Therapist for One Partner in a Bad Marriage

I am looking for a therapist for myself only (we tried couples therapy and my husband just refuses to really participate).  I have many years of deep resentment and anger towards my husband for his absence in our marriage and our children’s lives.  I often say that I’m a married single mother - because I have taken on 95% of the household work and child raising (while also working the same amount as him).  My main issue is that I feel very alone, he is (what I believe) to be very selfish and too independent.  He is very checked out, and when I have voiced my issues - either calmly or out of anger - he just walks away as if truly he never heard me.  Every little request (can you please not forget to bring the jackets from the car) to major requests (you will be there for this appointment, it’s important to me), he almost always doesn’t follow through.  I often joke to him (and I truly believe this) that if I was being murdered in the room next door, I don’t even think my husband would hear me or even save me.  So it’s bad.

I am not fully there on divorcing, because we have two young kids.  My issue is that my anger towards him is now becoming on display in front of my children. And I am sure it is, and will, affect their childhood. Does anyone have any recommendations for a therapist that I can talk to, to help me accept this marriage, this reality, for the time being and give me tools to express my anger in a more productive way.  Nothing has worked and since divorce is currently off the table, I want to learn how to live my own life with little expectation from my husband and still somehow be happy. 

I would so so so appreciate any recommendations. 

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I have found the therapists at The Connective (formerly WellSpace) to be great. 

Also, having young children does not preclude divorce. Them witnessing the imbalance in the household and the active anger is infinitely worse than taking the opportunity to create a safe, supportive household without active neglect and active resentment on display daily. I hope therapy may help you get there. 

I think a therapist is a great idea. Unfortunately I don't have any specific recommendations, but have had luck finding therapists in the past via Good Therapy (which is like an online directory). 

Gently, though, I do encourage you to explore the possibility of divorce with your therapist (or other trusted people in your life). I know it sounds and feels scary, but the marriage you describe sounds utterly miserable for everyone involved. If you are not divorcing because you think it would harm your children, I guarantee you that being parented by happy fulfilled non-filled-with-resentment parent(s) would be 100% better for them than witnessing (and potentially being a part of) this dynamic of neglect/narcissism on his part and anger and resentment on your part. Just something to think about. Good luck. 

I don't have a therapist recommendation. I could have written this post myself. So I am following this post for any recommendations. I also just want to say you are not alone. What has worked a bit for me is prioritizing doing things (with or without kids) that makes ME happy and lowering my expectations to almost none as a way to reduce the disappointment and anger.  

I am so sorry you are in this situation. You could have been describing me twenty years ago. How positive that you are reaching out for support for yourself on this.

I'm sorry I don't have a particular therapist to recommend to you. But I do want to share with you that I deeply regret staying in my marriage as long as I did. Sure, there were happy times over the years and my spouse was a good provider, but there were also times when I wished the plane they were on would crash (my therapist has since told me this is typical of people in emotionally abusive relationships). I couldn't imagine how I would support myself and my children. I didn't trust my former spouse to care for them, and I didn't think I could win full custody. I divorced when my youngest child turned 18. I am only now, years later, beginning to understand the depth of the impact on my children, particularly as they engage in (or avoid) intimate relationships. 

I'm not saying you have to divorce your spouse. That may not be your path. I think it's very good you are reaching out for professional support for yourself. I wish you peace through this process and a path to a happier life.

First, I am so very sorry you are going through this. As a mom of young ones, I know the pressures we face daily to make ends meet. I have gone through something similar. I recommend (Dr. Selph is our couples therapist and has been very effective and I know he also does individual therapy - CBT-based). His student is my therapist ( and she is great as well. Good luck and you are being brave seeking help to get through this (took me a lot longer to get there). 


As a couples therapist, I highly recommend you try EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy). There is a ton of evidence-based research and great outcomes with this approach. It's not meant as a band-aid, but rather it addresses and changes root causes of disconnection and dysfunctional dynamics. It really does matter WHO you see for couples therapy. The dynamic you described is not at all uncommon and our training gives us excellent tools to work, even with a husband/partner who doesn't want to show up. As long as he wants to be in the marriage - withdrawing/not following through/silently sitting through sessions is ok and we are trained to work with it. 

You can find a listing of therapists here:

I recommend you interview 2-3 and see if they will work actively with the dynamic you describe. 

Hope this helps. 

I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. Just want to share that having young children is not a reason to stay in such an unhappy situation. Arguably, you’re doing your children a disservice by staying. 

Had similar situation- the longer you stay in a bad marriage, the more harm to your kids no latter how young they are.  It doesn’t do them any good to live in a family this dysfunctional. Kids are stunned for a while after a divorce but they recover. If they grow into a healthy household with a happy single mother or you find a new partner- it will be better for them. the kids are missing out on the joy and activities and growth a healthy family would provide them. Better to divorce now rather than later. You also  miss out on possibilities of better life for yourself. Hope you have family and friends who can support you as single parent and best of luck. 

Hi.  I recommend Norma Myers. She focuses on anger specifically. She has groups and individual therapy sessions.  Good luck to you 

I’m so sorry you’re going through this. It sounds agonizing and you deserve support. I highly recommend Maria St. John who has supported me with individual therapy related to marital challenges. maria.stjohnphdmft [at]

I highly recommend Aretha Hampton (Roots Therapy She does both individual (and couples…if he ever decides to join). I’ve been working with her for years.

….staying because you have kids is just teaching your kids how women, mothers, wives should be treated, teaching them consent for maltreatment. As a single parent myself, I assure you that is not the messaging mine are getting. 

I don’t have a referral for you. But I have a friend in the exact same situation. The only difference is that she has 3 kids. Moved by your situation, I shared your post with her. She wants you to know that you’ve been seen, felt, and heard. You are supported by those in the exact same boat and you are incredibly brave in posting your situation. You are her hero today, and helped her deal with today. I will be following the responses to share with my friend.