My wife has attachment disorder. We have been married for almost 3 years. Ever since the beginning of our relationship we’ve had a lot of stress in our lives. I chose to focus on that stress rather than focus on her and how perfect we were for each other. She’s also been sick since before we met with adrenal fatigue and a gluten intolerance that only recently we figured out. But, before, we only knew that she was sick but not the reason. Therefore, I had to really take care of her physical needs. Some days she wouldn’t even be able to get out of bed and I had to take care of her.
This never bothered me, but after a very short while, I started resenting her. I wanted to be with her but it was mostly as friends. I wasn’t in the mood for sex almost every day. She was the one who always started anything and even during the act, I just wasn’t very much into it. I don’t know why. I think she is beautiful and sexy but I could go months without sex and be fine with just a cuddle. I also didn’t compliment her almost at all. She would act sexy and seductive for me and I would barely notice, not because I didn’t enjoy it but because I was distracted and didn’t pay attention to her.
The problem is that she always asked me to talk to her and to be honest with her and I ignored that. I chose to keep all these feelings to myself, afraid that it would cause and argument (I don’t like confrontation).
I also recently found out I have hypothyroidism. She knows it can cause a loss of interest and lower the libido. However, she thinks (and I agree) that it doesn’t matter how I FELT, I could have still made an effort to make her feel beautiful and wanted.
Now, after many many chances she’s given me, she said she’s had enough. She broke up with me and, even though we are still living together, we are only friends. I know I was selfish, and stupid for not talking to her, even though she begged me to. And now, no matter how hard I try, she says that she’s detached from me. She feels a little spark and it’s gone in less than 2 seconds. She says she still loves me, but it was really hard for her to attach to me in the first place and she feels like it’s not worth doing all that work again because of how I treated her. She was always crazy about me.
I used to have a very low self esteem and she made me feel like the most wonderful and beautiful person in the world. I just took what she gave me and didn’t give anything in return. To the point that she started doubting herself and feeling like she wasn’t beautiful or like there was something wrong with her.
I don’t want to lose her and I don’t know how to make things right. But I don’t know if things can be fixed between us. I don’t know if she will ever trust me with her heart again. Thinking back, I can’t understand why I did that. It makes no sense to me.
A: This relationship has been sapped of its energy. Unable to deal with conflict, you didn’t talk about your feelings and only acted out your resentment. It took the threat of losing her for you to re-engage. Understandably, your wife doesn’t trust it.
If your wife is willing, please consider seeing a couples therapist to develop new ways to communicate and to support each other. If your wife won’t go at this point, please consider seeing a therapist yourself. Marriages go through hard times as well as good times. You want to figure out why you couldn’t be a loving support to someone you love so this doesn’t happen to you again.
I wish you well.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 22 Feb 2013
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Wife Has Detached from Me. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 8, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/02/22/wife-has-detached-from-me/