I don’t know what the relationship lacks

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I married the first time because it was the right thing to do – pregnant at 19, and he is a great person.

But I realized years in that I wasn’t in love, so we divorced after 12 years and three beautiful kids.

My current partner is also great, has proposed, but I can’t help but feel the same way I did before – when I wanted to call it quits. I don’t know what’s wrong or what I lack. I feel I lack a spark, but don’t know if it worth throwing away a safe relationship.

– Quitting Time


Safe is great, but it's not enough.

If you want to call it quits, don’t say yes to marriage. If anything, let your current partner go so they can move on to someone who might be exited about them. You don't have to cling to the thing that feels responsible or right on paper.

If you'd said you love this current partner, I might have advised you to stick it out, seek counseling, and think about how spark might be restored, etc. But you said nothing about what you'd miss if they went away. You do not mention the initial spark. Again, all you said was that you're ready to end it. I sense guilt, but no real fear of the loss.

You say you're confused about what this relationship lacks. That makes me think of our recent spark letter, and the truth is, all of these feelings are difficult to explain. Spark does fade over time for a lot of great couples, but there's still a feeling of connection – of love – that can become more important. That doesn’t seem to be part of your experience right now.

If this partner has proposed, it's time to tell them you're in a very different place.

– Meredith

Readers? Any reason to stick it out? Advice on getting spark back?