Our expert says:
Well, Anon, the short answer would be to see a counsellor offering proper CBT ( Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy ), to help first you to plan your own best responses to this, and then to involve your husband in the process, of getting out of his depressive giving-up slump, and getting back to living properly.
It's quite a common problem, perhaps especially among men, to so thoroughly dissolve their life into their primary work, that when they retire, or get retired by that work, they have nothing else, so they just give up, just when there are new opportunities to enrich their lives and start growing again. One should start preparing for retirement when one starts one's first real job : to continue through life to develop hobbies and interests, and friends outside of the job, and continue looking out for further opportunities for side-jobs or other activities that can be extended when the primary job withers.
You don't mention whether he knows you are thinking of divorce, or whether, if he does, he views this as just another failure on his part and as another reason to give up. You could motivate him by the way you kindly tell him that you wont indefinitely tolerate this particular pattern of the marriage, and will support him if he makes the effort to join you in developing his side of it,
The "old days" he pines for will of course never return. But if you both better understand what aspects of those days feel so good, you could build New Days which could kindle similar satisfactions
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