Love Lines: can this marriage be saved?
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Is the ultimate price for tolerating bad behaviour too high? Suzanne Styles offers advice to a reader who feels her marriage can’t be saved.
“I need some advice please. I have being married for 27 years but in December 2011 the bubble burst and everything that has built up through the years came out.
I asked my hubby for a divorce and he couldn’t understand why
He never makes me feel good about myself; he doesn’t do or say anything that would make me feel good about myself, he flirts with other ladies in front of me but I push it aside as I always say it is his personality. He has had affairs in our marriage but I let it ride as I had four small children.
I don’t love him nor am I in love with him anymore
We sleep in separate rooms, and just when I think I will try again he does something to hurt me. I don’t know what to do any more I say we can try again but his good behaviour only lasts about two weeks and then it’s back to his old self.
Our sex life is nil, I really enjoy sex but he doesn’t. I have thought of having an affair but I don’t think that is the solution. Please can you help?”
The fact that you have written to me, that you do think about trying again, and that you don’t think an affair is the solution, implies that you still have feelings for your husband.
You are responsible for what you have allowed
Letting things slide for so many years has developed paradigms in your husband’s mind about how he is, and has been allowed to behave within your marriage, and whilst he is responsible for his behaviour, you are responsible for what you have allowed to continue over time.
You are at an impasse, living as strangers and sleeping in separate rooms and I believe that it’s all or nothing from here, and that you have nothing to lose.
From today take charge of your marriage
Make a list of how you want your marriage to be, how you want him to make you feel, what you want to hear him to say, about you.
Men need directions: guessing isn’t working for either of you as he has been getting it spectacularly wrong for a long time, hasn’t he?
Your husband, like every man, needs to fix things. Simply stated, you have said he tries for a few weeks and then gives up.
Does he give up , or is it that he doesn’t know what needs to be done to fix it long term?
Men don’t do subtle hints; they do in your face, direct instructions best. Right down to sex and lovemaking, your husband doesn’t enjoy sex with you right now.
Take some quiet time for you to be together, and in a non-confrontational way gently ask him about his desires, his wants and his needs, and tell him about yours too.
Over the years the barriers will have been built up between you, and guilt, hurt and anger put a real damper on anyone’s libido and it will take time to rekindle the physical side of your marriage.
You have both been living past each other for most of your marriage
Start living towards each other; if you start meeting his needs, and tell him what your needs are, he’ll start meeting yours.
Find each other again - there must have been something there for you to have had four children with him, and as he is still with you, he must have deep feelings for you or he would have left too.
Life and marriage is all about boundaries and guidelines; they help formulate rightly or wrongly our habits and paradigms and this dictates our behaviour.
Yours and your husband’s behaviour do not define who you are; you can both change your behaviour to serve your marriage and restore the love that was there, and provide you with the fulfilment that physically and emotionally you both desire.
Email your relationship questions to Suzanne at firstname.lastname@example.org
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