Lonely, boring marriage to good man
Contemplating a divorce. I'm not sure if I lack determination, or sheer will, but I am so unhappy in my marriage.
Background: we have 2 kids, one is 3 and the other is 18 months, very young ones. I met him as I was in residency, and so was he, at a lonely time in my life. He was energetic, positive, spirited, and dragged me out of my residency blues every chance he could get. We used to take midnight bike rides under the stars and get way too little sleep in between shifts, and it all seemed like a terrific balance. Me, the contemplative introspect who would rather read a book on a Friday night, combined with him, a socialite who thrives on friends and family.
Here is the thing: I don't love him. Fast-forward 5 years from our wedding day. We have moved to a different state to be closer to my family, had 2 children, 2 new jobs, a new house. The reality is that we simply have very little in common. As this has become apparent, we pick fights about everything. Domestic duties (he does few of them), home-buying, child-rearing, responsibilities, etc.
Overall, he is a good person. No infidelity, no cheating, no lying. He is a handsome and kind person, for which I feel nothing for. He is a physician but not an intellectual. He doesn’t read the news, or read books, pretty much ever (except for medical books in his specialty, which he consumes), and bluntly: we really have nothing to talk about. We have occasional date nights which I feel are empty hours spent trying to find something to talk about.
I feel empty. The kids adore him, as they do me. They
are happiest when they see us happy together, but I fear that these moments are scarce. At times we have had loud arguments in front of the children, although at this point it has been months since this happened; now it is more simmering tension and hardness between us that my 3 year-old senses.
We have tried 2 different marital therapists with variable success. I feel that the therapists can only do so much when there is contempt in the relationship, or a lack of real love. Our last marital session was this morning; both he and our therapist felt that it was “a good session” and I left feeling confused, misunderstood, and feeling that we are not all on the same page. When I mentioned this to my husband he rolled his eyes and said “we can’t keep changing people that don’t work” (we’ve known her for 2 years, I don't feel that she pushes us hard enough to speak about real issues).
At this point I don't know what to do. I came from a family with divorced parents who were not amicable at all. They didn't speak to each other and neither of them remarried, so I was essentially raised by a loving, single mom. I swore that I wouldn't raise children in a broken home, and now I contemplate divorce fairly often. I stay for the children, and out of fear that I will be lonely and go down the same path that my own mother did. I know that a divorce would be unwanted by him, and he would be very angry and bitter. I doubt we would have a friendly divorce, knowing how he handles rejection and pain (with anger). Just don't know what to do...
Eugene Kayser, lic. Marriage & Family Therapist