A. You have allowed yourself to stay in a tight pressure cooker in this relationship. You are extraordinarily committed to trying to work with your husband. I am not sure that it’s only because of your daughters. It seems something else is keeping you in the struggle—something within you. Could that be true? Do you still love him? Are you afraid of being alone? Do you have confidence that you could make it on your own if you had to? Clarifying your intentions to remain in the marriage and try to work with the highly charged gridlock moments will help you focus your conversations.
People who are able to learn in these awful relationships grow a tremendous amount, whether the marriage survives or ends. You get to see every nuance of your own personality. Although intensely painful, it also yields a lot of self-knowledge and humility. Additionally it builds strength—knowing that you can work through fear and doubt.
You will also learn a lot about him and begin to trust your own insights. Ultimately, we can only rely on our own instincts. Your cycle of emotions is actually quite normal. Anger and frustration arise even with reasonable, caring and loving spouses. Rather than getting caught in guilt, it’s valuable to explore what is being triggered within. Are you feeling threatened or betrayed?
Powerlessness is a common experience for many women in relationships. This can actually lead to hating the powerful partner. Treating yourself in a kind way is the beginning of healing. You will need to build with self-compassion and self-forgiveness practices. Self-regulation through kindness towards yourself is transformative.
Alzak Amlani, Ph.D., is a counseling psychologist of Indian descent in the Bay Area. 650-325-8393. Visit www.wholenesstherapy.com