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Me and my wife have been married for almost 2 and 1/2 years now. We have a little baby girl too who is a little over 1 now. Things between my wife and I started off really good. As soon as we got married, things changed. We started fighting constantly.

My wife hates where we live because she says she has no friends here, but she refuses to leave the house to meet people. I am the only one that works and now a days, it is very hard to live off of 1 income. I try to get her to get a job and try and become friends with some people she works with, but she refuses to work because if she gets a job then that means she is stuck here. When my friends call and want us to go hang out with them, she doesn’t want to do anything but sit in the house.

We have had numerous fights and when she went to her mother’s house recently, she was texting me telling me that she no longer wanted to be married. Then she came back home 2 days later and said she didn’t mean a word she said. Then the other night again, she said she doesn’t feel loved and she feels alone and thinks we should give up. She also said that if she wasn’t happy she could go find a guy 10 times better than me in a heartbeat. Then the next day she apologized and said she didn’t mean it.

I am extremely confused by all of this. I understand that I am not perfect. However, whenever she has needed anything, I have been there for her. Whenever she has needed clothes, I’ve bought them. Whenever she wanted to drive to her mother’s house, I made sure the car was in great driving condition before she left so that she would be safe. I have taken great care of her and my daughter, but I am getting to the point where I can’t keep giving and getting nothing in return. Before we got married, my wife was extremely happy all the time and extremely ambitious and out-going. Now she has no desire to do anything and is miserable about everything in her life. With a child involved, things seem complicated for me. Do I try and make things work for the sake of our family? Or do I need to realize that this is not going to improve and do what is best for all of us?

-C

C,

We are sorry to hear about your troubles with your marriage. Just from what you have written, it sounds like your wife may be struggling through something more than just relationship difficulties with you. It sounds like the two of you have moved away from her hometown. Moving is one of the most stressful events in people’s lives, and it can lead to anxiety and depression in some people. Another thought is that your wife may be struggling with postpartum depression, which can lead to depression, irritability and mood swings, among other symptoms. In either case, it’s essential that she talks to a licensed therapist, counselor or clinical psychologist. If money is an issue, many mental health professionals offer a sliding scale payment plan based on the patient’s income. Of course, you need to think of your own mental health, as well. If she ever talks about harming you or your child, that is a sign of a serious issue that you will not be able to handle on your own.

No one can make the decision about staying in or leaving a relationship for you. The only thing we would advise you to consider is that if she is experiencing one or more mental health issues, she might not be 100% herself right now. It is possible that if she gets appropriate treatment, you could find that many of your fights were a result of the issues she was facing, and not the relationship itself.  Of course, it might turn out that hte opposite is true.

Whether or not you do decide to end the marriage, we would advise you to do your best to encourage her to seek help. If nothing else, you will want her to be a mentally healthy mother to your daughter. Approach the issue with compassion, love and understanding. If she resists, encourage her to tell you how she feels, what she is afraid of, and also tell her how much you care about her. Letting her talk may help. Make it clear that you are always listening.

All the best.

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