Relationship Connection: My wife kicked me out of the house

Photo by alessandroguerriero iStock / Getty Images Plus; St. George News


My wife told me she is unhappy and I need to move out. We were living with her parents so I feel I didn’t have a choice. I have been living at my parents for a week now.

By the way I’m 23 and she’s 19 and I’ve made some mistakes, but I’m going to fix them.

Should I move back in the house with her without her saying I can come back? I really love her and want this to work.


Please don’t try to move back into your wife’s parent’s house without permission. This is a really bad idea if you’re trying to save your new marriage. Your wife doesn’t need you forcing yourself back into her life if she asked you to leave.

Let’s examine your situation so you can create a healthier response.

First of all, you’re in a strange situation because you’ve been living in her parent’s house. So, they are going to ultimately decide who lives in their home. If you and your wife have created drama in their home, they’re probably relieved to have some peace. I don’t know how they will work this out with your wife, but if she’s asked you to leave, it’s highly likely they’re supporting and influencing her at this point. After all, she’s 19 and probably hasn’t lived away from home, so chances are they still see her as their child who lives at home.

Before you talk with them, you need to talk with her and work out an agreement. She needs to know that she invited you back into the home since she was the one who invited you to leave. Dr. John Gottman calls this “accepting influence.” One author further explained Dr. Gottman’s finding:

Being open to influence requires a man to let go of avoidant strategies like distancing, attacking, and defensiveness. This doesn’t mean adopting an inferior position, but rather allowing his partner’s needs to be of primary importance in his life. (from this website)

Dr. Gottman found that it’s more important for men to accept influence in their marriages because women already naturally accept influence from their husbands. She needs to know that you are open to her experience instead of forcing your preferences on her. She asked you to leave for a reason and disregarding her feelings will only teach her that she doesn’t matter to you.

Look closely at the conditions you created that led to this separation. Also look closely at the conditions you are about to create by forcing yourself back into her life.

This is a good opportunity for you to get some personal support and counsel from a professional therapist, pastor or close friend who can help you slow down your reactivity and think through your next steps.

Your wife is hurt and needs to know that you care about her pain. She is counting on you to treat her like a person with feelings and thoughts separate from your own. If she’s willing to talk, work hard to listen without defending yourself and explaining your choices. Instead, see if her experiences and feelings touch your heart and soften you to better understand what she needs to feel secure with you. These expressions will likely produce some action items you need to follow through with to create more stable conditions in your marriage.

Depending on what your specific issues are in the marriage, both of you will benefit from marriage education through a class or counseling. You’ve made serious commitments to each other by getting married and you both will need support learning how to create a healthy marriage. Seek support so you can find your way back to each other and build a marriage that will last.

Stay connected!

Geoff Steurer is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in St. George, Utah. He specializes in working with couples in all stages of their relationships. The opinions stated in this article are his own and may not be representative of St. George News.

Have a relationship question for Geoff to answer? Submit to:


Twitter: @geoffsteurer

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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  • ladybugavenger November 15, 2017 at 7:24 am

    Oh My! Please do not go back there without permission. If you do go back, you might get a free ride to purgatory. Save yourself thart trouble. Just fix yourself and don’t worry about getting her back.

  • 42214 November 15, 2017 at 8:16 am

    You are living with your wife’s parents and get the boot so you move into your parent’s house. Loser!

  • DRT November 15, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Dude, you married that girl. Do you suppose it’s just a remote possibility that she, her parents, and your parents all expect you to support her? With out mooching off the family?
    Get your head out of your butt and start acting like a man, even though you obviously are not one yet.
    I find it hard to believe that this is a real letter and not something faked by Harry Highschooler!

  • comments November 15, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Wow. This might very well be the lamest, most vague letter that Geoff has ever chosen to answer on this site. Bottom line is these are both children and really have no reason to be married to each other in the first place. The guy is just bouncing from mooching off her parents to mooching off his own. Get a job, join the military, or just do something to grown up a little. The girl, who is just a child herself, married a man-child. More than likely their arrangement is barely a notch up from a high school romance, assuming there’s no actual baby children in the mix.

    “By the way I’m 23 and she’s 19 and I’ve made some mistakes, but I’m going to fix them.”

    It would sure be helpful to know what these “mistakes” are… a drug habit? has he been cheating on her? we really don’t even know the reason for his wife asking him to leave, except “she’s unhappy”. But there is definitely more to this story than this guy is wanting to reveal in his extremely short and vague letter to Geoff. Bottom line: guy needs to man up, stop being a post-millennial perpetual child….

  • comments November 15, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    and the guy wants to move back in to his teenage wife’s parent’s house without her even wanting him there? How does that even work? ridiculous

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