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Why do people stay in loveless marriages?

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Question - (22 March 2011) 12 Answers - (Newest, 24 March 2011)
A female age 51-59, anonymous writes:

Why do people stay in a love-less marriage?

When you know the other person doesn't love you anymore, why do you stay in that relationship? Is it because you think you can win them over? I think once the love is gone, it's gone. They might still have feelings for you based on all the shared history, but I really think the *love* is gone for good. I wonder if my marriage is something to stay in or go. After 27 year, we lived through lots of tragedies, and also loving times together. But now there is no sex, no intimacy, just friendship. Is this ok at 50 , not to have sex and affection anymore?what do you think?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (24 March 2011):

My question is: why are YOU staying in this loveless marriage?

have u spoken to your hb?

marital counselling?

what do u two do to bond?

any sharedd hobbies?

sex is a vital part of a relationship. i do not care what many people say. this is a reality. just read the stories here on DC.

LoveGirl

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (23 March 2011):

I think, it is obvious, that he is not in love with you, and you are just in self-deception.

We do this , but it backfires.

Believe me, people are having sex, in their 80-es, how the other person says it here.

And he got his reasons not to.Well, you need to respect yourself a little more.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (23 March 2011):

I just ended a 15 year marriage. The last 10 years or so was a gradual decline in intimacy, passion and general love and respect. We had a very strong union, partnership and friendship, but I simply got tired of the rejection, lack of acceptance and general indifference to me as a person. It is true you hold it together because of history, kids, vows, the hope it will get better and a host of other reasons. But if the heart is empty, the rest of the relationship is nothing but a carefully organized friendship. Is this enough at 50 or after any length of time? That depends on what you both want out of a marriage. I chose to be with someone who accepted me fully...not only part of the time. I couldn't be happier, but it is still hard. THe visions of a lifetime of memories flood back all the time. But a marriage is, first and last, about love. Friendship is a part of that, but love must be strong in a marriage. However, love has many faces. So ultimately it is about whether you are happy.

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A female reader, So_Very_Confused United States + , writes (23 March 2011):

So_Very_Confused agony auntIf you are not happy and you cannot fix it then I think you should leave. 50 is way too young to be unhappy.

I'm 51 and sex is a huge part of my life...

my grandparents were still having sex in their mid 80s.

sorry I disagree with folks here a lot but if you are UNHAPPY in a marriage and you cannot fix it... then I think it's ok to end it.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (23 March 2011):

"Why do people stay in a love-less marriage?"

Come-on! I think it's pretty clear.

1.Kids.

2.Finance.

Yes there are other reasons too but these 2 are absolutely the key factors.

Financially a marriage is almost a business, you tear a business in 2, the chances of one or both the smaller businesses going down the drain is very likely.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (22 March 2011):

I agree, most of the time ,it is about fear. It is horrible, what two people sometimes does to each other ,before they would say enough.

It is also very hard , because , marriage suppose to last forever. It is not dating ,with no responsibilities, and building a life together.

Tricky situation, for sure.

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A male reader, addz Australia +, writes (22 March 2011):

simple. There scared of being alone.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (22 March 2011):

Honeypie agony auntI guess it depends on the said "people".

I believe some stay out of fear of being alone.

I believe some people stay because it's "safe" (Better the devil you know).

I believe some people stay because they financially can't afford to divorce.

Some for religious reasons.

Some for the love of prestige/money..

You name it, there is a reason. No always a good one, but a reason nevertheless.

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A female reader, Abella United States + , writes (22 March 2011):

Abella agony aunthi,

All of the following are ONLY suggestions. Because some options may not apply. Or may not be helpful from your perspective. But if any of it helps i'll be happy for you.

Has he told you that he does not love you, and why? or is that assumed from how he relates to you?

Have all the challenges you have faced and survived just built into a mountain that is just too much to endure any longer? Would simplifying your life help a little. Sometimes just clutter removed can lift spirits so much. Holding on to too much from the past can be too much.

If you do end the relationship have you considered how you will survive? Where you will live? That it might be even more lonely? Though of course you may meet a scrumptious new guy and find love.

