Jen & Marcus
Married 19 years
Hi Dr. Jeff! I feel like my husband and I are talking two different languages. When he notices that I am upset he just looks at me like, “get over it!” I think he is sick and tired of me. He seems good at telling me what I am doing wrong and what I need to do differently. Even the smallest conversation lead to an argument. I have tried to approach him but he seems completely disinterested about my feelings. He says I “whine” too much. I’m not sure how to approach him anymore. I’m exhausted and not feeling hopeful at all. I think he enjoys talking to his friends and colleague more than me. He has completely shut down any meaningful conversation between us. It appears he is more interested in ESPN than us and our marriage. I’m not sure how to go about changing what’s happening. Any thoughts you can share would be greatly appreciated Doc!
Thank you for sharing your dilemma with us and being so open. It’s painful to be in a place where you feel alone and not understood by your spouse. It’s very difficult when you request compassion and your loved withdraws rather than attempts to connect with you. Of course, your relationship did not get to this place over night. One of the things that often happens in long term relationships that breakdown is the “couple” stops nurturing their relationship. In a marriage, you either grow together or grow apart. What do you do in your marriage to stay connected? Late night talks, dating, flirting, and romance help keep you close and connected. There can be many roadblocks that can get in the way of you being close. The first step is to find out what is contributing to your emotional distance. Both people contribute the problem as well the solution. You can’t force your husband to be open but you can invite him to share. The key is to be open to listen and be curious. Let him know how deep your pain is and your willingness to find answers together. Asking questions and showing concern is a great start. Remember, you are not in your relationship by yourself (although you feel that way). If your conversation together does not create space for change I would encourage you to seek help from a relationship expert. Sometimes, you just can see the writing on the label from the inside of the jar. Sending positive thoughts your way Jennifer! Keep in touch and let me know how everything turns out.