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My husband loves me completely but I don't love him. Should I leave him?

Tagged as: Breaking up, Marriage problems<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (3 May 2010) 18 Answers - (Newest, 13 January 2012)
A female United Kingdom age , anonymous writes:

I've read other peoples' questions and answers about whether they should stay in a loveless marriage, but no one seems to be in my situation.

The fact is, my husband of 25 years is a kind, affectionate, caring, loving, reliable, attentive man who takes care of me and loves me totally. I knew more or less from after only a few dates that although I liked him, I didn't fancy him and didn't enjoy sex with him. Nevertheless, we became good friends and drifted into a long-term relationship and finally bought a house together and even ran a business together for several years. Professionally and on the surface we have a good, solid marriage, although despite his good points, I find my husband boring and staid. He has no real friends of his own and says he is happy to be only with me, although we do socialise from time to time with my friends and their partners. I like him very much and try to show him love and affection but it's not from my heart. For many years I have thought of him as more of a best mate, or a father figure. We have sex on a regular basis - I have never and would never deny him - but I find it unpleasant and uncomfortable. He enjoys it and thinks I do too. I have never discussed this with him as I would hate to hurt him.

I'm at a crossroads and not sure which road to take.

I could walk away from this marriage. We can all do what we want to do. We have no children together (he has two grown up daughters from his first marriage)and no dependants. I could move to my own place and be on my own and maybe, possibly, find contentment and maybe even love and passion elsewhere. My biggest fear is hurting my husband - I know he would devastated. He talks about things we can do in the future, travels etc. but I don't want to do them with him. The thought of another possible 25 years like this, plodding, plodding, along, fills me with dread. But being on my own concerns me too though I do have some good friends and a reasonable social circle and feel if I don't go for it I may regret not taking this chance all of the rest of my life.

What would you do? Stay in a friendly marriage which is safe, affectionate and steady but boring and without deep love and passion, or leave and take a chance on finding excitement, happiness, love and passion before it's too late? Both options are a gamble.

Anycomments would be appreciated. Thank you!

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A female reader, ladynnoda United States +, writes (13 January 2012):

to be honest with you i am in the same situation. Kind of. Some things are different. But main part is my husband loves me like crazy, enjoys having sex with me, coming home to me. He has crazy family though, possesive mother and lunatic grandmother they both have him as only man in the house. I have lived with whole family for 2 years i know. We have lived together for 5 years, 1,5 out of this years we have been married.

I did love him at first but that faded away after reality with his family and him. I do not see our future together at all. And i am so afraid to do anything about it. I know it will hurt him. Sometimes he says that he does not know how he would live without me. We could be good friends but it is too late for that now.

I am a coward. I dont think i will ever get enough courage to tell him how i truly feel and face his anger, desperation, pain. And i know his family will destroy mine for that. Back at my home country everyone knows each other. And it will be a big chaos.

But i do not think everybody should be afraid of what comes next. I truly believe that you should do everything to be happy in this life. You have one lifetime after all. You have wasted enough time. Tell him how you feel. It is not going to be easy at all and he will be hurt but i am afraid there is no shortcuts. Cut it right now. Everything passes with time. Even guilt, which is my main fear.

I do not want to feel guilty thats it, not even hurting him i do not want him to hurt ever, but most of all that i will ever face him again and die right there knowing that i ever lead him that far and hurt him that much

Hope that helped a little bit

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A female reader, maggiemayle United States +, writes (9 December 2011):

My husband and I got married in August after I had an endometrial ablation. He took care of me for months before my surgery and literally saved my life. After my surgery, he asked me to marry him. I do not have the kind of love for him that a spouse should, but I felt I owed him my life and gave him what he wanted.Two days after we married, he said he wished he'd never married me out of the blue. We weren't fighting or arguing, it was just a random heartbreaking observation. Now we are just making each other miserable.He wont let me leave even though he knows i dont love him. he says he loves me enough for both of us. I dont want to hurt him, he DID save my life after all. I am now facing decades of no love, only sex, with a man I have grown to despise and resent. My advice to you? GET OUT. You arent doing either of you any favors by staying.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (25 July 2011):

The issue here is unresolved issues in your life that have NOTHING to do with him.

