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Suzanne, Therapist, LCSW
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 919
Experience:  Experienced in treating trauma, relationship issues, co-dependency
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my wife has hurt me in this marriage and continues to. i dont

Customer Question

my wife has hurt me in this marriage and continues to. i dont see her making a sincere effort to fix things, but she will break her neck to fix or help others. i've lowered my expectations, lowered my esteem, lowered my standards in this marriage and i feel bad about myself and who i have become. i love her so much. and she definitely loves me. she just cant show the love or express it. i feel like i have run out of space for hope. she tries to 'do right' but it happens infrequently and lasts for a morning or maybe a day. she will magnify her intermittent efforts and be ok with the days and months of being absent. she has broken trust, lacks sincere communication, has turned intimacy way down, and is defensive. today, i told her all that i was feeling: that i feel low, not myself, unhappy and its because the relationship is unhealthy, and that her behavior from the beginning set our foundation on no grounds. she listened and then asked what 'solution' i had for this. i told her i think she needs to find a place to live. now she's crying and telling me how she tried and tried. im not confused, nor do i think my decision was wrong, but i wonder about whether she can/will change. or, can i accept this. i dont feel that i can, but i dont think abandoning marriage and a person that loves me is right. we've been married 3 years and she has failed me from the beginning until now in her responsibilities as my wife. just wondering what advice i can get.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Suzanne replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for writing to Just Answer.


Under "already tried" you listed everything that a therapist can usually recommend to save a relationship. It really seems as though you have tried everything.


For a marriage relationship to work, each partner needs to feel like their "best self" when they are together....that their partner brings out the best in them.


I don't see any of that in what you wrote. I also have a hard time with the concept that a person can "love" another person but not be able to show it or express it. There are so many ways to express love: doing things for the other person, making favorite foods, making love. If she has no ability to do any of these things and you are only three years into this marriage---you have a choice to make.


The chance that she will change just because you threatened to end the relationship is almost nil. I'm sure you've heard the saying...the best indication of future behavior is past behavior. That got to be a cliché because it's so often true. She has known that you've been unhappy, and that hasn't been enough to make her work harder at the relationship.


The only reason I can see to remain together is if, in your heart, you know that you could have done better by her. If your conscience is clear in this regard, then you have your answer. ( If not, get to work being the best husband you can possibly be and see if things can change.)


If you have gone through an intensive relationship counseling program and you are still this unhappy in the relationship, it may be time to say that while you may "love" each other, you are not good for each other and it may be time to go your separate ways.


It doesn't sound as if there has been much of a partnership from the start ("she has failed me from the beginning"). You don't mention children. Many times couples in troubled relationships decide to have a child in the hopes it will cement them together. This is not a reason to bring a child into the world....and, in my professional experience, it never works..


Get yourself some professional guidance through this transition. It's hard to give up on a marriage. You'll also need a chance to do some self-reflection --there are always things we could have done better--before getting into another relationship.


After you've done your own internal work, find someone who shares your ideas about what a marriage means. It sounds like the two of you have been on different pages since the beginning.


I wish you the best as you go through this painful situation. If this has been helpful, please click the ACCEPT button to credit me for this response. If you need more information, just ask.


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