Over at Reddit, they had a thread called, “[serious] Older guys, assuming there was no affair, abuse, etc, how did you decide your marriage was over?” As someone who has never been married, I thought that was an interesting question. Here are some of the answers men gave,
* “Ask yourself this: Would you rather spend the rest of your life alone than stay in the marriage?
The answer to that question will probably tell you a lot. Even if you don’t end up alone, it allows you to think about the marriage on its own merits rather than the idea of a “greener pasture” somewhere else. There will ALWAYS be someone prettier, smarter, more sexually active, etc. Don’t let that thought distract you. Make your decision based on the marriage you have, not the one you think you can find. You don’t want to leave, then wonder later if you made the right choice.
For me, even though I KNEW it was the right thing to do (honestly for both of us), it was hard to do, because I STILL care about and for her.
I divorced 4 years ago after 20 years together. I surveyed my life and the things that brought me joy, and she wasn’t a part of any of them. Exercise? No. Games? No. Music? No. Camping? No.
I tried for several years to build things we did together, choosing things that she liked, signed us up for dance lessons, took trips, gym membership, cooking classes, trying to find common ground.
There was none, and no desire on her part to build any.
I looked ahead for the rest of my life with this stranger, and called it quits.” — Surgeon67
* “No sex for a few years. …Actually, I started keeping tally in a notebook. People tell me I’m sick for doing so. Every time I was turned down, I made a tick mark for every time I was turned down. Once it reached 1000, I just kind of gave up.” — Redmeattrinket
* “I knew my first marriage was over when she told me she was leaving. I had no idea it was coming and it broke me. I didn’t try to have a relationship for 5 years and by then I had forgotten how to be in one. 25 years later and several failed relationships finally figured out how to do it again.” — Kweeche
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* “Well i’m only 41 so even though i’m obviously not an “older guy”… basically i never wanted to spend time with my wife, and every interaction with her I found to be aggravating. Plus I slept on the couch for 3 years with no sex.” — bilzBug