I was in the same situation. My husband is the most wonderful man I have ever known, and I had not one bit of "deep passionate love", but rather a feeling of best friend and trusted confidant.

You must ask yourself "If he is so wonderful, why DON'T I feel the same way?!" Because you have underlying feelings of depression, or unfulfilled dreams, and possibly unfulfilled sexual needs. You have loss touch with who you are, who you were, and who you want to be. You probably do not communicate these things, not because he wouldn't be receptive, but because you feel guilty for wanting more or different. Your problem probably stems from your childhood.

I would recommend that you speak with a therapist, take some anti depressants, have a full medical check up, and start focusing on your needs that are unfulfilled. You should not be ashamed to have needs. Moreover, there is no better, deeper, exciting love than that which you had to WORK for. Look at it this way: What do you have to lose, other than the ONE person in the world that wants you, desires you, and loves you above all others? Again, you have some deep issues that need to be addressed. Why do you want to run? Because that's what it is...running away.

I can speak from experience. Just to give you an idea of the issues that can affect your receptiveness, here are a few of mine: Grew up with a Narcassistic mother who emotionally abused me and neglected me, ended up married the first time to an abusive alcoholic, never was supported in getting a college degree, was unable to do so on my own with exception of a few years worth here and there due to money and parental responsibilites, gained a BUNCH of weight, survived cervical cancer (given to me via herpes virus from 1st husband from multiple QUALITY affairs), was told I would not be able to have children again in my late twenties. In my early 40's, found out I could indeed have children - and now have a child with autism. My mother continues to plague my life, and my new in laws have nothing to do with their "less than perfect" grandchild, choosing instead to spend time with their other grandchildren who do not have any problems. Top this all off with the understanding that my "riding off into the sunset" ideas of early retirement and the bungalow on the beach are forever gone gone gone. I also recently discovered that I too am on the autistic spectrum - Aspergers. Look in the dictionary under "Stress" and find me.

It affected how I felt - or rather - how I DIDN'T feel for my husband. I told him everything I felt, everything I wanted, and that I didn't think we are going to make it. That he deserved someone better than me, who could love him the way he loved me. And guess what happened? He understood; but refused, bless his heart, to divorce. He said he totally understood how I was feeling, but helped me sort out the fact that all that depression and stress is whats wrong, and that he was going to help and stay with me, and that he loves me, he loves our child, and that everything will be just fine.

And you know what? Its better than fine - its fantastic! I would have never thought he was capable of such passion! And, he is the BEST father ever, never gets upset, and completly loves and cares for us. See, now I can experience the depth of his love, heal, and truly appreciate him. It is a love beyond mere words, a passion that is undefineable. You can have this too, if you have the courage to face those secret inner issues.

My advice - do some heavy introspection, and talk to your husband. Talk to your doctor, or a therapist, and be brave.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (20 July 2011):

In same boat, but I'm not as nice as you. I'm ashamed of how I treat him. I want to be nice, but it's very very hard. I will have no one if I divorce him. Our family's are across the USA and my family and I don't get along due to my mother being pretty much crazy and finding reasons to be mad at each of us kids. He knows how I feel and feels the same but we are both scared for the kids' sake. Don't want to hurt them. Also, not sure I can make it on my own, and vice versa. It will be costly to separate for sure. I hate to hurt my boys and they didn't ask to be born. I feel like I made my bed and need to sleep in it. My husband too is boring to me and I just have no tender thoughts regarding him. Married 17 long years, and I have been sad the entire time.

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A female reader, jule_ayr United Kingdom +, writes (9 June 2011):

Gee, you do love him. What do you expect some passionate head over heels love? That doesn't last. And doesn't exist after 25 years. What is important is compatibility and how he makes you feel (which is calm, supported and secure). Sorry, but this counts so much more...

