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Old 11th August 2008, 07:41 AM   #43
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 11
Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

Hi Goodnall, Yes, I'm still married too. I know exactly what you're talking about-- I would do anything for my kids and I would even give up my own life as you have expressed.

As you know these are very complicated feelings with many different layers and with varying degrees of ambiguity and doubt that ebb and flow with the vicissitudes of life.

I have had to ask myself, do I NOT love my wife or is there some other area of my life that I do not love? Think about that for awhile......... What is it that has called into question your love of your wife? Is it because you work with someone who is better looking, more sophisticated or otherwise more desirable for you at the stage of life that you're in right now? Or do you picture yourself with someone who more perfectly embodies the spouse you want? Is it because you haven't achieved something you think you could have otherwise have achieved had you not married your wife? Are you not doing something that you think you would be doing if you were not married. Think about this for awhile.

When I contemplate this, I am forced to admit that I am attracted to the notion of finding someone more attractive. That isn't to say that my wife isn't attractive but you probably know what I mean. For me, I want someone I can grow old with and be proud of and always be attracted to--someone with whom I have more in common and someone who I can be passionately and romantically in love with.

It is easy to assume that I could meet and love someone with infinitely better qualities than my wife--that's the nature of a fantasy. This is where I have to stop and remind myself that I made a commitment to my wife and my kids and that the reality of the matter is that what I have imagined as the ideal spouse probably doesn't exist. I need to make things work.

When I look for faults I can find them. When I don't, I am less likely to find them. I am more likely to think about her faults or to think that I am unhappy when doubt about my love creeps in. This tends to happen after an argument or after I see someone that I think I would like to be with. Sure, I wish I had made a different decision but couldn't that be said of any decision when you think that a different decision "could" have brought you more of what you desire at this moment in time?

Here is an analogy. If you had an opportunity to buy a lottery ticket but didn't, would you be upset? Your answer is probably, "Depends on whether the ticket would have won or not", right? This would require clairvoyance or some other way to see into the future. Unfortunately we don't have that luxury-- we have to make decisions and see what the outcome is with no way of undoing our decisions. Does it bother you that you may have won the lottery but didn't buy the ticket?-- I am asking assuming you aren't a chronic gambler You have to play the game in order to know. But I can't help to think (using the lottery analogy) that maybe if I had played a different number or bought another ticket that I may have won (e.g, maybe I could have married a different person or maybe I can find a better person).

In the end I have had to admit and I'm trying to believe that I made the right decision and that any other decision could have resulted in the same feelings of doubt. I am trying to turn these feelings of doubt inward for some introspection. I'm trying to answer questions like, what makes me unhappy? Can I change it? What is the price I would have to pay to change it? Am I certain that I can change it? And I keep coming back to the answer that I simply can't justify leaving my wife for some notion of romantic love or passion that may or may not be achieved.

So for me, the answer has been to stay and to try and work at it. I wish I could say that I am happy all the time but I can't. I wish I could say that my mind doesn't consider alternatives but I can't. I wish I could say that I have been able to put it out of my mind that a more perfect spouse exists for me but I can't. But what I can do is to stay positive, reduce arguments and hold on hoping for a more perfect future.

Best of luck!
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