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You Asked: How Do I Tell Him I Don't Love Him Anymore?

You Asked: How Do I Tell Him I Don't Love Him Anymore?

Dear Sugar,

I have been married for almost five years now. I had my son when I was 18, and then got married the next year at 19. My husband and I have had our fair share of ups and downs; there have been several things in the past that he has done that have hurt me very badly. He used to have an anger-management problem and would yell at me very aggressively — he even locked me outside of our house a couple times when we would get in intense arguments.

In the last year we separated twice, but we always wound up making up however I've never truly forgiven him. I don't love him anymore, and I have no desire to kiss him, let alone sleep next to him. I fake it every day and try so hard to get my heart back into our marriage, but I just don't feel it anymore. I want to tell him how I have been feeling, but I am fearful that he will get angry and this will all backfire on me.

I don't want to be married to him anymore. I am 24 years old, and I just want to experience some of life on my own — with my son, of course. I want to divorce, but I need it to be as peaceful as possible, so that we can both be parents to our son. How do I approach him and tell him how I'm feeling?

—Time to Move On Mandy

To see DearSugar's answer,


Dear Time to Move On Mandy,

Obviously you and your husband are not without your issues, but it sounds like you've tried to work through them to no avail. I'm glad to hear that you have your son's best interests at heart in regards to a divorce, but with your husband's history of anger and irrational behavior, I think you need to be extra cautious when you approach him about your feelings.

I wouldn't broach the subject until you're absolutely sure about your desire to divorce him, in other words, don't use this as an ultimatum. If you just tell him that you're no longer in love with him, he's likely to act out in rage unless you promise to stay, and you want to be able to stay in control. If you decide that you want to try to make it work for some time longer then I think that you and your husband need to see a family therapist together ASAP.

I wouldn't normally suggest this, but since your husband has shown such hostile behavior before, I'd consider having this conversation in a public place (without your son) so that he can't overreact like he might in the comfort of his own home. I would also use this initial conversation as an opportunity to address your feelings and make sure he understands that you're very serious about leaving. Once you've gotten that out of the way, you can have a follow-up conversation at a later time about the details of the divorce and your son. And make sure to prepare yourself for the worst by lining up a place for you and your son to stay while you can get on your feet. Best of luck to you.


