How Do You Find Happiness in a Loveless Marriage?

These five ideas for being happy in a marriage without love will strengthen and heal your heart. I also share tips for wives who can’t say “I love you” to their husbands. You’d be surprised at how many women stay married to unhappy husbands, abusive partners, indifferent men, unloving spouses! You may be even more surprised how many wives are unloving toward their husbands.

Some wives have good reasons for staying in relationships without love. Other wives don’t need their husbands to love them because they’ve learned how to be happy without love. These tips are for wives who feel trapped, who are living in a loveless marriage but can’t leave their husbands for compelling reasons.

Walking away from any relationship – no matter how unhealthy or unhappy it is – is painful. Staying in a loveless marriage is just as difficult. If you can’t or don’t want to leave your husband, you need to find ways to be happy where you are. Some wives stay in loveless marriages while saving money to leave – as you can see in the comments section of my blog post about how to leave your husband when you have no money. Other women don’t have the energy or motivation to think about living, which is why they’re searching for help finding happiness with their husbands.

These ideas for being happy in a loveless marriage are based on the reasons you’re staying married. If you examine the reasons you can’t or won’t leave your husband, you’ll be in a better position to find happiness. Understanding why you’re choosing to stay in a loveless marriage will help you find ways to be content and even fulfilled where you are.

It’s important to remember that you – and your husband – are both making choices. You are both choosing to stay married without love. You’re both choosing to remain in the same house, living under the same roof as husband and wife, even though you know you don’t feel as happy or loved as you’d like.

It’s important to decide that you’re choosing to stay married because that empowers you to choose to be happy. 

How to Be Happy in a Loveless Marriage – 5 Ideas

In this article, I describe the most common reasons a woman chooses to stay in a loveless marriage. It’s not an easy choice to make! In fact, choosing to stay married to a husband who doesn’t express love can be the most courageous decision a woman can make.

Living with a difficult husband who treats you badly is demoralizing, disheartening, and demeaning. A loveless marriage isn’t just an unhappy relationship; it can kill your spirit and deaden your heart. Unfortunately, there aren’t any easy tips to be happy in a marriage that isn’t loving, but you can look elsewhere for happiness, fulfillment, and meaning.

1. Look at your fear of what people think

“I want to leave my marriage but the thought of that is too terrifying,” writes a reader on How to Break Free From a Controlling Relationship. “I would be all alone and what would people say?”

It’s normal to care what people say and think about you – especially if you’ve been unhappily married for a long time. The opinions of our friends, neighbors, family members, coworkers, and even our hairdressers matter. We feel sorry for and even pity couples whose marriages ended in divorce or separation. We don’t want to be subject of other people’s gossip, criticism, or judgments.

To find happiness, you need to discern the reasons you’re staying married to a man who doesn’t love you – or who you don’t love. Maybe you’re scared of losing your house, retirement savings, or even your children. Maybe you’re worried about living alone, about starting over with nothing. Different women stay in loveless marriages for different reasons…have you figured out the root reasons you’re staying? A root reason is the underlying issue, something that is hard to admit to yourself and others.

2. Challenge yourself to stop being “the good wife”

Girls are often taught not to make waves – to be demure, kind, polite, and avoid confrontation at all costs. This could be the number one reason why women stay in loveless marriages: they don’t want to be seen as a troublemaker or a disrupter of the family. Even deeper, they don’t want to hurt their children, disrupt their parents, and destroy existing friendships.

How to Be Happy in a Loveless Marriage
How Do You Find Happiness in a Loveless Marriage?

“I have gone back and forth in my marriage so many times, I’ve finally realized it’s never going to work and I need to just stay away,” says a reader on What to Consider When You’re Thinking About Reconciling After a Separation. “I always thought of myself as the “good”, “polite” and “cooperative” girl. That was the role I played in my family of origin.”

To survive a loveless marriage, give yourself permission not to be responsible for the happiness of everyone around you. You may not have to leave your husband to be happy – but you do have to find and do things that bring joy and fulfillment to your life. Don’t let your marriage have the last say. Maybe this means leaving your loveless marriage; maybe it means asking your husband for what you need. How are you a “good girl”? What do you need to break free from?

3. Look for healthy reasons to hope your marriage will become loving again

Are you hoping your marriage – or your husband – will change? Healthy hope is healthy and encouraging; it is based on reality and truth. Unhealthy hope is unhealthy and toxic; it is founded on deception and ignorance.

I lived in with unhealthy hope for months at one point in my life. I stayed in a loveless relationship with a boyfriend who wasn’t good for me. I kept hoping he’d get nicer, want to work on our relationship, and start treating me with love and respect. When I think back on how bad our relationship was, I cringe! I can’t believe I stayed with him for so long. I didn’t respect him and didn’t enjoy introducing him to my friends. Why did I stay in that relationship? I hoped he’d change. What saved me from falling into a loveless marriage? He broke up with me.

Is the hope you have for your marriage healthy, or is it unhealthy? Read 5 Signs It’s Time to Give Up Hope for Your Relationship.

4. Consider the alternatives to surviving a loveless marriage

You’ve stayed married this long for reasons that make sense to you. If you know you can’t or don’t want to leave your husband – and you want to be happy – then you must choose to focus on the benefits of your marriage.

But if you haven’t chosen to stay in your marriage and you resent the fact that you’re searching for tips on how to be happy with a husband who doesn’t love you, then you need to examine your options. You do have options…it’s just that they’re unpleasant, uncomfortable, and even painful. Leaving a loveless marriage involves being honest with yourself and your husband. You’ll also have to face your family, friends, and coworkers. You’ll have to face your own fears, feel like the “bad person”, and maybe even be seen as the one who ripped the family apart. That’s why many women stay in loveless marriages: it’s easier to stay in an unhappy relationship than it is to leave.

5. Look for help surviving a loveless marriage

How to Be Happy in a Loveless Marriage
How to Be Happy in a Loveless Marriage

Read The Emotionally Destructive Marriage: How to Find Your Voice and Reclaim Your Hope by Leslie Vernick.

Women in an emotionally abusive or loveless marriage do not need another book on how to have a good relationship. “Those books rub salt in raw wounds,” says Dee Brestin, author of The Friendships of Women. “No, they desperately need this book so that they can diagnose just how bad their marriage is and then, with Leslie’s clear expertise, develop a plan that will either begin to turn their marriage around…or give them a wise route of escape.”

If your husband is physically, mentally, sexually, financially or emotionally unhealthy you, then you’re not just in a loveless marriage. You’re being abused. Read How to Leave an Abusive Relationship.

Perhaps the best tip on how to survive a loveless marriage is to keep reminding yourself why you’re choosing to stay. You have good reasons – and the pain of leaving is worse than the pain of staying. Focus on the benefits and blessings of being married, and pursue healthy relationships that bring you joy.

3 Thoughts for Wives Who Can’t Say “I Love You”

I originally wrote this article for wives who are living in loveless marriages and can’t leave their husbands. Then a husband commented on Coping With a Difficult Husband Who Treats You Badly. He said his wife is difficult, critical, unhappy, and depressed. She doesn’t just “not love” him, treats him badly. He stays in his loveless marriage because he worries about what might happen to his kids if he left.

Are you living in a loveless marriage because you can’t tell your husband you love him? Here are a few things to think about…

1. When did you stop saying “I love you” to your husband?

The longer the marriage, the more layers of complexity. The more complicated the relationship, the easier it is to blame the other for the problems and conflict. But, if you can think back to the turning point in your marriage, you might find clues that to help you and your husband reconnect. Where did your marriage start slipping into lovelessness? How long have you and your husband lived without love? If you can look at your own actions and words, you might find insight into yourself. And that might ease the pain of living in a loveless marriage.

2. Define what a loving marriage means to you

Does your husband realize you’re living in a marriage without love? How does he feel about you and your life together? What does a loving marriage look like to you and your husband? If you can get clear and honest about how it feels to survive a loveless marriage instead of be truly, happily committed to your husband, you might inch a step closer to him. If he doesn’t know what you need to feel loved, how can he love you? And if you don’t know what you need to love your husband, you can’t love him.

3. Learn your “love language”

Can the Power of Love Save Your Marriage?

“My wife’s love language is ‘acts of service,’” writes bestselling author and psychologist Gary Chapman in The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. “One of the things I do for her regularly as an act of love is to vacuum the floors. Do you think this comes naturally for me? You couldn’t pay me enough to vacuum the house. There is only one reason I do it: LOVE. You see, when it doesn’t come naturally to you, it is a greater expression of love.”

The five love languages are words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, physical touch and gifts.

If you’re tired of living in a loveless marriage, you may have to take additional steps to reconnect with your husband. You may need to take the risk of saying “I love you” even when he isn’t loving you the way you need or want. You may even have to do more work to strengthen your relationship – especially if you don’t want to just survive a marriage without love.

To learn more about different types of love in relationships, read Examples of Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages.

What do you hope for in your marriage? Knowing what you want can help keep your hope alive. If the embers of hope are still burning in your heart, you won’t just be living in or surviving a loveless marriage. You’ll be living with something stronger and bigger than you – a hope that can change the way you act and feel. This might give you the power you need to save your marriage.


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286 thoughts on “How Do You Find Happiness in a Loveless Marriage?”

  1. Several reasons you inadvertently overlooked:
    1.We’ve been together 20 years & he IS my best friend although flawed that he is.
    2. His health is failing. Very hard of hearing, severe vision impairment and dialysis. He couldn’t care for himself & he would end up in a nursing home.
    3. Vision impairment has left him unable to drive. He couldn’t get to doctors appts, grocery store, etc. We are in a rural area and taxi’s unaffordable to retirees as ourselves.
    He is still my friend and I wouldn’t leave any friend in such a state.
    And besides, at this late stage in the game (64), what am I really going to do?

  2. I am not in love with my husband anymore. He is boring! I want to travel. He does not. I want to meet new people. He does not. He comes home, sits on the couch with the ipad, drinks beer and watches tv until bed time. Until recently (after I got after him) he would do nothing with the kids. He doesn’t want to encourage them to try new things or be involved in activities.

    My husband is not a bad person. He is very kind and never abusive. He just doesn’t know how to communicate and deal with my overwhelming emotions. There is no passion in our relationship! I have begged him to go to counseling but he won’t. I am afraid that eventually I will leave him. A marriage is work and he just doesn’t get that. Is it me or do men just not think about anything? How do I get my husband to go to counseling? He says he doesn’t want to listen to me complain about him to another person. HELP!

  3. My wife has cheated on me and lies profusely. Married for over 40 years I try to survive. I am lonely, we have not had sex in over 30 years. She will not even let me touch her. It has left me confused angry frustrated lonely and destroyed my confidence. I am not the person I once was. I have tried everything to endure. I am dieing. I am alone. My vows were in sickness and health thru good and bad. I remain a faithful husband.

  4. People should be happy and loved, and not stay in a loveless marriage! Life is too short, you can be alone and be happy, you can find someone else to love.

  5. I won’t tell my tale of woe except my husband is not the man I married. I am disabled and cannot work, so leaving him is not an option. I’m trapped, and he knows it and fully takes advantage. Thank God I do not have children. I wear a cheap wedding ring not as a reminder that I am married, but as a reminder of a promise I made to God. I just wanted to say thank you for the reminder to rely on Him, because with the love of Christ I can survive in a loveless and sexless marriage. God bless you <3

  6. Thanks so much for this article. I’m a very unhappy wife — my husband’s testosterone is low and his libido is zero. I got tired of being the sole initiator, so I stopped and now we don’t have sex. He doesn’t care to do anything about this health concern, and is not concerned about how unhappy it makes me nor what it is doing to our marriage. I do have a sex drive and sometimes I feel like I’m going insane, with the intense anger and resentment this situation causes. We have children and I want to wait until they are grown to leave but I’m not sure if I can. Our marriage feels more like a friendship; I don’t think we were ever really in love.

    We don’t fight, so I feel like I have a hard time justifying breaking up the family. The kids are happy. I’m just quietly miserable, trying to find ways to be happy despite this. I look forward to reading more comments here of what other women are going through.

    1. Hi Wendy,
      I remember feeling like you described. Its so lonely. My husband use to tell me that sex was a ‘reward’ of sorts for when the relationship was going along smoothly (ours rarely ever was). I felt so unwanted and unloved. I am middle age now and we weathered many storms. I still am married to the same man, 26 yrs later. Is it better in bed, a little. He at least was willing to admit (yrs later), that sex is an important part of the marital relationship and that it was important to me. Perhaps a counselor, pastor, reading a marriage book together, writing him a letter explaining your feelings, maybe he needs to seek medical advice, maybe he fears rejection. I initiated all of the aforementioned, including having him consider reading articles on asburgers disorder. I tried just about everything. I felt good knowing I gave it my all at the worst times of our marriage. Had he not of been willing It probably would of played out different for me back then. Blessings!

    2. My first marriage was awful stayed 13 years being verbally abused. So when I finally met my second husband after many awful online dates I was thankful, he was romantic and kind we still never fight , but on our honeymoon I find out he was keeping a secret he was injured and is impotent. I feel betrayed he has no interest in even kissing, we hold hands but I feel stuck I’m only 47 and I know what kind of jerks are out there. So I stay in a marriage of 3 years with a friend.

    3. I know how you feel. You hate to break up the marriage. My husband is a recovering alcoholic. I left for a short period of time while he was still drinking. He has been sober 5 years now. He is a nice guy, but he doesn’t fill my desires. I have to initiate sex most of the times, he’s not romantic or spontaneous. He will buy a gift at the last minute literally. I constantly have to ask for help around the house and he doesn’t spend quality time with our son. I am ashamed of my feelings. I had an emotional affair 7 years ago and I am tempted to run back. That guy was my best friend. I need more communication sex ,and passion. I have expressed this to my husband and he agrees that we will work on it. I don’t see any change and I am bored with this relationship. I gave everything holding him up through his addiction. I feel like he likes being married because it makes him look successful and he has someone to look after him.

  7. In summary, my marriage is too good to leave and too bad to stay. He’s a Good Man, but he easily criticizes me, NEVER compliments me. He’s stingy with affection and money. I would leave but I can’t afford it. I gave up my high-paying career when we got married, thinking I’d get it back (moved overseas to his country). I didn’t want to necessarily get married, but virtually everyone in my entourage egged me on. Seriously, I wasn’t strong enough yet to re-marry, but I did, like a fool.
    He lives on the internet 24/7.
    I have given up trying. I work full time, work on my career, clean, cook, laundry, iron. I just don’t want to work when I’m not working. So now I live on the internet, too, but not 24/7.
    I buy a scratch ticket every month hoping to win enough to leave. One day, I’ll be gone. Maybe he will notice, maybe he won’t. I honestly don’t care anymore.

  8. I’ve been married for 41 years to a cranky, withdrawn man who constantly thinks the world has done him wrong. A year ago, he was diagnosed with a terminal cancer. Now, one year later and chemo treatments, his cancer had gone into remission, yet his crankiness and withdrawal have remained constant. I promised to stay with him until the end, but nothing I can do or say softens him to make the best of his remaining time. He’s had depression his whole life, and has been on antidepressants for 25 years, but unwilling to alter the dosage. Whenever we talk, he is tightly coiled like a rattlesnake, and nearly everything I say to him causes him to strike out. I’ve learned to say very little and that seems easiest for us both. Having few friends and no hobbies, he prefers to spend an average of 14 hours a day in his man cave watching television.
    I’ve decided I need to live despite him, and so I’m now teaching classes part-time, taking piano classes, art classes, and mindfulness classes. I’ve developed hobbies and have a fairly active social life.
    My hospice nurse friend said I have to let him live his life as he chooses, but it has broken my heart.

    1. Lynne, I’m glad that you have chosen to live your life because we can’t wait for them to change, they won’t. It is heartbreaking to see them just waste their days sitting in front of the tv but we can’t let that stop us from doing whatever we can to stay active. It’s a difficult situation to be in, having someone who is angry at the world and fails to recognize the good things around him – it’s like they choose to stay stuck in a negative state rather than do the work to recognize that it’s not all bad – there is a lot to be grateful for, i.e. loving wife! I hate the fact that we could be doing things together but can’t so I try to do whatever I can but I am so resentful. It’s easy to get caught up in the negatively, it can hurt us too so we must be active. I don’t know what the future holds but I think that for now, we need to pursue our interests the best we can so that we don’t lose out too much on life!

      Wishing you the best!

  9. Christine I can so relate w you. My husband and I are married 26 yrs. So empty and void. He is mean tempered and blamecasts often. I probably do not communicate effectively enough for him.
    But I do love to talk w Jesus! I love to pray for others and so believe in the power of prayer; yet the emptiness of an unfulfilling and miserable relationship hurts to the core. Perhaps its the loneliness that gets to hurting more.
    And thank you Laurie for your blog I just found! God bless you real good!

  10. Thanks good this encouragement! I’ve endured 16 years of a loveless marriage. My husband is a narcissist who rarely has a kind word for me, usually a criticism or sarcastic comment. I hear about women who have spouses who support, encourage and believe in them and this sounds so foreign to me. as narcissist, he is incredibly sensitive to any criticism so I have to be incredibly careful with my wording and tone of voice (walking on eggshells). I would absolutely love to be in a loving, supportive relationship, a peaceful one. Just venting here because I do not have the financial ability to leave him. A divorce would crush my kids too as I have done a pretty good job keeping the family whole and as peaceful as possible (I bury my emotions deep). I have picked up some new hobbies that bring joy into my life but late at night when he’s been home for more than a few hours (he works a lot outside the home–she’s is good for us), I just feel sad and lonely, wishing I had made different choices when I was young. One day at a time:)

    1. Tina, thank you sharing. I feel the same. I have no money to leave and 2 young kids. In this country daycare is so expensive that doesnt allow me to work.

  11. My husband cheats hurts because he always make me the rason ..he does not make love to me whenever he does it ends up in a fight..I don’t know whether I’m coming or going If I leave it means my children will have to live in shack in someone’s else’s backyard and they are used to having their own home and strangely I love him despite the pain he causes I want to stop loving him I dont know how

  12. if i lived with roommates in college or otherwise it would be the same thing as a loveless marriage so why not stay in a loveless marriage as opposed to getting a roommate or roommates

    1. It’s not really the same! The world doesn’t expect you to be in love with and interact socially at all important events with your roommate. Your roommate never made promises and then didn’t keep them about cherishing you. You don’t own all your property and retirement savings with a roommate. You don’t have kids with a roommate. It’s easier to have better boundaries and manners with someone you’ve never been that close to in the first place. Generally, both roommates are on the same page whereas it’s easy for partners in a dead marriage to have very different perspectives on the relationship. And everybody knows a college roommate is not a life sentence. Yeah, a familiar but dud spouse can be an easier roommate than a stranger, but that’s certainly not a given.

  13. I have been with my life partner for 17 years now, and the last 10 of those 17 years have been void of togetherness and physical intimacy. We live our lives “around” each other in the same house. We sleep in separate beds and have separate hobbies. The only things we do together are watch tv. and go to the gym, (where we split up and go our own way once we get there). It’s rough, but I’ve decided to stay because I can’t support myself on my own and am just too comfortable in this familiar setting. I also have pets that I would have to leave behind if I moved out, and that would kill me. I’m also getting older and just can’t picture my life with someone new and starting over. I’m sure my partner is equally as dissatisfied as I am, but stays with me for the same reasons, I imagine. I do love him very much, but we’re very different people with very different outlooks on life. I’m thinking of making a bucket list and focusing on accomplishing the tasks on it. Life is too short to sit and stew in misery just because your relationship is less than stellar. I also find joy in praying to God and putting my trust in his plan for my life. God bless.

    1. Reading your comment sounds all too familiar with where I am with my marriage. I can’t even call it that without feeling like im lying. My husband and I have only been together for 5 years. Married for 2. But i feel like its been a lot longer. We had a long distance relationship that basically became very serious very quickly. After 3-4 months i moved in with him, to a country that was very new to me. I was completely reliant on him financially. And although we have had great times, I just feel like i was never really IN love with him. We eventually got married because at the time I already felt too invested in the relationship so i kind of just went along. It sounds stupid and almost cruel as i think back at it and I know he deserves to be with someone who is in love with him but i cant say he doesn’t notice. So he has the option to leave as well. I thought i could handle it but being in a loveless marriage is painful. But i feel so invested in this now, i dont even want to think about being with someone else. Funny thing is, ive been in love once before, but I dont think he ever has, so he doesn’t even know what he’s missing, or how i feel. I wish i could end this on a good note, but cant think of the words right now. Good luck to you Christine!

      1. This sounds very much like the situation I am in right now. Although I have still not married my partner, it feels like it is heading that way and I was hoping someone would help convince me that love grows after marriage.
        I have been getting to know someone for the past 2 months, both of us are looking to settle down as soon as possible and it feels like everything I have been looking for in a man is right here in front of me. He is religious and of my same religion, of my ethnicity, funny, romantic, kind, attractive, lives in an economically prosperous country, and respects women in the exact same way that I need. There are other setbacks which have me hesitate a little however, such as his extreme attachment to his mother and the fact that he does not have a college degree (which makes me wonder, should something happen to me and I am unable to work, will we survive on his paycheck?)
        Our conversations also feel a little stilted sometimes. Will that get better with time, after we know each other in and out?
        I don’t know what to do, and just like you said, I can’t find the words to express how I feel to him at this point in time. I often wonder if I should just marry him and hope for the best.

        1. Unhappy Wife-Happy Girl

          Lara – please, please DO NOT just marry him and hope for the best. Yes, your love will change after marriage, but I do not believe it will appear after marriage, if love is not already in place when you marry. I made the biggest mistake of my life marrying someone that I KNEW I wasn’t attracted to and didn’t really love (I got pregnant). We are 12 years and 2 kids in and I stay in this marriage only to keep my kids with both of us, instead of split between parents and houses every other week. I can’t stand my husband and no amount of personal or marriage therapy is going to make me love him. I have finally realized I can be personally happy, without a happy marriage, but getting to that point has taken YEARS of introspective thought, prayers to the LORD and conversations with very, very close friends. Finding the words to express to him can take time, but you may also just need time to decide he is the one that you truly love. Don’t rush, take your time to determine if you can spend the rest of your life with him and what exactly you are feeling for him!! If it isn’t love, then get out of the relationship.

  14. I stay in my lovless marriage b/c my husband has stage 4 brain cancer and we have a four year old so I want my son to be with his father as long as God’s sees fit too as for me I’ll be a good faithful wife but I lost love as did he months before cancer. I’m just lost on how to feel and think I’m losing my self in this dim place I call home and marriage.

  15. I will be married 50 years. (I did say I) I stay because I still love and worry about him. He is not a happy person and really never was. He quit drinking and I feel that he may have thought that was the solution, but in all reality I have a sober, depressed, unhappy husband who chooses not to get help and blame everyone else and myself for his problems. In retirement he thought there would be more money etc. In my mind I think about all the wasted time and money from his drinking, not to even begin to mention the pain and disappointment.

    I am working with a Therapist that is teaching me to make a life worth living. My reactions to his negative behavior has and is continuing to change. He does not know how to react to my lack of displaying anger etc.

    He said we no longer have a marriage or this is not a marriage. That truly hurts me as in many ways that is entirely true.

    1. I thought you were talking about me! I have been married for 36 years and living in much the same circumstances. I don’t know what I would do without my therapist and Celebrate Recovery!!! I am trying to find happiness in myself and in my relatiomship to Jesus, family and friends. But sometimes I just don’t get enough hugs! So I am trying to give more.

      1. Thank you for your reply. I smile on the outside so that he does not know the true pain I am in. It would be used against me. Thank God I have full love and support from my 3 children and all my grandchildren.

        We are so close (children and grandchildren) and would like to include him but he either will not commit or does not want to go with us. In his drinking days he was just never there. I think the disappointments have painful reminders so no one really wants to count on him.

        Sad, he is sober, but wasted years and money drinking. I feel much of his bitterness is remorse.

        But he could still have 20-30 good years with us. It is called a dry drunk. He wants us all to change because he has.

        I have changed. I no longer blame myself and go and do things that make me happy. I know he does not like it. My Making a Life Worth Living sounds like your Celebrate Recovery Program. I do not drink so hanging out in bars etc is not something I would do. I really truly feel he does not want to see me happy on my own. I used to depend upon him for my happiness or unhappiness.

        It is like we are two separate people. I do miss being held etc. I do no miss the crying, waiting, self blame, arguments and accusations. ( I did get one the other day). Went to Walmart late at night just to get away and have quiet time and need some craft items. I left after 10:00 pm and came back about midnight. Walmart is about 2 miles away. I was accused of meeting someone. Now who in the heck is going to look for a 67 year old grandmother in Walmart at that time of night.

        Told my daughter and she just shakes her head and laughs. I only pray now that he is not drinking he will someday acknowledge he may be depressed and address that issue also and get some help.

        I truly appreciate your comments, acknowledgement and support.


        1. Your marriage sounds like mine. Especially the “It would be used against me” part. I,too, am married to a dry drunk. He has become a very judgemental, controlling, miserably unhappy man. He avoids his kids and grandkids. I go everywhere alone. We sleep in separate rooms. He never touches me, never looks at me (except to glare at me), and rarely speaks to me. I’m so lonely. Yet, leaving would be difficult. I’d have to give up my horses. They are almost as important to me as my kids and grandkids. I stayed for the kids for many years. Now leaving would mean walking away with nothing. He’d make me pay for leaving him, though I doubt he would miss me. Thirty years of loneliness. My horses are my escape. Of course, he hates horses. This is the only time he looks my way. He glares at me whenever I’m with them. It never stops hurting.

