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What to do, what to do.
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What to do, what to do.

Currently married. Have lost all passion within marriage. She isn't interested in anything I'm interested in, and vice versa. She's not excited about my plans and dreams for the future. She has no plans or dreams for the future of her own. Things have been bumping along for a few years now where we are kinda living together as friends/room-mates and not much more.

Some time ago, I made a new friend. Accidentally fell in love with her. Now very aware of just how much is missing from my marriage... ugh.

Have tried to persuade wife to take part in couples counselling, or at least to talk to me, but it's hard going so far. Don't want to just cut and run from marriage, want to try and make it work, but not sure if there's any way back when we are both so disengaged and one of us doesn't seem to mind that or want to change things.

So, at what point do I say "ok, this isn't working" and pull the plug?

To be clear: the friend that I developed a crush for is not "plan B", leaving the marriage is leaving to go into loneliness. The friend isn't romantically interested in me, nor will she ever be as I'm not the kind of person that she would want. Friend only contributed to situation by opening my eyes to how unhappy I was/am.
there is your problem right there.
Maybe a bit of background? How old are you? How long have you been married? How did you meet and what attracted you two in the first place? Do you have kids and/or have planned on some?
I'm late thirties. She's younger.
Married around ten years.
Met in an online chat room, ended up talking to each other all the time, met up for real to see if there was any chemistry, kinda went from there.
No kids.
She 100% doesn't want kids.
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Does your wife know that your commitment is starting to waver? How does she feel about that?
What do you actually want? Do you want to divorce, or do you want to save your marriage?

Most people looking for marital advice are looking for validation or permission to do something that they want to do anyways. Not much point in that, IMO.

So, if you can answer those questions, and "I just don't know." is a legitimate answer, too btb, I'll try to come back and offer something.

If you can answer that, it might be a lot easier to give meaningful advice.
Late thirties here as well, never been married though.

Sounds like a tough situation, bro. From what you described, it doesn't sound like there's much hope for the marriage. It's unlikely to get better. I've found that in situations like this, the best is to completely disregard the past and purely focus on the future. As in, from the choices you have right now, what will be the best for you?

Will you be happier if you continue as is? Will you be happier if you divorce?
Commitment: have tried to open dialogue with wife, to talk about why I'm not happy with the way she ignores me, treats me with disrespect, doesn't spend time with me, etc etc. She gets upset and shuts down, makes it difficult to actually talk - which is why I wanted to go to counselling with her, I'm not very good at this kind of thing and just back off and shut my eyes. But she knows I'm not happy with how things are. Don't know how she feels about that beyond upset that I would bring it up.

What I want: if we could be in a relationship where we "face the world together" and support each other, I'd absolutely want to save the marriage. We can work on the lack of sexual contact later. But if things are just going to carry on as they are now, or keep deteriorating, then I'm not sure. It feels terrible to even be considering divorce, but I'm miserable and I don't know what she's getting out of all this. I've tried asking her what she wants out of life, what makes her happy, and the most she'll come up with is "I'm happy when you're happy". Which doesn't really sit well with me.

Being close with my friend brought this into focus for me - she gave me some attention and support that I wasn't getting within the marriage, and I realised that there were problems between us that had developed and I'd been ignoring.

My wife either doesn't understand that I need love and support, or she knows but doesn't care that I'm not getting it from her. I'm not sure which. If I was sure then that would probably make things a bit more straight forward.
Option one: continue as is. No, this is a terrible choice. I'll be miserable. I'll go nuts. I'll build up resentment for my wife, and eventually make her unhappy too.

Option two: divorce. This doesn't sound like a good option. She relies on me for a lot of things. She has nowhere else to go, no support networks, no real friends. She doesn't work, never has done, and won't be able to provide for herself. From a financial point of view I have no idea what divorce would involve, but I'm thinking that I'd end up having to pay her alimony or something? I'm barely making enough money now to keep us both, and we have no savings, and we rent because we can't afford to buy a house.

Option three: make things work well enough that we can both be happy together

Option four: um....? Maybe there are other options. I don't know.
Ya think?
Things would certainly be easier for me right now if I wasn't in this marriage.
But I'm not convinced that I could ever be happy on my own. So, yeah.
It's good you're laying down the possible options and thinking about them. That's exactly what you should be doing. And it shouldn't be black and white either, you clearly understand that too.

Now a bit of a cruel question... you clearly feel obligated to her. She depends on you. How did you end up in that situation? Is she not guilt-tripping you? You're saying her life would crumble without you, but then again what obligations do you have to her?

What is she doing to do her part in trying to keep you happy?
She needs to work and learn to do for herself. Why isn't she?
>Have tried to persuade wife to take part in couples counselling, or at least to talk to me, but it's hard going so far.

Get crazyass fit and stop keeping it a secret that other women are interested in you. Either she'll start putting in an effort to please you or she'll accept that her monopoly on you is over. If she does neither, then that's what lawyers are for. Nothing lights a fire under people's asses better than the realization that they need you more than you need them.
That's what happens when guys become 'friends' with girls later in life. One always likes the other more and it ruins any relationship you try to have. You've already killed your marriage and it's foundation. Might as well rip off the bandaid and break up. You're emotionally cheating on your wife.
How often do you have sex OP? You should be destroying her every night.

