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You Asked: Is Our Marriage Over?

Dear Sugar,

Help! I have been with my husband for 13 years and will be married 11 in November. To make this as short as possible, I've lived in a sexless, loveless relationship for 12 years. Last November I met someone wonderful and decided to tell my husband I was done. We separated for four months and I stopped seeing my "friend" for a while to get my head together. My husband immersed himself in therapy and told me he could not lose me, that he loved me and would do whatever had to be done to keep us together. I moved back home in May but I still don't feel passion toward him. I love him, but am still very hurt and angry. He supposedly suffers from intimacy issues, fear of failure, etc., and although he is working very hard to be in my heart, our sex life is not good, in fact, it's horrible. He makes no effort to please me at all. After not having any for months, he accused me the other day of not wanting him.

I know he loves me in his very own way, but I am not sure I can ever be happy with this man. So many people tell me what a great guy he is and that I should stay with him. He is a great provider and very good in other ways so my question is do I work my butt off to save my marriage, or call it a day? I need some advice please. — Unhappy Helena

To see DearSugar's answer


Dear Unhappy Helena,

In order for this marriage to work, you need to make sure both of your needs are being met, and from what you're telling me, you two have a lot more work to do. I'm glad to hear that your husband is in therapy, but have you thought about going to therapy together? Something tells me that you aren't talking to your husband about what you need to be happy so getting everything out on the table could do wonders for your relationship. Sex is also a major component to any relationship so if spicing things up in the bedroom isn't helping, you might want to consider seeing a sex therapist.

Staying in an unhappy relationship, even though he's a good provider and loves you in his own way, will only leave you feeling sad and alone if you're still having doubts. You've been with this man for 13 years so you owe it to yourself and your relationship to give your marriage a fighting chance, but if you're forcing something that's just no longer there, your relationship could have just run its course. Keeping the lines of communication open is a must so voice your concerns as often as they need to be addressed. While all relationships take work, yours shouldn't be more work than play. Good luck to you.


Join The Conversation
2BBlessed 2BBlessed 9 years
OMG...I'm dimayed how non-supportive this group can be. I think deep down you know the answer you just want to be reassured perhaps so down the road you can pass the blame on to others rather than accepting full responsibility. We are not perfect. No one is. This group cannot offer any true therapeutic advice only opinions only. Some may be in your shoes, some may have been in your shoes and some cannot relate at all. To truly get good advice then please consult a trained professional not the people that lurk here. You may not get compassion or empathy from a therapist and sometimes the truth hurts. The pain will subside and you will learn to deal with the outcomes. I am not an advocate of divorce however, life is too short to be in a loveless relationship. Think of your husband, think of yourself. I pray that you will find the guidance that you need and that will allow God in your heart and accept his destiny for you.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
Tweet- you stole the words right out of my mouth too! I mean...not that it helps her now, but no kidding, this is the kind of shit that happens when you marry someone you don't love. How am I supposed to have sympathy for that? I think Looseseal might have been harsh...but sometimes these letters are so ridiculous! My advice: get a freaking vibrator, or get a divorce.
myladybloom myladybloom 9 years
I guess my sense of humor is much different from yours then. I just took it at face value and said what I felt without really thinking about it. What you read was really my gut reaction to your post, nothing more. What can I say -- I'm just really sensitive, that's all.
gossipqueen gossipqueen 9 years
Cut him loose...let him find somebody better....and find somebody that jumps at your every need. I don't understand why go thru 12 money? can't complain for something you did to yourself! Go to counseling and FIX YOURSELF first!
looseseal looseseal 9 years
myladybloom, you're certainly entitled to your opinion, as is anyone else here. The points system is for fun, not some kind of feudal hierarchy. Funny you should say "put yourself in her place", though, because that was kind of exactly what I did, and out came that letter. To clarify, I'm mocking the person I saw when I "put myself in her place", as it were, not definitively stating this is all certainly true of the actual letter writer. I question at the end whether I'm even remotely close, which I really do not know. But if the letter fits... People have been mocked more for much less.
FashionLuvr FashionLuvr 9 years
You deserve more. I was in a relationship with a man just like this. He was a great guy outside of his intimacy problem, and that is why I stayed so long. Only after we broke up did I realize how unhealthy the relationship was. Not being desired, no matter what the reason, is hard on your self-esteem. You will be SO HAPPY when you are with someone who loves you body and soul.
bransugar79 bransugar79 9 years
This will probably be an unpopular opinion but I think you have to stay and try. I agree that staying with someone because they are a good provider and other things like that is not a good idea, but you married this man. If you were going to find out if he was right for you that should have been done during the 2 years prior to your saying I do. Now you've made the commitment and you vowed to work through things for better or worse so you should stick to your word. Talk to your husband tell him why you are unhappy see if there is something that can be done to change the way things are. And most of all actually be open to the changes. Someone can turn the world over to please you but if you've already made up your mind that you won't accept what they do then it won't work. Now if you are in any way in physical danger I would say to get out but just because your sex life has taken a boring turn and he's not as fun as he once was doesn't seem like a good enough reason to call it quits
lolalu lolalu 9 years
I don't mean to attack you, but the tone of this letter sounds very selfish and childish. Instead of facing your problems like an adult you had an affair, and then say that your HUSBAND is the one who needs to shape up? Seriously? From the sound of it, it sounds like he's a good guy, your friends wouldn't just make that up. I think you should do him and favor and leave. He deserves someone who will be supportive and faithful, two things which you are clearly incapable of/willing to do. I also can't help but wonder why you bothered getting married in the first place? If you've been in a loveless/sexless relationship for 12 years and have been married 10, why get married?!
Janine22 Janine22 9 years
I think sometimes passion does take work, especially if you have been with someone for awhile. Was there ever a point in time that you were sexually attracted to him, or the sex was good? I am thinking that there must have been, because why else would you have married him? As for him making no effort to please you, is this because there is a breakdown in communication? Have you ever communicated with him and told him exactly what you need him to do in order to enjoy sex with him? He is never going to know unless you tell him exactly what you need. If he is just selfish in bed, then personally, I would not be ok with that and I can see why you went elsewhere. Only you can decide if you want to stay with him, but from your letter it sounds like you have made up your mind already. The marriage will not work unless both of you want it to, and you are both willing to do some work. This means that you should be in individual counselling as well, and couples counselling. I also like the idea Sugar suggested about seeing a sex therapist. But it all comes down to whether you want to save your marriage and are willing to do some work. If you really don't love him, then I guess it's not worth it. But if your feelings are a result of a breakdown in communication, that is something that can be worked on. To be honest, it sounds to me like you have already checked out of the marriage.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
Ask yourself one question: Are you better off with him or without him? Depending on your answer, stay or leave the marriage. This is a BOTTOM-LINE question and answer.
myladybloom myladybloom 9 years
For god's sake looseseal, tone it down at least a little bit. This is a place for guidance and support, not insults and backbiting, and especially not vitriol! Even if you're angry at her for being foolish, she should not be mocked. Put yourself in her place: How would you like if you posted a question and she (or someone else) ended up mocking you? And yes, I know I'm only a lowly member and you're a gold. But even I know the value of killing 'em with kindness. If you ARE a gold you should know the Golden Rule. Yes, I know that she should follow it too, and she hasn't exactly been behaving with sensitivity either. She has a lot to atone for, and a lot to figure out. But, hey, we all make mistakes. And I'm sure it's not too late to correct this one. But please, for the love of God, do not blow up at this woman. She has enough to deal with as it is. She needs all the help she can get.
looseseal looseseal 9 years
This is the real letter as I imagine it: Dear Sugar, I'm a stupid bint who got married because I wasn't getting any younger! And everybody HAVE to married, of course! I had a guy on the hook that I figured was as good as anyone else. Also I was getting sick of working for a living. It's too HARD! Now that the marriage is past the ten year mark, the alimony after the divorce is going to be kick-ass! I already started shopping for boy toys. Anyways, hubby keeps saying how he loves me and wants to stay together. So I'm having second thoughts, 'cause maybe this would be good for getting more $$$ out of him, but I don't know, this is getting too much like WORKING for a living. Which is HARD. I have a lot of NEEDS, okay? And hubby isn't satisfying ALL of them, so this is all totally his own fault, right? He is such a terrible person. Please tell me I'm right, it'd be a real bummer to have to feel bad about leading on some dumb sucker I never loved in the first place! - too spineless to live Am I warm? I completely agree with CaterpillarGirl, by the way.
quitecontrary quitecontrary 9 years
Wow. Simply by the fact that you say it's been "loveless" for 12 years!?!?! answers it for me. It's impossible for the rest of us to know who allowed it to get that way, but if you can state that so simply- it's over. Kudos for stopping the extra-marital stuff to try and clear your head- but again, the fact that you had to go somewhere else for that intimacy says it all. Just because he's nice person doesn't necessarily mean he's the right person. Life is WAY too short.
ckeller825 ckeller825 9 years
you need to do you. if you're not happy...leave. it will be hard, but it will make you happy in the long run. You seem like a people pleaser.
brittanyk brittanyk 9 years
It kind of sounds like you already have your mind made up. You're ready to move on. You're already seeing someone else. It takes two people for a relationship to work and, I'm sorry, but it kind of sounds like you've already given up on yours. That's your decision, but don't second guess it.
zabrow zabrow 9 years
tweet, you stole the words right out of my mouth. if you didn't love him, i'm confused about why you went ahead with marrying him. time to get out.
lauraxtc lauraxtc 9 years
Been there. I think you shouldn't have to force yourself to stay with him.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 9 years
You deserve to be happy, but so does your husband. I say continue therapy and see if you guys can work out the issues that are preventing your sexual intimacy. However, if you still feel that it isn't working for you, you owe it to yourself and him to end it.
tomatoshirt tomatoshirt 9 years
If you have already been seeing someone, why bother... Stop torturing yourself and him...
jessie jessie 9 years
i feel that 13 years together is a long time together, long enough not to go right hand, left shoulder with it. sound like you love him right? so the sex isn't the greatest, okay.. what makes you think that with your new "friend" that after a while that the sex wouldn't fizzle either. its not all about the sex, but granted it does help. why not give him tell him what pleases you, touches that you like. he's not a mind reader. the thrill of new relationship will wear off soon, then where will you be? you BOTH need to seek marriage counseling, don't be putting the blame all on him, because its YOUR fault too!!
fantome14 fantome14 9 years
Uh, it sounds to me like you already made your decision, deep down inside, and are now looking for permission to go ahead with leaving him. Only you can make that decision and give yourself that permission--forget what a bunch of people unrelated to the situation may think about it!
tweet-hotpants tweet-hotpants 9 years
you said you've been married for 11 years yet you've been in an un-loving relationship for 12. why did you marry him in the first place?
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
wow, you know for 12 years that your husband has intimacy issues, fear of failure, so you have an affair...and than TELL HIM you had an affair and expect him to go to counseling and get better? how selfish of you to a) have the affair in the first place and not seek counseling before, i mean he might have had a chance before he found out his wife was bangin another dude b) to tell him you had the affair at all, what was that going to accomplish? because you ended up staying anyway. I dont get it. He deserves someone better than you, go to your wonderful guy (who was so wonderful he was okay with committing adultry)
Marni7 Marni7 9 years
I think you should realize that he is just not the one for you. Sometimes we stay in situations because the person is so great, and we dont want to hurt them but him being such a great person doesnt mean anything if you dont love him. I know that its easier said than done, but you cant make yourself fall in love with him..12 years???? I mean, I would say you have tried to make the marriage work staying with him that long without love..but everyone deserves to be loved and in love..that is the one thing in life you cant "make" happen and you should never settle.
pinkprincess1101 pinkprincess1101 9 years
only you can make that decision but i would try some counseling to see if it is worth or can be saved, and if that doesn't work then you have to do what will ultimately make you happy in the end, you are not getting any younger
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