          1. Nada, You sound just like me, except mine keeps me from the horses. He will not let me go to the barn, using any excuse he can come up with.. I believe he knows they make me happy, and he can’t stand me being happy unless he is in control of it. I’ve been married 28 years, been with him over 32 years, ever since high school. I’ve been miserable since just about day one. I’m to scared to leave him. We have a young child that he would use to hurt me, if I tried to leave. So I am jealous that you have your horses. Don’t ever let him take them from you.

        2. Pat, wow, did I appreciate what you said! I posted a comment before reading all the other comments, but your story stopped me dead in my tracks. We could be twins, our stories are so similar. I know what I need to do and I do it- hobbies, socializing, prayer, meditation, etc., but in the dark soul of the night, my heart breaks. He is in remission from his cancer, and I think we are both secretly disappointed. Had he died, it would have been easier to cope. Now, we are in limbo. I keep busy and I truly am happy with how I’m living my life, but a loveless marriage is really tough!

          1. Lynn Rose, it is difficult. Sometimes I feel like I am on stage playing someone else when with others. Smiling when I really want to cry etc. The things I miss the most are going out to eat with other couples, getting invited to someon’s home to play cards, having g get togethers that are not just family. I think the absence of a couple social network would be the best way to say it. I do things with my friend, Monday going to coffee, Tuesday driving 60 miles to see my grandchildren. This past Christmas we had my siblings for the first time in years and of course the grandchildren. But I miss not going to a Christmas party now that I am retired, the normal things others do as a couple with their friends. It is worst now that I am retired as those activities are no longer there and many of my friends have relocated. It has been a journey. When I tell people we are going to be married 51 years they looked shocked. But in all reality 30 or more of those years I truly do not even count. I was afraid to leave when the Kids were small and now I live by the old Ann Landers says. ” Are you better with or without him”. Financially better, I have my home, dogs, etc. I am not splitting up the family. I made it through the worst storms. I am coasting now. Good luck, you can do this. Pat

  16. I’ve been married for 26 years and the past 10 years he has become very jealous and possessive he always says I will never let you see the kids if you leave please help

    1. I would say, triage your problem before even starting to resolve/decide. Please try to take a step back in your mind, to start thinking, if he is really jealous / possessive. If yes, understand/find out why, to answer yourself. This is a possible starting point that would lead to decision making.

  17. So sad and so lost

    I realize this is an old post but I just have to get this off my chest too… I’m officially in a Loveless marriage. Married 2.5 years after being together about 7. No kids, in my late 30’s now. I guess the long and the short of it is, he stopped caring about me about a year or so ago? I did marry an extremly selfish and angry man and I am not questioning what my problem was. We’ve always been the ‘practical’ couple, handling our marriage like it’s a damn business partnership, but he’s so bitter and angry about the littlest things, like the type of car people drive makes them a horrible person and not worth his time. He’s CONSTANTLY complaining about SOMEONE or something… very negative guy. When I give him suggestions on how to not let someone so minor in his life ruin his day, he blows me off and says I’m the dumb one. I’m not exaggerating, if I meet a man who sold us a mattress and say that he’s really nice, he looses his temper and accuses me of some underlying motive as to why I think the mattress guy is nice. Perhaps it’s because when someone is nice and happy, it’s so damn refreshing, I can’t let it go. Oh and sex? There isn’t any. I tried to instigate it at the beginning of the year after we fought about it in December and he couldn’t get it up. Its just an awkward exchange whenever we do try, so we stopped trying. I try to tell him about things in my life and he turns every conversation into something about HIS day and HIS world and HIS life, not mine. I’ve started just hanging out with friends all the time since he won’t hang out and he doesn’t really care actually. And don’t even say romance. He’s said it’s my fault and that I need to change it. I’m willing to totally work on things if he would, but it’s either all me or nothing. Sadly, I think he’s just with me because A) he loves my dog more than life itself and B) I’m more secure financially and C) he needs a captive audience to hear about how wonderful he is. I’m now just bitter and have given up. I don’t have a support system and I don’t have a confidant. If I express any candid thoughts or wonders, he’s telling me I’m not thinking correctly or he’s judging me. I tell him I’d appreciate the chance to not be judged by my own husband and he just lashes back out at me and says he’s not. But when I’m witnessing first hand his judgement of the world around him, how can he not? He’s insanely selfish, won’t go to counseling and won’t work with me. Do I just buck up and leave? I’ll be so sad that it didn’t work, but I’ll probably be sadder that I think so little of myself to stay in a loveless, sexless marriage. I’m really sad about this… I’ve gone to him angry, I’ve gone to him sad, I’ve gone to him with compassion and I’m rejected every time. I think I have my own answer here, don’t I? I appreciate you sticking through this tho…

    1. Hi, I too am in a very similar situation, but with 21 years invested. I am however making strides to change things & will find my way out in my own time. I do have a wonderful support system of good friends & family. However, It is hard to leave. I frequently have been sucked back in by the memories of who he once was & the short glimpses of that person. It’s hard to move on when your financially tied to them & you allow yourself to recall how it COULD be if only he would allow himself to reset to the person you once knew. You hear from people that couples grow apart & that people don’t change. The truth is that we choose our directions and people do grow apart & we do change (not always for the best though-thats complicated). It is easier to stay even when it’s painful rather than leave & face the unknown. For me, I already feel alone though even when I’m with him. We’ve done counseling. He chooses to exclude me in his life, he chooses negativity, self pity, anger, he’s not affectionate & he pushes me away. I’ve always felt like I am my worst enemy but I am also my best friend. I know the relationship is done. I’m slowing moving forward, because there are other people out there & a relationship dosent define me. I am self-sufficient, loving & even if I don’t meet the right person, being alone is better than the constant negativity, controlling, manipulative, loveless behavior that I’ve dealt with for so long hoping that one day he would appreciate having the good fortune he has had. Take your time, decide what’s important to you, enjoy other parts of your life & let go when you’re ready. That’s what I’m doing. We all deserve to b good to ourselves. Too many people believe that others will make us happy. We need to be happy with ourselves first & stop looking at others potential when they have proven over & over that their potential is just that “potential”. Don’t deny reality. It is sad, but we deserve better.

    2. I know I am a bit late on this, but I have been married for 8 years and in a marriage with a damn child. He throws everything back at me and would rather play games instead of spend any time with me or our children. I have left a few times but for some stupid reason i keep coming back to this crappy marriage. I wanted to respond to your comment. Are you sure he is not cheating on you? My husband tried this sh*t on me once and then told me he was in love with his “best friend” then when she didnt want him he came running to me…. Your husbands anger towards you could be because he cant ” have his cake and eat it too” kind of thing. No sex is huge red flag. My husband has hit this red flag recently most of this mess all started when I lost my breast to breast cancer this past year. I’m defeated, I pay all the bills, take care of 4 kids and he doesnt want a job…

    3. Just saw online article which might help you…check out Psychology Today.. How to Spot a Narcissist in 3 Steps. (might be 3 Easy Steps).

      Life is so short…and yet so long. You are still young, and I truly believe God wants us to experience joy in our lives. Keeping you in my prayers.

  18. Do you know if Mike Stone is still ok with people contacting him personally? I would like to have his email too.
    I have been married 36 years and have suffered through my husband’s infidelity, alcoholism, pot smoking, poor hygiene and porn addiction. I was seriously thinking about leaving recently but at 65 years old and with few resources to take care of myself I realized it is too late. I will trust God with my future and pursue my own interests, spend time with my siblings, children and grandchildren and friends, go to Celebrate Recovery and spend time growing closer to Jesus. My hope is that will be enough. I will not let my husband steal my joy anymore!

  19. I feel like I’m on the opposite side of this issue. My primary reason for wanting to leave is that I no longer love or sexually desire my husband, but he loves me. I find it difficult, when he says “I love you”, to say it back. We got married only about six months ago, after a year together, and I had doubts even before the wedding. He always talked me out of it. “It’ll be better when we live together, it’ll be better when you have a job, when I’m in school, when I have a job, when we have more money…” Now it’s “it’ll be better in two years when I’m done school” and it’s like… I do not want to wait for two years. I don’t want to stay with this person that I don’t love anymore, whose only real contribution to the relationship is treating me very well and occasionally, when I ask him to, taking out the trash.

    I’m only 26, he’s only 25, and I regret being such a child about this and not calling it off before all my savings were gone. I have no money and I’m in a city where I have no friends or family. I don’t know what to do.

  20. Met my husband 15 yrs ago,on July 4 2002. It was great in the beginning, he was what I needed at the time or so I thought, maybe I still do somewhere in my soul.the reason I’m staying or I’m just so blind I refuse to open my eyes to this hopeless lovingless marriage of my. I know sum where in his heart he does love me or a part of him does,I hope. As he sits on phone talking to other woman right now. Saying they make him feel good about himself,as I don’t anymore to him.I hope one day he will realise I do have feelings,I been there for him thru the good and bad times and still will be,even if he puts me down,calls me now I live in my own world and thoughts of how it was when we truly did care,love,laughed,didn’t care who thought of us,or where we lived. Maybe in the end, I can have the nerve to talk to my husband tell him how I feel,how I do love him,how I want to share my thoughts ,my feelings for him. And then maybe I won’t and just sit here in my little world where I knew a man who was wonderful at one time.

  21. Wow! I didn’t know so many women were living like me. I can relate to almost everyone in here! I have been married for 14 years and I have two pre-teens. I married very young and thought I had found the one. Our marriage has been a struggle since day one. He is a very responsible man but gets mad all the time, has impossible standards for me to fulfill but those standards don’t apply to him. We’ve tried everything but I just realized that this is it. Is never gonna get any better. We can’t comunícate, we have amazing sex but no real intimacy, he won’t ever hear me, he just fights me. I am so done! But I have two kids, no career, no job. How can I provide for my kids on my own. I have no family. I an trying to stay until the kids turn 18 but I still have 6 years to go. I am trying to be strong for them but I feel like a failure and I feel completely alone

    1. The best thing you can do for yourself is to get back in the workforce. You will have more independence and you will meet people! You’ll make friends and have a life, plus you will be ready to support yourself when the kids are gone.
      Stay strong!

    2. I am just in the same situation as you. But I have gathered up myself and doing a job. My husband doesn’t want to leave me but he knows I don’t want to stay with him and I am here just for my kids. I still live with him but I just wish this ends as soon as possible without my kids getting hurt.

  22. Well…My husband and I went away for our 28th anniversary to Las Vegas. The first night was going ok. We have a lot of issues intimately but I was trying. I brought sexy clothes to wear in hopes of exciting him. He never even tells me I look nice. It’s really hard when he doesn’t try.
    We went out to a nice dinner. I wanted to walk around but he wanted to go to bed. So we went back to our room. He rolled over to listen to music on his phone. He never said anything to me. Not even a good night. I thought he would hug or cuddle since we are never alone.
    The next morning he wanted to leave right away because he wanted to mow the lawn before Thanksgiving. His dad is coming over this year. I explained to him we still would not get home before dark. He agreed, and said he would walk with me to the M&M Factory. He then went to buy me a coffee and yogurt while I showered.
    When he came back I started crying and I tried to explain to him how unhappy I am with our relationship. We are not intimate, he doesn’t ever hug me, kiss me or even hold my hand. Everywhere we go we only do want he wants. He blamed everything on his work hours and his weight. He said the usual thing, “It will get better when my hours change at work.”
    We walked to the M&M Factory looking to buy something for Hunter. My husband didn’t want to buy anything because the lines were too long. We started walking back and I apologized for a wasted walk to the M&M Factory. I kept trying to hold his hand. I asked where he wanted to eat. In his mean voice he replied, “You pick, all you do is bitch at me and complain that I always pick.” I tried to give suggestions but it didn’t help. His mean attitude was there. So I walked as fast as I could to the car crying. When he got to the car he told me I should leave him because he will never make me happy and he will never try. I asked if he loved me and he said, “No.”
    We drove over to Palace Station to eat before we drove home. I tried to him in the parking lot. He told me to divorce him and he didn’t want to talk to me. If I kept trying he would start driving he didn’t care if I wanted to eat. We went in to eat and I cried the entire meal.
    As we drove home he told me not to talk to him. He didn’t want to talk to me. So I played on my phone as he suggested I should.
    We went to Costco to buy a turkey for Thanksgiving and came home.
    I suppose I should contact an attorney and try to start over.

  23. I’m very lonely. My husband doesn’t care if I stay or go. I’m not important to him, he stays for the family. He doesn’t want to do anything with me and if he does it’s only what he wants to do. I would love for our marriage to be happy again.

    1. i feel for you i am kinda in the same situtiaon its been about a week and a half now my husband sit me down and said something has to change he cant handle my actions anymore i said some things they he took the wrong way and took out of context and he said he would stay and give me one more chance to change but if i couldnt he would leave, but i noticed a few days later he messaged a friend of ours and told her hes just staying for our son so i am not sure which way to go, he tells me one thing and tells someone else another hes not mean to me he talks to me when we are together even if our son isnt around and he does tell me he loves me back but only when i say it first, i understand hes very upset with me about some things but i am not sure if i should even try and fix the situation and get my marriage back on track because of the message i seen which i didnt tell him i seen it, i will pray for you and your marriage and hope you can find some comfort or some answers to work your marriage out or at the very least find out if you can save your marriage i feel everyone can save their marriage the longer you had issues the longer its going to take to get the pieces put back together, i am not lonely and i feel bad for you that you are lonely i am just confused on the whole situation one thing i have started to try and do is act like the woman he fell in love with 8 years ago and try everyday to let him know i am here for him i still do love him, its never been anythings hes done its always been outside drama causing problems for us cause i say something about it and he gets defensive over it, but i am gonna try and work on mine and i am hoping and praying i can fix it but if by the end of the year i am still in the same spot i am in now i wont be able to continue on its not fair to either one of us, you need to decide if you still want to hold on and see it throught and see if you can rekindle those flames i wish you luck and i hope your marriage gets fixed ill pray for you and your marriage i dont like seeing couples give up on each other

  24. Ok so just to clarify – does a loveless marriage only mean where the husband is kinda an ass ? How about where the husband and the wife are good people but there is no compatibility or connection between the two. That’s a loveless marriage too right ? My husband is a good person and treats me well and appreciates and respects me as well. But I guess we have never really shared an understanding. We are completely different on all levels and Hence we can never discuss anything without it blowing up. As long as it’s mundane stuff it’s all ok, but I can never really express my frustrations to him without him getting angry upset or calling me ungrateful. Sometimes i wish I could just talk to a partner without being judged for feeling a certain way. I honestly don’t know how feeling in love feels. It’s kinda a novel concept to me. I did love someone but it never worked out. But I have never felt for my husband even for a day how I felt for this other person and it just confuses me.

    So I guess, one tip to survive a loveless marriage is knowing exactly why your staying – kids, security, stability, companionship and the oh my husband is a good man excuse !

    1. Tanya, you capture my sentiments. Its important not to always vilify one party in a loveless marriage. My husband is an extremely kind individual and a fantastic dad. But at a core level he just doesn’t have an appreciation for who I am. He thinks am cute, he thinks am attractive but at a fundamental level he disagrees with how I operate and think. Its just his nature, he is a loner and I am someone who wants a deep emotional connection. After 10 years my eyes sting with the pain of the unfulfilled need. What do you do in a situation like that? There is no good reason other than emotional void to leave. and with a child involved, that just isn’t enough.

    2. I’m in almost the same situation. My husband is my best friend but I should never have married him, I just don’t love him in that way and we don’t agree on any sort of big issues, to the point where he considers some of my views morally reprehensible. But he’s so kind and loving to me, and even when I’ve tried to back out before, he keeps talking me back into staying because things will “get better” (and his plan for things to get better is, apparently, wait for magic to happen).

      1. Ha! My marriage in a nutshell. My husband and I get along very well. We don’t argue, bicker, say hurtful words to each other. He and my selfish mother pressured me into getting married when I was 19. My husband was very attracted to me and wanted to have sex as we were virgins. Our church culture was a big part for us getting married so young. We are raising three kids who bring us so much joy. I don’t want a divorce because he is my best friend and I don’t want to lose his friendship. However, I feel absolutely no love for him. Complete emptiness. I used to always imagine being with someone else during sex, but now I don’t even want to have sex anymore. I imagine I will be emotionally celibate my whole life. I’ll never know what it’s like to have “butterflies” and “be in love”. The only thing I can do is find joy in my children and my hobbies. ‘‘Tis life.

        1. Hi, WOW, I thought I was alone but clearly there are many in similar situations. I’m in a loveless marriage too. After being with someone who was selfish, I decided to find a nice guy and just settle down. Reality set in and we’ve had a life full of financial and health issues. I’m the one taking care of everything because he’s on disability and I’m exhausted! He says he’ll do more but doesn’t and is very lazy. I wish I was living alone and we could just be good friends because we get along but I hate living with him! He’s another responsibility rather than a help! The worst part is that I have no friends so I’m just dealing with this alone which is lonely 😞

        2. I am also in the same situation. I married a man for security and stability. Not for love. After 13 years, we have 3 amazing children. But I still feel complete emptiness when I’m with him. I try my hardest to focus on my children and improving myself. But it kills me to know that I will never have the feelings a wife should have for her husband. Your term of “emotionally celibate” really resonates with me.

  25. I’m in the same boat and have been pretty much since marrying him. He lied about who he was from the beginning & wasn’t till after we married that I found the text messages that lead to the discovery that his ex was still in the picture. I chose to forgive him & continue with the marriage. Things seem to have gotten better over time till the birth of our first child. It grew harder but we pushed through & a few short months later we were expecting oyr second child. The financial strains & unresolved isses caused us to separate & during that time he looked on sex sites seeking one night stands & continuing his addiction to porn. Again we reconciled & chose to forgive because I really did love him & wanted to honor our vows & keep our family together. Life has since been a roller coaster ride, verbal abuse has gotten better over time but it’s still present & unfortunately has our son now disrespecting me. I’ve repeated told him how his actions & words towards me teaches our children that its okay to mistreat people & that our children may one day endure or inflict such abusive behaviors in their own personal relationships. I can’t determine if those words finally got through to him but he has gotten better but there are days were its the same bs all over again. He likes that Im a stay at home mom with limited contact with other adults & have very few friends. I feel like Im not myself anymore, those days of smiling & being happy are long gone & its almost as if his ability to shut me out & ignore me in all aspects, gives him some kind of sick happiness. He likes that I beg for sex, attention & communication, he likes being pursued & having the control. Mean while he has never allowed me to be his one and only as if I or any women is not enough. He has always had a secret porn addition ” I later discovered” after searching through his phone which is how I also found that he talks with otter women friends”nothing sexual” but I fully believe that there is such a thing as cheating in the form of being emotionally connected. Ex: I saw messages of him sharing about his day or how he was feeling ect. Nean while he never made the time to text or call me on his breaks or throught the day & never comes home asking about mine or our childrens day. I don’t want to separate children & take away the dream of children living with both parents under one roof. But then I think to myself because this relationship is unhealthy, is it realky beneficial to our children? I mean, I want my children to be in a home filled with love & to me, I am more capable of providing them that on my own. Im trying to hold to the dream of a forever marriage for our children but I dont think I cant take much more of being in a loveless marriage. Any advice?

  26. Hello,

    I would like to start by thanking everyone for all being so open and vulnerable. It took me many years to start opening up to my self and my own sadness of feeling alone in an almost 10 year relationship. We have an 8 year old daughter who keeps us strong and I have two others from a previous relationship with a man who hurt me physically and mentally and then had an affair and got deported to never hear from him again.

    My current partner is extreemley emotionally unavailable, yet gentile, caring, and patient, and helps around the house and cooks often for all us and we are best friends. Despite all his many great qualities, I feel very lonely and under appreciated and afraid to speak up to him and express my need for closeness and affection. We do have sex about twice a month but I feel no intimate connection from him and cry after he finishes. He does let me cuddle with him but he does not reciprocate. It seems we are both equally afraid to communicate with one another and cause ripples. I fear he is not in love with me but I love this man unconditionally. I have learned to love myself and pamper myself and find joy in my relationships with my girlfriends and going out dancing and playing music bus still feel sad wishing he could share my joy and be a part of it.

    He has had a rough and loveless upbringing, and also does not show much affection to our daughter and almost no affection for my older two which I make up for with lots of extra hugs and kisses. Yet I hold onto faith and hope that my patience and belief in him, and appreciation and love will help to break down the thick brick wall of fear all he has surrounded himself. I also am aware that that day may never come and make it a daily practice to love myself and to be my own independent person living the life I want never allowing his issue hold me back. I am also learning day by day how to be completely happy without needs, without affection and with my own self worth, values and objectivity being at the forefront of every decisen I make everyday.

    Thank you all for sharing and hope that my story can help anyone find lightness of pain, and hope for a stronger self, and to love yourself and pamper yourself everyday.

  27. Going through the same pain of staying in a love less marriage ,with 3 children, stucked in this life ever since ,i am struggling on my own to see things done so that my kids may feel at home.i am always regreting its like i hv failed myself .

  28. Are you serious? You must not think you’re worthy of happiness. How can you settle for less? How can you live your life accepting that you are not worth loving? You are here to shine , be loved, and be the best you can be! You’re not here to be put through grief. Seriously? You’re promoting masochism.

    1. Yes you are so right! EVERYTHING YOU SAY IS TRUE!! But what can a person do if they can’t make it on there own?? 32 years I have spent raising kids and being a good wife only to get minimal love in return… now no love… at this stage of my life I choose to stay. Loveless and all… all I can say is my children were my source of love this whole marriage. They are on there own now and I’m so lonely…. stuck I a loveless marriage! It could be worse!

  29. I have no solutions or magic tips to help you survive a relationship without love, but I just want you to know you’re not alone. You may feel alone and like you have nowhere to turn, but you aren’t. You were created for a purpose by God, and He knows every detail of your body. And His love, peace, and freedom can give you the power and strength you need to overlook your husband’s behavior and find your identity outside of your marriage.

    Don’t let your husband’s lack of love affect how you feel about yourself. Your self-worth and self-identity doesn’t come from your husband. A man’s love is constantly changing and may not last until the end of your life. Your husband’s love definitely won’t affect how you spend eternity!

    What would it feel like to be loved unconditionally and accepted fully by God, who created you for a purpose and wants you to Blossom into the woman He created you to be?

  30. Thank you for this article. I have been encouraged to love myself along with discover what makes me happy. While this seemed helpful, I still so yearned for my love of 16 years to want to make love to me, to want to hold me, to want to please me. I realize my parents were incapable to give me affection and love and I have found a man who is very much like them. Our sex life was amazing for the first 10 years, now I feel like a cow next to him in the bed. Once in awhile he will put his arm on my hip or hug me when he comes home from work. If I ask him for affection he tells me ok, as soon as this program is over and he never follows through. I feel so unlovable, old, ugly and unwanted.

  31. I’m in a same
    Situation. And I feel for everyone who is experiencing this. I feel trapped.
    I married my husband after 8 years of being together. We have different nationalities and I think this played an important role. After marriage, I noticed the changes in his behaviour. He will
    Never appreciate or even compliment me. When I told
    Him that I feel sad coz it’s difficult for me
    Make friends coz of language barrier he will
    Blame me and say “it’s your fault, learn the lauage ”
    To me that’s very insensitive.
    We do not have any kids but we rarely have sex. We don’t fight because I feel that he doesn’t bother anything that’s related to me.
    He just need me as a companion. During parties ( a lot since he works in the army) and just by showing people a perfect marriage kind of image.
    But in reality, I’m sad.he is not interested with me or how he’s making me feel. I tried many times to
    Talk to
    Him about this and he will ignore it. Or ask
    Me “what should
    I do?” I did told him before many times actually but tired now. I think he fell out of love but he denied that.
    And now I don’t love him because of how h treated me.
    I don’t know what to do

    1. Hi Anon,
      Your situation is just same exactly like mine,you’re not alone.I married a guy with different nationality,different language and yes i agree with you that it played important role.I’m still new (1 month) living in my husband’s country and haven’t learn language yet to just make new friends.Since we moved here he has changed a lot and i feel like he never appreciate me at all.Even he didn’t call me ”baby” anymore just my name.Before we moved here we lived in my country and we both were crazy in love each other everything seemed perfect. I asked him about his job but nothing is stress him not even financial issue,he just changed so fast !!!!! We’ve been together almost 2 years now.Whenever i asked him what is going on,did i do something wrong? he just said nothing.But he completely ignores me.Never asked me how’s my day?what did i do today ?do i like the city? or even have you eaten today?NO nothing !!!.We slept in the same bed but just not the same anymore .I’ve cried a lot but seemed he didn’t care anything related to me.Someday,I was asking him do i look pretty with this dress? He just said okay.I’m so devastated ,hurt and always cry everyday after he left home for work.Whenever i asked him do you still love me? he said : i think so.But i know he is lying .Now, what i wanna do is just wanna keep myself busy.Go to some language course, find new job and make myself happy.I’m tired of being sad.I hope someday he will change and love me again.What about you? what you’ve been doing recently to cope your sadness?Feel free to share me anything.

      1. Hi eve. We both moved in the uk so it’s away from
        My family and even his family. But still within his community. Right now I felt tired of crying and being sad too. I’m
        Happy that u r so positive. I wish I can be too.. I stopped learning his language because I felt angry at him as he don’t even put effort in our marriage. I would love to keep in touch with u if it’s ok.. :) by the way I got new friends and starting on a new job so it’s keeping me away from thinking too much..

