How Do You Decide To Leave Your Wife And Live With The Decision?

I've come so close to making the decision to leave my wife of 17 years. I one point I believe I did. I was comfortable with it. I even slept for an entire 8 hours for the first time in many years. But then I talked to her about it. I fell apart. We've been married for 17 years and knew each other for 20. We never really had fights. We liked to do the same things and we liked to hang with each other. We even work together. She says she's in love with me. So how could I even think of leaving her?
I dont think that I love her. I know "What do you mean you dont think you love her, you do or you dont!" It gets complicated, why wouldn't it. I care deeply for her, I may even love her...just not in love with her. We haven't slept with each much in the last 5-7 years. There's always the excuse that she fell asleep on the couch. And why didn't I go out and wake her?
Our marriage may have been doomed from the beginning. When we were dating we always had sex. We talked about the future and having kids. I was older. I was ready for marriage and kids. She said she was but??? Things changed weeks after we go married.
We never lived with each other. We moved in together just before the wedding. I guess I really wanted to do things right. But weeks into our marriage, the sex dwindled. Maybe once a month, then every other month. There was always an excuse. I started thinking she was cheating, but I dont think so now. It was things in the past that effected her.
She was abused by a cousin when she was only 5. I only found out about this in the last couple of years. She was from a broken family. Her real dad wanted nothing to do with her. her mother was 16 when she was born and would hide her so her date wouldn't know she had a kids. When her mom did remarry later, my wife felt she was second to her other sisters. This all came to effect our marriage. We never had children. I would try to talk to her about seeking help, but she would just walk away. I should have demanded and forced her to talk about it but didn't.
One night about 2 months ago I awoke thinking I was having a heart was a panic attack. I was drenched in sweat, I knew I couldn't go on like this. I knew I should leave, but I care so much for her. I convinced her to finally see a psychologist, and so did I. Now how do I leave her when she needs someone to be by her. I dont think we can repair the damage that has been done. I got to believe that there is love out there for me, but sometimes I wonder if its all a fantasy. I've been married so long I'm scared to be alone.
My wife is a great person, no drugs, alcohol, or cheating with ether of us. If I leave, I feel I'll be the bad guy. Some will say, It's easy, just leave. How can you tear the heart out of the person that says they love you? How can you do that to someone you committed yourself to? I've always tried to be a good person, just thinking about making this decision, makes me feel like the biggest piece of sh^t. I know the decision is mine and mine alone. I dont scare easily, but this has me terrified.
fishingtime fishingtime 51-55 35 Responses Jan 23, 2011

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Your wife seems to need help that you cannot give her. Have you thought about the possibility that she will never desire you again. Please clarify why she has to be clearly in the wrong for it to be okay for you to leave.

I need some advice me and girlfriend been together almost 12 years first five years were not bad but boring I finally talked her into moving closer to her granddaughters thinking maybe that would help it did for awhile then back to boring nagging old lady so I got more involved in granddaughters lives the grandkids mom is a piece of crap treats them like slaves anyhow I got more involved now the past five years I got to attached to grandkids according to her there her grandkids not mine I adopted them as mine well I don't want to here her nagging and yelling I go watch TV with kids and play games with them I work a lot of hours but my time off I spend with kids three years ago I fell asleep upstairs with grandkids watching TV and the following weekend I was off and had no kids so wanted some sex she said no that's payback for falling asleep upstairs all she does is complain about everything I cook clean do laundry she does nothing but complain about I didn't do nothing right grandkids don't want to come over anymore because all she does is yell and scream at them for stupid stuff please help

Life is too short to spend unhappy. If she is not the woman for you than you indeed are not the man for her. Any more time being spent in this sort of a relationship is unproductive for both of you. You are prolonging the inevitable. Isnt it more terrifying to spend the rest of your life feeling as you do right now? Starting over is not harder than remaining in a situation that you are not happy in. The first steps are the hardest.

