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Home / Articles / Columnists / Dr. Happy Formula /  Ask Dr. Happy
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Wednesday, August 7,2013

Ask Dr. Happy

By Dr. Bob Nozik, MD  

Dear Dr. Happy My husband, Bill, and I have been married 8 years. We have two children, a girl, 6, and a boy, 3. Bill is a hard-working interstate trucker and is away from home two to three nights a week. The problem is that when he is home, all he wants to do is drink beer, watch TV, and fall asleep in his armchair. This leaves me and the kids to fend for ourselves. When I complain, he says he’s tired and if I don’t like it, I should just get a divorce. Dr. H, I don’t want a divorce but I’m beginning to feel like a single mom anyway. I think we need help but Bill won’t consider therapy. I don’t know what to do.

At a loss Dear At a loss, I’m afraid I don’t have any magic cure to offer for your problem. If ever there was a case where therapy was indicated, this is it. It is not a good sign that: a) Bill refuses therapy and b) he so casually uses what I call ‘the nuclear-option’, that is, threatening divorce. Divorce is what I call the nuclear-option and should be reserved for when all else has failed. It seems to me that there is room for compromise here and a good therapist could help you to find good alternatives. Something like, for instance, saving one night a week where the two of you go on a date together. Perhaps, get a baby sitter and go to dinner and a movie; or maybe spend an evening out with friends. There are many possible solutions you might consider, but it sounds like Bill needs an attitude adjustment before these can be considered. This is where a good therapist could prove invaluable. Almost all studies on happiness show that married people score higher than singles, but that holds only for good marriages. If he won’t go for help, go yourself and then discuss what comes out of it with him. And after a bit, you may find he will be willing to go with you.

Ask Dr. Happy by Dr. Bob Nozik, MD “Dr. Happy” has been speaking and writing on happiness ever since developing his own deep, inner happiness 20 years ago. Bob is Professor Emeritus from UC. San Francisco and is the author of Happy 4 Life: Here’s How to Do It. Dear Readers, please send your happiness questions to “Ask Dr. Happy” at


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