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A Fraudulent WIFE
Written By: Mark Smith


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Managing Abandonment  Issues Through Recovery
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Last week we got to know preppy, perfect, polished, possession primed Tyler who lives a fraudulent life because his whole life is an act to cover up a wounded childhood, his deep insecurities and his lack of emotional depth. This week we are going to focus on his wife, we'll call her Heather. By the time I start working with the Heather's of the world they are far from still believing in the myth of Tyler's perfection and greatness. They know that the marriage is bankrupted and broken and they are extremely saddened about that.

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In college Heather didn't ever really figure out who she was or what she wanted to do when she grew up. She lacked direction and much more seriously, she lacked a sense of self. Since she was with Tyler, none of that seemed to matter because he knew exactly where he was going and he was going there at 100 miles per hour with his hair on fire. He had already been accepted to medical school so Heather's role was to subjugate her plans and her self to support his goals. This wasn't much of a problem as she didn't really have any definitive plans for herself yet. Heather was an especially beautiful young woman and doors were open to her mainly due to that fact. Since she could get by on her looks she didn't have to develop vision or inner strength or intense drive. After medical school the babies came so the next 20 years were focused on meeting the needs of her little ones while Tyler was busy conquering the world and collecting toys.

Heather hasn't been happy for many years. She is lonely and she is lost. She doesn't feel loved. Her sadness has settled into a near debilitating depression. Something is seriously wrong. The kids don't need her nearly as much as they used to so there is room for something else in her life, but what she doesn't know. Her husband is extremely critical of her. His #1 complaint - too little and too boring sex. He has been dumping this shaming actuation at her for years. She actually went to see three different doctors to find out what was wrong with her sexually. There isn't a thing wrong with her sexually - she has shut down because she doesn't feel loved. Since he thinks that he is perfect in every way it seemed to make sense that if there was a problem it had to be one on her end. Complaint #2 - the house doesn't look as well kept as it used to before the kids came along. He needs peace and quiet and order when he gets home from a busy day. He completely freaks out if there are toys out or if dinner isn't ready. He sneers when he reads estimates on how much money a wife would be worth if you paid her for all of her many tasks.

He doesn't think that she works very hard at all - nothing like how he works. He controls the money, he makes all the major decisions and he even tries very hard to control her body. In fits of rage after being rebuffed he coldly says "if I don't get it from you I'll just get it somewhere else". In most such marriages he does so. Complaint #3 - she isn't as social or as fun as she used to be. As a doctor's wife, a lawyer's wife or an entrepreneur's wife there are social obligations and an image to keep up. The problem is that she is so depressed and desperately unhappy that she doesn't have the energy to pretend to be happy with the perfect looking people that her husband covets socially.

He isn't truly interested in her. He wants her to play her assigned role as well as he is playing his. She is supposed to look good. He lets her know that there are plenty of younger and prettier potential trophy wives out there who would love to have him.

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Tyler is the 'Emperor with no clothes'. Everything looks so perfect. In his mind the only thing that is screwing it up is his stupid, spoiled, depressed, under functioning wife who doesn't appreciate what she has. Heather needs a voice. She needs power. She needs to go to war. She needs to hold a mirror up to Tyler so that he can see who he really is. The truth about who they really are needs to be named. She needs to be heard. She needs to understand that she is nobody's victim. It is all good and it is all fair. 'Heathers' grow up with controlling, critical and abandoning parents. She has never felt truly special. She picked Tyler so that she could reenact how she was loved as a child. She needed someone to provoke her to rise up and become a full person. If she wouldn't have married Tyler she would have married someone just like him. She needed to be pushed into a corner so that she could learn to come out fighting and thus finally develop an authentic self. She needs to do the work on herself even if he doesn't feel the need. He will ultimately do the work and change or she will fire him as her husband. She will develop into an assertive, entitled, valued, connected, powerful equal partner even if that means she will do so without him. She longs for a vital, deep and authentic life, not a shallow, unhappy and fraudulent one.

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This article was authored by Family Tree Counseling Associates, a marriage, individual and family counseling center serving the Indianapolis, Carmel, Fishers, Westfield and Noblesville communities in Indiana. If you would like to contact us, please fill out a contact us form or call us at 317-844-2442.
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