I married my brother:

My husband looks to me to take care of everything and tell him what to do… then, he doesn’t do it.  It is driving me nuts. He reminds me of my brother, whom I have not spoken to for the last seven years. Why does my husband ask for direction if he isn’t going to help? And why should I always have to be the responsible one?

To top it all off, we haven’t had sex for over a year. Does he think I am the maid? Am I good enough for laundry, but not for sex?

Feda UP

Dear Feda,

You said it yourself- you married your brother.  You can only know what you know, and your relationships are built on the skills that were role modeled to you at home. Every relationship you have, from your dog, to your kids, to your god, will be different forms of the same thing.

Your husband does too little because you do too much. He defers to you on the surface then refuses to cooperate in order to maintain his self-esteem and independence from you. This is a power struggle.

You are siblings, not marriage partners. You are not equals.  As such, you can’t have a healthy sexual relationship. Sex should always be play between equals, but for many couples it is just about power.

Relationships are a conversation. A couple is either having it or they are not. You two are not. If you do not develop the skills to have a conversation as a couple, your marriage will end up the same as the relationship you had with your brother. Unless you add a new set of skills, it can be no other way.

Good luck

Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Granny says: The question that I always have for strong women who remain in one-sided relationships that suck the life out of them, is this: what function does this man serve if you are doing everything yourself and could easily survive on your own? Because there IS a reason. And it’s not always obvious. I mean, it’s obvious that you are married to your brother and it’s all due to childhood programming, but why do you stay? What does he DO for you? He obviously does something, or you wouldn’t stay.

Here’s some questions to ask yourself- do I feel that I don’t deserve better? Or, rather, do I enjoy the sense of being the alpha member? Am I afraid to face the unknown? Or do I really enjoy the sense of being the superior person while my husband carries on with his passive aggressive games?

Most of us stay where we are for a very simple reason- we know how to do it. We were trained for this job. But some of us grow to enjoy it for our own reasons. And this is the part that no one ever wants to look at; it is probably the reason that so few people ever change.

If you want a different relationship, you have to get trained for it, just as you would a new job. If you want things to change, get therapy, whether your slug of a husband will go or not. If you don’t go, it will answer some other questions, ones that you may not like the answers to.


About Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Dr. Brilliant Cliché and the Granny Dr. are a fictional web presence and advice blog. Together we offer a joint perspective that is deep but not academic, entertaining but not fluff, and educated yet street smart. By joining the internet community we hope to share thoughts and stimulate insightful conversation around pressing issues that affect us all. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. (This is not a site for therapy nor does it intend to replace medical or other professional care. ) You can leave comments here or email The Dr. at dr.brilliantcliche@yahoo.com and don’t forget to like us on facebook. Our facebook page is Dr. Brilliant Cliche
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