I never fell in love with my husband. I made a good choice on paper, but I don't feel intrigued or stimulated emotionally or intellectually by him. I just don’t really care that much about him. I never have, even though we get along well.
I am bored, lonely and don’t feel I can ever manufacture what I want with him. I just don’t think we connect that way, or that he can really fulfill what I need emotionally. I am depressed and hopeless. We have been married five years and don’t have children. Please help me decide what to do.
The Reformed Boor responds:
The answer, of course, is that no - your lack of love is not an excuse to leave.
Let's dig in a bit more, though.
You stated: "I never fell in love with my husband."
So what? "Falling in love" is not a requirement for marriage. On top of that, according to your own testimony, you've only been married five years. That's a pretty short time to say "never." In other words, if you are holding out hope of falling in love, don't give up after such a short time.
You stated: "I made a good choice on paper."
The key thing is that you are married. It's not really a question of whether that choice was particularly voluntary on your part, the result of societal or family pressures, or the result of your husband to be's pestering. You're married.
You don't have to defend your choice - what's done is done.
You stated: "but I don't feel intrigued or stimulated emotionally or intellectually by him."
So what? Maybe those are areas where he can improve (and I'm not letting him off the hook), but what does that have to do with you staying in this marriage? Of course, we know the answer: you're dissatisfied with his performance. If he was a mutual fund, you'd sell. You, however, are no longer a free woman. Leaving him (absent some extraordinary circumstances) is not an option simply because he dissatisfies you.
You stated: "I just don’t really care that much about him. I never have, even though we get along well."
Shame on you! If this follows on your last comment, double-shame! It is your duty to care about your husband. You are not business partners, you are one flesh. You have a marital duties and responsibilities. One of those duties is to care about your spouse. Husbands have the duty of loving their wife, but wives have the duty of submitting to their husbands. How can either of you accomplish such a thing if you do not care for the other person?
You stated: "I am bored, lonely and don’t feel I can ever manufacture what I want with him."
So what? Did the marriage brochures advertise bliss? Are you asking for a refund? If so, you are confused. Stop thinking about yourself, think about your husband. Your desire is to be to him. Is he bored? Entertain him. Is he lonely? Provide companionship. Does he have needs? Fill them. But don't think that I would let him off the hook either. He ought to be engaging in the same calculus. He should be trying to entertain, accompany, and satisfy you. Nevertheless, his failings in those areas neither erase your obligations or provide you with any excuse.
You stated: "I just don’t think we connect that way, or that he can really fulfill what I need emotionally."
That is one of the most selfish statements imaginable, which is why you began by trying to use "we." The second half of the sentence is more honest and yet more despicable. Maybe your husband is awful at fulfilling your needs: perhaps he does not even care to try. That is changeable, and the number one way people change that is by adjusting their needs. Am I suggesting that his failures are your fault? Certainly not. Nevertheless, you can adjust your emotional needs, and you can assist your husband in fulfilling them. He needs your help in this area. Help him!
You stated: "I am depressed and hopeless."
You are clearly not "hopeless," you have the hope of breaking your vows, betraying your husband's trust, and leaving him. Furthermore, you are clearly considering that option.
You are depressed, though, to be sure. Why? In part it is because you recognize that your behavior and attitude is wrong. In part is because your husband has come up short. In part it is because you care a lot about your own satisfaction. I don't know you. Ask yourself, though: do you suppose you are the perfect wife? Have you felt depressed because you were unable to please him? I'm not trying to add to your depression, but to change your perspective.
No one is perfect. No marriage is perfect. For some people the marital life is easier than for others. For you, it's not going great so far. Still, work on it, and chances are it will improve. Buck up! Deal with the fact that you may not have Prince Charming as your spouse.
I am sorry that you are feeling down. The solution: Cheer up!
You wrote: "We have been married five years and don’t have children."
Five years is not that long. It's too bad you don't have children. If you can have children, have some. Be fruitful and multiply. That's part of marriage, and a very important part. Some women find solace in the love and attention of their children, even if their husbands fall short. When you are worrying about keeping your children satisfied, it will be harder for you to wallow in self-pity.
You wrote: "Please help me decide what to do."
Hopefully by this point you have the answer to that question.
To everyone else that may be reading, consider this: marriage is the joining of two human beings, both of whom have faults. Both are sinners. Both make mistakes. Both have fingers to point. When you are tempted to do so, try to restrain yourself. Try to forgive.
If you are a Christian, you have been forgiven. If you have been forgiven, why should it be so hard for you to forgive others! And if you have forgiven your spouse, you can stop wallowing in self-pity and start trying to help your spouse, among other things, to be a better spouse to you.