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Ask Rev.Dr. August Abbott Your Own Question
Rev.Dr. August Abbott
Rev.Dr. August Abbott, Clergy
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7608
Experience:  Ordained minister: Counselor (spiritual/life)
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I believe in marriage enrichment but my husband sees me as

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I believe in marriage enrichment but my husband sees me as wanting for him to be someone he is not. He can be so cold and impersonal with me. He doesn't seem to care about my emotions. He says that this is just how he is. He told me tonight that when we got married 6 years ago, he accepted that I wasn't what he wanted. However he says that I "drag him to marriage conferences to change him". I told him that I saw it as finding a way for both of us to care about the other to enrich the marriage. I try to do things they say to do such as show my husband respect. I support him with his work and his hobbies. I give him space for alone time. I accept that he works until 8 or 9 every night. I don't get on him about anything. All I want in return is for him to love me. I want to feel that he recognizes how hard I work to maintain a nice home, raise the kids, take care of all of the bills, and provide a warm, loving home. Instead, he just seems to expect it. I try to look nice. I exercise and take care of myself. My husband doesn't exercise. He doesn't eat well. He works long hours (a lawyer) and sits on the couch eating junk food while watching tv. Every now and then he will say something nice to me, but he feels he has said it before so I should just believe it and not expect for him to say it. He doesn't seem to listen to anything that is said at marriage conferences about women. He thinks we just have to accept that we are different and not expect anything else. He doesn't want to compliment me or think of my feelings. I don't know how to accept this. It hurts. He knows I want and need more. He feels that I shouldn't expect anything else from him. I don't know what to think. I don't know how to be happy in a marriage with someone who thinks that way. I don't know where to turn to help fulfill that side of me. I don't think I am unusual in wanting to feel wanted. So, what should I do? Can I be happy in a relationship like this? Is it doomed? How do I respond to him accusing me of trying to change who he is when i ask for love and reassurance? How can it be that hard? I try to squelch this need I feel, but I can't deny that it is there. So, I don't know what to do. Please help. Thank you.

-- So you are doing the same things time and time again with the same result. Like going to see a movie you've seen 100x's before and hoping it ends differently.


It's time to leave husband out of the counseling and go by yourself. Not to save the marriage as much as save yourself.



You write well, strike me as intelligent, insightful and motivated. So when it comes down to the reality that you are trying to ignore or escape, you know that you cannot "make" anyone love you. You can't even make anyone "like" you.


In so much as your husband has been with you all these years, I expect that either he actually does love you in his own way or is severely unmotivated to change conditions that he feels are tolerable.


The thing is, marriage shouldn't just be 'tolerable'. It should be a happy, safe, secure place to reside and feel re-charged, enthusiastic, strong in knowing you are loved unconditionally and are supported when it seems the world is against you.


Marriage should be a lot of the opposite of what you're describing. One hand cannot clap and yet you're flailing away trying to bring up the roar of applause.



Why do you undervalue yourself this much? Where is your self respect? What are you afraid of? How can you change your life so it's not just better, but good? Even if it's on your own?



These are questions to ask a counselor one on one. A counselor who, after you first explain your relationship and background, will only allow you to use sentences with "I" and "me", "my", "myself" - the one person you can change; the one person you can control and the one person who you can and should be loved by first and last.



This is not about your husband. It's about you and whether you're ready to admit that this relationship isn't good for you and is not what you want to put up with for the rest of your life; or that this relationship is the one you've got and if you're going to stay, you're to accept it the way it is because trying to turn a boar into a boy is simply not going to happen.




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