Post # 1
First..a little background.
I have been seeing a therapist almost every week for 2 years now. I have learned a lot about myself, or at least come to terms with the things I already knew. I used to be easily angered and lash out verbally at the drop of a hat, but I realized it was just me not voicing my emotions properly.
My FI and I have been together for over 4 years. We have been engaged for over a year and are getting married in 2 months.
We have had many ups and downs. I have been getting annoyed with him a lot lately and it’s to the point of unhealthy. I have extreme anxiety and tend to be on the neurotic side, and he is very laid back and shows little emotion. This causes a lot of tension when I am moody. I completely own the fact that I am this way, but he does absolutly nothing to help the situations- he usually just makes it worse. We talk about it, he fixes it and apologizes, and soon enough he is back to his old habits. It’s never anything big, but it makes me feel like he is not taking into consideration my feelings, wants, or needs. Typical emotional stuff. I have even explained to him point blank exactly what I need. I know he is capable of providing it, he just chooses when and when not to do it. He has even admitted to me he just doesn’t know what to do in certain situations, so he reacts with what I call “attitude”.
He absolutly hates therapy- it goes back to childhood issues when he was forced to go for PTSD after a childhood accident. I convinced him to go 2 or 3 times with me, but he felt like my therapist was bias and he felt attacked. I completely understand how he could feel that way, so I approached him about seeing a different couples counseler. He says we can work it out on our own and has shut it down every time. He is usually open to “talking”, but like I said, he soon is back to his old habits. This has caused me to shy away from him and become more and more distant. I love him more than anything- when we are good we are amazing. He is my best friend, but he absolutly drives me nuts sometimes. I know our arguing is within the “normal” range and is about stupid petty things (like helping around the house, getting annoyed when I ask him to do something, etc.) , but I still feel like we should see a professional about communication before and even after we get married.
Every time I try to approach the topic he rolls his eyes and thinks I am being dramatic. It usually ends in an argument, so I have been avoiding bringing it up. I don’t know how to ask him again (and get him to see my side) when it’s a topic that has already been shut down numerous times.
Post # 2
I understand where you’re coming from. My BF and I don’t argue, but I am way more anal and he’s much more passive about things. I ask him to do something, he does it that one time and never does it again without being asked.
I agree with the idea of seeing a completely new therapist together. That might make him feel at ease. I think the approach would be to remind him that he isn’t doing anything wrong. He is the way he is and you love him. Being laid back isn’t a character flaw. But sometimes a more neurotic personality and passive personality need ways to cope to avoid arguments. Relationships are about compromise. He can’t be so laid back about everything and you can’t be so neurotic. You both have to give and take a little. Seeing a therapist wouldn’t change him. You’re not asking him to change. You’re asking him to help you as a couple find ways to work together, on issues in the future, that you would normally handle two different ways.
Hope this helps!
Post # 3
I think I’d first ask myself what could make ME go for therapy if I felt I didn’t need it? That might give you some answers about how to approach it, even tho you are entirely seperate personalities.
Post # 4
Honestly, if he doesn’t want to go, then it’s not going to work anyway. Dragging him there, or tricking him into going will accomplish nothing, because he’s not going to open up once he’s there. He needs to og in with an open mind and an open heart, and that’s not something you can convince someone to have.
It’s great therapy has been helpful for you, but obviously he’s not interested. Maybe consider other routes. Counseling isn’t for everyone.
Post # 5
texaslemon: Bottom line, if is important to you, and an absolute ‘must’ for you to enter into marriage, then it should be important to him. However, even if you convince him to go (and he is kicking and screaming) about it, then it honestly will not ‘change’ a thing. I think therapy works if both parties are 100% invested.
