Ask E. Jean: I Don’t Want a Divorce, But My Marriage Is Dying

Life & Love

Dear E. Jean: I’m scared to death of divorce— or rather, life after divorce. My husband is an active-duty army recruiter stationed in Florida. He wants me to continue living in Michigan, where I have a great job and my parents help take care of our three-year-old son. This past spring, he visited Michigan for a week. I was extremely excited, but he stayed with his mother. (He claimed he was helping with her roof.) My son and I hardly saw him. There was no sex. And actually, there never is.

I’m writing because I’m supposed to visit him when I travel to Miami for my company’s national sales meeting. I’ll be 20 minutes away from where he lives. He just called and said he has several meetings during the time I’m there, and we won’t be able to get together. I’ve started counseling to find out why I have a Disney-movie view of marriage. I’m so sexually frustrated, it’s not even funny. I don’t want to cheat. And good Lord, I’m terrified of divorce and having to find a new man who’s good enough for me and my son.

Michigan, My Magnolia: You already are divorced. Let me put it in Disney terms: Your nincompoop prince, instead of jumping in bed and plucking your begonias every night, spends his leave cowering on his mother’s roof like the raccoon in Pocahontas. And you, despite your premonitions of impending doom, are managing your career and son quite brilliantly while riding on great silver birds to national sales meetings. You could not be more separated from the chump. Hire a lawyer, work out a creative coparenting arrangement, and make it official. A future of non-Disney enchantments awaits!

This letter is from the Ask E. Jean Archive, 1993-2019. Send questions to E. Jean at


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