My wife asked me about my counseling session Sunday night. Honestly there wasn’t a whole lot since most if it was about my history. I did manage to bring a few things up though. At first she was listening well, and focusing on not getting upset. It was nice. I think that was her counseling at work.
As I kept going I started to hit some of the more difficult topics and you could see her mood change. She started to get upset. Which caused her to sort of shut down. She stopped engaging. I guess it was just too much.
What did we talk about?
- How relationships change over time and it’s good to re-evaluate where you are.
- When people marry young they don’t always know who they are.
- I told her communication came up a lot. I was really worried that we do not communicate well about hard things. I’m not sure my wife realized how much of a problem I think this is.
- We talked about attraction, availability and compatibility.
- I have a lot of historical and current issues with her lack of availability in our marriage. She did not realize this at all. Her score system in our marriage didn’t account for this while mine did.
- My overall stress and the OCD ways I’ve learned to cope with it.
- How relationships all have problems and you can compromise, agree to disagree or make it a wedge issue and end the relationship. We need to decide what our issues are and how we can handle them. This is where I started to lose the listening wife.
Then somehow I mentioned that there were things I wanted to do with my life that I feel are not possible, and that I don’t have her support in doing. I think it was in response to availability. She was claiming that she was making an effort to be home by dinner, but she completely missed the larger point. There are things that would require a large sacrifice on her part, such as writing or some other non-work related things. She said she does support me and listed off the ways she has done so in the past. The exact example she jumped to was my example for how she didn’t support me.
In that case she had given me time to work on some things, but two out of three times when I returned she was angry that I was gone. I explained to her how those responses undercut any support she may have felt she had given so I quit asking for her help. She couldn’t believe it. Yet she saw the timeline. It was true.
Then I asked her when the last time she had asked me about my progress, and she admitted it had been months. I said “but I need your support on things like that. After feeling undermined I really needed you to step up and show that you support me as I would do for you.” She said since I didn’t bring it up it hadn’t occurred to her so she just dropped it. Exactly. We do not communicate well. And quite honestly I think she has a hard time not focusing on herself unless something is right in front of her, but I did not say that.
Our poor communication discussion led to a discussion on how different we are. That we do not read each other well. When I needed more of a certain kind of support she thought I needed less. She even mentioned that she really has a hard time understanding me emotionally. She just lays everything out on her side, but I’m not built that way. In fact her whole family operates differently than mine. It makes it hard for us to deal with things together that are hard.
She couldn’t deny any of it , and in the end she was really, really sad and wouldn’t talk to me. Exactly what we don’t need. I will give her time and see if things improve. With time, and therapists pushing the conversation, perhaps it will.
You know what we didn’t talk about at all? Sex. Which is what she thought we would be talking about. In fact this whole thing was supposed to be about sex, but in reality our other problems are what caused the sex problems. Must address the root.