Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

I want to separate from my husband but don't know how

Community Member

I've been married for 20yrs and we have 2 healthy children. We are financially stable. I know I should be happy but I feel depressed and stuck. I no longer want to be married.

I care deeply about my husband, and he is a good man, but he has always been totally closed off to his emotions. Since the beginning I felt rejected and alone when he wouldn't talk to me. After we had our first child I asked him to come to marriage counselling, but he refused. Then I asked him to read a book I’d found helpful, but he was offended that I was 'picking on him' and very angry about it. He said hurtful things I’ve never been able to forget. I think it was then I started to shut him out the way I had always felt shut out by him. That was 8 years ago.

He finally agreed to counselling about 2yrs ago but I feel like it's only scratched the surface. I've asked him to do extra reading or even his own therapy but he refuses. I’ve tried to initiate some fun activities for us but we don’t enjoy the same things and neither of us end up having a good time.

Intimacy is also a problem. For years I was having sex in order to keep the peace and now I just feel used up, like I’m not even capable of enjoying it anymore. The idea of having sex with him makes me so anxious I feel physically ill. It’s been months since I’ve tried and I don't want to again. I've read about sexless marriage, but I know my husband wouldn't handle that. Sex is very important to him. but the real problem isn't the sex it's the lack of connection. I don't know how to feel connected to him anymore. I don't think I want to.

I dream of asking him for a separation, but how? I only work part time, and I don’t want to move the kids even if I could afford to. And it seems too cruel to ask my husband to move out. Should I stay until the kids are adults and waste another 10yrs of both of our lives? The alternative is to break my husband's heart and break up my family. But staying is just adding more layers to my resentment and I'm scared I'll end up hating him.

Has anyone been through anything like this? I’m still seeing my own counsellor, but I think it's gotten to the point where more talking about the same issues won't help. I need to take some action, because I can't stay in limbo. I'm not living just existing.

Thank you

126 Replies 126

hello everyone

This book I found helpful, not sure if its still in print.

Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay by Mira Kirshenbaum

It has many questions to think about and it helped going through the whole thought process.

Just an idea.

Thanks. I am thinking I will probably need to leave my husband. I have had enough of his behaviour. He’s got worse. Sick of feeling neglected and his abusive behaviour. I don’t feel safe emotionally with him. I don’t trust him. Scared of the grief I will feel.

Community Member

Community Member

Any chance of an update from Goodwitch. Her words are so honest and open and it’s helping me to look within.

I hope she’s okay.


Elusive welcome to the forum.

I a. Glad goodwitch’s words have helped you.
This thread was started in 2018 amd people move on and off the forum. Sometimes people come back and update and some move on.

As this is an old thread you may want to start your own thread. It is up to you.
Thanks again for your post and welcome.

I have also been reading her posts and hope she is going ok. I have come back to this forum a year after posting my first post.

I am wondering if anyone knows of any online/telehealth counselling services that have helped them. I find it hard to get away without the kids and haven't got a lot of money left over once the bills are paid each week. I still think i need to leave my relationship, but I am terrified of the effect it might have on my kids, i can't decide if it's the right thing, the selfish things, or all of the above. My head is a mess.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello GoodWitch, I've read your post again and it's not about displeasing your husband you are worried about because you are involved in this marriage and being intimate means that two people want to have it, so you don't perform it just to make sure he's happy because it won't be for you.

Suggesting to him that he should read a book is not going to happen, because that's in part, giving in to you and that's not what he wants to do.

I hope you are still reading your thread because it's important that new ideas, facts or suggestions that are offered can be taken into account.

Would dearly love to hear back from you.


Life Member.