Mary from Wellsburg, N.Y.: With A Self-Centered Husband (Q & A)

Dr. Bryce Kaye gives advice to a woman who is emotionally starving because of her self-centered husband.Q:  Please help! I have been married for only 8 months now. The main problem is, that since the day we said “I do”, my husband has become increasingly self-centered. He is also no longer interested in sex. He refuses to tell me I look good, or do any small act to show his love. His excuse is that he has no energy for such things. I have tried to explain how much it would mean to me, with no avail. He seems only to be interested in himself. Sexually, we had no problems until our wedding day. He admits that his sexual drive is dead now, and can give no reason.  In turn, it is making me feel extremely unattractive, and unimportant in his eyes. I don’t know what happened.  My only guess is that he regrets his decision now that it is over. Please tell me I’m wrong to believe this! In his defense, he feels that all I do anymore is complain. He also started a new job the week we got married, and it keeps him away from home for days at a time. When he is home, all he wants to do is lay on the couch and watch TV. I understand that he is tired, but I have needs too. He has also stated that he believes that a marriage should not need any work, it should just flow smoothly, so he sees ours as being defective. I am at my wits end. Any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated.

A:  Mary.  First, read the diagnostic section titled “Emotional Deprivation Syndrome” in the First Aid Kit.  See if your husband is willing to do some scheduling with you.  If he is too self-centered to be willing to do so, you would best confront him that the marriage is not working for you and that you both need to see a marriage counselor to save it.  If he still refuses, then you should reconsider your marriage with a husband who is too self-centered to manage the relationship responsibly. Marriage relationships DO require work….a lot of work!  Good luck.  – Bryce Kaye

For information about Helen and Bryce’s Love Odyssey marriage retreats visit  where the strategy behind these couples retreats  is described in detail.

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