Distant Husband, Counseling Not Working

posted 1 year ago in Married Life
Post # 31
258 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I….wow…. I’m 110% all for marriage counseling, but your update makes it seem like you are being assigned basic stuff other people do on the regular as homework, and that there is punishment if you don’t follow thorough. I totally get that you should work through him making snarky comments, but he has a challenge of shutting his mouth while you go out? 

It can be easy to shut his mouth, but it doesn’t mean the thoughts and feelings aren’t still in his head. If he can’t get past THAT, to fix the root, then it’s too far gone.

 I dunno… I mean, I wish you well, but when it gets to the point of being assigned to be decent human beings to one another, then maybe it’s just over.

Post # 32
1930 posts
Buzzing bee

I don’t know. If they can stay together and solve their problems, they can become stronger than ever. I think it’s better to at least try, in this situation. If they revisit in 2 months and things are still as they are they can figure out things from there. Good on you for going to counseling and doing something about this, OP!

Post # 33
940 posts
Busy bee

I dont think that was the best advice a counselor could give….there are a few underlying points that may interefere with this process being a genuine on his end.

Those are: HIme seeing you open up about ALL of your frustrations and being surprised (In his head he may think that he is causing wayy too many problems, and if hes already frustrated with the relationship, this will only add to that).

Also, being restricted to an allowance/budget and being told that “you are not allowed to say no, you are not allowed to say anything negative…” etc, will only make him feel trapped and confined. He will still feel those things, and feel like his own thoughts are being vocalized. 

Whats better is to communicate like adults. If arguments arise and voices start raising, end conversation immediately and calmly and let them know you will resume when its more appropiate. 

Post # 34
392 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2018 - City Hall

I’m having a hard time understanding your couselor’s methods, but what do I know. 

I hope that if it works, you two are stronger than ever with a newfound appreciation for one another.

And if it doesn’t work, I hope you can move on knowing you truly gave it your best shot. I was separated at 25 and I love the path it led me to – NO shame or regrets, okay? <3

Post # 35
859 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

Thank you for updating, OP! I am really glad to hear that you stood up for yourself and opened up about your frustrations during the counseling session.

I’m also glad to hear that your husband is going to try to learn how to budget, which is an “adulting” skill that he needs to learn regardless of whether you guys are able to make things work in your marriage. If he really heard your complaints, maybe this will be a wake up call for him, and maybe he’ll start growing into a better partner to you.

On the other hand, it’s pretty likely that he won’t be able to change enough to be a good fit for you. If you give it the two months, you’ll know in your heart that you gave him every chance, and I hope that you’ll give yourself permission to leave if things aren’t working.

Good luck to you, Bee!

Post # 36
881 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2020

I’ve been with my SO for 12 years, and we’re currently in couples counseling, so I understand where you’re coming from.

I “unloaded” a bit on him after our last session about how I am still struggling with stuff that happened during our first year of living together before we got engaged because I felt like he never really acknowledged any of it. He said he understood where I was coming from, and I had him explain what he thought I was struggling with to confirm that he really did understand. He also explained how he saw it, and we both agreed that we both handled things poorly and need to be more transparent in the future. I do think counselling got me to that point that I could have that discussion, and I think it was useful for helping me move past my resentment. I think it helped prepare him as well, because he was less defensive and more willing to be honest and say things he has avoided outright saying previously.

I will note though that my SO and I don’t have the incompatibilities or points of conflict that you describe. We actually get along very well in most things, it’s just that when the rare issue arises, we haven’t been equipped to confront it together, and we both have bad habits that lead to holding onto and worsening bad feelings. 

We’re in counselling in part because of my resentment and his defensiveness about our pre-engagement issues, and also to improve our communication so that a future issue doesn’t fester in that way. Our counseler has been more focused on communication techniques to get us talking about our concerns more openly and productively, rather than telling us specific things to do and not do. 

Honestly it’s our compatibility that has kept us together I think. I am financially secure on my own and don’t want kids, so reliable companionship is really my sole reason for wanting a husband/partner. So if we didn’t enjoy doing things together and talking and laughing at the same things, then I don’t know what I would be getting out of the relationship.

You say you are financially secure as well, so is the fear of divorce and alimony the main reason you are trying to make the marriage work? I think it’s understandable that you are trying to work with your husband, but if he doesn’t want to put in effort and engage in therapy, then I don’t see things improving.

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