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Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience:  Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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my wife and I have been married for 7 years we have 2 children

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my wife and I have been married for 7 years we have 2 children and we had 3 miscarriages the last one was about 3 years ago. she is having trouble dealing with the miscarriages and recently told me she is not in love with me anymore since then we hardly talk and she refuses any contact between us. we have not shared any affection in over a month. she seems totally disinterested in continuing our marriage. is there any hope? what should I do?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 3 years ago.
Hello. I believe I can be of help to you with this issue.

One reasonable hypothesis about your situation is that your marriage may not have been very gratifying for your wife for several years; she has been waiting and hoping that having another child would give her a sense of fulfillment that the marriage was not giving her. Now, having had several miscarriages, she may have experienced a disturbing shift in her sense of 'self'. She believes she can no longer count on having a NEW baby to care for---this aspect of 'self' has disappeared. Also, if she is was not fundamentally happy being your wife, she now feels a sense of emptiness and detachment from herself and the world. She may be depressed

The second hypothesis is that while she loves you, being intimate with you has lead her to feeling the excitement of being pregnant----but then, experiencing the excruciating pain of having miscarriages and 'losing' her baby. So intimacy with you has brought her in the end, somewhat more emotional pain than happiness. Literally, on an unconscious level, she blames you for her unhappiness ("getting pregnant with you has only caused me pain in the end") Sounds irrational, and it is, but we all have some irrational thoughts we embrace.

So these are the two best hypotheses about what might be going on. Is there any possibility she is having an affair?

What do you think?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
2 of the miscarriages happened before our first child was born the third one was between our children. after she gave birth to our last child she had a tubal so future pregnancy is not possible. I do not think she is having an affair.
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 3 years ago.
The timing of the miscarriages---before your first child, and the very last one being a tubal pregnancy, would cause me to reject the hypotheses I offered earlier. Something in going on 'inside of head' that she isn't being clear and transparent about with you. It may be that she doesn't fully know herself why she isn't feeling love for you anymore. You describe a marital situation that is going 'downhill'---that isn't likely to get better on its own I would at this point, recommend marital therapy.

I think you could get her to agree to marital therapy if you took the proper approach to it e.g., "I am very concerned about state of our marriage and I'd like to either find a way to improve it and move forward, or bring a speedy end to it so you can perhaps find new happiness as a single mom. I deserve to be with someone who loves me; and I don't want to stand in the way of you being happy if you feel you don't love me. So I want to suggest that we go to marital therapy to simply figure out what is going on and make some clear decisions about what to do about this relationship---can we improve it, or do we need to go our separate ways?" This is the quickest way to get to the truth of the matter and discover if there is hope for your marriage, what can be done to improve it, etc. If she simply doesn't want to be married to you, it is far better to find this out now, so you can move on, rather than drag yourself through a great deal of emotional distress, ambiguity, anxiety about 'not knowing' etc., for several years, only to discovered that you've wasted this time 'waiting' for things to get better----when they never will.

What do you think?

Edited by DoctorMichael on 2/1/2011 at 5:19 PM EST
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
you're probably right. i just don't understand how things got so bad so fast. I also believe in the sanctity of marriage (for better or worse till death we do part). so I am having trouble facing the reallity that our marriage is probably over.
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 3 years ago.
You can take heart in the fact that if your wife can truly sort out what is happening inside of her head and discuss what she is unhappy about, there would be some options for repairing the relationship. I have found that if spouses are BOTH willing and interested in making a marriage work, and they really try, most major differences can be worked out, negotiated etc., and a more mature sense of love and respect evolves when they are in their mid 40s and beyond. That is, most couples who very nearly divorced but decided that each spouse was really invested in trying to 'figure it out' were much happier 5-6 years later. They look back and think, "I'm glad we didn't get a divorce but took the time to work things out". On the other hand, if someone has actually fallen out of love with their spouse, they really do not WANT to fix the relationship because they don't want that person as a marital partner any longer. Not much you can do about that.

I hope this information is helpful to you. Feel free to share it with your spouse. It may trigger some thoughts and ideas for her and give you a basis for some meaningful conversation. Let me know if have overlooked any aspect of your original question. Please hit the green Accept button at the bottom of the screen. Thanks.

Update: Woops, I think I sent this last message to you through the inquiry screen Please respond with an o.k., and then I'll send the message back to you through the correct screen----where you can hit the Accept button. Thanks.

Edited by DoctorMichael on 2/1/2011 at 5:32 PM EST
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
there is no green accept button at the bottom of the page
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 3 years ago.
Do you see an Accept button anywhere on the page. There should be one. Thanks!
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience: Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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