Module Six: Where do you need a solution?

  • Robert Felker

    I feel “stuck” in several areas of my life and while I’ve been able to make some changes in some of those areas (mostly physical) and feel like I’m getting un-stuck, the area that is probably the most frustrating and painful is with my marital relationship. I wrote in an earlier forum post that I felt like I needed to confess to my wife that I wasn’t happy and wanted to work on “making things better”. We had lunch that day and she was late (as she always is) and we proceeded to “talk”. My confession wasn’t offered with much humility. She left the restaurant in tears. I have a lot of anger and disappointment, as does she. Our marriage has been reduced to a roommate situation. We care for our kids and do okay, but the model/example we’re setting is far from ideal. I know it could be worse too. There is resentment and bitterness on both sides. And while some of it may seem justified it is slowly causing us to drift apart. We spend more and more time pursuing our own interests and the idea of just being together with nothing to do but enjoy each other’s company is something I think about when I’m not with her, but in her presence, I’m overtaken by these harsh, irrational feelings and I just want to do anything else — isolate, avoid, escape. There’s a cycle to it. It comes and goes, but it seems to be more and more prevalent. I was talking to a friend about it the other day and instead of focusing on the problem(s) we were discussing solutions other than “antibiotics”. There’s no magic pill for this. One thing that came up was if I’m hoping for this relationship to get un-stuck I’m probably going to have start doing some things that are very uncomfortable and hard to do, like: treat her with love and kindness, show patience, allow her the “space” to be who she is without judgement, appreciate our differences, forgive her transgressions and pray for her — all of the things I would want for myself.

    I should say, that we both felt somewhat better after our lunch “date”. She apologized for running out of the restaurant. I told her I was sorry that she was upset and she said, “crying is good. It means I still have feelings. If I didn’t have feelings, there’d be no hope.”

    • Robert, You say, “if I’m hoping for this relationship to get un-stuck I’m probably going to have start doing some things that are very uncomfortable and hard to do” – that is where real intimacy happens!
      You guys are in a great place right now, having hope and being open to each other again, how brave. Can I recommend an excellent book for couples feeling disconnected, “Hold me Tight” by Dr Sue Johnson. It really gets to the inner stuff beneath the cycle.

  • As for me. I’ve been through a similar issue with Chocolate being my go-to salve for stress, until I got Gestational Diabetes twice and now need to rethink the role sweets play in my future stress-relief management to avoid getting diabetes!
    My current stuck-ness is struggling to “put myself out there” to get my business going. Procrastination and hiding have been my main strategies, which obviously haven’t been terribly effective! 😉 But I love that idea that when we no longer know what to do, we come to our real work. So my real work now is working out how to hold onto a deep sense of confidence and security in who I am and my call that will get me out of my shell.