“I don’t love my wife” - Dr Louise answers your burning questions

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Couple in bed. (Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Couple in bed. (Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

I’m heart broken and feel used

I’m a nurse working in a hospital and met this guy when he was a patient recovering from a car accident. He was seriously injured and needed a lot of encouragement and belief that he’d get better.

During his convalescence we became quite close on an emotional level and I thought maybe when he was out of hospital he might ask me out on a date.

Only his family came to visit him during the five weeks he was in hospital and he told me he’s single and doesn’t have a special person in his life.

Then a few days before he was discharged a woman came to visit and made a big fuss of him as if she’d been there all the time to support him. He told me she was a girlfriend from long ago and that his brother had told her about the accident.

It’s now a week since he was discharged and I haven’t heard from him. I feel used because besides my duties as a nurse I was there to listen to him and to support him.

I’ve realised that I fell in love with him and he’s taken my heart with him.

What do I do?

- Lynn, email

Dr Louise’s advice

People can become very dependent on caregivers when they’re in hospital. There are  definite psychological dynamics that play  out around the “sick bed”.

He clearly found someone in you who was supportive and could be there for him. He might really like you but at the same time feel that it would be inappropriate to contact you.

Perhaps he feels you were just doing your duty  in caring for him. Also, men can be shy at times. Wait  a week or so longer and then phone him and tell him you’d been thinking about him and would like to  know how he’s doing.

You should be able to gauge from his reaction  what his feelings are regarding you, and your phone call should be enough of a hint that you’re interested.

The ball would then be in his court. If he wants to take it further, now that it’s under different circumstances, he’s free to ask you out.

I don’t love my wife

I’m struggling with a problem I don’t know how to solve. My wife and I have been married for two years and I’ve fallen out of love with her. There are a number of things that have led to this. She’s always finding fault with me, nothing I do is ever good enough for her and she never shows me love or affection.

She also makes a big show of other men and their achievements, but if I achieve anything she simply brushes it off and says nothing. She makes me feel as if I’m her slave to command as she wishes, and she seems to think I don’t need love or recognition.

Before we got married (we’d only known each other a few months) she was sugar and spice and all things nice. She later told me she only wanted to get married to get out of her dysfunctional family home.

I’ve realised I don’t want to have children with her and bring them into such a miserable environment. I’ve spoken to her about how I feel but she refuses to go for couples counselling as she says there’s nothing wrong with her. What can I do?

- John, email

Dr Louise’s advice

If your wife knows how you  feel and she doesn’t want to go  for couples counselling to work  on the problem then it’s unlikely anything is going to change. You’ll simply become more and more unhappy and your reaction to this will also trigger more negative reactions from her.

Try to speak to her one last time,  explaining that you want both of you  to seek professional help in order to save your marriage. Tell her if she’s  not willing to do so you’ll file for divorce – and you must follow through.

You can’t spend your life with someone  who makes you desperately unhappy.

I feel as if I’m always falling short

I’m a reliable person and have a fairly responsible position at work. The problem is there’s a part of me that’s always telling myself I’m not doing my best, even though on a logical level I know I am.

A part of me is always telling me my manager isn’t really satisfied with my work although he has on many occasions told me my work is excellent.

What’s wrong with me? Why do I have this voice inside me that’s constantly putting me down and making me feel anxious and like I’m not measuring up to expectations?

- Rosette, email

Dr Louise advice

You have what’s called an egostate – a consistent pattern  of thinking, feeling and behaviour – which is continuously punishing you for a perceived transgression.

The anxiety and fear that you’re somehow not good enough is your punishment for this perceived transgression.

The unconscious mind strives  for balance, and guilt for perceived wrongs needs to be “paid for” by  punishment.

So your unconscious mind is punishing you for some perceived wrong in your past.

You need to seek professional help, ideally from a psychologist trained  in hypnotherapy, so you can explore what this perceived wrong is and then resolve the issue.

Not doing so will mean this thought that you’re not good enough will continue to be a voice in your head and you’ll keep punishing yourself without ever knowing the reason.


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