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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5808
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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After 5 years of marriage, an 18 month old, and a year of my

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After 5 years of marriage, an 18 month old, and a year of my husband working in another state 4 days a week (coming home on the weekend), he now has a local assignment and is home every night. We now are having to learn to get used to living together again. We hate each other right now. The house is my domain since he's been gone, and he comes in criticizing the state of cleanliness (he's used to the maid at his hotel cleaning stuff), and telling me how to run things. I tell him I've been running things on my own without him for quite awhile, and I do not like any criticism from him. I am way more intolerant since I've become so independent of him. We fight every chance we get, including this morning when I was taking him to work!

We keep trying. We have a commitment to stay together forever, but it's killing us right now. We both feel that marriage shouldn't be this hard. This has been our worst year yet. I find myself longing for romance/flirting with other men.
Advice 4 me?

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


From what you wrote, it sounds like you and your husband have to become reacquainted with each other. Because of the distance there was between you with your husband's job, there has been no chance for you to be together and to nurture the marriage and keep the lines of daily communication going.


When you find yourselves starting to argue, stop. Have a sign you both know and use it such as holding your hand up like a stop sign. Take a deep breath and begin again. If you need to talk about a problem, make "I" statements only. Keep the discussion to only 10 minutes. Let each person have a turn then they must stop and listen without interrupting to the other person. At the end, come to a compromise. As you keep doing this, it'll become easier. It'll also help with the resentment or anger each of you might feel.


Set apart some time where the two of you can be together and start over again. Make rules you both agree on. For example, when your husband comes home, he should have something nice to say to you. And you do the same for him. Or spend a moment just hugging. If you have the time, sit down for 5 minutes and let each person talk about their day for a couple of minutes. No criticizing and no negative communication.


Start going out on dates. Find a babysitter and go out to dinner or a movie. Spend time talking about your dreams, your feelings about work, share anything that is about yourself with each other. Leave out anything that could result in a conflict, such as problems at home, differences of opinion, or parenting issues.


Recall with each other what attracted you to the other person. Make a list of 5 things. Set a time to share the list.


Do an Encounter Weekend. Oftentimes, this helps a couple rediscover each other and gain knowledge and understanding of how to communicate again.


Try this website for ideas on how to treat each other.


I also highly recommend you both consider marriage counseling. This would help you meet in a neutral place and give you both a chance to work out your problems with someone to help guide you. If you attend church, your pastor could help or refer you to someone who can.


Here are some books that you can read to help you. One is called The Four Seasons of Marriage by Gary Chapman. Another is The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert by John M. Gottman and Nan Silver. has these available or your local library may have them as well.


It is very common to go through difficult periods in a marriage. If you are both willing to work through this and keep trying, your marriage can become stronger and better for it.


I hope this helped you,




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