I am 42, and married “Bill” nearly 20 years ago because “it was time.” I never truly loved him, and have remained in the marriage because I am “supposed to.”
Bill is a wonderful husband and father. He has a steady job that pays well. We are very good friends. I don’t want to lose that. But there is absolutely no passion in our relationship and never was. I am attracted to other men, and I just want to stop pretending.
I told Bill that I don’t love him the way a woman should love a man. We have both spoken to professionals, and he keeps trying — buying me flowers, doing all the right things. It just makes me angry. Could you please offer advice?
Had it in Hartford, Conn.
Let me get this straight — you married your husband under false pretenses and have lied to him for 20 years? Both of you have my sympathy. If you really cannot love him the way he deserves to be loved — and counseling won’t help — then let him go. He deserves better.
After my mother’s recent death, one of my father’s more painful tasks was notifying various agencies: Social Security, retirement benefits, etc. All but one of the people he dealt with simply fired off a series of questions, thanked him curtly and hung up. Only one civil servant proved to be truly civil, prefacing the conversation with, “I’m sorry for your loss.”
Abby, I know these people handle many such calls every day, but I wish they could remember that a few sympathetic words can make a world of difference following the loss of a loved one.
Nancy in Oakland, Calif.
Thank you for the reminder. I’m sure no one meant to be cruel. Perhaps it’s a self-protective mechanism on their part. What you describe are people who have become desensitized.