First Hard Talk

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.  


19 thoughts on “First Hard Talk

  1. You know, when I hear things about myself that are less than complimentary, my first reaction is to defend myself and my second is to lash back. It takes days of percolating for the things said to be truly examined. Hopefully that’s what your wife will do this week. After the initial reaction, perhaps she will start to really think about how her actions have affected yours. My fingers are crossed that she comes back with a more open spirit.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes I think she will. She reacts the same as you generally, but has been working on that with her counselor. I’m sure she will talk about all this with her counselor. After that there will probably be more reasoned logic. We started talking more last night after we were able to connect.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Do you think she can ever admit fault? That it isn’t all on you? It seems she has a hard admitting to her wrongs in your marriage? I know it isn’t all one persons fault. It just seems you both aren’t compatible in a lot of ways. Sexually, the main one. But also as you said. Communicating. It seems she just expects you to know and be a mind reader. I hope this counseling helps you communicate better and finding out what is best for both of you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually I think she is starting to see that she is part of the problem which made her so sad. I’m not going to necessarily say fault because I think many of her qualities are great – just not for me. I wanted her to see that we do not read each other well. She started to see that. She always feels very low when she thinks she is part of the problem. I was, as you say, highlighting the areas we are not compatible that she couldn’t see. Communication especially. I’m not sure she expects me to be a mind reader but she definitely just expects me to always say exactly what’s on my mind the way she does. My inner world just doesn’t work that way. It never will.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I also tend to say what is on my mind and am curious as to how you communicate needs if you don’t actually express them? Do you think you *are* regularly communicating and she just isn’t picking up on it? Regardless, I’m glad you two were able to have a real discussion, even if only to the point when she stopped processing.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. That is the tricky part. There are many ways any two people communicate, and learn about each other. It depends a lot on the personality of the people. My wife is one of those people who says anything and everything on her mind. Her internal thoughts match her external. I am almost completely the opposite.

        To get to know her often all you have to do is listen and she will tell you. In fact she will tell you much more than you want! Everyone knows how my wife is feeling at any moment.

        For me you see what I want you to see and if you want to know me you have to come within my wall of trust. You have to keep searching and show interest and ask questions. Lots of questions. More questions than you thought you could need. But not just any questions they have to be intelligent searching questions. And I have to trust you or you will quickly get a smart ass answer.

        It’s not that either my wife or I do this on purpose. It’s simply the way we process information and analyze the external world. It would be easy to say “just tell her what you want her to know.” But I can’t. I don’t even know how. The ways I try to give her that information over the years have failed miserably. She does not enjoy being questioned all the time (how I learn) which means she also does not question. Most of the time my honest responses end up really upsetting her. We are on two different wave lengths. I’ve learned through behavior response to not say such things. Which leads to not sharing anything important. Not a healthy way to be in a marriage.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you for your thoughtful reply. (I apologize for the delay in getting back to the blog.) You did answer both the question I asked and some unspoken ones, as well.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It is possible that you started to lose her because she was reacting out of fear? When I read the topics you discussed, I know that I would start to feel afraid that it was leading to you ending the marriage.
    I hope she’s able to talk about this incident in therapy and maybe gain some insight. It seems she has a long way to go to meeting you halfway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I’m sure of if. She gets fearful and defensive at the mere mention of these topics. I think fear is fine, but it’s not an excuse to stop discussing indefinitely. I think there is a long way to go. I really hope we can get there in a healthy way.


  4. It is tough, I’m going through similar things with my wife, but far more extreme at this time as my infidelity is being revealed. To her, it is crystal clear what the problem is: what I’ve done. And to an extent, she’s right, but refuses to admit there is another side, the things she’s refused to support me in or show love for. I hope you are able to make it work with you wife. It is so hard when two people have different priorities!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It is interesting that you and Patient found each other’s blog.
    There is a lot of speculation that cheater’ numbers haven’t changed. I totally disagree.
    Until somewhere around the middle of the last century we were an agrarian society. Now less than 5% of us live on farms. Farming is hard work. So was housework. There was little time and energy for fooling around and enormous pressure to conform. That lifestyle actually fit our bodies better. We are warm blooded animals so we generate our own energy. It has to be dissipated. Sitting in front of a screen all day is not normal based on our physiology. Also, back then we only knew people close by. Now we can connect to people worldwide and fool ourselves into believing that they are so much better than what we have at home. That is almost never the case. Your bodies were designed to hunt in groups and throw spears. Now you sit and watch other men throw footballs. Boredom sets it. So you go looking and there she is…..the girl of your dreams. Or the girls. I don’t think men should marry before age 30. You are nowhere mature enough emotionally/mentally to know what you want.


  6. “She just lays everything out on her side, but I’m not built that way.”

    Although I’m not like your wife in that I’m pretty guarded with my feelings/thoughts around people in general, I do share them with Scrubs. It might take me a few days, but the discomfort of sharing them is outweighed by the knowledge that it’s better for both of us if I speak my piece. Even if it’s hard. Even if I’d rather pull my teeth out one by one.

    On the other hand, Scrubs is more like you. Scrubs almost never discusses difficult topics. Not because Scrubs doesn’t want to, Scrubs just isn’t built that way. Scrubs wants to know how I’m feeling about things all the time, but doesn’t think that I feel the same for some reason.

    It’s not an issue because we are both well-matched and it hasn’t come up as an obstacle, but I can see how it could. In insecure moments, it makes me feel… vulnerable… to know that Scrubs knows how I feel about everything, while I have to wonder or make assumptions. I wonder if your wife feels that x1000 through having this disconnect. I’m not sure where I’m going with this comment, it’s more of a thinking-aloud type of thing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the nickname scrubs. That’s great! Yes I get what you’re saying. It would be hard not to be more guarded than my wife. She’s actually quite naive about life so the complete and utter openness flows from that.

      Yes I am more like scrubs and it isn’t because we don’t think you should know. I’m not exactly sure how to describe this. It’s like there is never a question asked as to digging out our feelings so we don’t even know to dig them out ourselves and often we don’t even have the shovel. You do.

      I cannot tell you how much I learned about myself this past year simply because Meredith used her shovel. There was so much I just didn’t realize and it wasn’t on purpose! It just was. After a deep coffee shop conversation I would go home and tell my wife what I learned about myself. Sometimes she wouldn’t really believe it and other times she would act like it was obvious. If it was then why did she not bring it up? Both reactions would hurt. The first because she didn’t see me and wasn’t excited to know me deeper and the second because she never through to let me know what she saw. No curiosity into who I a was.

      And now I’m thinking aloud. Thanks for your comment. Made me think!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I use my shovel sometimes but it’s hard to know whether I’m helping or hurting. When we’re both happy it seems unnecessary… I see what you’re saying though.

        Liked by 1 person

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