Sat | Oct 20, 2018

Stuck in a loveless marriage

Published:Tuesday | January 12, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Q: My husband and I have a problem agreeing on anything. It has been five years of this. We had a great marriage for the first nine years, but things took a turn for the worse. My husband cheated on me, but he denies it. I do not trust him. Since that episode, we quarrel regularly. We sleep in different rooms. He does not make any attempt to be intimate. In any case, I have lost feelings for him.

We argue about how to raise our only child. We had a fight over which school he should attend. He wanted my son to go to his alma mater, while I had arranged for him to go to a better school. He does not take the child to school or attend PTA meetings, but he is deeply involved in affairs at his old school. We do not go to the same church.

We have decided to split and we cannot agree on that either. I earn far more than he does and I have offered to buy him out. He wants to buy me out, but he does not have the money.

We cannot agree on which counsellor to go to. He wants a divorce, but he wants me to start the proceedings. So I am stuck in a marriage that no one wants. I need help!

A: Your marriage has broken down; however, you both need to be civil and not let it affect your son. You need to make a compromise about bringing up your son. There has to be give and take. It is childish of your husband to shun his son because the son is not going to his alma mater. He needs to respect his son's decision.

He needs a reality check and to realise that he cannot afford the house. There is nothing wrong with you going to a different church from your husband. That arrangement can work.

For a marriage to work, you need to be able to agree on the essentials, and for a divorce to be successful, you need to agree on some things. Otherwise, the court will make the decisions for both of you.

The most important thing is to compromise. You need, therefore, to go to the counsellor he prefers. You might be surprised about the impartiality and competence of the counsellor. Perhaps he will respect the recommendations coming from the counsellor.