You feel nothing for your partner – or maybe he even disgusts you. Here’s what to do when you don’t love him, but feel like you can’t leave him.
Read Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown. It’s not about winning or losing. It’s about courage. When we step back and examine our lives, we will find that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as standing on the outside of our lives looking in and wondering what it would be like if we had the courage to step into the arena – whether it’s a new relationship, an important meeting, the creative process, or a difficult family conversation. Or, leaving a man you don’t love anymore.
Are you in the same boat as this reader? She says: “I’ve been in this relationship for 7 years. We have a 2 year old son. In the past he cheated on me (a lot). Now he’s faithful and I’m sooo over him. I keep telling myself if I had a job that could allow me to pay rent on my own then I would break it off. I also sit and think about everything I need him for. I don’t like for him to touch me and his presence annoys me. I just feel if my life was in a better place he wouldn’t even be in it. I NEED HELP!!!!!!!”
She left this comment on my article about ending a relationship when you’re scared to be alone.
There’s no denying that being alone is frightening and even overwhelming, even if you’ve only been in the relationship for a year or two. I dated a guy for nine months, and was so enmeshed I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving him. I knew it was an unhealthy relationship and I’d be unhappy if I stayed with him, but I couldn’t break free. What’s up with that? Fear, insecurity, self-doubt, and even laziness.
When You Don’t Love Him But Can’t Leave Him
Okay, so you’re where I was: you don’t love him, but you can’t leave him. Here’s what I’d do…
Make a list of the things you need him for
I need him to pay the rent, buy food for my kid, and pay the household bills. Maybe I also like the cable TV, internet access, Netflix, pedicures, iPhone, and freedom not to work.
Is money keeping you from doing what you want? Read How to Get Money to Leave Your Husband. Financial independence is one of the most precious, valuable gifts you could ever give yourself. Even if you think your marriage will never ever fail, you could be a widow before you’re ready! If you don’t know how to make money to pay the bills – or even how the bills are paid – then you’re screwed.
Get your own source of income
Money is freedom and independence. Money allows you to make choices and decisions – like leaving a guy you don’t love. But money isn’t everything, is it? Millions of women stay in crappy relationships even though they have money to spare.
When I dated the guy I couldn’t bear to leave, I was working full-time, paying my own rent and bills, and even buying dinners and movies for him. It’s not always money that holds us back, is it?
If you’re worried about after you leave him, read How to Start Over When You Need Money.
Look beyond money for the real reason you can’t leave himYou don’t need much money to survive. I’ve lived on less than $15,000 a year. It’s not fun and I didn’t exactly love my life, but I survived. My mom was a single mom, and lived on welfare most of my childhood (she has schizophrenia and couldn’t work).
Money – or lack of it – isn’t the only reason you can’t leave your husband, whom you no longer love.
Tell me your other reasons for staying. Spend 20 minutes writing all the reasons you can’t bring yourself to leave this guy you don’t love. Dig deep. Be honest with yourself.
And, ask yourself what you’d do if you only have a year left to live. Would you stay with a guy you don’t love, or would you pursue a deeper, richer, happier life?
If you’re 100% sure you can’t leave him, read How to Survive a Situation You Can’t Change.
I welcome your thought on what to do when you don’t love him but can’t leave him. I can’t offer advice or counseling, but it may help you to share your experience.
Is your relationship in trouble? Get 7 Steps to Fixing Your Marriage from relationship coach Mort Fertel. It's free and helpful, no strings attached.
Need encouragement? Sign up for my weekly "Echoes of Joy" email - it's free, short, and energizing. Like me!
My prayer for all women who don’t love their husbands but can’t leave is for peace and healing. May God guide you to the place you need to be, and help you be the woman you want to become.