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I have a history of choosing the wrong women. How can I improve things now with my wife?

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Hi Mark,

I noticed that you have a download entitled 'Stop Choosing Mr. Wrong'. What about creating a 'Stop Choosing Miss Wrong'?

I grew up in a household with a mom who had many bouts of depression and anxiety. She was moody at times and I was afraid of her due to her lack of warmth and constant nurture needed as a child. I felt I was to blame.

I have had a hard time feeling confident with women, especially ones I find attractive, as a result of my poor relationship with my mom. Many of the women I have seriously dated in the past had tendencies of being immature, bitchy, and into 'head games'. Even the sister of one of the girls I dated said she loved her sister, but she is 'messed up'. I would stay with them, as I thought this was the 'best I could get' due to lack of self-worth (hypnosis helped a little). The relationships would end eventually and I would find myself depressed.

I did find someone whom I have married. At first she was nice and warm, but she also has issues (according to everyone in her family and then some) that have come out and she is alienated herself from me (she refuses help). I feel rejected, even though I have done nothing wrong.

I am a good-looking guy who is hard working, intelligent, thoughtful, funny, and a nice person. A nice guy can be brave when he needs to be and should not be labeled as Mr. Wrong. Many friends and family members see me as a great catch and my wife doesn't know how lucky she has it.

What self-help advice do you have?

Al

This question was submitted by 'Al'

mark tyrrell

Mark says...

Hello Al,

Firstly, I take your point about the need for a 'Stop Choosing Miss Wrong', as that is certainly an issue for many men.

Many men who have had difficult, unpredictable relationships with moody, depressed, or otherwise emotionally unstable women during their early years mis-learn to look for these familiar traits when choosing future partners. We all like the familiar because it has come to feel 'normal' or 'natural'. But, of course, familiar poison is still poison. It's hard to be a partner and a therapist.

I wonder if you have talked to your wife about this. Does she want your marriage to last, to continue? Does she feel better for being with you or not? It's a cliché to want to change someone when we are in a relationship with them, but we are good for some people and they are good for us. I'd be interested to know what drew your wife to you in the first place and what drew you to her. I'd also want to know more detail as to her day-to-day behaviour. It sounds as though you feel she doesn't appreciate you or has forgotten how lucky she is and that may be true.

I think you can do two things. First off, don't neglect yourself. It's all too easy to get sucked down with someone into their vortex of misery. Live your life and try to meet your own primal human needs as much as possible whilst trying, up to a point, to help your wife meet hers.

The other thing you can do is seriously try to - and now I'm going to use a really old-fashioned word - woo your wife again. Give her attention, take her out to romantic places, to places you went together in the early days when things were better. Be romantic and make efforts... But if things don't improve eventually, in the sense that she doesn't seem to want to make an effort, let her know that you are human and you have human needs.

Sometimes, some kind of ultimatum wakes people up. I'm not saying you leave your wife, but I am saying that sometimes people need to know that all of us have a breaking point. It might be that you need to remind her of this at some point. Self-absorption can be hard to penetrate, but she needs to begin to see you as a man with needs, not a constant figment without reality.

Sorry I can't be more specific in my suggestions, but I wish you a good future, I really do.

Mark

watch icon Published by Mark Tyrrell - August 17th, 2014 in

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