    2. Hi Anon,
      That is great for you to find new friends,new job and not thinking too much about your situation.I wish I could find new job and new friends soon.I still feel hurt dealing with his attitude and sometimes still cry.I will be so glad to keep in touch with you.Share your email address to me,Thanks.

    3. Ok my God I felt like you were me, word for word I’m going through it the same thing right now and been married for 17 years it actually sucks. How are you doing? Did you all get help?

      1. Hi.. so far everything is the same. He’s now talking about having kids just because it’s the norm. But I’m scared to involve kids when both of us aren’t even happy with each other.
        How about you? How do you cope xx

  32. My married man has been surviving well on a loveless and sexless marriage for past few years, so he claimed. He’s 40 and is a great lover, so I am puzzled and curious how did he survive? He’ll never divorce for the sake of his kids who meant the world to him. So is it really possible to stay married for another 10years, without sparks and sex??? Can any mm out there help me understand??

    1. I can help answer that for you as I am in the same situation as your husband. The love for my kids and their happiness out weighs my happiness by A LOT. Although sex and compassion are something I will always long for, it will NEVER come before anything that has to do with my children’s happiness. I would stay in this situation for as long as it takes, but unfortunately my time is almost up (not my idea). Also, instead of wondering how is is doing it, try asking him and try to figure out if there is any way to work things out with that great lover of yours.

    2. How is he your ” married man ” ? Are you insinuating that you are his mistress ? In that case, I think you already know the answer. You are his ” boost ” so to speak, and you are nothing more that a hole to him. If it wasn’t you , it would be someone else. Stop sleeping with married men.

  33. hey i recently got married in dec in didnt work out as my mother in law made my life hell and finally kicked me out of the house, so i came to my relatives inlaws threatend my parents about divorce 3 weeks ago if I don’t come parents have asked me not to go back where people dont respect u…my husband acknowledged everything before n this time too and promised to move out yet he backed off twice…but this time since this threat he’s not talking to me… he’s abandoned me..
    i keep on thinking that how could he do this to me? i mean we never even had a single fight in this short period..i always thought he was happy with me..
    also that iv seen his true colors still im unable to accept that this is all leading to divorce.

  34. It’s been 12 long years of my marriage. My hubby is a really good Person. We both are friendly. I love him a lot. He is an honest,hardworking man. Their is nothing bad bout him. But why do I have loveless marriage??? I don’t have kids. It’s not because we have any medical issues but it’s because there’s no intimacy. I have never felt him showing any feelings of love or lust. He can’t do things without me I know that . He cares about everyone…like his mom, dad, friends, colleagues etc … but but he cannot take care of himself. He works in a financial sector. He is a workaholic guy. He never hurts me. He is an innocent person. Lost in his own world . He doesn’t have time for himself he is busy working on holidays as well. I quite well understand him . But the only thing I don’t understand is why or say what is wrong in our relationship that he never touches me. He is handsome I am beautiful…..but still is something wrong in me. I can’t stay sad. I do things which keeps this feeling of not being love away from me. Whole night I am glued to my phone watching series… surfing net reading books… at 8:30 I give him his bed tea and breakfast by 10 am he leaves and then I sleep…my household cores are done by my helper…when she comes I wake up… prepare meals finish all the stuff…and then back to sleep sleep is an escape… for be I avoid meeting people, talking to friends coz I really don’t have anything to talk bout.
    SOMETIMES I go for a movie alone. I do things which makes me happy. My friends complains that I don’t phone them. I understand him so well that I can’t think of walking out of this marriage.
    But sometimes it’s really difficult… heart bleeds, I cry next to him but he never feels it. I question him but he does not have any answer I have realised that he doesn’t want a baby when relatives asks why don’t we plan a baby I say say I don’t want a baby… I don’t feel a need of having it.
    It’s really hard for me to express my feelings in words. I can’t openly talk bout my relationship…
    I wanna feel happy. I don’t want this feeling to bother me. I would never betray him. I know love is not meant for me. I understand.
    Can you advise me the ways I can lead my life without love. It’s painful, sometimes it’s difficult to carry a smile and open a door when he he back from office. He wants me to be happy. And I don’t wanna make him sad.

    1. Hi Aparajita

      Although I do have a child, I too have an identical loveless marriage as yours. IN FACT I was up all night wondering what to do…I even consider dating someone, just so that I could feel better. But it’s difficult since I love my husband so much. WHAT’S your opinion on crossing the line? I am sorry I am not answering UR question but posing my own. Yet, how would you advise me?

      1. Hi Aditi
        I will never suggest you to cross a line… just try to do things that makes you happy like go on solo vacation , go out and watch movies. Do anything that keeps you occupied any away from the thought. This is what I cam suggest you dear.

    2. Hi
      Your story rings true to me. I have been that man but we had children: 4 inside of 5 years (no twins). Other than making children, intimacy has been limited as I was always too busy.
      Due to the number of children we have, she needed a break and went abroad on a short holiday on her own. That was 3-months ago. Whilst she was away I woke up and realised how much I missed her and adored her. When she returned we had two amazing intimate and beautiful days of love but then I became afraid (I am getting counselling to work out why!). I believe I had built walls to protect me for the start of our relationship because I feared love and being let down. When she returned I gave her my heart and I felt vulnerable and jealous.
      We have now reversed roles. She is now the cold one and always wants to leave the house and meet new friends and I’m the one that hangs on her every move. I am suffocating her and me and have unbelievable anxiety: can’t work, can’t eat, can’t give her the space she needs to take stock. I think we both felt safer and stable with the old me and her but II don’t want to be that man again.
      Why am I telling you this? I don’t know, but maybe her leaving gave me the wake up that I needed. Your partner may not react like I did because we are all different! I have now experienced both sides of the experience having been the loveless one and now the one wanting / needing the love. It is a very lonely place and I am sorry for you as it is a long time to feel unappreciated / unwanted.
      I hope my example helps you..

      1. Hi Peter,
        Thank you so much for telling your story. I have tried staying away from him for months but nothing changed. He needs me for his house I suppose. I mean to take care of his food, clothes etc. I feel extremely lonely. I never thought of crossing my line…. I don’t wanna cheat him . My situation is the reason why o don’t socialise . I try my level best to stay positive. But you know what it becomes difficult to breathe sometimes….I read a lot toake my self calm but sometimes it cuts like a knife. I don’t know what is in his mind as he is not at all expressive . He lives for office at 10 am and gets back between 9:30 to 10 pm . I never quarrel . I open the door with a smile. On Sundays too he keeps him self busy.
        I don’t know what to think, do or believe.
        Sleep is my escape. This is the reason I stay up at night on Netflix, reading or writing and sleeping during the daytime.
        Suggest me some better ways.

  35. I feel the pain of feeling unloved and not any intimacy at all for years, it’s been at least 4 years. I feel trapped like I have been sentenced to a prison term in a loveless marriage. I made mistakes through out the last 20 years of our 24 year relationship, I used to drink a lot. I no longer drink but feel It still shouldn’t warrant the treatment of being shut out of ones affection. I have two young daughters that are just now reaching the teenager years. I was a salty dog when I was a teenager. Not making light of it, but I didn’t have a good father figure in my life when I was growing up. I have a hard time moving out of the house knowing that teenage boys will be moving in on my daughters soon. I guess I feel the need to be near the house for this reason. I was raised by a single mother and I remember how hard things were back then as I didn’t have the skills and ability to fix things around the house. I guess this is another reason I stay in my situation. I don’t want my daughters to go through what I had to being raised without a father to fix things. My wife just has no desire to change things as far as working on the marriage. She is a stay at home mom with two Masters Degrees ( she has a very part time job ). She controls the money I bring in, I clean the house on the weekends, do the yard work, fix the cars and she doesn’t have sex with me. Guess she has her cake and eats it too. I don’t know how to change things as she refuses to give me any chances to be a husband. I feel hurt, frustrated, lonely, and unworthy. What route do I take? Nobody should ever have to be put in a situation of making a choice of staying in a loveless, sexless marriage and trying to keep things stable for the children or move out for ones own sanity and perhaps happiness by a fresh start a life. My point is everything you do in life has consequences.

    1. John,
      I am in the same boat but our four children are all under 7!
      My partnership has gone cold earlier this year and the 11 previous years I played the role of the loveless partner. After a trip away on her own to relax combined with losing weight over the six months prior to I woke up and realised I loved her.
      When she came back all the walls I had built fell down and I declared my love – sadly she has had to move on due to my cold attitude. Since then hurt, anxiety, depression and fear have dominated my life, I have no friends to turn to as I was a 75% workaholic, 25% family man. Just an empty house while she is out and when she is home she doesn’t want to talk about my anxiety since she feels that being the cause of it makes her the last person I should turn to.
      Sounds similar to what you have gone through but I’m at the start of this road. As you get older, you feel that another day has been lost in your life with the one you love. It is very hard John and I’m always told to find interests and activities to make you happy. Apparently your partner will be drawn to the happy you and something can be re-kindled! Have no idea where to find happiness any more!
      Good luck mate…

    2. John, I’m also unfortunately in the same boat. The only difference is I have a son with a life altering diagnosis and feel I need to stay for him. I have tried everything to help my husband become more emotionally supportive and loving but nothing ever works. He can’t even give me a compliment without it being a lewd comment. We are still intimate but I’m starting to feel used. It is the only sign of affection he gives me – nothing else! Unfortunately, I can see the tide starting turn and I’m starting to lose interest. Our marriage is a sinking ship that I’ve tired to save. However, I can’t do it alone. I’m at a lost and don’t know what to do. My dad past away when I waa 10 and I’ve had a rough childhood. I just want better for my kids but it’s costing me my happiness and life. I’m a sahm and my self worth is pretty non existent. I’m constantly ignored in all areas all day everyday until he wants to be intimate. It’s a gross feeling and makes me feel even worse. I have no idea how to fix this as I’ve tried everything.

      1. May, sorry to hear your husband doesn’t seem to understand that he needs to invest in the marriage. I made the same mistake in my marriage and now it maybe too late.
        Just have a talk with him and tell him how you feel. If he doesn’t want to change do what my wife did….. Cut him off! No sex! Bet he has a change of attitude after a year or so.

      2. May,
        I understand what you feel because it’s happening to me too until now.My Husband just shut me out,it hurts me a lot.My marriage is end but I still love him and wanna work things out together.
        The time when he’s nice to me is when he wants to have sex with me.I feel used,gross and my self worthy just gone.I don’t know how long I can stand this kind of treatment.He still took me for dinner outside with his friends and gf but it’s all just fake to show them that we’re okay.What should I do? What if I stop having sex with him and he start to find it outside ?

  36. Well my heart really goes out for the Millions of men and women that were Very Extremely Blessed to have met one another and have a family as well since many of us Weren’t that Blessed at all since being still Single for us really Sucks altogether since many of us Never Planned on this happening to us since many of us Would’ve certainly wanted the same thing as well but Weren’t Quite as fortunate. For those of you that have a very Good Marriage which you should make sure to make it work out even if you have quite a few problems to sort out since it is certainly No Fun at all for us Single people that are still Alone as i speak. Today unfortunately the Divorce Rate is now up to 50 percent or more which makes it very Sad since this is a very bad time we now live in since the old days when Most of the Marriages back then did really work out just like many of our Family Members did since finding Real Love at that time Did certainly come much Easier than today.

  37. Dear Me,

    Thank you for sharing your story here. You are a very intelligent, self-aware woman who knows exactly what she needs from a husband and marriage. You can see your fiance and future husband for exactly who he is because you are smart and insightful.

    I don’t have to tell you if you should or shouldn’t go through with this wedding – or whether or not you will end up in a loveless marriage. But, I do encourage you to read through your own comments.

    Here are a few that stood out to me. Read through them, and pretend that another woman – or your sister or best friend – wrote them.

    “I found him really cold and unloving after our engagement. ”
    “I have lost my self-confidence totally. All he wants us is to get married asap.”
    ” I am afraid of a day that I experience a loveless marriage relationship with him.”
    “I think this is the right time for me to trust my gut feeling before I get married with him. Because from the posts here, I realize that loveless marriage is like hell to people.”

    If your sister, auntie, or best friend said those things….what would you tell her? What advice would you give her?

    Listen to your gut feelings, for you are not lying or manipulating yourself. Your intuition is telling you something very strongly clearly. Please listen to your own wisdom, your own intelligence.

    May you stay true to yourself. For if you aren’t true to you, who will be? If you don’t honor your own thoughts, feelings, and opinions, then who will?

  38. I am reading these, and feel like it is terrible to stay in a loveless, ignorant marriage. I am from an Asian under developed country, where arrange marriages are more common. Or even your family can choose whom shall you marry with. I usually questioned the complaining, non -appreciative and non loving couples on how and why they got married/stayed in marriage if they didnt have true love?? But I came to believe that it is not as easy as I thought, when I got engaged with a guy, who claimed to have loved me for years, although I had told him that I didnt love him. My family, speacially my mom convinced me to get engaged with him, while I never felt that I truly love him. My fiance has a very strong convincing power, and he convinced me that we will develop a loving relationship once I accept his proposal. However, despite all his insistence, I found him really cold and unloving after engagement. It was as if he took me for granted that I will become his wife and I could not see the basic love that other people feel once they get engaged. As a woman, I always consider care, healthy conversations and emotional security as a sign of true love from a man to his woman, rather than just lustful gazes and desire of owning you. He thinks by ignoring my emotions, he can change me towards a rational person. I have never been so much sentimental to argue on small things, but since on the one hand I dont find him as loving as he claimed to, and on the other hand his trying to always give me the feeling that he is the one compromising and I am the one who is wrong, kills me. I have lost my self-confidence totally. All he wants us is to get married asap. But I dont want to, unless I cant assure I can receive the true love and care I expect from him. I have always told him honestly that our natures dont match, but he denied and made me believe that I am wrong. Now we are there. We are engage finally. But I am afraid of a day that I experience a loveless marriage relationship with him. Because my heart was truly ready for him to find a place for himself after engagement, but his neglect and taking for granted, frustrated me and killed the opportunity that I could start finding a place for him in my heart. After all, he was the one who said he waited for me for many years and now he is the one whose ego doesnt allow him to be caring and loving to me. I think this is the right time for me to trust my gut feeling before I get married with him. Because from the posts here, I realize that loveless marriage is like hell to people. From my respect for true love, I always starve for a married life full of love, care, respect, and devotion. I never felt any sense of emotional connection with him. Although I know he is physically attracted to me and is impressed to have me in his life, but if I dont feel the emotional connection, I think, it wont be easy to maintain a successful marriage later on. My question is: Can anyone who is suffering from a loveless or cold life, advise me if this is the right time to decide whether or not go ahead with marriage based on my gut feeling or you think things can be fine after marriage, if the engaged life isnt going as loving and as interesting???

    1. I hope that you have chosen to not marry this man. Believe me you will not be happy if you do not feel any emotional and caring connection. DO NOT MARRY!!!!

    2. I think you already know the answer to this question. You are just trying to convince your self. Do yourself a favour. Don’t. Consider yourself lucky that your engaged and not married. Run in the opposite direction as far and as fast as you can. Relationahip that start rock bottom barely ever rise.

  39. I am 42 married with 2 children aged 10 and 12 and married for 10years. I have always known that my husband had a strict upbringing, but only realised recently that he and his siblings were emotionally and psychologically abused. From the outside it seemed like their family life was great. He went to the best schools and attended a top university. He was an excellent student, and today has a great job and a fabulous career, and thats the positive side to his story. You see, he is the youngest in his family and watching how his older siblings, mainly the boys were treated, he was so afraid of his father’s wrath and being in the line of fire, he worked very hard to maintain excellent grades and stay out of the limelight. He is an avid reader which I think became an escape from the big, scary, emotionless world he lived in.
    Now fast forwarding to dating. He was fine while dating, but he always had trust issues and I could never understand why he always felt that people were always looking into his flat and made sure that every window was completely covered with layers of white lace during the day and complete blackout curtains at night. He was also overly protective of his belonging and I mean everything, including the food in his flat.
    Nevertheless, I fell pregnant and we were forced to marry because our child would have been born out of wedlock, which today I think was just his fear of disappointing his dad. Here I have to mention that he came from a very learned family, whereas I came from a family where my mom was a single and blind and we lived in a terrible neighbourhood, but as a family we were very close with lots of love and family support. After getting married, we both decided that I would become a stay at home mom and look after the kids as in his jobs he was a frequent international traveller. From the beginning, I became an object in the home. In the ten years of marriage, we were never affectionate to each other in public or at home, we never had an hour of intimacy between us, spent any time together alone, we never we never went to dinner or the movies without the kids, he never told me that he loves me without me prompting him or even to rub my feet when they were sore or to ever hold me close or feel and caress me ever. He never thought I was capable of achieving anything and when I registered for courses , he never supported me. When we were invited somewhere by someone I know, he never wanted to go and if he did, he was miserable. The thing is, outside the home, people always see him as so charming and an excellent dad and husband.
    When his mom passed, he did not allow me and the boys attend the funeral and never mourned her loss. It was so strange as if it was just another day for him and he only attended the funeral, as it is what was expected of him and because it is what he (normal people) supposed to do. When my mom died, I was broken, I was depressed and really felt the huge hole in my heart. Again he was supportive because that was what he was ‘supposed’ to do, but I did not feel his compassion or love that I so desperately needed especially at that time, considering that I was so close to my mom. It is as though he is divorced from emotion, from any kind of feeling.
    During this time, I just slumped deeper and deeper into my sadness. I tried to reach out to the few friends I had but they withdrew from me. I felt so alone.
    Its not an excuse, but I had an affair for six months. It felt good being in the company of the opposite sex that was completely zoned in on you and saw you as a human being capable of being loved. I decided to end it because he wanted a more committed relationship and I was still married. I had children and the thought of a divorce would kill them, so we ended it. A couple of months later, my husband found out and made all kinds of threats and called me all kinds of names. Today we still live in the same house, we are not yet divorced and we take each day as it comes. My husband has refused therapy and is still adamant about the divorce. I on the other hand, have asked God for forgiveness, and have ask him for forgiveness. I try to keep the house as normal as possible for the kids. I have also started studying again and have made knew friends. For the first time in my life, I feel liberated. It saddens me that I feel it at the cost of my husband’s pride, but it is what it is.
    Cheating is never a good thing but I tried for years to talk to him and he would not listen. I never had the courage to leave him because my life is my kids and leaving him would deeply scar them. I don’t regret the affair. It taught me a lot about myself but the consequences are also great, which I am living with and deal with everyday of my life! I am confident that I will never demean myself in that way again and actually look forward to a better future alone as a single parent with 2 beautiful children.

  40. If people stop talking about “love” (that other kind of BS love) the quicker your eyes will open to reality. I would advise young girls to PROTECT their hearts (EVEN THE GUYS) against being OVERLY in love. That love does not last as long as you think. If you’re a kind and generous person, check out the family first and if they’re NOT like you (more austere and denying everyone without empathy) stay away – you could NEVER be happy. On the other hand if you’re like that then marry someone like that.

  41. I never thought i’d be in this position – in a loveless marriage – at this stage of my life , I am 52 with 3 grown sons and a granddaughter.This us my second marriage and we have been together 15 yrs and i am so lonely , am seeing now just how lack of communication between a husband and wife can be so destructive .

    We were so good to each other before ,we went out on picnics or long drives , we laughed at each others jokes or each other , we liked to dance … but a few years back we found that my husband was diabetic and we were able to deal with it , he took his meds , excersised and got his weight back to a healthy number but in the last 2yrs we have changed so much , we hardly talk to each other ,sometimes just a good morning or good night , I have been to counseling alone after asking him for us to go and get help that we desperately need , and every time i would get no response .

    I know its because of God why am here … but where i am is a cold and lonely place .We have no intimacy , there is no affection , we are like two distant roommates with nothing in common. That’s what a loveless marriage is. We both work shifts , when he is at work at night am home or vice versa ,when i get home at night and he is home even if he has had something to eat there are times when i would say that am tired , he make it seem as if he has been waiting for me to get home to fix him a meal.

    Just today when i got home from church i just tried to reach him again , ask him to come in the room to talk with me , and its the same frustrating result… i need to cook more often … there have been so many many times when i would have to throw the food out 3 days later because he did not eat it … so i asked him if my measure of a wife is by how often i cook … he said that is my job. So when i do cook n the food has to be thrown out ,where am i on the (scale) . I told him there is so much more to a marriage than how much i cook or not cook …we have issues in our more intimate life that he seems to just ignore …And getting him to want to deal with it has me TIRED .

    I am not happy (we are not happy) with each other …yet he said to me he dont think the marriage is falling apart !!!
    The truth is i dont know what to do … i have Ask God For Forgiveness because i feel that i have failed Him.I have Ask God For Direction …because i dont know if i should stay or go in this marriage with no love.

    1. You are a really strong woman.

      I think the problem is him not feeling man enough. The coldness began when you guys found out that he has diabetes. Which also causes erectile issues hence why you guys are never intimate.

      He feels less of a man because he cannot satisfy you the way he used too. He makes you cook cause he wants to boost his ego and make you feel that he is a man.

      What you can try doing is write him a letter cause communication is weak. Explain what you just wrote here to him. Tell him it’s nobody’s fault things ended up like this. You both said through thick and thin, so this is a thin and he should not oppress you and frustrate you. Instead he must support you cause you are supporting him. Write down that you want him to write back. It might take him time to write back but he might loosen up. Include reasons why you still with him in the letter.

      Stay strong hope it works out for you.

  42. I have counseled people in “loveless marriages” and have lived through one (“loveless” on her part) for 40+ years. I know the horrid pain men endure having been married to unfaithful wives. The bible clearly states that being married to an unfaithful wife “is like cancer of the bone” – it’s agonizing. “Unfaithful you say? my wife hasn’t been unfaithful, she just doesn’t love me” – that IS the definition of n unfaithful wife. Love is a choice …… it is not the consequence of chance, some mysterious inexplicable occurrence or of Cupids arrow. Wives and husbands who no longer love their spouses are actively betraying their spouses! They are intentionally choosing to REFUSE t love their spouses. They intentionally are putting their effections elsewhere and and in doing so are actively sinning against God, their spouse and their children – with all the heartache and sorrow that goes along with those horrid self centered decisions. But do not despair for “God heals the broken-hearted” – I know from personal experience and from others I have counseled. God takes us above our circumstances – which is actually far better than rearranging them. If you want to contact me, you can get my email address from this site – “Laurie” will give it to you.

    1. How can I get your email? Are you offering counseling about how to survive a loveless marriage? I’m the one who won’t give up on my husband, but he’s the loveless one and always threatens to leave me just for trying to talk to him about working to make our marriage better. And my adult son is staying with us because his wife kicked him out and he blames me for staying with my husband exposing him to a dysfunctional family and him becoming like my husband.

  43. Dear tired,

    Thank you for sharing your feelings about your loveless marriage. It sounds like you love your wife so much, but she’s pulling away. It also sounds like you’re really hearing her. You even shared her perspective in your comments – and she doesn’t sound like an unhealthy, unloving, or unkind woman! You’re a good man.

    I’m married to a good man – and we’re both Christians – and yet I can see myself doing the same thing as your wife. Women tend to allow their whole identities get wrapped up in their husbands, marriages, children, and homes…and I believe the healthiest women want to figure out who they are, apart from those relationships.

    Perhaps your wife needs to rebuild her self-identity. She needs to root herself in something different.

    If I were you, I would give her that time and space. The more you breathe over her, the more she’ll pull away. It might be very painful, but I believe the best thing is to give her room to grow.

    And, above all else, trust God. He loves you, He loves your wife, and He loves your children. He loves them more than you love them! He created them, and He knows them inside and out.

    Your faith won’t protect you from divorce or pain…but it can protect you from suffering. Trusting God is a continuous choice. I wouldn’t try to be positive or supportive; I’d open my spirit to Him, and lean lean lean on His love, power, and strength.

    Live in freedom, and allow your wife to do the same. Live in the freedom Christ offers, the peace, and the joy. This is a difficult choice, but it is the most beautiful one a Christian can make.

    1. I suspect the writer of sincerity in her comments yet I cannot contain my thoughts in regard to the ‘advice’ given about surviving a loveless marriage. It is most certainly true that “your faith will not (by necessity) ‘save your marriage”. However the Word of God clearly teaches that “the heart of the King is in the hands of The Lord and as a stream He changes its course in whatsoever direction He desires”. Many wives (and husbands) labor under the current day mindset of needing to “find themselves”. Though people need to have a distinct identity even when married, within marriage “the two become one” ….. even their very bodies thereafter belong not to just themselves but to one another. As God has established marriage to be their hearts and affections need to be utterly toward one another …. all the while retaining their distinctive uniqueness as persons. It is a tricky balance that requires the wisdom and guidance of the Word of God and the Spirit of God. What is often found to be the case of spouses “needing room to find themselves” is essentially a declaration of Independence from the responsibility of maintaining a deep commitment toward ones spouse (which is utterly indispensable to the integrity of a Godly marriage). Marriage is, without a doubt the most potentially wonderful and rewarding of all relationships yet it is simultaneously the most difficult to work out. The idea of “finding yourself” after one marries; though occasionally necessary, NEVER includes turning a cold heart toward ones spouse. It is true that no one can force their spouse to love them, to turn their heart or their affections or their level of commitment toward them but that does not at all mean that their hearts are beyond outside influence. Such thinking is utterly foolish. When a spouse fails to love their spouse (yes “fails” is the precisely correct word) in order to “find themselves” it is most often foolishness to simply agree to it and encourage “freedom” to do so. That so called “freedom” typically encourages an abdication from the responsibility of spouses to love their spouse. Loving ones spouse is a privelege and.REAPONSIBILITY.

