Worth Breaking up the Family Over?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

When we first met my husband would text just to say he missed me. We have a 6 year old and have been together going on 8 years. Our relationship was great until recently. Very thoughtful, kissed me in the middle of a sentence, on and on. Now he won’t even respond to my texts for sometimes 6 hours. He never says thank you when I make dinner,

we both work, and my job is very stressful and fast paced. I’m an LPN in an emergency dep. still I am happy and loving at home. I’ll discus my work concerns with him but never take my stress our on my family. He works in cust service in a small shop and says the stress there is why he’s so grumpy. I can’t get him to hold my hand or anything loving unless he wants sex.

I’ve tried to speak to him about this and he promises to improve but then after two days goes right back to it. He will cry and moan about doing anything with our friends or my family. To the point where others notice but I am expected to attend all his family functions. I’m fine with that because I’m very close with his family. I just wish I had the same dedication. Like I say, all of this is 5 months recent. I love him so much but how long do I tolerate this behavior? Should I really break up our family over this? She loves her daddy so much too. What should I do?

A: No, you shouldn’t break up the family over this — at least not yet. The most important thing you said in the letter is that your husband has changed in a major way. What you should do is insist that he get a complete medical workup. Sometimes medical issues can mimic depression. If he is medically fine, then I would strongly encourage him to see a counselor for an evaluation for depression. His behavior is way beyond grumpy. His job may be getting to him far more than even he understands.

I hope the two of you can get on the same team to solve the problem rather than on different teams fighting with each other. You’ve had a good marriage and you have a child together. It’s worth making the effort to try to regain what you had. If your husband refuses to work on it or if it turns out he has a secret that makes it impossible for you to be with him, then you will have some hard decisions to make.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 20 Oct 2012

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2012). Worth Breaking up the Family Over?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/10/20/worth-breaking-up-the-family-over/