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Marriage/putting us underneath everyhting


We are not married, but my fiancÚ and I have been together for 5 years and have a 2 year old. For the most part we have had a pretty good relationship, but for the past year now it seems like he hates being around me and our son.

He is ALWAYS on his phone, texting, on facebook and on fishing forums. He will be on it when we eat, all day long and while he is driving. I cant tell you how many times during the day we are home or out doing stuff and I try to show him something and I get no response what so ever, because his face is glued to that phone.

He has always fished, but lately he has been trying to guilt trip me and it is really annoying. I am trying to finish school faster so I am not working, I stay home and do school and care for our son and the house all day. He gives me NO access to any money or money if I say I need any, I have to wait for him to go with me to get what I need.

So being stuck home with nothing is getting really old. And so is his fishing habit. He always wants to be gone fishing, and he will full on say he would much rather be fishing than home with me and our son (but apparently he "loves" us to death and couldn't live without us). He has said this numerous times and knows I find it hurtful, but he says that is the truth ant that fishing is his life and that will never change. All his friends have families and their wives are perfectly fine with them fishing all the time and never being home so I should be fine with it also.

I am just really fed up and its upsetting to feel so lonely all the time, even when he is home we rarely talk thanks to his phone. Of course the people we know (his friends) say that I am over reacting and that I should let him do what makes him happy. But I feel like me and his son don't matter anymore and wanted the opinion or advice, from someone who isn't his friend, as to if I am being selfish or if he is the one being selfish in this situation.

Hi Amber. I think you're being totally reasonable in wanted to feel acknowledged and respected as a person, partner, and a mother. You're not getting some important needs met in your relationship. From what you write, I believe that your partner has survived major early-childhood abandonment, neglect, and abuse, and has inherited significant psychological wounds:

If this is true, you're also probably a "Grown Wounded Child" [GWC]. If so. you adults are at risk for passing these wounds on to your child/ren.

I urge both of you to patiently study online "lesson 1" at It's free, and is about you all. If you do and have questions, please ask!

- Pete  


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Peter Gerlach, MSW


I can answer questions about choosing a mate wisely, marital communications and problem solving, affairs, same-gender relationships, trust, respect, bonding and intimicy, values differences, boundary problems, grieving, dealing with ex mates, parents, and in-laws, remarriage, separation, divorce, abuse, feeling unloved, codependence, psychological wounds, money disputes, balancing kids, careers, and marital primacy, etc. I cannot answer legal or medical questions


I've been a professional family-systems therapist in private practice for 33 years. I have specialized in helping people avoid and adapt to divorce, and manage remarriage ans stepfamilies, since 1979. I've studied and taught classes in interpersonal communication for over 40 years, and have presented over 200 seminars on a wide range of human-relationswhip topics to Chicago-area churches, schools, menyal-health agencies, and businesses, and have been featured on Chicago and national radio and TV. I have been married and divorced. I now believe all marital and family problems are caused by five little-known factors - see This forms the basis of my work as therapist and educator.

I now answer "" questions on stepparenting, communication, and counseling. I belong to ", "Death with Dignity," "Compassion and Choices," and to the online Adverse Childhood Experience Study (ACES) at

I've published over 200 free Internet articles on childhood-trauma recovery and wholistic health, communication skills, healthy grieving, human relationships (including marriage and divorce), family health, effective parenting, and managing a stepfamily). These articles are in the form of seven free self-improvement lessons ( These articles are augmented by 168 YouTube videos ("gercacn" channel); I've published a book on childhood-trauma recovery ("Who's *REALLY Running Your Life?"), and other books on interpersonal communicactioin skills ("Satisfactions"), remarriage ("The Remarriage Book"), "Stepfamily Courtship", and "Stepfamily Co-parenting" All published by

Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering (BSME) from Stanford University (1959); Masters degree in Social Work (MSW) from George Williams college (1981); hundreds of hours of post-grad trainng from Northwestern U. the University of Chicago, et. al. in a wide range of human-relationship topics.

Awards and Honors
The state of Illinois licensed me to practice clinical social work in 1981. I was selected twice to serve on the board of the Stepfamily Association of America (SAA), and am currently on the Stepfamily-expert panel at Auburn University; I was the Board chairman at a major public mental-health agency in suburban chicago, and was the chairman of the Parent Relations Council for a major suburban High School. I currently have over 500 subscibers on YouTube since I began uploading educational videos in May, 2011.

Past/Present Clients
I've worked with over 1,000 men; women; dating, merried, remarried, divorcing, and redivorcing couples; and whole families. I'm currently 74, semi-retired, and disabled, and I do therapy with people and couples by phone and Internet (Skype).

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