Dear Dr. Romance,

I have been separated for almost 2 years now but don't have the strength  to file for divorce. In part this is because I feel bad (I decided to  separate because I was unhappy) and he has no immediate family in the US,  but also because of our daughter (her Christmas wish last year was "that mom and dad be together again"). I don't think I love him any more but I  certainly care about him because he is a good person overall. He has  improved a lot but unfortunately I think this came too late to save the  relationship. I think he is still hopeful although he never said anything  (this is part of the problem, he is never pro-active). And it is breaking my heart to know how much my daughter wants us to be together again - I am  worried that I am wrecking her life. What should I do???

Dear Reader:

I'm also worried that you're wrecking your daughter's life for no good reason. It takes work to build a marriage, and it sounds like you just opted out without seeing if you could solve the problems.  "I don't think I love him any more." is not a good excuse for destroying your family.  Long-term marital love must be built -- it doesn't just happen.  If he's a good person, but somewhat passive, and he's already improved, why don't you try improving, too?  Start your new year by re-starting your marriage.  You can show him how to be pro-active. The two of you can get counseling for your marriage, read books, figure out how to work better together.  You have to create your happiness, it doesn't just happen to you.

"Asking for What You Want", "Guidelines for Finding and Using Therapy Wisely" and "Stop Reacting and Start Relating" will get you started on rebuilding this marriage. How To Be a Couple and Still Be Free leads you step-by-step through solving the major relationship problems.

Couple and Free 4th Ed

For low-cost counseling, email me at

Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.