I am a 37-year-old married woman with two kids. Eight years ago, I was married to a man of my choice. Since then, I have been living a very happy life until recently, when I realised that something inside me has changed.
My problem is weird. For the past few weeks, I have started disliking very own my husband.
I feel like negative thoughts, like my husband is not good enough for me anymore, have shackled me. He is a simple graduate whereas I have done an MBA. I earn more than him and professionally have grown more as compared to him, over the years.
He has not been able to buy his own house and therefore, we are still living with his parents. This is why I have started believing that he is a loser and in the process; I have also started thinking of myself as someone with a bigger heart because I married him willingly. I have never ever shared these feelings with him because I fear they will ruin our relationship but it is becoming more and more difficult for me to suppress them at the same time.
I have been working even before I got married. But, now I need a break. I want to stop working and spend more quality time with my kids. But this is not possible because my husband doesn’t earn enough money. I have asked him several times to focus on his career more but he does not take it seriously. I know that he does not even have the capabilities to have an above-average career — ever.
At times, I also think about leaving him but he is a good, loving father to our children. Both my husband and my kids love each other a lot.
I am in a bad mood most of the times due to my thoughts. This, in turn, spoiling my relationship with my husband and my kids.
I do not want to ruin my relationship because of these negative thoughts. I want to be compromising and grateful for what I have and be happy about it. I have started praying regularly to help myself get rid of these negative thoughts. What else should I do?
A helpless wife
Dear helpless wife,
First, let me commend you for being sensible enough to realise and admit that what you are thinking is negative and your thoughts are perhaps a bit ungrateful and unjust. Not all people are honest enough to understand this and even fewer are willing to work on it. It takes a person of character to do this and I really respect you for this.
Having said that, what you are feeling is completely justified and fair in the sense that your reasons for your husband to be more responsible and ambitious towards his work are because, as a wife, you want to have a home of your own and as a mother you want to spend more time with your children. Your hopes and wants are not wrong at all.
However, you are also pointing out that your husband is not capable of doing more or better than what he is currently doing. Thus, when you have understood his limitations as an individual, expecting him to perform miracles or more is only going to push you into a frustrated and stressful situation. This ultimately will cause rifts in your relationship with your husband, especially if you try to pressurise him.
Lower your expectations and know that your husband might never be as ambitious or motivated as you are. He simply does not have the drive you have at all. So, you may as well learn to appreciate him for his strengths. Also, remember that these days it is not unusual for a woman to be the primary breadwinner of the family or to have a more prominent career than her husband.
You have mentioned that you picked your husband to be your spouse and until a few weeks back, you were quite content with him. This means that your husband has not changed, rather your views about him have changed.
Appreciate the fact that he is a good father because not all unambitious men are like that. There are many unambitious men out there whose lack of motivation and interest is not just limited to their work but towards their personal lives and familial responsibilities.
In my column, women reach out to me every week, complaining how they suffer, living with men who were womanisers or addicted to alcohol, drugs and gambling. Their husbands even verbally and physically abuse them besides being emotionally and physically aloof, uninterested in their spouses and children, stingy with money, etc. Thankfully, you are not with a husband who has any of these vices.
If your husband is caring, loving, respectful and loyal to you and your children and gives you no reasons to suspect, I would advise you not to think of him as a loser just because he earns less money as compared to you.
As for your question about what you should do other than praying, I would suggest you get help from a life coach for a few months. This will surely help in making adjustments in your thoughts and mind about your husband.
In the end, remember one thing, a successful relationship is not about finding or being with someone who is flawless, (that is not possible) but is about being with someone whose flaws we choose to accept and live with because we want to see them around us.
I hope you are able to find contentment in your current situation.
All the best,
Asad is a counsellor, life coach, inspirational speaker and a personal-development expert. He advises on social, personal and emotional issues. You can send him your questions for this weekly column at [email protected] with “Ask Asad” mentioned in the subject line and provide as many details as possible.
Note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Express Tribune.