Married in name only, divorced in reality

April 3, 2011

in Beyond the Marriage, The "D" word

Married single © PeJo29 |

I sometimes wonder the battle to reduce the divorce rate is more about numbers than people. If a couple is legally married, but living like single room-mates, do we count them as married and score a victory? If a couple is married but miserable, if she is cheating repeatedly, or he is beating her, is that a “marriage saved?”

Let’s be more aware of this with those around us. Let’s not just settle for married, let’s work towards happily married.

Likewise for your marriage – avoiding divorce is good, but it’s hardly laudable if one of both of you are miserable. Any marriage can be better if both husband and wife are willing to work at it, and most marriages can be made better if just one is willing to work on it. Don’t be a married single – fight for a real marriage.

Note: As I am away from home, meeting my first grandchild, I have not found time to do links this week.

Image Credit: © PeJo29 |


Maybe someone can explain the post menopausal woman to me. I assumed, stupidly, that if I tried to meet her requirements (sometimes unspoken but assume expectations) that once the menopause had passed, she would gradually become physical again. Sadly not even hugs and an occasional greeting or departure kiss have come back. I can understand (and have accepted after 9 years of drought) that women go off sex - and I've never pushed the issue too hard (I mean never tried to force sex on her).

But it is tough and frustrating and makes life a miserable affair.

Can't a woman try even if she has no urge? She knows (I've told her) that I still love and want her, I still have desire and haven't strayed, but (and I apologise for the crudeness of this phrase) not even a hand relief in all those years. Having tried to move further toward her needs I find myself increasingly reluctant to do even the basics now, I mean taking her out or buying her nice things, doing regular household chores...even arranging two European tours - Italy by train, Scandinavia by train, didn't result in any change toward me.

Anyway, my question is, can women not try to get their libido back somehow, or is it that she doesn't love me enough to bring herself to touch me? I sometimes wonder if it really is just sex or if it is actually sex WITH ME that is the problem. I wonder if she masturbates, or if she really has no libido at all.

I'm reaching the point where the trauma of separating, emotional, practical and financial, is finally worth it to get out of this pointless frustrating marriage.

themarriagebed moderator

@Tomcovenent  It varies from woman to woman. Some women become more sexual, others maintain some sexual urges and enjoyment, some lose everything. I suspect what a woman expects and thinks is "right" play a much better part in this than differences in bodies.


Life is always complicated. I've been married 26 years and Wifey would describe our marriage as good and strong. But post menopause, whatever minimal interest in sex she had went away. In last 10 years, she has not once initiated sex and has often said no and I have become increasingly frustrated. However, Wifey is good mother, grandmother, extended family organizer and house-office manager. Due to Wifey's health issues, don't feel I can divorce her, and not really sure I want to. However, I want more out of life. Perhaps (at age 57), I'm going through a mid-life crisis, but I want a sexual relationship with a woman who wants to have sex with me. Wifey has grown old, but I'm not ready to retire. Currently exploring options to satisfy my needs while staying married in name only.

TheGenerousHusband moderator

@PT56 There are no good "options" if she is unwilling. My suggestion would be to share your feelings very clearly - maybe just as you have stated them here, and ask her if there is any hope of things getting better. Give her the facts and a choice.


Amen and amen. The marriage is the thing. For most of my marriage I considered my wife to be a really, really bad roommate at best. One with whom I had a long term unbreakable contract. I am now sure she felt pretty much the same way, except for the unbreakable part. We were being buried beneath the avalanche of our inadequacies. But, do not think for one moment that if you make changes in your behavior that your spouse will make changes. Not that it never happens but I have heard it many times that without outside help your marriage is not going to get better. And I believe it. Congratulations on the grandchild Paul!

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

@tracy - If you said happiness or unhappiness I would agree with you, they are a normal part of life. By miserable I mean something far deeper than unhappy, and something that is a result of ongoing wrong behaviour by one's spouse. As for an "excuse:" for divorce, that is hardly what I have said. If something is wrong, that is a reason to fix it, not an excuse to leave.


"avoiding divorce is good, but it’s hardly laudable if one of both of you are miserable." Misery or happiness will be part of any marriage at different times. We need to be very careful to avoid giving someone an "excuse" to pursue divorce based on a season of a less than perfect marriage. For most of us, pain and misery are the only way we are going to be motivated to make the effort to pursue the best marriage.

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