Should I Leave?

I am glad that I have found this site.  I don't have a lot of people to talk to about my problems in my marriage.  I am 36 and have been married for a little over 3 years.  My husband and I have not had sex for over a year now.  In the year previous to that, it was only 3 times.  I used be the only one to initiate sex and I guess that was the only reason we had sex.  I got really sick of being turned down all the time.  My husband is so consumed with his work and other stressful things that he can never relax.  At least that is what he tells me.  I have tried to be patient - he used to have a really stressful job that I knew was taking a toll on him.  When he got out of that job into a more relaxed one, I thought things would get better.  They haven't.  We live like roommates.  It is just the two of us - no children.  We used to talk about having children, but how could we when we never have sex?

I guess if you are reading this you are wondering why I stay.  I guess it is because I love my husband very much.  He is so smart, handsome, and caring.  He just doesn't have a passionate side.   I, on the other hand, need passion in my life.  I am sick of being complimented by other people and never by my husband.  I have been so tempted to cheat just because I want the attention, but I refuse to be that person.  I would never forgive myself.  I always thought that I would never cheat on my husband, but I think about it all the time now.  We used to have the same goals and have a great relationship, but the lack of sex has driven us apart.

We have had several conversations about this in which I told him that I couldn't stay married if we were going to live this way.  I didn't make threats, but just tried to communicate with him and understand his feelings.  I tried everything and decided that I was going to leave 3 months ago.  When I told him that I wanted to separate, he said that he would be willing to go to therapy to try and work on things.  I was so angry that all of the talks we had before weren't taken seriously and that he waited until I was ready to leave (the hardest decision I have ever had to make) to do something.  Well, we went to 3 therapy sessions.  The therapist indicated to me that the "ball was in his court".  Well, nothing has changed.  I asked the therapist that if nothing changed, then what.  He told me that if it doesn't change, then I have my answer.

I feel like I have my answer - that our marriage is over, but I just don't know how to do this.  I never envisioned getting divorced.   I have been looking for a reason to stay for so long.  I know my husband is a great man, a wonderful person.  I know that there are not a lot of good guys out there (at least not the one's I have met).   But, I feel more alone in this marriage (hence my screen name), than I did when I was alone.  I just can't seem to summon up the courage to do anything about it.

Any advice would be helpful.  Sorry I rambled on and on....I just don't know what to do.  Since you all have had similar problems, I would be interested in knowing how you handle things.  When do you know it is time to leave?  And for those of you who stayed (without children), why did you stay?

Thanks for any inpute.

MarriedandAlone MarriedandAlone
11 Responses Aug 11, 2008

I've been seeing a cousellor for depression... as well as the one we are seeing to help us. Finally thinking that I could actually leave (I had thought about leaving, but thought I couldn't) started with them asking "what about you?" <br />
I have been trying to fulfil her needs and make her happy and forgotten about myself. I am not actually responsible for her happiness. Also, I cannot make this relationship work if I don't look after myself and my needs... If I am not happy, if I am always thinking about leaving, or that I should have left long ago, neither of us will actually be happy in the relationship.<br />
I have searched my soul and thought long and hard about it and realized that I will never actually be happy here, that is why I have to go.

This is a hard question and only one that you can truely answer. Perhaps you are scared to leave him as you lack confidence about starting your own life without him. Perhaps you could start by building a new life with new friends and still maintain a friendship with your husband. I too have lived in a sexless relationship with my husband for the past 2 years and still love him very much. We have kids and it is difficult to know what is the right thing to do for ALL of us!!! We have to stop blaming ourselves, maybe he has some problems he is afraid to share with you for whatever reasons. Communication is the best solutions- allowing them to feel comfortable enough to really open up to you!! Easier said than done!! I don't want to give up on my husband just yet!!! Hope is something I still have and we have been together for 18 years.

Thank you everyone for writing. I really appreciate all of your advice. Can you believe that after I spent the entire day reading all of these comments, my husband calls me (I am out of town visiting relatives) and suggests that we go and see the therapist again....that he really wants to try. Out of the blue. This is why it is so hard to leave. Just when I start feeling resolute in my decision, he says he wants to try. But, should we have to try this hard? It would be different if we were talking about splitting up household choirs.....but working so much on our sex life? I feel like he shouldn't have to try and be attracted to me. He says he is, but I can tell it isn't true. Uggg!!!! Sometimes I wish there would just be this epiphany and I would know the right answer. I thought that I had it before - when I was out of town on vacation with friends I really was tempted to cheat. That is when I came home and told him that I wanted to separate. I just didn't want to cheat on my husband. Why can't I just have a moment of clarity that lasts long enough to make some decisions?

i wish for me it was that easy to decide what to do... should i leave or should i stay? is the question i ask myself everyday... i feel like a roomate and a maid not a wife anymore and it tears me apart each and everyday...<br />
i stay because i'm still very much in love with him...been married almost 12 years...been sexless almost 16 months...but not totally sexless we may have sex once every 3 ro 4 months but latley its been about once a month.. so i guess in some ways its getting better...i still have hope...<br />
best of luck to you no matter what you decide to do...

WOW, I thought this was my story. Be thankful you don't have years more worth of relationship "baggage" . You are a really strong person and I am envious of your strength. I agree with Beenhowlong, as a last ditch all the cards on the table kind of thing. Stick to your guns and let your guy know that it has to be a permanant fix not a bandaid. You want all of him or nothing.

I am one who stayed, no children. We have been together 15 years now, it just slowly got worse. I stopped asking about 7 years ago because it was too painful. Why did I stay? Because I wasn't strong enough to leave, because she needs me, love, etc. But now it is many years later and I am still here. <br />
I came to this forum when I started seriously thinking about leaving again. It seemed like an impossible decision, but it is not. Neither of us can move on until something changes.<br />
So, you have tried to work things out. If you think there is a chance try some more. But don't do what I did and just keep trying without stopping to think, or in another 12 years you will be in exactly the same place as you are now.

/cry i think "imdone" sumed it up so well its true its good to cut your losses when you know things wont change and you have no kids its easyer to get out now then wating till your stuck . as she said trust me im dying in side too and i dont wish what i feel on anyone

No children, no sex, no connection. You've only been married three years so you're young enough to move on. I would cut my losses, divorce him and look elsewhere. Choose more carefully next time.

I am envious that you have only been married 3 years and have no children. If I were you, I would cut my losses and file for divorce. You and he can remain friends if you do it right. At least you can keep some of what you already share. Sounds like he has a real problem with intimacy or a true lack of sex drive. I've been in my marriage for 19 years and we have 3 kids. I am being blackmailed by the phrase "Why are you destroying this family?" "You are so selfish!" "Sex isn't important!" I wish that I had seen it clearly after only 3 years and before kids!! Do something. You HAVE GOT TO FIND TRUE INTIMACY with someone COMPLETELY. Don't waste your life trying to make a friend turn into a lover. We all need that one true, intimate, emotional, and YES, physical connection with our mate. Without that, it will not last. I am living proof. I am dying inside.

I'd say you summed it up nicely. There is nothing worse than being married and ALONE. I was there. Before you end up cheating (not saying you will) Its probably best to move on. Even better yet is the fact that you don't have kids that are going to be hurt. I don't mean "better yet" that way, but you know what I mean. Look at your story and decide what you really feel.

My advice: print out what you typed. You stated it pretty clearly. "Put the ball in his court." If you do, just be prepared for the consequences. Good luck