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No emotional connect with spouse, unable to leave because of the kids
Asked by female, 38 yrs, married
Although I have been married for 17 years, my husband and I do not have an emotional connection. I want to leave the marriage but I am afraid that my kids will be emotionally damaged.
Answer
Thumb komal
Komal
Counseling Psychologist

Thank you for writing in to us. Recognising when you need help and reaching out for the same is the first courageous step to be able to take towards a better self.

One enters into marriage with dreams of hoping to start a new journey with their partner that is filled with love and happiness. For a happy and successful marriage, both partners need to be equally invested to work towards it. With the basic emotional needs not met and enduring a feeling of loneliness even with your partner is certainly not why someone enters into a marriage. I can imagine your pain and agony.

Before moving on any further, ask yourself if you are willing at all to give a chance to this marriage or not. Also try to figure out if your husband is willing to do the same. If either of you are not willing then the choice is for you to make whether to stay in the relationship or to leave.

If you choose to leave, as difficult as the process might be, it would help for you to avail counselling services that will help you through the difficult journey such as adjustments to living alone, getting support, handling children in divorce, finances, considerations for legalities, etc.
It is only natural for you to be worried about how your kids might be affected in the process, but remember, staying in an unhappy marriage also has its influence over the children.
You could try reading these articles that I am sharing with you that might help answer more questions on this issue:
https://www.askmile.com/blog/parent-your-child-while-divorce/
https://www.askmile.com/blog/twelve-reasons-why-children-of-divorced-parents-deal-with-love-differently/

If you are willing, then what you could do is to try and figure out what is making your partner be emotionally unavailable to you. Some of the common reasons could be
incompatible personalities,
not emotionally invested in the relationship/ lack of interest towards the partner,
unaware of partner's emotional needs,
work pressure/ tension/ emotional exhaustion,
unaware of how to meet partner's needs,
partner's emotional needs not being met by you.

It would help for you to explore what your partner's reason(s) could be for not being emotionally invested in you. You could then have a talk with your partner regarding the same and mutually come up with ways you could cater to these concerns. Try to see what you both enjoy doing, do those things together. See what your partner's emotional needs are and cater to them. Express to your partner your emotional needs in the relationship and suggest ways of how he can cater to it.

It would also help for you to have a close friend/family member to talk to about this. Speaking with someone who understands you can help you unload a lot of weight off your back.
Indulge in activities that you enjoy for you self.