But it is often said that to change a life and change direction that it is ourselves who we have to change first, in some way, to be ready to embrace new experiences.

Currently it does sound very difficult. Like living with a stranger, yet you know every last thing tiny thing about him? you've heard all his stories, sometimes twice?

You struggle to find any spark, even though you can't pin point when the flame went out?

And has a rigid uncompromising and negative way of thinking from one of you been undermining the relationship for some time? I know it took an overseas cruise to shake my father in law out of his lethargy. It made him realise how much he had taken for granted for too long.

On the plus side you are sitting on a gold mine of shared stories and shared trust built up over years.

Who has the most motivation to make this relationship sizzle again?

If it is you then there is hope.

What do you have in common that IS positive?

What are the 5 best points that you think you contribute to the relationship?

And can you come up with 3 best points about him that contribute to the relationship?

have tried any of the following?

1. plan a holiday together, just the two of you to somewhere romantic. no group touring.

2. some couples counselling

3. Join a gym together

4. Sell up and move to a new area

5. Surprise him with a bj while he just sitting chilling

6.discuss with your Doctor whether depression could be an issue for one or both of you.

7. Do either or both of you get so consumed in your own hobbies that there is little left over time for each other?

Could you explore more shared activities?

If just one thing above helps i will have done one good thing. My best wishes to you.

Regards,

Abella

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (22 March 2011):

In your 50s (that's me by the way) you have built as life with someone. You have children, a broad circle of friends, you share interests, so there is a lot to your life and why throw that away unless you are really unhappy. Yes if you are unhappy, why stay, but there are a lot of people who settle for the status quo as it's not a bad place to be. Life is about compromise - but you have to weigh up if you are going to be happy starting over again.

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A male reader, Cerberus Ireland + , writes (22 March 2011):

Cerberus agony aunt"Why do people stay in a love-less marriage?" Lots and lots of reasons. Mainly practicality though. Of the men and women I've spoken to they just have a life built together, they're comfortable and it just works. They accept that the romance has died and their relationship has turned into one of companionship instead. They know each other inside out, they're completely comfortable with each other, they're pretty much best friends and there is a sense of security in that, that a lot of people your age see as being more important than romance, as long as there isn't a lot of arguing or abuse then they see no reason to change it.

"Is this ok at 50 , not to have sex and affection anymore?what do you think?" It doesn't matter what we think, only how you feel. If you're unhappy about something then try and find a solution. After 27 years I can only assume your kids are reared if you have any at all, so you're technically free to do what you like now.

It's not okay not to have sex and affection anymore if those things are important to you, what you have to consider though is a way of attaining that without sacrificing what you have now. You have to ask yourself if your husband is not the guy that can provide you with that anymore whether the things he does provide outweigh that. That is a decision many people take when they stay in a marriage like that. The decision to stay or leave is never easy, you stand to lose a lot both ways. On one hand you stand to remain in a marriage that may never have that romantic spark again, on the other you risk throwing that away and never finding that in anyone else either, plus you lose the security of a marriage, have to be single again and go into the dating minefield which is tough at any age.

You have to define what is important for you, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. You have roughly another 50 years in this world or you could be gone tomorrow, who knows? One thing is for sure though you need to think carefully about how you want to spend that 50 years. Is the love really gone or has it just changed, it's very common for the romance to fade and for love to change to companionship.

If I were in your situation I'd do my best to bring that back or I'd find more ways of enjoying your time together. You can bring the affection and romance back it just takes a bit of work but it's not going to be the same as when you were younger. That initial spark may never return. But it's worth a try, if not then you may have to spice it up in other ways. You have plenty of options but think long and hard about your priorities and make your decision based on what you know will bring you long term happiness.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (22 March 2011):

2 examples for you. My ex girlfriend's grandparents were married for 43 years and divorced because they lost common interests. What were they? The KIDS.

Once her own parents had all their kids move away and that responsibility was no longer there they began going on 3 day fishing trips or dawn to dusk motorcycle rides and week long trips to Vegas with 'the girls' and not even a phone call to share their experiences. Ultimately they too ended in a divorce.

People change, its just a fact of everyone's lives. You need to look at the similarities you still share now that you've grown older and wiser together.

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