Need help breaking free from addiction?
Call 24/7 for treatment options. Who Answers?

Dead-End Marriage


Anne, I stumbled upon your site while looking for some kind of something to help me figure out what to do. I have been married for 23 years of which started on shaky grounds. 6 months into our marriage my husband rejected having sex in any form! He promised me things would change and I took him back. Now over the years, things have came to a head in our marriage, no sex, emotions of love, as well as being put down in front of friends, drifting apart (big time), not doing anything together as a husband and wife, things has really gotten out of control! I have major depression and have been in therapy for the last 3 years because of this, I feel that I am loosing big time! He sits in front of the TV almost 24 hours 7 days a week! Not wanting to admit things are on the rocks! I have asked him if he was satisfied with things the way they are, the response was, “Oh is there something wrong with our marriage?” He won’t admit anything being wrong, and sometimes he says it is just me! This really is hurting the love that I once had for him, turning it into a monster is not what I want, he refuses to even go to council with me in any shape or form. Dead set against it. Being in your 40’s life isn’t over, I personally have life left within. What do you suggest I do? I am so desperate, I am thinking of leaving! HELP! I am so tired of trying things to get this back on track.

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • ‘Anne’ is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
  • ‘Anne’ bases her responses on her personal experiences and not on professional training or study. She does not represent herself to be a psychologist, therapist, counselor or professional helper of any sort. Her responses are offered from the perspective of a friend or mentor only.
  • Anne intends her responses to provide general information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
  • Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
  • No correspondence takes place.
  • No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by ‘Anne’ to people submitting questions.
  • ‘Anne’, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. ‘Anne’ and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.

Honey, you have more strength and tenacity and/or fear than many women, who would not have lasted this long in such a seemingly dead-end marriage. It is not at all odd that you are depressed given the situation you describe. Living for years in a sexless, non-intimate and verbally abusive relationship like you describe would do that to just about anyone. It is normal to want sex and intimacy and respect in a marriage. Marriages that don’t have these things are ill, in crisis. Bluntly, if he will not go to counseling with you and give an honest effort to change his ways, than your marriage has already died. You’re just living out your days in the dead husk of it. As you have written, “I personally have life left within”. You are not dead, even if you marriage seems to be. No one (except maybe your husband and other ‘formal’ people) would blame you if you took steps to leave. There is life after divorce, as scary as the idea divorce may sound. Only you, however, will be able to decide if that is really what you need to do to make a life worth living for yourself. If you do decide to leave, do it slowly and carefully if possible and practical. Make sure you have a place to go, and a way to earn money to support yourself. Make sure that you have as much support for your depression as you can have (medication and social support) so that you can minimize the impact of leaving on your depression. Leaving will be stressful for a time, but, then, staying doesn’t seem to be less stressful for you. Good luck.

More "Ask Anne" View Columnists

  • been there

    to this person you are alot stronger than you give yourself credit for it takes more strength to stay with a person in a loveless marriage than to walk away. the answer is always the same go find your happiness and he will realize you were his, now he will come find you in a little bit of time and promise to change don't believe him after so long you realize that divorce is only a stepping stone to freedom and happiness.. and believe me divorce is no picnic but it is a way to heal yourself for mr right and while your w mr wrong your chances get shorter and you don't get much of a pick but be warned interview your next date and decide with your head, hearts just get in the way and cause yours more damage than good... so good luck and stay strong and pray that god gives you the strength to walk away.. i know it sounds hard but take the first step to living a life you deserve... i did and after many tears my true strength shows through.. by the way you can survive divorce.. in fact your already there you just don't realize it...

  • Anonymous-1

    You didn't ask about kids. If there are children still iving at home she should stick it out until they are grown and gone. Why ruin their lives for something that is not their fault?

  • Anonymous-2

    Living in a similiar situation where there are kids makes things worse. The kids KNOW that mom and dad are not sleeping in the same room, and dad is disconnected from mom and the family. So how is staying together going to help them?. They need good examples show they will know how to treat their future husband or wife. Staying together is creating a cycle of disfunction. So, if you have never been in that situation, you can't judge if their being selfish or not.

  • Anonymous-3

    I hear you, my heart goes out to u. I am in a very similar situation as u have been. I too have contemplated divorce numerous times. I don't think it is good to stay any longer for the kids' sake since it is very dysfunctional and of course, unhealthy. Let me know what u decide to do. Wish u the best!

  • Anita

    I understand you are probably feeling really insecure and vulnerable. Scared of what the future might hold. But honestly, can it really get much worse for you? You've already had the courage to identify the cause of your unfulfillment and you know you are never going to feel happy with this person. You are halfway to making a better future for yourself. You deserve to be happy with someone who can love you in the way you can love them. Please take the bull by the horns and break away from this desruction it will drag you down and you wont have the energy to make the right decisions. I knw how hard it is but you must protect your own sanity and believe that only you can make a change for the better.

    I wish you all the luck. You can do it.

  • Clariadad1901

    I have been living in the same situation for so long, 23 years, every year I said, nex year I will do something about it. I am so tired an unhappy. There are a lot of factors, I know and that is why I keep postponing my happiness. What I realized now, after 5 years of thinking and thinking is that I am getting older and that later what is going to be left is not mouch. I just want to see the bright light at the end of this part of my life. Be strong maybe some day I will be too. Good luck

  • Dee

    Dont waste your life for another second!..if it is possible to support yourself then flee as fast as you be out of my deadend marriage if i had the funds..i have four kids i could never support but i am in the works to ending it someday when i am better off financially..I can promise you will never feel sexual or true love for him ever again..once its gone its gone...marriage is only for the weak and poor

  • miss x

    i know how you feel i too am living a awful life in this dead end marriage i have 3 kids from a previous marriage my husband is lazy selfish theres no sex love or emotion just abuse he shouts yells orders me about and is very manipiualting

    i want a divorce too but have no fundfs to suporrt myself and my kids and pets

    im very unhappy

    your not alone i feel for you my life is a living hell


Call the Helpline Toll-FREE

To Get Treatment Options Now.

1-888-993-3112 Who Answers? 100% Confidential

Get Help For You or a Loved One Here...

Click Here for More Info.


Call The Toll-FREE Helpline 24/7 To Get Treatment Options Now.

100% Confidential
Get Treatment Options From Your Phone... Tap to Expand