ASK VICKI: When the writing is on the wall and I read...

ASK VICKI: When the writing is on the wall and I read it over and over again, why do I not leave?

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When the writing is on the wall and I read it over and over again, why do I not leave? When do I know I have had enough? — Donna

Donna goes on to share: “I have been in a marriage with Dale for 4 years. We got married because we loved each other, communicated well, great intimacy and wanted to share our lives together. The first six months were enjoyable. I really had no big complaints. We both had children from previous marriages and grandchildren and enjoyed our time together.”
“As time went on, Dale showed less interest in wanting to be with my family. He would attend gatherings and sit by himself rarely socializing. When I asked him why he said, “I have nothing to talk about. Eventually he quit attending. I attend all his family gatherings, he expects me too.”
“Intimacy, both physical and communication begin to diminish. One of my love languages is physical touch, I have to beg him to hug me. I suggested we go to counseling, which he agreed to do but told the counselor that he was going because his wife told him to go. He didn’t see any problems.”
“I have been trying to find ways to bring us closer and he finds ways to keep us apart. I have two close friends that I share my thoughts and feelings (I have been for almost two years) and I think they get tired of me saying the same things.”
“I did not get married to get divorced, I am angry, I feel like I have been deceived. Is it time to go?”
When deciding if it is time to go, in addition to talking to a counselor and close friends, journal thoughts and feelings. Donna was encouraged to write her reasons for staying and for leaving. What are the issues in the marriage that she can no longer live with?
When anger becomes more intense it will be acted out either directly or indirectly. It is definitely bad for the body to harbor anger. Donna realizes she cannot improve the health of the marriage by herself. Dale was not interested in therapy and Donna believes he could continue in the marriage as roommates but she cannot.
So is it time to leave the marriage, Donna’s health, both physical and emotional may be saying, yes it is time.

Vicki L Mayfield, M.Ed., R.N., LMFT Marriage and Family Therapy Oklahoma City

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