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A reader, anonymous, writes (8 May 2010):

I think the anonymous reader who wrote that you are no better than a gold digger was a little harsh. I am almost in the same situation you are writer. With the exception I do have a child with my husband and have been married for 2 years. I did marry for money comming from a poor family money was stability for me. I am ashamed of the reasons I married my husband and I made a mistake. There is nothing me or the writer can do about it now. We chose the path for a reason. Now all we can do is try and make ourselves happy.

You should do what makes you happy. Since you do not have any children it will be alot easier for you to pick up the pieces and move on with your life. I think it will be hard for a few months but you will be so much happier. I realized that you can not marry someone who you are not fully committed to. To marry someone you should be fully in love with that person. Otherwise something you may have been bothered with at first will only grow into a huge problem later. Good luck and do what makes you happy!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (6 May 2010):

Hi I know wot ur feeling, it depends u don't wanna end up alone. I think u should speak to him. A part of u must love him that's why u don't wanna hurt him. But tell him how u feel.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (5 May 2010):

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

Dear all, thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to reply to my question. Some comments I agree with and some I don't, but they're all valid and come from the hearts of some very caring people. Let me assure you, if I do decide to leave I will never "take him to the cleaners" or give him "less than half share"! He is a good man and all I want is for both our futures, whatever they may be, to be safe, comfortable and equal. I know I have to make a decision soon and I think I will try and get some counselling and perhaps try a little meditation as suggested by Moo's Mum. Thank you all again. xx

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy + , writes (4 May 2010):

CindyCares agony aunt It's 25 years that you have sex on a regular basis with someone you are not attracted to, and 25 years that you find that unpleasant and uncomfortable. How did you do that ? How could you do that ?...

That sounds like more or less like torture to me. Everybody is different- as for me, I couldn't,period.

You sound sufficiently self reliant to make it on your own also considering your good friends and social circle.

You can't make an omelette without breaking the eggs so you can't leave your husband without hurt him. You'll have to hurt him.

This is not so heartless and selfish as it sounds. You have been living a lie for 25 yeras and made him live a lie too. You should respect him enough to not keep him around just because he's comfy and familiar,like an old sweater. It's never too late for the truth

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A female reader, chigirl Norway + , writes (4 May 2010):

chigirl agony auntI say you should have left him 24 years ago when you knew how you felt. I think you might have been too insecure to leave him before, too comfortable with the safety, even though it is dull. Only you have been standing in your own way of finding passion.

Will you continue to live a life you don't really want and never wanted? Be brave and stand up for what you truly feel. He will be hurt. But there's no way to leave him without hurting him.

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A female reader, kittykhaos United Kingdom +, writes (4 May 2010):

kittykhaos agony auntYou should leave take your half nothing more and explain to him in the least hurtful way you can. No one deserves to live in a loveless marriage least of all him. He may find someone to give him back all the love he has been pouring into a bottomless glass for the past 25 years. If you can't give him that its not just unfair on you but its unfair on him too.

If you want stability strive for independence but don't use this perfectly good man for your own selfish ends. I tried to stay in a relationship once when i didn't love the guy i was miserable and in turn he was miserable because he could see it wasn't happy. In the end i fell in love with someone else and i couldn't keep pretending it was fine.

You should end it out of respect for him. And who knows maybe you can both get something you want.

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A female reader, Laura1318 Malaysia +, writes (4 May 2010):

Laura1318 agony auntIt is more risky to leave because excitement, happiness, love and passion can just be your ilusions.

There are younger and more pretty ladies out there still looking for their prince charming.

You don't have to depend on others for your happiness or excitements.You create your own happiness and excitements.

The grass maybe greener on the other side but what you see is not what you get.

It is better to stay and focus your mind on him and see him from another perspective.

He maybe a rough diamond and it is up to you to polish it until it shines...

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A female reader, janniepeg Canada + , writes (4 May 2010):

janniepeg agony auntStay. A husband is a father, a provider, a friend, a sexual partner, and domestic partner all rolled up into one. If you go outside to look for the missing excitement element, you lose everything you built together for 25 years. You can change your whole outlook on life and still be with him. There is nothing wrong with him. You have to get over the mental blocks and try to bring in some spice in the bedroom, or try to fulfill your empty tank, whatever it is and not blame it on your husband for your boring life.

