Dr Cecilia d'Felice's Guide to Modern Life ; How to Be Happy
Dr Cecilia d'Felice, The Independent on Sunday (London, England)
"I have been married for 25 years. My husband has never been a caring or nurturing person. He gets involved in his interests and mostly we just co-exist and raise our children. I am depressed and have no interest in anything. I used to be busy and had dreams and plans. I now realize that maybe my marriage is my problem. My husband is faithful, honest and a good provider. He is also critical, rude and has little empathy with others. After living with him for so long, am I just beat down? We never discuss the future, as he gets so defensive and we fight. What is your advice?" Sue
Step 1: Challenge despair
The overwhelming disappointment that suffuses your feelings about your marriage suggests that you have lost hope that your relationship could ever change. Perhaps this is why you despair. You no longer discuss your future, as if you have no voice. It feels as if you have backed into a place of passivity, slowly becoming invisible, emotionally fading away, unable even to feel angry. No wonder you have lost interest in your life, it's as if you have lost interest in yourself. Challenge your despair by acknowledging your feelings and rediscovering your voice.
Step 2: Accept that our partners can't complete us
We often look to our partners to fill in our "gaps", to complete the puzzle that is us, to make us happy. This puts enormous pressure on them. How can they complete us, when they have their own puzzle to finish? Your husband provides for you, he is also honest and faithful after 25 years, which is no mean feat. Perhaps the overwhelming sense of neglect that you feel from him reflects how much you neglect yourself. In accepting that our partners cannot complete us we move closer to accepting that we are responsible for our own happiness. …
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Publication information: Article title: Dr Cecilia d'Felice's Guide to Modern Life ; How to Be Happy. Contributors: Dr Cecilia d'Felice - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent on Sunday (London, England). Publication date: May 27, 2007. Page number: Not available. © 2009 The Independent on Sunday. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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