Dear Dr. Romance:

I heard you on the radio today and I think that this is my last hope. My dad told me to listen to you this afternoon, since I have been having problems with my marriage. I am in my late twenties and I have 3 children under four years old.  My husband is two years older. We recently moved into a home away from family and away from what we are used to. I am totally happy with where we are living and he "says" he is but I am thinking that it is not like that.

Recently I have been really distant with him and I keep trying to not be that way but it is becoming that everything he does bothers me. He used to be a really great guy, he used to help out around the house, he used to try to be romantic, etc... I feel like now we are not connecting anymore. I think that I am on a whole different level then him. I'm all about my kids now and doing family stuff and he is too, (sometimes) when he is not then he falls back into his old patterns from way before.

I do everything...I mean everything!!! He works and I am home with the kids, and I go to school at night. I am the one who makes sure all the bills are paid, kids are fed and bathed, I do all the dr's appts and vet, grocery shopping,everything. All the things that i have to deal with he doesn't have to think about it. I feel like he is very selfish and lazy. He wants me to wait on him hand and foot.

I have tried to talk to my mom and stuff about this and she thinks that he is very macho and spoiled. She says that it is my fault, for indulging him. 

I don't want to get a divorce, but I think it is because I don't have anywhere to go. And he is always saying if I leave then leave the kids and go. I would never do that.  I have mentioned therapy, and that was not an option. He won't go. He knows that I have been distant,and he keeps saying that I don't love him anymore. I try to talk to him about how i feel and it is impossible. He is the type of person that listens and turns it around and makes you feel like it is your fault. So now I have stopped talking to him about how I feel.

 I am so hurt and tired! I cry a lot and my kids always see me like that and my oldest is always saying things like "i know mommy it's daddy again" that kills me !!! I don't want them to grow up and think that all of this is ok, because it is not.. I kinda don't want this anymore but I am afraid because I don't have anyone, or anywhere to go. he knows that and he uses that.  

I know it is because I don't want to see him and deal with him and his crap. He says that I complain about everything and when I ask him like what he has no answer. He is the one that is constantly complaining, and I am his personal table to throw all his stuff on to. I know this is a lot but it is hard to put it all in a nut shell. I don't know what to do and I am really hurting. Please help me! Is this my fault like my mom says?  Is my marriage doomed?  

Dear Reader:

Please stop trying to get your husband to go to therapy, and go yourself.  When you begin to change, he will change also.  This is a common problem, that women grow up rapidly when they have kids, and the husbands often don't get it. A therapist can teach you how to make your point with him and not let him turn it around.  Your kids need an intact family, so the best solution is to find out how to fix your marriage.  You have not learned to stand up for yourself and get your husband to face reality.  
Please read  "Setting Boundaries and Saying No",  "Guidelines for Finding and Using Therapy Wisely" and  How to Be Happy Partners: Working it out Together Both will help you learn how to improve your marriage.  Any marriage can be improved. It takes work, but you can do it.  Please give it your best shot before you give up.

Happy Partners cover
For low-cost counseling, email me at tina@tinatessina.com

Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.