I just don't want to be married anymore. Is the grass greener?

What I’m about to tell you is going to sound crazy and that is why I’m reaching out to the community to get some feedback to see if it’s me being ridiculous or maybe a midlife crisis or maybe not. I got married about 17 years ago. I did so because this was the first female that was nice to me and didn’t take advantage of me. I tend to be a people pleaser, and as a result, I would always fall into the friend zone. Also, all of my friends were getting married and I didn’t want to be alone. I wasn’t particularly attracted to her physically and emotionally we never really communicated, but she liked me and I was in my early 30’s and didn’t want to be alone.

My wife is not ugly, but I’m just not attracted to her physically. We have not had sex in 3+ years. I’m just not interested. . We have two girls ages 14 and 11 and I am 49 years old and she is 44. We do not communicate unless it’s about the kids or money. She just refuses to answer a question. She answers a question with another question. I make good money, so that’s not an issue.

Our house is always messy. She doesn’t cook anything but pasta, scrambled eggs or cereal for dinner. She’s horrible at budgeting and she is very passive aggressive. The reality is, she has always been this way, I just have not recognized it and have been denying it exists. She spends her time outside of the home volunteering and everyone thinks she is the greatest.

However, at home nothing is done and it drives me crazy. I have spoken to her about it and she gets upset and says it isn’t true or she it blames it on the fact that she just too busy or tired to do it. We have a person who cleans for us, but she doesn’t cook and she only comes once a week. I know, if I hire a person, I will just become resentful of the fact that I am paying for something that my wife could easily do.

I often think about if I were single again, what I would do differently and how I would go about choosing the right person for me. So my questions are: She says loves me and tells me often, but I can’t get past the fact that the aforementioned things are very important to me (and she knows it), but she refuses to do them.

So can she really love me? Do I go to a counselor and he/she tells us to hire a person, teaches us to communicate, etc.? It still doesn’t take away the fact that I’m not attracted to her. Am I being selfish for not divorcing her since I don’t want to be married? Do I just suck it up for a couple of years until the kids are out of the house?

First off, you both do what Julie said and get a physical. It’s amazing what low iron or low testosterone can do to a marriage.I hate cleaning. It’s a dirty job, pun intended. You don’t get paid for it, thanked for it, or promoted for it. You get to clean the same toilet every week. So hire a cleaning service. Why is this such an issue in marriages? Look, I know HOW to change my oil, but I pay someone to do it for me. No one thinks I am lazy…but somehow, if I hire a cleaning service, I’m a self-indulged brat. HUH??? Hire a cleaning service, you’ll both be happier.Also, be careful and DO NOT REWRITE HISTORY. At one time you thought the sun rose and the moon set on this woman. You felt a zing when she looked your way and thought about her 24/7. You were head over heels for her and had sex with her AT LEAST twice. There was something there. You have lived together without killing each other for almost 20 years. Obviously you have a foundation and a deep attachment, and it sounds like she does too. Get some counseling. Try a marriage encounter through a local church. Your kids are finally old enough that you two can do some things together without them. So what are you waiting for?Love is a CHOICE. Divorce is a wrecking ball that shatters lives. It devastates people emotionally, physically, economically, socially and spiritually. The children are collateral damage. Rather than the grass is greener try you don’t know what you got till it’s gone.

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I understand where you’re at, because I was there.My ex-wife and I agreed that she should be a stay-home mom rather than work for low wages taking care of other people’s kids. She said she wanted to be a homemaker, but I think she liked decorating a lot more than cleaning. At different times we had weekly help with the housework, and of course I helped equally with the kids, dishes, laundry, yardwork etc when I was home. Once we had kids, that was her full time job and if she picked up during the day, that was a bonus. Once the kids were in school, she filled in with…yes, volunteering.I’m now married to a career woman who has multiple jobs plus teenagers to haul around. And I have to insist on helping with the housework. (And she has to put up with me folding the towels wrong.) It is just a fact of life that some people (men AND women) are workers, and some are freeloaders. They would rather to whatever they feel like doing and seem to be able to justify any amount of idleness.You say she’s bad at budgeting. But she’s not, from her perspective. She gets the things she wants, and you pay for it. Works for her. You may need to separate accounts, cancel credit cards, etc, if you want to get a handle on it.All that said, if you have the money you should go ahead and hire more cleaning help. IF the mess bothers you, which apparently it does. Talk to your wife and explain that she won’t be getting a new car as soon, or this year’s vacation will be shortened, or whatever as a result of this budgetary decision.You don’t say that there is a person out there, standing on that greener grass. Maybe you just want to simplify your life and not have to argue about money and stuff. Either way, expect that you will have less money if you divorce, and less time with your children. It’s a tough choice.

