because you might hurt his feelings? That's wrong, and you -- like most good women -- are suffering from empathy-poisoning.

You're supposed to feel obligated to be with him despite the fact he knows perfectly well you (a) don't love him; (b) you're not attracted to him; (c) you don't see a future together; (d) he has let you down; (e) he bores the hell out of you? Why? According to some numbskulls it's because he is the man and HE loves YOU, therefore you now owe him life, limb, heart and soul forever and ever because HIS feelings, HIS wants, HIS needs, trump YOURS. How can you feel some sort of misplaced loyalty to a guy who is passively telling you this??

Go, get on with your life and don't look back. Be happy before it's too late.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (4 January 2008):

Do you REALLY care about your husband? Do you really care if he commits suicide? What is 10 years of his life anyway compared to 10 years of your life. You have to be happy . If he is going to kill himself over you,then tough on him.

Let me ask you the same question from another direction. Let's say that your husband grew "tired" of you after 10 years of marriage and found someone more suited to HIS needs ,wants and desires(don't laugh, Superwoman. It happens every day). How would YOU feel? Betrayed? Humiliated? Heartbroken? Your world has ended? Well ,there ARE selfish men out there. You were unlucky enough to find a good guy who loves you so much ,he feels his world is ending and there is nothing left to live for.

You all make me laugh! So modern when it's to your advantage yet so quick to play the "victim" when it suits you.

Well may you all find someone as selfish as yourselves the next go-round. What comes around goes around so the saying goes. Live for today baby! Get it on! Remember we make our own Karma in this life.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (13 December 2007):

I stummbled on this site. I feel I am in the same boat as you. My husband is the opposite of me--we just will never believe or think the same way. We've been married ofr 19 years, but I stopped being in love with him about 15 years ago. I really want out, but I don't want to hurt him. Sometimes I get mad at him for no reason what-so-ever, just so I can get more courage to leave. I hate to upset our daughter, aged 14. I just don't know if I am strong enough to actually divorce him.

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A female reader, Lacra Netherlands +, writes (15 November 2007):

I just left my husband too. After 8 years of marriage and 10 years all in all of being together. It wasn't a spontaneous decision, I have been feeling lonely, hurt and unloved for very long time so I just felt at one point that I am ready to leave and I left.

However, he is not ready for this and it kills me to know how unhappy he is. I do my best to help him, we had lots of hours of talking and although we both agreed this is the best thing to do...he's still down, sad and emotional.

I moved out of house and offered to still pay mortgadge, I am there for him for the long hours of talk and I just feel tired all the time now. And I can't afford to talk or think about my feelings because I am the one who left and should be ok apparentelly. But I am not. I'm very very tired of it all.

No need for advice, I got myself into this, I just wanted to vent:-)

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (15 November 2007):

just want to say its so good to know im not the only one struggling with these problems! ive been married even longer (26 years) and all i can say is dont wait as long as i have to make your move.

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A female reader, lovejunkie Canada +, writes (17 October 2007):

lovejunkie agony auntHere's a question I have, how do you deal with a loss of physical/sexual attraction? I've been with my husband 15 yrs. and no longer feel attracted to him. I've read books and listened to cd's about how to heal your marriage, how to fix what ails the relationship, when in fact we get along fine. But when it comes to sex, I'd rather do anything but that. After about a half-dozen years of making up excuses, I've realized that it's never going to come back. It's not about jazzing up your sex life, wearing costumes or talking dirty to someone. It's about not wanting to sleep with someone you're so familiar with, he's like a brother. How do you fix that problem? Or do you simply move on? I would love to know if anyone else has this problem.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (17 October 2007):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thanks anon.female who posted 10-17-07. Thank you for sharing your story. You took the step and got out and even though you are living with some guilt, you still took that step and I'm hoping that underneath the guilt, you are happier now and know you did the right thing. Because that is what we all are searching for. Some kind of confirmation that there is life after a long-term marriage with a "good guy" and it'll be a happy life and the good guy will go on to have a happy life too at some point. If I knew for a moment, that my husband would be able to find someone else and have a happy life, I would quit waffling and file for my divorce. I guess I keep hoping for some kind of sign, and until my head, my heart, and my gut get in line with this thing, I don't feel like I can move forward.