Also why did you marry a woman who didn't want kids? Thats the whole point of getting married
Get drunk or take MDMA together, saved my relationship.

There's another way...fight. Literally argue and communicate every feeling inside you until 3AM. Don't stop until you reach an understanding. It will either save your relationship, or show you that it's over. You can't keep bottling up your feelings. If you go this route, don't drink. Maybe get a little stoned.
She has some health issues which were on the table when we got together. We both knew that I was signing up to potentially end up as her full time carer eventually. Things haven't progressed that far yet, in fact she's self sufficient enough to go out with friends to visit or go to the movies or to get dinner or whatever.
I am obligated to her. I made a vow.
She doesn't try to guilt trip me about things.

Since we talked about some of the things that have been bringing me down, she's offered to change her behavior in some ways so that I feel more supported.
She's offered to do things with me like go out places together, even if it's just for a walk. She's offered to try not to be talking on the phone when we share a meal. She's offered to try not to be too busy checking stuff online or on her phone to be able to acknowledge me when I get home from work and want to talk to her. She's offered to try and make an effort when we talk so that I believe she is interested or excited about things that are happening (like me getting a new job, for example) although this concerns me... I don't want her just to pretend to be interested.
So, if she actually does some of these things, that could help.

She has been doing all the cooking for a few months now (more because I'm too tired than because she wants to) so it's not like she's not putting anything into the household.

In terms of doing things specifically to make me happy, though, I can't really think of anything at the moment. But my perspective is skewed and I'm in a fairly negative mindset, so this is almost certainly unfair.
I am on my way to being fit again.
I don't want to start playing mind games like that though.
Yeah, it probably wasn't smart to become friends with a woman. I didn't realise that I was developing a crush on her until some time afterwards. Things are ok there though, things are back into the realm of only being friends and that's where they will stay.
I'm kinda angry that I've stirred all this trouble up, but oh well.

Emotionally cheating is probably a bit strong for what was going on - not least of all because I was never secretive about having a female friend or about any time we spent together or conversations that took place. I may have ended up leaning on her a little too heavily for a while, but that time has passed.
Sex has been off the menu for a long time. I've suggested that we try to build up more intimacy, beginning with spending time together when we've agreed that sex will not follow, just to try and get closer to each other again.
She's agreed to this in theory.
I'm not really very happy with how things are at the moment, but I think the lack of sex is a symptom rather than the cause.
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It sounds like both you and your wife want to save your marriage. Insist on the counseling. Print this thread out and bring it with you.
I wish we could fight. She just starts crying and goes silent. It's impossible for us to have a heated, passionate disagreement. Everything has to be done in a very calm way. Which is tricky, and never clears the air.

Mdma is tempting. But it's taken me a long time to get my brain straightened out after taking drugs in my 20s and I'm not sure that I want to risk messing myself up again. And she is opposed. I'd suggested it before.

Booze... Yeah. No. Just no.
This is the most sensible, thoughtful OP I have seen in months.

I always suggest home made meals together at the table every night. With going out every or every other weekend as a treat to keep things from getting stale. It is very beneficial to a relationship, never have phones at the table. This is the time in the day to talk about work/news.

It brings back a phase in the relationship near first dating of small talk and it also let's you get on the same page. You get to check in on the persons progress on dreams/ feelings and aspirations.

Good family meals are necessary for every family, especially the smaller ones.

It seems like you might need a pet, my gf of 3 years and i have fish. It helps us bond having a shared responsibility other than just housework. And your wife may benefit from some animal companionship.
No offense but bruh, sex is your right in the marriage. If you want it she should open her legs, no questions asked. Why didn't you set that as a ground rule before you got married?

Also fuck counselling, just a bunch of bullshit to get your money. Ever noticed how marriages back in the day had far higher success rate and there weren't any marriage counselling? How does some lesbian with a certificate on the wall know about the ins and outs of a marriage?

Start acting like you have a dick in your pants, that would solve some problems.
Print this thread out and confess that I had a crush on my friend? Ha ha ha.
How honest do you think I'm prepared to be here?
In seriousness though, I don't want to lose my friend. I just want to have all the good things. And not have to do any work to get them. Because that's reasonable.
But maybe I should keep a copy of this somewhere. Posting this is the closest I've got to actually talking any of this through with anyone, and it does help to get some perspective.
Don't feel bad about the feelings.
They were.
And that's okay.

Move on from that because your focus should be on your marriage.
The meals sounds like a good idea. We tend to end up watching tv while we eat, but I could set up a table and we could eat face to face. This is a brilliant idea. I hope she'll go for it, even if it's just a few days at first. Thank you, anon.

Pet is difficult. We are not allowed any animals in our rented flat. We did have a cat that we kept hidden. He died a couple of years ago. We both miss him.
Lesbians are hawt.
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