My husband works a lot which really helps our family. The problem is he never wants to go anywhere with my children and me. When he gets home from work, he’s highly irritable and often goes around the house criticizing me for practically everything. Cleaning, watching the kids, what I did or didn’t do during the day, Ext. Most every time I talk with him, he has something negative to say about me. Something I didn’t do right. This is really starting to wear on me. My Self Esteem is pretty bad and this makes it worse. I also get very anxious when I know he’s coming home soon, because I know it is going to be constant critiques.
Also, when I ask him if he wants to go someplace with me and the kids, he never wants to and gets upset about it. I get in a bad mood too and he ends up leaving. In which doesn’t make any sense because he said he didn’t want to go anywhere.
I have told him how much these things bother me. Every time, he turns around and says what bother him. Nothing gets resolved. I work from home and it’s difficult because I am also watching the kids. He doesn’t like anyone else watching the kids so I try to the majority of the time, unless I have somewhere important to go to.
We used to be a lot different. We would go out to dinner, shopping, ext. We would watch TV together and he really didn’t critique me all too much. He used to say good things about me in which he doesn’t say anymore. For example, he used to call me “pretty girl”. He has not said that for awhile now. We have also went through some crap that hurt our relationship. I wasn’t very mature when we started dating so I made some poor decisions that I would never do presently. I’d love to know what changed our relationship so much? Is he acting like this for revenge or because he’s not happy? I can honestly say I’m miserable when I’m around him. I cannot say I’m overall miserable because I do enjoy spending time with my children. My underneath layer is hurt, badly.
I feel like my feelings don’t matter. I don’t know when and if to call it quits. We have been married for 6 years and I don’t give up easily. I do love him but I wish he was how he was when we got married. He actually cared and SHOWED me how much he loved me.

A: Thank you for your heartfelt letter. It sounds like the marriage has been on a slide for quite a while. When this is the case you’ll want to use a therapist who specialized in couple work. This is important because you need someone to mediate what is happening. You can use the Find Help tab at the top of the page for people from this organization. They can provide you with guidelines to help the two of you move forward. If your husband is unwilling to go, you could go for individual therapy. This will provide you with support as you learn strategies to deal with the relationship.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan

Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral