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Perfect marriage but he's not feeling it so we have separated

Community Member

I have been with my husband for almost 20 years, since school. We married a few years ago. In the last year I have found out that his feelings for me have changed, he says doesn't want to feel like it as everything between us is really good - most people would consider he has the perfect life - he just doesn't feel the same so I have had to move out (at his request) to try and sort his head out. More recently we spent a few weeks apart to see if that helped and he had a one night stand.

I am not sure how to deal with everything. I don't know if he wants me back, I don't know if I should go back if he wants me to. If anyone else told me this story I would say they are crazy to want to stay with him after all the things he has done in the last year including looking for other ways to satisfy his needs (erotic massages and dating apps, a one night stand).

Is he a overall a good person just having some sort of mid life crisis or is he just bad and I should move on? Has the thought of starting a family given him cold feet and the desire to recapture what he thinks he missed out on as we have been together since our teens?

We are best friends, there's no animosity. I can't feel angry at him (for the most part - I have angry moments but overall, just sad). I just want our life to be the way it was before. He says there is no reason for it, he's still attracted to me but has a strong desire to go in a different direction. Do I move back home (overseas) and get on with life or do I give it a chance? If we work it out get over this and live happily ever after, it would be a 'blip' in the relationship or do I cut my losses and get on with my life (I'm mid thirties). It seems such a waste to cut our losses - I still think there's so much good in the relationship we can get through it.

I am very confused right now as to what to do with my life and how to get through this separation. The chance it could work is the only thing keeping me going. He has a friend who was in a similar situation and the separation worked, now they are happy and have a baby. Is he so focussed on that working for them he thinks it's the only way for us?

Has anyone else had a similar experience and how did you cope with it? What was the outcome for you? It's all feeling a bit surreal at the moment. I would appreciate any thoughts from people who have been in a similar situation. Thank you.

3 Replies 3

Community Member

Hi Claire81. Welcome. You've been through so much in your 20 years together. In the last year or so though things, have changed for him. It almost sounds as though he's possibly envious of workmates going out etc. Something has happened to change his mind about you and him. As for you moving out, I think I'd have been inclined to say, you're the one who's changed your mind, therefore you should be the one to move out. Is it a joint ownership home? Usually when a spouse wants to separate, the one who wants to end it is the one who moves out. Can I ask where you're from originally, you mentioned you've come from o/s. If you're happy to go 'home' that's your call. I don't know that I'd be willing to try again though, under the circumstances, I think I'd be concerned that the current behaviour is a taste of things to come. Once spouses get the urge to look round, the trust issue comes into it. You say his friend went through something similar and they've now got a family. Everyone is different, what works for one doesn't necessarily work for someone else. If you did reconcile, how long before he changes his mind again. I wouldn't say he is necessarily 'good' or 'bad', I think possibly he could be regretting tying himself down before he was emotionally ready. That's not your fault, or his, it's sad, but now he's tasted 'freedom' he may decide he prefers it. I certainly wouldn't be waiting around for him. He's made his choice, you now have to decide for you what you want to do. If you decide to stay, I would just get on with my life. If you wish to go out with him, that's up to you, but I wouldn't hold out for him to change his mind, because he may not really know what he wants. I feel so sorry for you that this has happened. You married, believing he was Mr Right.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
dear Claire, people change over the years, especially since coming out of school at the age of 18 or so, ideas, wants change as we mature from our school days, and that's what has happened with your husband, because he needed to know what a one night stand felt like, to be with another woman, as you have been the only one he's been with for the past 20 years, so he wants to explore another life looking at erotic sites and dating apps, so you aren't sure what else may have happened behind your back, and your love will still be there for him, as it could be for him.
Personally I would move on, because once this starts for him it won't stop, which only means that you will only be more upset and disappointed if you try and stay together.
There's a whole new world out there for you, one which you have never found, other men who want to start having a family and someone who wants to explore another life with you, going out and enjoying another social life, travelling, going for picnics and introducing you to a new life.
It will be sad for you, I know, but you can't live with a person who wants to do certain things behind your back, someone who you don't feel as though you can trust. Geoff. x

Community Member

Hi Claire

Can I just ask how he managed to get YOU to move out then he was the one who wanted to sort his head out??

I would be highly suspicious that he was up to something some time before he asked you to move out....

I can totally understand how you would want things to be the way they were before, but unfortunately it can never be that way now. You've got some tough decisions to make, particularly while your husband of 20 years is having a wonderful time now with you out of the house....I think you need to stop putting him up on a pedestal while he is actively treating your marriage of 20 years like dirt.

I don't mean that to sounds harsh but you need some decisive action and soon. I'm assuming you don't have children? Is the house in joint names? You may need professional advice as well, just be very careful