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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5458
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Im having serious doubts about my marriage (4 years together

Resolved Question:

I'm having serious doubts about my marriage (4 years together 7) that really started the end of last week and hit me hard this weekend. My husband (31), is great, a great dad and we are able to hang out together. But there are three main issues:

1. I feel like we are more friends than lovers. I have been "talking" myself into wanting to have sex with him, even though he is very good looking, good hygiene, etc. But I get turned on when I think of other people I know. I have done so much for him to make him feel special, I do things to try to flirt, etc. But it ends in me doing all of the errands, me getting denied when I flirt, and just disappointed.

2. I feel trapped. I grew up in the marines, moving around every few years. We ended up in a suburb where I finished out high school where I first met my husband. We went out separate ways, I went to college, he worked. Then after college, we got back in touch and it went from there, living in a town home in the same town we went to high school. But he has a son (10) from a previous relationship and 50/50 custody, so we can't move to far away. He is out of a job right now and he has been so difficult because he is basing everything on time versus what is best. Anytime I look for a different job that makes more, he gets turned off when he learns how far of a drive it is. I have turned down opportunities to go out with friends because he gets moody and just wants to relax. When I have pushed him out of his comfort zone (like going to a county fair with one of my friends), he is moody and dreads it all week, then the day of, he puts on a show, but goes right back to being moody in the car ride home.

3. I feel like I need to take care of him. During his unemployment, he has needed my help applying for jobs or calls me at work to apply for a job for him because he is too busy. I had to nag him to get him to apply for school and then once accepted, he waited until the last weekend to test and register. And he is sick with something all of the time. Some things are valid, but he constantly thinks he is having a heart attack.

I don't know if this is something that I should just get over and everything will work itself out, or if it is better if we talk this out (whenever I do, he turns it back on him how he is doing everything for this family, etc.), or if I should find a way to call it quits. When we get into arguments, he has threatened divorce and then apologizes for it the next morning. I feel like if I talk to him about this, it will be an all or nothing. But at the same time, I'm not sure if that is what I want.

Is this a normal part of marriage?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

 

It sounds like you feel your marriage is based on you making your husband happy but that your needs are not being addressed. Although this does happen in marriages, it usually makes one or both partners unhappy.

 

You are making a good effort to be there for your husband. You are helping him and trying to keep your sex life going. But I wonder about the effort he is making. If he is not reciprocating your feelings, then you are going to be left feeling alone and not cared about.

 

You mentioned your husband is moody. Has he always been this way or is this new since he lost his job? Either way, you can suggest to him that he visit his doctor for an exam to be sure there is nothing wrong. If he is healthy, then counseling would help him figure out why he feels so moody and what he can do about it. If he will not go, explain to your husband that his mood is affecting you and the marriage and that you need him to address this problem.

 

To find a therapist, your husband can talk with his doctor. Or he can search on line at http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/.

 

You may also want to see the therapist together. A therapist can help you both come together and figure out how you can make each other a priority. You are already working on this with your husband, but he needs to learn to do the same for you.

 

When you talk to your husband, suggest that the two of you work out a compromise about responsibilities. For example, you want to move because that is what you are used to. But your husband has a son that he does not want to leave. A compromise would be to find a new home, but within a certain radius, such as 20 or 30 miles. He gives a little, and you get what you need. Then talk about making changes once your husband's son is of age. That will help you feel less trapped.

 

Also, when you talk with your husband, give him a list of your needs. Tell him that you are feeling the need to have him pay more attention to you and that you would like to work on this together. Use a gentle and understanding tone with him, but also stress the importance of your needs being met. Resist pointing out that you do for him now it's his turn to do for you. But do stress that you love him and want to spend more time with him. You want to know how he feels about you and you would like to see that expressed in what he does.

 

Learn more about communication and compromise. The more you know, the easier it will be to address this problem. Here are some resources:

 

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anger-in-the-age-entitlement/201002/marriage-problems-how-communication-techniques-can-make-the

 

Communication Miracles for Couples: Easy and Effective Tools to Create More Love and Less Conflict by Jonathan Robinson

 

Why Marriages Succeed or Fail: And How You Can Make Yours Last by John Gottman

 

You can find these books on Amazon.com or your local library may have them for you.

 

I hope this has helped you,
Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5458
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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