Is a Divorce on the Way?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

When already in the ‘possible divorce’ zone does a husband forgetting your anniversary mean he might not love you? Me and my husband have had a rocky relationship but lately it has escalated to the point of talking about separating or divorce. 7 months after the wedding I found out he was having an affair with an ex. When confronted he blamed me and treated me very harshly. We ended up staying together but he would never speak of his infedelity really which has caused 8 years of questions, fears, and continuous pain for me. About a month ago I reached a point where I no longer cared about his reaction, I just needed answers! He admitted to a few things, one of which was having an affair with the same woman a year before we got married when we were having problems. I had accused him of this for 9 years but he denied it vehemently and made me feel horrible for even thinking it. Lying for 9 years using the same face, tone of voice, and sincerity that he uses when he says he loves me has left me with a lot of confusion and fear. On top of that our sex life has never recovered and not for lack of trying on my part.

I am trying to salvage what’s left of the relationship but I appear to be doing it on my own. After several attempts in the past month to tell him I don’t believe he is IN love with me anymore and that he needs to go out of his way to tell me and show me, I received nothing for valentines day but a dozen roses he picked up WHILE he was at the store the Saturday AFTER. He received many thoughtful gifts from me. That Sunday I told him how much it hurt and reinforced him going out of his way to show his love for me. And he does keep saying that he loves me, hes not going anywhere, he’ll do anything for me. But it seems like a lot of words with no action.

Sunday is our 11 year anniversary and I’m terrified he won’t remember or do anything special. I NEED him to remember. The first 2 years we were together he was head over heals for me and always remembered without prompting and did special things for me. Now i know that will fade with time which is why the past few years I’ve usually reminded him and told him what to get me for all occasions as I’ve never measured his love for me in remembering dates. But I feel like with all that we’ve been going through, fighting or talking about our problems and my pain and trust issues every couple days for a month now that he should be thinking of those things if he truly is in love with me

I understand you can’t tell me if my husband is still in love with me but the way I feel right now, we are going to separate if he doesn’t remember and I’m not sure if that’s crazy or reasonable. So my question is, am I being too harsh? Does it mean anything at all if he forgets?

On a side note the reason I’m so worried he will forget is he hasn’t mentioned its coming and he ALWAYS has (when he remembers) when march comes around.

A: It sounds to me like you aren’t really sure what you want. You say that you’re already in the divorce zone. This man has lied to you, cheated on you, and isn’t interested in being intimate with you. He has only honored the usual occasions for showing love and caring when you have prompted and begged. And yet you say you NEED him to remember an anniversary of a marriage that has never been particularly good and that doesn’t look promising for the future. Is it possible that you are so scared to finally cut the cord that you are grasping at straws? Will it really be enough for you to stay married if he comes up with gifts and flowers now and then but you can’t trust him?

I suggest you stop asking yourself if he loves you and instead ask yourself if his kind of love is the kind of love you want to accept for the rest of your life. I hope you love yourself enough to believe you deserve better.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Apr 2012

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2012). Is a Divorce on the Way?. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/04/21/is-a-divorce-on-the-way/