Married to an emotionally unavailable man

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    I have been married for 10 years, and we have one child who is 9. My husband grew up in an environment in which feelings were not acceptable, and so he never learned how to identify his own feelings, let alone be empathetic to those of someone else. I feel so alone so much of the time. He gets angry often and is completely baffled by my need for emotional support. We have very little in common, and I don’t feel like he gets me at all. I definitely do not give myself love and support, so I don’t think I can expect him to. At the same time, I don’t know how I can get better without getting emotional support from my partner. I know it’s not his fault, and I’ve spent enough time with his family to understand that there is some seriously dark history that led him to where he is today. But I don’t know how much longer I can live with feeling as alone as I do. I desperately want our relationship to work, but when I imagine a future in which I am happy, I can’t imagine being in a relationship like the one I’m in. I know that if I do the work to get better on my own, I might feel differently. I would not want to make any big decisions while I’m as depressed as I currently am. But I’m scared for the future, for our future. I just wanted to share and see if others have gone through anything similar. Thanks for reading.


    Hello Ilyana,

    Thanks for sharing your story. I have been married for 17 years to an unemotional wife. We have two boys 14 and 12.

    Since 1 year and a half, I decided to be separated. I cannot handle it anymore, I was always lonely with emotional hunger… It was very difficult and painful and still, it is, especially that we need to see each other on occasions and from time to time, to save our children’s mental healt.

    I deserve to be fully loved! We live once! I am not responsible fr the mental health of my partner as long as she or he doesn’t make any efforts initially to save our relationship.

    I am much happier by now…



    Hi Ilyana, I feel like you wrote my exact story! I have also been married for 10.5 years and we have a young son. My husband sounds very similar to yours – moody, easily angry/upset and engrossed in his own life. He also constantly feels the need to prove he is better than everyone else (and than me, especially), in everything he does. When I have a tough time at work, which has been happening often lately, he shows no compassion and basically says it’s my fault.

    So, I think I am at the same stage as you are, i.e. asking myself difficult questions. Do we separate? Do I learn to accept this life and hope it will work out somehow?

    My thoughts so far are that there is one thing I can control, and this is how I react. In the last 18 months, I have worked a lot on myself and have learned to let his negativity and moods go past me, if that makes sense. I am not responsible for his miserable state and I am trying not to let him affect my own happiness. I am trying to surround myself with positive people and hobbies. I am fully involved with my child and to make sure he is happy and doesn’t see any of the dark stuff there is between his father and I. I still haven’t decided for sure whether we should separate, although I did research divorce lawyers near me, just in case… My therapist used to say that knowing things helps you not to be scared. So, knowing who to turn to, should you ever need it, is a step towards taking back control.

    I am not sure whether any of this is helpful, but I just want you to know that I understand you fully (including the draining, negative, drama-loving in-laws) and that you are not alone. Please continue to carve your own happy corner, your mental state is so important to you, and to your child.

    All the very best,



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