Dear Jane, Should I Leave My Husband?
I’ve been married to my husband for ten years, but I’ve never felt more alone. In the beginning, we were best friends and our sexual chemistry was amazing, but for the past few years, he’s been withdrawn, works extremely long hours, and doesn’t seem that interested in spending quality time with me.
Whenever I try to bring up how I’m feeling to him, he dismisses me as being a nag and tells me that I’m overreacting. I don’t want to get divorced, but I also don’t want to be in a marriage with a man who feels like a stranger.
I’m not sure if he’s cheating or not, but I wouldn’t be surprised. What should I do? Do you think I can save my marriage?
– Married Yet Alone
There’s usually nothing that healthy communication, a willingness to do the work, and therapy can’t fix.
Dear Married Yet Alone,
I’m so sorry to hear that you’re going through this. It’s never a good feeling to feel like you’re alone in a partnership. That’s a different type of loneliness that can feel very isolating and with him invalidating your experience of feeling neglected is literally crazy-making.
So after reading the below, take a Hello Mellow which may help to ease your relationship anxiety throughout the day, and a Nighty Night which may help to soothe and calm your worries at-night for a peaceful sleep.
The first thing I would say, is to schedule a time with your husband to have a real conversation about the state of your marriage. Have the tough discussion about how you’ve been feeling and come prepared with specific examples so when he tries to invalidate your feelings, you have concrete and real-life experiences that you can use to illustrate how you feel.
Be prepared for some pushback.
It’s not always easy to be confronted with how someone feels about your behavior, so he might not be in a place to receive your feedback just yet.
Have an open mind and an open heart.
I would also come with an open mind and be prepared to listen to him as well. All partnerships take the combined effort of two people, so he might have some feedback for you as well about what he needs from you in the relationship.
Get some perspective in couple’s therapy.
I would also ask your husband if he’s open to going to couple’s therapy. Having an objective outside party to help you both navigate your issues can be a game-changer in getting your marriage back on track. Working with a therapist can also help to identify the root cause of your issues and then create a plan to reconnect with each other.
I know it might feel lonely and hopeless now, but I wouldn’t give up on your marriage just yet. There’s usually nothing that healthy communication, a willingness to do the work, and therapy can’t fix.
Jane is the fictional heroine of the Betoken lifestyle blog, Good For Jane. Think of Jane as your virtual BFF. She lives a healthy lifestyle, but not like, over the top. When it’s not a pandemic, she loves hanging out with her friends, dating, and exercising in public. Throughout the pandemic she has baked her fair share of sourdoughs, gotten more than her fair share of takeout to “support her local restaurants”, ordered wine online and taken plenty of CBD to keep the anxiety at bay.
Jane is also the editor of the Dear Jane column. If you have a question for Jane, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Jane, I am at a breaking point! My kid is almost 5 years old and WILL NOT SLEEP through the night! Honestly thank god for my Nighty Night. At least with it I'm able to get right back to sleep after he ineveitably wakes me up at 2AM. Can I give him some?! This...
Dear Jane, I am officially a meme. You know the ones about dodging Covid? Somehow, despite numerous close encounters and look-a-like symptoms, I haven't had Covid yet. I know so many people that have, I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority in my friend group. Of...
Dear Jane, As I coast well into my 30's, my days of hard charging and partying on the weekends are behind me. Of course I know this makes sense, and I couldn't party now even if I wanted to (the multi-day hangovers kill me!) but I am kind of at a loss as to what to...