How do you stay married when not in love?

I have a huge problem. After approaching 10 years of marriage, I am not attending marriage counseling. I do not love my husband and don't believe I ever really did. We have a child together which makes the decision to leave even harder. My husband says you can love anyone that you choose to love and my marriage counselor thinks otherwise. She believes, though, once I clear out some of my own issues, that I may be able to love him. (I have always made decisions for others' well being over mine in order not to hurt. This is the reason why we are at this point.)

My counselor is making great progress on me but I still do not have feelings for my husband. I hear so many conflicting things. Many people do not believe in divorce & neither do I but how do I continue staying in a life that is killing me on the inside. I battled depression & anxiety over this for years.

I remember the day when I told myself I would not care anymore when I had struggled w/ him over the first 5 years of us being together. I was in a major state of depression because of the way he treated me. Instead of having the courage to leave & take his daughter away, I stayed & endured the unhappiness by living a double life. (one person w/ him & myself w/ everyone else) I was deployed to Iraq & thus he had become a single dad overnight & claimed responsibilities he was not used to and this changed him!

So now he is a good husband & dad & any women would kill for a man like this... but not me.

I hate the fact that I am the bad guy in this. I do not want to the person breaking up a family. I am trying counseling to at least say that I gave it what I could.

What do I do now?? Is it a possibility I can overcome this?? I am so lost & tired of hurting my husband over this.

Confused.

Rachel Jean

12 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    You sound really torn. I don't mean this in a rude way but if you never loved him then why did you marry him?

    I think you have probably loved him in the past and you can get that love for him back. Just keep going to counseling and your counselor will help you.

  • DJ
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    In a nutshell, you say that he's a great guy and you have your own issues. Your issues won't magically be resolved if you dump your husband. You'll just be dealing with them alone with the added guilt of forcing your child to deal with divorce.

    And why in the world would you make a life-changing decision when you are not emotionally or mentally stable? None of us think clearly at those times. Following your heart is a load of crap. Our hearts are fickle and always looking for someone else to make us happy. That's not smart or even realistic.

    Love is a choice. It's not easy to keep the fires going after a lot of history has passed between you two, but love does grow and move through stages. Learn about them, resume working on yourself, and don't take the path of least resistance just because doing the right thing and making the necessary adjustments requires more effort.

    When you get to the other side of this difficult period, the reward is great and your marriage will be significantly enriched. Most people don't make it that far because they're quitters.

    Regardless of what's happened in your past, your husband has learned from his mistakes and grown into a great spouse now. That's what matters. Don't be a quitter. It's not admirable or honorable, and the gratification is shallow, temporary and misleading.

  • 1 decade ago

    The fact you do not love your husband does not make you the bad guy. I have always believed that there is nothing in this world that can make you love a person other than yourself, its a very intimate and personal decision we each choose.

    You are violating the right to this decision by "forcing" love into the relationship. Your husband will have to face the fact that you have only one life and you want it to be a happy one. Life happens, and yes there are people that will be hurt, but we are all responsible for our trials and pains and they will have to deal with it. You deal with your pain and do something about it and stop being a people's pleaser. It will only drive you to depression, frustration and illness.

    Get up, shake it off, be brave and gain your respect and your life back. Your happiness, recovery and peace is your responsibility only, let others do the same thing with theirs. Good luck

  • 1 decade ago

    One thing you can try is to Act As If you love him. It sounds ridiculous but it can be amazingly effective.

    When you make yourself a cup of coffee, think, if I were in love, I would offer to make him a cup - then do it. Ask him. When you take it to him, smile, look at him and try to find what you used to see that attracted you so much. It could be somethng as small as how long and thick his eyelashes are, or what great shoulders he has. When he's talking to you, meet his eyes the way you would someone you really like. Listen and respond politely. Don't roll your eyes. You don't have to agree, but you have to be polite.

    It's hard work, because you have to be sincere. You can't pretend to love his bald head if baldness repels you. You have to find something you really do admire, and dwell on that. Always dwell on the positive thing. And it's tiny things you are doing, small things you are looking for - ways to make him feel good, ways to make yourself feel better about how you treat him. Remember we always dislike people who let us treat them badly. But why should we blame them for our bad behaviour?

    Go slowly. Don't jump into bed. But do other, small everyday loving things. Maybe pat him on the shoulder, say things to your daughter like 'oh here's daddy, isn't he handsome?' Give him an approval rating.

    I think you get the drift. Try it for a few weeks. You might not fall in love again, but it might help relieve your guilt and some of the tension.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Well you can't help how you feel. I am a STRONG believer of not staying just for the kids, if you aren't happy then how are the kids supposed to be happy. Your child will be taken care of which ever decision you choose.

    If you truly don't love your husband and don't think you can love him, then what is the point of staying? If you don't have love, then you don't have anything. DOn't worry about what everyone else will say, it's not their marriage, it's yours.

  • 1 decade ago

    Dear Jean, obviously you have always had a specific person or a personality in your mind, that you were waiting for to come by in your life, when you would allow yourself to be swept off your feet. In other words you thought you would allow yourself to fall in love if those conditions were met. You, young lady are in love with a dream.

    I pity your husband who loves you so much that he lives on in hope that you would realize his worth some day. We live only once. You have already wasted 10 years of your own and your spouse's life. Do not live in a fools paradise waiting for the "prince" of your dreamy dreams. Come back to mother earth and realize what love really means. Trust your husband and just submit yourself to him. You have a big surprise in store for you.

    Source(s): In most countries people marry the person they love.....in India we love the person we marry. 90% of all marriages in India are "arranged" marriages...... divorce rate is the lowest in the world.
  • 1 decade ago

    My ex-wife and I were together 8 years. We rarely fought and were the BEST of friends. We lost a child together and went through a lot.

    We fell out of love. It happens. The sex was great, we truely loved each other, and wanted to make it work. But relationships run their course. If you're questioning your love for him, you can't just "fall in love" b/c he's a great guy.

    My ex told me I'm amazing and said letting me go might be the worst decision she'll ever make, but she has to go with her heart.

    Be brave and go with your heart. I'm so sorry it didn't work out for you.

    Love is a crazy, insane thing. Don't become bitter by lying to yourself anymore. You deserve to be happy again.

    It was the HARDEST thing for me to accept it was over. You know what? I'm better now. Not 100%, but very close.

    I know you have kids. That has to be so tough. I hope you get some great feedback and I hope I helped.

  • 1 decade ago

    You are an "enneagram #9". You care about everyone except your husband. You purposely brought him into your life so that you could neglect him, and that helps you to re-live your childhood hurts.

    Read "The Celestine Prophesy" about how people steal energy in a relationship.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Because without a tought.. My kids are more important than anything else on the face of this earth including my desire and needs.

    They are my world and its up to me to hold their world together!

  • Nita R
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    "If a man feels respected, he loves his wife. If a woman feels loved, she respects her husband".

    Women need to feel loved and men need to feel respected.

    I really can't express how important this circular rule is for any relationship to work.

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