Join The Conversation
erock0628 erock0628 8 years
this man sounds dangerous i think that u should plain every step of this and make sure u have some type of outside support
JessieSP JessieSP 9 years
Make sure you have more than one set plan for you and your son if you plan on divorcing this man. And try counseling before you set your mind in one sure direction. Who knows, you may find out something in counseling that you thought would never come up. If you could get through those issues then maybe you two could get your marriage back on track. But if not, then again, just make sure you have a good plan for you and your son. Being a single mother, even with his father in and out of the home or visitations, can still become very hard on you as a single mom.
mashiah48901 mashiah48901 9 years
Postscript: Oh, wouldn't it be lovely if the man would follow the counsel of the bible and be wonderful to this woman as Y'shua (Jesus) would treat her with respect and honor (read the book and see how he treated every woman and child he came into contact with) but you cannot change your husband, you cannot make him be a person who does what should be done. Toy-Toy is trying to lay some guilt trip on you (an element of mental and emotional abuse) without realizing that the godly ideal (what should be) just isn't matching with the facts on the ground. There are realistic ideals and unrealistic ideals. There are periods of time to be patient and there are times when it's time to go. If you read the first two chapters of Proverbs, you'll find that even GOD knows when to quit! I do think it is important for you to communicate your feelings to your husband, but as all of the wise and discerning ones here have advised, you need to do it without your son's presence and you need to prepare for safety of yourself, your son, your must-have possessions (important documents, etc.). Be bold but be smart. Y'shua said "Be cunning as foxes and harmless as doves." It doesn't sound like you're out to hurt or harm your husband in any way - you're just wanting to prevent yourself and your son from any harm or hurt. There is absolutely nothing wrong with protecting your and your son's interests. You can be cunning, and still be in good sight of God. He knows your motives. I wish you the best as I pray for myself and my son also to be all right.
mashiah48901 mashiah48901 9 years
Unfortunately, Toysweetness does not rightly divide the word of truth (the bible). She is right to say that "except it be for fornication, a man shall not put away his wife." Well, for one thing, this lady is not a man! Secondly, the bible says that any man who does not provide for his household is WORSE than an infidel! So a woman whose experience is WORSE than infidelity certainly has the right to PUT OFF THE MAN! There is no way God would expect a woman to put up with abuse like that. How in the world does that honor God? And to raise a child in an environment to learn that crap is a sin and a disservice to the child. The bible says, "Train up a child in the way that he SHOULD go" - I see little benefit of staying in a relationship which models the behaviours of "men are to be aggressive with women to put them in their place and punish them and to be vindictive" and "women are to submit to this kind of treatment." TO HELL WITH THAT! Well, I suspect that Toysweetness is much like one of my friends who thinks I should stay in an extremely verbally, emotionally, mentally abusive marriage cuz maybe Toysweetness is one of those "kept women" who has never been on her own and is DEPENDENT on the man to the degree that she has come to justify UNGODLY behaviour with the tired old phrase "nobody's perfect." Well, Toy-Toy - dig in your bible a little further to find that we are to strive to be perfect even as Christ is perfect. Proverbs says "Keep not company with an angry man, lest you learn his ways and get a snare to yourself." This woman is being very honest here about her lack of loving feelings, her not wanting his kisses let alone more than that, and her fear of HIS RAGE. Let me now talk to the woman who wrote: You are not afraid of telling him - you are afraid of his reaction. That should tell you enough about the loss of trust, the lack of security, (he's not providing safety for you nor your son) and his angry ways. I am in the process of leaving my own situation. It's not easy, it's even a little scary, but it must be done. I don't want my son to think that this control-freak, venom-tongued, vindictive relationship dynamic is EVER normal nor to be accepted nor to be imposed. There are more scriptures in the bible about the woman leaving the man - God has called us to PEACE. Here is a website with more information: In summary, do what you know is right in your heart. God bless you.
Toysweetness Toysweetness 9 years
Yes you are right the bible does state that exactly however if you look into the bible the ONLY reason for divorce in GODS eyes is adultery! I didn't say stay with an abusive husband. However she has no grounds to divorce him, according to the bible. One they have not even gone to counseling because she doesn't communicate with him. Cyan45 while you have your point about people being in unhappy marriages to save the children. They choose to have that responsibility and many are just unhappy without actually trying for a solution. She has not tried for a solution. She needs to think plural, such as informing her husband of what she thinks and how she feels. Yes husbands should treat their wife like Christ does the congregation, and wives should DEEPLY RESPECT their husbands (it is not just him who has responsibility in a marriage), the bible didn't say it would be easy to carry out either one of those responsibilities. Also the bible gives counsel about how to strengthen a marriage. If either one of them would follow the counsel in the bible they would able to work things out a lot easier. Just to tell you faith without works is dead. So those professing to have faith but proving false to it are not working on their relationship with God, therefore are definitely not working on their relationship with their mate. By the way I am not trying to guilt her with a god related spin on this issue. I speak bible truths because she should know what Gods standards are. No one has a right to decide what is RIGHT AND WRONG except GOD! Cyan45 you and I are not able to decide what Gods standards are, however if you follow them they are for our benefit. All scripture is inspired of God and is used for setting matters straight. STEPS TO A HAPPY MARRIAGE 1. Love Not just the romantic kind but love that is not selfish, putting the needs of others before your own. (Not saying that you don't take care of yourself, your safety is very important, however it is only indicated that he yells but he has never hit you, I'm not saying that is not possible)From the information that I am receiving from this posting from Mandy she has only told her side of the story. To be completely honest how does anyone of us know what her reaction to all of this was. She could have done many things to hurt him yet none of that information is shared. 2. Communication Communication is the food of love. Without talking and just making rash decisions you will never work things out just decide that you are unhappy and you are in love anymore so lets get a divorce. Also it encourages us to be swift about hearing yet slow about speaking, so that we actually consider the other persons feelings. 3. Respect Without mutual respect the foundation of a relationship will never be strong.
sugarbritches sugarbritches 9 years
cyan45 thank you for your view. I agree with you and the other posters above that you need to plan carefully if you intend to break this news to him. Plan for worst case scenario because it sounds like it is a very real possibility. Rejection isn't easy for the most level headed person to accept in a rational fashion. He has a history of bad temper so this will be difficult. DO NOT do this alone! Find someone to be there with you when you tell him. Preferrably family but friends would do also. I would suggest two people if possible. There are some really wise suggestions above about planning a safe place for you and your son, stashing money and valuables and talking to an attorney ahead of time. He/she might have more insight and advice to give you about how to protect yourself and your son. Please be careful and take care of yourself. Good luck and God bless!
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
I agree with dear and hotstuff 1000%. I grew up with an unstable stepfather(it wouldn't have mattered if he was my biological father), and though it never came to worst case scenario, it was pretty close a couple of times. Even though he didn't hurt me physically he did scar me for life, and it will forever be incomprehensible to me that my mother for putted us and herself in harms way. There is no reason good enough for that. It is serious. I grew up having to be perfect so that my stepfather wouldn't get angry, and or take it out on my mother. And it didn't get better, along the years he got worse. She finally left him when I was 17, by just not coming home one day. At that point I had been living with my father in another state for 3 years, as being a teenager was too much for my stepfather. Though every situation is different, you need to take care of your son. More than anything. Staying with your husband does not sound like taking care of your son; you are scared he will go ballistic if you leave him, so aren't you really a prisoner of your own home? And if you are then your son is a prisoner too. Save up money, secretly pack clothes and necessities for your son and you. Let people around you know what is about to happen so they can help protect you. Arrange for a place to live, with family and friends, and start looking for an apartment for you and your son. File the divorce papers as soon as possible, after you tell him. Get advice from a lawyer as to how to proceed. If you take control and get prepared than this will go much easier. Also, put your jewelry and other valuables in a safety deposit box, he might take them as punishment if you leave. It is much easier to leave now than when your son gets older, believe me. But you need to protect and care for your son, and yourself. You know in your heart what is right, and do the right thing even if it is the hard thing to do.
cyan45 cyan45 9 years
so sorry to hear of your struggles mandy. while i do not have personal experience, i have witnessed a similar situation with a family friend and her family. i don't suppose counseling (either solo or couple) has/would help? of course i don't know how open/cool headed such a conversation is with your husband. if he is unwilling to recognize your pain (and express his own issues and agree to work together for the marriage and kid), i don't know how much better things will be in the future... toysweetness: while i understand your observation--the out of control divorce rate, shattered families, marriage oaths, contradictory statements of love/leave etc--i simply cannot swallow sticking it out with an obviously threatening, abusive husband (especially if he turns out to be unresponsive to counseling). you quote the bible to affirm your opinion, yet it also states (with regards to marriage) that husbands should esteem their women as christ did the church. ie, don't treat them like crap, they are to be respected, cherished and loved! does god brush aside this minor detail for the sake of saving the kids from heartache and maintaining a 'godly oath' (which i might add, gets broken by those of faith just as often)? either way, the family will have to struggle with pain. one will be a prisoner in her own home, and the other free physically, emotionally, spiritually, whatever. kids make everything harder, but if divorce is the most healthy option, then i'd prefer a caretaker who took care of herself first, then by extension, my well being and path to peace and wholeness again. who said staying in a broken marriage is better for the kids than a broken family? maybe it looks better from the outside looking in? from my observations of happy non-faith couples and miserable faith ones, marriage is more than a 'god' thing (whatever that means): it is work, conflict management, personality compatibility, listening to each other...please, please, PLEASE do not judge mandy's feelings with this god-related spin. i think practical problem-solving is more effective than all-emcompassing ideology. i've grown up in the church, and really get irritated when people project ideology upon others, especially upon sensitive, complex personal issues. it just feels judgmental and not result-driven to me, no matter how you slice it. sorry for the rant, i just felt compelled to voice my view *sigh*
