Tell Me About It: Daughter's marriage isn't ideal

Posted: April 26, 2013

Question: Our daughter, 27 and married for just over two years, is feeling she "is living the wrong life." He is 10 years older and wanted to start a family, but his, "When do you think you will be ready?" has caused her to put the brakes on and have a rethink - of where she is, where they are as a couple, etc. Bottom line is that she doesn't love him the way you would expect a "newly" married couple to feel for each other. There has been no passion, she states, for a long time.

I believe they have laid everything out for discussion, but I can tell from my daughter's personality, etc., that she has decided that she doesn't love him the way a wife should, rather thinks of him as a wonderful friend.

I have suggested professional counseling, but she is embarrassed about being a "statistic" and "stupid" for such a serious lack of judgment.

Answer: I answer you with misgivings, because while this is your daughter and your heartache, it is not your problem to solve. It sounds as if you're admirably close, but over-involved.

Please challenge her implied rationale for her less-than-full reckoning with the problem here. If she defers to feeling "embarrassed" or "stupid," then she passively makes a priority of avoiding difficult feelings and postponing any difficult decisions that will create difficult scenes.

As is always true, deferring pain only compounds it to the point where it can't be deferred any more.

I hope she summons the strength to follow through on admitting and serving her own needs - since authenticity best serves her husband as well, even if it makes him an ex.


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