Married 26 years (high school sweethearts) with 2 young children.
Since our children came along, our marriage slowly deteriorated. I admit my focus was on the kids, and I stupidly put my marriage on the back burner. Looking back on it, this was a major cause of a lot of our problems. I’m regretting the decision I made to solely focus on my kids, and I think I will forever.
We weathered through many storms, but over the last couple of years we’ve lived like roommates. He sleeps in the spare room in our basement, and I sleep in the master bedroom. He has threatened me several times with divorce, but we bounce back and decide that we’ll work on our relationship. Each time that has happened though, we never really put the work in. We tried two different marriage counselors, and they were both awful. I dreaded going, and I felt worse leaving then when I’d walk in. We never sat down to discuss what both of our needs were, and what we each needed from each other. We never realized and made a point of going out on dates, etc. We just didn’t know how to fix us.
Recently, he told me he wanted out. He said he felt dead inside, and he was going through with the divorce. He met with an attorney, and I know he’s serious this time.
We’ve talked, and he’s walking around like a zombie. He’s depressed, and he’s seeing a therapist (has been for a couple of years). I can honestly say that since he’s been seeing this therapist that our relationship has devolved even further. I don’t know what she’s telling him, but I don’t think she’s pro-marriage.
I’ve read several books, blogs, articles, listened to podcasts and read online forums and what I’ve realized is that I needed to change A LOT about myself. I started to make those changes, and he noticed. He became more cordial. He even came into my room one night and asked if we could be intimate (prefacing it with, “I don’t want to send any mixed messages, but I want to see if we can connect on a basic level and we both have needs”). I told him I couldn’t because I didn’t feel any emotional connection with him, he said he understood and then said that it was a mistake that he asked. Of course, after thinking about it all night, I regretted not giving him what he wanted. Who knows, maybe there would have been a connection?! Maybe he would have realized we should work on us? Now being intimate is out of the question because he feels he’ll send me a mixed message.
I’ve gone through stages of denial and anger, and I’m not proud but I’ve almost pleaded for him to give our family a final chance. He has flat out told me that he doesn’t want to be married to me any longer, and he doesn’t have the energy nor desire to try and fix our relationship.
I’m hurt, and I’m really confused because he has sent me mixed messages. There are times when I see indecision in him, but he claims it’s only him trying to be kind to me because he doesn’t want to see me hurt. (Eg. I told him the other day that I feel like my hugs and attempts at holding his hand make him uncomfortable, and I asked him if I should stop doing that. He said no. So, if he wants a divorce then why would you want me to continue to try to be affectionate?!). Am I reading signs that I hope are there and they really aren’t? I’m starting to feel like a fool.
I feel like he’s giving up on our family, and a commitment we made to God, and I don’t understand how he could.
I’m so incredibly sad. Should I give up trying to fight for my marriage?!