I got the following comment on one of my posts:
What if you don’t want to fuck your wife anymore? Then what? You can’t push a rope up hill. Can’t afford to divorce and don’t want to leave the kids high and dry. Once a week? Fuck you.
Not sure what the Once a week/Fuck you was about, but I’d like to address the comment in general since it is a valid one and I’ve heard it before. This very topic was the genesis of my Skinny Husband, Fat Wives masterpiece (said entirely tongue in cheek). So while this response is intended for my commenter, I think others out there can see this point of view as well.
My direct experience with divorced men is of the garden variety: marriage stagnates, boredom ensues, someone cheats (my direct non-scientific experience has been about 2/3 of those infidelities have been wife initiated), marriage and ego isn’t strong enough to survive, divorce ensues. However, I have been on the sidelines on a private board with a slow, 1-year buildup as a dude dealt with a fat wife who he wasn’t attracted to anymore, but had kids. They eventually divorced after a lot of hand wringing, and the guy, after some adjustment ended up way happier both short- and long-term and kids were fine.
I don’t have a lot to work from here, so I’ll make some assumptions on my commenter’s wife: she is NOT a cunt, but is fat. She gives lip service to getting into shape, but after a few days she’s back to ho-hos and riding the gravy train, literally. She isn’t a stay-at-home mom, but wants to be, and is doing just enough to get by and not get too much shit from her husband. She spends most of her time looking at Pintrest or Instagram or Facebook on her phone, and tries to fuck her husband once a week, hating him with her vagina, so she doesn’t have to admit to herself her best days are 50 pounds ago in the rear-view mirror.
And let’s assume dude isn’t Brad Pitt in Fight Club, but goes to the gym, is top 25% in body and as an early 40’s guy is a pretty solid catch. He helps around the home, makes a good living in a stable career like engineering, but isn’t super exciting. He knows he’s not perfect, but is always trying to get better as a person, while being as good of dad as possible. But he knows the score. He’s not attracted to his wife and knows the game both sides are playing.
So husband and wife are more roommates than anything, getting by for the kids. Always for the kids. They’ve probably been to some counselling and he’s probably implemented strategies from the MAPand No More Mr Nice Guy. Things aren’t getting better, and won’t get any better. They get along cordially, but he’s stopped wanting to fuck his fat wife. It’s tolerable, bland, existence built with a life around work and the kids. And. It. Disgusts him. But he doesn’t have many choices. He’s afraid he’ll get butt-raped in court and rarely see his kids, so he trudges through, sometimes happy, but usually not, knowing the person he should feel the most happiness with he feels is an obligation more than anything. In sickness and in health.
At this stage, I’m very neutral on the topic of marriage, neither strongly for nor against. If you’re married and have kids, I certainly believe that there is an incentive to make it work but only to the extent it is a healthy environment for modeling behavior. There comes a tipping point where the caustic nature or non-loving environment of a bad marriage makes it better to go ahead and separate. Kids are resilient, and if both parents can stay involved in their lives, it may be a better situation than a hateful cohabitation “for the sake of the kids.”
So here is the Choose Your Own Adventure series of options. None are right or wrong. If he has truly exhausted the standard approach to improving self and the marriage, there are really only a few choices left and none of them are ideal.
- You do nothing. Life continues on, until kids are grown up, then maybe you consider a divorce. Until then, you grin and bear it. If you picked 1. go to A. below.
- You aren’t a quitter and you have the difficult honest conversations even counseling could’t bring you to say, that is, you aren’t attracted to her but want to see it work. Consider it a Hail Mary to knock some sense into her world. If you pick 2, go to B. below.
- You don’t want to get divorced, but want a sex life that makes you feel alive again. You can deal with a naggy wife at least until the kids are out of the house, but can’t deal with corpse bride who just lays there, so you decide to cheat. If you pick 3. go to C. below.
- You decide to bite the bullet and realize you only have one life and you deserve to be happy and not married to someone you aren’t attracted to hence you decide to blow up your marriage and get a divorce. If you pick 4. go to D. below.
Ok, here are the scenarios for what you picked out of the choices.