And to further complicate my feelings of confusion, I just finished reading a book written by Michelle Langley, called "Women's Infidelity - Living in Limbo" and it was quite eye-opening but did not really provide any answers, just one woman's theory about why women go searching for the missing element in their marital relationships. Some of it hit home. Some of it did not. But apparently, there is a growing number of women in this generation, who are finding that their long term relationships fall flat after a period of time (4 yrs. in her opinion), especially when the couple is ill-suited, as my husband and I were. Complete polar opposites, just like you described. We balanced each other for awhile, but eventually our differences became vast and we ended up sharing a residence, but having no real intimacy. We both did the things we enjoyed, we just did them apart. At night we'd have dinner in front of the TV and I know now that it was a way to avoid talking to each other because we had nothing to talk about.

I know now that there is someone who is better suited for me, but in the back of my mind, I worry that the guilt and fear of some sort of God-retaliation I was raised to believe in, will eat away at my new happy relationship, or worse yet, I will be destined to repeat the same pattern later, as this woman's book suggested.

Thank you all for your replies, and your support. You've helped me so much.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (17 October 2007):

It is enlightening to read all of the similar responses to your story. I married a very good man who was the polar opposite of me, and I left my marriage about 6 months ago. 6 years in, I finally saw that we had compromised for each other as much as we could and it wasn't enough - our souls were pointed down different paths. I love my husband, but I know that we cannot be good for one another as a couple. Hopefully we can eventually be comfortable friends. But I struggle daily with the guilt I feel over causing such a wonderful person so much pain. I kills me to have to say over and over again that I will not come back. I must admit that it is some relief to read of others in a similar position. I suppose we all have to work through the guilt in our own ways and learn to trust that our partner is an adult who is fully responsible for their own actions, but it is hard isn't it. Good luck to all and thank you for sharing your stories.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 October 2007):

Thanks for responding. (I posted the response similar to your situation). It is at least a little comforting to know we're in the same boat. I too have thought that my husband will be come quite depressed and may affect his ability to be a good father. He really is a good dad and a good person; just not for me -- ya know? We will have to be in each other's lives forever since we have 2 kids and that is fine with me. I just can't stand the thought of him resenting me or feeling like I ruined his life. I did see a therapist a few times to get over the guilt feelings of what I know I want to do. Although, she had no magic formula for getting over the guilt she did make me feel better about my desire to improve my life and make myself happy.

Good luck to you in your situation - hope all works out the best for you. YOu sound very strong and I wish you the best. Hope your husband also finds a way to move on and fine his happiness.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (9 October 2007):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

To the last female anon who posted an answer for me on 10/9/07, I cannot tell you how to deal with the guilt because it's the one thing that's holding me back. You and I are in the same boat! My husband has no friends really, his family is all scattered in different states and he's not close to any of them anyhow. He is very reclusive by nature and solitary. I have worried about him killing himself once he is served with the divorce papers. He just cannot imagine his life without me, even though, like you, I think if he can just be strong, he will end up finding someone who is better suited for him in the long run. But it absolutely paralyzes me because I know if he did something stupid like that, it would haunt me for the rest of my life and I don't know how I would ever feel "normal" again. It would be horrible but I also know that is not a reason to stay either. He would be happy, but I would not be. I would feel empty and very sad because I know what it's like now, to find someone who is everything I've been missing and I can't imagine going back to my husband now. So I am taking baby-steps, every time I talk with my husb. I try to prepare him for what lies ahead, in hopes that if I don't move too quickly, he will adjust and realize that his life isn't going to just end because we are not together anymore. I wish you the best. Thanks for sharing your story with me. xoxox

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 October 2007):

Wow, like reading my own thoughts. I too have drifted apart from my husband after 13 years of marriage. Great home, 2 kids aged 12 and 5 but there has been something missing for years. I am almost 40 - feel like so much life to live. I do love my husband, as a friend - he is a great person, just we are so different and do not fulfill each other. I want to leave; he wants me to stay. I think it comes down to this - he is content with what we have (which is mostly a friendship/arguments because we are so different/two good parents raising kids) and I want more - compatability, true partnership, physical attraction. Just feel so GUILTY about splitting up a marriage and home and also hurting my husband. I honestly think in the long run he would be happier with somene more compatible. I am much more outgoing, career driven, involved in community than him and have lots of friends to rely on. He does not. I am afraid he'll be depressed and just kind of retreat if I leave him. How do I get over the guilt of moving on? I was raised to believe marriage is sacred, divorce is wrong, you stay and make it work - and I have tried for years. I want to move on but am scared - mostly just about the emotional part of it. Financially I can take care of myself and the kids and I think they would be better in the long run to see a happy mom and in the future an example of a truly loving relationship.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (20 August 2007):

I came across this site after searching for answers myself and i have to say that i think you are very brave to have left in the first place, you have to just stay strong and apply for the divorce i think you have already done the hardest part in leaving maybe the fact that you have not applied for the divorce is giving your husband the false hope. Be brave and do it, it will be best for both of you you will get closure and so will your husband i am thinking about leaving my husband but i am finding making that first move realy difficult as we have two children aged 11 and 8 and although i know it would be better for them in the long run i am terrified of upsetting their routine to the extent that we would have to move out of the home and find somewhere else to live, as my husband has said that he wont leave. I just hope that i find the courage soon as living with my husband is becoming more and more difficult. Good luck i hope you find happiness. x

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (3 August 2007):

I'm still with my husband but every day that goes by I know I'm only prolonging the inevitable. He's the father of my children and we've been together for over 20 years but there's something missing. We too have grown apart and have nothing in common. Discussions are non-existent between us, we talk when we have to. At least you have made the move I'm too scared to make the move as I don't want to end up alone. I would rather have him than be by myself. I, like you, don't want to hurt him nor want him to hurt himself. I can't offer you any advice. I think you want someone to say just do it. Maybe I too need this advice.

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A male reader, DV1 United States +, writes (24 May 2007):

DV1 agony auntDon't hold back. If you know what's going to make you happy, you must consider that. You have to tell him in no uncertain terms that it's over.

DV1

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A female reader, eyeswideopen United States +, writes (24 May 2007):

eyeswideopen agony auntStart the divorce proceedings. You are going to cause him more pain the longer you wait. Band-aids are best pulled off in one swift motion rather than a slow tug. Get it over with so you both can move on with your lives. Good luck dear.

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A female reader, nicola79 United Kingdom +, writes (24 May 2007):

nicola79 agony auntohh bless you,you did the right thing by braking it off with him if you dont love him anymore. he will understand this some day,but dont go back for the wrong reasons because you have your life to live aswell.

just tell him you are going ahead with this but you will always be there for him and you love him but are just not inlove with him any more.

hopefully he will understand what you are saying to him and move on with his life. tell him to get his self out and about and meet people, i know he is hurt and thinks he doesnt have a good life but he will come round to the idea sweety.

you seem so nice and caring,buy if you go back to him it will be false and you both have so much life to live.

i wish you all the best. love nicola.xxxxxxxxxx

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A female reader, sad mum of 4 United Kingdom +, writes (24 May 2007):

Hi i am married an have been for 7 years. you need to be stronger then you seem to be at the moment can i ask do you have kids? and if so how old are they? you need to if you can try and cut all contact with him and let him deal with this one on his own. only he can get over you.you cant help him.you need to think about yourself and what YOU want from life. it will not be fair on the both of you if you did go back as you wouldnt be happy and in the end you would leave agine an thats just draging this out for longer i hope this has been of some help to you and good luck

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