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Dear Dr. Karen: I’m Unhappily Married – I Seek Someone to Give Me the Love I Long For

Posted on 06 February 2009 by Dr. Karen

Dear Dr. Karen,

I am married but unhappy. I constantly seek for someone to come into my life and give me the love i long for.



Dear Azlin,


First of all, I can empathize with your situation. I was there once. Unlike you though, I couldn’t even admit to myself I was unhappy in my marriage. I was blind to it. It wasn’t until I met a man who was everything my husband was not, that I began to consciously question the quality of my marriage.


So believe me when I say – you’re ahead of the game!


Azlin, what I’ve come to learn is that if you expect someone to fill a void that you have, you will be sorely disappointed in the outcome. It is not possibly for someone to GIVE you the love you long for. It is an illusion. The truth is that we absolutely CANNOT receive what we cannot give. It is part of the law of attraction.


There is nothing wrong with longing to feel loved. Been there, done that. However, what I’ve discovered (and many teachers have talked about) is that the “other” person in the relationship is only a reflection of the LOVE you have for yourself. In other words, if you cannot love yourself fully when you are without a partner, you cannot possibly attract a partner that loves you fully either.


You need to work on self-love. How loving is it to force yourself to suffer an unhappy marriage? How loving is it to pretend every day of your life? How loving is it to keep yourself scared of moving on and moving forward with your current relationship?


And let’s talk a moment about your ability to love another. Guess what? Your ability to give love is limited by your degree of self-love. You cannot give what you do not have.


How loving is it to lie to your spouse (in essence by seeking someone else while in relationship to your spouse without telling him/her)? How loving is it to prevent your spouse from possibly moving onto a relationship that would be more fulfillling because you are too scared to let go of him/her?


Please don’t take my questioning as harsh. These are questions that I had to grapple with when I was choosing my path while I was unhappily married. When I told my husband that I could no longer stay in our current relationship and that I’d dreamed of being with someone else (I was sobbing uncontrollably when I told him), one of the first things he asked was,


“Why didn’t you tell me sooner?”


What he meant was, “Why did you string me along for all these years when you were not happy? Why did you pretend? Is our whole relationship a lie?” etc.


In my defense, I thought I was “protecting” him from the awful truth. I was “protecting” him from being hurt. In the end, I hurt him more by keeping the truth from him. Why? Because I literally tricked him into believing we were “OK” so that I didn’t have to face his (and my parents’) negative reactions to the TRUTH. The reality was that I WAS BEING SELFISH BY STAYING IN THE MARRIAGE AND PRETENDING.


In fact, I had to get a serious illness before I could finally face the truth.


I hope it doesn’t come down to this for you. I went through a lot of pain. I’m sure you’re probably going through a lot too.


Here’s the good new – you don’t have to.


You have a CHOICE. You can be REAL and AUTHENTIC and have the courage to face whatever lies ahead OR or you can live the rest of your life pretending and full of obligation.


Your choice.


I know. It isn’t easy.


But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. When you do your own personal growth work and have the courage to take 100% responsibility for your own happiness, you’ll find that what is best for you ends up being what is best for the other person (even it if doesn’t seem like it at the beginning).


My ex-husband is now in a relationship with a lovely woman who is his match. They have an amazing little daughter and I can truly say he is much much happier than he ever was married to me.


I highly encourage you to get some counseling or coaching as soon as possible. You need the support.



Dr. Karen Kan



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