Part 1 of 3
Last week I met with Carrie for the first time and told me she's been searching online for answers to the question, "how to save my marriage?" She says the advice she's been finding is really general and not very helpful.
If you're in a similar situation as her feeling your husband doesn't love you and want to know how to save your marriage too, read on. Here's an example of what Carrie's marriage looks like - maybe you can relate to some part of it.
Carrie's husband, Al, came home after closing a big sale and said let's take the kids out to dinner. So she loaded everyone into her car and waited for him. When he sat down in the passenger seat, he erupted in a tirade of verbal abuse.
Al lit into her like a machine gun -- "How many times have I told you...?", "Your car always smells like...", "You're so..."
Carrie had forgotten that her dirty gym clothes were still sitting on the passenger side floor. She says Al doesn't like her leaving them in her car. As she recalled the event days later, and in a moment of clarity in my office, she stated that it is her car, not his.
Nevertheless, that night she sat in the car paralyzed as he unloaded on her. Their 6 and 10-year-old kids sat silently in the back seat. They all eventually got to the restaurant, but Al didn't get any nicer and their 6-year-old son cried through most of the meal.
At her next counseling session she told me some of the thoughts that make her wonder how will she ever change her marriage:
- He doesn't love me
- I want to take care of my children and be happy
- He doesn't care about his family
- I don't have the ability to help (him)
- I can't take this way of life anymore
- He needs help
- I am done
Sadly, Carrie has been thinking these thoughts for quite a while. Even sadder is the fact that she's far from alone. A lot of wives have marriages that look something like hers and they have many of the same thoughts too. And like Carrie, they too have no idea what to do to save their marriage.
Carrie doesn't know how to save her marriage. She's been married to Al for 14 years, and even though it wasn't like this in the beginning, it's been like this for a long time. She's thought about marriage counseling for years, but never went until now.
Just like she was paralyzed in the car to do anything as her husband screamed at her, Carrie is also frozen in her marriage too. It seems that no matter what she does or how hard she tries she can't get Al to love her again. She's desperate to save her marriage, but thinks it's hopeless. Fortunately, she's finally sought professional counseling help and I'm beginning to help her learn ways she can get things to change.
In what ways can you relate to Carrie? Does your marriage, or maybe a friend's, look something like this? Share a thought with other readers and let them know they're not alone.
This is the first of three posts examining a marriage in which a wife feels her husband doesn't love her anymore and she seeks the expertise of a marriage counselor for help in finding out what she can do to save her marriage. In the next post we'll take a look at her husband and try to understand what's happening for him in this marriage -- I Think My Husband is Depressed. Finally, in the third post we'll look at some things Carrie can do to change her husband and save her marriage --How Can I Save My Marriage When My Husband Won't Change. Sign-up for this blog below this article and be sure you don't miss any parts of this story (you'll get notified by email).
Editor's Note: This post was originally published February 16, 2010 and has been updated with new information for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Looking for More? Check Out These Articles
- I Think My Husband is Depressed (Part 2)
- How Can I Save My Marriage When My Husband Won't Change (Part 3)
- When You're In A Relationship Yet Feeling Alone
- Get More Help When the Love is Gone