“I don’t have a voice in my relationship”

I see many couples where one person has kept quiet about their own personal suffering in their marriage and it’s devastating for the marriage and can lead the couple into crisis.

  • I see men that say nothing because for him a problem shared is a problem doubled.
  • I see women who once tried to be open with their husband only to discover she’s not emotionally safe when she does.
  • I see individuals that have no voice in their marriage because they have lost connection with themselves.
  • I see people who don’t know how to verbalise their real needs so they suffer in silence.
  • I see people who have had traumatic pasts and they lock those pasts away but still suffer the effects in silence.
  • I see people who have experienced affairs that no longer talk about it but it’s still alive in their marriage years later.
  • I see so many people who don’t say a word because they feel there is no point, some had learnt to keep quiet as children and some learnt it in the marriage.

Here are some REAL LIFE examples of silence leading to a crisis:

A couple came into see me as they were struggling they were both mid-50s. I discovered in their 20s he had an affair. They didn’t look for help back then they just buried it and got on with life and had a family.

If she did ever bring it up he would shut her down so she just got on with it never sharing what she was really feeling.

When she told me this he rolled his eyes. “That was years ago” I could see he was frustrated.

But I had to tell him that if they had buried the affair as a couple and just moved on without dealing with it she would still be living with what happened over 25 years later and it would have a profound affect on her emotional system.

Effectively the affair changed her identity in the marriage. She had hardened on the outside, she had lost connection with her true self she felt numb a lot of the time.

She felt low and depressive and she was exhausted with poor sleep patterns.

She didn’t want to leave her husband she loved him but she wasn’t in love with him and was now questioning if they should part.

This couple didn’t know the cost of her silence.

I see many men suffering in silence because when she speaks she makes no sense to him.

He can’t understand why when he tries to help her she becomes more upset with him.

He can tell me he can’t understand why from his perspective she is so controlling and negative.

He can’t understand why she just won’t tell him what she wants.

She doesn’t seem to say what she means and is very emotional about the smallest things to him.

Many men simply feel paralysed in their marriage because whatever they do is wrong so they end up giving in saying nothing and just doing what she wants or some go the other way.

“If I’m treated like a child I’ll act like one.”

Effectively men will run a machine in them call the…

…“Is it worth it machine”…

…and if he feels that what he’s doing doesn’t get good results he will stop doing it and go to where he does get results he likes.

Many men feel their silence is their way of not upsetting her or to avoid making things worse. He already knows he doesn’t understand how to deal with her when she is upset so why enter into a communication which is going to make him fail and her more upset.

Last year I met a lady who was emotionally abused by her mother as a child. She had learnt a pattern of shutting down to protect herself and years later in her marriage unaware she was running the pattern again.

She was unaware this was happening to her and she became depressed and unsafe. This resulted in her being grumpy, tired and not really interested in life or her husband.

He was unaware of this pattern taking hold of her and feeling unloved he started an affair which she later discovered.

No one had a voice in this relationship and it nearly died for good.

If a couple turns up telling me they have a marriage that’s struggling but the one thing they are proud of they never argue my first question is “What’s your sex life like?”

9 times out of 10 it’s dead because no one is being honest and without openness, there won’t be a healthy connection.

So many men turn up in sessions with me panicked that a divorce could be their next step. They will lose their whole life simply because the women he is living with has given up trying to connect with him and has shut down. His mistake was he mistook her calm for her happiness and so never took steps to really connect with her.

The reality for this couple was her silence and calm was actually a huge sign of her emotionally detaching which would lead her to feeling numb and now safe to leave him.  

Not having a voice can be catastrophic, because if what I feel doesn’t matter to you then why are we together?

Not having a voice in a marriage means a fear-based energy is driving the person’s actions and this means that it’s almost impossible for love to be alive and grow.

Essentially you can’t protect yourself from your partner and grow love.


About Stephen Hedger

International relationship expert Stephen Hedger's philosophy on relationship problems is this: Couples fail to understand their relationships because they are too focused on their problems and so they totally miss what created them. Stephen's approach is a refreshing and enlightening journey that helps couples uncover their truth. His strategies uncover the knowledge that all couples need to create a successful and lasting passionate connection. If you are in crisis and you need help, book an initial consultation today to get your life back on track.