Did She Ever Love Him?
Q: After 40 years of marriage, my wife had a heart attack. Now she says she doesn't love me and never has. She says she wishes she had never married me. What should a guy do? — Ed, 71
Dr. Susan: Medical catastrophes can do funny things to a person's mind. Many people are depressed after a heart attack, and it's possible that if your wife were treated for depression, she would find her way back to you. However, if she's been unhappy for a long time, this illness could be making her see her life in a new way. If she realizes now that her time is limited, maybe she no longer wants to spend it with someone who hasn't helped her be happy.
Is this the first inkling she's ever given you that she isn't happily married? If so, perhaps she'd agree to some counseling to determine if the marriage is really at an end. On the other hand, if she's simply being more direct about her feelings, feelings you may have suspected but ignored, then it's time to take her — and her anger -- seriously. If there's anything she says you can do to help her, give it a genuine try. Clearly, business as usual is not going to cut it anymore.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
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.