A few weeks ago I introduced Josh Emery — our first resident Licensed Professional Counselor available to answer questions about marriage from his professional perspective. After learning more about Josh’s expertise, and the questions within our community, I want to open this up to questions beyond marriage. Looking for advice from a professional on dating? Parenting? Family dynamics? Addiction? Depression? Read more about Josh’s broad experience {here} and don’t hesitate to submit a question {here} or below. I will try to post a Mailbag Q&A each week. Here is our first one:
Q: My husband doesn’t ever seem to be content with our life. He is easily angered, overwhelmed (even though he doesnt take on many responsibilities at home), withdrawn, and snarky. He has been taking testosterone shots for low testosterone, but how do we communicate and share a life and get along when he doesnt seem to want to participate? How do I get him to realize that he needs to put fourth some effort for the kids and I?
A: I’d first look into the possible affects of the testosterone.   I have heard from a number of male clients that they experienced emotional bursts of irritability form testosterone shots.
The best way to address someone who seems to be unhappy is to ask them questions about themselves. For example: “You don’t seem to be enjoying your life. What do you think you need in order to be happy?” For reasons unknown to you, and maybe your husband, he is not pleased with how his life is going.  If he believes you want to help him figure that out then he might be willing/interested in looking to meet some of you and your family’s needs.  Some people are only concerned about getting their own needs met but, most people are more than willing to meet their partner’s needs if they believe it is a reciprocal process. A lot of us have a hard time being engaged with those around us if we are feeling depleted or empty. Helping your husband figure out how he can feel better is a great first step in trying to get some of your own needs met.  If you go this route and you don’t get the results you need then you would be justified in assertively addressing your husband with an explanation of what you need from him in order to feel connected as a family.