I Don’t Know If I’m Still In Love With My Wife

Question:

I’ve been with my “wife” for 8 years now and we have 3 beautiful kids together. My problem is that although I do love my wife I’m not really sure that I’m in love with her. I know that I have to answer this question for myself, but I don’t know how you can tell the difference between “love” and “being in love”?

All I can say is that it doesn’t have anything to do with another woman – I just don’t feel like I’m very happy in the marriage but I also don’t want to leave my kids. To be honest sometimes I feel that the kids are the only reason I really stay around.

A few days ago I met an old friend of mine and I had the best time of my life with her. I felt totally different around her than I do with my wife, and in my marriage. There’s nothing going on with this other girl, I don’t love her – we’re just friends. She just made me really happy for one day, and I felt like a new person because of that.

My “wife” and I kinda jumped into our relationship from the very start, and to be honest I really only stayed around because she was pregnant with my first son. I thought I might grow to love her over the years, but now it’s 8 years later and I really don’t think that I do love her. I feel like running away sometimes and I’m never in a rush to get home to my wife – sometimes I just head to a bar instead. At the end of the day I only go home because my kids are there.

Now I find I can’t stop looking at other women, which is probably because I feel the sex with my wife is “forced”. At times I feel I’d rather please myself alone than have her involved – hopefully I’m not being too forward here?

I’ve asked my wife to go into marriage counseling with me but she says she doesn’t have a problem, and when I do mention her problems the situation gets turned around on me and to highlight my faults instead.

I don’t know what to do. I love my kids and don’t want to leave them because I know firsthand what it’s like to have that happen.

Mr X.

Answer:

Hi Mr X,

I felt an entire range of emotions reading your question because firstly there’s a lot of information in there, and secondly not all of that information makes sense. Before I get into my reply I’d like to say that I do believe you want to do the right thing here based on the experiences you had as a kid. That’s admirable and not something every man would do.

Now to the other details we need to cover.

  • You said you only stayed around because your wife was pregnant with your first son. Why then did you proceed to have 2 more children with this woman? Surely you didn’t think that more children would make things “better”? You’re as responsible for building this family as she is.
  • You keep saying there’s no other woman involved, but then repeatedly mention other women. This would lead me to believe that the sex isn’t “forced” at all – you’re just bored with it and looking for another woman to have sex with because it would be a novelty. To my mind that sounds like you simply want to escape from the responsibilities of being a husband i.e. have a little bit of fun for a while, justifying it by saying that your marriage has “died”.
  • You’d rather please yourself’ than have sex with the same woman you have 3 children with. Do you have any idea how self-indulgent and self-pitying that sounds? You’ve been married to this woman for 8 years – not 80!
  • You made the decision to stay in this marriage for 8 years, and now you want to bail out. At least be honest about that and stop dressing it up like some kind of Shakespearian drama.
  • Mentioning your wife’s “faults” as a way of sorting things out between you is bound to cause arguments. What else did you expect?

The Positive Stuff

Asking your wife to go to counseling with you was a brave move and shows that you care. The problem is that if your wife doesn’t seem any problems with the marriage that could mean that:

  1. There are no problems or
  2. There are problems but she’s living in complete and total denial.

All relationships go through a stage where things have become “boring” for everyone involved – you can be sure that your wife is tired of the routine of raising 3 children and being married to a man who decides to come home when he feels like it. It’s time to start viewing your marriage through your wife’s eyes now too, because if you don’t you might find that she’s the one doing the walking away.

If you are genuinely not in love with your wife then do the honorable thing and talk to her about it, letting her know exactly how you feel. At least that way all the cards are on the table and you can both make the choice which works best for both of you and the kids too.

Marlon

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