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I’m going to answer- it depends. Yeah, not much of an answer, but, it’s the best I’ve got.In my case, getting a divorce was one of the best things I could have done. But, what I went through before and during the divorce was one of the most difficult things I could have experienced. I look at what you are teaching your kids. I’m not sure exactly what they are seeing now, but, they do tend to repeat what they see at home in later on relationships. I also believe that staying married for the kids’ sake is not always the best course of action. If you don’t want to be married, and you resent your wife, the kids know it. They feel it, even if you try to not show it. They feel the tension. They know the score. I don’t know if this answered your question or not.

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Answered your own question. The right person.

Gee so much sounds familiar here. Sounds like I am married to your wife. I think of her as someone who likes to have her cake and eat it.
I want to leave my wife but she has become so financially dependent that she will have no way to support our 2 kids under any custody agreement even with child support. I am interested how you got along.

Have you tried cleaning? Cooking? I mean, you live there too, right? You’ll be doing it anyway if you decide to divorce. It would be a better example for your kids if you pick up the slack to provide a nice home for them and for you. I agree with the medical checkup and counseling. Maybe she is feeling your lack of interest too. I know that a negative feeling at home where you’re supposed to feel safe and free can taint the atmosphere.

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The grass isn’t greener. It’s green where you water it. I was married for 18 years, with 3 children, when we divorced. I since married again and had another child. I was crying the other night wishing I was still married to my ex. Like you, I used to find everything wrong and never focused on what was right. If I would’ve known then what I know now I wouldn’t have chose divorce. Might I suggest starting over with your spouse? Duplicate everything you did in the beginning and start over that way.

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We are socially conditioned from time we are very young into getting married. No other options are really represented. Marriage is not fulfilling for many many people but our social condition, group think and/or culture do not acknowledge this (or don’t even know how to acknowledge because they have herd mentally and have not learned to think critically).
Many afraid they will be lonely or alone if they don’t get married. They are many ways to not be lonely without marriage. Also many who are married are just as lonely if not more so. Again the pressure and frankly brainwashing from social conditioning is so strong that often you can’t even bring this up without others looking at you like a deer in the headlights.
It is easier to parent with two involved and loving adults but that can be done without marriage. This is another aspect of conditioning that we are not taught or groomed for.
I understand the pressure you felt to get married and how you just fell into it for various reasons most of all your social conditioning. There is no one “right person” for you however there are “wrong persons” not because they are bad its just not a good connection. Just like at work, with friends etc. You are just not connected to certain folks and more drawn to others. The people pleasing thing can really cloud your judgement on this. Now that you are older and more mature hopefully you are better at taking responsibility for your own needs (i.e. pleasing yourself just as much as others). Not in a selfish way but in a way that is actually better and more serving for all in the long run.
Also we are told and convinced that we should always try to “save” our marriage above all else. There are alot of shoulds in this world. Life is difficult whether you are married or not…there is no greener on the otherwise just perhaps more - responsible freedom - if you will. You need to honest with yourself and her about what it is you want from your marriage (not what society says you should want). If what you want does not align with what she wants (the big wants I mean) then have the courage to get divorced and live a life that is more fulfilling. Neither choice will be easy but one may bring you more peace and integrity.
p.s. I don’t think socrates, plato, aristotle or jesus were married?

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@samwaters The grass is not greener but you may not be the person you will become once you cross to the other side. When I divorced my first husband he had been the only man that I ever knew in an intimate way. It took being single for many years after the divorce for me to mature and reach a level of independence that I would have never reached with him. Do I miss him? Sometimes. But I’m grateful for the lessons that life dealt me.

