Ask Formerly Fun - Mrs. Lonely, Table for One Please

Dear Formerly Fun,

I don't know if you'll answer this, totally off the topic of waxing but I figured since I live too far from you to come in, get a bikini wax and pick your brain, I'd just email and see if you'll answer without the service fee.

I need some non-judgemental advice, you work on people all day long and I'm sure you've heard everything. I am married and totally miserable. My husband is completely inattentive, unhelpful and in spite of the fact that I make a real effort with my appearance, he never notices me. We have two kids so I really want to stay together for them but it's getting harder and harder. He won't go to therapy, I've already asked. Do I just look for love elsewhere and continue the charade at home? I'm confused and exhausted.

Sincerely,
MiserableMax


Dear MiserableMax,

First, let me tell you how sorry I am that things aren't going the way you hoped. There's not much worse than being in a marriage and still feeling lonely, it's very isolating. Second, you married this person and you owe them a concerted effort before you throw up your hands and say uncle. This usually involves couples counseling. If your husband isn't willing to go, it doesn't sound like you have a willing participant in the let's see if we can turn this around game. I would make therapy a non-negotiable. If it were my husband I'd say something along the lines of,


"I am not happy about the state of our relationship and I need to do something about it. We had a good relationship before and I'm committed to getting back there again. I need you to be on board with this and attend therapy with me. If you decide not to, I am moving forward without you. I have made an appointment for (specific date and time) and I hope you're going to be there."
And please don't look elsewhere, until you figure out what made you choose a mate who withholds love and attention from you, you are just bound to chose the same person over and over again. If your hubs won't go to couple's therapy, make certain you go for yourself. You'll learn strategies for getting what you need from your marriage or a therapist can help you develop a healthy exit strategy for ending this relationship in a way that will leave the fewest scars on yourself, the children and even your husband.

Don't assume divorce is the worst case scenario. I will tell you that most of my friends and I came from divorced homes and the one friend whose parents stayed together for the kids' is the most fucked up of all of us. Kids model what they learn and if you teach them that two people in a relationship interact the way you and your husband do then you are doing them and yourself a great disservice. Good luck.

Your pal,
Formerly Fun

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5 comments:

Numismatist Facts said... September 23, 2008 at 2:11 PM  

For eight years I managed the office of a psychiatrist, psychologists and numerous therapists. Nine times out of ten when a person came in for therapy alone by the third or fourth visit the spouse came along "to defend himself". That always put a smile on my face.

Hope it all works out for you, Max.

A Free Man said... September 23, 2008 at 5:30 PM  

Are you becoming an agony aunt? Fantastic!

floridagirlinsydney said... September 23, 2008 at 8:03 PM  

What good, solid advise--
maybe a second career when you've waxed your last Ladytown?

SSG said... September 24, 2008 at 1:32 AM  

loving reading the agony aunt comments!

MJ said... September 24, 2008 at 6:05 AM  

Great post. And such a true answer. I also come from a divorced family, but I'm much better adjusted now than a lot of my friends whose parents "stayed together for the kids."

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