Broken Marriage

8 Jul

Letterbalm Broken Marriage EggDear LetterBalm: I thought my wife and I had a solid marriage until last week. She suddenly announced that she didn’t love me anymore. She said she had felt that way for at least the past five years. She was as calm as a cucumber, but I’m in shock. I’m wandering around like a zombie. I don’t know what to do. My wife refuses to discuss it. We have two children in high school, and they aren’t stupid; they know that something is wrong. What do I do next?

–Sleepwalking in Pain

Ms. L.B. hates to say this, but it’s quite possible that when a spouse says she’s not in love anymore, she may be involved emotionally or physically with someone else. Your wife perpetuated a great injustice in divulging a devastating truth, then shutting down further conversation. As her spouse, you are entitled to know the truth, for the sake of your children, if nothing else. But you also need to face the painful fact that somewhere in your marriage you and your wife drifted apart, and both of you need expert intervention to figure out next steps. Take one stab at finding the truth and getting her to agree to mediation or counseling. If she refuses, go yourself. Keep calm and say this to her out of earshot of the kids:

Felicia, you’ve refused to discuss the bomb you dropped last week. To devastate your husband like that, then to shut down is unfair. Even if the truth means that you’ve fallen in love with someone else, as your husband I’m entitled to know. Somewhere along the line, our marriage went off track. Maybe it’s broken beyond repair, maybe not. We deserve to find out and see what the next steps might be. Will you agree to mediation or counseling? Even if you’ve checked out of our marriage, for the sake of the kids we need to do this.

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