I applaude you for seeking help on your own, and for acknowledging/knowing your ‘issues’. That is wonderful. I think it speaks volumes that your FI SUPPORTS your choice to seek out therapy to better yourself. There are a lot of people out there that would diminish this, and for that, I think he deserves a ton of credit 🙂 Admittedly, you stated that a lot of your frustrations in the relationship are because of things within you, and thus, because he is wired differently, cause you ‘anxiety’ and a sense that he does not give you everything you need 100% of the time?! I find that having a partner that is the ying to your yang can offer many benefits to a healthy relationship, so when becoming frustrated that him being ‘too laid back’, try to remember all the times it has been a saving grace. A LOT of men need constant reminders of what the woman needs or wants. I have to remind my DH every 3-4 months that I need ROMANCE, and he quickly plans a wonderful date night. Whereas, day-to-day, week-to-week, it is not something he ‘thinks’ about (whereas, it crosses my mind all the time). On the other hand, he is still an amazing husband 🙂
I *think* some creative ideas to open up communication, or different conversations would be to pull-up thought provoking questions for your mate (online, etc), and then ask him to set aside time each week to ask/answer a few. It probably sounds dumb, but I have done this, and when we went to bed I would ask one thought-provoking question per day. It really ‘helped’ us learn deeper things about one another, and was definitely in a safe setting (in our home, just the two of us) to share/open up about, and sometimes critisize things about ourselves and our relationship…
I just googled, and this site came up, and is along the lines of what we did:
Post # 6
Kudos to you for recognizing you need help and seeking it out. I am convinced that everyone can benefit from counselling. I agree with your suggestion to seek out a separate couples counselor but it seems your fiance is not as amenable to this. In deciding how to proceed, here are a few things to ask yourself:
1. What am I hoping to get out of couple’s counselling? Is it just to make him understand you or also for you to see his perspective?
2. If things remain exactly as they are, will I be happy? People don’t change unless they have a desire to change. To me, it doesn’t sound like he wants to change.
If your answer to number 2 is ‘no,’ then you need to have a serious discussion with your FI about whether or not you should be getting married. If it’s an issue now, it will still be an issue when you’re married.
I’m not trying to be harsh or to diminish the relationship that you have. Only you and he can know that. If you are truly committed, I think that is wonderful and I hope you have a long, happy life together. I don’t know you or your FI, but if he isn’t prepared to change and you aren’t prepared to deal with this for the next 50 years, you need to evaluate the commitment you’re making.
Post # 7
Oh man OP. Please take this with a grain of salt and if it doesn’t apply to you simply ignore it, ok?
More than a couple’s problem this sounds like a personal issue. My advice would be to bring this issue up in your IC session (“I’ve been getting increasingly annoyed with my FI due to things that have been happening during our entire relationship. Because I’ve gotten so much out of our sessions I’ve been pressuring him more and more to do couples counseling. THATS putting an additional pressure on our relationship, he thinks I’m being dramatic, I don’t feel like he understands how important this is to me…”). I guarantee your therapist will explore with you why this is an issue FOR YOU right now. Are you getting nervous about tying your life to his with these already existing issues? As the wedding looms closer are you questioning how your different personalities will resolve future conflicts that will obviously be much bigger than who does what around the house? Are you unconsciously extrapolating his unwillingness to participate in couples counseling to how he will act with things that are important to you? What’s going on that YOU are pushing so hard for this?
I would, in fact, advise you to drop the subject with your FI completely because he is NOT interested. He’s not interested NOT because he doesn’t love you or because he doesn’t care about your relationship but because he had a bad experience with counseling when he was a kid AND when he went to that shared session with your therapist. As someone who’s been in individual counseling for the last two years you know that you can’t ever change the other person, but YoU can do things differently. This is on you, not him. You already know that there is no “he’s making me mad,” its really “for some reason that I don’t yet understand when he does this I get really mad” or “I get mad with him.” You are the agent of your emotions OP. Including this increasing frustration at not getting him to do what you (in your anxious state) believe would be best for the two of you.
Hopefully you will resolve this personal issue in your individual sessions.
The ONE place where you might get him to sit down and talk about this would be in premarital counseling that most churches require? And if yours doesn’t you might want to think about finding a church that WILL do a full premarital counseling for you guys. However, then I’d tell you to work on why you manipulated your FI into doing this against his express wishes…