My wife lost her leg in a car crash… now I want to DIVORCE her

My wife lost her leg in a car crash… now I want to DIVORCE her

DEAR JANE: My wife lost her leg in a horrific car crash and it destroyed our sex life… now I want to DIVORCE her so I can move on

  • In this Sunday’s agony aunt column, best-selling author Jane Green gives advice to a man who feels his marriage has been destroyed by his wife’s accident 
  • She also gives guidance to a newlywed who had to pay thousands to cover damage caused by her husband’s best man at their wedding
  • Do you have a question for Jane? Email [email protected] or ask it below

Dear Jane,

A few years ago, my wife was in a terrible car accident that left her with horrible injuries – and ultimately led to her leg being amputated. In the months and years after the accident, she worked so hard on her recovery. 

She got a prosthetic leg and did physical therapy… needless to say it’s been a rough few years for all of us, especially for her, but she’s been pretty positive about her future and her ‘new normal’ as she calls it.

But while all of that has been going on, our relationship has completely changed. I went from concerned husband to full-time carer and now it feels almost like we’re just roommates? 

She is still struggling to sleep so she has her own room downstairs, while I’m still in what was our bedroom upstairs. I work at an office every day and by the time I get home, she’s usually so exhausted that she goes to bed an hour or so after I walk in the door.

Dear Jane, my wife lost her leg in a car accident three years ago and it’s destroyed our sex life. Am I a monster if I divorce her? 

We haven’t had sex since the accident happened three years ago and I can’t even remember the last time we kissed properly. I haven’t even had the chance to think about what it would be like having sex with her since her surgery because she doesn’t seem to have any interest in that anymore. 

It feels like any passion in our relationship died out the moment she got into the accident. Saying ‘I love you’ just feels like part of the routine now rather than being filled with any meaning.

I love my wife, but I can’t help but think we’d both be happier if we just ended this marriage. There’s no bitterness or anything on my part, but I also don’t want to spend the rest of my life tied up in a platonic relationship that has no fire or excitement. 

International best-selling author offers sage advice on readers’ most burning issues in her weekly Dear Jane agony aunt column

I know it’s going to make me sound like an a**hole and like I’m abandoning her – but honestly I think she’d be happier if I walked away.

Would I be the worst person in the world if I divorced her?


Lusting for Lust

Dear Lusting for Lust,

I don’t think you sound like an a**hole because you want to leave a marriage that feels as if it’s loveless, but I do think you sound like a bit of an a**hole by even thinking about this unilaterally without bringing it up with your wife. 

You would only be the worst person in the world if you divorced her and hadn’t sat her down, preferably with a therapist or counsellor, and had some meaningful conversations about your marriage and what you both want out of your future.

The accident is relevant only in that it put an enormous stress on your relationship, but there could have been any number of stressors that led to you feeling this way. 

What’s wrong here is how much you are projecting your feelings onto your wife, assuming she must feel the same way, when I imagine most of her energy is going into her healing and dealing with her new life.

That said, I know a couple of women who have lost limbs in accidents, and who have also gone on to have impressive and amazing lives. They have shown extraordinary resilience, strength and grace under difficult circumstances, and have not let the loss throw them into a permanent state of misery.

So again, I wonder how much you might be projecting your own guilt onto the situation, in order to somehow mitigate your reasons for leaving. 

I have no idea if you have anything to be guilty about, although most men will not leave their wives, however unhappy they may be, unless they are already involved, emotionally or otherwise, with someone else.

I can also tell you that marriage, like life, is cyclical. I have watched couples in marriages on the brink of divorce do the hard work, start communicating, get help, and find that some years on they are happier than they ever dreamed they could be.

The grass is not greener on the other side. It’s greener where you water it, and watering requires commitment, communication, and time. Committing to figuring out your future, with your wife as an equal partner, seems to be the very least you can do.

Dear Jane,

I got married a few weeks ago and during our (very expensive) reception, my husband’s best man got so disgustingly drunk and ended up falling over on the dance floor and destroying thousands of dollars worth of DJ equipment. We also had to call an ambulance because he knocked himself out in the process.

But rather than apologizing profusely like he should have done, the next day, he was busy making jokes about it, while drinking even more during our post-wedding breakfast.

Dear Jane’s Sunday Service 

Finding compassion in a world riddled with hurt, anger and resentment, feels harder and harder these days, but if we can, for a moment, put ourselves in other’s shoes, particularly those whose bad behavior might be explained by their own hidden suffering, we will find everything in our life better.

My husband and I were forced to pay the bill for the DJ and despite telling him how much the damage cost, he hasn’t offered to give us a single penny. 

I keep telling my husband he needs to just outright ask him for the money, but he says his friend is always short on cash and he feels bad about making him pay.

I don’t mean to sound insensitive here, but why should I be out thousands of dollars – while also having the memory of my wedding day tainted by this whole fiasco?

Any advice on how best to sort through this mess?


Annoyed Newlywed

Dear Annoyed Newlywed,

Oh, the passive aggressive ask! The dropping of hints hoping that friends pick up on them is always the wrong way to go.

Asking outright, as you say, is the way to do it, but it does sound as if your husband’s boozy buddy won’t be able to pay. 

It’s definitely worth your husband telling him how much his behavior cost and asking him to cover the costs of the damages his behavior caused. He may not agree, but at least your husband will have asked.

After which point, and regardless of his response, I am advising you to let this go.

Yes, it hurts, but given how unlikely it is that this man will pay you back, holding onto this kind of anger is hurting you more than anyone else. 

As for the memories, this only has to taint your memories of your wedding day if you choose to let it. 

Accept that it is in the past, that the boozy buddy may well have a drinking problem which none of you can fix, and don’t, for God’s sakes, invite him to your one-year-anniversary!

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