I am so sorry for you. I guess as a woman I can never understand how you stay with someone you are not in love with but love. I love my ex husband too but I know it's hard to create the spark again when you have been together a long long time. After all, we all different and how are you going to create that FRESHNESS again. It is challenging. I love having sex with husband. But I believe when we feel some kind of resentment or hurt in our heart, we distant from each other and not wanting to have any sex. Hence, sex dies as a sign of dead living love.
I wish you the best. I am sure your life will take you to where you belong.

no one should ever marry. i don't even feel like reading your whole story. getting married is a HUGE lie. dot. punto.finished. bye

I am sorry you are going through this. I can totally relate to you. I really can't go into detail, but I can say you get one life. You have tried to help her and be there for her. At some point you need to be happy!!!!! Do something for you!!! Have a good day!

Because you will BOTH be better off in the long run. If I was her, I would not want to be with a man who didn't really love me. It will be very painful, but not forever. With time, people heal, forgive, and move on. You both have many, many more years to live! You've only lived half of your adult lifetime, most likely. Make the change for both of you. Start building the next 30 years with someone you love! The worst thing you can do to her is stay with her when you don't love her.

I understand and am in the same boat. I love my wife but I know it's over and want to move on. We also had no sex for the last 6 years. But that don't matter. It's the other things. We do nothing together at all. We live as room mates. She has her room I have mine. Our day is spent with her playing of facebook and mine watching TV. Here is a good one. Do I want sex with her? NO. I'm not interested at all. I think it's time to move on. I will love her forever, but it must end. I can't take it anymore. I think she would be happier if I left also.

We have no kids to worry about.

Why aren't you interested in having sex with her?

This may sound really corny - and having read only to about 1/2 to 3/4 of these posts (fishingtime and responses), may now be out of date to fish's situation - but I suggest there is possibly another path to be taken here. I'm not particularly religious - and this is certainly not a post based on that, or bible beating, or anything of the sort - but I've found that the basic tenet of "it is better to give than to receive", or the thrust of really thinking of the other, rather than of oneself, actually gives both a sense of self respect and pleasure to oneself, and as a practical matter, can work (without this being the actual overt reason or goal) to bring the other into more attraction to oneself.

In other words, there are essentially two approaches or options here for happiness: either 1) think of oneself *more*, try to not feel guilty, and do what one wants more fully just for oneself. Leave the spouse/girlfriend/lover/etc. and try to just put yourself at the center of your selfish (for want of a better word). And leave the responsibility for the other person solely up to them (as they are also, in a strict sense, viewed as *not* taking full responsibility for themselves in making an effort, or wanting, to be involved with you - sexually, emotionally, or otherwise).

This is a valid position. Everybody is responsible for themselves. And even in a strict,
Ayn Rand (if you know who this writer/philosopher is), sense, everybody is essentially selfish and pursues their own self-interest...this is the state of nature for humans and all natural organisms...and bonds or contracts or affiliations come successfully out of each person's need and mutual pursuit of their own self interest.

2) But the other road to happiness, which, apart from religion telling us is the true path to happiness, one may just find is workable and ultimately most satisfying, and practically, as I say, often productive in terms of improved relationships, is to realize that maybe you *do* love the other person, in a degree of selfless way...that you do, maybe rather painfully, *care* about them. Yes, maybe this is "loving" someone rather than "being in love with" them; but maybe it is also ultimately the more real and true love. And if *really* pursued in a full and selfless way...if you really simply allow yourself to "love" them in the true sense of the word - giving without an expectation of "getting" something back - you will be surprised to find that it is the same way that giving a Christmas gift, or any gift, is really more satisfying than "getting" presents yourself...and that, without expecting this, it often just turns out that this love is ultimately opening and healing and received by the other, and, surprisingly, eventually reciprocated. But it *is* all a mystery and not controllable or able to be grabbed or fixed in place or demanded...any more than one can hang onto or grab water. Perhaps ultimately it really is a kind of mystery from God or whatever (and again, I don't mean to come at this from a religious or proselytizing's much more just some kind of a zen kind of thing, or an uncontrollable, mysterious dynamic - which also cannot really be predicted to work in terms of getting the other to be more interested or responsive to one...but then again, it's not love if your selfish gain is really the goal...that's not how love works or what love is. Love is truely loving the other, wanting what is best for them, etc. without the expectation of gain. It is just loving for it's own sake and the pleasure of making another happy, wishing them well, wanting them to be well [healthy, etc.]. The paradox is that it also often devolves into their responding to you (with love, affection, caring, and also sex [which is part of this whole love/attraction the larger sense than just *sex* for sex's sake]).

