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Ask Suzanne Your Own Question
Suzanne, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 919
Experience:  LCSW, RN. Mental Health, Relationship & Parenting issues.EMDR, Hypnosis.
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what should i do with my marriage

Resolved Question:

I don't know what to do with my marriage, my husband and I just agreed on being roommates today. That mostly because he doesn't want a divorce and we have kids. I don't know if I want to stay in this marriage or not. Is there any books I should be reading? The main problem I have with him is mostly about money. I don't think he was ever responsible financially, doesn't make me feel safe financially. I suggested to try dave ramsey's program, and he puts off to look at the budget sheet, it just pissed me off.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Suzanne replied 5 years ago.

Thanks for bringing your question to JustAnswer.


The best book I have found for learning how to save your marriage is

How To Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It. It explains the differences in how men and women react to problems, and what to do about it. Highly recommended.


I also really like the Dave Ramsey approach to money management. But instead of trying to get him to cooperate with a budget sheet that you've done, it's important to make him part of the process, so he doesn't feel like this is being shoved down his throat.

The very best way to get him enthused would be to get to one of Dave Ramsey's live appearances...and let Dave convince him. He travels around the country pretty frequently. If that doesn't work, have his radio program playing around the house....don't try to force him to listen. If he gets interested on his own, he'll be much more likely to want to do the program. Both people have to feel like equal partners in this process.


And it might be time to try some counseling again. If you end up a single mother with children, your financial situation may end up much more difficult. It's worth doing everything you can to save the marriage, keep the children's father in the home, and working on more of an equal partnership. If it doesn't work, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you tried everything possible to make the marriage work, and you'll be able to go forward with a clear conscience.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank your for answer my question, when I contact you I was in a very desperate place. My husband and I stay as roommates for a couple of hours and we started talking and crying. Thing are much better now. He got me flowers the next day. :P

I'll read the book you've suggested since I love to read but my husband is not a "normal" type of guy, he doesn't care about sport, not ambitious at all ( which I wish he is a little bit more ambitious or at least make some goals) He's a very sensitive person. Through our talking, I realized that he has so much "baggage" from he's past (especially past marriages ) and from his mom. His mom is a very very sweet person, and I love her (Don't get me wrong here ) but she's the most passive person I've met. Sometimes, I get tired of encouraging my husband. He often say that I believe in him more than he believes in himself. I don't know if you have any books that I can read to help with that. I want to be his cheer leader 24-7, but sometimes I get tired from kids and work. and he says I look down at him now, he says I don't look up to him anymore. (which is true, I think) I'm not sure how to reverse that?

We both agreed that we should get back into counseling again, the problem is that the counselor who was meeting with us wasn't available anymore, and I'm not sure where we can find a trustworthy counselor. Do you have any suggestions? we live around San Gabriel, CA 91776.

I think emailing with you back and forth like this helps too, and this is really the first time I tried something like this. Like I said I was in a desperate place when I last wrote. So can you suggest some ways for us to get back into counseling again?
Expert:  Suzanne replied 5 years ago.

I'm glad to hear the crisis has passed.


It might be a good idea for him to try individual counseling first, to heal some of the wounds of the past. You can search for a therapist in your area with this directory:


Then, when he feels better about himself, it will be time to try couples counseling. I like the Imago method, as it teaches a lot about communication between the couple. They offer both weekend workshop intensives and also have private therapists trained in the technique. If you could afford a workshop first, it would be a great way to jump-start things again on the right path. Then, if there are issues between you that still seem to get you stuck, you could go to individual therapy with someone who uses the method.


About the cheerleading the first book I recommended. He doesn't have to fit some 'sport-guy' mold for it to work. The authors are psychologists, and their research has proven that men respond better to specific praise for something they have done than they do to vague praise or to criticism. This is fully explained in the book. Read it first, and you'll see why things have gone wrong in the past and how to fix them.


I'm glad this emailing is helpful to you. Just so you understand how this site works: we are all free-lancers, working from home, and the only way we get paid for our work is if the customer clicks on the Accept button. You forgot to do it last time, so I'd appreciate it if you would this time...thanks!


If you'd like to work together again, put "For Suzanne" as the first two words in your question, and they'll notify me to answer it.



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