Hubby repulses me

Dear Counsellor,

My husband repulses me and I don't know how much longer I can tolerate this marriage. He makes everything my fault, demands that I act like a wife and do outdated domesticated things, even though I have to leave work early everyday to pick up and take care of our child, and when he gets vex, which is often, he malices me for weeks. We've been married five years but I feel like I'm at the end of my rope. I hate my life and hate his demands because I didn't sign up to be his maid and bed partner and to spend my days taking care of a child because he thinks his work is more important than mine. I don't want him to touch me, I hate the sight of him, and I just want him out of my life.

Thank you for reaching out via the The Counsellor's Couch. Tolerating a difficult marriage can be painful. The Bible instructs that with marriage comes certain challenges (1 Corinthians 7: 28b). These challenges exist because of the reality of two very different people having to learn to fit into each other's lives seamlessly. Finding harmony and happiness requires accomplishing that fit well. Like the workings in an engine, unless the sprockets of gears fit correctly into position, it will not function correctly, and the engine will malfunction. When the gears do not fit correctly, grinding happens, noise is made, there is no forward movement and the purpose of the engine fails. This is pretty much what happens with your marriage. You both need to find your proper grooves.

The difficulties you are experiencing are not unique to you at all. Many wives, and husbands, can relate to what you're feeling. But know too that challenges do not mean that your marriage isn't worth salvaging and that you should hate your life. You only require a decent "mechanic" to help you get the sprockets of your gears connecting correctly. The love and excitement you first felt as a couple can certainly be rediscovered. You have an awesome opportunity and you have been blessed with a partner and a child. The only challenge is recalibrating those gears.

My advice to you:

Don't write off your husband just yet: You made vows to him and before those witnesses at your wedding. You'll want to do your best to live up to it. You must be absolutely certain that you have exhausted every effort to salvage the marriage before wanting him out of your life. Have a mindset to work towards finding your groove back.

Plan breaks for yourself: Gears need grease; this is how you ensure you're strong enough to keep going. Ensure that you have "you" time. Plan time for yourself weekly or monthly – not time for you and the children or you and your husband. It can be with friends or relatives, but plan regular time to refresh and pamper yourself.

Find a competent counsellor: You'll need someone that can help you both figure out how to synchronise properly for the performance of the household duties. A counsellor can also help your husband understand the folly of having malice for weeks. Proper communication is also imperative for a proper marriage. The counsellor will have to help you achieve this. If you can't find a good counsellor, find a wise, mature friend.

Beware of bad advisors: Make sure not to listen to those who encourage you to throw in the towel early. Often those that will easily suggest you throw in the towel would wish they'd have the marriage and blessing you now have. Do your best to salvage it before surrendering it.

I often recommended couples watch Mark Gungor's A tale of two brains on YouTube. It may be helpful to you too. I pray you both find your rhythm again and enjoy a healed, healthy relationship.

Get on The Counsellor's Couch with Rev Christopher Brodber, who is a counsellor and minister of religion. E-mail questions to allwoman@jamaicaobserver.com.

Christopher Brodber

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