My Marriage Is Silently Breaking Down

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I was married two years back. Before marriage I made it clear to my husband that I cannot live with my in-laws under one roof. However since he was not earning very well I agreed to live in the same apartment but in separate flat and also to eat lunch and dinner with them. However after marriage I found that my in-laws expect me to be 24/7 at their place and only to sleep at night in my house. Also my husband started visiting his parents place right from breakfast to evening tea. When I refused to do so his parents and I started having a difficult relationship (which is not very important) but he simply started spending all the time at his parents place. I am shattered because I married him for love (without my parents consent) and now every now and then he talks about how he regrets marrying me. He has also stopped having sex with me for a long while and says things like ‘I should not ask for it’ as I am guilty for the poor state of our relationship. The real problem is for me marriage is an equal relationship whereas for him and his parents marriage marriage means a girl should mould herself to her husband and in-laws wishes. I always wanted a home of my own and I cant live with my own parents too and I think its completely OK and natural. Now I have no house of my own , my house and our lives are operated by my in-laws which are not acceptable to me. And my husband will at no cost move away from his parents as they are his first priority. Should I continue this marriage. Please help.

A: Sometimes when a person asks a question they already know the answer. But the answer is so painful that it feels better to keep asking than to accept what they know. I can’t tell you whether to continue your marriage. That’s your decision. I do think you should reread your letter you wrote to me very carefully because I think your analysis is correct. You thought you married a man to make a life together. He thinks you should become an addition to his family of origin. He is not interested in changing his idea. He has stopped treating you like a wife and blames you for the deterioration of your relationship. He isn’t taking responsibility for what is happening so probably will resist the idea of couples counseling, too. If you decide to stay married, my guess is that nothing will change. It’s for you to decide if this is the way you want to live the rest of your life.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 Jun 2014

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2014). My Marriage Is Silently Breaking Down. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/06/27/my-marriage-is-silently-breaking-down/