      It is remarkable how many Christians (who should know better) still believe that love is an uncontrollable occurrence that in some way magically occurs and is either there or it is not and when it is not there is simply nothing that can be done about it other than “letting them find themselves” as if waiting for Cupid to magically and capriciously (and possibly) return. Profoundly unwise and the grounds upon which an incredible number of marriages have come to an end (with all the resulting heartaches and sorrows that accompany that).

      So what can be done about a “loveless marriage”? First of all PRAY. As noted earlier, God controls all hearts and though we are not robots and though He will not force anyone to love anyone else He does influence people in ways that we cannot perhaps understand or explain (and many believers heading down paths of “finding themselves” need to be influenced). If we truly love and care about those people and their families we need to need to gently appeal to those spouses whose hearts, affections and commitments toward their spouses have been neglected or turned from. People who turn from their spouses while “finding themselves” are most often essentially “opposing themselves” – doing the very thing that will bring sorrow and harm to them and their families rather providing them with the happiness they think they will find in their “freedom” – (“finding themselves” – more accurately describable as ‘irresponsibility and selfishness’).

      Love is ALWAYS a choice and in marriage it is ALWAYS simultaneously a responsibility and is NEVER dispensable or delayable for ANY reason. Working hard at marriage is what is needed and even when “finding yourself” IS needed a decision to put aside loving your spouse during that season never ever Gods will. Love and marriage are hard work – very hard. Affections wax and wane and if we are to live out our marriages as a blessing to all involved, including God, we will never depart from our commitment to our spouses when they wane. Love NEVER fails 1st Cor 13

  44. Return comment to “Al”. You had mentioned “I’d like to pick your brain”. Here is my email address: (Laurie deleted and sent directly to Al). Not sure if it is acceptable (or wise) to put an email address into a venue like this BUT I know you are hurting and I would be glad to be of any help that I can. The pain from these occurrences is devastating; betrayal of vows, the effect upon children, grandchildren and other loved ones, the effect upon friendships, the community about you, your reputation, the wound to your soul. It is all so very painful. I know from personal experience. Write if you wish. Mike

    1. I agree with you Mike. My husband and I have a very volatile relationship. Tiring. It’s even taking energy to type this out after another argument today. Few weeks ago he was ready to divorce me. Leave. He said he’s mind was made up, he stopped loving me a long time ago, he said I have all the characteristics that men search their whole lives for and he has it in the palm of his hand and just doesn’t want it. Anyway…changed his mind,said he thought about the big picture, our son, future of our family..So we’re not divorcing. Today I just wanted to talk about us,him and I, how we can make it better…well things went pear shaped within 5 minutes. Told me to F O. Just vulgarity..and I lost it, l threw a book at him, not proud of it. Just lost it, couldn’t handle the verbal abuse anymore….he’s since apologised. I did too but…….. I am petrified of living with a man who doesn’t love me, who doesn’t care, who sees me as necessary inconvenience…

  45. I can survive my 10 year relationship but just recently I turned 30 and now i’m realizing the last ten years was spent at home with my children and I never got the chance to develop as an individual . My husband was very controlling in the beginning of the relationship and it pushed all of my friends and passions aside. I’m not the type to dwell on what could have been but 30 is hitting me hard. I am a tough girl…I have just made my mid up I will be the better person and keep my kids in a family unit and put my disappointments aside. I am happy as long as my spouse is happy to be with the kids. Recently i’ve had these dreams of meeting someone who loves me so deeply….the feeling is so intense like i’m wrapped in this love i’ve never experienced. I wake in the morning so upset and longing for that- only to roll over and realize I may never be in a relationship that is kind and loving and patient. We all deserve this…I know if it weren’t for my kids i’d be long gone. I love them so much and I can’t leave in the near future. It’s a sad way to go about life. I love my life…I just wish I had someone who I could really share my life with. I am going to read the book and see if it can at least give me something to chew on so I don’t lose my mind.

    1. I feel exactly the same way at 42!
      Talk about doing anything for your kids
      I would do anything to keep my 9 year old happy
      She loves her dad so much
      I feel I’ll never have true love
      Except the true love if my daughter
      Thank you for sharing your comment it makes me feel better that there is someone out there like me

    2. Wow! that is what I am longing for too! I have been in a loveless marriage way too long!
      We have an 8 year old son and if we did not have him, I would be long gone. My husband says
      we have potential but he has always been so cold and distant. That is his nature. I was the one being the loving one but now I am as cold and distant towards him as he is with me. I feel very alone and depressed in this 18 year marriage. I feel I am going to loose it sometimes. It’s hard to pull the trigger and just end it! I am reading a book right now called Too Bad to Stay or Too Good to leave. So far it looks like it’s too bad to stay..

      1. Wow! Thank you posting this. I’m glad to see that I’m not alone but sad to read that others are going through the same. It’s like you took the words right out of my mouth. The only difference is that our son was diagnosed with a life- changing disease. I feel like I have to stay to give him the best life possible. It’s so hard when you try to be positive and fight for your child. I try my hardest to be happy for him and then have to do that in my marriage as well is exhausting! My husband is no support for me. He doesn’t talk to me, show me any kind of affection and basically ignores me. I just can’t continue in this loveless marriage another minute. I cry and long for someone to love me and show me affection. I fear that I’ll die not knowing what it’s like to ever feel what it’s like to be loved and in a loving marriage. But, what choice do I have with my son? I just cry myself to sleep and b pray for a change. I’very tried everything and my husband won’t change. His mom has the same problem with his dad. They are just cold and unaffectionate. I’m going to try reading the book someone suggested above. Thanks

  46. We aren’t married but have a child together and been together for 13 years. We haven’t been ‘happy’ for several years. WE don’t do things together, we don’t set aside time for each other, when I’ve mentioned this I was answered with disinterest. Our situation is different since there was no marriage and therefore none of the usual promises and vows. I have tried many times to get through to him that we need to reconnect, we need to communicate, and i alway shear the ‘I’m not good at communicating’ excuse. We have both made mistakes, but on his end there is (and has been) a refusal to really talk about our relationship and address the grievances and make our relationship stronger.
    He works 12 hour days and previously worked 20 hours every other day to provide. I stay home for our child and now because of my health I cannot work, I can’t be on my feet for long, I can’t walk for long, I can’t lift or carry heavy anything, I have no other skills. I am dependent, and I hate it. This makes me bitter. I’ve tried to explain to him how I feel, as a reason for my distress at times, seeking support from my partner, but I’m often met with a typical blank expression and nothing else. Now, I’m looking into what I might be able to afford in classes (we don’t have money to spare) to pick up some skills or things I can do from home to earn some money to afford some classes for at home work. I don’t have a car and we can’t afford another. I have done everything at home – raise out child, cook, clean, do all the laundry, mostly with no help, or when I ask for his help, I’m given the ‘I don’t know what ‘needs done’ lame excuse. I am in my early 40’s, he his early 50’s. He’s been married before – and has never proposed to me other than as a way for me to get insurance. I have given up so much of my life, work, and now even my health for this relationship and our child.

    Recently I overheard a late night phone call to another woman, I confronted him, he refused to give me her name, simply referring to her as ‘ a friend’. I suggested that if she were truly a’ friend’ he’d have told me her name. I know his tone of voice and the voice he was using with her is a tone he had once used with me, before I was pregnant and before things fell apart. I feel he left me emotionally several years ago. I admitted my part in the disconnect but also reminded him that I tried so many times to create reconnection for us, only to be ignored, brushed off, in favor of the tv or the internet.

    I said to him it comes down to this: do you want to save this relationship or not? If you want to put in the work needed to make it be better, I need you to tell me. What are we doing? Are we staying together until our son graduates high school or are we actually going to work this out? He breaks down and starts to tell me some of how he’s been feeling. I looked at him and said “I love you. We can make this work, but you need to tell me if that is what you want.” He didn’t respond at all that he loved me, but started crying. I held him close while he cried. He’s been so sad, he said. I told him I was too, that we’re supposed to be partners, supporting each other, but that he shut me out long ago, so I followed his cue. Over the next few minutes, I asked again if he wanted to work on us, he said he didn’t know. I said to him, it’s simple: you either want to work this out, or you don’t. It’s easy to walk away, it’s easy to withdraw and hide, it takes effort and hard work to rebuild a relationship and keep it strong, and I need to know what’s going to happen. He spoke of duty, that he can’t leave our child, but he never once spoke of love. He said he couldn’t be like his father (who walked away for him and his mother and divorced a few months after he was born) I had my answer.

    I am now left wondering if he ever loved me, or if I was only a convenience after his first marriage ended. All this time I’ve been building a home, raising our child, and planning a long future with him, it seems he’s had no desire to spend any more time with me than necessary to raise our son. He said he felt like a meal ticket for me. How many times have I mentioned to him my own feelings of being taken for granted for doing EVERYTHING in our home and nearly everything for our child. Now I understand why he didn’t want a 2nd child, it wasn’t the expense, it was just one more burden for him.

    Now I have to figure what to do. I feel so betrayed and royally screwed. I am hurt, I am pissed off as hell. He never spoke to me about anything he was feeling in all these years, while I tried over and over again to engage him, to interest him, and then to simply follow his cues. He never loved me, he jsut didn’t want to be like his father.

  47. “Get to know who you are and what you want out of your life. Take time to think about your relationship with God. See yourself from His perspective. Ask for wisdom, guidance, and grace in your life. Jesus loves you and wants your life to be filled with joy and peace. Let Him in.”

    I like this advice. When I was going through my break up I constantly read books by Norman Vincent Peale (Power of Positive Thinking) as well as another very helpful book by Henriette Anne Klauser-“Write it Down, Make It Happen”. Very good for keeping one’s spirits up and helping formulate plans for the future. Your thought shape your reality. If you constantly affirm good thoughts then you attract good things. I’ve seen it.

    Show thanks for what you DO have and show appreciation for the good people in your life. Write affirmations and tape them to your bathroom mirror, carry them in your purse/pocket and say them several times a day. It works.

    1. I wish to briefly agree with the comment regarding reading the book “Thriving despite a difficult marriage”. That book is geared toward people who are in particularly difficult marriages wherein one spouse is routinely disinterested and or unkind, even cruel, angry, accusatory, contentious or hurtful or ‘all of the above’. People within those sorts of marriage full well recognize that the offending spouse will virtually never acknowledge their errant ways and means and few outside of the closest inner circle would ever believe that their spouse is as hurtful as they are. That book is a sanity saver, a balm to a wounded soul and offers a path to wholeness in an otherwise very difficult, trying situation.

  48. I remember looking through the net looking for advice on ‘How to survive a loveless marriage’. I am in one. It hurts. I do love my wife regardless of whether she ‘loves me back’ or not. I have no intention of leaving or divorcing her. I am rock solid on that commitment – I have a 4 decade + record to prove it. Yet I was looking for ways to ‘survive’ it, looking for advice, tips, encouragements as being in a loveless marriage is painful, lonely and so forth. I don’t need to elaborate on the discomforts of being in a loveless marriage to the heart and soul of people who live within one. If you are reading this site, you are in one and know the pain first hand. Back to the point…. I came to this site because of it’s title “How to survive a loveless marriage”. The key word being “survive”. Yet little I read has anything to do with ‘surviving’ a loveless marriage. What I read over and over again is people declaring the pain of their loveless marriage, quite understandable, followed by how it is all their spouses fault (often true). Of the many who respond to those comments, their typical so called ‘advice’ is: “get out while you are young and pursue happiness before it is too late”. That is advice for “surviving” a loveless marriage ??? If that is the case you should re-write the title of this blog to say “how to get out of your loveless marriage”. For those of you who are truly looking to ‘survive’ within a ‘loveless marriage’ you should look elsewhere. You will find scant little encouragement or advice on how to actually “survive” and perhaps even ‘thrive’ within the confines of a ‘loveless marriage’. Real love involves loving those who perhaps do not love you in return …. or even “hate” you. THAT is the beginning of sound advice on ‘surviving’ within a ‘loveless marriage’. Learning to love your loveless spouse, being content within yourself, learning to be a ‘complete’ person regardless of your spouses attitude for or love for you and many other ideas and principles are also among the many things you can do to actually ‘survive’ and even ‘thrive’ within a loveless marriage. Having an ‘affair’, by the way, whether emotional, fantasy or physical or all of the above are NOT part of the solution to the aching heart consequence of being in a ‘loveless’ marriage. Have any of you ever read 1 Corinthians 13? now THAT is real love. You might consider meditating on that as just a beginning of putting you on a road to ‘surviving a loveless marriage”. It is very easy indeed to ‘love’ those who love us…. where is the praise for that sort of ‘love’?? That’s not ‘love’. Real love ‘loves’ regardless of what it gets in return. Impossible to do? you bet it is. Such love requires supernatural empowerment. Yep…. it is of God. We don’t naturally ‘love’ in that way. We are simply not capable. So then, if you are truly looking to ‘survive’ within a ‘loveless marriage’ I suggest you make up your mind, first of all, that you begin looking for ways to endure, thrive and survive within the confines of your marriage, however loveless it may be, and avoid all these responder’s who are virtually never giving advice on how to actually survive or thrive within a loveless marriage rather on how and why to get out of one. There are PLENTY of reasons to ‘stay’. Though it is not my primary reason for staying, not by a long shot, some of you might consider reading “the unintended consequences of divorce” – a REAL eye opener. Staying in a loveless marriage is challenging … to say the least. Staying to wind up only “fighting day and night” as one responder noted, is not the only option. It is a true ‘uphill’ climb to ‘survive’ and even more-so even ‘thrive’ within a ‘loveless’ marriage but it is possible and just. I might add that enduring abuse, of any sort, is not ‘thriving’ or even ‘surviving’ within a loveless marriage – there are ways to ‘deal’ with that as well that do not necessarily have to lead to divorce.

    1. Interesting post.
      I disagree with the male / female divide the writer makes. Men can just as easily be trapped in a cold dead zombie marriage as much as women. She can be so absorbed in her career, the kids etc that she has no time for her husband and doesn’t even realise the marriage is dead, which is worse than an argumentative marriage or an abusive one. At least you still have passion to fight or in an abusive one the right to leave. One last point is that an abusive wife can be one without bruises and the world would never know. Yet if I were to hurt her like she does to me I would be spending the night inbabpolice cell….!

    2. Thank you for that. I am 66 years old and live with a good man who somehow seems to have his heart hardened. He is not mean to me and we have some good times together. There is just no physical touching or loving words. When I said I am sad that he seems no to love me, he says that he is who he is and cannot change that. That he cannot be different. I have been struggling as I indeed do not intend to leave the marriage. Your comments have really helped. Thank you

  49. I’m so glad I found this post. I’ve had so many feeling I’ve had bottled up about my situation and feel like I can’t really express them to anyone, without any judgment. I’ve been married to my husband for almost 5 years and we’ve been together for 7. When we first met I was 18 and he was in the military. We dated long distance for 2.5 years before getting married. I remember when I married him I was so nervous and knew it wasn’t your average nerves of getting married. But I was 21, he was my first love and I don’t know why at the time but I was always worried I would never get married or have children. So I married him and moved to NC where he was stationed. While he was in the military things weren’t perfect, but he was always coming and going so when things were bad, they weren’t bad for long and I could tell he still cared. After he got out and we moved home, this is when I started to realize that he wasn’t the same person as he was in the military. He was no where near perfect when he was in but I still respected and loved him and he did the same to me. Once we got home we both got jobs, rented a house and he went to school through the VA loan. We got pregnant and while I was pregnant I found out he stopped trying at school and had failed his semester.

    On top of doing his homework, I do everything for the house and for the baby. He does nothing. He comes home from work, watched tv, then stays up all night playing video games. On his days off, he sleeps all day because he will stay up until 6 am playing video games. And when I say sleeps all day I mean he will sleep until 5, 6 p.m. If I don’t wake him. I now just let him sleep, because when I try to wake him he gets angry, it causes a fight and he’ll usually go back to bed anyways and if he does get up he is an ass to me all day, so might as well let him sleep. I really realized that I no longer love him after I had my baby. He really isn’t a parent to him. That’s really what made me realize I don’t love my husband anymore, once I saw what kind of father he was. I’m surrounded by great fathers, my brothers and brother in law are awesome fathers, so I feel so guilty I gave my son a bad father.

    I did marry him and it was my mistake to live with. I just don’t know if staying with him and my son seeing this kind of relationship would hurt him more or if we got a divorce and he would have to be with him unsafe for part of the time. That’s another thing I struggle with. I know I’m not happy right now, but if I got divorced, the one thing that makes me happiest in life would be taken from me for some of the time, even if it was every other weekend, I’d still worry if he was safe and I don’t know if that would make me even more in happy than I am now. I’m sorry this was seriously a novel, but like I said I feel like if I talked this out to my friends or family, they would see the obvious thing is to divorce him, but you don’t really understand how things are until your in that situation yourself.

    1. I’m so sorry, Katie. Your situation truly sucks! I understand your reasons for staying and for wanting to leave. It might just take time to decide whether leaving or staying is going to be least harmful to you and your son, in the long run.

      1. Thank you. My mind changes daily. I’m with my son all day everyday and love every minute of it. If I divorce him I know he will get some sort of custody and I just can’t let that happen. I’ve left him alone with him a handful of times and he’s fallen asleep with him almost every time. Leaving a one year old unattended is dangerous so staying with him at least I know he’s safe because he’s with me all the time. I’m just trying to put myself in a position where if I’m ready to leave I can. I just don’t know if it will ever happen. But truly, thank you for your response, it’s nice to get all this off my chest and for someone to understand.

        1. Katie, read your story and am compelled to reach out to you. I remember feeling as you are many many years ago when I was first married. Like you, I was devoted to my son and couldn’t think about leaving my husband despite the fact he was not much of a husband to me, cheated all the time, and was emotionally abusive. I said I’d leave when my child was older… but didn’t… more children came.. then it was them I had to consider… etc. Well here we are, old, retired, and I’m still with this man. It never did get much better and now I feel too old to change anything. I quit trying a long time ago when it did not good and I just coexist with him which he doesn’t seem to mind. He never needed much from me except to cook and clean and raise his kids. The kids grew up well and are well adjusted adults so I know at least I did that right. If I leave now, I would be old and broke, as well as alone, the dating pool changes greatly in your older years and I’m so disillusioned about men now I would never make anyone a good wife anymore, so there is no hope for love or a new life with a different man. So I stay and feel invisible and sad all the time, rambling around in my nice warm and very lonely home, and try to make the best of things. My point is, it does not get better unless he is willing to work on things. Seeing as he is apparently not willing from what you’ve written, I urge you to get out of it as soon as you can. Don’t do what I did. I wasted my love and my life on someone who wasn’t worth it because I kept making excuses, I was too afraid to do it and the years came and went. If I had done it when I had only one child, when I was young and could work and support myself, maybe still had hopes for love, I would have been so much better off. I hope you will get out of it and get on your own so that you can meet the person you’re truly meant to be with. Don’t let that he is a video game addict keep you from making that move. You can explain your fears to the judge when working out a custody arrangement. You can ask for supervised visits to make sure your son is not left unattended. You are still so young and, unlike myself, you have a great deal of life yet to live. Don’t waste it.

  50. How much effort did she put in to the loveless marriage? Interesting how she doesn’t emphasis her efforts to better the loveless marriage. This is a typical woman response after the fact to justify herself and place blame on another rather than recognizing what a useless, loveless, non communicative person she was during her marriage. The fact she doesn’t face her past just shows how ignorant she is and how she will set herself up again to be a second time loser in love.

    1. Any man who sleeps all day and plays video games for 6 hours a day with a baby on the way is a child about to have a baby. I can see leaving someone like that would be no problem. Good job feel bad for the child though some step dad’s can actually be a better mentor then a faceless father stuck in call of duty land good luck.

      1. Trust me if I could grauntee full custody of my son, I would of left long ago. But he’s not a drug addict or criminal so he will get some sort of custody. And with him staying up all night playing video games he has a hard time staying awake. Staying with him at least I know my son is safe.

  51. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thank you for being here, and sharing your thoughts on how to survive a loveless marriage. I agree that the title of this article didn’t match the content, so I updated the article. Now, the tips for surviving loveless marriages are based on the reasons women stay married.

    If you’re unhappily married, I encourage you to talk to someone you trust about your reasons for staying. You might have valid reasons to stay in a loveless marriage – and if you can hold on to those reasons, you might be happier.

    I don’t think we can find a constant source of peace and joy outside of ourselves. Even loving marriages don’t make us happy all the time! We need to find a source of love, peace, freedom, and grace that never fails. For me, that source is God.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. May you find your best way to cope with your marriage, and may you find love in surprising ways!


    1. Thanks for writing back! Frankly I was surprised. I actually don’t remember exactly what I wrote in response to what I had read and your blog. But I cannot help but notice that “happiness” word as the common denominator and the reason for which we should take our course of action. It is that very sort of thinking that is at the root of what I would think would be most divorces that occur today. It all boils down to personal happiness. “If I’m happy I stay, if I’m not happy I leave”. You mentioned that God is the force that keeps you content within the confines of situations that you might not find “happy”. As far as relationships are concerned, God and his word says that divorce is something that he “hates”. Nothing else of occurrences of man has that sort of label to it. Jesus spoke in the most harsh terms imaginable regarding marriage and it’s inviolability. In regards to staying within the confines of relationships he noted ” and so what if we love those who love us is that really noteworthy?! Now if we love those who hate us and despitefully use us, that sort of love is praiseworthy”. That’s the sort of love that God has for us. He loves us not only when we don’t love him back, so to speak he loved us when we hated him. So too it should be in marriage. Though I am convinced that my wife does not love me in the conventional sense of the word, I have come to realize that in some regards, at least, it has nothing to do with whether I love her. Though my wife does not seem at all interested in receiving any affection for me, there are a great deal of other things that I can offer to her whereby I “love her”. I can be there for her whenever she needs me, I can protect her in many ways, I can provide for her in many ways. I can pray for her. I can be kind to her. I can give to her. I can listen to her. There are many other ways I can love her even if she doesn’t love me. And so what if she doesn’t “love me” in return. Should I leave her because I’m “unhappy”. How is it that our current generation does not see how shallow and one sided that sort of “love” is? Is everything always all about us and our “happiness”. This sort of current teaching, sickens me. It has led to countless divorces and the mountain this pile of broken hearts of spouses and children so affected. Many marriages go through prolonged periods where in there is no apparent “Love”. And what’s wrong with one way love anyway? Can’t I be content knowing that I love my wife whether or not she loves me? Why is this sort of thinking that promoted now a days when it was clearly promoted for centuries prior to our current self oriented generation? Why isn’t there a higher plane sort of Happiness that comes from doing the right thing and loving somebody whether or not they love you or for that matter even if they “hate you”. The affection and respect that should occur within marriage often waxes and wanes sometimes for long periods of time. If you really love your spouse you just lovingly endure it and love in return regardless.

      1. Wow Mike, I think you somehow were able to reach into my head, take my thoughts and somehow make them useful to me. This comment is exactly how I feel, but I was always unable to put it into words. My wife does not hate me, but she sure is not “in love” with me, but I will continue to love her on my end as I had done before. I will not be the reason that my marriage ends. I always ask the question: “Is it better to love or to be loved?”

        1. Thanks for writing back. Trust me, it is taken me a lifetime to figure this out. I have to confess that a good part of my marriage I spent licking my wounds, feeling bad because I did not feel loved at all. In truth, most of my marriage I felt entirely rejected, even despised. As a result I was frequently found angry and pouting – my (regrettable) voice.I spent a good amount of my personal time responding in anger and manipulation, or I should say attempts at being manipulative . All those sorts of responses are certainly not evidence of love, they’re evidence of selfishness and self centeredness and, in hindsight, foolishness. Once again, it took me a good many years to come to understand all this. Personally, although it has been quite lonely and unpleasant, I find that being in a marriage in which you are the one who loves regardless of whether or not you are loved has been an enriching And in many ways invaluable experience. My recommendation will always be to try to love those who not only do not love you but perhaps even “hate” you – what Jesus identifies as true love. In order to be able to do that you have to receive love from other sources. Let me be quick to note, not other sources that involve other romances. What I mean by “other sources” is family, friends and most importantly God. Only when we sense we are loved can we love, especially in the face of a loveless spouse. We can’t “run on an empty tank”. We need love and we cannot operate without it. Sadly we are raised to believe in our culture that the only source of love that will sustain us is love that comes from our spouse. That is simply not true. And so let me encourage you to hang in there “to the end”. Be content loving your wife (or husband) in ways that she (or he) will allow regardless of whether or not she loves you in return. There is a certain peace that comes from doing that – precious and invaluable. Don’t be tempted to think it’s frivolous or a waste of time, nothing could be further from the truth. In truth, when you love in this matter all about you including your children, other family members and even your spouse are blessed, whether they openly admit it or not. And so what if the worst case occurs, what if your wife or husband divorces you? Well, I say even under that circumstance do not resort to indifference or anger or self-pity or loathing. Pray and be content knowing you did what is right. Don’t listen to all those people out there who are provoking you with that self centered nonsense about “God doesn’t want you to be unhappy”. The truth is God wants you to do what’s right, and often what’s right comes at the cost of personal begin happiness” – Consider the example of Jesus! Had he loved us only because we loved him we would all be hopelessly lost for al time. The Bible teaches that he loved us even when we hated him. Ephesians teaches us that we should love our spouses where they hate us or not – just like Jesus.

      2. I just want to thank you, for helping me to see things in another way.. It gives me hope ….
        I had just made up my mind, I was just going to leave, all the pain and feelings of rejection behind …. Then I find your comments on here ….. I thank God for you sharing the things that you have picked up alone the way …!!!! Thank you so much !!!

