Depressed by my 'empty' marriage

Posted on: 21 January 2008 by

Elaine’s husband won’t work at their marriage and there‘s no-one to confide in.

Elaine Writes:

Our relationship has been strained for some time.  Eventually, I confronted my husband and he told me that he thought our marriage was over.  He said he had felt this way for about two years but was afraid to tell me because he didn't want to hurt me. I still love him and was devastated by this news and couldn't believe he had pretended for so long. I couldn't accept that he was just going to give up without us both trying. We went for one counselling session but he didn't want to return. We are still together a year later but nothing has changed and he refuses to discuss it. I want our marriage to work but I'm also dreadfully depressed and lonely. I can't bring myself to share this problem with family or friends. What would you suggest?


Andy Advises:

What is going on here? Your husband hasn’t wanted to be married to you any more for the last two years - but he didn’t want to hurt you by admitting it? Who is he kidding? He was more than likely too comfortable and well cared for to consider ‘coming clean’ and losing you.

Why do you feel too ’ashamed’ to admit your ’failure’ to anyone and talk to a friend? You can’t stay trapped in this pointless relationship without confiding in someone. You will make yourself ill. Your husband is pulling all your strings and he’s sitting pretty while you are suffering so badly.

You need to be able to walk away from this bad relationship before it eats you up, no matter how much you love him. In this case, I think you are allowing love to turn you into a doormat.

Why don’t you contact Relate, the National Marriage Guidance Council. You don’t need to go along with your husband. Go along yourself and see how they can help you feel like a ’whole’ person in your own right again. You will find them at and you can locate your nearest counselling service on line. Just because counselling didn’t work for the pair of you doesn’t mean it won’t be of help to you on a one-to-one basis.

You might also find your own GP will be able to offer you advice, particularly if he knows your husband. Don’t be too shy to ask for and accept help, both from friends and professionals. A problem shared really can be a problem halved.

Some relationships are worth fighting for. Mistakes happen. Marriages can be renewed on the basis of acceptance of errors on both sides. But I really don’t think there’s much hope for yours, based on what you’ve told me. Living alongside someone you can’t have a conversation with is a lonely hobby. You obviously can’t communicate with your husband.

Take your courage in both hands, tell this selfish man to stop playing on your emotions. Tell him to move out and then set about making a new life for yourself. You can do it. Let me know what happens.

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