Wife Feels She’s Grown Apart From Her Husband

long dry road in the desert
Should I stay with my husband even though I don’t love him anymore?

We’ve been married for 19 years and have two tweens. I still care about my husband, but I don’t love him, and we have very different needs and interests. He says he’s willing to work on our marriage, but I feel like I’m wasting my life by staying.



Your frustration is understandable. The day-after-day demands of life — and walking through that life with someone who’s different than you — is tough. But we encourage you to take a second look at what you’re saying.

When you made your wedding vows, did you promise to stay with your husband “until my feelings change”? Did you write an escape clause into your marriage contract that gave you permission to bail if you “fell out of love”?

The truth about feelings and marriage

Marriage is about more than just feelings. So is love.

Culture tells us that love is a self-gratifying emotion and that marriage is about “self-actualization” and “getting our needs met.”

However, from a Christian perspective, marriage is based on commitment, self-sacrifice, and putting our spouse’s needs ahead of our own. That’s not always easy. It means hanging in there when everything seems to tell you to give up.

Feelings are important, but they tend to change over the course of a marriage. Instead of making a decision to end your relationship based on emotions, use them as a guide.

In other words, ask yourself what your emotions can show you about where you’ve come from, how you got where you are, where you want to go, and what you need to do to get there.

Rediscover love

Your feelings might tell you that your marriage lacks excitement and intimacy. But we’d assume you were once very much in love with your husband.

Rediscover that phase of your relationship by pulling up photos from your dating, engaged, and first-married days. As you look at the pictures of the two of you together, you’ll likely to remember some of the tender, romantic feelings you once had for your husband.

If those feelings have changed over time, it’s probably because you haven’t been intentional about keeping your marriage vibrant. Relationships, like cars, need regular maintenance. Without it, engines fail and couples grow apart.

Don’t lose your connection during the parenting years

Another marriage-destroyer is having a child-centered parenting philosophy. When kids come along, many couples start to place all the emphasis on their roles as mom and dad and very little on their roles as husband and wife.

Women, especially, can be tempted to put all of their emotional energy into their relationship with the kids. By the time the teen and college years come, the couple has drifted so far apart that they barely seem to know each other anymore.

You can reverse the trend of a ho-hum marriage by setting aside time for regular date nights. Look for activities that will give you and your husband a chance to reconnect. Spend time rediscovering what makes you healthy as individuals and as a couple.

Choose hope

The good news is that your husband is willing to work on the relationship. So now you need to ask yourself: Are you willing to work on the marriage? If you make the commitment and put out the effort, feelings that you thought were gone forever can come back.

Would you let us help? Call us for a free over-the-phone consultation at 1-855-771-HELP (4357). Our licensed or pastoral counselors would be happy to talk with you. And they can provide a list of experienced therapists in your area who can help get your marriage back on track.

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