He compares himself to a cripple in a wheelchair…

by Rod Smith

“I married 26 years ago out of a sense of guilt and it has never left. We have had a very difficult marriage and yet we both have a high level of commitment.  I want a healthier relationship but I don’t know how to get it. I know a healthier relationship starts with a healthier me, but as I try to get healthier, I feel a wider distance coming between us. I have never felt emotionally bonded to my husband, and for years it was heart breaking. I have talked with him hoping things would get better. He justifies his distance, which makes it harder for me. He compares himself to a cripple in a wheel chair. He knows that I would not insist on a cripple walking. He believes himself to be emotionally crippled and I should not expect something that he is not capable of giving. I am at the place where I feel I want to move on, but my sense of loyalty will not let me. I thought I had moved through the bitter stage but now I am not so sure.”

Repeatedly challenge his dramatic metaphor. It’s possible to remain married while also refusing to share his wheelchair. I’d suggest you do all you can to get healthy and well despite his protestations (the distance you feel, and so forth).

Let’s talk further. Until you leave him (I do not mean divorce him) in the “safety” and the “comfort” of his emotional wheelchair you are also in it! Grow on your own. Your personal development is not contingent on his cooperation.   

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