        1. Thank you for the feedback. Frankly, I often feel like a lone voice crying out from the wilderness by I have since found that others fell the same way. Love means caring for others even when they don’t care for you ….. or, even more challenging, when they “hate” you. The dividends may vary but knowing you have loved regardless of the response to you is reward enough. Hang in there! I don’t know you but I am proud of you for your courageous selfless decision!

      3. Mike,
        Update: My wife is becoming increasingly desperate to leave our loveless marriage. She is starting to test my will to keep loving her and fighting for my family. My image of her is starting to change into someone that I never thought I would be around, let alone married to. Somehow she has separated my relationship with her and our family relationship, which includes our kids. I think this truly blinds her from the reality of a divorce, as she keeps thinking that nothing will change OR that our children will be worse off seeing her unhappy and deserve to see her in a loving relationship for their development. She has made it clear to me that there is zero chance that she wants to work on our relationship, but at this point, she is too worried about the negative perception that she will garner by asking for a divorce (most of her family is also praying for our marriage). I am trying my best not to act selfishly and feel sorry for myself.

        Since my last post I have been trying to work on myself allow myself to grow in ways that I didn’t think were possible before. Until a few days ago I started to lean towards giving in, but then something miraculous happened, I received an email alert drawing me back to this article (and comments). After re-reading Mike’s quotes, I have started to feel like I should not be giving in. Even if this relationship ends in divorce, I need to know that I did everything on God’s green earth to save my family from a breakup. Thank again Mike (wish I could pick your brain).

  52. I find it stunning that the site that sent me here was entitled “How to survive a loveless marriage” and the very first 2 things that hit you right in the face are “Contemplating Divorce a step by step guide” and “how to know when the marriage is over”. Absurd. Many many people are in loveless marriages. They are ALL deeply wounded, hurting and are looking for help, relief. Many of those people truly love their spouse though their spouse quite evidently does not love them. Our contemporary world, especially the western world, labors under the idea that if your spouse does not love you you should get out and find happiness somewhere else. Sickening. Whatever happened to loving someone even though they don’t love you? You can love people who don’t love you and you should….. especially your spouse. You can care for them, do for them, serve them, pray for them, make them as comfortable as they will allow you to, protect them, provide for them ….. IN SPITE of whether or not they ‘return’ your love for them. Oh, to be sure, we would all LOVE to be in loving relationships in which the love spent is returned and reciprocal benefit occurs. In truth, that does not often occur. Our modern world is all about self, self gratification an we don’t get it, the advice is “get out and get happy”…. what crap. Love spends itself on others REGARDLESS of whether or not it is returned. Consider what Jesus said on the matter “and so what if you ‘love’ those who love you? do not the heathen do the same? Love those who hate you, who despitefully use you….. THAT is true love, love that is commendable”. And so, are you looking at perhaps a lifetime of loving a spouse that does not love you? perhaps. Painful ? certainly, Lonely – to some degree, to be sure. Yet there are great consolations for those who choose this path. I advise those who are in loveless marriages to stay away from the many sites that advertise help to those who are in loveless marriages but open up with so called ‘advice’ on how to get out of those marriages and how it is the ‘right thing’ to do and how your ‘happiness’ is what is supremely important about all other considerations. Despicable. Rather, do what is right and honorable and consistent with true love. Yes, some of you are in horrific marriages in which it is not only a matter of lovelessness but outright abuse. If so – separate, if need be, but keep the lines of communication open and remain committed to reconciliation if possible. Get help…. the kind of help that is aimed at perseverance and faithfulness and personal sacrifice – even if it costs you.

    1. MIke Stone,

      Wow, I think you are right on with a lot of your points, but most people in the comments section are coming from the side of NOT loving their spouse and are looking to moving on. That is a side that I cannot speak on as I am the spouse that is NOT loved. I think it is easier to for me to agree with you because my hope falls on the side of your logic. I am in the process of trying to understand my wife’s point of view and that is what is truly helping me mentally. We all know that you cannot force someone to love you and that can be a tough situation if you decide to “stay together for the kids”, but I think it is important to at least move in the same direction if that is the choice that both parties made. What is harder, going through life not being in love or going through life not being loved. Whichever it is, I know that making personal sacrifices for the sake of my family is SO worth it. Again, I am not speaking on situations where there is abuse or addiction as I see those situations in a different light. I am speaking from a situation where one or both spouses are not “IN LOVE” any longer, but have children that can be affected by a split. They say that most children are resilient, but I’ll be damned if I test that theory on my kids. There is nothing I would not do to see my children every single day, nothing!

      1. Feeling sad today and googled loveless marriages. That happens when you live in a loveless marriage and it’s raining outside and you can’t escape it for awhile. I have stayed in a marriage where I was the one that loved and did not receive love for nearly four decades. I think what you guys are saying is wonderful and has merit. However, I believe that when a person is young, with maybe only one child, they should weigh things out differently because they still have so much of their life to live. Why live it with someone who cannot love you when you have time and you have time to correct your mistake? Looking back, my kids did grow up well adjusted and I stayed for them and that was my choice. But now they’re grown, busy with their own lives, and I’m left with this person who still wants very little to do with me. My retired years have been very sad and lonely and will be, from the looks of things, that way until I die. Was it worth it? I think maybe not. Maybe I would have found a man who could love me if I had had the courage to leave the marriage when I was young. Maybe my last two children would have been his instead. Maybe I could have had a happy and fulfilling life with someone who loves me. It’s easy to wrap yourself up in work and kids and stay in a loveless marriage. But what happens later, when you’re too old to work and your kids have grown and gone, and you have no comfort, no love and closeness, no one to ease your loneliness, no one that cares when your health begins to falter, is not so easy.

  53. MackK, thank you for your insightful observation. The financial reasons are some of the most paramount forces behind staying in a loveless marriage. When a couple has mutually vested interests in a property, and share the bills, this can be a very significant dictate in the decision to ‘stay or go.” This article certainly does err on the side of simplicity and naivete. It isn’t an emotional decision. It is a very reality based one as well.

  54. I have been in a loveless marriage for years. We have been married for over 20 years. Through years of supporting him, showing affection and devotion I received nothing in return. I thought if We had children together he would treat me better. I realized there was nothing I could do to change him. Over the years I believe he has cheated on me with numerous women. Of course I always suspected it but was in denial. With four children I kept myself busy. I have had many conversations with him about him moving out and wanting a divorce which he refuses. I cannot tell you the lack of affection, love and respect over the years I have received. I’m so over this marriage. Im pass the hurt stage all I feel for him is resentment. I know I need to leave him but can’t get him to move out. I’m not leaving my four children and moving out. He says he loves me but has no clue what that is. I think down deep we all know what we should do but doing it is hard and easier to complain about. As a mother we are selfless and we put everyone’s needs before our own. As a mother to a young man and three girls, I kick myself for allowing myself to be treated this way. I would give anything to make sure my son shows respect to the women in his life and my girls how a women should be loved and cherished.

  55. Married at 20, now I’m 43 and our twins 18. several times he tried to leave me. I tried to always make things better and we would get back together for it to be good for a couple of weeks only to go right back where it was.
    I have been lonely and so unhappy for years. Whether it was him staying at the bar every night to seeing him with other women, for 23 years! I recently have started talking to my high school sweet heart, he is recently divorced and says he has loved me my whole life. Our separation was due to graduating high school and going separate ways. He makes me so happ and loves me so much. I cry sometimes when we’re texting because I’ve realized I never have know. A love like this before. I am willing to do whatever I have to to have a love like this. I am at the very beginning of a divorce, husband is on disability, and I am in love with my high school sweetheart. Don’t give up on finding true love, it really comes natural and easy and kids will be happier because your happy.

  56. This is the best article I have read about how to survive a loveless marriage.I am disheartened that so many women go though this but draw strength and inspiration form the unbreaking spirit and resolve these women have by sacrificing personal happiness for their children.

    My story now
    *Married at 20 in church that was like a cult after 1yr dating and was engaged at 6 months.
    *Didn’t know him well enough but had a common goal to do something for God.
    *Abuse in the marriage started in the 1st yr but was afraid and ignorant and didn’t no what to do.
    *The Pst found out about it and scolded him….I never told my family or friends.
    *We did something for God and he became a Pst we moved away no violence but he was cruel and mean whilst we were there.Complete cut off and isolated.
    *Strained finances and children we got evicted and came back to our mother church with no house n had to live with family.
    *Violence makes comeback as he blames me for coming back etc..

    *We separate for the first time in 2012
    *We have been separated every year since and family getting bigger and it will be 9 years of marriage in a few months.

    I chose to stay for now because I am a not a British national and because of church’s teachings of staying at home (my church encouraged it) I have been out of work for six years and do not qualify for benefits unless I work or study as I am not British and laws are now stricter.
    *Should i leave (trust me I tried already) I will not have a house or financial help as all I have are retail skills and no income.
    *I was ignorant as the church I was in preached false doctrine and I thought I had to stay because of those beliefs.
    I no longer attend it so I am free emotionally and spiritually.

    My focus is my kids that I love dearly and establishing myself economically and professionally.

    By the way financially he is stingy and resents having g being the sole provider when I became a mom and couldn’t work.
    I kept it all in until last year but family n friends are horrified with the little rhey know and I cannot always discuss it as he claims to be a christian and it has strained my friendships as they cannot handle the horror I tell them.

    So I will read articles like this instead for strength and inspiration. Feels good to release what is on my heart.In life we will all struggle and for me a difficult marriage is one of them and I have accepted it and focus on what brings me life.

  57. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thank you for sharing your experience – it takes alot of courage and strength to be honest about your feelings of being in a loveless marriage.

    May you find wisdom, healing, and hope as you move forward. May you trust that God loves you and your spouse, and that He wants you to have a life of goodness, love, joy, and freedom. May you take time to seek His wisdom and guidance for your life, and may you hear His voice directing you in the right path. I pray that your marriage is restored, and I trust that whatever happens is meant to be. May you move forward with acceptance, surrender, and faith that God is working together all things for your good.

    1. Laurie,
      Thanks for having this blog. I’m in a loveless marriage of over 35 years. It really went downhill after we lost our 28 yr old from an accident. She was our only child, never married, so not even a grandchild. I stayed with him all these years because of our daughter, plus I had my own career, that helped support the family. I’d put up with his verbal abuse, because I was leaving in a day or 2. Now, he’s hateful! I’m not the person I use to be. Fortunately I was able to sell the business, but all I ever hear from him is I’m a freeloader. I supported the family for 25 years. And he knows I’ll never be the same. Sometimes I want to throw in the towel. If it wasn’t for my love of Jesus, I would of checked out. I have no one to turn to, for Godly advise. I realize maybe I need to evaluate myself. It takes two. Sometimes we just need to get frustration off our chest? God help me. Help us both.

  58. Here is my question: I am in a marriage where my wife has expressed to me that she may no longer love me. We have children and we do not argue or even hate each other, what should I do? I am still very much in love with her and she “loves” me, but probably like more of a best friend. We still have sex and communication is good, but I do not know what to do at this point. Who’s happiness is more important here? She does not like to talk about it much, so we just go about our life. I have never had to second guess my relationship, but now I am starting to feel bad about wanting to work things out? Am I over thinking it? The last time we talked about it, she said that she would never break the family up and never take away the opportunity to grow old together and be grandparents. She said that it is normal for spouses to NOT be happy at some stages in their relationship. At this point, I am just taking it day by day as she requested.

    1. Dude, I’m in the same spot you are. Feel free to email me or something. We cod share stories and tactics. Right now I’m just hanging in there and hoping for the best. I can’t leave her – I love her too damn much. :) maybe someday she will love me again like I do her, maybe not. If not and that’s ok for her, it’s ok by me as well. This life doesn’t prepare for this, but Jesus shows us how to love, not someone article online. Hang in there bro, she is worth it, never give up hope.

  59. I am 54 and my 2nd Husband 69, married for 15 years. He has 3 children and I have 4 from previous marriages. Knew him all my life and long story short came out of miserable marriage to a barely functioning alcoholic. I was in love at first but I think I was really just vulnerable at first and married him. He isn’t mean or abusive but he is OCD and just extremely idealisitc and dreamy. He Is childish listing everything he did during the day while I was at work (women don’t do that! We just do what needs to be done — not LIST IT!) He’s just like a child trying to get approval constantly. It’s emotionally exhausting! No wife wants to sleep with a childish husband. It’s become creepy if he even touches me! He can’t perform anyway, and I cannot sleep with his constant twitchinng and snoring. I finally started sleeping apart, and told him I have to be able to function at work. I used to literally lie there and count the 20 – 30 seconds between his snoring and twitching. Then found out many many couples we know sleep apart. He follows me around like a puppy after work when I’m just exhausted and want to change clothes and go to the bathroom. I don’t have it in me to praise him for every little thing he does, like he was my child. I already raised my children. Also, he leaves all of the difficult tasks to me like home repairs, bill paying, calling the cable company, plummer, etc (and everybody concerning running the home,) yardwork. He does grocery shopping, folds towels. He’s really incompetent at anything that requires real effort. He even thinks changing a battery in a smoke alarm or a damn light bulb require group effort. I just feel so stuck and miserable sometimes. We are stuck because we are both too old and finances are intertwined and I don’t want a divorce because the first divorce though absolutely necessary for my sanity was tough enough. But I do intend to do everything I can with sisters, daughters and friends to escape this miserable trap I feel like I live in. I thank God my father and one son still live with us, because this man drives me up the wall. Well, I feel there is no answer, but I have heard the quote, “the advantage of being married to an older husband is an earlier release.” And save the critical comments. I am a Christian and a loving kind human being, and I am not unkind to him, but people can only take so much. Some men are just exhausting.

    1. Sounds like you don’t care for him and give nothing to love him. Shame on you for abandoning him and stopping the development of your relationship. Obviously you’re the leader and competent drive to bring it along. Couples are always raising each other up, and such was the case before raising children. You treat him like he’s a piece of property and such he responds that way. Leave him or invest in him and stop feeling like a queen to only be served.

      1. Ridiculous and cruel response. He serves me not at all. It is the other way around. I do everything, including what most men do in marriages as far as finances, earnings, house and yard work, and it is exhausting. I would say that is far from behaving like a queen to be served. Clearly he sees me as servant and property. Your response is off subject and unwelcome, and if you have all the answers, what are you reading this blog for? People are here for compassionate sharing.

    2. I know exactly what you mean and my heart goes out to you. The comment by the other poster is cruel and points to exactly what one of the difficulties is in being in a loveless marriage; namely no one fully understands what it is like to literally be drained dry by trying to live with someone who just takes, and takes, and takes. And when someone assumes you aren’t “doing enough” to change things they are blind to the reality that some people, such as our husbands, simply don’t respond to our efforts. For them it’s all about them and that is where their view of the world ends. The only thing I can add is, I am discovering that we are not alone. As I try to survive my loveless marriage I am finding that a lot of marriages (perhaps most?) that look good on the outside are pretty much lifeless behind the closed doors. Good luck to you.

    3. Sarin not sure if this response will reach you but you sound a lot like me but you havd it better, you have a job and family even a daughter to help you emotionally escape

      I am 59 snd he is 60. I have been with him for over 42 years and thought after raising two dons it would be our time but all he did was continue his OCD obsession with work

      I have come to many realizations. He loved work all through the years because he hated interaction with me. Sexual only and once that was done he wanted nothing else

      I came from a very dysfunctional family and his was worse but we managed to be good role models for our kids

      I see how my sons treat their wives and realize I never had a normal functioning man, never. His low I Q was always disguised by his ability to fix machinery so people thought he was smart

      Now he is showing dementia type personality changes as it runs in his family and on top getting testosterone injections, but we do not have a physical relationship

      I have found porn on his computer and he acts like the first timd in his life he wants to be a social butterfly with his co workers using the group lottery purchases as an excuse to talk on his phone to them

      I believe he is into talking to women on the net or maybe a woman from a past job.

      I have no job due to a foot problem that was not diagnosed years ago. No daughter to keep me up with life in general, DILs never include me in anything with themselves or the kids. My only closest sister was put off by his jealousy of me talking to her in public a chat room and I have not spoken to her in over 6 years.

      I Live in solitude with my small dog which he barely does anything for. He only does things around the house so his sons won’t believe him lazy but rarely sits yo even watch tv with me.

      He has stolen money from me, lied to me for many years and controls every penny

      So you having a job to me is like a great freedom that could be your escape. I have to have a procedure on each foot or I won’t be walking but he does not want me to seek the best surgeon for this because I truly believe he enjoys knowing I cannot move about the way I need to do, he can stay in control better

      He is his dysfunctional parents all over again. You ladies talking about having children as reasons for staying makes me sad because I know that one day your life may be so sad even they will turn away like one of mine did, he knows his father is not right

      Do not ever stay in a love less marriage for kids, trust me it will backfire on them and you. I know what he does is abusive but my kids are grown there are no programs for me to start me on a life

      I called an apt three years ago and was told I needed an income three times the rent. He refuses to leave or help me to leave. The one who is the sickest is the one who cannot see how badly you need to be apart

      I have tried talking to my kids and they cannot discuss a mothers marital issues. They are men that may have their own. I really would be ok if I did not wake up tomorrow, and would gladly give my life for a person who needed theirs

  60. Loveless marriage is far easier than life after divorce.especially when you belong to indian community ,where people will judge you and your parents everyday .it is better to live a loveless life rather than giving tension and sorrows to your parents ,and then people say that you are the reason got their sorrows. I bet the day I will say I need divorce my parents ,my brother will be so mad on me and they will curse me whole life because I will make them ashamed in society

    1. I can understand how you feel fake. I’ve been wanting to leave my husband for along time but I cant because I feel sorry for my parents. But now, I think its about time to do what’s right for my self. at the end of the day it’s my life. I hope my parents will understand when I have the gut to tell them.

  61. I am a man that has been dealing with a women that has told me that she is no longer in love with me. We have small children and we do not fight or argue, but a few years ago I started to notice that she was acting different. I questioned her and she had stated that she has been in an emotional relationship with another man for a few months. We were highschool sweethearts and married in our mid twenties. She also tells me that she has known this guy since college (no relationship) and he asked her if she was sure that she wanted to marry me. She stopped talking to the guy the day we spoke about it, but I feel as though the whole situation has caused her to question if she had ever loved me. I am not sure if she is having some sort of crisis or if things CAN get better, but I love her to death and cannot see my kids growing up without me in the house. I think she will stay in this marriage, but things are becoming more and more difficult for me. I am preparing for the worst and find myself purposely trying to “fall out of love” with her daily. I am doing this because I have a heavy heart because I know she is unhappy or loveless and she is staying for me and the kids. She loves me and says I am a great father, but at a certain point, I think I deserve more. But I am not willing to give up my childrens happiness for my own, plus I still love her.

    She has been seeing a therapist this whole time and she is trying to undue this trapped feeling. She doesn’t think this marriage will allow her to grow. But lately she has been branching out ( with my blessing), even getting a tattoo.

    In my eyes two things are going happen, she leaves me once the kids are old enough or I will initiate the split out of guilt.

    (sorry it is so wordy)

  62. I think you missed a pretty basic reason why people stay together- money. Living together is cheaper than living apart, and untangling finances of a long-term household can be a complete mess.

    1. You are exactly correct! I am older and in my opinion lack of financial knowledge is one of the things that keeps women trapped in loveless marriages. And furthermore, if women knew how many men have secret bank accounts they would be astonished. How do I know this? Because years ago a friend of mine was the legal counsel for the State where I live and her task was to handle all the funds (which were huge) from secret bank accounts that men had. When they died unexpectedly, she had to find and figure out what should be done with the funds. More often than not the money went to the State without the wife ever finding out. And yes, that was completely legal.

    2. Catherine you are 100% correct. If you have the money to leave a loveless marriage then go! Be happy! Most of us don’t have that luxury because of money.

  63. Sorry i don’t understand the subject title “loveless” – it’s not a process. There is abuse and suddenly you feel revulsed from taking verbal abuse day after day and you no longer make any money and it gets worse and before you know it you’re 60 and stuck with someone who uses you as his personal whipping girl. So really it should read “terrible” or “bad” or “impossible” marriage. Loveless anyone can live with so long as there is no abuse. Loveless is EASY to live with.

  64. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Tanya,

    Do you deserve more than to live in a loveless marriage? Yes! Do you want to live the rest of your life in a bad relationship, with a man that you can’t talk to or be yourself with? No. You know you don’t want to stay in this marriage.

    Do you have the strength and brains to leave this loveless marriage? Yes, you do! I am 100% certain you are strong enough, smart enough, and brave enough to make a fresh start in your life. I know you are capable of rebuilding your life after leaving your husband. I know you can face the problems that accompany a separation and divorce — and I know that you would much rather deal with the short-term pain of leaving your husband than live with the long-term pain of a loveless relationship for the rest of your life!

    I pray for faith, hope, and courage. May you look to God for strength and wisdom, for security and comfort, and for resources to help you move forward into a happy, healthy chapter of your life. May you find friends, supportive books, and strong relationships that help you stand up for yourself. Find your power, Tanya. Ask God for help, for people, for resources. You deserve to be happy, to be in a marriage filled with conversation, activities, interaction, bonds, and healthy growth.

    Be kind to yourself. Don’t treat yourself like your husband treats you. You deserve more! You will be afraid — it’s natural and healthy to be afraid when we make big changes in our lives – but you will “feel the fear and do it anyway.” Why? Because you are smart, courageous, valuable, lovable, and deserving of so much more.


    1. Laurie.. it’s too late for me. I was the sole (SOLE) breadwinner for 20 years – between my 30th and 54th birthday. Then in my type of business it went downhill in South Africa and I had to face this extremely abusive husband whom I married when I was 18. He has never lifted a hand to me but verbally he is a monster of note. I brought my 2 boys up by myself – he kept reminding me that he never wanted children so I must look after them. Today they belong to Mensa and he needs them in his life being the psychopath that he is he wins them over by now calling them “son” – wha-at? and my eldest son says I press his buttons (i was so very offended by that when they should remember how I used to take them by the hands and walk away from his rantings. Now the wheels have come off. My youngest is busy with his PhD and I cannot abandon him – he is still financially dependent on us – there are no bursaries for white kids in South africa, but through lots of sacrifice from family and friends he is now a full fledged scientist. But me – I have become invisible. Oh and did I mention my husband is dyslexic from a major brain injury – thus I have to play secretary for him on a big ol’ PC – and he’ll read and tell me that I am brain dead and a f…n ne’er do well. I am so broken and I’ve waited too long – way too long. I reckon there IS such a thing as too late. For me to wake up in the morning is a nightmare within itself. When I even mention how well I looked after all of them by working 48 hour stretches (yes that is possible without dying) he tells me to stop looking at the stupid past. I did my best by my boys, but I have become invisible and he is so charming that all outsiders feel this need to protect him (I wonder if it’s against me? because they’re all just that bit offhandish with me). TOOO LATE!!!

    2. Laurie
      I have read so much of your web site and the articles it contains but very few have any advice for men in the situation of living in a loveless marriage , having a wife that is unfaithful , or any other relationship advise , etc , maybe you could include some


      1. Ross, it’s the same thing. I don’t see any help for any of the women either because it doesn’t exist. the only way is OUT and if you can’t get out you stay and take it. how else? Psychopathy is like a concrete wall – you lose by running against it. So you live on the eggshells this side of it forever.

  65. Hello,
    Please accept my appolgies for my bad English.
    I am currently married to a man who I am in with. All I know and feel is that the only reason he is with me because he thinks that marriage is something that you have to put up with it, however on the other side I think that whe. Two live together and are married to each other they should truly love each other and accept all cons and pros.
    Our relationship was very romantic at the begging but as hears past we started to drift apart because of my inlaws and his friends who think that marriage is just something that u have get yourself in to it but u don’t need to be loyal to it or the women who is your wife.
    I always feel that my husband hate me by keeping him away from his firends and family but I left my entire family for him and haven’t even seen them for the past 5 years where as he get to see his family at least once a week. My family is 10000 miles away from me and I am too scared to leave my husband for a short visitation of my family. I am scared that when I leave I will never ever going to have him again and at the same time now I feel like he has some one els in his life.
    We don’t talk much and if we do he always tries to make me feel that I am stupid I know notting and noting I say is write even I have the knowledge and experince of it.
    I try avoid talking to him about everything but because he is the only person I have in my life I still share things and we end up having a big fight and I regarte sharing it.
    He is doing his PHD and I am studying Pre Law so don’t have much time to spend on each other so we sat Sunday’s as our day to be together as he says that but never act upon.
    He wakes up at 3 or 4 pm due not spleening on time and spending more of his time on his computer and when he does get up from his chaire he is all mody and it takes him 3 hours to get ready which is already dark out side and when we are out this is how starts it ” what do u want to do TO DAY” it doesn’t make sens to me and neither I have the right to get mad at him so if say let go here he is mad he is like oh I didn’t have breakfast yet I am very hungry but off course u don’t care and that is how it starts. Anyways there is a lot to say.
    My question is that he can not produce sperm so we are never going to have a child. He doesn’t work no any work at home. He doesn’t spend quality time with me nor his respectful and appreciative to me since I work and study and take care of the house. Do I have to stay in this marriage? Am o scared to leave him and start a fresh life that I deserve? Please. Help

    1. I’m sorry for your plight. Maybe your husband married you out of convenience. His actions don’t indicate that he is truly concerned about your well-being. If you’ve voiced your concerns throughout this relationship and he’s unwilling to negotiate and work on the marriage, what else can you do. It takes both people to commit and contribute to the joy and peace of each other in a marriage. I would encourage counseling, but if he is unwilling to give you the basic, respect, loyalty, kindness and his time, then it’s unlikely he will be willing to go to counseling. However, you can try it. Present it as something that can bring peace and joy to both of you once you both have developed technique and skills needed to navigate how to give and get what you both need an want in this relationship. You both are obviously both intelligent people. You can’t make him want what you want. You can’t make him change. If his goal is to keep some stability financially while he prepares for his exit, then you are just buying time right now. You may choose to stay while getting yourself ready for when or if he leaves. If you decide to stay, make sure you know why and have a plan. Part of that plan could include opening a separate savings account, getting a P.O. Box, paying off your bills and joint credit cards, not co-signing for cars, loans, or major purchases. Think about the pros and cons of leaving or staying. Think about what can you do in the meantime. Don’t threaten him that about your desire to leave or harass him about what his intention. Action speaks louder than words. Keep yourself healthy, work out, visit your family, keep in touch with friends, go out and enjoy things you use to do. If violence is a part of his behavior, be very cautious should you eventually decide to leave. Plan it carefully. Seek professional help. So many women leave unprepared and life becomes worse for them. Some stay and become mentally, emotionally and physically a wreck. If you are a person who believe in God, pray for wisdom, guidance and peace. Do your utmost to stay calm and peaceful while you live together. Don’t be afraid to make request and tell him what you need, do it with respect and try not to let it lead to an argument. If he chooses not to give you what you need, try not to take it personal. It is his failure not yours. Don’t let him define who you are. Once you have your life goals in sight and are at peace with yourself, then you’ll be better prepared for whatever comes next. Sometimes the more someone clings to you to be their everything, the more you may pull away. Live the best life you can under the circumstances and things will become clearer for you. May God bless and protect you.

