Needy Child Stressing Marriage
Q: My wife and I have been married for 15 years, and we have three kids. Our youngest is proving to be very needy and difficult, and its causing some strain in our marriage. Lately, Im finding everything my wife does to be very annoying, and Im jealous of things she is doing, like doctors appointments and social outings. She has been very defensive towards, me and Im afraid I may lose her if I keep picking on her. I cant seem to stop, though. I know there are deeper things going on under the surface, so how do we approach this issue? -Dan, 44
Dr. Anna: Recognizing there is a serious problem is a good first step. Indeed, feeling jealous of her is something to be looking into. It sounds like you both need some support. Sometimes with all the demands of life, it can be hard to see your own stuffyour thoughts, feelings, and needs as a person. This is a situation where a few sessions with a good therapist can come in handy. While its tempting to try to just shut down your feelings and tell yourself to cut it out, that doesnt work very well. Take a curious and open approach with yourself to find out whats really going on. Are there things missing from your own life or from your relationship with your wife? Spending some time to sort through these difficult feelings with someone whos experienced can be priceless in finding a better path forward quickly.
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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.