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Putting your spouse first.

Community Member

Hi All,

This is not something I usually do. I mostly bottle it up but need to get it out and this is my only form, as I have no one to talk to.

I have been with my wife for 10 years and we were happy. As of the last few years. She has always put our children and other family members infront of me.

I work 6 to 7 days a week and don t ask for much at all. She doesn'ttreat me like a man or even a husband. A marriage is a partnership that is constantly being refine, for later years when the kids move out of home, so you can enjoy eachother.

Sometimes I have problems expressing my feelings and it turns into an argument, even though thats not what implying.

My wife puts everyone before me and this is quite depressing. It has affected my way of looking at life and I start to think, why do I bother with my relationship, only to know that Im at a defalt last. It would be nine to be put first for a change.

When I try to talk about my feelings. I told that Im being silly and I need to man up and be a man. The kids are even treating me like this, as they see what my wife is doing.

I love my wife and still in love with her. Not sure what to do because I sometimes think why do I bother. I feel that all Im here to do is work, eat, sleep and pay the bills. My wife contributes as much as she can financially, but it would be nice not to work all of the time and for here to get a job to help me out.

I know that Im not perfect and I have flaws too. When I try to talk about issues, she shuts me down and will be in denial that she may have issues too.

Im thinking of us going to our doctor and discussing about finding a Counselor. Not sure if this is the right thing to do, since we cant discuss this together.

I really dont want this of take hold of our marriage.

Any advice would be appreciated.

9 Replies 9

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Tyron,

Thank you for taking the courageous step of sharing your concerns with us. You have reasons to be concerned. Being treated as if you didn't matter is self esteem and confidence destroying. There is something ironic in not being treated as a man and then being asked to man up...It seems you are working hard at bringing safety and care to you family so I understand how frustrating it is when these effort are not appreciated. You deserve better than that.

Talking with a counselor is a good strategy but only if there is participation and effort on both sides. Conflict resolution is easier when facilitated by an outsider as emotional involvement inevitably clouds judgment. Would your wife be willing to be involved ?

If you can't put your feelings across by face to face conversation, writing them down in letter form would help...as long as it is read and not tossed in the waste basket. First of all, writing things down can help clarify thoughts to ourselves. You can take time over it, edit it until satisfied. It also avoids unhelpful emotional outbursts that often happen during spoken communication. A letter can be read at leisure, returned to as often as necessary. Perhaps your wife doesn't realize how much her lack of interest is affecting you and therefore the future of this marriage. A thoughtful letter is more difficult to shrug off than spoken words...

Kudos to you for doing your best to heal the relationship and for the courage to acknowledge your flaws. But this cannot be done on your own. When things are one sided, the situation becomes imbalanced and precarious. Communication is the essence of relationships. Issues between people cannot be resolved if they can't be acknowledged and discussed.

Meanwhile, navigating these forums is a good place to start. May it be to connect with others in similar situations or just to let steam off. This is a safe place to do so and a supportive community. You are most welcome.

Community Member

Thankyou soo much for your response. I just cant seem to talk with my wife, as she is always in denial, when we try to speak of her flaws. She thinks that I`m jealous of her relationship with our girls. I`m not. Just maybe put me first for a change, instead of being dead last.

She says that I need to get my feelings and views in perspective, so I can be happy. I know that this may be true to some respect but it cant be all me.

The problem I have is that I have no one to talk to and when things like this happen, it just festers and builds up.

We have organised a meeting with our doctor to help us, but I cant see certain things being resolved. My wife thinks that it is all me and that when I talk about her, it seems that Im putting all of the blame on her, in her eyes.

Not sure as to where to go????

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hi Tyron, welcome to the site, and what you have told us sounds so familiar to my marriage that lasted 25 years, so I know what you are saying.
My wife (ex) also wanted to help other people even though it was inconsiderate for me as I had work to do and inconvenienced me, only meaning that I had to drop tools and then sit around with our 2 sons doing nothing, which annoyed us, whereas she could have gone by herself.
By saying this it may sound as though we were being selfish but only being practical, but this made me close up and not talk to her about how I was feeling, but when I did an argument would start and the blame would be put back onto me.
This is why I never spoke to her about my depression but I don't want you to go down that path, so starting off by seeing your doctor would be an excellent start, perhaps by yourself to begin with and then with a psychologist, but the waiting time maybe for a couple of weeks or even more.
This is what I should have done, but I was in denial and always thought it would get better, but it didn't, so please let us know how you get on. Geoff.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Thanks for shedding more light on your situation.

Little can be done about denial...People often end up hating those who try to point out what they refuse to know. This is where a neutral person can be more successful. Most counselors see couples separately first before joint sessions can happen. Just in case, it would be wise to personally "warn" a mediator about the denial issue and let him/her work out the best strategy from there on.

You're right...bottling up feelings and emotions only leads to pressure build-up. A recipe for explosive situations...unless an outlet is found. Another reason why speaking to a counselor would be beneficial. It will soon let you know whether your wife is prepared to put some efforts into improving the relationship or not. If counseling doesn't work, you will then have to consider your options, whether you want to stay or quit a toxic situation. Only you can make that choice.

Doing all you can first to save the relationship will allow you to make the right decision with peace of mind.

Meanwhile, please feel free to keep "talking" to us. There's no need to struggle alone. We're here to listen.

Community Member


After seeing our Doctor last week. It was mentioned for us to see Relationships Australia. This is quite an expensive exercise and as I`m the only one working, it is quite hard.

Is there a more cost effective Counselor to speak with?

My wife has started to make an effort since we spoke with our Doctor. I myself, is making an effort to, as it is a two way street.

My only problem, is trying to reignite the spark. This is something that I have never experienced.



Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Tyron,

Thank you for sharing the good news. A good start on the right track. Kudos to you both.

You'd need to research what counselling services are available in your area. Is there a local Community Center ? If there is, it would be a good place to inquire. Hospitals usually have counsellors / Social Workers. Though not specialized in marriage guidance, they may be able to point you in the right direction.

Fingers crossed you soon find a cheaper alternative.

Community Member

Morning Tyron - My heart goes out to you as I "get" what you are saying. it sounds a similar situation to what a family member I care about deeply is going through at the moment and not as unusual or unique as you may think. Most, like you, manage to hide it from others and put on a front of a "happy family couple" - perhaps for the children's sake I don't know. Kids are not stupid...they know something is wrong.

What I do believe is, and correct me if I am wrong, you are describing debilitating, demeaning treatment by your wife (whom you still love....she doesn't know how lucky she is) You are trying all you can, maybe for the kids' sakes and you are a hero for doing that!

If Relationships Aust are too expensive, how about at least taking 5 free visits to a psych/social worker your GP can refer you to (not sure if you can both attend, but you need help yourself anyway)....PLEASE get some help, you are certainly not less of a "man" for doing so. It's the smart thing to do.

When you have reasonably tried all you can - you may have to genuinely put yourself first (as she is unwilling to) and decide if this is the way you want to live for another 5, 10, 20 years. You deserve happiness. You deserve respect. You deserve loving, you deserve tenderness.

Do you have the courage to walk away from a toxic situation, or at least step back, refuse to "play" when an argument (that you never win) begins. Then your wife will have no one to play with, no game to "win".

Set a few boundaries of your own and refuse to be treated this way any more. If one day you decide you have to leave to save yourself, seek legal advice particularly re the children. Custody does not always go to the mother...mostly yes, but not always........GOOD LUCK.

why won't she try and find a job, may I ask?

Community Member

Thankyou all for your advice. I`m truly grateful.

In regards to getting a job, as per the last question asked. My wife has some form of Bipolar which causes a lack of motivation on all levels.

There was an incident last night. My wife had asked me yesterday, if I could cut some of her art paper at work, with our guillotine. So I cut the paper and cut what she gave me.

I had come home last night from work with here cut paper and she had stated that she gave me approx 30 sheets to cut. I had given here the cut sheets back and she fired up stating that I had not cut them all. She only gave me 12 sheets and I had cut what she gave me.

Well, all hell broke loose and she went off the rails. I tried to stay cool and calm and told here that I cut what she gave me. She didn't let up and dragon lady came out.

I tried to help her out by cutting these for here and for here to state the above and loose the plot is uncalled for.

Later, she apologised but this is always the case and it builds up resentment and pushes me away.

I love my wife too bits but I don`t need this. I have no one to talk to except for this forum. I`m going to see a counselor as I have no one to talk to and I cant talk to my wife.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Tyron,

Seeing a counselor is a wise decision. Talking with someone in depth is therapeutic in itself. Ideally, your wife could be talked into participating. I understand where you're at, relationships are based on communication. Without that foundation, managing them is difficult. In one sided situations, balance goes out the window.

Is your wife on medication? Sometimes it helps get a grip on day to day life minus the emotional outbursts usually attached to many mental conditions.

Please let us know how you go with the counseling session.