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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7662
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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Hi,I have been married for 11 years and I no longer love

Customer Question

Hi, I have been married for 11 years and I no longer love my husband. He is a good man and a wonderful father, however, we have been through a lot of difficult times. He is an alcoholic and though he is getting treatment now, a lot has happened in the last year we have been separated and we have just drifted apart. He still loves me and wants to give it a go and I told him that I am willing to give it ago, but that I don't feel the same for him anymore. He still remains hopeful that I will love him again. We have a lovely child together and he is trying really hard with his treatment and so I feel I owe it to him, our son and myself to give it good go, but after five months, I still feel nothing for him. We have tried spending time together, doing things together and re-bonding and we get along great, but romantically i feel nothing. I am scared if i tell him the truth, it could destroy whatever chance there is of a friendship, he would be hurt. I just want to be on my own, but there are a lot of obstacles in my way; 1. I still very much care about him and I don't want to hurt him 2. Our son needs both his parents 3. I rely on my marriage in order to continue living in the UK otherwise I would have to leave the country with our son even though I've been living legally in this country for 12 years. Our son needs his father around and 4. We are financially broke and in debt and therefore can't even afford to go our separate ways. I am depressed, sad and helpless and I just don't know what to do about this situation. I feel trapped and there's no where for me to turn. Any advice would be greatly appreciated Many many thanks Ms Dilimma.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 2 years ago.
Seeking expert testimony is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective

Dear friend,

You have described a true dilemma. However that term has two definitions:

  • -a situation requiring a choice between equally undesirable alternatives.
OR
  • -any difficult or perplexing situation or problem.

Because the alternatives are not equally undesirable, then the second definition is more apt.

You have given a list of pros and cons for remaining in your current situation:

In support of remaining in the situation you list: allowing you and your son to remain in the UK (and thus allowing your son to have a father); respecting the need of your son to have a father; you still care about your husband as a friend, and don't want to lose that friendship; he is a good man and a wonderful father; he is making a real effort at ending his alcoholism; you don't want to hurt your husband by abandoning him, and; it's really a moot point because you can't really afford to break up, implying your are stuck for financial reasons, as the botXXXXX XXXXXne

In support of leaving this situation you list: you don't love him anymore and your romance seems to be at an end; this is making you feel depressed and desperately trapped because you remain in this situation, and; you have little or no enthusiasm to continue.

It seems, from what you say that you have little viable choice right now, and continuing to stay together, for now, is your best option. You have a mutual interest in your child, you are mutually supportive financially, and you have a wonderful friendship. Right now it is like living with a best friend. Yes, you need to feel love for him or for someone, but right now that is the (painfully) missing element.

You may never love him again, but on the other hand, you may have a breakthrough. These emotional changes do occur, sometimes when we least expect them, and sometimes when we put an effort into other aspects of our relationship.

I am not one to encourage couples to stay together for the sake of the children or because they are married, and often recommend divorce or separation. In your case, because it is the best option, and because there could be a change in your feelings while you are together, I recommend that you stay, at least for awhile, at least until your situation changes so that you can leave or remain in the UK (if you wish). It seems to be your best option in this dilemma.

I also urge you to get this book, available at www.amazon.co.uk. It may help a great deal:

Take Back Your Marriage: Sticking Together in a World That Pulls Us Apart by William J. Doherty


I hope that this inspires you to harness your energy and try some positive action as recommended by this excellent book. Trying will also reduce your depression. I wish you blessings and great success.

Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Dear Sir,

Thank you for taking the time to write to me in regards XXXXX XXXXX dilemma. I thought the same as you five months ago. I thought that I would fall back in love given time, but nothing has romantically budged for me. Also, i feel that my husband deserves a woman who can love him back, the way he so loves me. I dont want to drag our situation on as that could make all of us unhappy in the end. It's just unfair for him. What do i do when he wants to get physically closer to me? What do i say then?how long can a marriage survive without physical and emotional intimacy? I still have a lot to think about. Thanks again.

Ms Dilimma.
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 2 years ago.
Dear friend,

If you have literally come to the end of your patience, you still have to either endure, or take the other option and suffer all of the costs. I was not suggesting that you hang on forever, but that you wait until the moment is more opportune, and in the meantime try to improve things by doing something positive such as going to a marriage and family therapist, who may not be able to facilitate a breakthrough, but may be able to facilitate a better parting of ways.

Furthermore, it will not hurt you to get the book I recommended and see it that doesn't help you. It you have given up, but will not physically leave, then you will continue to be miserable. If you are going to stay, then at least try to get some help outside of yourself basically going around in frustrating repetitions of failed attempts.

If I have helped you in any any way, please leave me positive feedback for my efforts.

I urge you to try to break out of your state of hopelessness because it is a downhill spiral of depression and that will continue to drain your will to solve the problem, and will wind up taking its toll on your child as well. Doing something is better than doing nothing.

I wish you the strength and wisdom to act.

Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7662
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and 2 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 2 years ago.
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