What Are You Supposed to Do When You Have Marital Issues and No One to Talk To?

Updated on December 13, 2015
Z.F. asks from Beverly Hills, CA
14 answers

When we have issues and arguments that we can't just talk through by ourselves I don't know what to do.

Whenever I try talking to either my mother or my friends or my in laws I get the same reactions:

This isn't my problem.
I have enough of my own problems to deal with and I don't want to hear it.
I told you so.
I don't want to be involved in this.
Might as well just separate.

They only seem to see the negative parts and not the good parts.

I don't find this to be constructive or helpful at all and I have no one I can just safely chat with.
There is no place to turn to.

What would you do in my situation?

We don't live near any family and we have no support.

What can I do next?

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answers from Norfolk on

Family/friends don't want to take sides.
Or they've given advice before and realize you need to make decisions and take action - and allowing you to vent on them is giving you the illusion of 'progress' while you stay in a situation that's never going to make you happy.
No one enjoys talking to a brick wall.
You need to talk these things out with a marriage counselor and/or a women s shelter.
How/if/when you move forward is always up to you and no one else can do this for you.

7 moms found this helpful

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answers from Washington DC on

oh my.

i just responded to your last question, about debt and christmas and your stupid husband. when i saw this one i went back and looked at your prior questions. including the one about melting down over your husband and your best friend.

so the first thing i have to say is that you need to stop venting to your family and friends. there's a tangle of issues here, your distrust and immaturity, and your husband's fiscal stupidity and lack of concern about your emotional wellbeing, and the fact that nobody seems particularly interested in growing up, pulling up their suspenders and creating a home that is both financially and emotionally healthy for raising a baby.

you have GOT to get counseling. you need family counseling, and you need individual counseling.

if your husband is indeed a cold, uncaring, financially immature asshat who diddles your friends and tries to make you seem crazy, you need to get your child and get out.

if you are paranoid, incapable of behaving and reacting in a professional manner on the job and constantly complaining to your nearest and dearest but not doing anything to fix your own problems, you need to get to work on yourself hard and fast. you're worth it, and modeling adult responsible ethical behavior for your daughter SHOULD be worth it.

i suspect the truth lies somewhere in the middle. nonetheless, it's a mess.

your family and friends can't give you the quick fix you want. the tough love you'll get here on MP is probably not what you'll accept.

get to a counselor. a good one. do it today.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Marriage counseling, now, for both of you as a couple, and counseling for you alone so you can get non-judgmental, objective advice about how you can cope with whatever issues you have. You need to talk with someone who is not invested in your relationship -- and his relatives and your relatives and your friends all have some level of investment or bias here, so I would absolutely stop talking with them, especially his parents and your parents.

I want to add: If you hear the terms "counselor" or "therapist" and immediately think, "That's too expensive," then please, please do not let cost stop you. Look up "women's center" for your area and start with those listings -- there are women's centers that provide advice and referrals to low-cost counselors or counselors or therapists who have sliding-scale fees. If you can't find a women's center, contact a women's shelter and ask them if they can direct you to information about marital counseling (this does not mean "You need to run to a shelter" unless you actually DO need to....some shelters also give out information like this, to help prevent relationships from deteriorating to the point that women must come to them to stay!). Also, your city or county government probably has a health department, and that department should have a mental health office that may keep a list of local counselors and therapists. If you can afford any therapy or counseling with no issue, just ignore the above, but I don't want to assume that anyone posting here can just pop out and pay for things like this easily.

And again - please stop venting to or asking advice of family on either side. They may seem like the natural place to turn but they aren't being helpful and instead could harm your marriage if their advice is biased. In your situation, I would find a neutral professional like a couples counselor, pronto.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

From what you've written as their responses, it sounds like you've gone to them to vent/complain about your husband quite a bit for them to be that honest and just tell you they are not interested. No one likes to be vented to a lot - there's a limit. So could that be it in part?
Especially if they spent the time to give you their best advice, and you didn't take it. Again, people have a limit.
Family do not like to get involved - period. At least mine doesn't. I don't go to my family with my marital issues. Why? Because it's awkward when you make up. My family is close with my husband. If I aired our dirty laundry to them and then expected them to welcome him just as kindly the next time we see them, well that would just be weird. He's friends with my brother in laws too - I would feel I had betrayed his trust by blabbing about us to them.
I would NEVER go to my in-laws to discuss my marital problems. So I can't relate at all to that. They won't want to hear a negative thing spoken about their relation and they will pick sides, so that's just pointless. In my opinion.
If they are saying told you so, and might as well separate, perhaps they want the best for you and hope you stop talking and take action.
Marriage counselling? Or just go talk to a therapist on your own. They are great if you just want to vent without worrying they will get tired. And they are objective. You do have to pay but that's the only downside.

Good luck :)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

If it's only occasionally that you have real problems, then any good friends would be there for you. Friends who would say, "I have enough of my own problems" to a real person with a real problem who is asking for help are not good friends. Your mom could be a good support too IF you were blessed with a mom you are close to in that way. Your in-laws not so much if you're complaining about their son.

If you have chronic, never-ending problems, then people get tired of those kind of chats because it's a negative drain, and there is no way they can help you. It becomes a constant favor to listen to someone's dreadful baggage. Even when I caught my husband cheating and headed for divorce and was really desperately depressed, I kept my complaining to a minimum and spread it between friends so I didn't overburden any one person. And then I moved on with my life, and the problem was in the past. You can be honest and share your problems, but not all the time for years and years. Because people know their advice is pointless and their sympathy wears off.

I listen to anyone's problems to an extent. But anyone who is always having problems I have to avoid after a while for my own sanity because we all have problems. ESPECIALLY the friends in terrible marriages who are obviously never splitting up. It's not my job to listen to that agony for the rest of our lives. I just keep contact to a minimum and don't get roped into the drama.

If you can afford it, get a therapist to listen and help, it's what they are there for!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I'm so sorry.
It sounds like everyone else knows he's a loser and a jerk, even his own family, and yet you don't want to hear it.
Ask your doctor for a referral to a therapist, for YOU, so you can get some help and understand why you are okay living like this :-(

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

I would, and have, hired a therapist. It is nice to talk to someone who you know will not judge you or share your problems with others.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Z., my strong suggestion would be finding a counselor. If only for yourself. You might want to look at the universities in your area and see if they offer counseling on a sliding scale. (This is for the students who are working toward getting their certification.)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

This is what marriage counseling is for...you can't dump your marital problems on your family and friends. Your issues are private and none of their business. Counseling is confidential and respects the trust between you and your husband, while giving you the support and sounding board that you need.

If you live in the US, there are lots of options for counseling. My husband and I have received marriage counseling through a psychiatrist, several psychologists, licensed social workers, marriage and family therapists, and clergy. Some took insurance, some we paid on a sliding scale, and the pastor didn't charge us anything.

If you are outside the US, the availability of counseling will depend a lot on where you live. If you live in an area where psychology is frowned upon, you may have better luck with counseling through a clergy member if you are religious.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

You contact your doctor for a low-cost (low co-payment) counselor who accepts your medical insurance. Or you contact your town's office for families (if that's not the name, call the Town Clerk and ask which department is closest for your needs) and see if they offer sliding scale counseling. A friend of mine is a LICSW and used to work for a town's department. You can also contact the pastor/priest/rabbi/imam of any religious institution in town and explain what you are looking for. There are also pastoral counseling groups that service low income families. Your issues don't have to be religiously based for you to be helped - just pick the person whose denomination more closely connects with your background. Every time you make a call, have a pad of paper there and take notes, ask for referrals, ask for suggestions. Network! You can also find out about support groups, and you may meet some friends there as well. But your family is right - this isn't their issue, and they aren't objective anyway. And of course they only see the negatives - that's what you're sharing. And besides, they have to see your husband in other settings, and they don't want to be thinking what a jerk you think he is or how he hurt you. Keep the family separate. You and your husband need to learn how to have an argument in a fair way, and you can learn that from a counselor. If he won't go, go without him and help yourself.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Look for counseling in your area. Google psychologists. See if they have a sliding scale based on
income. If you have health insurance, they should have counseling. Make an appointment. Best of luck.


