You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel All Alone in Their Marriages, keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show Braxton Family Values. Now it's your turn to sit in her chair...
Q: Dr. Sherry, I am so frustrated with my relationship. I have been married for 10 years and the spark is just not there anymore. We have both stepped out on each other during separation periods, and somehow we have still managed to get back together.
I love my husband, but I do believe that we have grown apart. I feel used and unappreciated. And, to make matters worse, the sex is definitely not what it used to be. I want to make this work but that is a two-way street that I am traveling down alone. We have not had sex in months and I am not sure what it is. I ask those hurtful things like, “Is it me?” or “I am not in this marriage by myself.” I want more out of life and he is comfortable with where we are. I don’t know how to get him motivated. Please help!
A: I think you may already realize this, but I’m here to tell you that your marriage is on life support and you are afraid to pull the plug. While you may love your husband, it does not sound like you are in love with him anymore. If you feel used and unappreciated, you probably are. The fact that you have been married for 10 years, “stepped out” on each other, and been separated but still managed to get back together suggests that there are a lot of issues you need to work through.
These issues represent unfinished business in your marriage but neither one of you is willing to do anything about it. Your husband is not willing to do anything because he is quite comfortable with the status quo. Just because you have not had sex in months with your husband does not mean that he has not had sex. It could be highly likely that he is going elsewhere. Given that he is not doing anything regarding the marriage, you need to do something.
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I would recommend that the two of you seek marital therapy as soon as possible. This would provide an opportunity to put the issues on the table and deal honestly with each other. If your husband is not willing to go to marital therapy, this should be a clear indication that he is not invested enough in the marriage to help save it. If that is indeed the case, I would suggest you seek individual therapy to help you heal and then prepare to move on with your life and take the next steps that are best for you. As tough as it may be, sometimes it is healthy to pull the life support plug if it’s what’s healthiest for you.
If you really want more out of life, you have to go after more. Change starts with you! —Dr. Sherry
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