Advice: How can I get happy again?

Last updated 05:00 01/11/2012

She gave up her whole life when her husband got a new job and they had to move away. Now they're back, but she's still unhappy. Should she leave him?

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I've been with my husband for three years and married almost one year but I'm not happy and I'm not sure how to deal with it.

We moved six hours away from friends and family for my husband's job and I gave up my whole life. We have since moved much closer to home but it is only now that I realise that I'm not happy and haven't been for just over a year.

I think I have lost who I am and that's why I'm no longer in love with him - if that makes sense. I also feel a lot of resentment since moving away. Because of this I want to leave and just find myself again. I'm not sure if it's the right choice. Could you please give me some advice?

Desperate

It is certainly very hard to feel loving and connected to our partners when we feel disconnected to ourselves.  It is also true that feelings of resentment and loss can erode our connections to those we love most. You describe wanting to leave and just find yourself again - do you think this would be the end of the relationship or do you have hopes for reconnecting with your partner?

If you are asking if relationships can recover from the issues you are describing then the answer is yes - but it does take two of you to work on this. Crises like the ones you describe can be the opportunity to revisit the core ways you relate to each other, the way you make decisions and the way you attend to each others emotional needs. 

Leaving  will not resolve the resentment and may not repair the hurt you are experiencing - that is most likely to occur with your partner. Do you think you could discuss these issues and this response with your husband? The answer to that question may give you a clue about how much energy you have left for the relationship.

Do you think the two of you are able to care for each other through the reconnection process? This would involve some careful listening and figuring out new ways to respond to each other so hurts and resentments didn't get so damaging. 

Another option is to consider the use of a skilled couple counsellor - an Emotionally Focused Therapy trained worker would be ideal for the issues you are describing.  You can find out more about Emotionally Focused Therapy on Dr Rebecca Jorgsensen's website. Rebecca runs Emotionally Focused Therapy training for our counsellors.

Relationship injuries are never easy and only you can make the decision about which steps to take next.

For more advice and information on counselling, visit Relationships Aotearoa online or join them on Facebook.

We'd love to hear your take on this week's issue. Before you comment below, though, remember that this is a real-life situation. This reader has bravely shared their personal life with you; please show them respect by refraining from hurtful or abusive comments.

- Stuff

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