She Won't Give Him Space
Q: Is there any way I can get my wife to stop calling me over and over again when I'm out with my friends? I rarely get to see them, so when I do I really value the time. But it's very hard to have a good time with your buddies when your wife is calling and texting you about what needs to get done at the house and asking me questions about the kids. Sometimes I think she's doing it to be spiteful. I feel so bad telling her to not text me about the kids, but when she texts me pictures of them doing things and I don't respond, she gets mad. How can I break it to her that when I'm out with my friends, I want to be left alone and don't need to see pictures of my kids? Wow, I feel like such a jerk for even asking that. -Tomer, 36
Dr. Anna: It seems like you feel guilty for asking for space, but you shouldn't. It's normal to need some time to yourself outside of family time. Speaking up for your needs is a good place to start. Have you been able to tell your wife about your needs and how her behavior of constant texting and phone calls is making you feel? If not, start there. It's okay to advocate for your own needs. If you don't, you risk ending up resentful and burnt out. If you've spoken to her but she hasn't been able to change, then this might be one of those times where couple's counseling might be helpful. A few sessions now to get you both heading in the right direction may save you bigger problems down the road.
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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.