I am a 40-year-old woman staying in Mumbai. I have a reasonably happy married life for the past 10 years. My husband provides all the basic requirements of life, the only glitch being the fact that there is no transparency in our lives. I tell him about my day in detail, but he has built a wall around his personal life, which I am not supposed to knock on. When I try, he loses his cool for days together. I cannot touch his mobile phone and all hell breaks lose if I check his whatsapp. I cannot even ask where he’d been the whole day. Our conversations are restricted to only general communication. No jokes, no laughter and no sharing.
He feels since he is providing for basic necessities of life, I am not allowed to cross my limits. Fortunately I am a working professional and my work helps me retain my sanity. I am surprised at couples who are able to share so much. I am suffocated in this relationship as I am only recognised for my housework and office work and not supposed to speak or ask anything beyond this.
Should I accept this as his permanent nature or opt out as I feel I am allowing myself to be used? – By Anonymous
Answer by Shivani Misri Sadhoo: From your query, I am not clear on one thing; when you mentioned that you update your husband about your routine activities, how he responds and listens to you? Please understand in reality, listening needs much greater mental strength than talking about self. When partners share their day to day chores, they get an opportunity to release their daily stress, but if it’s been one-sided from the start, then it might be possible that your husband may have developed a belief that you do not care to know his unspoken stress and pressure by not identifying the same in him.
There could be another possibility that your husband is having alexithymia. Alexithymia is a personality trait that is characterized by the sub-clinical inability to identify and describe emotions in self. The core characteristics of alexithymia are marked dysfunction in emotional awareness, social attachment, and interpersonal relating. Alexithymia is prevalent in approximately 10% of the general population at the different level of intensity.
There could also be another possibility that something is bothering him which he is not able to share with you and which is why he does not want to share his phone and/or social messages with youI believe that the problem has reached to a leve,l where it has started to affect your marital and personal life and your self confidence as well to a great deal, hence I suggest you both consult a psychologist or a marriage counsellor in person, who will be able to guide you through counselling and therapy. Hope this helps.
Shivani Misri Sadhoo is a Relationship and Marriage Counsellor.
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