Marriage Transition

Hi Brooke,

I’d love your input on my models for a transitional point in my marriage.

Over a year ago, my husband shared that he was unhappy in our marriage and uncertain if he is capable of being happy in our relationship. I’ve done such amazing work this past year on myself – cleaned up my thinking, cleaned up my overeating (goodbye 40 pounds!).

Where I am today is that I accept where he is with regard to his uncertainty. And I realize that while I would love to stay married to him, my desire is to be married to someone who wants to be married to me. I am clear on that. The challenge for me is that I get lost sometimes in his uncertainty. And there is a part of his uncertainty that matches with what I want – to stay married.

I want to be me – whole, loved, lovable – regardless of what happens next – which may include divorce, reconciliation, continued separation/counseling.

The challenge is that when I am around him I feel so weird, inauthentic with constant mental chatter. I think I feel weird because every day brings BIG stuff – exploring painful issues in counseling, meeting with divorce mediators, working out schedules with the kids, discussing financial arrangements. It’s a storm of thoughts/feelings. I’m trying not to get lost in it. I want to be able to be me when I am around him, no matter what.

Here are my models:

Unintentional #1
C: Being around John
T: I am not myself – I act weird and tense and withdrawn
F: Disconnected
A: Try to force a connection
R: Inauthentic

Unintentional #2
C: Being around John
T: I calibrate my thoughts/feelings/actions based on where I think he is that day
F: Powerless
A: Sometimes I shrink / sometimes I overcompensate and try to control
R: I am not me

C: Being around John
T: I am becoming someone new – each interaction may ask something different of me – being loving, being firm, being compassionate, being frustrated
F: Allow
A: Ask myself how I want to respond in that moment
R: I am me


Wendy in Scotland