You’ve seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel All Alone in Their Marriages, keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show Braxton Family Values. Now it’s your turn to sit in her chair…
Dear Dr. Sherry,
I am a 40-year-old mother of five. I’ve been in a relationship for twenty years now and we are still not married. I felt like twenty years of my life has just been wasted. I want to leave but I keep thinking about my kids. The thing is, that’s not the really bad part. I am no longer in love with this man. I force my self to have sex with him whenever he wants sex and I don’t know how long I can keep doing this. I keep telling myself that I’m making the sacrifice for my kids, but I’m so unhappy. What should I do?
I am sorry to say this, but it sounds like you are not sharing the whole story. You have five children and have been with this man for 20 years without getting married for whatever reason. You are not in love with him and you feel the time you spent in the relationship has been a waste. Now you want to use the children as an excuse to stay. Really?! The children should not be the reason you stay or leave a relationship. Your happiness or unhappiness with a man you have been with for 20 years has little if anything to do with your children.
If you truly feel that the last 20 years with this man is a waste, why are you entertaining wasting additional time with him? It is time that you take a hard look at yourself and become brutally honest about why you remain in this relationship. It is definitely not for the sex or emotional attachment. There is a reason why you have to “force” yourself to have sex with him. At the age of 40, you know what you want and what you do not want in a man. If he is not what you want, don’t waste another day with him. It is time to move on with your life and stop settling for less than what you want. I would recommend that you seek some individual therapy to work through your feelings and to develop an exit strategy from the relationship. No one can “make” you happy. Happiness comes from within and is an inside job! Everything and everyone else may add to your happiness and should be considered just icing on the cake. – Dr. Sherry
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