You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel 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...
Dear Dr. Sherry,
I have been married for eight years and the last three years have been the worst! After an incident where I was out of control with anger because my husband and I were just not seeing eye to eye, I physically attacked him. I know that I was wrong to do it and I immediately sought out help from our Pastor so that we could begin working on the underlying issues within our marriage.
It was decided that we would both seek out individual counseling to work on our issues and come back together to meet with our Pastor. It's been almost three months since I have been working with a counselor and doing the work. My husband on the other hand has not followed through on tasks given to him by the Pastor nor has he sought out individual counseling.
I am tired of this revolving circle of going nowhere, not having my needs met, and not having a partner.
What does one do in this situation?
The main lesson that you may have learned out of your frustration and physically lashing out is that you can not make your husband do anything. He is an adult and must decide for himself if he is going to seek counseling. The idea of seeking counseling is excellent and definitely needed. But you can’t make the decision for him. You can only make the decision for yourself. Your getting help is for you not for him. Counseling can help you understand your frustration and anger. It takes two to save a marriage and both people must want to.
You seem to blame your current marital difficulties on your physical attack on your husband. The problems were likely present well before this incident. The attack was the breaking point of your anger and frustration. You definitely deserve happiness and to have your needs met. But, don’t expect your husband to make you happy or meet your needs because it is not his responsibility. This is your responsibility and he can only contribute to your happiness and needs.
You must stop and take charge of your life, regardless of what your husband decides. I encourage you to continue individual counseling. If you want more in life, don’t settle for less. --Dr. Sherry
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