Hubby Ignores Her
Q: I'm a very beautiful woman. I'm fit, attractive, have a job I love, do my household chores like a champ, keep the kids in order, but my husband ignores me. He doesn't praise me either. He works from home, barely talks to me when I'm there, doesn't ask what my needs are. Basically I feel non- existent. When he's not working on the computer, he is playing video games in the same spot till late at night and then watches TV till 1-2 am. He doesn't groom himself like he used to. He barely gets sleep. Doesn't ask if I'm hungry or how I feel if I'm sick. I don't treat him like a mother or a nag. Why is he too lazy to do anything for ME? -- Gemma, 32
Dr. Susan: Your mate sounds depressed. I'm not suggesting that this is an adequate reason for him to ignore you so totally, but it might explain why he doesn't do anything for you, or with you, or even for himself. He takes your efficient functioning for granted, figures everything's going to get done anyway, so why should he make an effort when everything is so much trouble? The fact that his grooming has dropped off, that he isn't even sleeping, makes me think something is going on in his brain and/or body that needs help.
Make an appointment for a complete check-up for him (same time as you make one for you, if possible). Then ask the doctor a few pointed questions, like, "My husband's not sleeping much and isn't doing any of the things he used to like to do with me. Do you think he might be depressed or something?" Of course, he could simply be a selfish and lazy person, and you've only just begun to notice it. Perhaps you could trace back to when this behavior began.
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Advice for Her
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.