Marriage to an “empty shell” must change



Dear Amy: I’ve been married to my husband for 40 years.

I have always felt like something was missing.

Every time I try to reach out and connect emotionally, he becomes angry and withdraws.

Frustrated with his distance and indifference, I recently said that I needed to know if he loved me enough to work with me on improving our relationship.

He stated that he doesn’t know if he loves me because he doesn’t know how to feel love, because of the way he grew up.

He did grow up without a father. His mother had five kids and no education.

Her menial jobs kept her away from home and the kids had to fend for themselves. She was briefly married to an abusive man, but I don’t know the extent of the abuse.

Knowing this explains why he has been distant and indifferent to me and our children all of these years.

My sons and I had nothing to do with the way he grew up, yet we are the ones who are being punished, with a father and husband who cannot feel or express love and connection.

I know that childhood trauma and neglect can greatly affect a person in adulthood, but isn’t it possible to work through this to be a better partner and parent, if you want to be?

We went to joint counseling once several years ago, and that did not go well, so he is not willing to try again.





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