Carolyn Hax: Talk to marriage counselor solo

The Washington PostJuly 10, 2014 

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn: Husband and I (married 5 years) have had some issues and have been seeing a marriage counselor off and on. The sessions are going well. However, there's a pretty major thing I've been leaving out: I feel like I've fallen out of love with my husband and have felt this way for about a year now. So we may be getting along better, but I don't know that I want to stay married to him when I feel so … indifferent toward him. So, do I bring this up in counseling? How?

HOW HONEST TO BE?

With the counselor in a solo session. Don't just assume it can't be fixed without teasing out the difference(s) between now and five years ago. Good luck.

Re: Out of Love: I think that is pretty normal. I've been married 23 years. Some days I ask myself, "Why did I get married?," and then my spouse does something and I tell myself, "Yes, that is why I married him."

ANONYMOUS

Thanks for this. I agree this is common and therefore a strong possibility, one worth holding on to as a point of reference, even a goal.

Dear Carolyn: How do I decide when to be honest and when to spare feelings? I am stumped when my boyfriend asks if I have concerns about him long-term. The answer is that I do. He's 10 years older than me, significantly overweight with no muscle strength. It would really hurt him if I mentioned these things.

LIES

But … why is he asking? If it's just conversation, then you can say, "Of course I do - I have concerns about myself long-term. Why?" … then see where that takes you. But if he's asking out of insecurity, then both the share-it-all route and the spare-feelings route have some major hazards. So it comes down to, how freely can you speak with him, and how much more freely would you like to speak?

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