My husband and I have been together for more than half of my life – we started dating when I was 23 and I am now 50.   We have 4 children and a busy life.  Our friends think we have the perfect marriage and our kids think we are happy.  We often fool ourselves into thinking that we are happy but are we happy or are we just scared to not be together?

I struggle with this daily.

I know that I do love him but am certainly not “in love” with him.  But are you really “in love” after 27 years of being with any one person? I feel childish that I am looking for that spark, that infatuation stage where you can’t get enough of that person.  We are so past that stage but I can’t determine if this is just the normal course of any relationship or if we are missing something.

I often think about what it would be like to be single again.  Would I actually date as a woman in my fifties? Would I regret my decision to leave?  I have seen many friends leave their marriage.  Some are thrilled. Their post divorce lives are better than they could have imagined and they have no regrets.  When I see them in their new phase of life I am envious.  Some are in new relationships that are fun and exciting.  They are being wined and dined and they are happy.

But I also have friends who left their marriage and things haven’t turned out so great for them.  Their divorces were awful and continue to be awful.  Their entire lives have changed include their lifestyles.  They were searching for freedom and while they did get free from their ex – their financial situations changed so drastically that they lost a different freedom they once had.  They have the weight of the world on their shoulders and while many would never admit it – I am certain that if they got the opportunity for a “do over” many would have chosen to stay.

My friends that have been married as long as I have don’t complain about their husbands but drop subtle hints that lead me to believe that I am not alone in my thoughts.  Many now sleep in separate rooms.  “He snores”, “he gets up to early”, “I can’t sleep through the night and don’t want to bother him,” are but a few of the comments I hear.  For me, when we stop sleeping in the same room than I will know we are done.  To me that just feels like all the intimacy is gone and you are roommates – not partners.  But who am I to judge?

So I am left with the same question – How do I know my marriage is over?  Maybe when it is over I will definitely know.  Maybe all relationships are just phases and they all end up the same way – Infatuation to love to complacency.  Maybe the grass is not greener on the other side and I am being childish.

I’m just not sure…

 

Lana, 50

 

 

 

9 Responses to “How do I know my marriage is over?”

  1. friends

    Oh — Lana — you are so not alone. Friends and roomies — and missing that emotional connection here as well. Do you take what you have or take the risk?

    Reply
  2. John

    I’m sure that many people feel as you do. My wife and I went thru a very rough patch a couple of years ago (we are about the same age as you). One thing I told her then, and I still mean it to this day: “I don’t do roommates.” Either we are married, and all that entails, or we are not. There is no middle ground. Thankfully, we were able to fix the issues that had arisen between us, and I hope and pray it will continue to be so. But if that day ever comes, I will insist that it be one way or the other. I spent 3 years treading water in a sterile relationship, and I’ll never do that again. My advice would be for both of you to get some good counseling to determine how and if your relationship can be saved. It may also help you to realize the difference between infatuation, romance, and love. You might want to pick up a copy of “The Five Love Languages” and read it, along with your husband. Good luck.

    Reply
  3. Annie

    HI Lana, I’ve been married for 24 years now, and only thing I know is that everybody is different, and more often than not, people seem to be happier than they really are, we are just not use to show our weakness, is part of the human being. If you are not sure it is over, chances are that it is not really over, don’t forget than the grass is always greener at the other side of the fence. But one thing I can tell you, why not try to revive the spark that you are missing? romanticism, crazy sex, alone moments with your husband… try new things, somethings that you have never done before, or things that you used to love years ago, simply take the time, life happens fast and we tend to forget to stop to do small things that creates spark in a couple… you can be surprised, you can quickly fall in love again with the person that once had your love.

    Best of chances!

    Reply
  4. Susan

    Excellent advice John and Annie.. And just know the grass is not always greener on the other side…
    As a Divorced woman {cheating ex}(age 60}, I look quite good for my age it is not so easy to meet nice/decent men in our age group….
    I’d love to meet one but I’m thinking i will probably be alone for the rest of my life, I guess it could be worse….being with a cheater…
    Good Luck….

    Reply
  5. Dave

    Lana, this is Dave. That is not my real name but my real name doesn’t matter. First, do what the other responder suggested a few comments ago and take it upon yourself to be the one to try and create a new spark in your marriage. Take your husband out on a date, go wild if that’s what you think he needs. If that doesn’t work, ask him for a trial separation. I also want to suggest that you be the one to leave the house and get a small furnished apartment on a month to month basis. Be alone. You need to know what that feels like. If you haven’t guessed it already, the purpose of this suggestion is to save your marriage, not to entice you to leave it. But you have to be happy. You cannot spend the next 20 to 30 years unhappy. He is certainly going to ask you if the reason for the separation is to date other men. Be honest and tell him that although it’s not the main reason, if the situation arises, you may go out, but if you just wanted sex with other men you would have already cheated on him or you would have just filed for formal separation or divorce so there would be no reservation as to what you could or could not do. The fact that you want this as a trial separation indicates that you’re just not sure of what you want, but whatever you want, or whatever you need, requires a change of some sort. I hope this helps you.

