Marriage on Rocky Road...........

Updated on May 23, 2009
D.Q. asks from Irving, TX
5 answers

I'm not really sure what the problem is, other than my husband is upset at me for some reason. He just says he's 'sick of this', (referring to his clothes, job, car, kid, life, etc...) It sounds to me like he's depressed, which is very possible as he is on Keppra for siezures, & that is apparently a side effect. I know one thing he definately has a problem w/ is our sex life, or rather, lack there of. I just don't want/need it like he does, but he's going a little overboard right now, (he's even gone so far as to say, on more than one occasion, 'I'll go find somebody else who has a sex drive.. Like that's supposed to make me want to jump in bed w/ him!) . Other than that, he can't give me any specific reasons as to why he's feeling this way. He says I never want to do what he wants to do & when I ask for examples, he can't give me any. He tries to say that I'm emotionally uninvested in our family, (which is not true..), so he makes an extra concerted effort to be 'nicer' or more involved w/ our son. I'm a child of divorce & one thing I refuse to do is use my son as leverage or a bargaining chip. If he wants to be extra nice to our son, I'm not going to do or say anything against that bc I'm not going to put him in the middle of anything.

I'm not really sure what to do otherwise. He's put this all on me several times now, saying that I can either go to a doctor, (for help w/ the sex thing), or go to a counsler, but doesn't take any responsability upon himself. I'm not going to apologize for anything bc I haven't done anything wrong, but I dont want to do nothing at all. I don't object to seeing a marriage counsler, but don't know where to go & worry about the costs. Any ideas?

BTW..we live in Carrollton...

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answers from Dallas on

You definitely need counseling. It might also help for you to read the book: "Act like a Lady, Think like a man" by Steve Harvey. I thought I understood men until I read that book, but the author says it pretty succinctly that there are 3 things that men need in a relationship and sex is one of them (it is 3rd on the list after support and loyalty). It is one of the most important things to men - that's just how they're made and he absolutely says that men will go elsewhere if they don't get "it" at home.

I totally understand how you feel, but it does take two to make things work and unfortunately, IMHO, women have to do more of the work in this area, just as we do in all other areas (home, kids, etc.). One thing the book says about men is that until they have achieved the level of success that they desire, they cannot function well in a relationship. So, you might consider that your husband has issues at his job and as much as we might not like it, men really do need someone that they can talk to about work (i.e., Support) and most of them want to talk to us about it because we tend to be more sympathetic and they don't have to show so much bravado to us. Also, his increased need for sex may be his way of decompressing from the issues at work, BUT that is wrong as he is using you in that case and the situation is clearly not meeting any of your needs.

So, you do both need counseling and unless he's willing to admit the wrongs that he has committed (as well as you), then you will continue to have difficulties and these problems will only get worse. And as you say, that situation is not good for kids. One of my favorite quotes from Dr. Phil is that "the only thing worse than coming from a broken home (for kids) is being raised in a broken marriage". So, you both owe it to your son to improve the situation or decide that the situation isn't going to improve and move on. I think many of us can live with having failed at marriage, but failing our children just isn't an option.

The 3rd thing the book says men need is "loyalty" and men will start disconnecting if they feel that you aren't willing to stand by them, if you will. This might again go back to work issues, but it seems that this may also have to do with differences in parenting styles or what's important in your family life (i.e., his "you don't want to do what i want to do..."). To me this also has to do with men really being big babies and they do not take criticism well - it's the same theory to me as the fact that positive re-enforcement is a far more powerful training tool (for husbands, kids, dogs, cats, whomever) than punishment.

BTW, the 3 things the author says the 3 things women deserve (or should expect) from men in a (good) relationship are: 1) Professes his love (theoretically since you're married, your hubby did that long ago), but I think that sentiment can die if it's not nurtured 2) Provides for you 3) Protects you

Now, before the feminists get in an uproar, I really think that this is true in terms of how the man in your life treats you and isn't necessarily saying that women should entirely give up control to men - indeed he is very clear in saying that women are in charge in a marriage - men just don't like to admit it.

One of the most important things is how he treats you around others - does he praise you or is he hypercritical or just doesn't seem to care. Also, if he is not wanting to protect or provide for you, then that is a red flag - he really does not care about you that much. And, one of the things he says is that men should NOT have their wives on budgets and wives should not have to ask for money to buy groceries, kids clothes, etc. - since women are responsible for the majority of household buying decisions, they should also have control of the moeny. Men should be more than willing to provide for all these basic needs for the family.

Good luck and your recognizing that this situation is problematic is a sign that you know that things MUST be changed in some way, which is a very important step in improving your life and that of your child.

And, I really, really recommend you get the book as I've really just summarized and there are lots of nuggets of wisdom - the author refers to it as a play book for women in dealing with men and it contains info that men wouldn't really want us to know because it can really give us the advantage we need in relationships.

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answers from Dallas on

It sounds like marriage counseling is the best place to start. He's blaming you and you're blaming him. You both need to step back and see what you're each doing to contaminate the relationship. A counselor can help. So whatever the cost, it's worth it especially for your son's sake. I've actually been considering a Therapist myself. I found one in Lewisville. Her contact info is below. I haven't taken that step yet, but I know I need to. Maybe today will be the day. ;-) Good luck to you guys!

Judith Epstein Browell
650 S Edmonds Ln Ste 105, Lewisville



answers from Dallas on

I would strongly recommend counseling, as it sounds like the two of you are growing more and more distant from each other. The sooner you both address the issues, the more likely you will be successful in resolving them. If you are concerned about cost, I recommend Youth & Family Counseling in Flower Mound. They are a non-profit, sliding scale agency with masters level therapists. I actually used to work there (I am a licensed counselor, though now I counsel foster kids). They have some good counselors, and the cost is usually quite a bit lower than what you would pay in private practice. Their phone number is ###-###-####.

Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

It sounds like it's both of you. He's not patient and you aren't wanting to take responsibility for your lack of interest. Marriage is work! It doesn't just happen. You have to be willing to give and take.

We can't change others or take responsibilities for their actions. That being said, you do need to see the doctor for your lack of interest. It could be hormonal. In a marriage, sex is VERY important. Men NEED sex. You wouldn't believe what a little effort will do for your marriage. I don't know if you have tried a battery operated boyfriend or other enhancing devices, but you need to find something to rev up your drive again. If this happens, you won't believe the difference it will make in him. Even just romancing him during the day with a little nuzzle here and there helps. I have been there and I have the best relationship with my husband now because I try.

So start with your dr and counseling BOTH. Don't even think divorce. Mentioning that word in your marriage will only lead to that. So remove "divorce" from your vocabulary. If you want this, then work on it!




answers from Dallas on

Lifeworks Counseling Center is located at GeorgeBush and Josey Lane in the CoAmerica bank building across from Target. They have several counselors to select from. You can google their center and read about the counselors. I would definitely consider marriage counseling and or individual for the both of you. I went through something similar. This type of thing can be very hard and difficult.

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