If there is any love or companionship at all I would seek counseling with her. I wish I had gone to counseling with my Ex so I could at least say that I tried that first before leaving. There is a terrific website called marriagebuilders.com. It’s about the best advice I’ve seen for rekindling or even kindling the flame of love for the first time. The approach focuses on meeting each other’s needs and getting rid of habits that wreck that loving feeling. There are about 10 things men and women need in a general sense. The trouble comes because they don’t understand what their partner needs and they do not have habits to regularly fulfill those needs. Those ten emotional needs are:

Affection
Sexual Fulfillment
Intimate Conversation
Recreational Companionship
Honesty and Openness
Physical Attractiveness
Financial Support
Domestic Support
Family Commitment
Admiration

Men tend to list sexual fulfillment as one of their top needs and women tend to list affection. He coined the concept of the love bank. Once you start filling each other’s needs your love bank begins to fill up. He also cautions how critical it is to stay away from toxic habits that he refers to as “love busters.” Love busters are things like:

Selfish Demands
Disrespectful Judgments
Angry Outbursts
Dishonesty
Independent Behavior
Annoying Habits

One of the other biggest components to a happy marriage according to this approach is to follow the Policy of Joint Agreement. Basically you do nothing without the enthusiastic agreement of your spouse. I think out of all of his advice that is the most difficult to follow.

I agree with other’s advice to you. Get a cleaning service. Maybe surprise her with it as a gift for a year and see if it helps your outlook towards her.

Best of luck!

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The one thing my divorce taught me was that my ex husband on his own after our divorce was who I feared he was during my marriage. The divorce magnified it. He was selfish, liked younger girls and was too lazy to work despite have 2 university degrees. I agree with this thread that you should try to allievate any pressures your wife has but it is not a good sign that you are no longer intimate. Is it better on the other side? To be honest it hurt my daughters so much if I could have just stayed longer I would have. Is there a possibility there is a better life for you? Yes, but you will pay a price for it. I lost everything and I pay spousal support because I was the breadwinner. I only see my girls 50% of the time. And their dad? Well he is with a girl 3 years older then my oldest daughter. To make it worse she is one of my university students. So if you leave prepare for the good and the bad. In the end I have realized I like who I am and my marriage almost destroyed that. I found a new partner and eventually my girls healed. Am I still sad and angry Sometimes? Yes but that gets better too. But for the sake of your children please try everything first.

So you aren’t attracted to her (newsflash women can feel that) and you complain she is passive aggressive and doesn’t do enough around the house or in the kitchen. Little wonder - it’s very uninspiring for a woman to have a husband that isn’t meeting her needs in that way. Sorry to break it to you, but it’s the man’s job to meet her needs of being attractive and in love with by you in the first place. She is clearly uninspired to do anything domestically and gets her needs met elsewhere. Your ass is lucky it’s from volunteering and not an affair. Get a divorce and give her the chance that she deserves to be loved by someone . This is gross I would never want to be in a marriage to someone who isn’t into me. You don’t deserve for her to do SH*T for you around the house if that is how you feel about her. I mean, I get it if you can’t help it, then like I said, give her the change to find someone who IS attracted to her and TREATS HER THAT WAY. I’m sure she will have no problem meeting his needs when the right things are in place.

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I love what you had to say and I second that.

Wake up and start watering your own grass. Her emotional bank account is bankrupt. I suggest that you start making emotional deposits in her bank account. Yes, it’s hard and yes it’s not going to be fun, but I guarantee it’s going to pay much bigger dividends than anything else you could ever possibly do or imagine. And let me tell you - because you have kids you are never going to be divorced from this woman. You will simply live apart and enter into a new relationship with this woman called Co-parenting - yeah, it’s as fun as it sounds. You will still need to deal with and communicate with her - alot.

I applaud you for thinking about this stuff and for reaching out. That says a hell of a lot about you, so kudos to you!
You’ve got a lot of work to do and I suggest you get to it. I’m not saying you’re responsible for her happiness but you are responsible for making deposits in her emotional bank account and for letting her know that you want to be with her. There’s something called a 30-day love challenge, I’m not even sure if that’s what it’s called, but basically it’s where you buckle down and start investing in your spouse and rediscover who they are.

I believe it was James Dobson that said:
Feelings Follow Behaviors.I couldn’t agree more. I would add to that the following:

Behaviors Follow Choices.

and

Choices Follow Thoughts.

Feelings are the caboose of the train of your life - NOT the engine - yet so many people today think that feelings are the engine and expect feelings to pull them through everything - but they couldn’t be more wrong. A train will operate with or without a caboose. Your train will operate with or without feelings - as you can already attest - so feelings are not necessary to drive your train. I’m not saying that they’re not important - I’m saying that they shouldn’t be the driving force behind your decisions. Most people would attest to the fact that some of the dumbest decisions have been made based on a feeling - but the consequences of those stupid decisions have been terrible.

