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Thursday, 22 March 2001

Heartbroken Wife

Written by  Dr. Louise Klein

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QDear WholeFamily Counselor,

My husband says he only loves me sometimes. He doesn't even want to come home, even when I am not at home! When I am at home he says the reason he does not want to come home is because he "does not want to put up with me."

He says one day that he wants a divorce, and the next day he doesn't. I do not want a divorce, I love my husband very, very much. I would like him to love me again!

Please help me if you can.

Desperately, depressed wife

ADear Depressed Wife,

You describe certain facts that suggest that your husband doesn't love you anymore, and yet you still love him desperately. You do not give information about your couple relationship.

  • How long have you been married?
  • Did you get married out of mutual love?
  • Do you have children together?

People don't stop loving each other just like that. Falling out of love is a process, like falling in love. It may be a long process, and, if you look at it carefully and sincerely, with your eyes wide open, you will be able to see and understand what brought you both to this situation in your marriage.

It is always important, even necessary, to look back in order to understand the roots of the current problem.

Here are some questions that may clarify what I mean by 'trying to look back in order to understand':

  1. When you got married, what was the contract between you and your husband? On what basis did you make your emotional commitment? What were your mutual expectations?

  2. Have these expectations been satisfied or answered, or have you been disappointed?

  3. What kind of relationship do you manage to have now?
    • How do you communicate?
    • Do you talk openly to each other or do you keep your feelings to yourselves?
    • Do you share thoughts that may make you feel uneasy, like fear, jealousy, anger, lack of confidence etc.?
    • Or do you communicate through negative and bad thoughts or feelings, more than through love, openness, appreciation, reinforcement etc.?
    • Are you aware of having conflicts between you and are these conflicts put on the table?
    • Or is everything 'under the carpet'?
    • When you argue (if you argue), how do you end your fights?
    • Are you able to apologize and resolve the fight?
    • How do you make up?
    • Do you share common interests?
    • How is your sexual life together? Is it worse than it was at the beginning and, if yes, why?
    • Besides your marital relationship, how is your life in general? Are you satisfied with it?

After asking yourself all those questions, my suggestions to you are:

  1. Stop being desperately depressed and start to look at reality as it is. Despair, depression, and self-pity are overwhelming you and paralyzing you from reacting and doing something to make a change.

  2. Have the courage to open a dialogue with your husband to discuss the issues which bother you, but present yourself as a thinking and rational woman, not as a desperately depressed wife. Tell him what you are willing to do in order to keep the marriage, and what you are not willing to take anymore. And of course, listen to what your husband has to say.

  3. This can be the beginning of a new contract between you, based on expectations that are more realistic. Have the courage to see what is wrong in your relationship and to evaluate the things that you want and can change.

  4. Start to live your life: invest yourself in work, studies, hobbies, friends, family etc. Take care of yourself by doing exercise, eating well and thinking positive thoughts to give you strength to continue and prevent despair and depression. You can become an active participant in your life by choosing to do what feels good for you.

Good luck,

Dr. Louise Klein

Last modified on Saturday, 21 January 2012 07:15
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Dr. Louise Klein

Dr. Louise Klein

Louise Klein was born on the West Coast of Canada but lived for many years in Los Angeles and Philadelphia. She has a doctorate in clinical psychology from Widener University in Pennsylvania. Dr. Louise Klein is an experienced therapist in insight-oriented talk therapy. She has worked with individuals, couples and groups for many years. Her experience with families includes stepfamilies, adoptive families, nuclear families and families dealing with illness or death. Dr Klein is also trained in thought field therapy and regression therapy and has taught and worked internationally. Louise Klein lives in a rural community with her husband and St. Bernard and has a stepdaughter in college in New England.

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