One woman answers the question: should I stay in a marriage without chemistry?

Updated Nov 18 2019
Guest post by Alex
Divorced AF glass available here.

I wrote the Offbeat Home post I'm not attracted to my husband: Marriage without chemistry? in 2013. [One of the most popular posts on Offbeat Home & Life, of all time. -Ed] After 6 years of working on myself, finding myself, and trying to do absolutely everything I could to save the marriage… I finally had the strength to call it quits.

I spent years researching, years in therapy, years working on past issues, and years meditating… but unfortunately still had no feelings what so ever for my husband.

I also realized that he was NEVER going to change, and NEVER going to work on the marriage. With all the personal development I had done, I feel like I outgrew him in the end.

Some of the key factors in my decision were also that we all moved back to my home in New Zealand, where we have the financial support to live separately.

Also, me learning to love myself enough to know that I can be loved by someone else and love back.

Most of all, I learned that a marriage ending does NOT necessarily mean you are tearing your children's lives apart. With love, respect, and influence, your children do not have to suffer ongoing trauma from a marriage ending!

I actually couldn't believe how many people made it into such a bloody negative thing and how so many articles said that staying together for the children (despite your own unhappiness) is the best thing to do.

Well, sorry but I think that's completely wrong! My children are thriving. They have two parents who adore them and co-parent completely amicably, we still do things together and everyone is happier.

When you dig a bit deeper into the research, you will find that most children bounce back with minimal damage as long as their NEEDS ARE MET. This can be done as a couple or separately! Do everything you can to try saving things, but if it ain't working, it ain't working.

You can't force yourself to love someone, you shouldn't stay in a marriage just because that's the person you married! People change.

It takes both sides to make it work. If one person is putting all the work in and other one isn't, it's move on. It is NOT unrealistic to want love and to be in love! What a load of garbage that is! I think people who think that's unrealistic obviously don't have very much self-worth.

I want a great love, that goes on forever. Of course passion and chemistry will fade, but when both people work on a marriage, your love can last.

I have now seen it first hand. You just have to meet the right person. So if love like this is important to you, don't give up hope.

If you're dealing with similar challenges in your relationship, here area few books that may help you in your process:

  1. YES YES YES to Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay! I went through something very similar to the the author and I found this book to be the most helpful in my journey. I hadn't read the others, I'm sure they're very good too, but I think Too Good to Leave… is essential reading for someone who is struggling with leaving. Love and prayers for everyone who needs books like this – it's heart-breakingly hard, but you're not alone!

  2. Agree on this so hard. My parents stayed together for me and it was so hard seeing them unhappy for a very long time instead of going all in with new partners.
    People change and that's OK!

  3. So I'm going through the thick of it right now. Every single thing the author mentioned is what my current state is and truthfully has always been. We've been married for 10 years. Together for 15 and have 3 young children. I don't want to be touched by him but I do love him. We operate very well as friends and poorly when it comes to intimacy. No chemistry from my part and I can date that back to 6 months after dating.

    I thought it was a libido issue but I crave sex. Just not from him. So hard to even have the convo with him. I'm seeing a therapist for the first time this Saturday. I really don't know where we will end up but I know things can't stay the same.

    I'm going to look into the books mentioned as well. Glad to know I'm not alone. All the fears of what can happen if I do leave haunts me just as much as if I do stay….

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