And this all relieves you of the guilt also. You are being kind and loving and selfless, as you were probably intended to (by God or whatever else).

Anyway, for Fishtime, or whoever else reads this, these are some thoughts. They work more generally in life than just one's mate also...being kind and giving to others often makes life just go better, even with an allowance for the jerks you will run into nevertheless.

Best wishes -

Leave your kid that u love because spouse, is a pain full situation....then pay while u out...

fishingtime, sorry to hear about what has been going on. I found this post after searching on Google for "leaving your wife" because I am going through something similar. I'm not actually married but been together 9 years and lived together 4, cant get married as we are still both training in our professions and have no money. Your situation sounds very similar to mine (apart from the fact that we do actually argue about absolutely ridiculous things). What is more familiar than the situation though are your feelings on the whole issue. I too felt like I owe her something, and that I promised her something that I had to deliver. She always acts so in love with me I could never bring myself to actually split up with her. She's always talking about marriage and kids. However my partner also avoided sex with me. Yes there was always some excuse, mainly that she doesn't have the confidence to approach me for sex. Basically if I want sex I have to make it blatantly obvious (I mean embarrassingly so) or just say it out loud, which is not the way I like it. I like things to feel spontaneous, like there is some magnetism between us and not just me chasing her like a dog on heat.

Anyway a few years ago I ended up splitting up with her and I must say that you described my feelings perfectly. I had in all honesty toyed with the idea of splitting up with her the whole time we were together, but at times i really felt like I loved her and then others I didn't and it was extremely confusing. I loved her as a person very much and care about her probably more than my own mother. I think I would happily die for her if it came down to it but for some strange reason I feel like there should be more to love than that. After all I could feel the same way about a child or another man but that is not what having a partner is all about is it? Lets face it, that is just loving someone, it is not being in love with them, and the only difference I can see between the two types of relationship is the natural sexual attraction between two people. This is something that I feel was missing from your relationship and mine too. I don't know about you but I must admit that I never really felt wanted by her - that there was no raw attraction - just her appeasing me by letting me have sex with her. One other thing I might mention, while embarrassing to say publicly, is that she did not ****** from penetration, which I believe is common. She even went as far as saying she got nothing from sex (penetration) so that really made me feel like she was just doing me a favor letting me have sex with her. Since saying that she tried to take it back a dozen times but after knowing that it kind of spoiled actual sex for me and only made things worse. After a while I just stopped trying with her and used *********** instead. We eventually settled at having sex around once or twice a month.

I must add that while I have talked a lot about sex here we did always give each other a lot of affection in other ways. We were always very much like a honeymoon couple, kissing holding hands etc. I think to her that was enough and the sex was just something that she could take or leave. I sometime wonder whether I have been too easy for her. She never has to try hard to win my affections its just the way I am. Not really the tread em mean keep em keen type to be honest.

I felt extremely guilty splitting up with her because in many respects she felt like the perfect woman. Never did anything like take drugs, drink too much, cheat on me, we never argued about serious things, only bickered about insignificant things (which did lead to massive rows I might add). In fact it was her who helped me on the straight and narrow. I was a bit of a wild child in my past, taking drugs and drinking, but had now finished university and working in a corporate job. I think without her sensible influence I would not have made it. So that made me feel even more guilty when it came to splitting up.

When we broke up, she moved out the house as it was a council house (welfare) in my name. I thought I would feel like some enormous weight was lifted from my shoulders and I would be free to play the field. I thought that all that anxiety I had, being indecisive (do I love her? should I leave her?), would vanish and I would spontaneously meet the perfect girl and finally experience real love, not just some desperate codependency. I was wrong. I didn't feel good about it at all. If anything I got worse and had stopped eating and sleeping normally. My work started to suffer first and I was getting in to trouble for not being on the ball. I started slipping back in to my old ways of drinking too much, taking drugs (small quantities of cocaine on weekends). I tried dating sites but didn't have much of a response. When I went out it seemed like all the girls just annoyed me with their fake tans and excessive makeup. I started thinking about what I really wanted in a woman. Someone intelligent, loyal, not on drugs, would make a good mother, loving and caring. I realized what I wanted was actually just my ex. After 3 months, one day she got in contact with me on messenger and we ended up talking. I told her I missed her and went to see her at her parents house while they were away. We ended up having really good sex that night and I felt like I was in love with her again, not because of the sex but because it felt like there was a connection there. We have been together since. After 3 more years it has been a lot better. We have talked about the sex issues and she has made more of an effort to start things off (at least 10 percent of the time which i suppose is better than nothing). However, now things are slipping. We had a massive row last night over absolutely nothing at all - which is happening more and more. We have not had much sex lately although we have both been busy so not entirely her fault. Still she has not expressed the slightest dissatisfaction with this and it is really bothering me. So maybe i am back to square one. I hope that this is not the start of a lifelong cycle because I would hate to have kids, get married and then break up.