A. (You do nothing). This is probably the most common approach. You continue to dwell in limbo land of unhappiness personally, but more or less happy (or at least content) as a family unit. In doing so, your health declines, your passionless life continues to move through the motions. But hey, at least the kids are happy, right? Except they know something is up. They’re also wrapped in their own head and minds and friends, and just know that while in the house has mom and dad both present, neither are present in their marriage. And they will model their relationship after the same pattern. If you show them being roommates is what marriage is about, that what they will subconsciously bring to the table in the next generation. Hence, the cycle continues. When they have finally left the nest, 10 years may have passed, and if you do end up deciding then to get divorced, you’ll think “why didn’t I do this earlier?” You’d have traded 10 years of your life to not rock the boat. Maybe it was worth it, maybe not, but you’re essentially kicking the can to a future version of yourself.
B. (Honest conversations). Life after breaking down the walls of politeness will be very difficult, especially after you’ve burned the ships there is no going back to the way things were. There are likely two outcomes. Either she will change or she won’t. Divorce is rarely a one-sided coin, and both partners bear responsibility. However, assuming that you’ve made a good faith effort and have done what you can to improve, be a good person/spouse/parent, and be attractive, at some point the person needs to meet you half way. If she is humble, swallows her pride, and looks honestly in the mirror, maybe she will change and you’ll galvanize your marriage. There are some great before-after photos of couples, husbands, or wives losing weight that can provide inspiration to make those hard decisions., However, that is very hard, especially when ego is involved and her back is against the wall. The most likely scenario is that with the bridges burnt she’ll say fuck this marriage and your divorce proceedings will begin. Then, after you’re divorced she’ll find the motivation to get her act together and jump on the cock carousel just to spite you. If that is the case, you’ve at least given it the best effort to make it work and have spoken honestly so while you may end up ultimately at choice D below, you can walk away in a timely fashion knowing you played all the cards you could and left nothing back.
C. (Cheat). If the rest of your married life is solid, but your sex life stinks, this may be a band-aid or possibly a long term solution to the issue. It is better to be aboveboard and introduce the concept of open marriage in choice B, but perhaps you don’t want to open that dialogue. If this is something you’re considering, keep in mind your reputation to not only your friends and family, but to your kids, if you get caught. That is a tough one to overcome and get through. If you must, discretion is key. Perhaps segmenting your life to family, work, and sex works for you, but usually this eventually unravels anyway sometimes with a tarnished reputation and broken relationships.
D. (Divorce). The stigma of divorce is still there, but ejecting from a bad relationship that is adversely impacting your happiness and maybe even the kids is sometimes the right move. It opens up the possibility of finding a better fit in a partner, or simply staying single and living the life you want to live while getting laid through on-line dating. However, there is a reason many people choose staying in a crap marriage vs. divorce. The divorce laws are set to extract the most pain out of the father, and if your soon to be ex-wife is revenge-minded, she has the ability to royally fuck with you. False abuse (either to her or the kids) allegations, drug/alcohol allegations, alimony, child support, withholding your kids from you. The system is rigged, resulting in men getting screwed to the point of suicide. I don’t say this lightly, but both marriage and divorce are serious decisions with ramifications that need to be mitigated. Expect to be poorer than before, and watch while you pay for your own house for your wife and kids to live in while you are forced to live in an efficiency in the crappy part of town while she calls you a deadbeat. But you can’t put a price on misery or happiness, so it may be money well spent at the end of the day as you get a real chance for happiness.
At the end of the day, if you don’t want to fuck your wife anymore the options aren’t very attractive no matter what. My wife Holly and I have changed since we got married, but we’ve generally changed in the same directions. If one spouse changes for the worse, or stays static while one changes for the better, it can be a tough road to hoe. Recognize that people grow apart and may have different motivations for changing. I know that I stepped up when the pressure was on me to improve, but some people are lazy or can’t stop addictive patterns (eating, drugs, booze) so thus end up as a different person than when you married. You can’t be expected to sign on for that if the person has no respect for you (or themselves) to change. But remember, you CAN’T change another person, and can only control your own situation or perception of the situation. So either be happy or not. Either shit or get off the pot. It is hard to be happy or miserable at the same time, so choose one and accept your choice.