Dear Dr. Romance,
I have been separated for almost 2 years
now but don't have the strength to file for divorce. In part this is
because I feel bad (I decided to separate because I was unhappy) and
he has no immediate family in the US, but also because of our daughter
(her Christmas wish last year was "that mom and dad be together
again"). I don't think I love him any more but I certainly care about
him because he is a good person overall. He has improved a lot but
unfortunately I think this came too late to save the relationship. I
think he is still hopeful although he never said anything (this is
part of the problem, he is never pro-active). And it is breaking my
heart to know how much my daughter wants us to be together again - I
am worried that I am wrecking her life. What should I do???
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I'm also worried that you're wrecking your
daughter's life for no good reason. It takes work to build a marriage,
and it sounds like you just opted out without seeing if you could solve
the problems. "I don't think I love him any more." is not a good
excuse for destroying your family. Long-term marital love must be
built -- it doesn't just happen. If he's a good person, but somewhat
passive, and he's already improved, why don't you try improving, too?
Start your new year by re-starting your marriage. You can show him how
to be pro-active. The two of you can get counseling for your marriage,
read books, figure out how to work better together. You have to create
your happiness, it doesn't just happen to you.
The following articles:
"Asking for What You Want", "Guidelines for Finding and Using Therapy Wisely" and "Stop Reacting and Start Relating" will get you started on rebuilding this marriage. Money, Sex and Kids leads you step-by-step through solving the major relationship problems.