I know this is a long post but it was partly because you seemed so similar and in such as similar situation than me (without the arguments), and I thought i might be able to help, and also it helps me figure things out by writing them down. One thing I would say is that you shouldn't be afraid to talk to her again. You might find, like I did, that she is actually coping with the break up much better than you expected and you are actually coping worse than you expected. This is normal I think. It comes from the fact that us men tend to bottle things up making it hard to see your own feelings. Also men / friends dont tent to talk much about these things which makes it harder to deal with. Finally i think I should tell you what I think about your situation. This is based on my own experience. I think you actually do love her but you are angry with her for rejecting you and that is why you feel so bad now after leaving. You cannot live with someone for so many years in an otherwise productive relationship and not be strongly emotionally attached to them. Anger is the one thing that can blind you to this attachment but it is still there trust me. You are probably as attached to her as you would be to any other human being and this is going to have some pretty unpleasant consequences when you simply rip those bonds apart. She is probably feeling the same way but I imagine she is probably also angry with you and might not quite realise how much she misses you, making it seem like she wasnt that bothered about you after all. Im not saying you should get back with her but if you want to move on then you perhaps need to speak to her about the problems you had or they will never be resolved and will eventually effect your next relationship.

Anyway you sound like a genuinely good and intelligent guy. It's a shame an otherwise good relationship (I mean you say you didnt argue, I would kill for that) has ended I hope things go well for you and you find that elusive feeling you were hoping for. Personally I have decided it might have been some kind of illusion brought on by all those films and love songs I watched when I was young. I am starting to think that the "the one" cannot possibly exist outside hollywood, what with real life getting in the way and all. Did you ever wander what would have happened to Romeo and Juliet had they not died. I think maybe the whole reason they did die is that Shakespeare knew that a love like that could not possibly exist in the real world. Work, children, life in general, not to mention actually getting to know each other, would have just ruined it. The purest and most idealistic love is young naive love and i don't think that dream ever really leaves us, just some of us let it go earlier than others. What is more real are the bonds we form between us in the real world, when we face the world together and help each other through even the hardest of times. Remember my friend we are all human and no one is perfect. Some people like lots of sex and some people get embarrased taking their clothes off. Personally, I get more nervous dancing in front of strangers than I do in the bedroom with someone who I actually care about. Makes no sense right? Well humans are not entirely logical creatures and I think we have to account for that in our partners and give them a bit ( a lot ) of leeway. Like I said, if you genuinely were not happy then stick it out and meet someone else but also if you do actually want her back then just talk to her. Best of Luck. D from the UK.


just some thoughts... sorry how you are feeling and at the same time.... again she has everything going her way... you are paying the bills and that will continue for a VERY LONG time if you let it, sorry you have no marriage and have not for a long time.... going out on dates.. go for it some women just want to have a companion for a date and not a mate... your thinking LONG TERM.. just a thought was your "wife" the first one you dated, the only one you went out with? Dating sites are great even if you have to travel an hour... personally I was traveling 4.5 hours and it was well worth the drive.. :) anyway.. lots of people just like to date and want no commitement.. She is going to the gym... because she is getting herself into shape to attract other guys... Really Fish, I feel for you and at the same time as I stated before, everybody goes through what they have to go through before they make the final choice.. I see your DOOR slammed shut and LOCKED... sorry but just the way I see it.. Wish it looked better for you the way you feel, but that is the good thing about EP, you get advice from others so you can make your own decisions as hard and painful as they may be..

