How to know if you should fight for your marriage or let it go

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-19-2010
How to know if you should fight for your marriage or let it go
Sat, 04-28-2012 - 3:26pm


Wow I haven't been on this site in a long time!

So I have been with my husband now for 17 years, we have 4 boys ages 5,6,11,13

Things have been tough this last year, he was injured at work and lost his job and financially things have sucked and his injuries limited him quite a bit for awhile. All is recovered now, he is out of town for 3 months re-training.

I haven't heard much from him since he's been gone and I asked if he'd like me to come up next weekend because all of the kids are going camping with grandparents and he's only a 5 hour drive away. he completely ignored the question, long story short I called him and we chatted for awhile. I asked him if everythings ok with us and he said I don't know! So I was kinda shocked so dug a bit deeper. End result he isn't happy and when I asked well do you WANT us to work it out, he said I don't know what I want. He is living the life right now, on his own, no kid stress or money or wife stress, hanging with the other guys every night, drinkin this a mid life crisis. I don't know if I should fight for him or let him go :(

I make him unhappy because I have accused him of being unfaithful, not even that really I have accused him of spending time with someone else...I don't know if this is true or not but he's always out and I don't know where he is. He lied one day saying he was going grocery shopping and 4 hours later came home with no groceries..he'd gone and gotten a tattoo. When I asked why would you lie about something so silly, he said I just need to do some things on my own, ok!

I'm just confused and very upset, I'm not the strongest person, I love this man with all my heart, I am very attracted to him, I am very grateful for things he does for us, he's funny, he's a great dad, I believe he has lost those feelings for me though :( what a hard thing to accept...any thoughts?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-28-2007

I can tell you from being on the other side of this tainted coin....that you should not "fight" for him because you are going to use alot of energy for nothing. You can not force someone to change the way they feel.  When you ask someone if everything is ok and they say "I don't know" it is a way of saying NO and I don't know how to tell you, I don't want to hurt you, I don't want to be the "jerk" that walks out on a family with 4 young boys....

I feel sorry for you...because I pretty much feel the same way about my boyfriend right now..he asks me if things are ok and I say "I don't know".  I mean all those things above..I don't want to hurt him, I don't want to be a jerk...but my desire to be in this relationship has fizzed out.   I was with someone for 20 years and I left him which has nothing to do with this...I just want you to know that I have been in a long term relationship that didn't work out.  I have been with this guy for 6 years and it isn't what I want and I use all the "avoidance" tactics your husband is using.

The thing with the tattoo was probably...hey I want a tattoo and if I say I'm going to get a tattoo. I'm going to be asked alot of questions I don't want to deal with or be asked not to go get a I'll just say I'm going shopping and deal with it later.

He sounds like he has been checked out and he doesn't know how to officially check out and doesn't want to HURT you.  Its unavoidable...I had to tell my b/f the other day how I felt....because it was KILLING me.  We are at a cross roads right now..but this isn't about me..its about your post.  My boyfriend doesn't want me to check out....just like you don't want your husband i am trying against what I really want for his feelings.  What I am saying is as much as he is FIGHTING for our isn't really having an impact or changing how I feel about the situation and I think your husband will not change his feelings, no matter what you do. 

It would be hard at first..but I would suggest...letting him go...telling him...that you don't deserve to be treated like this..kept in limbo with his feelings about you and that you should stop contact...and then heal.....move on with your life...maybe date later on...and since you guys were together for so long..maybe after he is done with his midlife crisis...he will want back in the realtionship and maybe by will NOT want him back.  But, he obviously (sorry this is going to hurt) not into you or he would be acting LIKE HE WAS.  He is avoiding you......the reasons don't hurts just as bad no matter what the reason..but you have to admit to yourself that he is checked out for real.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009

Do you blame him for enjoying getting away for a while?  He's been thru a rough time lately, and now he's in a stress free environment and has no one accusing him of anything, or making him feel that he has to lie about what he wants or where he's going.  There is nothing more frustrating that knowing your spouse doesn't trust you, and makes wild accusations.  How would you like it if he questioned you whenever you went out and took longer than expected?

Why don't you try telling him what you said in the last paragraph of your post?  Don't you think he'd rather hear that you love him with all your heart, you're attracted to him, that you're grateful for everything he does for the family......that you love his sense of humor, that he's a great Dad, and maybe throw in that he's a great husband, too! 

You need to stop the negativity when you talk to him.  Why not tell him how much you miss him instead of putting him on the spot by asking "are you happy"?  That's just giving him permission to say no, he's not.......but that solves NOTHING. 

You need to let it all go until he returns home.  Now is NOT the time to ask if he's happy!  Or what he wants for the future.  Now is the time for you to be a loving wife that misses her husband, and telling him how much his kids miss him, too.  When he gets home, then you open communication with him and tell him YOUR fears.....he's not a mind reader.  Suggest counseling if the two of you can't be open and honest with each other.  ALL marriages are worth at least working on with professional help.....and if it can't be worked out, then you "let it go". 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008

To the OP.

I agree with fissatore.

dont give up on y our husband and your precious family.. Go to couples counseling and communicate all that is bothering you with your husband. Dr.Phil has his site where there is a whole process of how and when one should divorce.. Its called anatomy of divorce. Its like leave no stone unturned. Work on the marriage and then see how it goes.

Marriage is work but so is divorce.. I would rather work on a marriage and not head for divorce if at all possible. See what happens when hubby returns.. Talk it out and see what the problems are.

Good Luck

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

I never really understood the concept of one person saying that they are going to fight to stay married if the other person doesn't want to.  I do think if both people know they are having problems but they don't want to give up right away, they could decide to go to counseling and try to work things out, try different things & improve on whatever the problems are--but if one person wants out the other person can't really do anything to make them stay if they don't want to.

I think right now your DH is having a taste of freedom & what it would be like to be single again.  Honestly I think for a lot of people in a long term marriage it would be nice to have a vacation from each other once in a while--plus now he doesn't even have to deal w/ kids, he can relax & go out w/ the guys.  I don't know if it's the beginning or end of the 3 months of training but I think it's going to be a decision that he is going to have to make about what he wants.  For most people who are in a good marriage, I'd imagine that no matter how much fun it seems like at first, by the end of the time, they would really be missing their DH or DW and be glad they are going home.  If he's away for 3 mos and doesn't want to come home & is happier being alone, then he will know. 

I think this is a good time to examine your marriage and your past behavior.  Why did you accuse him of spending time w/ another woman?  If he didn't do that, I'd think it would be really upsetting to him to be accused of something he wasn't doing--that's a no win situation.  And even w/ him getting the tattoo w/o telling you.  Are you the type of woman who is controlling--what if he had told you ahead of time that he wanted a tattoo?  Would you have said ok, what type of design are you going to get--or would you have nagged him and told him he was wasting money or he's too old or something like that.  Also I think when you have a bunch of kids, of course they take up a lot of time and I think sometimes marriage get stale because everything becomes about the kids and you have to make more of an effort to connect w/ each other.  Good luck--I hope you can work things out.