Ask Dr. Sherry: 'My Husband's Health Issues Have Overshadowed My Needs, Am I Being Selfish?'

A nurse is left as the sole financial provider due to her husband's health issues and wonders if she's selfish for thinking of her needs. Dr. Sherry weighs in.

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...

Dr. Sherry,

I'm a 38 year old women who recently just married the love of my life! Unfortunately my husbands health issues have left me to be the only financial provider in our family. Also because I'm a nurse, providing and nursing are my husbands only needs. We sleep in separate rooms, don't really go out, and we're not really communicating. We were married 10/4/14 and have no kind of intimacy...sometimes I feel as if I'm being selfish thinking of my needs. Am I? How much more can I give before I throw in the towel? These issues existed before we were married, however I believed we could work through them... this is one sided and no matter how many times I bring it up he makes me feel as if it's just me......I'm not sure what I should do??? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance,


Dear S,

No, you are not being selfish! Your feelings and needs are real and valid. The mistake you have made is one that many women make. You assumed that once you were married, things would change and you would work through issues. Once you have said "I do", do not expect much change. Why should your husband change? He has his needs meet. Yes, you may be tired of being the sole financial provider and the caretaker without having your needs met but these are the roles you excepted before you married. It is highly likely that your ability and willingness to fulfill these roles were some of the things that attracted him to you. You managed to meet his needs without having any of yours met. Your husband may not know how to to met your needs or fear that he can not meet them given his illness. You have been more than patient with your husband.  It is time that you have a real honest conversation with your husband. You must express your needs and feelings regarding your roles. I highly recommend that you seek marital therapy to address these issues. I also recommend that you seek individual therapy to address your feeling regarding the roles you play.  You must change your behavior to change your situation in life. 

Dr Sherry

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Filed under: Love & Sex