Hi Friends – I am glad you are here for Coffee With Clare – every Thursday!
My problem is I am tired! I’m tired of being married. My husband is not the man I married. I do not expect him to be exactly how he was when he was 21. I’m not the same either, and I don’t want to be. I have grown tired of being so nice, being so compromising, holding my tongue. I’m tired of doing things, like cleaning, cooking, laundry, etc. while working a full time job. I am the bookkeeper, the banker, the housekeeper, the decorator. I take care of all the business things, the list is long. I don’t know what to do. I am not happily married, but it is not easy for me to move forward. I am struggling.
I know we are supposed to hang in there, stand by your man. But if your man has gained over 100 pounds & has several health issues & watches way too much TV, what would Jesus do? What do you do when you’ve been married for a long time & you feel like giving up? When the passion is no longer there. When you don’t look forward to spending time with your spouse. When you are no longer attracted to your spouse. As a Christian, I have hung in there even though I have not been happy. My husband literally gets on my last nerve. Please let me know what your opinion is. I’m sure everyone has an opinion on this one. Christian counseling has not worked. Therapy has not worked.
He is like a bipolar person, gets mad at me & doesn’t speak to me & then a day or 2 later he acts like nothing happened. I am a very forgiving person, but when someone acts like a big baby … being treated badly is not how God intended marriage to be. I don’t feel like we have anything in common. Our children are grown. Should I move on? I have no desire to be in this relationship anymore. He drives me crazy! I don’t know what I am going to do. I have been thinking about this literally for years. I don’t think anyone sees him the way I do. I guess I am just afraid of being alone or afraid of starting over now that my children are grown.
Signed – Fed up in Philly
Dear Fed Up:
First and foremost, as you know, only you can be the one to decide whether you should try to stay in your marriage or not. And this is a tough one, indeed! Marriage is often packed solid with ups and downs. I can certainly relate as I am in a long-term marriage myself, and there have been more than a few not so sunny days and seasons in our marriage….
Let’s consider the pros and cons for a moment. I would suggest you get out a blank piece paper and draw a line down the middle and write the things you like and don’t like about your marriage, and advantages and disadvantages of staying or leaving your marriage. Would you have to sell a home? Can you afford to live as a single woman?
Also, I am not so sure your husband shows you the respect you deserve or realizes how seriously unhappy you are in your marriage. Have you actually sat down with him uninterrupted and had a discussion about these serious issues? You need to have “that conversation” before you move on to anything else. Go out alone with him for this purpose, uninterrupted, and tell him what’s on your heart and that you are quite unhappy with the current state of your marriage. And please ask him, “Are you willing to work on our marriage with me and seek help? Or do we call it quits?” It takes two to tango and it takes two to make a marriage work.
Also, address the weight issue. Goodness, as a “large” girl myself – I hate people trying to tell me to lose weight, or HOW to lose weight. Bring up your concerns about his “health” and that you are concerned for his health and wellbeing in the future. You can say you two can try to work on this together – eat lighter meals together and offer a light walking program to start with. Let him know you are concerned he may die young from a heart attack or stroke.
You mentioned that you wonder if your husband is bipolar. Depression and mental illness can cause lack of interest, moodiness, and weight gain. Sometimes the signs are similar to what you have described about you husband.
And, I think you must give him some time to “digest” all of this. Ask him if he is willing to work to save your marriage. Then, please tell him you want to re-address these issues in two weeks and get his thoughts on his decision.
Although you said you have had some counseling, I think you have not exhausted this area. If your husband says he wants to give your marriage a serious try, I think you need to try to find another counselor that is neutral and offer counseling for both of you. Ask for referrals from someone you respect and/or your pastor. If I may suggest – go to someone that neither of you know. You can get a referral from “Focus on the Family”, a Christian organization known for Christian family values and help.
If you don’t want to get divorced, please don’t give up hope! Hope is a powerful tool! So far, you have decided to stay all these years – it sounds as if you may believe there is a reason you have decided to stay.
Whatever you decide to do, remember to take care of yourself. You need to seek ways to keep yourself happy, social things with friends, Church, a women’s group, and outings. Please make sure you are getting enough rest and are eating nutritiously. In stressful times, we women often forget to treat ourselves gently.
Although you mention that you have sought counseling in the past, consider seeking counseling for yourself once again. You might try obtaining a referral from Focus on the Family above or the American Association of Christian Counselors – find a counselor at:
Our relationships with counselors, like doctors, are unique to the individual. If you don’t “click” with your counselor, consider trying a different one. The counselor you ultimately select is one that you feel you can be honest with, and they are really listening to what you have to say. (Please remember, this is not the same thing as saying what you want to hear or agreeing with everything you say.)
As a Christian woman, I can say – without a doubt – now is the time to press into God and go to Him every available moment for truth, guidance and to get the support you need! He will guide you through this.
God Bless you. My prayer is for you to get the help you need.
I would love to hear from you! I invite you to email your questions, problems and “life challenges” directly to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org