I have been married for over 20 years to a man 16 years older than me. I've grown out of love with him, but I'm afraid to tell him that I want a divorce. I know that this marriage is over; actually, it's been over for a long time now, but I've been sacrificing my needs to protect my family. Now I'm at a quandary; lost and confused. I don't want him to grow old alone, but I can't abandon my needs/feelings any longer. Do you have any suggestions? — Ready for Change Cindy
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Dear Ready for Change Cindy,
I understand your fear of telling your husband you want to leave him, but you're right, you shouldn't sacrifice your needs to appease his; though it doesn't make telling him any easier. Beating around the bush will make the situation worse so I advise you to be direct and honest with him — I'm sure you'd want the same courtesy from him if the roles were reversed.
You say that you've known the marriage has been over for a while now, so I'd be surprised if your husband didn't know this was coming, but before asking him for a flat out divorce, have you given couples counseling any thought? Or are there any changes that he could make that would make this marriage work for you? If not, sit him down and break the news as gently as possible. Since there are kids involved, making the split as amicable as possible should be your number one priority. I hope I was of some help — good luck.