I really do appreciate your comments. I don't know if we can still be friends. A little secret: after a split, the person who wants to remain friends is either totally over the other person or is hoping that by remaining friends there still is a chance. If either still has the deep feelings, it will only cause pain.

Binthere: thanks for reminding me of my age. lol. I know you guys are right. Maybe it's a self-worth problem. By taking care of her I feel needed. I know that's crap, now comes taking the next step. As hard as the seperation was, the final step is 10 times harder. I think I've just hit the lowest depression yet. I met with my wife, damn am I torn. Haven't slept in days, can't eat...did lose 8 pounds...something positive. May go to therapy.

fish, why not try thinking of yourself and what you are going through for a change ,instead of your"WIFE" ? most women who want to leave there husband , do so without a second thought for his feelings,I know from experience, I have a good life now with a new wife much younger than the one who left me, you are not getting any younger , you have done your bit for her ! time to move on before its too late

My wife needs me. I support her but I am self employed and could use some help financially and when I married her, I thought she would find a good job to help me out, or open her own business, but 16 years later she is still basically just a good housewife. We never had kids. She loves me and is devoted to me, but we are so different in every way, I just dont want to spend the rest of my life with her, but I just don't have the courage to tell her I want to separate. She would be devestated, leave me and not look back. I would be percieved by our family and friends as a fool since she has helped me make a good house, look better in appearance and has ne being a better person, but I want to get back to doing my art which doesn't pay so well, but I feel I must get back to it.

Well...I've been seperated for about a year now. Can't say things are better and I'm definitely not happier. Haven't dated but thought about it. Joined some of the online dating sites and have become discouraged. I live in a small town and many "prospects" live 50 miles or more away. I have not taken the "next step" because I feel guilt. I know it may sound strange but I made a commitment to my wife and I feel as if I'm betraying her. I also don't want to start going out with someone if I'm not ready to go the distance, that would not be fair to them. They deserve better.

I'm supporting my wife finacially but we don't communicate much. I know she wants me to make a decision soon about what we're going to do. She has been seeing a therapist but on a limited basis. She has joined a gym and feels better about herself. She has not become independent financially though. Of course why should she when she has me paying all the bills. I still care a lot about her, I often think about trying to work things out. But I also remember for how many years I could have done that and didn't. I guess the real question is do I love her. My answer would be "I don't know", which means probably not. At least not the love a marriage should have. The other question I have is, so many times I've heard that the sensational love that people feel when they first marry dwindles over time and what remains is the caring, the friendship, the compatibility, the this true? I'm not talking about the love or relationships that one sees in movies or reads in some romance novel, but real life? Maybe that's what it's all about. I hope not, but....

I enjoy hearing the thoughts of others....

Well I must say Congrats to you fish. If you don't mind me asking ... how did you do it? I have attempted on multiple ocaasions but fell into to empty promises that last a week or two. I'm wondering if there is anyone that could help. II feel like I'm living a lie staying a telling her that I love her as much as she wants but I know that i don't and with 3 amazing kids that i cherish makes it hard for me to just up and say I'm done ... I can't keep doing this. ... I'm not happy any more ... like I said before I love her but like a sister or a sincere friend.

Personally it really feels likely I'm stricken around just for my children ... is this right is it wrong of me

You have separated. Congratulations on starting on YOUR life.

You're still supporting her. Good for you. Makes you a better person.

Now, start dating. You'd be surprised at how many women are out there who completely understand your situation and will still date you.

Don't hold back.

Just remember, YOU are not responsible for your wife's happiness. None of us can be responsible for another person's happiness.

She chose her actions. She lives with the consequences. Though I'm sure she's quite happy now.

FT, She has everything she wants... you not living there.... she can be the refuser without any excusses, no pressure to preform any marriatal duties.. SHE HAS IT JUST THE WAY SHE WANTS IT..

and you... are SUFFERING... and she don't care..... I believe it is time for you to move on as your situation will not change for the better... :(

everybody has to go through all the steps to get where they are going..... i.e. trying to fix the relationship in everyway possible...... but here comes a point where enough is enough ...

Please, just cut your losses, and move on with your life.... get the divorce quickly...

Just my advice as on the other side of divorce, life is better, not perfect, but MUCH better.. :)


You would not disagree would you, that you are in a better place now ?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, has she done anything about acknowledging / owning / working on her previous issues ??

