I'm in my 40s and have been married for about 15 years. I also have an 11-year-old daughter. Before I met my husband, I was working 10-hour days, something that I continued doing some years into the marriage. My work is important to me. So is my education.
Three years ago, I had some health issues and decided to stop working as much. My husband fully supported me on that. Fast forward to today and I still work and study much less. The problem is that I have also started feeling bad about my marriage. I feel as if someone is making me do things I do not want to do. Like stay at home and be a housewife.
I've been seeing a therapist for the past two years, trying to figure out what's wrong with me and if it's me that's causing the problem. I feel like my husband is oppressive. I want to get out of the house more and see more of my friends without him. I feel like I need more "me time" – and I have talked to him many times about this – but he doesn't seem to listen. He believes the time I spend outside with my friends is time taken away from him. He continuously asks for more sex but I feel I've lost my sex drive. He complains that we never see each other anymore because I have to sleep early in order to take our daughter to school the next day. He never wakes up early because he likes sleeping late and playing video games.
Things are so complicated that I have started thinking about divorce. I've been reading this column since I was a student in Boston. I don't live in the US anymore. I would like to hear from you and your readers.
I'm very happy to hear you're seeing a therapist. I have to wonder, though, whether you'd benefit from getting some help with your husband. So much of this letter is about communication and learning how to respect each other's needs as individuals. If the two of you are not able to come up with a plan for making the marriage better, it might help to get guidance from a professional. You can talk about your sex life there, too.
You might also learn a bit by talking to the people in your field of study about what you want to do next . You say you don't want to stay at home, at least not as much, but where would you rather be? Finding some happiness on your own might bring some clarity to the rest of your life. Some of the people who work in your area of interest might be able to inspire you.
As for your friends, please see them. Make plans to gather with them outside of the house whenever you can. If that becomes complicated because of your daughter's schedule, invite people over. No matter what happens with this marriage, you shouldn't isolate yourself. You can tell your husband that friendships are non-negotiable.
Readers? Sleeping late and video games?