Look for counseling in your area. Google psychologists. See if they have a sliding scale based on
income. If you have health insurance, they should have counseling. Make an appointment. Best of luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Is it possible that you are only looking to others so that they can side with you and you are not actually looking for someone to talk through your issues with? Looking at your previous questions it would appear you are still clinging to something that happened two years ago at work looking for people to tell you that work done you wrong. If you lived in America that would be the case and you would have a suit against your employer. Where you are, who knows, but going to Americans to get support for your position isn't really honest. It be like me going to some middle Eastern country and asking my neighbor had an affair, can we all stone the women? Sure, we would get a fair few answering hell ya, stone her! Doesn't mean that thought process is going to hold here.

Or you are a troll, I am really not sure. If you are real, please for your sanity let go of your need to always be right. That your family wants no part of it kind of makes me feel like all of this is not on your husband.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Sadly this is what our world is coming to. We have so much media and so many lawsuits that no one dares utter a bad word for fear of being found out and not too many people are there to vent to. Which is why we have this website. I have seen a lot of people here just 'vent'. We all need that. It doesn't mean we want to divorce our partners and run off with the tennis instructor it means- gee whiz today I really got grossed out when he dripped some of his baked beans on his shirt and didn't wipe it up.Or he talked a little too much about the new machine operator at his company (who also happened to be a former Ms. America or something....we just need to screech and gossip with someone once in awhile. I could give you the proverbial advice like go to a therapist or join a club or something but I am sure everyone else will, too. And if this person is harming you-yes you may have to leave-like yesterday. So my advice here if you are just trying to vent and need some good old fashioned friends- is to just let it out. We don't always want a solution. Just an ear.



answers from Oklahoma City on

Something someone said in a talk one time hit me and I don't know that I will ever forget it.

They said "look at prayer like this". You have someone to talk to that won't tell your secrets, give you their opinion, and won't butt in".

Prayer can be a self help cleansing sort of thing. You might not believe in it's power or that there is a God or anything and that if you kneel down in prayer you're only talking to the dust bunnies under the bed BUT you are verbalizing your thoughts and feelings, saying them out loud and "hearing" them. You are doing the same thing you'd be doing at a counselor's office. You're opening your spirit/soul/innermost feelings out and opening that closed off part of yourself. By sitting down in a quiet place and humbling yourself, it's part of it, and just talking about stuff you are allowing yourself to acknowledge your true feelings and recognizing your emotions about all of it. When you talk it all out you're going to still have that part of yourself open and will get more insight into what's really bothering you, what you really want out of life, what you're willing to put up with so you can keep your life/lifestyle and more.

If you do believe in prayer and that God listens to you then you will have bared your soul to Him and He will help you through this. I know there have been times when I've been incredibly unhappy and just moving through the day was all I could do. No joy in much at all. I felt so downtrodden and over powered by my living situations. But opening myself up and just talking about it, whether to an empty room and just myself or to God that really was listening, I felt better and more positive just by allowing myself to have those feelings and hearing myself talk out loud about them.

You can gain a lot of insight by just opening up like this. You should get that part figured out. What do you want to do. Is it salvageable? Maybe not but maybe it is. He fell in love with a person who had certain personality traits. As we live with another person and life happens we change. You might have changed so much that he can't find the person he married just as this might have happened with him.

Getting back to yourself and being the person you were and want to be is important too.

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