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Alicia_MSW, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 792
Experience:  Specializing in mental health counseling
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I have been married 24 years and am not really sure where my

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I have been married 24 years and am not really sure where my marriage is at. My kids are out of the house and I find I am not happy where I am. My husband has a million reasons why he can't spend time with me and blows off my feelings. I am a successful professional, highly respected outside my home, but taken for granted by my family. I am tired of giving. Problem is I am afraid to leave. I have worked very hard to get where I am and am very comfortable with the material things
. I don't want to lose what I have, but "he"doesn't take my misery seriously. Where do I go from here?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Alicia_MSW replied 4 years ago.

I'm Alicia. Thanks for your question. I'm happy to help you today.

There are two main issues that I'm hearing in your message. One, you're feeling undervalued and underappreciated and two, there's a very big communication problem between you and your husband. It's somewhat common for couples who have been married as long as you have to fall into this type of pattern, especially once the kids are out of the house. Couples start to take each other for granted and the passion and love that started your relationship and kept things going for all these years starts to ebb out. That doesn't mean it's not there, lying underneath, but you both seem to have lost touch with it. I'm not hearing that you want to end your marriage, but I am hearing that you feel exasperated and at your wit's end as to how to proceed. It's important that the two of you are not just talking for the sake of talking - and that you aren't the only one making compromises. I say this because of what you said about changing what you do to meet his expectations. It's a two-way street, so he needs to be open to making certain changes, and start truly listening to the feelings you're experiencing.
One thing that might help is to see a couples counselor. Sometimes, the endless cycle of talking, talking, talking is just so unproductive because you're both not truly hearing what the other is saying. Seeing a counselor involves a neutral, third-party who can mediate and "interpret" feelings and thoughts and get to the root of what's really going on underneath. So this would be my first suggestion.
Next, it sounds like you're not really having enough time together to do "fun" things. It sounds like you both need to have time together to just let go and really be with each other and try to rediscover what it was that brought you together in the first place. I believe it's still there, or you wouldn't still be together. So it involves making time for each other (without other family members), and doing something carefree and fun to take your minds off of what's going "wrong". Too much focus on the wrong parts of the relationship can magnify them and make them seem completely overwhelming. I'd advise against the empty threats, because when you don't follow through, he starts to not take you seriously, if you understand what I mean here.
I think you might also benefit from just having some time to yourself, if you don't already give yourself some quiet time each day to get in touch with what "you" really want. Instead of making compromises for others (as I'm sure you've had to do your whole life, not just in your relationship but for your kids and your job, which is a normal part of life) you might want to spend some time just giving some thought as to what you want the rest of your life to look like.
If you are interested in finding a couples counselor, and your husband is also open to the idea, you can find one in your area on this website:

I hope that helps and I wish you luck. Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Alicia_MSW and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you. I agree with all you said. It confirms my ideas. Now I just have to convince him to "fix" out issues so we can get on with our life together!

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