How do I know my marriage is over? 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 four 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?
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. 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.
I’m just not sure…
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