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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5763
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I have been traveling extensively for work lately and while

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I have been traveling extensively for work lately and while I have been gone my husband has found a new freedom, with his friends that he is enjoying immensely. When I returned from my last trip he told me that he doesn't see me fitting into his new lifestyle. We talked about trying to work on our relationship; talking more, planning a date night, making an effort to do nice things for each other etc. He said he can't IMAGINE what we would talk about, especially on a date - he doesn't have any desire to plan ahead and think about what he might cook me for dinner, or when to send me fowers, as he now prefers to 'go with the flow and be free to hang out with his friends' whenever they call him. This is a second marriage for both of us - we left our first spouses 10 years ago so we could be together and swore that there was nothing that would ever keep us apart. He has 3 children, almost grown, with his first wife, and I have an 18 year old. For years we talked about how nice it was to still be so young (he is 41, I am 44) and have this beautiful life we had built together and look forward to growing old together. I tell him I love him, and he responds with a hhmmm. I asked to at least make an effort for the next 6 months, so we weren't giving up without at least trying, and he asked if there was any point, if it would just delay the inevitable. I am giving it 100%, because I just don't want this to end - he is giving it 1%, at best. Help!
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.


It sounds like your husband has decided he wants out of the marriage. He has put you in a bad position by not wanting to work on the marriage. This could be a stage he is going through, or he could really want out. There is no way to be sure but there are some things you can try in response.


Ask him to go to therapy with you. Tell him that if he does want to leave, then this way you both can be sure before you end everything then end up sorry you did. Talk with your doctor about a referral, or if you attend church, talk with your pastor. You can also search on line at If your husband will not go with you, go alone. You need the support right now and the help of a neutral person to figure out how you want to handle this situation.


You can also give him the space he wants. Tell him that you will give him the freedom but you want to stay married. Let him go out with his friends and do what he wishes. But rule out any infidelity. That is the limit. Otherwise, he can do as he pleases, as long as he doesn't hurt you. Treat it like a roommate situation. It is not ideal for you, but it may give him a chance to work out these feelings without you having to divorce.


Have a trial separation. See how that works. It gives him the freedom and you the time to work on your marriage and your feelings about what is going on.


As you decide what to do, make sure you take care of yourself. You have been giving a lot to your marriage and getting very little back. Go out with some friends and have dinner, get a new hair style, or try a manicure. Gather support from friends and family. Do not stay alone at home. Do what you can to keep yourself busy. If you find you are worried too much, assign a time during the day when you will think about your marriage. Then think about other things until then.


Here are some books that can help you:


Why Men Fall Out of Love: What Every Woman Needs to Understand by Michael French


How to Get Your Lover Back: Successful Strategies for Starting Over (& Making It Better Than It Was Before) by Blase Harris


My Husband Just Told Me He Wants a Divorce and I'm Totally Devastated! Help!: 13 Secrets to Manage Your Marriage (and Your Sanity) While You Deal with Your Heartbreak - Kindle eBook by Elle Peterson


You can find these books on or your local library may have them for you.


I hope this has helped you,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you - one more thing.
My husband is the oldest of 6 children, his parents have been married for 43 years - they adore me, and have often commented that while they were unhappy about their son's first divorce, they do see that he is much happier in this marriage than in his last. Aside from one sister who lost her husband tragically at 37 years old, the rest of his siblings are married. His parents are very proud of their family. My husband is very nervous about telling his parents about our situation, because of their beliefs and because of how much they love me. He knows they will give him grief over it, and he doesn't want to tell them if/when we separate. Would it be okay for me to call and talk to them before he has even said anything to them?
He also still wants to be intimate, as he pointed out that that is still a healthy and satisfying part of our marriage.
I don't want to feel in the end like I was being used, yet I am still very attracted to him as well. Is keeping the physical aspect alive still okay, if much of the emotional is missing right now?
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

I would let him tell his parents, unless he says otherwise. If you do it, he may be upset and it will make your situation worse. But after he has told them, you can contact them. Be careful to not say anything bad about your husband, just tell them how you feel and let them know if you want to continue your relationship with them if/when you and your husband divorce.


You can stay intimate with your husband only if you feel the desire to do so. As long as he is not unfaithful to you and you feel you want to be with him sexually, then it's ok. Just be sure that you are ok with this emotionally. You mentioned feeling used and that is a real danger when you have sex with someone who has rejected you otherwise. If at any time you feel you want to stop, it is well within your rights to do so. This situation was caused by your husband so you are under no obligation to continue this part of your relationship if you do not want to.





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