Dear Dr. Romance:
I read some of the things you stated about marriage and why people divorce. I am feeling overwhelmed lately to the point I just want out. I have been married for over 17 years. We have 2 school-age children together. I am in school full time and work full time and still have a household to run. Can you please help me find a counselor? You are a blessing to all who reads and speak with you. Keep doing your daily work. God Bless.
I'm sorry you're having a tough time, and I understand how overwhelmed you must be. I don't know anyone in your area, but "Guidelines for Finding and Using Therapy Wisely" will help you find a good therapist. Therapy is a great idea for you at this time. In the meantime, "Couples Can Cooperate for Success" and "Asking for What you Want" will help you calm down and understand what you need to do.
I'm sure your husband loves you, but doesn't know what you want, and is probably lost in his own little world. You can learn the skills to bring him out and get him to do his share for his family.
Many men believe if they earn the money, that's enough. They have to be taught to take responsibility for child care, household maintenance, and their marriage. Women often just do everything, and complain, which falls on deaf ears.
Men need to be asked directly "Will you please vacuum, do the dishes, etc.?" And they often need to be taught how, if their mothers didn't teach them. (I hope you teach your sons what their responsibilities are, so they'll be equipped when they grow up.)
This feels like a lot of effort on your part, when you're already overwhelmed, but it will lead to you having to do less, and feeling more like you and your husband are a team. Breaking up will be a tragedy for your kids, and you may never find another partner better than your husband. Better to train him to be the partner you want. Begin today by asking him directly without emotion, for what you want instead of suffering, complaining, nagging or whining.
You can learn more skills in How To Be a Couple and Still Be Free and Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage.
Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., "Dr. Romance," is a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in Long Beach, Calif. since 1978 and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again and Lovestyles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She publishes the Happiness Tips from Tina email newsletter, and the Dr. Romance Blog. She has written for and been interviewed in many national publications, and she has appeared on Oprah, Larry King Live and many other TV and radio shows.