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Husband Asked for Space After 17 Years

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My husband asked for space after 17 years. He says I belittled him, didn’t respect him and demeaned him. The past 2-3 years in my eyes weren’t that great. I did notice at times I did do that. Other times I thought I was joking but he didn’t see it that way. I do love him I enjoy doing things with him. I haven’t been alone since I was 19 years old. He did confront me a few times and tell me to stop and that it hurt his feelings and I brushed it off and didn’t take it seriously. He tells me he needs to fix himself before he can do anything with us. I am working on anger issues, trying to use better nicer words. Is there any other advice you can give me? We are going to marriage counseling. Our second session will be on Thursday. He left the week before Thanksgiving and is staying with his sister and brother in law. He seemed okay to talk every once in a while since then but this past week and after Christmas he seems to revert inward. He told me yesterday that he has been really down and depressed. He keeps saying he needs to fix himself. I understand that. My other question is will the not communicating push us further apart? He would rather text but it seems that I end up communicating first.
I did feel neglected at times and could feel that he was pulling away but he wouldn’t tell me what was going on. He had told me prior that it was hard for him to tell me cause then I would get angry. And we would do this tit for tat thing to each other when things happened. I think we have a communication issue as well.

Thank You.

Husband Asked for Space After 17 Years

Answered by on -


I admire you taking responsibility for creating some of the problems in the relationship. I think that is a good start. Couples sometimes need to hit this level of dissatisfaction before they can have a turnaround. Frequently it takes a separation like this to realize how important the other person is to you.

I would strongly recommend you bring your concerns to the marriage counselor and to continue working on yourself and individual therapy. This sounds like an important and critical time for the relationship. See this as an opportunity to bring positive changes in your life personally — and as a couple.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Husband Asked for Space After 17 Years

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Husband Asked for Space After 17 Years. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 6 Feb 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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