>I didn’t know it would FEEL like this…

Jennifer* liked the idea of being a traditional stay-at-home-mom, and John* made good money, but worked long hours, so they started a family almost as soon as they married, nine years ago. At first, everything was great, and two more kids followed quickly after the first. The youngest just started first grade, and Jennifer has been feeling lonely without the kids running around all day. John becomes angry whenever she brings up feeling neglected or asks him to spend more time with her and the kids. Jennifer feels like she can’t complain because, as John tells her all the time, she knew what she was getting into.

Which may be true for you? Maybe you knew the deal; maybe you knew your partner’s flaws, but thought they were the price you pay for all of the good stuff. But here’s the thing…

You didn’t know how it was going to feel.

At the time you committed to your partner, you felt like you could handle anything… but time has worn you down, or maybe you’ve developed different priorities. News Flash: That happens.

You didn’t count on the loneliness, the alienation, the sleepless nights, or how they would affect your ability to be… well, YOU. Maybe it’s a depressed partner who refuses help, or one who keeps making bad financial decisions.

Just because you made this bed doesn’t mean you have to lie in it forever. Here’s what you do to get out:

1. Define what it is you’re unhappy about.

2. Consider how you might have agreed (with words or subconsciously) to the current arrangement.

3. Define how you would like to see the arrangement change – Not just what you want your partner to change, but what YOU are willing to change. For example, asking your partner to help more with the household means that you have to give up control over having it done your way. Got it? Right.

4. Let your partner know that you’d like to set aside time to talk. If you have kids, get a sitter or plan to talk when they are asleep. When you bring it up, first acknowledge that your relationship used to work a certain way, but that way of functioning doesn’t seem to be making either of you happy anymore. Say that you’d like to think together about how to make things more workable for both of you.

You know, if your partner isn’t open to such a conversation, ask them to think about it for a week or so. If they’re still not into it, call me. I’ll totally help.

*Names and some circumstances changed. Obviously.



, ,




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *