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Ask TherapistJen Your Own Question

TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 2820
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker
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Got married in December. The first month she coerced me into

Customer Question

Got married in December. The first month she coerced me into paying one of her father’s debts. Not only that, since our wedding I have been paying her father’s medical bills. Her mood depends on her family's. She is hours on the phone with either her parents or her sister. In 4 months, she was with her sister for a month. She doesn't ask about my day and if I ask her, she replies in a word or two. At times, I feel we don't have anything to talk about. I feel I am not her priority. Am I overreacting?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 6 months ago.
Were these signs there before you got married? She may be under a lot of stress for caring and worrying about her family. But that doesn't mean you need to pay off his debt or medical bills if you are unable. I am concerned that you have tried to speak with her about your feelings and it didn't help. Not only related to this issue but what about others that come up between you...how will things get worked through if you aren't able to express yourself and be heard. I don't hear that you are overreacting and I would try again and let her know that you miss her and being together, you feel the weight of the expenses and anything else you might feel. If she refuses to listen then ask her how you are both supposed to function well in a marriage if you can' talk about things? Let her know you love and care for her and her family, but also need to feel like a priority as she is to you.
Expert:  Therapist Leslie replied 6 months ago.
I don't believe you are overreacting. In order for a relationship to remain safe and healthy, each individual needs to feel heard and understood. Could you try focusing the conversation around her family. Perhaps stating how difficult it must be for her to juggle what she is, how challenging it must be for her to focus on other things and the overall all-consuming nature of the situation. Perhaps coming at it from this direction might gradually open the door to conversations about other things, specifically your relationship and the needs you have that are not being met.
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 6 months ago.
I am here to continue our discussion.Jen
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi Jen, LeslieThanks for your answers. Jen, I have tried talking both about the financial aspect and the fact that I miss her and it hurts me to not know how she feels and getting ignored when I try and ask her. She does open up at times but only after requesting her several times. I might be wrong but I feel that either she doesn't trust me enough to talk about her family or she doesn't consider it relevant. To top that, she always seems depressed and I am really worried about her. At times I feel helpless because I can't do anything about it. I agree that she is under a lot of stress and I am here to help her. But it appears she only wants me to help financially and not emotionally.The signs were there before marriage but it escalated exponentially after. To be frank, her father suffers from arthritis and while I realize it's a terrible condition to have, it doesn't warrant such a reaction. I say this because all the doctors he has consulted assured the condition is not serious. I am sorry if I sound rude. She moved with me to a different city after marriage. I wonder if its because she can't visit her parents that often.
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 6 months ago.
Your response to me was extremely thoughtful and caring and it is clear that you are a loving and wonderful man. I think you bring up a great point about living far away from her family could cause increased stress and worry which is why his condition might feel larger to her then what the doctors are saying. if it's possible continue to support her in the way that she needs to be supported by letting her know that you are there for her. she may reach out when she needs it and she may withdraw when she needs that too. be stable and loving and be kind and I hope that when she sees hown steady you are she is able to feel relaxed and calm and open. this just may be her style when dealing with stress so keep reassuring her but also giving her the space she needs to process this. You are a gentleman to care for him financially and while she may not be able to express gratitude, I imagine she feels it. She may be homesick so maybe more frequent visits home could help her.
Keep being loving and gentle and my hope is that she will in time open up and be vulnerable. The work of marriage can take some time too.
Let me know your thoughts.
Jen
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 6 months ago.
Let me know if I can support you further. Keep being the loving husband you are and support her and hopefully in time she relaxes her guard a bit and is able to communicate better. Please take a moment now to click on the rating tab to rate my support so that I may be credited for my time and support. Thanks so much in advance.Jen