  66. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    I don’t think there are any answers to your questions, Ross. I’m sorry you’re going through such a difficult time in your marriage, and that you are faced with such betrayal. It’s very painful for you, and finding answers might help you cope with the thought of being in a loveless marriage.

    But sometimes people do things for no conscious reason. They act on impulse, and don’t honor their commitments or vows. They pretend. They even go to church and do all the “right” things to be “good”…but they’re hypocrites.

    I don’t know if you’ll find answers to your questions…and I wonder if perhaps acceptance and surrender to what is might bring healing. You might also find it helpful to talk through your feelings with a counselor who can help you find answers that will satisfy your need to understand why your wife is the way she is.

    I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers. May you find hope and healing in God, and a restoration of your life.


  67. I WISH I had a spare room to go to AND the income to leave this living hell. I’m stuck!!! Can’t even go find someone new! :-(

  68. Hi All
    Maybe there is someone her that can answer some questions for me
    1. How can someone who has spent 18 years in a loving family so quickly fall out of love with someone and then love another with the intensity that my wife felt for her lover and be so deluded that she would think that a man 14 years younger than her would want her to either leave her family or would take on 5 children to look after
    2. How can someone who has shared 18 years of love , happiness , friendship , respect be willing to destroy all that for a few minutes of excitement and passion with someone else
    3 How can someone who has been involved in her church in a genuine way all her life be able to go to church every Sunday with her family , showing all there what a ” good Christian mother she is ” then commit adultery through the week then back to church the next Sunday if nothing has happened

    For me it was the lies and secrets that have destroyed our marriage just as much as the unfaithfulness . quite often I have read the people lie to protect the partner , I feel that’s rubbish they lie to protect themselves and their other partner , if they wanted to protect us they wouldn’t have an affair

  69. Thank you for sharing your experience with staying in a loveless marriage. It takes alot of courage to share how you feel, and be honest about your experience. I know other husbands and wives are reading your comments and feeling like they’re not suffering alone.

    My prayer for all couples in loveless marriages is for wisdom, clarity, and peace. May you have faith that this relationship was meant to be for some reason, and may you have wisdom to know what decision to make about your marriage. May you connect with people who understand what you’re going through. I pray you find comfort and peace in the people you met, including the Father God above who created you and loves you deeply. Amen.

    1. Maybe there is someone her who can answer my question , it is only in my case and I’m not judging anyone else . ” How can it be when 2 partners love one another , then one starts to form an emotional friendship with a third person that eventually turns into an emotional affair and they fine they no longer love their partner but love the affair partner . Then the affair evolves into a sexual affair and everything they experience within the affair , the excitement and passion is so much greater than they ever experienced in their marriage . Then when their affair ends they decide that they love their partner again ” I cannot understand how someone can chop and change their love for someone so easily , In case the only reason my wife stayed was her affair partner stopped loving/needing her and dumped her for his wife

      1. Wow, Ross’ comment reminds me of MYSELF! Ross, you are completely correct. I started an affair with another man for roughly 1.5 mns, but we’re in different states, which would make it easier to break it off. It’s been nearly 3 weeks since I’ve seen him, and following several texts, I stopped “bothering” him. After all, it seemed as though I was always instigating the communications…He hasn’t contacted me since. But I tell ya, both times I returned from his area, in which we had spent time together, I treated my husband with coldness, have been unaffectionate, and have even asked for a separation. I tell myself I don’t plan to go with this other guy, but need to figure out myself. But very difficult with a young child. But yes, I had more feelings towards the “other guy” than my own husband. So confusing that I’ve scheduled appt with a therapist.

        1. Sarah,
          Maybe you can answer a question for me , when did you realize that you no longer loved your husband and you were in love with your other man ? , I asked my wife this question several times in the early days after I found out about her affair but she refused to answer me . I also asked her ” what she felt was so wrong with our marriage that she was so will to have an affair ? and I asked her ” Was her affair worth it for her to destroy our marriage and our family ” ? , both questions she refused to answer , I have never been able to understand why after we had spent 18 years together in what seemed to me was a great marriage having 5 children together , she would decide that she no longer loved me and she was willing to destroy our marriage , our family for a few minutes of excitement and passion with another man , do you feel the same about your lover ? . Now we have both wasted the last 12 years of our life with what seems like the ghost of another man in our home , his presence has been in our lives since my wife’s affair . I hope you are able to find the strength to be honest with your husband no matter if you separate or not , I feel that with my wife it was the lies and secrets that have destroyed our marriage just as much as her unfaithfulness if not more

  70. How things can change , for the first 18 years of our marriage I felt that we were both really happy , at that stage we had 5 children from 3 to 15 then out of the blue I found out that my wife was having an affair with a co-worker . I’m not sure how long it lasted but my guess is about 6 months , when i confronted her with the evidence she refused to talk about it . Sadly for her within a week of me finding out the wife of her OP also found out as they were going back to his house after work .

    His wife forced him to immediately leave their work place and end the affair and he refused to talk to her again , not even a kiss goodbye . My wife accused me of telling her which I didn’t do , she immediately moved out of our bedroom to a spare room where she has slept for the last 12 years and we have lived a pretense of a marriage which would surprise so many of our friends because we both play the game in front of other people . Every time we have an argument about anything her immediate comment is ” You destroyed the only real love I have ever had and I will never forgive you for it ” , I’m sure she is still in love with him . For the last 12 years we have lived in a loveless household so we can both focus on the children , as the years have gone by the children have grown and moved on with their lives and now we have only one at home with us . I certainly would never push her out but I can’t wait for the next few years to pass and I will sell up our home , split the money and get on with my life , what ever that might be

    I find it quite sad that we have both wasted so much of our live’s living the way we have , but I am also so glad that we stayed together for the children at least they have had the chance to grow up in a 2 parent household and all seem really well adjusted young adults

    1. Ross, you did the right thing for the children – I am sure it was not an easy choice. Sounds like you watched Shaw Shank Redemption! Good Luck!

    2. Oh my goodness. My heart breaks when I read your story, Ross! From the depths of my heart, I am so sorry for the pain you’ve endured for all these years! Perhaps this is a lesson for me. My affair consisted of seeing the “other man” as many as 4-5 times, and we are in different states. He is not married, but I was attracted to him immediately. He was the one that came on to me and wouldn’t leave me alone. I was persistent, i.e., that I “am married” and don’t fool around…” but he won. I admit, I have very strong feelings towards him and miss him like crazy! The fact that he hasn’t contacted me since we last saw each other 3 weeks ago may be the answer it’s over. I’ve held back contacting him because at first, I wanted him to for a change contact me. But who am I fooling? I feel terrible and so guilty that I’ve behaved this way towards my husband. I feel it would be easier to leave him if it were not for our young child. We’ve been married for 8 years now.

      But I can’t help feel so sad for your story. All the years you’ve endured in a “loveless” marriage.

  71. I’ve been married for 15 1/2 years. 12 years ago I confessed to an affair. Instead of facing it, he kept it bottled up, and was angry for 10 years after. I fought hard to prove I was a good wife and loved him. really fought hard. I begged and pleaded many times for us to get help that something had to be done. 1 1/2 yrs ago I said I was done. Couldn’t do it anymore at all. He finally got help, I stayed out of guilt but constantly had a foot out the door. Because of all my resentments I can’t get back into it. So here we are after many ups and downs in the last 1 1/2 I asked for a separation to figure myself out. Also to protect him because I now have a wondering mind/heart. I don’t want to be that type of wife but know that’s where I’m headed. We have two wonderful, HAPPY, kids and he is an amazing, wonderful man and provider. He wants to do everything and anything for me, however, I don’t have the desire or fight in me anymore……….. I am scared of the unknown, if I’m making a huge mistake……

    1. Hi Anonymous,
      I can relate to your feelings, although I have not confessed my affair to my husband. We’ve been married for 8 years, and my affair consisted of being with the “other man” twice 6 months ago, then again about 3 weeks ago, in addition to texting. However, I was the one that seemed to be texting him first, so I’ve now ceased to contact him for the past almost 2 weeks. It’s the hardest thing because I miss him so much (he’s not married), and am even jealous of him that he’s single. Terrible, I know!
      The part of your story that reminds me of myself is the “resentment” part. I’m becoming even more resentful towards my husband because I’ve tried telling him I want a separation, and he is in denial. I don’t think I could bring myself to confess my affair, although I wonder if he’s figured it out. Of course he brings up a good point, i.e., breaking up our family so I can be single. I feel very selfish! So I’ve become extremely depressed and sad. And my husband can see it. I’m even on mild anti-depressant. It’s so difficult. I can’t help but be resentful towards my husband. If it were not for our child, I would have left him years ago.

      It’s really scary. I am Christian and don’t feel I’ve repented, because I’ve done this before in previous relationships.

  72. Everyone says if your unhappy and there is no love just leave! But how ? How do you put your happiness over your kids and family’s happiness ! I have to young boys who are happy! They wake up each day with mommy and daddy in their home! They are happy! And I am happy to see them happy! Isn’t that the choice we make when we pick our partner and decide to bring innocent children into this world? How can I wxpect them to understand I’m turning their happy lives upside down because I deserve more ? I just go back and forth and can’t get an answer! My husband has cheated, talks down to me and pretty much shows me lil to no love! I feel completely alone even when he is laying right next to me in bed ! Tears roll down my face each and every day because I ache for the love and attention that I show him! I gave up everything to make him and my kids my world! And no matter what I do he sees me as nothing! But I have lived like this for years! And I make it! I still smile ! And I still have fun. So how can I just one day tell my boys that my life and my feelings are more important than theirs! How can tell them tent will be nights they mommy can’t tuck them in! How can I miss holidays w them? Would we be more miserable wout him I think?? I Just can’t ruin their lives for what may be my own benefit!!

    1. WOW as I read your statement I wondered if you knew me. I feel exactly the same as you! I cry nearly every morning while showering and pray God will show me what to do! I’m so unhappy and miserable and long for someone to love me and care about my dreams or even to listen to me talk. I’ve asked friends for advice I always ask the same thing, what do I do, if I choose to be happy I destroy everything around me my two boys, my family my in laws how people will think of me my husband who obviously isn’t happy but claims to be all for what? ? So I can be happy?? I take pictures at the zoo and various of our happy family but really I’m screaming on the inside! I so want it to be over and start my life and be responsible for my own happiness instead of feeling like it’s constantly stolen from him. I feel he hates me yet loves to see me miserable! But he’s an a great father my boys couldn’t be happier with him but he’s no help when it comes to parenting I feel like I have 3 kids! But the smile on their face how do I make the choice to take that from them?

      1. I’m in the same boat as both of you. Two boys who love their dad, but I am miserable. I have been a stay at home mom for 13 years. We live paycheck to paycheck. We would have to sell our house, get two little apartments, split custody and have no money. I will have to get a full time job. So, I stay and live in a bad marriage. I have no answers. It’s sad.

    2. Sarah,
      I hope you check back in! I have a question for you. You say that you have lived in a loveless marriage for years and you still smile and have fun. Can you share how you do that? (this is what I was hoping to find in the article) I have so many more bad days than good.

  73. Sometime people stay in a loveless marriage because love is not something that was ever there. Sometimes people give up on love and just go with the person that works out the best. Love fades and hurts. If you marry a friend. Doesn’t hurt when things get stupid, and things usually don’t get stupid because you aren’t as passionate about it. Easier to maintain.

    1. Lane, that’s me. I married a friend that I really barely knew, 25 years ago. He’s not really much of a friend anymore, and here we are with two kids. I had sworn off love after the end of a painful relationship. Stupidity in youth can lead to a lifetime of regrets. A loveless marriage is the loneliest existence imaginable, except for maybe solitary confinement in prison, but I’ve never been there, so maybe this is worse.

    2. Uou are right, love was never there. In my case I was 15 running from an abusive mother and he was 16 living like a 30 yr old man with no rules of any kind. He seemed stable and wanted to leave his mothers house as it was interracial and his real father put him down with racial comments. I truly believe that he wanted to present me to his father as a Caucasian girl to stop the comments

      As soon as we boarded a greyhound bus his fathers boarding house was our first stop. His father verbally abused me the next day and we left with the idea we would go to another state and start over

      As I look back I realize that I was such a quiet little girl that did not deserve his fathers rage. He was afraid his son might now ask him for something and wanted us gone

      My husband trued for 40 years to talk to that man and they each pretended they were father and son. When his father was near death his wife called and told my husband that his father did not believe that he was his son. And whdn he passed away my husband changed and acted like he no linger had to keep me happy.

      I was in his life as a beard so his father would not call him racial names.

      So there was never love, my husband did not know what emotional love was and truthfully neither did I.

      So what we did for all those years is coexist peacefully to raise sons. My husband worked much of his kids lives away and knows he has given us nothing of himself but the narcissist in him will not allow him to admit it and improve

      My advice to any woman is to never marry a man with troubled parents. Illegal dealings, drunkeness, jealousy etc. its like buying a puppy . Never buy one without the parents on site

  74. Dear Rose,

    Thank you for being here, and sharing your experience. I, too, trust that God has great plans for you! You were meant to be in this marriage for some reason, and you have learned so much about life and yourself through it.

    You are smart, strong, and independent. Your future looks so promising and you will move forward into a life of happiness, health, and love. One step at a time, you are becoming the woman you were meant to be. May God grant you peace, security, and joy no matter what you face.


  75. I’ve been with my husband 7 years, with 2 young children under 5. I was the ripe age of 17 when we met, he was 28. I was infatuated with him, so I didn’t listen to my gut or family when they told me he was controlling and not looking out for my best interests. He pushed me away from my family, cheated on me after we made a commitment to each other then i got pregnant twice while he had several drug addictions over the first few years. I wanted to leave 2 years ago but stayed because finances and fear of raising my children alone.

    Finally, he started making improvements this year but little too late as I have fallen out of desire for him even though I care about his well being. He has never been the guy I wanted to introduce to anyone because his behavior is intolerant or cruel because he feels the world is against him. I played my role with nagging and becoming bitter over the years. But God has worked through me and I have been forgiving everyone in my life, but I have trouble applying that to him still. He was indifferent to my goals and passions in life and certainly doesn’t encourage or support me. I dont want to be afraid anymore or feel guilty about living the life I deserve. I want to face my fears and I trust God has great plans for me. I no longer feel connected to him except through our children and finances and we both deserve a healthy relationship with someone who enjoys us. I was naive at 17 and thought I knew what love was but now realize I married because I was scared. Just feeling like the relationship is almost over, I feel relief even though scared, it feels like freedom to be who i want to be. Thank you for letting me share.

    1. Wow, your story is MY story too. I’ve been married since 2003. (3rd Marriage). Six months after we were married things began to fall apart for me. I found him having online conversations with other women and even went so far as to invite a woman to come see him at his work. I don’t know if that ever happened but what difference does that make. We argued about it, he left but ultimately wanted to come home and I stupidly let him. I suppose I didn’t want the world to know I had made a bad choice for a 3rd time. I haven’t trusted him since and that put a strain on our sex life although I always managed to smooth that over enough to keep him from leaving. I’m terrified of being financially ruined. I owned my home free and clear when we met. I didn’t take me long to realize that was probably the reason he wanted to marry me. He is an emotionally bankrupt man who had a hard life as a child so I suppose I felt sorry for him and made excuses for his shortcomings. After 10 yrs. I’d rather be alone doing what I want to do than trying to make him happy. Nothing I ever do seems to make him happy. He does things for his family and his kids (adults now) yet I can’t even get him to take me out once a month. I know a divorce would get very ugly. Part of me wishes he would just….well, you know. :-( I am a Christian and I hate that I even have those thoughts but sometimes I wish I would just…well, you know. WOW…just rereading what I wrote is really hitting home. All he wants is sex and all I want is to feel love. I don’t think we’ll ever get what we need from each other. How sad is that! Not sure if I feel better or worse for sharing but Thank You none the less.

  76. Dear Uber Genius,

    It sounds like you’ve tried for a long time to make your marriage work…and you’ve learned that you can’t make someone love you. Your experience with your marriage has changed you forever, for better or worse. And, it sounds like you’re not ready to leave your wife even though you don’t feel loved by her.

    What keeps you in this marriage?

  77. Seems like very few men post here. I have been in a bad marriage for years but stayed in it for my kid’s sake (2 girls and a boy) and the fact that I loved my wife. She however doesn’t seem to love anyone. The kids (now 20, 22 & 26) and I seem to work constantly to please my wife. Constant to-lists rule the day. When I bring home a $50,000 bonus from work for being the best sales rep in the country she simply says “oh I will put that in the bank.” No thanks or encouragement whatsoever. When I ask her why she can’t compliment the kids she say “it would make them needy”. She demands to get her way on the smallest of issues stating “if momma’s not happy then nobody’s happy” as her motto. She was great the two years we dated before we got married. But changed into the sociopath she now is on the first day of our marriage. I have tried to make it work for 27 years given the encouragement of my church and parents to toy it out. However unlike the movie Fireproof, it appears that a baseline of emotional devlopment is needed for any marriage to succeed. In the last few years parents, church friends, two counselors and my pastor all say I should give up and divorce her. I guess 27 years in a relationship wih unrequited love is enough. Many of my friends tell me that the grass is greener but after the enormous change that took place in my wife’s personality the day after our marriage I am forever jaded. I will not again get married due to the potential change that would occur. I have been taken for granted enough to fill a lifetime.

    1. Your story is close to mine. As you know men don’t prefer to write. I laboured and toiled for this woman for over 8 years and the day her parents provided support to her, I became ,ess of a man. The good thing is that I am doing excellent I’m my career and would love to leave the marriage after 12 years. The thoughts of having children grow up without a father figure and sacrifice for my children is the thread hanging me on. Maybe someday….

  78. If you feel stuck in a loveless marriage and there doesn’t seem like there’s anything you can do about it, have you considered leaving? Divorce isn’t my first choice when it comes to unhappy marriages, but sometimes there is no other choice.

    A marriage without love isn’t much of a relationship.

  79. My husband and I have been married for 23 years and have been out of love for at least the last 10 years. He had originally planned to leave when our son graduated from high school but my mother died and my father moved in with us. He loves my father and my father loves him so he won’t leave while he is alive. So we live like roommates, and since I quit my job to take care of my 87 year old father, I do everything at home. He does nothing. He tells me he works and that’s all he needs to do. I have learned how to fix plumbing, paint, I cook and clean. Our dishwasher broke 2 years ago and he refuses to get it fixed because I don’t do anything, I can wash dishes. We don’t talk about anything unless it has to do with our grown children or the house and of course we haven’t had sex in years. I thought I didn’t care but every day it gets harder and harder. I don’t know what to do any more.

    1. Dear Peggy,you are not alone,my situation is very much like yours.I’m raising my grandaughter now 3 and she is the reason I stay.It is very hard!Thinking of you!

  80. Dear Renee,

    I don’t think you should stay in a loveless marriage, and I don’t think you’re wrong for wanting to leave. I wonder if it’s not just a loveless marriage, but an abusive marriage. Men who abuse tend to want to isolate their wives, and not let them interact with others. It’s very unhealthy.

    Please, if you are not happy, start working towards freedom. Life is too short to be spend crying and in despair.

    And, what example are you setting for your children? What are they learning from you? Sometimes divorce isn’t as “evil” as an unhappy marriage.

    I encourage you to find someone to talk these things through with. Not necessarily a counsellor, but someone who understands marriage and life. Someone wise and compassionate, who can help you discover what you’re meant to do with your life.

    Are you doing what you’re meant to do with your life?

  81. I have been with my husband since I was 19 we have 2 children 10 and 2. I am not in love with him and have wanted to break free for a long time. I am so scared.. He makes really good money and we live a comfortable life. If I was to leave I would take that away from my kids. He is very controlling has to know where I am 24/7, don’t like me to have friends, and don’t want me to work. I do anyways but it is a battle. He thinks I need to be home with the kids. We have nothing in common anymore. He never smiles and never has so I don’t know why it bothers me now. I do everything! housework, garbage, change oil on vehicles, you name it and I do it. He thinks all he has to do is work. We don’t even have a sex life. I have told him all these things and he just begs me no to leave and says Im selfish and I am breaking up the family. I just want to enjoy someone with the same interests and someone to LAUGH with. that is very important to me. Am I wrong for wanting to leave? Should I stay because that is what will make him happy? I can handle staying even though I think I don’t love him anymore. But… do I want to? And if I leave will I lose him forever could I handle him being with someone else or getting married again? I am so confused! He loves me more than life he says.. But I don’t feel the same way. All I do is cry.. I am NOT happy.. But I don’t want to be the evil one and hurt my kids with a divorce.. Wish someone would help me understand these feelings I am having..

  82. Dear Alex,

    I’m sorry that you’re going through this. Leaving a marriage is so difficult, even if you know it’s better in the long run.

    It sounds like you’re grieving a huge loss in your life — and the fact that you couldn’t stop crying after asking him for a divorce doesn’t mean the divorce is a bad idea! It just means that you are grieving the loss of a man and a marriage that meant something to you.

    He will find a way to take care of himself, and his family will deal with the divorce in their own way. It may be painful and sad for everyone, but it is what it is.

    Take a deep breath, and walk one step at a time toward the life that is waiting for you. It doesn’t matter that nobody is waiting to sweep you away right now — that person will show up when the time is right.

    In the meantime, you need to heal and take care of yourself.

    I wish you all the best, and welcome you back anytime to let me know how you are.

    Stay true to you,

  83. Reading this articles, I cant help but feel ridiculous. I married my BFF, he is 15 years older than me. He gave me support, friendship, love and anything else I emotionally needed. Time has passed and I thought I would love him more but instead I see an old man. I try to be affectionate and do all the good things that make him happy but when I look at him…I know I am going through the motions.

    I had broken off with him prior to our marriage because being an older man he had tons of baggage an ex wife, 4 children, 5 grandchildren. I also wasnt attracted to him so I made a clean break after a year.

    My mom came to live with me and since she had met him before she would ask him to stop by my place without my knowledge. Next thing I know, all three of us are taking trips. My mom kept telling me how much he loved me and like an idiot I became wrapped up again. Looking back I should have realized what she was up to since she is always looking for the next payday.

    I was 34 with no one knocking down my door and now, I have this remorse of leaving him because he has been good man and he has always been my friend first. Last night I asked him for a divorce and since then, I cant stop crying.

    I have walked away from relationships before but I have never felt this way. I am concerned about how he will take care of himself, how his family will feel and will I be able to stand the quiet.

  84. Dear Kirsten,

    Thank you for being here, and sharing your life with me. It sounds like you’re at a huge turning point, and you feel anxious and scared about what to do with next.

    I wrote an article for you, because I have so many thoughts!

    I don’t know if it’ll help, but I hope it does. I think the key is to remember that you are NOT the only woman who has faced something like this. Gain strength and comfort from the fact that humans have been struggling with the same experiences and issues since the dawn of mankind.

    You are not alone — the trick is connecting with other women in your situation, or who you feel a kindred spirit with.

    Would you like me to write an article that describes how I started life over in Canada, after living in Kenya for three years? I have lots of practical knowledge to share :-) Let me know.

