Dear Dr. Romance:

My wife is totally shutdown and she does not know what to do. She wants to talk to someone for help and also for taking a decision that can help her to decide the future of us as a couple if is still possible or not.

I just know that in the end I was very bad at her during this years of marriage. Not because another woman or drugs/alcohol or because of violence.  But I think my character was extremely bad with her that in the end she got tired of all these small but very painful acts.  I know how good you have been with helping me in the newsletter you have sent me and this is why I thought that perhaps you can talk to her and see if there is still time to save our relationship.

I hope that maybe is just a matter that someone like you help us to clear and clean and put order in what we should do and move on. Or perhaps it is too late now. At least I think we deserve a chance to be helped by an expert and by someone that knows how to fix these kind of situations.

This situation has taking me very down as well (deep depression, lack of interest for everything in life, etc, etc) for more than one year. I went to some phsycological help here but the person who helps me was not so good and I do not know of someone else.

While I was reading your article "Apology and Forgiveness" a hard question came to my mind. In your article you said: "You don't have to condemn your partner to be wary of his or her out - of -control or thoughtless behavior. Instead, you can recognize that both of you are fallible human beings, do what is necessary to fix the problems, and then forgive each other."

What if the only solution is the divorce ? I think we have hurt too much each other. Not because of another man or another woman or any of us cheating. I think that during our marriage (15 years), she became another person. A person that you will not expect to give you a kiss, comfort, support, or most of times.. a conversation. My feelings are too high for her but there is just one way. I give love but I do not receive.

I think that in the end, I should give without expecting to receive (even the Bible mentions that) but I think that my reserves of love finally are empty. I am tired of give and give and give and it hurts. So, while I was reading your message I thought that maybe the necessary action we need to do to fix the problem is to have the courage and accept that this is not working. We have discussed several times about that but nothing changes so, in the end it seems that this is the only and better way to fix the problem. What really hurts is also because we have kids. For me is even hard because I love them too much but I think I am hurting myself too much as well in this role of giving love and not receiving anything at all. Anyway, I do not want to extend anymore.

Basically your point to do all neccesary to "fix the problem" made me think of a divorce as the necessary action to fix the problem.  Thanks for the great job you do in helping a lot of confused, missing and sad souls around the world !!

Dear Reader:

It sounds like you two still care about each other, but don't know how to repair the damage that has been done. I think your wife is hurt, too, and that's why she shut down. It would be a shame to let your marriage go if it can be fixed. I'm sorry the counselor you got was not good, but I still strongly recommend that you get counseling. It's important for you and your wife to be able to hear each other, and it sounds like you need help doing that.  "Guidelines for Finding and Using Therapy Wisely"  will help you find a more effective therapist. Take advantage of  the free "Happiness Tips" articles. They will give you a lot of help in healing what has gone wrong in your marriage.

If you two get some help, I think you can fix the marriage. If that doesn't work, I still think you can have a good relationship with someone else, if you correct your past behavior and attitude problems.  "What is a Dysfunctional Relationship" will explain the difference between a relationship that works and one that doesn't.  How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free 4th Edition will give you a model for a functional relationship.

Couple and Free 4th Edition
 For low-cost counseling, email me at

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.