Sunday 16 December 2018

Dear Mary: He's really boring - there has to be more to a marriage than this

Mary O'Conor

Q: My husband is really boring. The only thing he can do is watch TV or use his phone when he's home. Sometimes he turns off the TV and puts his phone down to try to make me happy, but he can't connect to the world.

I try to talk to him but he is really ignorant which drives me crazy.

We have been married for six years. All the husbands I see rush to meet their wives and kids but he will just come home and either watch the TV or be on his phone. He doesn't even bother to come in and check if I am OK.

When I try to talk to him he starts to pretend he is tired and sleepy - he starts to yawn and closes his eyes, pretending to fall asleep. I know that he must be really bored with me.

We had an arranged marriage but since day one I have been trying to find the companionship which should be the essence of a beautiful relationship.

I am so tired of being in a relationship which is only providing food and shelter. There are lots of times when I think of leaving him but we have two children and so I can't really.

He is good with the kids but he can't be good to me. He is not a bad person but keeps himself alone. He doesn't like to socialise, he doesn't like to talk to his parents, he doesn't talk to any of his friends and only uses text messages for communication.

I don't know what I am doing with somebody who doesn't seem to need me and is good on his own. I'm sharing a relationship with this man, even if I don't want to, but I feel I should because he is my husband. Help!

A: Arranged marriages are more common in other parts of the world such as India, Africa and the Middle East. I have very little experience of working with couples in an arranged marriage, and those that I have met were having pretty successful marriages but had encountered sexual difficulties.

As I understand it, sometimes the problem with arranged marriages is that families will put two individuals together because the families are friendly with each other and will disregard whether the couple will be suitable for each other.

Obviously, if a lot of thought goes into pairing a couple then their marriage will have a much better chance of survival.

Interestingly, a fairly recent study showed that the global divorce rate for arranged marriages was just 6pc, which is very low.

You don't say what happened in your particular case and whether in fact much thought went into ensuring that you would get on together. But from what you say both of you sound pretty miserable.

Your husband appears to be quite a loner with his only saving grace being that he is good with the children. It must be no fun for him to come home, switch on the TV and his phone and have virtually no interaction with anybody other than the children.

Most wives who are at home with the children will look forward to their husband coming home - some adult company and conversation is very welcome at the end of a long day. But this does not happen for you so at a very basic level your needs are not being met.

At the centre of your household are two small children, who so far have not been given a very good template for marriage. They see no interaction between their parents and certainly no love between them. For this reason, and for many others as well, it is imperative that you seek help in the form of counselling.

Even if you were ultimately to leave the marriage - and that is always an option for you - you would want to prove to yourself and to everybody else that you gave it your best in trying to make it better.

So explain to your husband that you are really unhappy in the marriage and that things cannot continue like this. Tell him that you feel the relationship needs counselling as otherwise you will be considering ending the marriage.

He also needs an opportunity to tell you how he feels things are between you.

He also may need to speak to his GP as he is showing some signs of depression.Ultimately it may be that your husband is unwilling or unable to change but that is something that will become much clearer to you when you seek help.

You can contact Mary O’Conor anonymously by visiting www.dearmary.ie or email her at dearmary@independent.ie or write c/o 27-32 Talbot St, Dublin 1.

All correspondence will be treated in confidence. Mary O’Conor regrets that she is unable to answer any questions privately

Sunday Independent

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