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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I am new here. My wife and I have been married for 5 1/2 years. There have been good times and bad times and a lot in between, but we still love each other very much. Unfortunately, that love has barriers in place that now have us in a situation where our marriage is faltering.

Here is the basic summary:

Last week my wife's grandfather had an aortal rupture while he was at work. He subsequently had two heart attacks but is somehow still alive. My wife is very close with him, but he lives in California. Dropping everything, she took a flight out there to see him.

We've had financial issues in recent months, but I made a huge mistake when she told me she wanted to go see him. One of the first things I said was "How are we going to afford this?" Not a good thing to bring up money at such a time. Anyway, she put it on a credit card and got a low price and went out there.

When she came back, the issue came up. It spiraled into other things and now I'm finding myself on the brink of marriage collapse. It is all happening suddenly for me, but not for her. See, we had another near-collapse two years ago. The main issue then was my inability to make decisions about my own future and the fact that I was sort of dragging her this way and that, and it was wearing on her.

Now that we have moved to NYC, we are very close to my family but further from hers, and her relationship with my family is an awkward one. They are not a great match. She is very outspoken and strong-willed and quirky, whereas they value things like normalcy and are somewhat reserved in their expressions, often taking the path of passive aggressiveness rather than outright argument (arguments are rare in my family - "comments" are not). Anyway, all this has added to the tension because, as she sees it (and she is not wrong), I haven't stood up for her against them when they make their comments.

The good thing is that we both still love each other and acknowledge that. We are going to seek marital counseling. A split would be very complicated because we have two kids and not much money, and more importantly it would feel so wrong to split when we still love one another. I don't even really want to think about that right now.

Anyway, I'm finding it very difficult to concentrate on work, or really anything else. Yesterday she actually told me she intended to leave me, but after talking with a friend of hers, she suggested the therapy route. I'm quite glad about her willingness to try, and I intend to work as hard as I can to keep our marriage intact.

Right now I'm pretty scared and feeling a little like I'm grasping for something to do that will fix things quickly - a band-aid to keep the wound from opening any further and stop the hurt of this. I know I have made mistakes. I have tried to fix things before and have made bad moves. She doesn't trust me to fix what I need to fix about myself because I have told her I would before and have not.

I don't want to lose her. She is the love of my life and the most beautiful woman I have ever known inside and out. How can I regain her trust when her previous trust in me to fix things about myself has not worked out?

Has anyone had experience with marital counseling? I want to find something that works for us and helps us move on to a better level.
 

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I can address your last question. Yes, I have current experience on seeing a marriage counselor. We've been seeing one for about 5 or 6 months now, usually weekly. Since you voiced financial concerns, you can find affordable couseling through the internet. I found ours that bases how much you pay depending on your income. They call it a "sliding scale". So our rates fit into our budget perfectly...

That is a huge step for you, the husband to take. To be willing to make the first move and get into couseling. I commend you for that...Keep us posted and good luck.
 

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You sound like a wonderful man and I'm very positive that you will make your marriage work because you "want" too!!!

One thing that would probably be helpful for you is to really show concern for her grandfather! Do you ask her about how he's feeling??? Do you feel comfortable enough to grab the phone from her to give him some "positive support" yourself when she's talking with him? Open your heart to all those she loves! I'm positive that you doing that would put a little tingle in her soul!!! It's so nice to have loving support around you when you dear ones are in questionable health...

As for your parents comments, if they are inappropriate or demeaning to your wife, you must let them know that you do not want to hear them in your presence. What they say when you're not there is one thing, but with you present is another... Everyone does have a right to there own opinions, but no one should hurt another with them... If you ever see them treat your wife inappropriately, ever, you really should make an excuse to leave immediately so that she is not subjected to feeling uncomfortable and you really need to have a discussion with your parents that you will not tolerate it and if they continue to disrespect her (which is disrespecting you) you will not be able to visit with them the way are able to do now... I kind of get the feeling the situation is not that bad...

You also say that she is very strong willed and outspoken... As long as she is not disrespectful of them, it should not be an issue, but if she is, the same holds true and you need to let her know that it hurts you...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies.

