Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Husband refuses to take steps to improve marriage

Carolyn Hax on

Maybe I'm being unfair. Maybe there are professionals gifted enough to ask the right combination of questions to bring about the epiphany you seek: "Being humble, kind and generous has inherent benefits for me, too, and not just the person I vowed to be nice to?! Whoa!"

Or skilled enough to allay the fear of intimacy so embedded in him that denying and blaming you -- tormenting you -- is better, by his calculations, than betraying vulnerability of any kind.

But then the question becomes, how long are you willing to be unhappy while you search for this unicorn? The one your husband has pre-refused to see?

Wanting a little attention from your marriage is reasonable, and that's the problem -- the modesty of your goal has seduced you into believing it's possible to achieve.

But it's not. Not from a guy who accepts your plainly stated unhappiness as preferable to dropping his guard (or anything else) in any significant way.

He is a profoundly sad human being, if you think about it.

You at least have a path out of your sadness: your willingness to rethink your choices. So, no, it's not foolish at all to weigh whether you're better off now by yourself.


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