"Ariane is the most distinct light and important voice of our time." -Dr. Alvin Jones
Read More Testimonials»

Our Getting Divorced Experts

Martin Kranitz

Martin Kranitz

Author of Getting Apart Together: The Couple's Guide to a...

Shared by First30Days View Profile»
Gayle Rosenwald Smith

Gayle Rosenwald Smith

Lawyer and author of Divorce and Money: Everything You Need...

Shared by First30Days View Profile»
Bill Ferguson

Bill Ferguson

Former divorce attorney and author of How to Heal a Painful...

Shared by First30Days View Profile»

Meet all of our Relationships Experts»

Got a Question?


If you have questions about this change, you're in the right place. Our editors, experts, and community of change optimists have answers!


Question:21 years together is it time to call it quits

I'm at a loss, I have been with my husband for 21 years married 15. We are on a constant roller coaster ride. WE have a huge communication problem. He is anti-social and we have little aside our children in common. 3 girls are involved and I know they realize there are issues in our marriage and
I constantly wonder how this is affecting them. I love him and care for him, but i'm not in love with him and have told him this. How long do you make the effort and attempt to try before your really know to stop?

Asked by mmiles1987 on 6/11/08 3 Answers»


Hello mmiles1987...I am so sorry to read about your marriage. I just got divorced after almost 30years of marriage, to the man I started dating at 16yrs..and to top it all, I turned 50yrs this year!
We had the same problems that you are experiencing and I did everything I could to hold the marriage together especially because of the chidren. But it was a huge mistake...not only am I now a lot older and thus starting over is much harder in all respects, but his behaviour and the breakdown in communication between us was not good for the children. My youngest is almost 18, my oldest is 26, and the 3 of them all suffer from self-esteem problems and to continue to try and please their father, which of course they will never do, and it impacts all areas of their lives, especially relationships. So as much as I dislike divorce, I think you should leave him. It wont change unfortunately.
Good luck and hang in there, it is not an easy decision and even when made, it is a very emotional time..feel free to write to me anytime if you need to.

Answered by: Nulife on 7/13/08


Hi mmiles1987,
I'm a lady getting divorced after 24.5 yrs. of marriage. I filed for divorce after 23 yrs. of living with a man with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. We too, had a communication problem. I thought it was a Men Are From Mars, Women From Venus situation, however it was just that it was all about him. All about what he wanted,where he wanted to go, what he wanted to do, regardless of what I wanted. Signs are: a very controlling & manipulative personality, only associating with certain people he deems worthy of his attention, shifting sands (saying one thing & doing another), usually has some sort of addiction-gambling, or alcohol, or drugs, has affairs, good work ethic. This is a real mental disorder & they rarely get help. I made the decision to leave him because he was getting worse & would not seek help or even acknowledge that he has a problem. Children are intelligent. They learn by example & that is all they know how to make future decisions by. You must do everything you can to determine if your husband is committed to you & the kids by asking him to go for counselling, getting an older successful couple at your place of worship to help mentor you both. Get personal professional help to resolve deep emotional hurts & scars in order to move forward in your life. God wants us to have a life of joy, fulfillment, purpose in ABUNDANCE. Today is all we have, no promise of tomorrow. Begin now discovering whether you have a codependant relationship- read ( Love Is A Choice). Pray, ask others to pray for you, go to church, get a good support system, listen to the chorus of voices-if EVERYONE is telling you something, PLEASE listen & heed. I believe in honoring your vows, but does your husband? Both of you have to be committed. If he agrees to get counselling, make sure you both follow thru on it, really try to make it work. You must listen to what God is telling you in your heart when you ask him for guidance. He NEVER fails to answer. Turn off the phone, TV, radio.Get comfortable, breath in deeply, focus on what you want from Him, what you need from Him, surrender to Him. Believe in the power of prayer-for the answers you need. Those answers may come by reading a book (the Bible is the first place to start), then go buy relationship books. Answers come from trusted sources.Ask, listen, seek & you will find your answers. What ever you do- always compare what a person says to you & what they actually DO. " Talk is cheap, Stop casting your pearls before swine," Jesus said. I have begun to really heed those words, why? BECAUSE THEY ARE TRUE. Live your life based on truth & measure others treatment of you & your children based on truth. I hope I have been of help to you. God bless you & I say a prayer for you right now.
In Jesus Name,

Answered by: greatpink on 6/21/08


I have to agree with akadison. I ended my marriage after 11 years but we had been together much longer, closer to 18 years with dating and living together. We tried counseling and separating, but in the end leaving was the best decision I made as I now realize.

Of course, it is always so much harder with children involved.

Communication is key and "coming from love" is really the most important piece. It doesn't have to be a fight or ugly. As sad as it is, there was love there once and there is love there with the children, so try to make it all about wanting to experience that love on some level.

I hope you find the best answer for all involved.

Answered by: springshine on 6/13/08
Got an Answer?