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How can I accept my passionless marriage?

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Hi Mark,

I read the question from 'Very Guilty' about wanting to break up with her boyfriend because although he is really nice and she likes him, there is no 'spark'.

I was in the exact same situation around ten years ago, when my then-boyfriend proposed to me. I took two weeks of agonizing before eventually saying yes. I always thought I would grow to love him in the way some couples in arranged marriages reportedly do, but it never really happened. Today we have three children and a comfortable life together, but there's still no spark. He is still a really nice guy and a loving dad, but I am just sad at a very deep level all the time because I don't feel much 'connection' with him and no romantic love at all, which makes me very guilty, as well as lonely and also fake as I have to hide how I really feel (from everyone!).

If I could go back in time, I'd say no to getting married. We both should have found someone who was right for us. But I can't, so I really need to move on and accept the choice I made and where I now am. I don't want to break up, destroy our family, or hurt him.

In some ways, I think I'm still holding onto (pining for) the very deep and intense love I felt in a previous relationship, though that relationship is long gone.

Do you have any suggestions about how to not only accept but, if possible, feel happy with what I now have? Thank you.

This question was submitted by 'Rebecca'

mark tyrrell

Mark says...

Hi Rebecca and thank you for getting in touch.

From what you write, it sounds like there was never much romantic love or passion in this relationship or perhaps not from your perspective. It's easy to feel guilty or even 'ungrateful', but you feel how you feel and that is not wrong. It's just the way it is.

There is such a thing as duty, although it's not a word many people use now. You have your three children and a life together, but you secretly yearn for passion and romance with a man you can feel connected to. It seems like a tangle, but there are things worth considering.

If you hadn't married this man, you would have gone down some different course and now be regretting not marrying your now-husband. When we regret things, we often don't consider that alternative, 'parallel lives' may have been much less fulfilling.

Another thing to consider is fuel efficiency (you can tell a man is writing this!). Okay, that didn't sound too romantic. What I mean is that high octane, intensely passionate relationships have a way of burning themselves out very fast and don't tend to be sustainable or great vehicles for a family. That's not to say that we can't be passionate and romantic with long-term steady relationships, but often sustainability in a relationship comes with a diminishment of raw passion, intensity, and high romance.

But you have passion and romance within you and that might need some outlet. Maybe you have creative drives that need fulfilling, some thing to become passionate about? Some of the most creative work has come from thwarted passion. That might seem like cold comfort, but often it's our very difficulties that empower us to create amazing things.

There is no easy answer and there really is such a thing as chemistry between people and I'm sorry you don't have that right now. It sounds trite to suggest you 'count your comparative blessings', because I'm sure you do, but you might gain some happier perspectives from listening to 'No Regrets'.

All my best,


watch icon Published by Mark Tyrrell - April 12th, 2015 in

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