Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Ask Wednesday: Ask Susan

I dont think I want to be married anymore

By Susan C. Price

[Questions are followed by answers and then, inevitably by DID expect that...didn’t you?]

I just don’t know what to do about my marriage. I’ve been with my husband for 10 years and we have been married for five of those. I’m going to be 30 this year and we have a three-year-old child and six-month-old baby.
    The problem is, I just don’t think I’m in love with him anymore. Any issues we had have been sorted – we talked about me wanting to leave and, as a result, he made loads of changes, but I just feel it’s made no difference. Too little, too late.
    We get on, he’s a good guy, and we still have sex, but I just feel numb – I have no feeling towards him at all. I have ruled out any kind of depression, as every other area of my life is good.
    I really don’t want to hurt him, and everyone I speak to (family and friends) think that I should stick with it and that any problems we have can be fixed.
    I think we need some space. But I have no money to rent somewhere else to live for awhile, and his family live far away so he can’t leave either. I don’t want to regret anything or hurt anyone, but I can’t help feeling that if he had an affair I’d have a reason to leave. I know I’m a horrible person. Please help. –Numb

Dear Numb,
    You are not horrible. We all have thoughts all the time. Sometimes they are lovely, and about the one we are committed to, and sometimes...not! Also, it’s nearly impossible to stay “in love” all the time, over time. And you got together when YOU were quite young and somewhat unformed (most folks are at twenty). And you both have the house and two small children demanding a great deal of your time, emotions, and interest, right? Since you say he is a good guy and you give no other details about the “issues,” I am going to make a few guesses. Consider them and the suggestions that follow.

  1. It’s possible that you simply need more than is happening in your current life. Maybe you need an outside job or volunteer activity or more contact with other people. Or a different job if you are already working. Or a hobby that truly interests you. This assumes that maybe you are kinda bored (which at its worst can become depression), and it’s not his fault or responsibility to solve this. It’s great if he is supportive.
  2. You might be going through a “I’m 30. What have I done with my life! Where’s all the fun/excitement/mad passion?” This is a phase many move through at 30 or 40 or 50, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. Start by journaling your feelings and thoughts. Perhaps move on to a therapy group and/or a therapist to explore these thoughts and find more...whatever.
  3. Keep talking frequently, calmly, and openly to your husband about your needs and interests, and LISTEN to his. He should be your friend as well as your husband. He has invested and changed as asked. Maybe there is something more he wants and needs. This might open up ideas to you.
  4. Get some small space. Ask your husband and your friends and family to support you in taking a small break. A few days somewhere else. By yourself. A friend’s back room or basement where you are responsible for your own food and entertainment, not a “vacation” resort. Being alone for a few days and caring just for yourself might tell you what is missing.
  5. Or maybe you truly don’t want to be married to this man anymore. Don’t want to raise your family together. Are willing to face the fiscal and emotional challenges of breaking up your home and family. It can be done. But it costs everyone. And only you know if the cost is worth it to you.
    Yup, there is probably no simple, easy answer to this. You two have created a family and have great responsibility to your two children to raise them and keep their lives as positive and smooth as you can for a good number of years. I think you would have to feel very strongly that your freedom and greater happiness ALONE would serve your children decide to split up your family.
    Good luck.

[We would really like more questions to answer, so send ’em in….]

Copyright © 2015 by Susan C. Price

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