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Old 3rd April 2005, 01:19 AM   #24
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 11
Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

I opened this thread when I was looking for justification to leave my wife. I too had not been open with myself about how I felt and that I was wasting my life when I could leave and find happiness “somewhere” and with “someone” else. I was convinced that I could find happiness elsewhere and that my wife would ultimately find happiness with someone who loves her. I wanted “Passion” in my life. I spoke with several close friends about my situation and I received mixed advice. I don’t know if I should give more weight to advice from someone who has been through a divorce or someone who has worked things out—they offer two distinctly different perspectives. I was hoping someone could tell me “you should leave your wife and both you and her will find a more loving and fulfilling relationship and will live happily ever after”. Unfortunately, life is not that simple.

I had made up my mind to leave and told my wife that I wanted to have a trial separation. I received mixed reactions from my family as well as her family. My Mom said that my decision was a difficult one understanding everything that was at stake. My brother asked me why I was “throwing away my family” and that my relationship with my wife was not that bad. He couldn’t understand what was so awful that I would want to leave. A coworker suggested that I would be much happier if I left. Others say that my problems may follow me. Still others say that I need to work on the relationship and that as I work on being unselfish and when I think about my wife before myself that I will find out what love is. And the advice goes on and on. Ultimately, we didn’t separate and we’re going to counseling.

Setting all that aside, my wife and I have been going to counseling for the last month or so to try and resolve these issues. There are things that we both do to contribute to a less than ideal marriage. I know that I can improve our relationship and I am committed to improving it if not for the only reason that the things the counselor has told us to do will be beneficial for me regardless of what I decide to do. But, since I told my wife that I didn’t want to be married because I didn’t love her and never had and that I wanted to leave, my wife has understandably had ups and downs as we work things out. On the "down" days, she dwells on the underlying fact—I don’t love her and this makes her very sad. Counseling focuses on helping the relationship. It teaches us how to interact so we can both be happier. The principles taught in couples counseling can help “anyone” to live happier with each other. That is both the good news and the bad news. I can be happier in my relationship and that the principles of good relationships will make me as happy with my wife as with anyone else who lives by good relationship principles. What it doesn’t address is the fact that I am not attracted to my wife in a passionate way. Can I live without that passion or will the passion develop as we live harmoniously together? That I think is the question that can only be answered with time.

I have stopped dwelling on how I feel and what will make “me” happier. I’ve been trying to think of “her” needs and what will make “her” happy. As I do this, I feel better. I have come out of a mild depression. I feel that I will be able to develop unconditional love for her. My hope is that as I love my wife with “unconditional love” that I will be happier with or without the “passion” that I desire.

To summarize, my current thinking is that it is right to try and work things out because if I don’t try, I will regret not having given 100%.
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