Periodic Contributor

When Do You Know To Give Up?

We have been married for 32 years and the last 8 have been very rough. We have two grown children and both are out of the house the last one moved out last summer. We seam to have less and less in common and hardly have any conversation. When I am gone on business trips our phone calls are less then 5 min with nothing being ask about what I did or how the trip is going. Our physical activity basically left 8 plus years ago..... she doesn’t want to do anything just stay at home....


I don’t hate her, but it seams the spark is gone and has been and I am tired of trying and getting no where but I am scared to do anything, I guess I don’t want to hurt anyone....  I want the feeling of wanting to come home but I don’t have that and feel like I have a roommate.


any my suggestions or ideas?..




I think a husband or wife instinctively knows when its over.

For me, my marriage ended after 27 years. I was married to a man who did not want to be a husband anymore. In fact, he came home late at night for several weeks, and when I would ask would say he was "working," but I knew that wasn't true. Finally one day I checked his brief case and found a cable bill for the apartment he was renting in the same town he worked in. There was also a winning lottery ticket for 5 figures that he cashed, without even telling me he'd won , and used that money to rent and furnish the apartment. When I confronted him he treated it like it was no big deal. That was just before our 25th wedding anniversary. I told him I was going to divorce him and I filed the papers a couple of weeks later.

It was devastating. My husband had a history of being evasive and hiding things but I never dreamed he would go to those lengths. He moved out and that  holiday season was hell for me and our children. He refused to show up for Thanksgiving dinner. One was still in high school and the other in college. The oldest was out of the house.

Anyway around Xmas time he said he wanted to come home-but I suspect reality was hitting him-that it was too much to pay the mortgage on our house and rent for an apartment. He came home after the holidays but things quickly soured between us-the roaches from his apartment came home as well and I wound up having to pay the exterminator as he wanted to "wait a while." We hung in there for several months but there was no partnership and very little affection.

Finally the stuff hit the fan when he came home late one night and was immediately angry upon seeing me. I still have no idea why.  I was working a part time evening job so was surprised he wasn't home when I got back about 930. He came into the house in a rage and ran towards me as though he was going to hit me. He had been physically abusive 3 times in our marriage and I wasn't going to hang around and be a punching bag. I went to our son's room who was away at college and that was the end. I told him the next day I was going to leave and made plans and moved out a couple of months later. He never tried to stop me, not once. And when I asked if he had been faithful in our marriage he couldn't even look me in the eye.  Just asked why I was asking that  now after all these years but  he never tried to deny it. 

It's been almost 15 years. I'd like to tell you I'm happy but there's a difference between being happy and being accepting of what is. Neither of us have remarried, and after not speaking for years, I reached out as I feel since we share children/grandchildren, we need to be able to be cordial with one another should the occasion arrive when we must be in the same room. We live in different states and I believe I am physically and emotionally closer to our children than he is. And he seems okay with that. I wish I had not given this man so many years of my life that I will never get back, but we can only go forward. I can't tell you to get a divorce I can only tell you that life is short and why be miserable if you can change it?  Divorce is the death of your marriage and it hurts. If you're widowed, you get sympathy. If you're divorced, you are told you can find somebody else. Knowing your spouse PREFERS to live without you is, to me, far more painful than losing a spouse through death. Divorce is  expensive and it's hard to start over.  It also affects your children, no matter how old they are. Mind you, I said, hard, not impossible. If you are content living with someone who gives you no conversation, no physical affection and is more like a roommate, than I guess , divorce is not for you. It takes courage to admit that it no longer works and look for a solution. If marriage counseling doesn't help or they're not open to it, you have only 2 options. Continue to live a half existence with someone who is no longer a loving spouse or file the papers to dissolve the marriage. Marriage is supposed to be about a loving partnership, not a prison sentence. Good luck to you, stay safe and well. God Bless.





Gold Conversationalist

The last 3 yrs before we divorced. 

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Regular Contributor

Has she always been this way or just later into your marriage?

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Gold Conversationalist

I think when the communication stops, the twinkle in the eyes are gone and you both find excuses to avoid being home together... That's when you know it's over.

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Regular Contributor

Don't mean to sound uncaring but from my experience she has already moved on. She may or may not have someone else but her feelings and emotions have left the relationship. I would look to move on and not invest anymore time or energy on someone who does not want you.

Periodic Contributor

Yes, we have been to counseling several time and I have been praying about it for years. When we talk she’s says continent, and I want more. Her friends say she’s just not a person who shows love no passion at all, I feel any physical active is a challenge for her.... I don’t want to have to ask for some one to show me they love me.

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Bronze Conversationalist

Do you tell her this is how you feel?

Do you ask her how she feels?


Traveling for your work can kill a marriage; or perhaps I could say it helped kill mine. But not communicating what you think, feel, want and need also can kill it, and did kill mine.


Do you go to church? If you do and believe in it, keep going. Pray on it if you believe in prayer and ask God to help you.


Marriage counseling helps some people too; have you considered that or spoken to your wife about that?


Communication is key, and you should not feel badly about saying it as it is. Start a conversation and see what happens. If you two love each other, it isn't too late. Start talking!

Sir Granny Tracy
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