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He has left, but not really. How long do I put up with this?

by Jamie
(Ft. Smith, AR)

The question

On September 9, 2009 with those dreading words "I love you but I'm not in love with you", my Husband (42) told me wanted a divorce. We had been together for 11 years. Really took me by surprise.

We had been arguing over money because I had been laid off work. He hung around, just going through the motions of a husband but no closeness like there used to be. One month ago, we had another argument about him still thinking he should be handing out an allowance to his Graduated 18 year old daughter and I didn't agree. So he loaded the girls and went to his dad's.

.We didn't talk for a couple of days. Now we see each other everyday for one reason or another, and he spends the nights here at our home or with me somewhere. When he leaves he always kisses me as long as it is not in front of his girls (14 and 18). They hang with me a lot, so I know they still like me so I don't know what the problem is there. They know we spend the nights together.

He hasn't worn his wedding ring since September 2009, and he hasn't told me he loves me since he left a month ago. We still go out together and visit and stay with friends, still go out to lunch or dinner. He comes over and we watch tv. And even there is some closeness of holding hands if I make the attempt.

His ex-wife(mother of his children) does not like me, and doesn't want the girls to like me so she is always calling my husband for some reason, being nosy or in heat, don't know which lol.

As far as I know that is the only contact with females he has, I'm sure his dad or daughters would let it slip if there was anybody else. He doesn't want to talk about our relationship or coming back home, so I don't bring it up. We just have a good time, when we are together. He is spending a lot of time with his girls and their friends (sometimes I'm included), playing teenager games and on the lake, tubing.

He doesn't like me going out with people, he keeps close tabs on me. Calls me a couple times every night. He has me so confused, I don't know where to go from here. Is this mid-life transition? Will it eventually pass in time? I love and miss him a lot and I can wait on him awhile. But not forever.

Noel's response

It sounds like midlife transition behaviour. He certainly has nothing to lose with what he is doing, as you allow him to sleep with you whenever he wants, be together when he feels like it, and not when he doesn't. As you say he doesn't want you to have a relationship with any other man, so you wait 'on stand by'.

You may want to put up with this situation for a while, but perhaps you might face him with the resposibility of his actions by letting him know that as he has left you, and moved in with his daddy, he can't just drop by for a bit of sex whenever he feels like it. He has either left or he hasn't. Becoming unavailable may make him reconsider what he is doing.

Perhaps when faced with reality he will be willing to go for marriage counselling. If not, you might want to go for your own counselling, to decide what you want to do with your life, with or without him.

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