I'd figure the answer to that one is "no", otherwise you might be back there.

So you did, and are doing, the right thing. You have provided an environment for her where she can clearly see that YOU were not the problem. What she chooses to do with that knowledge is down to her.

You will want to start thinking about unravelling her financial dependence on you soon. Seen a lawyer yet ?

Tread your own path.

Well I ended up Separating from my wife. I have a seasonal business that I could go to for the summer. I live there and work 16+ hours a day so I don’t get a chance to think about things that much. Well maybe a little. It’s been over 5 months now. I haven’t thought about the next step…not sure about anything right now. Guess that’s usual. I still take care of her financially, I pay the mortgage, the credit cards, cell phone…. I hope I’m doing things right. Some may think I’m the one hanging on. Maybe I’m just scared of being alone and taking care of her

My work is in the northern Minnesota. It's beautiful in the summer and there are lots of people around this time of the year. During the winter it's pretty desolate. Not looking forward to the winter. I do think about dating. Haven’t even attempted it though. Guess I’m not ready. Then again, I am still married. I'm just trying to get through each day. Maybe I'm just making excusses for not moving forward. I have never been so confussed.

Well sympathsize .... I've been married 12yrs ,been with my wife for just about 16yrs. We were high school sweethearts since gr.9 ... we have 3 loving children that mean the world to me.

But for about a year or more I notice/realized that my feelings for my wife was not the same anymore I look at her like a sister or a really good sovereign friend. I cantsay that I don't love her cause I do but just not the same. I've been kicking myself trying to figure out why and what I should do.

I keep writing down my feelings to try and clear my head, but doesn't really work. Have a good friend who wants to help by getting me to talk but it just hurts me to much cause I don't understand why. So yes I know what your going through and I understand what you're saying that you don't want to burgher niether ..

I also know that we have to stop and just live ... boy wouldn't that be nice live and not feel stuck or feel like youreliving a lie.

Well good luck

Well sympathsize .... I've been married 12yrs ,been with my wife for just about 16yrs. We were high school sweethearts since gr.9 ... we have 3 loving children that mean the world to me.

But for about a year or more I notice/realized that my feelings for my wife was not the same anymore I look at her like a sister or a really good sovereign friend. I cantsay that I don't love her cause I do but just not the same. I've been kicking myself trying to figure out why and what I should do.

I keep writing down my feelings to try and clear my head, but doesn't really work. Have a good friend who wants to help by getting me to talk but it just hurts me to much cause I don't understand why. So yes I know what your going through and I understand what you're saying that you don't want to burgher niether ..

I also know that we have to stop and just live ... boy wouldn't that be nice live and not feel stuck or feel like youreliving a lie.

Well good luck

Well sympathsize .... I've been married 12yrs ,been with my wife for just about 16yrs. We were high school sweethearts since gr.9 ... we have 3 loving children that mean the world to me.

But for about a year or more I notice/realized that my feelings for my wife was not the same anymore I look at her like a sister or a really good sovereign friend. I cantsay that I don't love her cause I do but just not the same. I've been kicking myself trying to figure out why and what I should do.

I keep writing down my feelings to try and clear my head, but doesn't really work. Have a good friend who wants to help by getting me to talk but it just hurts me to much cause I don't understand why. So yes I know what your going through and I understand what you're saying that you don't want to burgher niether ..

I also know that we have to stop and just live ... boy wouldn't that be nice live and not feel stuck or feel like youreliving a lie.

Well good luck

Hi... I'm going through your same moral dillema ,although in my case I have only been married a couple of years. We had a big talk the other day, and when I started talking, I thought I was looking to fix things. As I spoke and let it all out, not just the lack of sex but the myriad problems we have that we overlooked when we were blindly in love at the start... as I told him how I felt, I started to wish he would just want to break up. I didn't want to fix it. I wanted out. But since I spoke to him, and we put a time limit on it to fix things or break up, he has done a 180 turn around. He wants to make this work. He's trying- but I have brought up this stuff before and he never made any effort to fix things. I've grown so frustrated and resentful, that I've already broken up in my mind. It's gone... and now I have to break up with a man who appears devoted to me.. or at least, and this is what i think, is temporarily being the best he can be because he's afraid of losing me. How to do it, how to do that to someone you love? Ultimately I think it will come down to who do I love more. Myself, or him. And I think I love me more. But it's hard. It's really, really hard. I don't want to hurt him- I don't want to use him to find my own happiness and then discard him.. But I got married so young, I thought I needed a man to be happy. Now I'm realising the only thing I need a man for, I'm not getting from my relationship. I don't need someone for financial support, or someone to bicker with over every detail of life... it's so hard do this to him, I wish he'd just cheat on me or something so I could have an easy out. Anyway, I have no advice for you, just a lot of sympathy.