There’s never been anything that has been accomplished soley driven by feelings. I’m not saying feelings were not a part of it, but rather, that it was the choice to commit to a certain course that accomplished the goal. Your goal, any goal, can be achieved with or without feeling. I can almost guarantee you, however, that somewhere along the route you will find and link up with your caboose and your complete train will all arrive at the destination together.

What you’re feeling (or not feeling) is a product of your behavior and choices up to this point. Make better choices and choose different behaviors and your feelings will follow.

I guaran-damn-tee you that she’s feeling the same way. You might think “then why didn’t she reach out to me?” My answer to that would be: I agree, but it’s got to start somewhere and you’re the one that is recognizing the problem and you’re the shepherd of the home, the leader - so lead already.
There’s a whole lot of pain and agony down the route of which you are inquiring - not just for you but for everyone involved - especially your children.
I’m not here to point fingers and it doesn’t really matter how you got here. What matters more is what you’re going to do now that you’re here. What kind of man are you going to be? What kind of legacy do you want to leave?
If you need help then by all means get it. Go find a counselor for yourself. Communicate with her for God’s sake. Tell her that you want to be a better you, and you want a better marriage with her, and ask her to join you in marriage counseling - not so that you can beat her up and tell her everything she’s not doing, but because you want to know how you can be a better person and husband and father. If you don’t think that she’s got her own irritations and complaints about you than you’re dead wrong. Go to marriage counseling with the idea that you want a better marriage than you have currently, AND you want it with the person that you married to AND that the change has to start with you. You go into it with this attitude you will be amazed at the changes that’ll happen. It won’t be overnight because change takes time and she doesn’t trust you as much as you don’t trust her - but it’ll happen if you stay the course.

It is completely possible that this second half of your marriage can be better than the first - way better - but it won’t happen through osmosis - you will have to earn it.

Surely you realize that you can’t change her and that you can only change yourself. If you go into this focused on a better you and if you commit to changing yourself and investing in your marriage then I guarantee that you will be much better off and living in high cotton. Chances are she’ll wake up and follow suit.

Blessings to you friend.

I agree with SamIam. Change only occurs when you start with yourself and walk-the-walk. If you don’t believe in what you do or what you want to happen, it’s going to fail. Yes, sometimes the grass is greener on the other side but I’ve seen it’s usually superficial and spray painted.

No kidding. My ex used to complain at me all the time " wow, it would be nice if someone would clean around the house". Well, he was the one making half the messes but thought it should be my job to clean everything. Well now I have the house and it is very clean. I am 1000% x happier, with a VERY fulfilling relationship with my new boyfriend. He lives alone, single, in his one bedroom apartment which looks to be very dirty and messy.

I know that advice is hard to take when your mind is already made up. I married a man who I wasn’t fully attracted to. His body type was the opposite of what I usually was attracted to, he’s not ugly, I think in strangers eyes from a 1 to 10 he’s a 5, and to me he’s a 6. What I’m saying is, I know what you mean. I met him when we were both 15 and I dated other boys after him, but I got heart broken by someone else and I immediately retracted and went to the safest choice that gave me an overwhelming amount of affection. My husband is great most times. But I can’t talk to him. He doesn’t talk to me, if he had feelings I WOULD never know. I think he opens up to others more than me, I just know the husband that he allows me to see. I’ve gotten to a place where I’m used to just being how we are, we are intimate but its been SUCH A LONG LONG time since I’ve been turned on by him. Most of the time, I just do it because he tries to convince me and makes me laugh in the process (its funny) but truth be Told I don’t want to. Reading your comment, I realize that I’m not alone. I don’t think that anyone is perfect, because I know I am not. But there is NO RIGHT person for you. IF you were ever in love with her, you owe it to her to honor the commitment you made. In the end, she may be a slob and what not, but if she loves you and takes care of YOUR kids, then you should try to make this marriage happen. Her best years were given to you. You were not honest with her, if you had told her from the start then things would be different, you waited too many years. IF she can’t at least change some things that you dislike then I don’t think she loves you. My husband is passive aggressive, he doesn’t say what’s on his mind but he sure hints at it, and I adjust and correct whatever it is that he “doesn’t” ask for. HE DOES NOT DO THE SAME FOR ME. I have to cry and even then he continues with his life. BUT, if you think your life is going to be different with someone else, YOU MAY OR MAY NOT BE RIGHT. Its a gamble but usually opposites attract in order to fill in the gaps the other is missing. Try to talk to her and tell her there needs to be changes. IF she doesn’t want to budge in ANY important aspects then leave.