I told my husband I wanted a separation and he freaked out. But I’m so unhappy with him

I told my husband I wanted a separation and he freaked out. But I’m so unhappy with him
I told my husband I wanted a separation and he freaked out. But I’m so unhappy with him

I have been married almost 12 years now. I was just 19 when we met and 8 months later we tied the knot. I have never been a physical person. I don’t like to touch, I don’t like to cuddle and I have never been satisfied sexually by him. It has been this way for our whole marriage. Sex has always been slightly painful due to not being aroused enough but after I had my boy I talked to a doctor about it and he gave the recommendation of more oral from my hubby. So I told him, and he told me that I taste bad. I did some research about it and changed my diet but he would never try again.

Over the years I have tried to grow as an individual and he has not. We have the common interest of our son and some recreational shooting and that’s it. After 11 years of doing all the cooking, cleaning and yard work I’m over it. I’m ready to try it on my own. My days are basically spent picking up after a grown man who has more than once called me his personal maid and chef. A man who goes to work and comes home, showers and turns on the TV until its time for bed. He waits for me to bring dinner to him and sets a dirty plate in my chair when he is done. He also guilt-trips me for not being ‘model skinny’ despite the fact that I exercise and his idea of a workout is pushing a button on the remote control (he’s very overweight). Needless to say, I’m not attracted to him at all. 

When I broached with him that I want to try a separation he completely freaked out. He makes me feel guilty for wanting to leave so here I am, still trying to work on it but there is no respect left, everything is a fight and struggle. Now he gets mad because I won’t cuddle and touch but I’ve never been that way. He knew this when we were dating, he knew this when we married.  To make matters even worse I just got a raise at work and now make more money than him and he has become even more critical. I am very unhappy and want to leave but am afraid of hurting him. He was such a nice guy to date. Sophie

Dating someone who’s generally on his best behaviour is completely different to being locked in an unhappy marriage for over a decade to a total asshole who wouldn’t know how to compromise or be kind if his life depended on it. That’s why my immediate reaction to your letter, Sophie, is not a case of suggesting you find a good counsellor – it’s rather that you should find a good lawyer. Why? Because a) you don’t love him anymore; b) you aren’t attracted to him anymore; c) he’s a sexist, lazy, nasty piece of work. He’s also shite in bed, criticises you in ways that had me gasping and – I’m guessing – wouldn’t win any prizes for father of the year. Yeah, I’d be looking for the door too.

First though, you need to lose the idea that you have to sacrifice your life and personal happiness to a guy who treated you well when you were dating 12 years ago, because it’s not the reality now. You deserve better than this. Your son deserves better than this. Your next steps should be: 

Planning your future finances. Including saving and strategising for your survival on one income.
Figuring out where you’ll live. Will you stay in the house? Will he? Will you sell it? Where will you live? This is critical to your peace of mind before making the break, especially with your son to consider.
Setting up a support network. Do you have friends/family who know how unhappy you are and can be there for you? Have you told anyone you want to separate? If not, start talking to those you trust.
Looking at your assets. What have you amassed as a couple in the past 12 years? What are you entitled to? Would your increased income mean maintenance payments? A lawyer can help here.
Considering custody arrangements. What’s fair? What are you comfortable with? What would your husband demand? Would you want your son with you full-time?
Keeping the end goal in sight. Ending a marriage is hard but if the relationship’s not working, you’ll be happier out of it and you need to hold onto that through the storm you’re about to enter.

Good luck Sophie. I wish you all the best.

Love, reality chick

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Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).


  1. Cyndie 7 years ago

    I totally agree with RC, just leave! We only have one life and it’s always to short. We all deserve to be happy and we have to be a little selfish in life: time to put yourself first! It won’t be easy, he might beg you to stay or promise you he’ll change – but it’s too late! Move on, it’s for the best.

  2. Wacky 7 years ago

    Agree with RC. They say hate is the opposite of love but it’s not, it’s indifference. With hate at least there’s some feeling there I guess.
    All I read in your letter is indifference to him and the only reason to stay is not to hurt him now that he’s realised he’s lost you.
    You don’t love him, like him or respect him and he doesn’t appreciate any of your efforts in caring for him so I say leave too. He’s not willing to change by the sounds of it and you’re still made to feel like you’re the one with the problem for not wanting to cuddle him etc. It feels like this was over a long time ago, now it’s just time to work out the finer details.

  3. Lisa 7 years ago

    I agree with Reality Chick. People grow – or don’t – at their own rate. You’ve grown; your husband hasn’t. You will never be satisfied as a person, a woman, with this man. Make your plans for leaving. Gather your resources – money, friends, furniture, lawyer etc – and when you feel secure, do it. Leave. Staying because of fond memories or guilt will never work.

    • Author

      Thanks Cyndie, Lisa and Wacky… your comments are all so true. Please let her be reading!!

  4. anon 7 years ago

    Leave. Go and don’t look back. You don’t want a separation you want a divorce. You NEED one. Whether your reality is as you describe it or not, its how you feel. I thought leaving my husband after 12 years would make me a bad person and oh NO what about my son! I was never willing to pull the plug. It seemed selfish. I was devastated and thrilled to find he had been cheating. It was my get out of jail free card. I was gone in 30 mins. Don’t expect anyone else to understand or be on your side. Some will .. Some wont. You will lose a lil and gain a lil. Sharing your son will be hard … Find things you like doing in the downtime. You deserve better. Dating is a nightmare but you may find someone better. You may enjoy your own company. BTW… You don’t taste bad. He is crap in bed. 12 years (starting at 19) of meh in bed … Doesnt sell sex to anyone. You may be surprised what a good man… And someone who is GOOD in bed will make you feel. ..,, just saying 😉

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