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Feeling Claustrophobic in Marriage

by Jaime Vargas-Benitez

Feeling trapped in a marriage can lead one to also feel claustrophobic. Someone may feel resentful, and eventually trapped, after neglecting personal wants in favor of a spouse's. A couple may experience a breakdown in communication, with neither knowing how to overcome the wall that has been put up. A marriage besmirched by claustrophobic issues can be salvaged, and a mutually respectful marriage can take its place. Through effective communication of needs and wants, mutual respect and commitment to one another, partners can work through issues.

Lost the Love

Every spouse hopes to feel madly in love forever. A partner can begin to feel suffocated in marriage when the relationship evolves into something not as fun and spontaneous as before. The article "When You've Lost That Loving Feeling," by Linda and Charlie Bloom, illustrates the feelings couples go through when one person is no longer happy. The Blooms say people sometimes leave a relationship too soon because the infatuation leaves. They urge couples to understand that relationships take work, and that a spouse who feels suffocated or claustrophobic has to speak up. The Blooms urge couples to make every effort to work through relationship issues together, perhaps through marriage therapy, relationship retreats or spiritual counseling.

The Blame Game

In order to work through feeling trapped in marriage, you and your partner must break down defenses. In the article "When You Feel Trapped in a Marriage," Dr. Kalman Heller says spouses get wrapped up in defending their own actions by blaming the other person in the relationship. For instance, partners no longer speak or have any intimacy. They both feel ignored, disregarded. Dr. Heller says this couple has built up walls and has thereby built a marriage that feels like a trap.

The Underlying Issue

Feeling trapped in marriage is usually a symptom of larger issues. The trapped impression comes after one partner begins to lose feelings once held toward the other. This partner eventually looks for ways to create distance, according to the article "Hope for Couples in Crisis" by Dr. James Dobson. Dr. Dobson says the partner feeling trapped often endures the increasing fear of rejection by the other partner. When a spouse who is overbearing and clingy relinquishes the attempt to control the other spouse, the door to the bird cage is opened. Dr. Dobson furthermore suggests that a slow rebuilding of the marriage can occur when the spouse who once felt trapped feels released.

Causes Outside the Marriage

A spouse feeling trapped in a marriage may find the problem has little to do with the marriage itself. Sometimes a partner who dedicates time and effort to spouse and family ends up neglecting personal desires. The article "Are You Trapped and Unhappy," written by marriage and family therapist Darlene Lancer, says a spouse who neglects personal wants can end up feeling resentful towards the other spouse. Lancer says in order to help a situation like this, the spouse feeling trapped must be supported in finding an outlet. A new hobby or new job may help create the independence necessary to cure the claustrophobic feelings.

About the Author

Jaime Vargas-Benitez has been a parenting writer since 2010. She has worked in the child wellness field in various roles for over 20 years. Along with the experiences of raising her own kids, she has been privileged enough to participate in the raising of hundreds of other children as well.

Photo Credits

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