Advice from Amy: Unloved Husband Demands an Apology

By Amy Dickinson | February 19th, 2022

Is there hope for this relationship?

couple argument Photo by Wavebreakmedia Ltd Dreamstime. For article, Advice columnist Amy Dickinson responds when an unloved husband demands an apology and wants to know the way forward. What does Ask Amy have to say?

Dear Amy:

I need advice on the way forward in my marriage.

I have been married to a good woman for more than 20 years.

We are raising great kids, and we are both proud of them.

However, I feel unloved as a husband. We have no sex life. I only recall two times in which she kissed me.

I have asked her about couples therapy, but she is not interested.

Recently I stopped speaking to her when we were talking about some other couples who divorced, and she said that I always blame the wife.

I said that was BS and a gross exaggeration, and that I want an apology.

In two decades of marriage, I cannot recall a single apology from her.

I am now asking: What is the way forward?

I aspire to have a good relationship with her.

– Perplexed Husband

Dear Perplexed:

You may deserve an apology – or many apologies – but you seem to have skipped many steps between hearing a gross generalization, disputing it, and expecting an apology. If you are expecting an apology from someone you know doesn’t ever offer them, then you are throwing down the gauntlet, when you might possibly be communicating – even if it is through an argument.

(Remember that great line from the movie “Jerry Maguire”: “You think we’re fighting, and I think we’re finally talking!”)

I’m not saying that you are at fault, but you want to have a good relationship with someone you portray as unwilling or incapable of having one with you.

Long relationships might start on a firm foundation, but without genuine apologies and forgiveness, they sputter and fail under the weight of too much unfinished business.

You may not be able to repair what is broken between you two.

The only thing you can do is to commit to changing yourself. Counseling would be a great place to start.

Once you experience a true shift in your own attitudes and behavior, you may see changes in her – or you may understand deep in your bones that your relationship is irreparable and that a peaceful parting (with a continued focus on your children’s well-being) would be best for you.

Want to get even more life tips from Amy? Read more of her advice columns here!

In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart – ranging from when a spouse demands immediate attention to DNA surprises. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers. Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068

© 2021 by Amy Dickinson

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