Hard situation, not sure what to do... guys and girls advice welcome?

I've been married 6 years, and we've had problems since a few months into our marriage. We've been to marriage counseling (several times), and every counselor tells my hubby he needs to work on the same things. He stinks at communicating, isn't very compassionate/considerate toward me--but is with other people (work associates and mommy), is constantly at least 15-30 minutes later than when he tells me he'll be back, even when I've got appointments to go to.
And, the best part is when I try to bring up any of these things as a concern, he tries to find a way to place the blame on me, even indirectly.
I know I'm far from perfect, but I don't feel that my emotional well-being should be put on the back burner so that he can accomplish whatever he has his sights set on, my feelings be d@$ned. Then, usually later in the day he will come to me and say how he's been thinking about what I said, and that I'm right (duh!), and he does have problems that need to be worked on. Yeah... for at least 6 years now, this is the pattern that keeps cycling, and no real progress ever gets made.
I know if I were anyone else, I'd say get out of it, but we have 2 kids (I know, the mind reels that after all this, I'd think it wise to add 2 MORE children to my stresses), and I really don't want to do the single mom scene. But, I want so so badly to have someone in my life that supports my dreams and doesn't try to compete with me, and try to stay one step above. Even so, being single with 2 kids scares me.

So... after that great big schpeel... what say you all?


Most Helpful Girl

  • if your relationship is poor your kids will see through that. my parents are like that, one parent refuses to accept any blame or accountability. when a partner will never accept responsibility and agree to change it is a grave thing with lots of resentment. it's not good. but being single isn't easy either... i think you really have a lot to think about.


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What Guys Said 5

  • Open honest communication is the key. By both people. Listening and understanding. Learning to see things through the others eyes. Also remember there are two sides to any story.
    He has to WANT to do these things. You can't make him. The book Love Languages is a wonderful guide to learning what you want and need, and to learn the same about your partner.
    In the end, regardless of children, you have to decide if the positives of your relationship outweigh the negatives. Are the negatives things you can move past? A relationship is ever changing and evolving. Constant work is needed to keep it growing. It becomes easy to take each other for granted and look at only the negative things. Then blame each other for every ill.
    Only you can answer your next move. If your relationship only makes you unhappy and it won't change, its time to end it and move on.
    He clearly can be compassionate and a good person, but for some reason he sees you differently from those he is that way towards. Only he could tell you the true reason for that.

  • I find it interesting that you don't mention your husband's efforts as a provider, or as anything else. I'm going to assume that he makes some sort of contribution to your family that you haven't mentioned in your question.
    I think it's likely that if I asked him about you, he would start with your contributions to your family, moving into areas where he might wish you would contribute more, and would never get to listing specific grievances. This isn't because you never failed to say 'sorry' or 'i love you' or 'how was your day' when you should have. It's because guys don't keep score like that. When something is wrong, to us, the operative part of an apology is the normalization of the relationship, not the words. When we are in love, the operative expression of love is sharing our space, resources, time, and experiences together, not the words.
    Couple's counselling is where marriages go to die. I've watched one after another. They're batting nearly 1000.
    This is because they are asking him to communicate in a way which is unnatural to almost any man.
    The info you provide about your complaints is a bit vague, but it fits with the common complaint from women that their husbands are not present with the family enough.
    Men go where we are needed. I think many wives (perhaps unintentionally) make their husbands feel unneeded in the home. Think of the guys stuffed into the garage/basement/friend's house. He's needed to take out the trash and cut the grass, but not to be part of the family. On top of that, most men feel they earn, through work and sacrifice, the right to be heads of their families. If your need for his presence isn't communicated to him in a way he will understand, then his other priorities will take precedence, as he will consider you and the kids to be ok without him while he attends to other things.
    That's all I can say based on the limited information here. Good luck.

  • Perceiving from what you've written (though generally there's always a lot more than this and obviously you can't express what's been going on for 6 years in a question here) but I'd say maybe he's emotionally retarded. My best friend's that way, loves his wife (but again we all have our own definitions and perceptions of describing that word), provides etc but he's got no sensitivity. Yes he comes back later and says she's right, finally does what she wants etc but that doesn't solve his initial refusal / rebuke :-)

    Even if you sit to discuss this topic here or elsewhere it's going to be an one sided story i. e. one side of the coin and no one can really make a difference better than both of you.

    Either you guys understand yourselves apart from understanding each other to better the situation or you go separate ways (which is not recommended). But yes please don't add more kids to the family :-)

    I hope things work out between you guys and good luck :-)

  • You say you've been married 6 years, and then, "Yeah... for at least 6 years now, this is the pattern that keeps cycling, and no real progress ever gets made." You knew all this about him when you chose to marry him. Fault is all yours.

    But to keep it in the context of relationship dynamics, i'll just say there is never, ever, ever a way to engineer a partner into what you want them to be.

    By the way, if you're ditching out upwards of $400 an hour to hear a therapist spout platitudes, then i'd say invest in some financial counseling as well.


What Girls Said 2

  • You can do bad by yourself. You can't make ANYBODY else happy until you are, including your children.

  • I'd ask for an open marriage if you don't want to get a divorce. Its worth a try. It sounds like you two just settled/ended up married together without actually being compatible/and or healthy for each other.

    There are only so many conversations you can have with a person. There are only so many times you can go to counseling. If its not working, its not working. You'd just going to keep growing more and more bitter/resentful/lonely until you end up doing something that you won't be proud of. The same goes for your husband as well.

    If you want to save face with your children. Make the marriage look like its working, while you and your husband live your own separate lives.


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