When the fire goes out
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Considering Divorce or Separation If you're considering divorce or separation, this is the place to talk.

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Old 07-20-2012, 03:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default When the fire goes out

First time posting, so hoping to gain some insight, advice and sanity. I don't have anyone to confide in about this since our network of friends has slowly, but surely, gone away.
Been married for 20 years (met in college) and have the perfect family. Problem is, my wife and I have steadily grown apart over the past few years. We don't talk, have sex or take trips together, and force conversation when it's just the two of us. We've been to counseling for the past couple of years but it isn't getting better.
It hasn't always been this way. Since a major health issue years ago, she has developed addiction and anxiety/depression issues, which has had her in rehab a couple of times. She has put up a wall around her emotionally, and basically stopped caring for herself, which has resulted in significant weight gain. While I love her, I just can't bear living in this lonely relationship for the rest of our lives, especially with someone who just doesn't care to care!
The last counseling session the D word came up. I must admit, I have been thinking about it for some time now, but this was the first time that the topic was spoken. Both of us said we thought about it, but both of us also said we were willing to fight for the marriage. Since that time, no more talk, back to the same zombie like routine.
I'm considering taking a stronger stance on it, but terrified at the toll it will take on our teenage daughters and family. I'm also worried that she isn't strong enough to survive on her own, and the guilt of anything happening would be unbearable. However, if I'm going to have any chance of a happy life ahead of me, I can't think of any other option but to push ahead with it.
What's worse - divorcing and hoping that it will be okay, or staying in this marriage and find some other ways to be happy??
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: When the fire goes out

Next,

Always remember that the only person you can change is you.

I would say to your wife "Honey, I've been thinking about our last session where the word divorce came up. I want you to know that while I still care for you deeply, in order to stay in this marriage there has to be changes for both of us. On your part I want the following:

-For you to get off all unneeded drugs
-For the two of us to join a gym and get in better physical shape
-Re-establish a physical relationship
-Travel

If you can't or won't do these things with me, let's promise to be as civil as possible with the divorce to spare the kids any pain."
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: When the fire goes out

Divorce is not something to be taken lightly. Life gets in the way of living a lot and we forget that there are other people around us. When we can't get our own needs met, we can't address others' needs. I know that this seems a bit counterproductive but is there anything that your spouse might be needing but isn't being addressed? I agree that the drugs and the mental issues have to be addressed as well.

I suggest you take a step back and really evaluate what exactly needs to change, very specifically.

Just because the fire is out now, it doesn't mean that you should take a fire extinguisher to it. The embers burn for a very long time and just need a little attention in order to get the fire burning again.
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