Mon | Feb 6, 2023

Is this marriage over?

Published:Tuesday | April 17, 2012 | 12:00 AM

I have been married for seven years and it has largely been unhappy. I realise I married her for the wrong reason. She was a successful business woman. She was street-smart but not educated. In fact, she was barely literate. Since we have been married she has improved herself educationally. I thought having a child together would help the relationship. It worked for a while and we were overjoyed at the birth and development of the baby. I stayed in it for my daughter. However, we are back to square one and we are both unhappy most of the times. Even the sex is bad and not frequent. Recently I met an old flame, one thing led to another and we had a wonderful night of passion. The sexual satisfaction I had with this one-time girlfriend I have not felt with my wife in a long time.

Sometimes my wife goes away for days and stays with her mother because she too is not happy and knows her mother does not like me. I stay at work late and often hang out with my friends. I do not want to tell my wife that my feelings for her have gone. I do not want to hurt her feelings. Is the marriage over? How do I know when to call it quits? Should I seek a divorce? I love my daughter and would want to keep her. We bought a lovely house together, although at that time she put more money into it. I believe she is going to want the amount she placed into the house and not just 50 per cent. How will the property be divided?

You have asked many questions which is indicative that you are very confused. It seems obvious your wife realises there is a problem, stays by her mom. You stay late at work and also hang out with friends.

You have complicated your relationship by entering into another sexual union. It is unwise and unfair to compare your one-night stand with the sexual relationship with your wife. It is possible that the sexual satisfaction was due to the perceived pleasures of a forbidden fruit and excitement generated from stealing love on the side. Any sex will feel good after bad sexual encounters. Additionally, you probably entered into this extra-martial affair because you want out of the marriage and seeking an easy way out, rather than a frank assessment with your wife. You need to compliment your wife on her academic accomplishments, wise investments and not stress the joys with your ex.

Talk to your wife

Perhaps you are hurting your wife's feelings by not talking to her openly and candidly. She needs to hear from you. Both of you are avoiding a heart-to-heart discussion. In fact, you need the intervention of a mediator. There are too many problems to solve. There is a problem of poor and inadequate communication. Furthermore, you have in-law problems. Perhaps she goes to her mother for comfort and support, especially that she knows you are not a favourite person of your mother. You also seem to want to squabble over, the child and how to divide the property.

I do not know if your marriage is over or if you should seek a divorce. Only you can make that judgement call. It is very bad now but the issue is: what are the prospects of it getting better in the short run and are both of you committed to making this marriage work? If yes, then you have something to work with. If no, then you know what next to do.