    Reply
  6. Dave

    Lana, First, do what the other responder suggested a few comments ago and take it upon yourself to be the one to try and create a new spark in your marriage. Take your husband out on a date, go wild if that’s what you think he needs. If that doesn’t work, ask him for a trial separation. I also want to suggest that you be the one to leave the house and get a small furnished apartment on a month to month basis. Be alone. You need to know what that feels like. If you haven’t guessed it already, the purpose of this suggestion is to save your marriage, not to entice you to leave it. But you have to be happy. You cannot spend the next 20 to 30 years unhappy. He is certainly going to ask you if the reason for the separation is to date other men. Be honest and tell him that although it’s not the main reason, if the situation arises, you may go out, but if you just wanted sex with other men you would have already cheated on him or you would have just filed for formal separation or divorce so there would be no reservation as to what you could or could not do. The fact that you want this as a trial separation indicates that you’re just not sure of what you want, but whatever you want, or whatever you need, requires a change of some sort. I hope this helps you.

    Reply
    • Sarah

      Hi Dave. My name is Sarah ( not real name). I’m in the exact dilemma boat as Lana. I’ve been “lost ” for many months. I don’t know what to do any more to the point I think I’m depressed. He knows I don’t love him any more and I can’t leave him because I don’t know what my future will be like. Eventhough we sit at the same dining table, but I don’t remember the last time I looked at him.That said, thank you very much for the advice. I think trial separation is the best suggestion I’ve heard so far. I feel much better now. Hope I have enough guts to execute it.

      Reply
  7. Carol

    Lana, this is a tough situation. I know because I went through the exact same thing. These same feelings started in my 40s; eventually we were not communicating at all, so I left for 6 months but went back after he committed to working to make our marriage better. After 4 monthes I realized his work on the marriage was finished. He felt the marriage was similar to many others he knew and he was content. Fifteen years later I left. Yeah, I know I should not have waited soooo long…lol.. But I was more or less content to hangout with my girlfriends and not give men or my husband a second thought. We lived as roommates which was a mistake. When I did leave the second time, I was 110% sure I wouldn’t regret my decision and 2 1/2 yrs later I do not. I am having the best time ever. I think so many people go through this situation, but the key is to have a partner who is willing to do some work and if he is not, you can’t make it better yourself. I loved him, but was not in love with him; we were married for 40 years. I think a trial separation works best and then you will know how living as a single would be and if you would be happier without him. For me the grass was much greener on the other side and I love my freedom to date and have fun. I wish you all the very best!

    Reply
  8. Elle

    I struggled for two years to come to terms with my decision to leave, and actually gather up the courage to do it. We went through counselling, I read books, and eventually I confided in people for support. What I have come to believe is this: you have to choose to love your partner each and every day. You choose to do the work your relationship needs. You both need to fill each others’ buckets, so to speak, and don’t let them run dry. I felt like was making that choice each day but unfortunately in my case, he wasn’t making that choice. He was waiting for me to do all the work on my own. Over time I lost my desire to continue. I made the decision when I was certain I’d be happier and my children would be better off if I was SINGLE for the rest of my life, versus staying in that particular relationship. If you are just wondering if the grass is greener, then that suggests to me that you still have an opportunity to reignite your relationship. Wait. Exhaust all options to save your marriage before you make that choice because once you go down that road, it’ll uproot your life and your children’s lives in ways you just can’t imagine. You need to be 100% sure. My biggest fear became the impacts on my children, followed by finances. I came to terms with a drastically reduced lifestyle, but it is so worth it. Retirement for me now is much further away. Vacations are a dream. But I am free. I feel so fortunate that my kids have adjusted well, but so many don’t and the impacts are lasting. I dealt with immense guilt for breaking up my family and making my children live in two homes. I still do sometimes. But I am convinced they are better off emotionally/mentally than being raised in an unhealthy home. As my children are younger, I have a lot more criteria when it comes to dating, which makes finding anyone worth risking my children’s hearts very difficult. So I’ve remained single, despite having no trouble attracting men. Years later, my ex is just as bitter as day one so co-parenting is a constant battle and sadly involves court. But, on the other hand, I have learned to love myself and regain my identity. I have a full social life and can live each day in peace. My kids see a happy, healthy mom and I am present with them. I exercise regularly and take care of myself for the first time in decades. I feel great and look great. I think those who divorce because they are looking for greener pastures often end up no happier. Those who take the time to recover and reflect on bettering themselves (and understanding their role in the breakdown of their marriage) without the immediate need for a replacement partner do better off. I wish you the best!

    Reply

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