Strawberry Letter: Married and Lonely
Dear Steve and Shirley,
I have been married for 5 years and have 3 beautiful children. I have prided myself in being a great hardworking man that takes care of my family. For the last year and a half, my marriage has been falling apart. We argue constantly over her actions and she never owns up to being that bad. She quit her job while pregnant with our last child, so I worked 3 jobs for a year to support us and get ready for a new child. She starting stealing random articles and when she got caught, she got angry with me because I would not forgive her on the spot.
Now for the last year, she has been smoking cigarettes and marijuana, even during her last pregnancy. She has gone from being a social drinker to not being happy until she becomes drunk. She is a good mother and wife, but I do not smoke or drink and I do not want a spouse that does either. I also feel she has become bored with me because I do not involve myself in these activities. When we are spending time together, she always wants to go to bed early, but she will go out with her friends and come back at 2 or 3 in the morning.
She yelled at me and cried, saying I did not love her because I will not accept her new habits. I grew up with a mother on crack and I am scared to see her habits spiral out of control. When I talk about leaving, she says she will kill herself because I am the only one that has ever loved her. I do not know if she means that or if she is using that to hold me here. I love my wife and I do not want a divorce, but I have not been happy in a long time. I do not want her or our relationship to become damaging to our children. I am willing to work it out, but I do not want to accept her behavior. I feel so lonely and scared for my family.
Please tell me what I should do.
Listen to Carla and Steve respond to this letter below: