A few years ago, my wife was in a terrible car accident that left her with horrific injuries and eventually had her leg amputated. In the months and years after the accident, she worked very hard on her recovery.
She got a prosthetic leg and physical therapy…needless to say, it’s been a tough few years for all of us, especially her, but she’s been pretty positive about her future and her “new normal” as she calls it.
But while all of that has been going on, our relationship has completely changed. I went from being a concerned husband to a full time caregiver and now it almost feels like we’re just roommates.
He’s still struggling to sleep so he has his own room downstairs while I’m still in what was our room upstairs. I work in an office every day and when I get home she is usually so tired that she goes to bed about an hour after I walk in the door.
Dear Jane, my wife lost her leg in a car accident three years ago and it destroyed our sex life. Am I a monster if I divorce her?
We haven’t had sex since the accident happened three years ago and I can’t even remember the last time we kissed properly. I haven’t even had a chance to think about what it would be like to have sex with her since the surgery because she doesn’t seem to have any interest in it anymore.
It feels like any passion in our relationship was extinguished the moment she was in the accident. Saying ‘I love you’ now feels like a part of the routine instead of being filled with any meaning.
I love my wife, but I can’t help but think that we would both be happier if we just ended this marriage. There’s no bitterness or anything on my part, but I also don’t want to spend the rest of my life tied up in a platonic relationship that has no fire or emotion.
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I know it’s going to make me sound like an idiot and like I’m leaving her, but I honestly think I’d be happier if I just walked away.
Would I be the worst person in the world if I divorced her?
lust for lust
Dear lustful for lust,
I don’t think you sound like a jerk because you want to leave a marriage that feels like it has no love, but I do think you sound like a jerk to think about this one-sidedly without bringing joy to your wife.
You would only be the worst person in the world if you divorced her and not sat her down, preferably with a therapist or counselor, and had some meaningful conversations about your marriage and what you both want from your future.
The accident is relevant only because it put an enormous strain on your relationship, but there could be any number of stressors that caused you to feel this way.
What’s wrong here is how much he’s projecting his feelings onto his wife, assuming she must feel the same way, when I imagine most of his energy goes into healing and dealing with his new life.
That being said, I know a couple of women who have lost limbs in accidents who have also led impressive and amazing lives. They have shown extraordinary resilience, strength, and grace in difficult circumstances, and have not allowed loss to drive them into a permanent state of misery.
Again, I wonder how much you might be projecting your own guilt onto the situation, to somehow mitigate your reasons for leaving.
I have no idea if you have something to feel guilty about, although most men won’t leave their wives, however unhappy they are, unless they are already involved, emotionally or otherwise, with someone else.
I can also tell you that marriage, like life, is cyclical. I have seen couples in marriages on the verge of divorce do the hard work, start communicating, get help, and find that after a few years, they are happier than they ever dreamed they could be.
The grass is not greener on the other side. It is greener where it is watered, and watering requires commitment, communication, and time. Committing to figuring out his future, with his wife as an equal partner, seems like the least he can do.
I got married a few weeks ago and during our (very expensive) reception, my husband’s best man got disgustingly drunk and ended up falling on the dance floor and destroying thousands of dollars worth of DJ equipment. We also had to call an ambulance because he passed out in the process.
But instead of apologizing profusely like he should have, the next day, he was busy making jokes about it, all the while drinking even more during our post-wedding breakfast.
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Finding compassion in a world plagued by hurt, anger and resentment feels increasingly difficult these days, but if we can, for a moment, put ourselves in the shoes of others, particularly those whose bad behavior can be explained by their own hidden suffering, we can find everything in our life better.
My husband and I were forced to pay the DJ bill and despite telling him how much the damage was, he has not offered to give us a penny.
I keep telling my husband that he needs to ask him for the money directly, but he says that his friend is always short of cash and he feels bad for forcing him to pay.
I don’t mean to sound insensitive here, but why should I lose thousands of dollars and at the same time have the memory of my wedding day tainted by all this fiasco?
Any tips on the best way to fix this mess?
Dear Upset Newlywed,
Oh, the passive-aggressive question! Throwing hints in the hope that friends will notice is always the wrong way to go.
Asking directly, as you say, is the way to go, but it sounds like your husband’s drunk friend can’t pay.
It is definitely worth it for your husband to tell you how much his behavior cost and ask him to cover the costs of damages caused by his behavior. He may not agree, but at least her husband will have asked him.
After that point, and regardless of his answer, I advise you to let it slide.
Yes, it hurts, but given how unlikely it is that this man will pay you back, holding on to this kind of anger is hurting you more than anyone else.
As far as memories go, this just has to tarnish your memories of your wedding day if you decide to call it quits.
Accept that it’s a thing of the past, that the drunk friend may have a drinking problem that none of you can fix, and for God’s sake, don’t invite him to your first anniversary.