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Living in a loveless marriage

Community Member
So hubby (57) and I (38) have been together 10yrs. We both have a kid from a prior marriage, his is grown up and mine is 11 and on the autism spectrum. I have bipolar disorder and have been off work 18mths due to it. Hubby recently spent 2yrs living interstate for work to support us and during that time our intimacy faded. He got back at New Years and we're now sleeping in separate beds. We've had sex twice which I didn't enjoy because I felt guilty it's been so long. Most nights I'll get a peck kiss goodnight and that's the extent of physical interaction. We'll ask each other how our day was but it's more like housemates. I've just started a nursing degree which will take 4yrs, and during that time there'll be periods I need support for my daughter during placements. Is it bad I'm contemplating staying as housemates at least until my study is done? I also have a car debt and debt agreement that the extra help is useful inn knocking down. I should mention hubby plans to retire in 18mths and then we're just living off my part time wage whilst studying (and I move 80% of my annual super contributions to his account for us to access earlier so it's not like I've been bludging off him). I just think suck it up for 4yrs, get on my get career wise and financially, and then decide. In the meantime I can be in a sexless, loveless, cohabitating relationship....
10 Replies 10

Community Member

Good morning Tia

I hope we can offer you some advice or at least insights into helping you. There is a few points in your post that I feel need clarifying. You write that your husband lived and worked interstate for two years. Did you or he ever visit each other during that time? If you did have regular contact over those two years, were they happy visits?

Your post is unusual in the sense there is no evidence of malice or dislike for your husband, just a drifting apart feeling. If this drifting apart was largely caused by not seeing him for two years then I can understand why the love has been lost. If he treats you well and has been supporting you financially, it may be possible to learn to love him again. I can’t really go much further than that, because I feel there are too many unknowns. If you feel like it, would you prepared to flesh out his feelings for you and vice versa.

Nevertheless, these are my top lines thoughts. I could never advise a person to stay in a “ loveless, sexless cohabitating relationship....” just for the sake of convenience, especially if you have one eye on a shoot through opportunity. I don’t think that’s fair or healthy for either of you. It would be much better for both of you to have real heart to heart discussion on how you both feel. Lay all the cards in the table, hold nothing back. If you are to have any chance of rebuilding the love, it starts with an honest conversation.

Community Champion
Community Champion


Welcome to the forum.

I was just starting my comment to you when I saw what Betternow wrote. I agree with their helpful suggestions and supportive comments.

I have bipolar and I stayed in a marriage much longer because I was wanted to be a family.

only you of course can make that decision.

You have a lot on your plate with taking on a nursing degree, caring for your daughter and living in a loveless marriage. Is your bipolar under control now as you are starting a degree.

You say you are like housemates so I wonder is there any friendship, conversation , or communication betweem you and your husband.

Thanks for sharing you story and feel free to let us know how you are going.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Tia,

I don't think there's anything wrong with living as "roommates" for the next four years - as long as your husband knows that too. If the only reason you're staying is so that he can financially support you, and you have no plans on trying to rekindle the romance, that sounds pretty manipulative. Particularly as (again, just based on your initial post) it sounds like the reason the romance faded was that he made sacrifices to support the family. And I'm sorry, but moving 80% of your super contributions from a part-time job (which you haven't been in for 18 months?) doesn't really seem like an equitable contribution. It would be, if you were planning on staying, as loving couples help each other out in down times. If you're planning on using him for the next four years, and then you're out the door? How would you feel if someone did that to you?

I'd suggest having a conversation with him, outlining your plans. If he doesn't have a problem with it, go for it. If, on the other hand, he does? It's time to either work on the relationship until it's fixed, or until you agree that it's beyond repair.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Tia, and welcome.

This is a situation which may or may not recover and I can't make that decision, however, my concern is moving 80% of your annual super contributions into his account, because if you do decide to go separate ways then this maybe a complication, especially as you, have questioned the idea of being together.

Best wishes.


Community Member
Thanks, we did visit each other every 6-8wks and the visits were ok but we went a year without sex so intimacy was lost. Most times the only affection was a quick kiss goodbye at the airport. You're right in the fact we've just drifted apart...

Hi, more stable than I have been. We talk about our day or about my daughter and issues with her so there's some conversation.

Thanks, I see where you're coming from. I still have income coming in and previously was in a 6 figure job whilst he semi retired and didn't work, so I've been the primary income earner most of our relationship until recently. I think you're right we need to talk about where this is going.

Thanks, that's been a concern as it's about $30k so far that I could lose out on.

Community Member


I may well my old fashioned or a romantic. Or both. But if you really love someone... whats money got to do with it

Community Member
Sorry you already said it was a love loveless marriage. It just seems all really sad.

Community Member

Thanks for the update Tia.

It’s never easy having that crucial discussion. The longer you put it off, the more difficult it is to get started. In my humble experience, the key is to prepare well. Be crystal clear on your feelings, what you wish to achieve and practice the very words and sentences you intend to use.

Be prepared for your husband to be confused. Give him time to get used to any proposals you have. You may need to schedule a second or even third discussion. Above all, don’t criticise him personally. Your language should be neutral. Your looking for a better and fulfilling life both of you.

Good luck.

Hi, I am just checking in as I was following another post about IP and TPD. How did that pan out for you?- as I read now that you are studying to be a nurse.
It's got to be hard considering the complications with your home life, so I applaud you for giving it your efforts