A quick background on me, I'm 51, my wife is 47, we've been married for 19.5 years, but only going through the motions for the past 6. She has a daughter from her first marriage and I have two son's from my first as well, they are all grown and in their 20s.
We raised her daughter since she was 5 years old, but I learned very quickly that we weren't going to be a team when it came to her, it was them against me? Her daughter showed early on that she was the "alpha" and my wife succumbed to her constant tormenting & bullying. When I would intervene, it made matters worse and I always ended up the "bad guy", so I retreated to the sidelines and in the background. This went on for about 10 years, but I still managed to be happy, largely due to a good sex life.
She's moved out & came back a few times & in 2010, became pregnant and had a daughter & came back yet again. She works full time but has never been responsible & only lives for today. I was building resentment from all of the past hurts done to me, always 2nd on the pecking order and now I was 3rd. My wife took to our granddaughter hard and nothing else mattered anymore, except for her. This drove me away for a week in 2011 and then again the following year for nearly 3 weeks. My wife said she missed me and was visibly unhappy, but her world still carried on the same.
In 2012, we attended "A Weekend to Remember", an all weekend marriage seminar. We had grown apart and it was actually her suggestion to go here, which I was glad to do. It was a very informative weekend and we both realized how far we had fallen and wanted to recover. We set a plan for ourselves, but once we got back home, things reverted right back. Her daughter had been working evenings and weekends and we were the babysitters and my wife was absolutely fine with it. All of my attempts at "date nights" etc were only agreed if we would work around our babysitting, which became minimal free time.
I was going through an emotional destruction at how unimportant we had become and felt I was just wasting my time, so I quit.
Our sex life went from once every few weeks, to once a month, to every few months, till finally none. It has been since mid summer now and I no longer miss it or care, it was sub par anyway, since her heart was elsewhere. She still believes that as long as she is there physically, it counts, not with me, sex with a blow up doll doesn't work with me anymore and I'm fine with it.
So we resigned to live as friends, share a house & bed, still do things together, but no romance, intimacy or talk of marriage. She still believes everything is fine because we get a long, don't fight, she doesn't "need" the rest.
It took me a while to get to this point, but I'm content to just live this way. I know that divorce is a sin, I had my first marriage annulled, so I could marry her in my church. I've been going back and forth for years on what God wants me to do & for whatever reason He wants me to stay here. The last passage I came across is that God cares more about holiness than happiness & that your happiness on Earth is little concern of His. Being a Christian means there is suffering involved in doing the right thing.
I've had to take my heart out of this relationship in order to survive. I believe that marriage is "all in or all out" and ours is just an empty shell, at least to me. There is no adultery, abuse, so no grounds to leave. My biggest mistake is marrying her so quickly, before realizing her relationship dynamic with her daughter, but that really doesn't matter anymore, we're a million emotional miles away.
I fall out of love with her more each day & almost think of her now as a sister. But the plus side for me is my pain has diminished, my stress has lowered & I can get through the day easier. I was getting physically ill daily from the stress & sadness and I had to put a stop to it.
I figured now, if God wants me to stay, He will give me the strength to do so.