    Stay true to you,

  85. I have been married almost 25 years and am seriously considering leaving my husband, although I have thought about this possibility for many years. We have been bumbling along in a pretty peaceful relationship but not a very exciting one. I am quite a passionate and emotional person and he is very placid and introverted. I have tried to work through our problems; mostly to do with bad communication and differences in character and background; which have come to a head on a number of occasions. Usually my husband reacts badly; but we agree to try harder. At the end of the day, nothing changes. My husband’s job has taken us around many countries for all of our married life and I eventually had to give up my own career. When I was bringing up children it didnt matter, I was delighted to have the chance to spend so much time with the children, but now they have left home I am left with negligable self esteem and feeling constantly frustrated and angry . I put this down to the lack of a satisfying job and a less than satisfactory marriage . My husband cant fix my career obviously and thats a frustration for him. He has his own challenging job and little time and skill to make me feel important and loved. His trump card for getting me to stay was that he couldnt get through his job without me; this doesnt seem like a good enough reason for me to stay, or he is very bad at expressing how he feels and is unable to understand what effect that statement would have on me.
    If we had been living in one place I might have been able to develop my own interests and a group of friends more easily or followed a career; I would certainly have found it easier to leave. As it is, I feel completely without options. I am 55 and living in overseas in a country I cant contemplate staying in. The possibility for finding work would seem very slim indeed, even if I returned to my home country. I dont have anywhere to stay and cant think where to start. I have looked at a lot of blogs and information hoping for something that would help me deal with my situation, but my life is so mixed up and unusual I havent found anything yet. The fear of making things worse is very real.

  86. Dear V1986,

    Thank you for being here, and sharing your story, I wish you all the best in your relationship, and hope you and your partner are able to split amicably. You sound like a strong, smart woman – and a great role model for your baby!

    Stay true to you,

  87. I’m 26 and I met my partner 4 years ago. I moved in with him and his son just over a year after meeting. Shortly after, his other son came to live with us.
    Over the last 3 years we have had all sorts of problems with health, money, housing but we got through it and now have a 5 month old.
    I haven’t been 100% happy for the last 2 years really but I just look at other couples and think everyone’s the same really.
    I thought after our baby arrived things would improve, but they haven’t. Now I’m a Mother. I see just how bad a Father and Partner he is. :-(
    Things have been slowly getting worse and worse and today I started to pack mine and my baby’s bags.
    However, I stopped and thought why the hell should I leave! Everything is as much mine as it is his. I have no savings so I would have to stay with my Parents whom I love dearly but I haven’t lived with for over 6 years.
    I’ve told him that our relationship is over but I am not moving out. If he isn’t happy with that then he can go. I’ve also said that I think I can live together without being together. The way I feel now, I have no feelings towards him and there is no love. I suspect his feelings are of a similar nature.

    1. I have been married over 35 years. The first 25, I tried. Then an event showed me that no matter how hard I tried, he really didn’t think that much of me. I had failed to be “worthy”. So I quit trying.

      Last fall I had some good fortune with voluntary retirement and pensions. I now have enough money, for once in my life. He keeps “control” of the big money, but I know that legally, half is mine. So his “accounts” are ridiculous and pathetic. But I do keep my eye on them. I do insist everything is in both our names.

      I have come to “self actualization” slowly. This is what I have learned:

      you are responsible for your own happiness and no one else’s ( except children, till they’re grown). No one else is responsible for my happiness. To “expect” someone else to make you happy is unfair. You make your own happiness.

      If you tell yourself something long enough, you
      begin to believe it. If you tell yourself you don’t care long enough, you stop caring. You have to stop caring if caring hurts.

      I have come to the point where I will do what I want, when I want, for as long as I want. I do not have any interest in “love” or “sex”, and I do not confuse the two. I do not want another man. Have enough problems with the one I’ve got. I want to go places and have fun with my girlfriends, my women friends, and no, I’m not gay. I have always put effort into having my own friends. I will not violate the marriage, but I will do what I want and if he doesn’t like it, oh well. He can leave.

      Men don’t do well without a woman providing all the “momma” crap…….cooking, house, laundry, etc. They need women more than women need them, for sure.

      I thought many, many times about leaving him, but came to the conclusion that I will just do whatever I want, as long as I do not violate the marriage. And he can do what he wants. We can each do what we want. He likes to stay home and garden. Never wants to go much of anywhere. I like the shore, and a social life. and it’s ok. We both have a right to do what we want, as long as neither violates the marriage.

      it is only natural to seek what gives joy, and avoid what causes angst. I have learned to “detatch” from situations, keep my mouth shut, and step back to evaluate objectively and fairly. But I don’t get emotions involved, I don’t let him, or any situation with him, to take control of me. I control me.

      Basically, do what you want. if the hubby doesn’t like it, he can leave. I know where I stand legally, and I now realize I have more power then I ever realized. We are companionable enough on an everyday basis.

      Let go of the past. Do not waste one more minute wallowing in it. It’s a total waste of time, and can consume the future if you let it.
      I will not allow past hurt to make me angry or bitter. I do not want to be angry or bitter, so I just let it go. Screw it/. Not wasting anymore of my time or energy on “the relationship”.

      This is my life and I will make the best of it. I will do what I want. If he doesn’t like it, he can leave. I’m not trying to please, or displease, him. I’m trying to be true to myself, for whatever is left of my life.

      Physically, I am married. Spiritually, mentally, and especially emotionally, I am free.

      1. I dont necessarily believe men need woman more… In my case i find myself stuck in a relationship for 8 years with two children that i take care of because found with first child she was incapable of responsibility. Not only do I take care of a 6 year old Daughter and home school her ,i also take care of our 9 month old son as well.. Including cleaning,cooking, laundry. Groceries, emotional support, financial support,as well as working full time on my career. Its extremely draining to practically hold your lover’s hand the entire way and get nothing in return. Wanted marriage but she doesn’t, want a simple i love you and a kiss every now and then..but they are few. Not sure how it came to this, but i st i have been,sticking it out for my kids.. I believe i had children with a woman who is only with me because its convenient and stable… I know she does love me but is practically incapable of showing it all and what sex life we do have i feel pressured almost to keep… Or we wouldjust be co parents as roomates… Without me the kids wouldn’t have been raised by her as she lost custody of her first three… I actually found out shehad other kids after we were in a relationship… Sothe relationship has never exactly been straightforward.

        1. aj gonzales.
          I am in the same boat. We are a forgotten minority. Men that take responsibility for family while married to irresponsible women. I haven’t found any support in this position. Stay strong and don’t loose hope.

      2. Wow! I learned everything you said through therapy. After spending several years in therapy, I learned that I gave my husband my power. I finally got it back 25 years later without a divorce! I am living my life in the moment with power! I am also physically married, spiritually, mentally and emotionally free!

  88. Hey hi,
    I need some help and suggestion from you actualy i m very unhappy with my husband coz I don’t have any relationship with my husband last 2yrs n v got married in Feb 2011 even he don’t care about me and I think he dont love me then what to do ? I fail to understand …I really love him that’s y still staying with him..

  89. Here’s my newest article on why women stay in bad relationships – it may help you figure out why you’re still struggling the same relationship problems you had last year….

    The #1 Reason Women Stay in Bad Relationships

    What do think the main reason is?

  90. I am married since 5 1/2 years now with a 3 year old daughter. My husband made me live in a 2 bedroom apartment for 5years of y married life with his parents, seperated sister and his sisters daughter. I was treated like the door mat of the house. Everyone told me to have a kid and situations will improve. My husband also has a drinking problem and refuses to get help. He was sloshed drunk on the day i went into labor also. There have been times when i have been hit but innumerable times when i have been verbally abused by him and his family. I now live in an extended stay motel room with my husband and daughter. He hasnt changed a little. The drinking and abusing is constant. It affects my kid also and in order to avoid a fight i often just take all the crap he gives me without a word. I dont remember the last time he has shown any kind of love, understanding or respect towards me. I want to leave him but i fear the fact of living alone. I have suggested counselling but he refuse

  91. Dear Donna,

    I’m glad you’re going to a counselor to get your head straight! I was in counseling for a year, and it was the best thing I ever did for myself. A counselor can help you see your relationship more clearly – and help you figure out what to do with the rest of your life.

    I’m not going through the same thing in my marriage, but I just wanted to say thank you for commenting.

    Also, I’m curious…what do you want to see happen with your marriage? Do you want to stay with your husband, or leave?

  92. I am checked out of my marriage emotionally due to husband of 4 1/2 years not backing me and letting his adult children treat me and my daughter like crap. We moved here to be with some one who promised my daughters he would take care of me. However he has let his children hurt me and my daughter mentally. After over a year of taking that he was diagnosed with leukemia, had a steam cell and is cured. However he has changed so drastically that he is now rude and hateful to my daughter and me all the time. Sarcastic comments get old She just turned 18 and is getting ready to moved back to where we came from in Oklahoma to be near her sisters because of everything here and I feel like I want to go with her to be near my children and grand children. I feel bad about wanting to leave because I know people (his family) will talk, however when I try to tell him how I feel he either throws everything back on me or makes hateful comments. I can’t express my feelings at all to him, I have tried. I work full time then come home and do all the housework. He says if I ask him to help you know I am still sick you want me to get sick again. So he sits on couch watches tv lays in bed or hangs out with his dog in lap. Does very little if anything. Going to go to counselor to get my head straight. I can start over have done it and to me life is too short to live unhappy, and if he is not willing to do some changing here why should I stay. This is his house he made that clear. I sold mine to come here for what. I am so confused, hurt, angry, and resentful right now. Just looking for answers. I feel like I know what to do, I just don’t want to make a mistake in case he is acting like this due to the chemo he had over a year ago. When I think I see the light the door closes and all I see is darkness. Any one going through this kind of thing. Would be helpful to hear your comments. Thank you

  93. Dear Carol,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. It’ll give other women living in loveless marriages hope, and maybe even the strength and courage it takes to think about leaving.

    Having friends and family who support you is huge – I’m glad you can lean on them.

    I wish you all the best as you move forward with your life.


  94. I’ve been married for 28 years. My husband has developed rage since our son was about two years old (21 now). My husband says mean comments in stores and public places to me. It’s degrading. My son has watched us through all the fighting, and told me he will never get married. He won’t even date. He is so afraid that he would end up with a terrible relationship. About five years ago I left my husband and took my son to live with me. I let my husband visit whenever he wanted, because I didn’t want any legal problems. Within four months his mother past away. I felt horrible since we were all the family he had left, so we moved back with him. Things were ok the first year or so, but slowly he went back to his old self. I have a full time job, and pay most of our bills. He is on social security and is collecting unemployment. He doesn’t even really try to find a job, he just expects me to go on supporting him. I realize now that he is nothing but a bully. There is no love between us, and respect is gone too. My son and I are moving out soon, and plan to leave the state. I know we can have a better life, and I can feel like a person again somewhere else. It’s true that you need money/job, a car, support/friends or family. I would not have been able to plan my departure without the help I received from my son and the encouragement from my friends.

  95. Dear Erika,

    It sounds like you’ve been doing all the work in your relationship, and your boyfriend takes you and your love for granted. He isn’t as invested in your love as you are – which is actually normal. In most or even all relationships, one person is more invested in the other.

    But in healthy relationships, both partners work at it. It can never be just one person who is responsible for a loving, healthy marriage.

    Why don’t you want to leave him?

  96. I ‘m so broken inside.Me and my boyfriend really love each other but i don’t know for some reason we quarrel like hell.We ‘re together for more than 3 years.I do my best to make our relationship work out in all aspects and i feel i ‘m so stupid for being like that.I don’t want to leave him but all he cares is his stuff his own family,friends etc.what am i suppose to do?HElP…….

  97. I’d like to reply to Rose, she sounded so sad and yet she said she had an outgoing personality. Rose, it’s too awful to think of you subduing all the wonderful things you are to stay ‘safe’ in a loveless marriage. You sound as though you’re distant from your husband, but maybe you should be brave enough to start a conversation about a separation? He’s probably sad too, and looking for a solution. Parting doesn’t have to be a disaster scenario! It’s tricky, and sometimes you shed a few tears, but so many of us have managed to work things out and gone on to make our lives into something spectacular. For a woman, friends are the key. You sound like someone who already has, or who should have, a bundle of lovely supportive female friends to see you through – and they don’t have to hate your husband, as you don’t. Love is always the answer, but it manifests in many different, and sometimes surprising forms.

    Much love to you and him – go on and live the rest of your life the way you want to!

  98. Thank you for sharing why you’re staying in a loveless marriage! I know that your stories and comments help other women – the majority of whom don’t comment. By sharing your experience, you’re helping other women not feel so alone in their relationships and homes.

  99. I am in a loveless marriage of 14yrs I’ve had a long term affair because he neglects me.sexually other then that I stay. For finical reasons IM scared to leave my house my job to start all over it stresses me out that’s why I’ve stayed this long he’s also been abusive to Me I work but not where I can .support myself and that’s why I don’t leave

  100. I’ve been married 45 years and I stay in this sexless, loveless marriage for the money and medical benefits. Also I’m not educated enough to survive in the real world. So I stay and our paths rarely cross he lives in the basement and I upstaires.

  101. I stay because of guilt;

    Who will love him if I leave?
    Who will pay my share of the bills?

    I imagine him being alone.
    I imagine me breaking his heart.

    All these thoughts tell me I still love him, but the longer I stay, the more I hate him.

    I resent him for all the pain he’s caused me. I forgave him for cheating, but looking back, my ‘forgiveness’ has turned to bitterness. I hate him for hurting me. I hate him for looking into my eyes and lying to me. I hate him for all the names he’s called me, and for every time he’s looked at my tears with apathy.

    I in turn, hate myself for staying. How did I let my life become so consumed by him? I have an open door, but refuse to walk through it. I have created my own prison. I hold the key to my chains, but refuse to unlock them.

  102. Love is a verb….. What is a verb its a doing word…Usually people full in lust which is the mushy feeling we all feel,once that is gone we think there is no love left. People only treat you the way you let them so if you love yourself your always have love and your always be willing to give it too. You wouldnt stay in a marriage or relationship without it because you would love yourself enough to know you deserve it. Sending love to everyone who needs it cos I love myself enough to have it……..

  103. “And I think that’s the main reason women stay in bad relationships or loveless marriages: they don’t see the actual problem. The problem isn’t the relationship or the guy…it’s the woman.”

    You are absolutely right! Being in a marriage where the woman gives it their all and sacrifices so much for someone who’s biggest complaint about no loving the woman is because of her being fat , is absolutely our fault. It’s not the mans fault for not accepting and appreciated a woman hat has stood by him through all the thick and thins even though he was never, ever there for her in times of need. It’s her fault.

    It’s totally our fault when we as women get tired of picking up after these jerks, too busy being their mommy because of their irresponsibility

    This article is completely flawed.

  104. I stay because it’s easier!! Financially mostly but the key to a sucessful ‘third life’ meaning after the children have grown up etc.. Is to grow yourself as a person ie do a collage course, get involved in the things you enjoy, make connections with new people. That way you stay because it’s easier but are preparing yourself for the inevitable and when you finally get to the stage whereby you have the confidence to leave you will have a life rich in the things that do make you happy. Leaving is the hardest part but a life of misery must be hardy!!! I realised two years ago that he will never change but can’t leave so have spent all the lonely hours I have ( he ignores me mostly and sleeps in another room, we barely spk) studying which has helped me in so many ways, I’m becoming educated whilst sitting out this miserable relationship, my bedroom has become a mini libery and I sat an accees course and achieved a distinction. This has empowered me, giving me confidence and the best thing is something positive has come out of my life with this horrible man! He is violent and aggressive and emotionally controls me, but actually something positive will prevail because I’ve kept focussed on me. He is a pIg and I am preparing myself nicely for my exit! You can do same, whether its cookery or flower prapartion doing positive things for yourself can help restore the self esteem lost and making new friends who respect you can make a difference. I’ve been punched, slapped, spat at, verbally abused in front of waiting staff etc… It’s been a secret hell, my very close sisters would be stunned if they knew the truth. How I could be so weak, I couldn’t see the wood for the tree but since I started studying ( opening up career opportunities) i now envisage the day I walk with my head high. I can’t wait for that day but when it comes I’ll be ready. The moral is don’t allow that person to hinder your self growth. This is my story and how I’m dealing with it I’m not saying picking up a text book is an answer but self development is a start for getting confidence which can empower you o make decision which are right for you.

  105. I’ve been married for 14 years. I should have lived with him first because we ended up being highly incompatible after the first 6 months. I had a daughter who was 10 at the time and didn’t want to back out for her. I stayed for years hoping it would change. NOTHING has changed. I don’t love him and I simply stayed for our 11 year old son. I feel trapped and have resigned to be in a loveless marriage. I recently went on anti-depressants and got a new puppy. Both have helped immensely. Its hard to see other couples so happy after so many years and know I will never have that unless I divorce him, but it will crush my son and I will have no money to live.
    K…there’s my miserable situation..just needed to vent today. thanks for reading.

  106. If I could do it alone I would. I married young, Have no special skills, just retail. Im very outgoing, If you looked at me you would never know the pain I’m feeling…My husband knows this and uses this to his advantage. We live in seperate bedrooms and he doesn’t care as long as I’m in that home and not any where else.

  107. Dear Jody,

    Yes, I understand the “I love him, but am not in love with him” feeling! But even in the happiest, healthiest marriages, feelings of being in love come and go. It’s impossible to ALWAYS feel in love with our partners.

    Here are a few thoughts for you:

    Why Do I Stay With a Husband Who Makes Me Feel So Bad About Myself?

    I think the most important thing is for you to ask yourself why you’re staying in a loveless marriage. What is the payoff? What are you getting out of this marriage?

    Write down your reasons for staying, in a private journal or here if you’d like. That may help you decide what you should do.

    Let me know what you think!


  108. i have been married for 11 years. My husband has cheated on me twice in that time. The most recent was 2 years ago. After the other woman ended it with him, we decided to stay together. to be honest, he has never really treated me very well. He comes from a bad marriage, as his first wife cheated on him. He is verbally abusive towards myself on a regular basis. I have now met someone who makes me feel totally alive and special. I know that this is just a fleeting thing, but his treatment of me has actually brought a change in my whole attitude and the way i feel about myself. I feel beautiful and sexy again thanks to him. And, no, we have not had any physical contact with each other. We flirt on the internet. I know this is still considered cheating. But what i want to know, is how do i know if i should leave this marriage. I know my husband will never consent to councilling and always brushes me off if i try and talk about our problems. I have read all your article, but am still unsure. We have 2 children together, and i suppose i do love him, but i am no longer in love with him. Can you give me some advise?

  109. Reasons I stay in Loveless Marriage life is I am being selfish..

    1. Money, he has chronic illness, dont work, do not support me in any way, no sex, no love… still i stay because all our properties and the money i invested all stick together.

    2. My Son, One other reason is my son for me to stay, i dont want the poor boy which we bring in to this world to suffer in any way bcoz of me. Though I know after some point of time he will be selfish also.

    3. Fear, i have a fear facing the society,explaination to them.

    4. Protection, This society dont care whether you are happy in your marriage. But they want to see the so called husband around you. sometimes people look down on not just being with your husband.

    5. Peace, Iam a person when i want to enter the home must be peaceful. I dont want to ruin my peace by divorcing my husband. Divorce ruins everything you have. Some are lucky, they are happy after divorce also. May be they are rich or independent woman.

  110. I stay in my loveless marriage because its cheaper. Smaller bills and bigger account. I don’t trust my husband and would cheat on him if the opportunity presented itself. We have 3 kids together and he is a great dad. However, he is lacking in the commitment department. I’m just riding on this train till my transfer arrives which will take me to my destination

  111. hi Daryl, the only thing I can think of is Co-dependants Anonymous, look them up and see if they hold meetings in your area

  112. I stay in a loveless marriage for several reasons.

    1. Money – I am lucky to have a hard working husband who pays half the rent and half the bills. without him I would have to pay the whole household expenses as he works off the books and would give that money to another woman.

    2. Dating Nightmare – I see single people struggling to find a partner and getting used, hit or having their things stolen and being terribly alone. I prefer to be polite and stay with him.

    3. Don’t want to break up the family I have a six year old daughter and she needs her Father. I don’t want strange men coming in to the house.

    4. Safety – i watch the cable shows and see that 90% of the victims are single women in different scenarios. Home break in with brutal rapes, when my husband is home, I can sleep peacefully knowing that if there were a home invasion my husband would protect me and the kids.

  113. I like everything said. However, I have a question. I’m a male and I lost my identity in my marriage years ago and I’m struggling to find a way to get it back. Does anyone know of some kind of support group for men I can contact?

  114. Not all men are the cause or reason for loveless marriages. Sometimes, it’s the wives who are preoccupied, distant, or not interested in their husbands the way they were in the first few years of marriage.

  115. I also like the rest of you women are in a bad relationship but wondering why we aren’t more like the men.?… I’m done trying to work things out and I’m Going to play him like a toy. I’m done being a good gf and I’m living my life however I want. I suggest you women do the same bc ur husbands are..

  116. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Nicole, you are not wrong for wanting to leave your marriage! I wrote this article for you, and for all women who feel stuck in loveless marriages and bad relationships:

    Are You Wrong or Selfish for Wanting a Divorce? It Depends

    I’ve always thought the “for better or worse” marriage vows excluded things like addiction, abuse, and lack of love.

  117. RE: brigitte says:
    April 8, 2012 at 6:39 am
    You hit the nail square on the head!!! Every thought I’ve had and concept i’ve discovered in this 30 year roller coaster of a life with this man. Birgitte, we must be twins from another life. Recognizing your own thoughts and seeing them in black and white is something beyond description.

  118. I have a hard time leaving because I feel like I am abandoning my husband through the hard times and I vowed for better or worse. He is addicted to drugs. He started very shortly after we got married. I want to leave because I am so unhappy in this marriage. My husband doesn’t provide anything for me financially, emotionally, or any other way. I have always been the bread winner which wasn’t a big deal but I would have to hide my keys, money, bank cards, and checks because he would take money out of the account for drugs. I would come home from work and not know if I would see my husband that day. Sometimes he would be gone all day and then call me 3am to pick him up from wherever he was. He sometimes would leave in the middle of the night and I would cry and worry not knowing if he was ok. Eventually I began doing drugs as well and began to do it with him just so I would know where he was and so that he would no longer steal from me. I have lost my job, car, and house because of drugs. I decided this wasn’t me and quit drugs. He went to rehab after I told him I couldn’t take his addiction any more. We have been separated for over a year, trying to make things work but but recently he has gone back to drugs. I haven’t heard from him in 4 days. He sold his cell phone and some one else answered it. I am fed up and miserable and too afraid to live with someone like that because I don’t want to start doing drugs again. When high he gets out of control and has place his hands around my neck. I’m seriously thinking about divorce because I want better but feel as a wife that I am giving up on my husband when he needs help. Am I wrong or selfish for wanting a divorce?

  119. I have been with my man for 26 years. I married right out of high school to a boy that I didn’t really love because I wanted to get away from home. This man, Sam, I will call him, was in our group of friends and was the best man in our wedding. My first husband was abusive and very jealous and I left him within a year. Sam stepped in acting like Prince Charming and swept me off my feet. We dated for quite awhile and then moved in together. I really wasn’t ready but he pushed and pushed until I relented. After 5 years together, we had a baby son. I gained almost 100 pounds – I had toxemia and almost died. I had lost most of that weight except for about 20 pounds and got pregnant with our other son. After he was born, my man changed. I gained alot of weight with the last one too but was working on losing it. He started staying out late after work and I found out that he was having an affair. He came home one night drunk. I had my baby in my arms and my toddler was in the bed. He slammed my head against the door frame of the bathroom and told me he didn’t believe that either of the babies was his. I told him to go ahead and get a DNA test. He wouldn’t. I then found out about his affair and my baby wasn’t even a year old. I made him get an AIDS test. I thought things would be ok after that but it wasn’t. I forgave him but he fished for an excuse to justify what he did. Because he was the best man in my wedding to my first husband, he knew that before I got with him, that I went out dancing with friends and he concocted an idea that I had slept around with men from our hometown that we went dancing with as a group, which was absurd. I didn’t leave him because I felt I had to stay with him because of the kids. We lived together 15 years and then he had some medical issues and we legally got married (bad mistake). He now threatens to take my inherited property that we live on. I am STUCK!!! He barely has a kind word for me – he never touches me -if his arm brushes mine, he jerks away. We have not had sex for 10 years and we are 46 years old. I know that he don’t run around on me anymore because he never leaves the house – he is disabled now. He has become nonsexual and detests me so much that he don’t want me. I am a professional woman that is admired greatly in my community and I know that if people knew the truth, they would be shocked. I am so sad, depressed and mortified about my situation. We live on my dad’s farm on a lot that he deeded to me. I can never leave until he passes but once he does, I will get an apt. in town and leave him and the kids to have their fun. He has turned them mostly against me because of his manipulative ways. They have never seen a normal relationship – they are 21 and 19 and don’t even try to date – they have seen so much from us that I guess they dont want anything to do with love. Very sad.

  120. I stay because I am scared I’ll regret leaving, Aldo because I dont want to be 20 and already divorced. He doesn’t show love though. When we first met he did until I moved in and we married right away, I’m scared he’s using me because he’s an immigrant… He is always yelling now and acts like he hates me. I guess I have to face my fears and leave.

  121. I did not realize when I married my husband that he was only looking for a trophy until I became physically ill with cancer. He said he did not want to have a sick wife because he had a sick mother his entire childhood.

    Well he ended up asking me to call a divorce lawyer one day suddenly and wanted everything to end. I called a lawyer and he asked me why so suddenly my husband wanted a divorce. I told him I did not know and immediately he thought my husband was dating. I explained I did not see any signs of another relationship.

    Until one day I discovered he was on a Mail Order Dating Service promising marriage to several different ladies.

    So basically he bullied me into a divorce. Within days of the divorce being finalized he left the country to find his new love. Needless to say he did actually go with one of the girls he had been corresponding with and did not get engaged or married to her. We continue to live together and just recently I found him on another dating service in a different country so he is back at it. I think he plans to leave in September.

