Where is my marriage heading?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Ok lets start from the beginning. My husband and I have been together now for 10 years married for 7. We have 3 kids together and life was good until we moved because he’s in the service. Things hit a rocky patch and it all started when I found out I had HPV (cancer causing kind) and told my husband. He instantly thought I cheated but I never have. He was the one who developed symptoms before I did but I also do know hpv can live in your body for a very long time.

After I started working while he took care of our kids during the day and working at night (he wasn’t getting much sleep). I felt as though I was walking on eggshells around him and any time I would try and talk about it he would get mad. So after about 3 months of stress I decided to email him asking for a seperation. I didn’t feel good about having to email him that but at the time felt it was the only solution. We talked about it once I got home and stayed.

It was at that point that I realized I was no longer in love with him. I didn’t tell him for fear of hurting him and delt with in on my own. I ended up losing my job and went back to staying home with the kids. At first things were bearable ( the lack of feelings) but then they started to take a toll on me. I would find myself just sitting here on the computer all day rather then spending time with my kids. And got to a point where I would cry almost everyday cause know I was extremly home sick ( ALL my family lives 2000 miles away).

I finally told my husband that I needed to visit home to see my family. We fought over this b/c he felt that I wasn’t acting like a mature adult since I hadn’t thought of things like what if the plane crashed and what he would do in the event that it happened. MY homesickness was and has taken a tremendous toll out or marriage. I still have yet to go home and visit :(

Just a month ago I couldn’t hold in my lack of feelings anymore and told my husband. I explained to him that i didn’t want to leave him but at the same time I was unsure. That we needed to reconnect. He took it very badly but did try to make things better for the first week. Then after that he would come home comparing me to other mens’ wifes and how I am not like them and that saddened him. I did/am trying to make changes but I was forcing them.

Well two weeks ago my husband and I were talking in hypothetical situations. He asked me if in 3 years I was still not in love with him if there was the chance I would get close to someone else. Stupid me admitted that there was a slight chance but not in terms of sex. I later regretted saying that and told him that in 10 years I have NEVER cheated so why would I start now?

He took it for the worst and kept saying were getting a divorce. That he was going to fight for the kids b/c I was uneducated and mentally ill (i’m not). things have been so bad around here. My mom just came down to visit and she has seen how tense our home is.

I do love him but is it worth staying together after all that’s been said? I did suggest a therapist and he said he would go but he tends to say that and never go. I will atleast go for myself. Also, he believes we should stay together for the kids iis that for the best?

A: My goodness. What a complicated, complicated situation. From what you said, it sounds to me like both you and your husband are good observers but lousy interpreters of each other. You are confusing yourselves and you are confusing each other. You then cut off your feelings and think that’s the problem. (It’s not.) No wonder neither one of you can figure out which way is up!

I don’t think either of you is in a position right now to make a good decision about your marriage. For that reason, I hope you will take your own good advice and get some couples therapy and get into it now. You both need help untangling the important issues from less important, but very distracting, smaller ones.

You are a military family. Many of the concerns you outlined in your letter are common for families like yours. Most military bases have a family counselor available to help. Please investigate that. If your husband won’t go at first, get started yourself. Once he sees that it is helpful for you, he will probably join you.

In the meantime, I encourage you to visit the National Military Families Association website. You will find lots of practical help and support there. There is also a portal for mental health services that may help you find a couples therapist in your area.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 4 Sep 2009

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2009). Where is my marriage heading?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/09/04/where-is-my-marriage-heading/