Dear Barb—End Times

Hi, Barb, I have a situation and I don’t know how to resolve it.  My husband and I have been married for 9 years and, honestly, the relationship has never been easy, but we stuck with it.  But now it is becoming draining. 

We can’t talk about anything.  Everything I bring up is a trigger for him.  He is constantly defensive, and we always end up in an argument.  Even when I try to tell him how I feel about something, he gets defensive and takes it as criticism.  I am getting to the point where it’s easier not to speak to him, but I realize that doesn’t lead to a very healthy marital relationship.  Our intimacy is almost nonexistent.  When I told him I wasn’t happy, he agreed that he is not happy either.  Nothing more was said.  I thought maybe that would initiate a conversation, but it didn’t. 

I am feeling that the relationship is coming to an end.  Early in our marriage we went for counseling, and it seemed to help for a bit, but we quickly slipped back into the same patterns.  Do you think it is time to end this marriage and move on?  Or is there some way I can stop him from being so defensive?

I’m looking forward to your response. Kim. 

Hi Kim:

Sorry to hear you and your husband are going through this.  It is always hard to end a marriage and it should not be taken lightly.  When you told your husband how you feel, he obviously was feeling the same way.  Maybe you were hoping he would respond differently, but now you know how he feels.  There is no point in being angry with him, he is not happy and obviously does not want to work on the relationship or find ways to bring some happiness to the marriage.

A marriage cannot work with only one trying and a relationship cannot work if the communication is not there and without physical intimacy, there is no closeness.  Intimacy does not have to be sexual, but it must include physical touching and caring for the other person.  Marriages without physical contact tend to become cold and distant.  Most people do not want that kind of marriage.  When we attempt to share our feelings and they are met with a cold uncaring response, it really is difficult to connect as a couple.

I can’t say for sure whether it’s time to end your marriage, that is for you to determine, but it can’t hurt to go for some more counseling, even if it’s to ease the effects of ending the marriage.  I hope this helps Kim.

Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.
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