Nothing in Common? By Jasbina Ahluwalia
After 29 years of marriage, my husband just told me that he wants to separate, because he no longer thinks we have anything in common. I’m not sure what to do. How do I deal with the idea that we have nothing in common? We’ve shared so much together over the years. We married in our early twenties, unlike people today, and it’s hard for me to come to grips with what I’m hearing.
When your husband claims you have nothing in common, even though you have a long shared history, it’s possible he is making an excuse to distance himself from you. Maybe his feelings aren’t clear even to himself. It is possible your husband may feel that he is trapped in a marriage/ relationship that he began when he was very young and that he never had an opportunity to explore his own independence. When he says that you have nothing in common, it almost sounds like he is trying to separate himself from you and to prove how different he is from you.
If you wish to continue investing in the relationship with the hopes of potential reconciliation, try these remedial measures: • Instead of trying to convince your husband of all the things you have in common, let him know you appreciate how much he has grown and changed over the years. • Show an interest in learning more about any of his hobbies, work or sports activities which genuinely appeal to you on some level. • Ask if he will attend marriage counseling with you. It’s possible he will be more receptive to a third party’s perspective At the same time, do not lose sight of your own needs. Continue to invest in your own interests and circle of friends. i) Join a group that enjoys the same activities as you, like a book club or a movie night club. ii) Volunteer for a local charity or political organization. iii) Think about exploring a new interest. No one wants to give up on a marriage
after having made a lifetime commitment to another person. Divorce can be very hard and take a very real emotional and financial toll, no matter who initiates it. If your husband decides not to come back to you after your separation, remember that he is an independent person and his decision may have less to do with you than with his own issues. In such a case, ask yourself if you want to be in a marriage where you are the only person working on staying together. You deserve to be appreciated and valued for who you are, as well as in a relationship where both people are mutually invested. n
Jasbina is the founder and president of Intersections Match, the only personalized matchmaking and dating coaching firm serving singles of South Asian descent in the United States. She is also the host of Intersections Talk Radio. Jasbina@intersectionsmatch.com.
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Published on Nov 27, 2013