Married Couple is Drifting Apart (Ask Amy Letter)
This guy who wrote the Ask Amy advice columnist has been married for about ten or more years and says he and his wife are drifting apart. (I have pasted a copy of the letter much farther below in this post.)
He essentially says his wife is bored by him and his company and spends a lot of time away from him, out at night, with friends, or else, she’s on the phone a lot with her friends.
I was engaged to a guy for a few years – I ended up dumping the guy. While we were a couple, I could sit in the same room as him and yet still feel all alone.
The guy I was engaged to was terribly self-absorbed. My ex-fiance never took an interest in me, my opinions, my job, my life. He never paid me compliments, never gave me encouragement. I felt single and alone, even though I was in a relationship with him.
I so often see this assumption by Christians, in Hollywood movies, TV shows, and relationship advice books and articles, that you’ll never, ever be lonely if only you could just find a romantic partner. This notion is a bunch of nonsense. The truth is you can be in a relationship with someone and still feel lonely and unfulfilled.
Your partner might be a self-absorbed twit like my ex was, or your partner may be so emotionally troubled (or have an alcohol or drug addiction problem), which will leave you so busy catering to your partner’s needs, that he or she will be unable to meet yours (because your partner is too drunk, high on drugs, or psychologically damaged to be able to do so).
You never hear this brought up in Christian dating books or in Hollywood movies – especially the Rom Com ones, where the couple “cute meets” and usually treat each other wonderfully (or they start out bickering but end up kissing and being the ‘Happy Couple’ by the end).
You can marry someone, but during the course of the relationship, your partner changes – this happens to a lot of women. I’ve brought this up before on this blog.
A lot of women are different at age 40 than they were at age 25. Their personality, self esteem levels, interests and goals change as they grow older.
For one thing, women ages 40 and older tend to have more self-esteem and have healthier boundaries, which means, in part, they are not as willing to tolerate being treated disrespectfully near as much as an inexperienced 25 year old woman would be.
Also, as a lot of women age, we finally realize it’s all right for us to get our OWN NEEDS MET.
From the time we are girls, we females are taught by culture, teachers, churches (especially the ones that teach the false teaching of Gender Complementarianism), and parents, that it is selfish for us to get our own needs met. We are taught to repress our own needs, wants, and goals, and to instead pour out our attention, time, and money on other people.
However, as we get older, we women realize what a con job and waste of time all that is, and so we are not going to put a man at the center of our lives any longer, and we demand that men we are dating or married to treat us nice in return – no more of that “one way” street trash, where we repress all our needs and wants to cater to a man (or anyone else).
A 40 year old woman is not as likely going to put up with boorish or horrible behavior from a man that a 20 year old woman would.
It’s not too surprising to me to read about these marriages where, as the couple ages together, the wife wants out of the marriage, or, the wife will cheat.
Women are not the same at age 35 or 40 or older that they were at 20 or 25.
Some of this could be rectified, and divorce rates could be lowered in these types of marriages, if secular and church culture would socialize women to be like men from the time they are kids: be assertive; speak your mind, practice having healthy boundaries, etc.
As it stands, most women are socialized from our youth to be passive, meek, lack boundaries, suppress our views and to constantly put other people before ourselves – all of that is considered “feminine” behavior, yet it is one of the very causes that leads to a 35 or 40 year old woman losing interest in her husband of 15 or 20 years and divorcing him (or starting affairs).
Let this letter below be a lesson that just because you do manage to marry doesn’t mean the marriage will be a happy one.
It just may end up with you and your partner drifting apart over time and being more like strangers than spouses. You can lose interest in your spouse, and being married to them can feel more like you’re trapped – and you will do anything to get out (divorce).
The letter (source):
My wife and I have been married for almost 10 years. We are in our mid-30s. We don’t have children.
We have hit a brick wall. She says that she completely resents me for not going to family functions and doing couples activities. I will try harder to do more of these things.
She has said that she has changed, and that we’ve grown apart. She has taken up different activities outside the home. She is taking dancing lessons, and is working out at the local gym every day.
She is out every other night, sometimes until quite late.
We don’t eat dinner together anymore, and I’ve had many sleepless nights worrying about our relationship.
I’m extremely concerned and worried about our marriage! When she is home, she is complacent and withdrawn, and constantly on her cellphone, receiving text messages from her “new friends.”
This is slowly driving me insane. There is a terrible tension between us and she fails to see what this is doing to our relationship.
I miss my wife so much. I have told her this, and she says she is going to try and spend more time with me, but nothing changes.
I’m extremely confused and scared about our future. I’ve told her she is breaking my heart. We just seem to be going in circles. What do you suggest?
Your marriage is at a breaking point, and it could be a point of no return, unless you and your wife decide to try to fix it together. All of her actions indicate that she is no longer invested in your relationship, and some of her actions — the working out and constant texting — point toward the possibility that she might be having an affair.
Your marriage didn’t wither on its own — your own behavior contributed to your problems.
Unfortunately, you also cannot fix it on your own. You and your wife can repair your marriage together, through hard work and tender caretaking.
A marriage counselor would help to clarify the next steps to take, and would also help you to weather a possible breakup.
Yep. Time and growing older will do that to you. As you age, you’re not the same person at 35 or 45 or 55 you were at age 25.
For women especially, this is very true. Your priorities and interests change. Your self esteem goes up and you won’t put up with the same garbage that you endured when younger.
Christian complementarians do women a huge disfavor by raising them from the time they are kids to be meek, passive, quiet little sweet things who exist only to meet the needs of other people (especially a husband)… all those years of a girl and woman stuffing down her dreams and her anger leads to eventual divorce, if she’s married – or possibly to extra-marital affairs.