A very sincere thank you to you, CS. I was a bit hesitant to offer this suggestion, because open minds are not always a given. Perhaps I should still brace myself for some negative comments.. but I really do take heart from yours. Wishing you well, Maria

maria, well said !!! he is lucky his wife is willing to get help. Most "the usual" are not that lucky, the refusers refuse to get help as they "don't" need it.. I believe that is why most on this site are so dismal in there outlook for a positive outcome. Experience has taught us different. With that said, every marriage is different and the tendencies are similar. You have offered something here that I have not seen before.. Thanks you.. CS

And as usual, I do not quite agree with the usual comments made here. I may not be a victim of sexual abuse but I know people who are. It is important in your life, in your sex life, in everything. The person I know has been functioning for a longer time, and then there was a burglary in her house and she confronted the perps. It all took her back to that other kind of 'invasion'. This woman is close to her seventies... and familiar with psychotherapy. I do not believe in that so much. I believe in spiritual healing. Another thing is the common way society views sexuality. It is not the most helpful thing for the sexually abused. The woman passive, the man 'taking' her, you know the thing. Not so wonderful for the man either. Performance, pressure, sometimes exhaustion, alienation. People playing the part of the role model we are all used to. Not helpful. Might I suggest discovering a new way. If she is interested of course, and you are. Through Tantra and tao, sexuality is approached as a healing energy, that one can become more conscious about. There are sexual practices meant to help partners to trust eachother. And that is only the beginning. I myself practised tao by coincidence almost because I was asked to write an article on it. I worked for an entire weekend with Saida Desilets, a hawaii based lovely woman totally into new sexuality through Tao, and the healing of both women and men (she has a partner specialized in the men perspective, Sol). She does regular tours, so does he, sometimes together, or perhaps she can refer you to someone good if they/she should not be around at the right time. Perhaps your wife wants to try a weekend of it, if you give it to her as a present. Some weekends are for couples, that may be a bit much to begin with. Some however are female exploration, where a woman learns to know and trust her sexual energy, and become more active physically and spiritually and emotionally so sexuality is a 'joint venture', not something mostly pursued by a man and consented to by a woman. Anyway. Just a suggestion from someone who found this a wonderful way into new sexuality. If it is not your thing, consider this a note to cheer you on in whatever decision you in the end feel is right for her and you both. If it might be something you both would be interested in, I hope sincerely it will help. I do agree with you not rushing it, although I would advise you to bring it into the open, discuss it, try to see her needs and feelings and see if you can deblock interaction sexually and perhaps also in other ways. Wishing you the very best, whatever the outcome will be.

I don't want to spook you fish, but just give you a heads up.

"Whenever" (or indeed 'IF ever') you do this it will NOT be any easier. Whether you pull up stumps now, or in 3 months, 3 years, whatever - it will NOT be any easier. Indeed, I think the longer it goes on the harder it gets.

You CAN start preparing yourself, by thinking through how you would leave etc etc etc in a theoretical sense, so you have a well reasoned exit strategy in place for "when" you are ready to pull the pin.

Tread your own path.

Thank you for your comments. Ultimately I believe I will hae to leave. Right now I cant do it. Loyalty, commitment, lack of courage, maybe a a lot of each has played a part in my decision. I know the sooner I do it the better for both. Saying that doesn't make it any easier to actually do it. I started to think that maybe this whole "love with passion" thing is just a fantasy. That maybe the passionate love disappears over time and it becomes more important they couples just like being together. I'm starting to ramble because it gets confussing. I may give it one more try, if I can get her to do the same, with a time deadline. If I don't see improvement, then I'll realize I did my best. Hard to say if it will make it any easier.