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I am really tormented at this point in my life. I don't know if this is a mid-life crisis, a way of dealing with grief, or maybe I'm just scared.

I've been married to my wife 12 years now. While we've had a good relationship, we've also had our share of problems too. We met when I was 19 and she was 34 - we dated for about a year and then got married. We did a lot of growing the first few years - she strayed a few times, but at the time it didn't really bother me and we moved on. Early on, our relationship was very passionate, and we had great GREAT sex together.

We were never able to have children, and I thought I was o.k. with that, but as I get older (32 now), I wonder about it more and more. I'm great with kids and I'm now realizing that its very important to me to have my own. Also, over the last three years, my wife has basically lost all passion in her life. She was diagnosed with depression and placed on medication - it helped her depression, but also killed our sex life. She also was diagnosed last year with breast cancer, and while she is being treated for it, it has spread and she is now basically dieing - she has been told she has about 5 years realistically. To top all of this, my mother also just recently died - I was very close to her. After my mother's death, I reached out to my old high school girlfriend. This is a girl that I have constantly thought about as the one who got away and wondered what life would have been like had we gotten married. She's now divorced (married a bad guy) and we immediately hit it off again.

I know that I can't abandon my wife, at this her greatest time of need, but I really don't know what to do. Half of me says that I need to honor my vows and take care of my wife - even though the relationship is one sided now. The other half says that I need to find happiness before it's too late.

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So you're 31 and she's 46?


I think you know what to do, but hope for an undiscovered option.

This is how life works for adults, and it sucks. You had good times with your wife, and now she needs you as her life becomes tougher.

If you skate out to start over with another woman, you'll know you're taking the low road.


I don't mean to sound harshly judgemental at such a difficult time, but if the roles were reversed, would she care for you?

A sexless marriage is better than a loveless one.

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I agree with Dako and n83. The wedding vows about this sort of situation are very clear. 'Forsaking all others' - 'in sickness and in health' and 'till death do us part' don't leave much room for the sort of thing you are contemplating.


I understand it's hard but there is also nothing in the vows that promise it's going to be easy.

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After a long bit of soul searching, I know that I have to stay here for my wife. It's a very hard thing to do, but I have to be a man and honor my vows. I realize that I will have a chance to find happiness again at a later time, but now is her time. As far as our ages, I just turned 32 and she is 47 - almost 48. I told her that I need counseling to help work out my issues and we plan to go next week.

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