Question I'll try to keep this as short as I can. My husband and I have been married for 6 years and have 1 child together. He is a decent provider and father, but shows no interest in me at all. I stay at home with our child, which we both agreed is best for us. I do all the housework, cooking, taking care of our finances, childcare, etc. I always make sure he has clean clothes, nutritious meals, and whatever else he needs. He never asks me if I need help with anything, how my day has been, never compliments me, never shows me any token of affection. I have told him in the past how it makes me feel, and he says he is sorry I feel that way and leaves it at that. I try to keep it together for our child's sake, but I don't know how much longer I can stand this. I would appreciate any advice you have for me. I have asked him to go to counseling, but he refuses.
Answer Your situation is very painful and rejecting. If your husband won't join you in counseling, I urge you to go to counseling yourself. Also read my article on my website, www.whatiscodependency.com/blog, "Breaking-Up: Should You Leave or Can You Get the Love You Want." It outlines how you should approach this problem with your husband. Complaining or nagging won't be effective. You need to be more assertive, and the books on my website can help you. You can also go to a CoDA meeting for codependents or take an assertiveness class. Read my article on emotional unavailability, which describes your husband. Therapy will help you uncover why you would accept his coldness and be treated like a servant. The bottom line is that you have to start changing yourself before your marriage can change. I'm sure this isn't the answer you expected, but it's the truth. Best wishes to you.
Darlene Lancer, MFT
Questions about intimacy, communication, physical and emotional abuse, sex, divorce, fair fighting, problem solving, re-marriage. How to improve your marriage and communication. Please read articles on my website, darlenelancer.com and blog about relationships, sexuality, intimacy, and divorce. You may also listen or call into my radio show at blogtalkradio.com/sosdarlenelancer, where I take callers questions.
For over twenty-four years, I’ve helped individuals and couples overcome problems and enhance their marriage, relationships, and self-esteem. My clients acquire tools for change, problem-solving and communication skills, and the capability to manage emotions and boundaries. As a Senior Mediator for the Los Angeles County Conciliation Court, I’ve helped couples resolve custody and visitation disputes and domestic violence issues.
Publications “A Lawyer’s Primer for Understanding the Process of Divorce from a Mental Health Standpoint,” Family Law News and Review (1992); “Growing Through Divorce,” The California Therapist (1991); and in Whole Life Times, “Relationship as a Spiritual Path” (1992), “Body and Soul” (1991), “Light My Fire” (1997) Whole Life Times (1995). These and other articles (“The Relationship Duet,” “Stages of Divorce,” “Parenting After Divorce,” “Emotions After Divorce,” “There’s More to Sex than Sex” appear on my website and other mental health sites.
Education/Credentials UCLA, JD
Antioch U. MA Psychology
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist