"I never wanted to use the word "divorce" as an empty threat...but I followed through on the 3rd time & have never looked back. Personally at 56 years, this is not what I wanted; I just could no longer “continue my slow death” from loneliness, lack of physical or emotional love & his continued “undercurrent” of anger & blame waiting to go off at any moment! Why he did that? I never understood & no longer care too!"
My reflection this time focused on the weight of one variable: how young or old are you when coming to your discovery of being in a silent marriage? More, of getting to the point of being ready to divorce? The perspective of how much life you have in front of you grows more and more important over time! and getting to the milestone of being 50 without love in your life is a devastating conclusion.
For me, the saddest part of this story is when women write after spending more than 20 years waiting for a spontaneous change in their husband's behaviors that never materialized, and realize that this emptiness is permanent; that opportunities are lost and the future looks bleak. Then, their eternal question: will my husband ever love me? is a cry for understanding and help.
For the mature women that now ask me, I only have a frustrating answer: “It depends…” on how do you define love. If it means grown-up, mature, and responsible affection for each other, probably there is not much of this kind of love in a passive-aggressive marriage, without serious change. It will not happen by itself, and it takes a lot of courage and the threat of divorce for him to start a healing program. Why? Because they have to end their abusive behaviors with the people who love them first. That’s 100% their responsibility and relationships can’t heal at all until they end their abuse. That’s the first and most important change.
Without therapy or a coaching program followed to the end, your passive-aggressive partner can “love” you as much as he was loved when being a baby. Look at the relationship with his mother, (or the memories he has of her and of their relationship) and decide if their relationship has the warm, emotional connection you want for yourself.
Here is the truth, and if you are a wise person, you can see already the writings on the wall. No way he can protest that he has learned another way of loving…if you don’t see him ACTING in a LOVING WAY, CONSISTENTLY, with anyone around him, including you, of course, assume that the emotional healing work still needs to be done!
Does it mean that if you are 50+ and in a passive-aggressive marriage, you are doomed? Not necessarily...Here and there, I find some sincere husband that accepts the need for change and goes through the program....in that case, it is possible for the wife to accept to stay married and enjoy the improved situation.
And remember that it takes some good work to repair the damage to your own self if you have been in this situation of waiting for good, selfless love from your partner for some time. My Kindle book: “Emotionally abusive relationships” is the answer to get back to your own power and resilience!