Is it her or is it me?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Q: From American South: My wife and I have just separated. I’ve been sure that she was unfaithful to me, but she says no. I worry about her faithfulness, her relationship with our teenage son (too close to him), and that she has a mental issue. But after doing some reading on this site, I now wonder if its all me? She’s been saying that, but I’ve been saying it’s her.

It has come down to me being worried that she will take her relationship with our son to an inappropriate level. But all this and other symptoms I read here point me to think maybe I have an anxiety issue. I’ve even caught myself wringing my hands in worry.

God knows I love my wife, but I think I have gone too far now! Can I talk with my family Dr. about this? Is there something I can do to try and fix my relationship with my wife and son? Thanks,

A: Of course there is something you can do. I very much appreciate your willingness to consider that just maybe you have a role in your marital problems. You probably do (only because that is usually the case). Your family doctor is probably not the best person to address all your concerns. Although a PCP might prescribe something for the anxiety, medicine alone won’t help the interpersonal problems between you and your wife. For that, you need an experienced couples therapist.

Please make an appointment and go, even if your wife won’t go along at first. The therapist will hear you out and will offer you some ideas about what may have happened in your marriage and what you might want to do to try to fix it. If your wife sees you working on yourself instead of blaming her, she may be willing to join you in the project. She probably has a role in what happened as well (only because that is usually the case).

You have nothing to lose by seeing a therapist for a few sessions. You have a family to gain.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 24 Jun 2008

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2008). Is it her or is it me?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/06/24/is-it-her-or-is-it-me/