over 40 years and less than ever!

by Anthony
(Canada)

I am married for 41 years. My wife and I live like roommates rather than a couple. Over the last 30 years I have asked her to attend marriage counselling with me but she has consistently refused- not in so many words; but with declarations like "I have no more to give" or, "I can't see how our marriage could be any better".

We share almost no activities. She has told me that she does not trust nor respect me. She has admitted that she is not interested in my interests, what I am doing, thinking etc. We have NO intimacy- intellectual, emotional or physical. The only thing my wife has admitted that she wants is "not to be alone".

I am tired of being alone. My greatest frustration is my total failure to make her happy. While she often laughs at me, we almost never laugh together like our first seven years.

The estrangement began with the birth of our first child 35 years ago. It degenerated to continual fighting (verbal) and arguing. About 20 years ago we began to get burned out and now we live in a tired truce.

I have bought books on marriage renewal; relationship rescue etc. My wife simply scoffs at them.

What to do?????

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Nov 29, 2012
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Why do you stay?
by: LH

I dont know how you FEEL about this woman you have had such a cold distant relationship with all these years. If I were in this situation I would have been despondent many years ago. The one thing I did recognize is how the relationship changed at the birth of the first child. My relationship with my ex husband changed when our daughter was born. As a woman pregnancy and childbirth is a life affirming experience and joyful. I made some serious assumptions that my husband was as excited as I was. It turned out he had more trepidation. My husband was very immature and coddled by his mother. (I discovered later). So when our daughter was born he became exceedingly jealous of the time I spent giving attention to her and NOT HIM. He seethed with anger and resentment and didnt want to touch her hold her or be really involved. When I first witnessed this I was stunned, terrified, angry and a whole lot of other things. I pushed her on him and he withdrew more. So I withdrew from him. (I am not saying I did anything healthy here). I was emotionally immature as well. So the less he was involved with her the first year the more i withdrew from him. I lost all respect for him as a man believing that any adult man that withholds his love from an infant a weak pathetic useless excuse of a man. I didnt trust him alone with her. I never trusted him again. I stayed another 8 years through the birth of a son and a lot of other painful things. We separated after 10 years of marriage and eventually divorced. Now many years later I see that lack of communication right from the start set it all up.

If she has years of resentments built up in her head (real or imagined stories) it will take a lot of work to pick them apart one by one.

Good Luck

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