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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any insights or ideas would be appreciated. (Let's leave out the instant accusations of an affair).

Been having troubles with my wife and our marriage recently. Thanks to some counseling sessions, this website, other online resources and books, I have an idea of what I can do better and what's led to these problems. My wife, who I love greatly, continues to lash out at me with instant anger. She's refused to recognize how she may have partially contributed to our problems, take any advice from the counselor and won't even attend anymore. I feel like I'm just waiting for her to make up her mind. We barely talk anymore, never have sex, and every conversation ends up in me getting yelled at. I've been doing a great job of not arguing or yelling, but it's started to really hurt me. I think she is not even listening to me most of the time.

Here's the recent history. Over the last several years with the demands of our careers and kids, we haven't gotten to spend much time alone together to maintain and strengthen our relationship. We've both had some recent career challenges. I'm the overwhelming breadwinner in the family, and my income and career allow us to live quite well, save and provide for our children's futures. She's had a part time job for several years to keep herself busy and happy, but barely brings in any money. She's recently had a health scare and will have chronic problems. She also had a close sister die suddenly a few months ago at a very young age. I think I've become a scapegoat for her grief and unhappiness, which I've been trying to help her through.

How do I get her to seek counseling for herself?

I am worried she may hurt herself because she seems to have become dangerously impulsive and angry.

I've had friends and counselors advise moving out and speaking to an attorney (sometimes I think this is what she wants me to do), but these seem drastic and I want to make sure she is mentally healthy. What does anybody else think? At what point does a spouse start to prepare for a separation or divorce? Especially, when sudden recent events have made someone grief stricken or depressed?
 

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Does she realize how grief stricken and depressed she is?

Does she have a friend or family member who can suggest that she see a doctor for antidepressents?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Does she realize how grief stricken and depressed she is?

Does she have a friend or family member who can suggest that she see a doctor for antidepressents?
I'm not sure if she realizes that. I can't get her to talk much. She's had doctors, counselors, friends and family advise her to get help and she refuses.
 

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ST, I think you sound like a good guy in wanting to make things work and recognizing that your wife's got a couple of major stressors going on with the death of her sister and discovering a chronic medical condition. However, some of what you said reveals that your relationship was in trouble in other ways, too.

I went and found your other thread about your situation with her. Here's my take on what I read: Your wife has made it clear that she doesn't want to be with you. She has blatantly told you so and asked you to leave, but you have not left. Not leaving a home you own is a smart choice financially because it will protect you if you divorce. However, the fact that she has not left is most certainly *not* an indication that she wants you to keep trying with the relationship as you stated there. Her instant anger and ongoing hostility are more reliable indicators of how she feels about you right now.

You said not to jump on instant accusations of an affair. I have no idea what led her to check out of your marriage, but it's clear that she did. She is letting you know that she is simply not going to invest anything further in you or your marriage. At some point, I do believe that she has taken up with another man, and I say this for two reasons: Her unwillingness to work on the relationship is not typical for a person who's simply unhappy. It's a sign that she is convinced that it won't work. What will convince a person that their relationship won't work no matter what? Well, it could be that she has seen a repeated pattern of failures when she's tried, or it could mean that you committed a profound betrayal that she cannot or will not risk again, or it means that she has identified something that she believes is better. I don't see signs of these first two things in your post, but I see signs of the third based on your comment about swallowing.

The second reason I think she's turned to someone else is what you wrote about her swallowing after so long of never doing so. It's a sudden shift in her sexual behaviors that was not prompted by your relationship, and it's a pretty HUGE shift that isn't likely to happen without a trigger of some sort. A woman doesn't go from "I won't do that" to "I'll do that willingly without being asked" just magically.

I think you're fighting a losing battle and it sounds as if others in your life also think so. If you want to read about the dynamics of denial and what happens when you try to break through them, check out How Can You Help Someone Who Does Not Want Help (But Needs It)?.

Best wishes...
 
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