Question: Dear Luise: I have been married for 11 years but have dated my husband since 1992 (19 years). My husband is a pretty nice guy to others but when it comes to me he’s not so nice. He’s very cold and acts as if I’m not big deal. I email him or text him and he has, at times ignored me. I’ve called him to say I love you or miss you and he doesn’t say it back or tells me that he doesn’t miss me. He doesn’t talk to me much. We don’t have sex and if we do it’s usually requested when I’m sleeping. I’ve told him how I feel and he gets angry and either doesn’t want to talk about it or says that I don’t know what I’m talking about. I think my marriage is over, but it’s hard to let go because we have a beautiful two year old boy that I would love to raise together with my husband. ‘m so confused, I don’t know what to do. We’ve been through counseling before. S.
Answer: Dear S.; My take is that your husband wants a different kind of marriage than you do. He is not romantically inclined and has lost most of his interest in physical intimacy. He stays married and since you didn’t say anything about it, I assume that he provides for you and you son. He probably thinks that’s enough and doesn’t want any tender exchanges, verbal or by cell. Or any pressure from you to be different than he is.
If that’s the case, you have the option to go it alone or learn the live with his limits and perspectives. Some women want security so badly that they stay in this all-to-common situation. Some leave and find it so hard “out there” that they wish they hadn’t left. Some successfully create an independent life for themselves and their children and some remarry and have full and happy lives (but you can’t count on it.)
It’s a tough call and only you know which category you fall into. I’ve been there. In my own situation, I left after 18 years and married again. I just couldn’t survive the emptiness any longer. I like to communicate. I like to share. I like to be able to express that I care and I like to feel cherished in return. Don’t ask me why I married him in the first place. He never pretended to be anything else…and my leaving broke his heart…(that he kept locked away from me.) He knew that he cared and it was enough for him and all he could manage. It wasn’t enough for me. There is no easy answer. I doubt that you are confused. You know the answer, you just don’t like it. I didn’t either. Blessings, Luise