Toysweetness Toysweetness 9 years
In this country it is so easy to get a divorce. So easy to sign papers and to move away were you never have to see that person again. Yet there is deep pain associated with divorce. Not just yours your son and his father. You say that you are trying to put your heart back into your marriage yet it seems like the only thing you focus on is how you want to be next him or kiss him. These are heart bittering thoughts. Even if they are not conscious level they are in your heart which is influencing you feeling and actions. It seems that you are overwhelmed with bitterness. You say that you tried your hardest yet you never forgave him for any past mistakes, or arguements. That is not trying to put your heart into your relationship. Also in just thinking about where the relationship of marriage came from. It was from God. You not only promised your husband when you married him but you also agreed to the marriage arrangement God has set up for us. Jesus said What God has yoked together let no man put apart. That includes you. Also the bible states that God hates a divorcing. Sorry to get all preachy on you but this is not just your life. It is your husbands and you sons. He may even feel resentment toward you for getting the divorce. I am not saying that you should live in an unhappy marriage. God set up this for us to have happiness. First priciple is to communicate with him. Just from reading your blog it seems that your not talking to him just pretending to be happy. If you dont talk to him he will never know how you feel. It is like a saying my mother has The baby that does not cry doesnt get any milk. Also think of your son not just yourself. I am not telling you to be unhappy, trapped in a bad situation. Yet to me it seems as if your trying is forcing yourself to do things and in your mind hating it. When you first married him think of the good qualities that he had that you enjoyed. And truely forgive him from your heart. Because if you dont those thoughts just decay your mind and heart. Holding on to troubles and fights you have had in the past only makes your heart bitter. Also consider if you were in his situation or your sons situation. How would they feel. Family is not just about the benefit of one person but the entire unit.
Marci Marci 9 years
You just have to tell him. That's the only way to start making the break and getting things in motion. That first year is hell for everybody, but if you know it's what you want to do, it's worth it. Best wishes.
BlairBear BlairBear 9 years
I totally agree with Dear on this one. Decide what you REALLY want to do and make arrangements. If it's staying together, get counseling, if it is to seperate and eventually divorce, find a place to stay, pack your bags and then tell him. My first marriage was to a control freak with a temper. I told him that I didn't love him anymore and that I wanted a divorce and I wanted him to leave. I did it all in the middle of a parking lot, I didn't want to be alone with him when I told him. I had our first child when I was 17, got married at 19 and our second child at 21, then seperated by 22. So I know what you're going through, it won't be easy but you can do it! Good Luck with whatever the outcome is!
hotstuff hotstuff 9 years
OK, so if your sure its over and you want a divorce you need to make sure you have a plan. Considering how he's locked you out the house before, make sure you have money on the side maybe even a secret account that you can get to, or let your parents hold the money for you. Make sure you and your son have a place to stay, even if it means lining up an apartment. Make sure you have the money, home, and any other necessary resources in line BEFORE you tell him its over. Make sure he can't hide your keys or take your purse in order to make you stay with him. Even if you have to leave your things with your bff, or have duplicate copies of keys and anything necessary. Just make sure there is no way you can be left desperate and stranded. You take charge! I hope you can do this in some kind of public arena but its most likely probably not possible. Do you have family members who can come over to watch your back while you tell him? You should have a phone close by like in your pocket in case he acts crazy. Since it sounds like you've married a real asshole, take your son to a "playdate" while you drop the news so he isn't used as some pawn and so you know how safe its going to be around his father. Also so your son doesn't overhear this conversation. I can't stress enough that you need to make sure you have money on the side just because you never know with a man like this. You've stayed this long, make plans so your not at his mercy. Now as far as the actual conversation, he probably won't take it well no matter how when or where you say it. I guess your just going to have to be honest and tell him your no longer happy and you want a divorce. I don't know, your the best judge of your husband. I would probably just say it when he's not already in an angry mood. I wouldn't even start a whole argument about it. If your absolutely positive this is what you want (this time) then I would say my peace and move forward. It seems like you two are young and breakup and makeup a lot. So just make sure you are 1000% sure this is what you truly want. Good luck!
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