    He is trying to get out of paying my settlement. I am very discouraged and depressed about the situation. I
    really loved this man but I know I must move on and I also hate fighting. I am older now and I really wanted this marriage to work. We have been together for over 20 years but he is looking for a beautiful young wife
    and I have to accept this situation for what it is. I need to move on but in order to do this I need my settlement and a lot of emotional support. My energy is drained and I have no self-esteem left.

  122. Yes, guys, it does sometimes happen the other way around but obviously not often enough for it to be written about in men’s magazines … they’re too busy explaining how to get good fellatio maybe? Why don’t you ask a men’s site or mag to do a few features articles on it instead of trying to make these women feel as if they have no right to complain.

  123. I don’t stay because he’s abusive, I stay because I fear he could become so if I leave. Married 16 yrs. Sometimes he could be somewhat of an emotional ‘bully’ yelling and flaring his nostrils, doing his ‘man’ thing. I would immediately shut down since I am soo not a fighter. This wasn’t often, maybe once or twice a year in a particularly heated argument – especially if he was CLEARLY in the wrong. Then I asked for a divorce and furniture started flying, walls got holes, doors slammed and broken, things flying at my head. Talk of how I was ruining his life and everything he had to live for, etc. I basically backed off because of my fear that this would progress to the awful stories you hear of in the news, or at the very least, that even if we did divorce his anger would be devastating and damaging to us raising our 6yo.

  124. I stay because it’s easier than leaving. He doesn’t beat me. He just doesn’t love me. We stayed together for our new baby. I knew from my first day I moved my stuff into the house that he didn’t love me or feel any enthusiasm for our union, because he didn’t empty any cabinets for me or even throw away his ex wife’s douches and lubricants under my side of the bathroom sink. He didn’t even want to go out and celebrate my moving in. He’s only done one family holiday. Instead of buying a ring and marrying me, he put a down payment on a bass boat. I never felt like he loved me. In this relationship, I live with a cold, unceremonious man who expects me to work 7 days a week and raise children on my own while doing all of the housework. I have a good job. I make $60000 a year. I don’t have to stay. But I don’t have to sweat bills like I used to and my kids are in a better school district. Considering that I’ve never been treated well, it’s just par for the course of my life. So I live my life with a cold, selfish, unloving man because he is kind enough to allow two children who aren’t his dwell under his roof with their baby brother and their mother. When he is disrespectful, I deal with it and cry on the way to work. It’s not better than living alone, but it’s better than living alone and paying all the bills. I sacrifice my happiness for my children’s education and their quality of life. I have accepted that I may never know life with a loving man. That only happens in fairy tales. I recently have up on him bring any sort of companion and now look to my friends and family to treat me with life, instead of driving myself to am early grave waiting on a man that just doesn’t care and never really did.

  125. Veronica I do sympathise with your situation. When your vunerable like you were from your past it’s easy become entangled with a partner who has abusive potential. The hardest thing is that this type of abuse erodes confidence and the ability to be able to leave. It also leads to having a very limited number of people you get to sustain connections with so somewhat isolating you. The fact that you have managed to have a part time job is great and promising. You ought to see a lawyer to find out if it is to your advantage to go for a settlement and divorce now. If any of your teenage sons are under 18yo and remain with you it can increase your settlement aside from him needing to pay for them anyway. If you look poorer with a part time job your settlement is far more likely to be higher than if you looked self sufficient with a full time job. It looks good you tried , but you don’t yet want a fulltime job untill finishing a settlement in your favour. Try and save if you can some money to start paying a lawyer something to commence on a settlement though don’t let that hold you back from getting initial advice. Many lawyers if they can see assets he’d have to give you will let you deffer paying them. You may get the house or it be sold and be entitled to half or more of the proceeds. It’s hard, but if you’re really close to going, do it as soon as you get legal advice without him knowing for as long as practical.

  126. A loveless marriage is a very reasonable proposition under certain circumstances. If it’s been a lengthy marriage, they can be confident that their husband won’t suddenly leave them, would be financially worse off if divorcing and the husband is not abusive or personality disordered. If the alcoholism has been lengthy enough to determine that it doesn’t cause abuse and violence towards her, remains inane, grotesque without major impact on material assets it too can be endured.

    Smart women create friendships and follow interests, becoming self sufficient and behave respectfully and with a degree of consideration towards their stranger aquintance spouse.

    Logically negativity expressed gains nothing and there is power in driving civil behaviours. At the same time clearly indicate significantly disrespectful behaviours or words to you aren’t acceptable. If you can set an irreproachable bench mark you can say whatever is undeserved , unwarrented and expect to be treated with the same curtesy and respectful treatment you deliver and he can write his peeves in a private diary , but not subject you to them. Do add though if he wants to make reasonable request or express a complaint appropriately then do so.

    The alternatives in starting over entail the building up of independance, friendships, finding intersts to persue, are the same without the material means and no security and less fit in society. Add to that becoming later a burden on ones children for extra assistance and complexity over visits at festive times.

    There are few possible pay offs by leaving. One is in not needing to have to be fitting in with anyone, being able to live in less order. Another can be the potential for some episodes of brief exciting sex that ends with hopeless anti commitment, left over men.

    Realistically not that many people have love left in their marriages, but continue. The least unhappy loveless marriages are where spouses don’t dwell on the angst of being in a loveless marriage, but get a life while remaining.

    I went through a most interesting learning episode in social work dealing with elderly persons support services. I dealt with women who truly had been in loveless marriages with demanding husbands who were gruff even when ailing and these wives endlessly complaining about them. Then when the husband died I was so stunned on my follow up visit that the wife wasn’t relieved or jubilating, but deeply distressed about loosing him. The invisible connection and caring over time can be a lot deeper than others or even the wife knew until he was gone.

    Today’s error is in setting too much store on “love”, “meaningful communication”,”sharing enough in common”, “still being attracted to a spouse”. Good reality would be to realise long term marriage means your spouse gets you as your lover and best friend, then becomes a buisness partner, a family member and occasional f-ck buddy.

  127. I’ve been in a bad marriage for a long time. I can’t remember the last time we were intimate or, for that matter, the last time he really kissed me. But I can remember the last time he yelled at me – yesterday, the day before, the day before that, the day before that, etc. I was sexually abused as a child and I know that has a lot to do with why I chose him. I’ve been telling myself for 20 years that things would get better but they haven’t. I have two beautiful teenage boys and I’m ashamed that I’ve allowed them to be a part of this. They’ve witnessed his verbal abuse to me and to them as well. But I am terrified. I’m almost paralyzed with fear. You see, I have no support system – no friends I can count on and no family. I have a part-time job and have been trying to get a full-time job because I don’t want to have to rely on my husband when I finally get the courage to leave. I sound pretty pathetic but I know I have to make this happen. If anyone is reading this and hasn’t spent 20 years with someone who is not very nice to them, leave now. The longer you stay, the harder it gets.

  128. Too many of us put ourselves or self respect on the back burner and when I say this to one I say it to myself.We as women put too much emphasis on our so called loved ones. We go through heaven and hell. Many times my mom and my sister told me to just take care of you and those kids. I’m so tired of begging my husband of 2 years to get help.He grew up angry I guess I just brought it out. Now Im learning he’s passive aggressive, next I ask him do he love me.. he didnt really love me. He pulled this crap with his ex.(just to see what she say) I’m going through bad stress. I know I am not alone. Ladies if you have to seperate take the kids and just take a breather.

    I plan on doing it. My husband is 27 acts like a child. We both verbally abuse each other.We dont think enough to stop and say kids are involved.No matter who talks to him he wont listen. my main reason for staying for now is because of my beliefs. God hates divorce and no matter how unfair it sounds. I still want to leave. I would rather leave or seperate to get myself together than to stay with a man who wants to bring horrible morals into a home.

    And if I could I would tell his mother right to her face how horrible she is for bringing kids into the world and never showing them love.All she wants is money and gossip…God forbid our daughter turn out to be like his family.

    I wish I could or even someone else could start an organization for women to get their self esteem back,our confidence to take control over your situation not your boyfriend or your husband. I wish I could lend a hand to broken hearts and depressed women to fight hoplessness. Let us cry together not the tears of sorrow but tears of joy and happiness. To raise our children to be actual children of the future. To show them to be great leaders and not followers. To not be intimated or easily moved, shaken or stirred by a man.To hold our ground and find peace whenever we walk. To breathe the air of dignity and wisdom. Its not a fairy tale its to keep you sane.

  129. Helen-Marie – I don’t want to advise you but I would ask you to consider:

    You can live without this man
    You can bring your beautiful boy up without all this arguing and turmoil in his life – imagine how wonderful just the two of you would be.(millions do it very, very happily)
    There are stacks of men who love and take on families so your future needn’t be empty of a different kind of love than that for your son.
    You son’s father can have access and you can be ‘friends’ with work.
    Be brave
    Good luck

  130. Hi,

    I just stumbled upon this and have no one else to talk to so I would really appreciate anyone’s opinion on this problem.

    I have been with my boyfriend for less than 2 years, however we have had an (unexpected) amazing baby boy but we hardly knew eachother when I fell pregnant even though we thought we did.

    Now, we have been going through such a bad patch since my son was born, he is 8 months old now. When we get on we are fine, although more like ‘mates’ now when we argue they are severe arguments, I am scared of him when he flips and dread him coming home from work in case he is in a bad mood. He will follow me around arguing with me until I break down, asking why? to everything I say and he makes me say things I don’t mean.

    In an argument yesterday he said to me he will never ever marry me as he believes I am a horrible person (with little evidence to back this up except I chose another man over him at the beginning of our relationship) he doesn’t think he loves me and that in the future, if he meets anyone who is a better person than me he will leave me.

    I am wondering why I am still with him. An hour later he is speaking normally to me asking why am I in a mood, as if he said nothing! I am trying to finish my degree as well as be a mum and he has said he doesn’t give a f*** about my work and he will dump me if I fail

    Please help

  131. Lady not so lucky

    Me and my husband got together in ’99. When I got with him I found out he had a girlfriend and was an habitual cheater. I was young and I didn’t care, so after about 1 year we had our daughter and another. He went to prison and I found out he had 2 more kids. I was upset so I decided not to deal with him anymore. He got out of prison 2 years later and I brought my childrento visit him. After 2 weeks w decided to give this another go. Everything has been good for the past 9 years. We just got married Sept. 2010. So in Aug. 2011, he had to get custody of one of his children that he had from one of those one night stands. I feel a certain kind of way. All those negative feelings came right back. It bothers me having to take care of his problem. I’m sorry if I sound mean but I thought I forgave him but I guess I didn’t. Please help me I don’t want to feel like this anymore.

  132. I have been in this marriage for 5 years now and have one three and a half year old child. My marriage is loveless and all I am doing is just fulfilling my responsibilities of marriage….. Even sexually. Love has been of great importance to me all my life and I had always yearned for a mans love but perhaps it is not in my Fate. I used to love my husband a lot after marriage but few things happened and every dream of love just shattered. Although they were not big issues but it did leave all aspects of my marriage scarred emotional as well as physical. Nothing seems right but I just cant walk away. I Am scared….. very scared , so I seek solace in other things and try to keep myself busy… but the truth exposes itself time n again

  133. Kim. You sound like you would like to leave but you’re torn by your responsibilities to yourself, your children and even regarding your feelings for your deadbeat husband. Take it from me (45 years married) he won’t change. If you are ready to be on your own again, you need to call a hotline for abused women. They can help you to remove yourself from his clutches without endangering yourself or your children. I don’t envy your position and my heart goes out to you. You really do deserve better than what he is able/willing to give you. And if you are having these problems so early in your marriage, it’s not a good sign for the future. Your children will be damaged by watching how he treats you. Not to mention what it will do to your self-esteem as time goes on. I will project a lot of good thoughts in your direction. You are in my prayers.

  134. I have been married a little over a year, although we have been together for 4 years. I am the only one who works, full time, goes to school full time and raising 3 sons, from a revious marriage. He does nothing but lay in bed and smoke weed and other drugs Im sure of it. He doesnt work, wont look for work, goes and does as he pleases,spends weeks at his mommas because she needs his HELP. WHile I am at home doing everything I am responsible for and taking care of HIS grandfather. He doesnt clean, cook, work or help withhis grandfather. He thinks my money is his money and should be able to take and spend whatever he wants on whatever he wants, (drugs), and I am suppose to be ok with this because no one else would want me with 3 kids. He allows his friend to be very cruel to me, allows his mother to be very cruel to me, and I am not allowed to defend myself to them because they are his family and long time friend, but he wont defend me to them at all. and he thinks this is ok. I have had enough but I don’t know how to leave because I do truely love him, but I know this will never change and I don’t want to always live my life this way. I feel that if he loved me the way a husband loves a wife, it would come naturally to protect me, want to take care of me, not hurt me, verbally and pyhsically. What do I do? How do I do it? When I tell him I am leaving he swears things are going to change and he is going to get a job and help. But it doesnt happen. We are getting a huge refund back this year mainly because of MY kids and the fact that IM in school and my job, and he thinks he is entitled to half of the refund. He work 5 months out of the year, and 80% of the income was made by me. Tell me what you think. I need all the advice and encouragement I can get.

  135. We had our oldest at a young age and divorced after six years only to get back together, and have another child who is now 10. He’s a great dad, but a lousy partner. We don’t have anything in common anymore and barely speak to one another. He’s incredibly cold and I can’t even tell you the last time that he gave me a hug (way too many years ago). I feel like I deserve so much more but I feel like I’m trapped until my youngest graduates. Like the other women, I don’t want to disrupt his life. Even though I work, have my own accounts and own a house, I don’t want make my child feel that he has to make a choice. At the times, the loneliness is so difficult to deal with and it can be so depressing. It’s a miserable existence but it’s not forever even if it feels that way!

  136. Sally, I know how you feel. I am married 43 yrs this year. I am 62 and he 63. We had two children and now 4 grandchildren. Which he adores and is a wonderful Poppa. He too drinks and hides the fact, I actually don’t care anymore. His worst problem is he says things without thinking of the consequences and I am embarrased to be around him. “Mouth has no filter”..I stay because ????????

  137. Rich without $

    Rich, you’re right that there are men who experience the flip side of this problem. But the topic is “Why do Women stay in Loveless marriages?” Maybe there is another blog that addresses the same problem for men. I would be interested in reading that as well.

  138. I stay because this is a way for me to fix myself. Weird? Maybe! We dated for 6 months before I became pregnant and moved in. He never officially proposed but we got married, bought a house and had 2 more kids. What I deal with now is partially my fault because I am insecure and I have little confidence. He once said to me that if it wasn’t for the kids, he would have left a long time ago. After 8 years and a lot of mean comments, silent treatments, etc… I’m the one realizing I don’t love him anymore but I now have to focus on me and the kids, live without his love and learn to love myself. If I leave, I am avoiding it all I think. I don’t blame him for my unhappiness, I blame my poor choices motivated by the fear of never being loved. Turns out what you are afraid of, you attract!

  139. The love has been gone. No passion, no communication, just strangers living under the same roof. No help around the house, no help with baby, just silence and distance. I have better conversations with strangers than with him. Sad I know. I am officially working on the only reason to leave. The life, love and sanity of my child and myself. That’s all that matters now. Why waste time, energy and potential happiness, on someone who isn’t. Worth it, and that you no longer love. Go find your happiness, even if it consists of being alone!

  140. well the only reason i’m staying is not because of the time investested or because of my child. I woke up one day and all that i felt for him was gone, I nolonger cared or loved him, I never wanted any intimacy with him. All because of the different women he kept on bringing into our lives. Well i also realised that we are just two people raising a child together. But i stay because i want to hurt him so badly, that desire to do so in me engulfs me so much, i am just working on my plan so patience is essential. I have become the perfect woman, i am making him fall inlove with me everyday, i am becoming more involved in his activities and he feels he has to do more to show me he loves me and he does, but i am having an affair that i made sure he found out and he still forgave me and he thinks its over but its not. He does his best to make me happy but i am not there anymore…little does he know that all his effort will be crushed when he least expects it.

  141. I’ve been married for 45 years to an alcoholic who sneaks to drink. He has taken us through bankruptcy by running up credit card bills while unemployed. We have moved 20 times during our marriage, mostly because he lost his job and we had to move somewhere else. We have two kids who are grown now and one grandchild.

    Today he confessed that he had run up $5,000 in credit card bills. He told me that after I told him I inherited some money from my deceased uncle. He wanted me to use the money to pay off his bills.

    Why do I stay? In the beginning I thought he just needed to grow up and he would become a better husband and father by learning to do things better. He went to a psychologist for 5 years one time but nothing changed. We also visited 4 different marriage therapists over a period of two years. Nothing changed except that we set up separate bank accounts and divided the bills between us. I looked the other way and gave him a chance to grow up and become responsible with money. I allowed him his space. He needs a lot of space.

    I felt very lonely when he went through a depression that lasted 15 years. I had to find my own life and develop my own friends. He is pleasant to me now, but he doesn’t know that I know he drinks every day before coming home.

    I’ve come to realize that divorce won’t solve anything. I’ll be alone, and at the age of 70 who wants to start another relationship. He’ll be alone, too, and he won’t make it. I worry that he can’t make it without me to take care of everything. He is very irresponsible in every sense of the word. And he is 73 years old now with a multitude of physical and mental problems.

    Why do I stay? Because although I don’t love him, I care about him and I would worry what’s happening to him if he were living alone. Our grandchild adores him and he would worry too if Grandpa were alone. He would wonder why Grandma can’t take care of Grandpa and he is too young to be able to take care of him himself.

    It’s been a hard life for me and I sometimes wonder if there would have been someone else who would have treated me better. Now I know there never will be – and there’s this to consider. He is who he is with all of his faults. He is not capable of loving me the way I want to be loved. He is complicated as we all are, and there is a lot of good in him, but his mental problems bring pain to me. No one else feels it. He reserves his worse treatment for me. But I would miss him if he were gone.

    His children have never had to feel the pain of his drinking. As a father, he was a good playmate. Mom handled all the discipline and the necessities. They probably grew up missing having a father figure. But they don’t go through the pain.

    It’s been my job to keep everything looking nice from the outside. People would probably be surprised if they knew the secrets. It doesn’t really matter what they think, though. That has never stopped me from doing things.

    I think our children would be angry with me if I left him, because they feel it is my job to take care of him. And it would be awkward for them to have to handle visits with two parents after all these years.

    And then again, there is the problem – I care about him and would worry about him.

    1. I am in the exact same situation except it is me with the poor health. I tried to leave my husband so many times in the last 42 years but he always controlled the money, health insurance, etcetera. He does not have any friends and does that ” poor me, puppy dog look” when I try to be assertive. I let it make me feel guilty. At 67 years old I don’t have the energy to leave and start over but I find myself resenting him more and more each day. He is very controlling. I am so unhappy I constantly am wishing I would die. I think that is why I got cancer a few years back and had a heart attack a couple years ago. I stay depressed despite excellent medical care and yes, I have been in therapy for years. I feel as if my “Catholic guilt” has play a large part in my staying too. I don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, just biding my time until I have another heart attack. I spend each day in isolation. I only leave the house for doctor appointments. I sit on the couch all day and do nothing. Once a week I wash clothes and straighten up the house. My life is miserable. I have lost all hope of ever having any semblance of happiness or joy in my life…..but I guess this is my choice. Sad as it is

      1. I am in the same boat. But no puppy dog eyes here. I am simply now his personal slave – how did I allow an illiterate person to become my boss – what a fool I am – I tend to believe more and more the rants towards me. That I am f…n stupid and brain dead – his favourite words. For some reason now my sons have great empathy with their father because hey, his business has gone down the tubes – and I am prime-evil in everyone’s eyes. I now have systemic rheumatoid arthritis and to boot I am ANA positive which worries me but I have to keep it to myself – I am in agony because he has zero sympathy with a wounded person. yes, he controlls all the money (which he used up on bad decisions) and he used up mine (yes, stupid is ME) when I was the only one earning it for 20 years. I cannot even afford suicide because the one privilege still in my life is that I am there for my elderly mother to do everything for her. If I’m gone she will have no-one. All the family have fled from south africa. It’s me and mom – I can’t burden her with my troubles she’s too old.

    2. Sally, This is my situation almost exactly. I have been married 42 years. My husband is not alcoholic, but he has been diagnosed bi-polar. He will soon be 62 has COPD, a Bad back, seizure disorder and other things wrong. At this point I feel more like his care giver. I fell out of love with him many years ago and we have separate rooms. We are cordial, have family functions and still enjoy doing some things together. It is what it is. Like you said, Who wants to start over now? Blessings on your journey.

  142. my kids, thats about the only reason i’m here. never know maybe one day he will put the bottle down and notice me but i doubt it. For now i have to endure the decision i made to be with him. I have to much to complain and be upset about but i’m still here and until i leave i have no right to speak out about it. worked super hard to loose weight after our third baby but he could never compliment me or encourage me, would just be annoyed if i spoke about myself as that is considered being selfish and big headed. But i did it i got back to before all babies weight and because i had no one being proud of me i fell back into my eating disorder. But i know he likes it. not sure if its because he loves super skinny girls or because he knows how fragile i am when i am like that.

  143. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Rich ~ Yes, I agree that bad relationships and loveless marriages are more woman-focused than man-focused. I think that’s because men don’t talk about bad marriages or loveless marriages as much as women do.

    Rabi ~ Thanks for your comments. Sometimes it is worth staying in a marriage that isn’t as loving as you’d like, for the sake of the kids. I hope you and your husband find ways to reconnect and love each other again.

  144. the reason why i remain in my loveless marriege is because of the children. we have four lovely children which i felt that divoce will obstrcut their well being. moreover i think my husband love me but he doesnt know how to express it and he dont want to take counseling.

  145. It’s always about the poor women this, poor women that! Whenever it’s about Men getting used, cheated on, beat on, not-Loved, dumped, etc. All you will hear about it in/from western societies, is the wind blowing and not a peep.

  146. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for your comments. I also think that staying in a loveless marriage is a form of security. The hell you know is better than the hell you don’t know!

    Money is a huge reason women stay with men who don’t love them, or men they don’t love.

  147. No way you can compare having no relationship with having no money, with no money you can’t survive, with no relationship yes you can.

    You can’t say those two things are at the same level.

  148. i have been through relationships where men were non-committal. then i have had friends that have been married and wished they were single because they are married but deal with too many pressures. sadly, even though i once desired to be married, i feel less, and less wanting of marriage. i hope this is not a negative thing. i just feel i do not want to sacrifice more. i am a single parent and the thought of sacrificing emotionally especially to accommodate another person, is not welcoming. with my child i can do it, that’s different. just not sure i can do that for an adult.

  149. I would not leave house, 401k, savings, money, health insurance and a comfortable life behind. I rather would stick it out. I have been married for 35 years , the last 10 years we lived seperate lives. He has a girl friend now.

  150. what about these 5 reasons for me no money, no job, no car, no family to help and no friends. None of the reasons above apply to me. If I just left I would have nothing and be homeless. What about those women???

  151. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for your comments and tips for why women stay in loveless marriages. I think every wife has a different reason for staying in a bad relationship – and even if she understands her reasons, she may still stay stuck!

  152. Marriage is hard work. Other than love, it requires commitment, trust, patience, understanding, and all those other positive characteristics that your mom says you should possess. It’s not like your day job that you can just quit and leave once you find something new. So unless you can see yourself doing this kind of work over and over again for the next 100 years, don’t commit and spare the other person her own 100 years.

  153. “Never commit to something you’re not 100% sure of. Think and rethink. I know men are sometimes unfairly characterized in these kinds of situations, but you gotta admit that it’s usually the guy who gets to ask the big question. Knowing how emotional and attached women can get, make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into and that you can see through it in the end. Those who “”initiate”” should be the last to quit.

  154. That’s why I say never plunge into marriage. Test the waters first and see if he’d be a good partner or not. And never ever invest your full energy in a relationship. Leave some for yourself. When you love and respect yourself, you won’t allow jerks to do jerky things to you.

  155. How come its all about women taking the beating when it can be the other way around? It does happen that women are at the wrong end of the relationship and it is the men who had to patiently wait and fix the relationship. Write something about that.

  156. Being in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship is one thing. It’s easier to let go as there are not much to think about. Unlike in marriages: you have to think about the properties, the investments and most especially the kids. You can’t blame women for not leaving a relationship. There are just too many things to think about and being emotional creatures, it can cloud reasons and make less than smart decisions that are made for good intentions.

  157. I have read somewhere that most women get the “superhero” syndrome when they get into relationships. When they meet a man with shortcomings, they tend to believe that with the power of their love and care, they will be able to change that man into a better person and that they are the only one who can “”save”” him. I guess it comes with the motherly instincts, or from watching too much drama series on TV.

  158. You know what they say: bad habits die hard. And when you’ve been hooked on a relationship for a long time, women will find it harder to quit, even if they know in their heart and mind that it’s time to leave. I guess more than will power, a hard slap on the face (literally and figuratively) should make the girl face reality. And that may not even be enough for her to wake up.

  159. If I’m the guy and I know that the relationship isn’t working after doing everything to save it – marriage counseling, second honeymoon, I’ll be the first person to tell my wife/girlfriend that it’s time to move on. It will be hard for the kids (if there are any) but it will be harder for them to see their parents fighting night and day or worse, not talking as if the other person doesn’t exist.

  160. It’s not just the women who stick around the marriage because of the kids. Men do that too. Men are just more of doers than sayers compared to women. Just because we don’t talk it or discuss it doesn’t mean we don’t care about it.

  161. It’s common to hear about battered women, but not common to hear about battered men. But there is such a thing. I guess women are just more vocal about these kinds of things than men that’s why they get more sympathy out of it.