My husband and I have different life goals

After 27 years of marriage I find that my husband and I have grown apart. Now that our youngest of three is ready to go to college, I am eager to rekindle the relationship we once had, going out, having fun together, etc. But he is more interested in going out with HIS friends, in helping them with their personal problems.

When one of his friends got pregnant he even suggested that I get pregnant and see if we could finally have a baby girl. When I reminded him that I’m starting menopause, he suggested getting medical help!!!! I was speechless, I reminded him that in some 3-6 years we might have our grandchildren, that we have the opportunity to relive our relationship, to go out and have fun now that our boys are adults.

I’m sadden to see that he is more interested in himself, his friends and he would love to relive having children. I want to enjoy this part of our life with him, I want to return to the U.S. to care for my elder parents (I moved to his country when we got married) but he is so self-centered, so demanding (more so since his mother’s death 7 years ago).

I have spoken with him so many times this past year, asking him to concentrate more on us, on our family, telling him how important it is for me to move closer to my parents. He agrees, yet continues to spend his little free time with his friends. About my parents he suggests that I visit them once a year, says we’ll move closer in 2-3 years.

He’s very social, he’s always had friends (mostly female) and I have never had a problem with that, I’ve even become great friend with some of them. And I have my personal hobbies and interests too, yet I want to do fun things with him. Our boys don’t give us problems, and he gets too involved in helping his friend dealing with her daughter’s behavioral problems.

He keeps repeating he loves me yet stays quiet when I ask him to spend time together having fun besides sex (note on the side: that part of our life is great, no problem at all. He wants it every day and the minute we have time for ourselves that is what he wants to do.)

At this point of my life I want to travel, live the experiences I haven’t had a chance to yet, I want and need to be closer to my parents (in their 80’s). I know I’m at fault for giving up so much for the sake of our children and my husband and I’m setting my foot down in letting him know how important these issues are to me.

Needless to say, we have argued very much this past year (he says it’s my fault, that I’ve changed). We’ve had our share of ups and downs like all marriages, but he won’t let go of the bad moments and brings them up constantly.

I’ve come to believe he suffers depression, not a full week goes by (when he doesn’t go out with his friends) when he starts complaining that he’s not happy, questioning the purpose of life, saying he needs time alone to think, to rest, to get away from everything. Yes, he works a lot, we haven’t had a vacation in years, I know he needs that, but it hurts to hear him say that.

And, I’m tired of struggling with him to be happy yet I don’t want to abandon him (he demands too much attention!). I want to live my life to the fullest with the man I love how do I make him see it?


Sorry to hear about your situation. Many couples go through a difficult transition when the last child leaves home—it’s a natural time for couples to reevaluate their priorities.

From the sound of your question, it seems like you and your husband have different expectations about the future. You want to explore what life has to offer and you want spend more time with your parents. And your husband seems to be more interested in working or spending time with his friends.

It also sounds like you’ve made your feelings clear and you want your husband to adopt your perspective about how to spend your remaining years together.

It might be helpful to ask yourself the following question: If your husband doesn’t change, will you be happy or will you end up resentful? Rather than trying to figure out how to change your husband, assess whether you want to stay with him, if he doesn’t change (see is my relationship worth saving).

Couples continually have to assess what areas of their relationship need to be addressed or if fundamental differences have emerged. If you and your husband have fundamentally different goals on what you want out of the next phase of your life—you discover that you’ve become incompatible—sometimes breaking up is the wisest thing to do.

Relationships are partnerships where two people are working toward the same goals. If you and your husband have different goals, no amount of love can overcome that difference. When couples don’t share life goals, partners often end up feeling lonely, alienated, and frustrated.

Our best advice is to be clear on what you want and be honest with yourself about your husband’s willingness to share your expectations for the future.

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