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Dr. Paige
Dr. Paige, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1427
Experience:  Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
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Married for 20 years with two teenage children. My wife never

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Married for 20 years with two teenage children. My wife never wants to do anything, she goes out of her way to avoid any social interaction including working on weekends instead of weekday, refusing to entertain ever including graduation parties for our children. She is also very critical of everything around the house from positioning of pillows to ow the kids sit on he furniture and everything in its place. She shows no affection and says she wants romance but whenever I do what she says from dinner dates to movies to gifts it's never enough. I took her to a B & B and she complained because I didn't have flowers in the room. The only communication myself and the kids get is negative, she doesn't seem capable of complementing me or the kids and never seems to laugh or be able to enjoy herself. This is not a phase it has been going on since we married and has gotten worse since the kis were born. On top of all of that we havent been intimate in over a year

She refuses counseling, not sure what to do.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Paige replied 5 years ago.
Hello. I'm sorry you are going through all of this, it is a tough and stressful situation to be in. Have you tried just talking to her point blank about what the issues are? Women deal with depression and stress differently than men do and like for men to be mind readers when it comes to things they are going through. In my opinion, when this type of behavior is happening, it is in response to a deeper problem. She is acting out because she has some inner feelings about something that she isn't sure how to deal with. It may or may not have something to do with you. The only way to find out what it is, is by expressing your feelings in the right way. You should not go to her and say YOU are doing this, YOU are acting this way, etc. You should approach her to say, "What can I do to make you happy?" She is clearly not happy and as I said, it may not have anything to do with you. She may be unhappy with herself for something such as being in a place in her life now where she may have had goals that she never accomplished, etc. There may very well be some disappointment in there somewhere and this is just how she is expressing it. I know you have probably talked to her about it, but the way in which you talk to her can make a huge difference. You know her better than anyone, so I cannot offer you specifics on this, just in general, think about your approach. You can even practice by writing it down and visualizing how the conversation will take place and adjust it to make it flow the way you want to. Be sensitive to her and have your goal to be to get her to open up and find the source of her unhappiness.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Part of it is I have a lot of friends, she has none and doesn't know how to make friends she expects it to happen. The part is that both of our kids are very good athletes and participate in year round travel sports which she feels takes away from family time. I feel they should continue if they want to see how far they want to go in sporrts and they do. She rarely attends their game and wears her disdain on her sleeve which I know hurts the kids. She also doesn't want to seem to let them go and be more independent as my one child now has her license, she wAnts her to call when she gets to and leaves every location even it is a short distance.

I just wonder would it better to divorce and let her find whatever she thinks she needs? I am miserable from this ans don't want to spend the next 20 years like the last 20.
Expert:  Dr. Paige replied 5 years ago.
Your points are valid. Of course you want your kids to continue doing what they enjoy, and going with them to their events IS family time. If you feel that divorce is what would make you a happy , then you have to do what you have to do. Your kids do not deserve to have an unsupportive parent. If you love her and want to try and make it work, you should make sure that you made every effort to do so. You can only do so much. If she won't meet you half way, if she isn't interested in fixing what is wrong (or admitting there is something wrong) then you are stuck in a corner. I would still talk to her and try to get her to open up about what is causing her to be so negative all the time. If she has a problem with depression, then she is the only one who can decide to go to counseling or to work on it on her own. You don't have to all out divorce her either, if you want to separate for awhile to give her some space, maybe she can figure some things out.
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