We're going to call up a couple of counseling places today to try to make appointments and what not. I have asked her how her grandfather is doing numerous times. I really do care about him, as he's a really wonderful person.

Where my wife and I stand now, after a long argument the other day that ended with us feeling like it was truly over followed by a more civil conversation afterwards, is that we are sort of mentally separated. I say that because we continue to share the same apartment, even the same bed, but she has moved her stuff into the living room and we've taken a step back from her relationship.

She sort of fell into the role of housewife - which is not what she wanted and is not a comfortable place for her (or me) - after our first son was born. This has been a consistent source of angst for her, so now she is working on getting a job in the evenings. I hope that takes a lot of strain off things. She definitely needs some autonomy, and I certainly don't mind watching the kids evenings (I love hanging out with my boys). I am willing to do what it takes to get our marriage back on course. I only hope she isn't too weary of me and my many flaws to keep trying.

One of the issues I haven't really mentioned is that she is a lot more open about things with me than I am with her, and I really should be more open. There are things I only recently revealed to her about myself that I should have revealed years ago. To me it was a step forward to reveal them, but to her it was very hurtful that it took me so long.

Where we are now, though, is that we are working on our marriage. We talk a lot, and she is very hurt, and I am very hurt by all this. We are with each other in some capacity through our kids for the rest of our lives, regardless of the outcome of this. She is a great mom and we both want both of us to be in our kids' lives as much as possible. But I'd rather us be together than apart. The same is true for her, but I'm not sure she has the energy to keep going with it.
 

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Sounds like you guys are headed in the right direction! My husband and I had to get counseling after our first year of marriage (long story) and, truly, it saved our marriage. We learned alot about each other and what it truly means to be married. The counselor told us that marriage is like each spouse holding one side of a rubber band and when times get tough, the rubber band stretches. Once it's stretched out tight, if one spouse lets go, the thing snaps, and it hurts! But if the couple come closer to each other (to work things out) then nobody lets go and it doesn't hurt....that's only one thing that we learned, but 5 years later, we still have a rubber band hanging on the refridgerator! Hang in there, and be honest with the counselor, even if it's embarrassing, or may hurt feelings. They can't help if they don't know the whole story.
Good luck! Keep us posted!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I sure do hope the counselor is able to help. Right now I feel like there is a spear through my heart that is twisting and turning. It's a profound sadness. I called up a counselor that a friend recommended yesterday and left a message for them to call back. If they don't call back today, I'll try another one. I'm finding it very hard to concentrate on work or anything else right now. This morning I leaned in to kiss her (I am always sure to give her a kiss every morning before I leave for work, even if she's asleep), and she turned her head to the side. It was like a dagger. This is so painful.
 

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Good morning, Kael! I'm sorry you've had a rough morning. Be diligent about finding a counsellor. If you can find a good one, one that's pro-marriage, they're really helpful. Hang in there!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, we had our first session, and it was very positive. The therapist says there is definite hope for us. He was funny and kept the mood very light, which was what we needed in a first session. He was able to spot our basic problems before we even said them, which impressed me.

Hopefully this will work.
 

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I wish you and your wife success in the marriage counseling approach....I'm trying to get my husband to go and he wont. So I'm going to try the approach you did and hopefully it will work...Good luck!
 

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Although I wish you luck and success, I feel for a full recovery you will need to take a deep honest look within yourself first. I know money is important to all of us, but life of a loved one is way more important. If you cannot stand up for your wife and be her strength in times of life and death than why would she want to be with you forever? IF her grandfather is dying not only should you have let her fly to visit him but been there for the family as best as you could too.

I also cannot believe you will not support your wife against your parents. Its better to be open and discuss issues (like your wife does) rather than be passive aggressive like your parents. Women expect their men to stand up for them and treat them most important in their life, you have not shown that yet to her.

Agreeing to counseling may be your quick "band aid" for your marriage but to make your marriage work long term you will need to make some solid changes. Learn to treat your wife as #1 in your life. Be her strength and support and she will be yours.
Regaining her trust will take time and effort and a lot of work. I feel you are up for it though, so I wish you my very best!
 
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