Sweeping It Under the Rug Syndrome
“I’m certain my wife is depressed. We’ve been together 8 years. She has refused help and denies she’s even depressed. It’s easier for her to blame me for the way our marriage is than to take the hard look in the mirror and really see what’s going on.”
“We haven’t had sex in 18 months. She says she has zero desire. When I bring it up to talk about it, she is immediately defensive, it turns into a huge fight, and eventually the screaming and yelling and talk of divorce comes out.”
“We usually end up sweeping it under the rug until I bring it up again. She never wants to talk about our problems. Marriage is hard enough, but when only one person is fighting for it then it is almost impossible. And honestly, I’m tired of fighting for it.”
So many of us have been there.
And I suspect his wife is fighting for the marriage too. By not-talking-about-it. Otherwise it turns into a huge fight and the threat of divorce—which is the.worst.thing.possible.⠀⠀
So what’s she supposed to do?
A solution requires talking, but she doesn’t have the skillset to keep it emotionally safe. Which is totally normal. Of course she doesn’t . . . our culture doesn’t teach it.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
So she fights for their marriage by sweeping it under the rug. And the more she sweeps, the further she gets from her husband.
And if they don’t find the courage&support to create safety, they’ll either keep suffering or end their relationship.⠀⠀⠀
But he’s not done trying. We often give people the advice we need to hear. He told another struggling couple, “Please. . . I urge you to do anything you can to get him to open up. Does he know how you’re dying inside? Make him know! Make him understand before you get to our point. Don’t give up. Fight for it!”
Don’t give up. Fight for it.⠀
What would you tell a struggling couple? What do you need to hear?
Join me for LASTING CONNECTION starting Sunday, July 19th at 11:00am PST, a five-part online series for couples.