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A female reader, Moo's Mum New Zealand +, writes (4 May 2010):

Moo's Mum agony auntOh doll this is a tricky situation. I'm not going to be much help because I don't really know what to suggest. What I would do if I was in your shoes is to pray for wisdom and guidance. If you are not religious you can throw the question to the universe. This means just sit in a room by yourself and meditate for a wee bit till you are completely calm and centred then ask "Do I stay or do I go?" It may take a while for the answer to come. Do this every day till it does.

Good luck doll you will be ok.

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A male reader, bournedout United States +, writes (4 May 2010):

My heart goes out to you...and to your husband. First, I would not reveal to him that you have never really enjoyed sex in the past. That really hurts and at this point is unnecessary -- it's water under the bridge.

It seems pretty clear that you won't last like this, so the scenario of staying with him for 25 years is not likely to happen, so scenario number two is inevitable. So you have to either acquire a passion for him -- I think it is possible with help from a counselor and a great commitment on your part -- or end the marriage. Maybe you need counseling on how to leave him in the least hurtful way. Warning -- he may not want to be friends after this. Another warning -- after leaving him you may suddenly see him in a different way.

Anyway, if you've thought long and hard and know yourself well and still want to end it, then you should. Give yourself the chance for passion and give him the chance to find someone who is passionate about him. Good luck!

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A female reader, raiders United States +, writes (4 May 2010):

raiders agony auntI think you have invested 25 years in this marriage and

your pushing 60 not a good idea to let him go. I feel it

would be wise you stayed put and stay with your husband.

You might feel you have no connection with your husband but

that might be because your letting your imagination run

wild. Think that if you left your husband and went out

there in search of love and found nothing, You would be

bored and be disappointed, you will than decide you want

your husband back only to hear that he don't want you

anymore, that he is no longer interested in you and that he

has moved on with out you. You ended up being alone, than

what. Being single is not always what is bragged out to be,

you might find yourself lonely. Why give up on a good man,

why loose him stay with your husband and leave your fantasy

behind. Travel enjoy life but next to your husband.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (4 May 2010):

I have been in this situation before but I hadn't been married for 25 years, I had only been with my partner for a few years (but we lived together). Like your husband, he was loyal, affectionate and completly happy to spend all his time with me. I, on the otherhand wanted to go out, travel and see things... But without him.

It got to the point that every day was like a chore. I didn't hate him, absolutly not but I was very discontented. I knew I couldn't live like this but I also knew what a gem of a man I had( just take a look around on this site to see what kind of imbeciles women put up with ). So I gave myself a year to fully commit myself to making therelationship work. I remember why I fell in love with him, why I moved in with him, thought about the things he had done for me and how he made me feel initially. I also reminded myself that if I lef him to find true love I would be taking a huge gamble and runnnig after a wish, not a certainty. Who was to say that I would find another guy?

So I stayed and I am happy. I think you should too.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (4 May 2010):

Basically you married him because he gave you stability, and now that stability has become boring.

In my mind, you should never have wasted this poor man's time. If you didnt love him or find him attractive, then your marriage was based on a lie from day 1.

It is obvious that you crave a bit more excitement, and while you should not stay in a loveless marriage, just be careful that the grass is NOT always greener on the other side of the fence. He doesnt abuse you, beat you, or treat you badly. He has not cheated on you with a string of women. His only failing is that to you he is boring.

You want more, and the longer this goes on the more frustrated and angry you will get. Which may hurt this man even more if you decide to have an affair. So I suggest you put this man out of his misery now, and divorce him. BUT make it as easy, quick and painless as possible. When it comes to splitting the finances, if needed take the smaller cut. You be the one who shoulders the blame for the breakdown of the marriage. You take whatever is yours, let him keep his pensions, and whatever money he has, and just take what YOU alone have earnt from the relationship. It is YOUR choice, so be the honest party here, and dont penalise him because you have changed your mind about what you want in life.

If you take him to the cleaners, then you are no better than a gold digger who married for the wrong reasons and divorces to get a big fat payout.

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