What's on your mind about your dating/married/love life??
It's time to ask your own question.
My husband and I have been married for the better part of a decade, the last few years of which have been a struggle. He used to do a million little things to make my day better. Now it's like a million little things he "forgets" to do, and it all just adds to my mental plate. We had a child a few years ago, which is when the change happened. Where it used to be teamwork and an equitable sharing of duties, it is now me feeling like I take care of all of his and our child's needs. Mine are no longer being met. Our child and I never get to see him because he refuses to switch work shifts, and spends all of his free time (sometimes up to 18 hours a day on the weekends) playing video games. He does not help with any of the household duties, he shares no emotional or physical intimacy with me, never celebrates holidays with us anymore, and has even said to me that he is not as attracted to me since having our child.
He has told me that he will make changes to save our marriage, but these changes are always short-lived and I'm always let down. We tried marriage counseling for several months at his request, but the same pattern always happened. So we sat down and together decided that divorce would be the "healthier option" for the three of us. My side is that he never made any real effort to fix things – but he tells his friends that we "just fell out of love.” I think that's unfair! I love him!
I still want forever with this man. But I hate feeling alone in my marriage and having no help. How do I continue a marriage with someone who is physically there but chooses not to participate with me or his child? I don't want my son to grow up watching a one-sided marriage. I don't want these interactions to be what he thinks a man should act like – distant and unavailable. But I keep holding out hope that my husband will finally get it together and make this work with me.
So my dilemma is this: What the heck do I do? I feel like a failure. Like I could have done more or been a better wife to help him be a better husband. Do I try harder and give even more of myself to try to keep this family in tact? Or do I stick to my decision and go through with the divorce?
– Maybe Divorcing
You're not a failure. You've done the best you can, and you're still working so hard.
If your husband wants a divorce and is telling people he's not in love with you, let go. That's the answer, it seems.
You offer smart and thoughtful reasons for ending this marriage. The other option – watching things play out over more time – might delay the inevitable. It also might be more difficult to split when everyone is older.
You're nostalgic for – and still in love with – the man who was in this marriage six or seven years ago. That's understandable. It also makes sense that you're wondering whether this could go back to the way it was. But even if he got better at this, it wouldn't be the same. He'd have to be all in and show you that he can be additive to the household. If he's not present for you now, he might as well do his part from another location.
I think about narrative a lot, about the story we tell people about our relationships. It's frustrating to hear his take on what's happened, but ignore it. You have your own version (which probably includes the video games). You know what's true – for you.
I'm so sorry this is happening. Just remember that you're trying to build a happy home for you and your child. Find the path that gets you there.
Readers? Time for divorce? Are there other things to try?