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My Loveless Marriage

My Loveless Marriage

Why divorce wasn't the answer to my emptiness.
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134 Comments

I lay in bed staring at the darkness. My husband, Larry, was snoring softly beside me. We'd just had another fight. I could hardly remember what had started it, but I knew we'd both said ugly, hateful things. Nothing had been resolved. We'd just gotten tired. Now he slept and I lay here, feeling utterly alone.

I crawled out of bed to check on our two sons. David, such a handful while awake, looked like an angel even though his face was sticky from the ice cream he'd eaten earlier. I pulled Matthew's covers back on his small body and smoothed his blond head. He needed a haircut. Working full-time, with two small sons to referee and a house to keep clean, I never had enough time to do it all.

Something drew me to the window. I could see the lights from downtown Seattle. So many people. What were they doing? Were they as lonely as I was? Was there anyone out there who cared? God, I cried, help me find the strength to leave.

Hitting the Wall

After ten years of marriage, I wanted out. Our love hadn't died in the heat of this battle or any other battle. It had died at the bottom of a wall it couldn't climb.

I remember clearly the day I laid the first brick. We'd been married nine months. We went to a movie and I waited for Larry to reach over and take my hand, thus proving the magic was still there. But he didn't and, as the movie progressed, I grew hurt and angry. He shrugged it off, surprised I was upset over such a little thing. To him it was nothing; to me it was the first sign our love wasn't perfect.

As the years passed, I added more bricks. When we were first married, he called me every day from work. But slowly those phone calls grew further apart and finally stopped. When I brought it up, he started calling again, but it wasn't the same. When we watched TV in the evening, he'd fall asleep. When we went out for dinner, he couldn't think of anything to say. His days off were measured by how much he got done—chores, work, and the children took priority. I got the crumbs, and I was starving.

I felt guilty for feeling the way I did; he wasn't abusive, he didn't run around with other women, he didn't drink or do drugs. He came home every night and worked hard to support our family. Despite this, the wall grew, built with bricks of buried anger, unmet needs, silences, and cold shoulders. The marriage books we read made things worse; counseling confused the issues.

Divorce seemed like the only answer. It would give me a chance to start over and find the right person. Yes, it would be hard on the children, but when I was finally happy, I'd be a better parent. In the long run, it would be better for all of us.

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ratings & comments

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Displaying 1–3 of 134 comments

anna

August 25, 2014  6:47pm

As I sat here and read the article and the comments, I understood where you were coming from. I wish that I could use your advice, but I cannot. I am married to a stranger. My husband had a traumatic brain injury a few months before we were to be married. Now years later I feel guilty for saying I do. We have three small children that love their dad. I don't want to separate them from him, but I can't bare any more of this torture. I am a nurse. I know how to take care of my husband. I can't do it. His disability is too close to home. I do this for work and now my work is at home. I practice in geriatric and hospice nursing, two of the most difficult facets in medicine besides oncology and pediatric care. I am no longer his wife but his caretaker. He has some physical limits but most are mental. I ask whomever reads this to pray for me. I am lost. I feel alone. I need to be closer to God and I need helpful words if you can. Thank you

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andrea

August 20, 2014  7:52pm

Yet again women turning away holding men accountable. How many times do we draw a line in the sand and tell ourselves to forget how they are not being the men God commands them to be? Such a joke. It take two if only one person is doing the work in a marriage it will fail. Your husband probably realized how lucky he was and no other woman would put up with him. Glad things worked out dor you, devine intervention? I doubt it.

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When, Lord?

August 16, 2014  6:31am

I have read so many articles like this, and each time I have renewed hope. I have focused on God improving me over the last 23 years. I have begged God to take away any selfishness in me because I truly do not want it there. Yet...nothing changes. My husband has neglected me and our children over those 23 years. Our older children are suffering now: one who has problems in her own marriage, and one who has no faith in marriage. We have been to numerous counselors, have read numerous books, and have had some two-week-only turnarounds that give me hope only to be let down again. I have neglected to even think of my own needs for long periods of time just so I could speak his love language and deeply desire to live out I Corinthians 13 with my husband. What crumbs of reciprocation come I brag on, but he still has no time for me or our children. I teach school so I see every day what divorce does to children. I have resigned myself to a loveless marriage but am so sad.

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