My questions this week from Lisa remind all of us that the only one you can change in a marriage is you. Lena’s question brings up the subtly of controlling behavior. If more couples understand what emotional abuse looks like, they can avoid being in a relationship or marrying someone who is abusive.
Dear Mary Jo,
I told my husband that I was not happy anymore and we should try and work it out. Then he just looked at me and walked away. What should I do?
My guess is your husband is clueless in regards to what he can do to make you feel better. He sounds as though he has given up or resigned himself to your relationship. IF you want a better marriage, begin with you. These are questions to ask yourself:
- Are you unhappy with yourself and putting it on the marriage?
- If you feel your marriage is lacking, what three areas do you think need to change?
- What are you willing to change about yourself to help resolve the areas that are lacking?
When you tell your spouse that you are unhappy, you basically are telling them to fix it. Guys fix things but relationships aren’t fixable unless both people are willing to come together and work on the issues. If you go to him and talk to him about what you are seeing and tell him what you are willing to do, he will be more interested in joining you to make changes within himself.
Dear Mary Jo,
My boyfriend and I have a long distant relationship. We have dated for a year, but have lived apart for three months. He means so much to me, and I would never think of cheating on him. Lately he has become super jealous though. He questions everything, wants to check everything and doesn’t trust me at all. He gets mad if I go out with friends or talk to other colleagues. He wants me to go home and sit by myself so he knows where I am. I don’t know what to do, but I cannot take this. Can you help me?
This kind of jealousy is not normal and is symbolic of someone who is trying to control you. Most likely he is very insecure. Don’t mistake his control or jealousy for his love for you…it is more likely his own insecurity, which is making him panic and fearful. Don’t mess around with it either. Tell him that if he wants to continue your relationship, he needs to go to therapy and work on his emotional health. Trust is the foundation of a relationship…if you don’t have that; anything else you build will not last.