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Hey, I know such a psychologist

Seriously, I'm not sure one can easily have a couple sessions with a total stranger and come up with a diagnosis.

It takes an awful lot of interaction and clinical history to even venture a diagnosis. Esp if you're an introvert geek engineer type like half my team.

Also, someone familiar with the culture involved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Yes read the five languages of love.
Already downloaded ebook and on my kindle after previous recommendation... seems to be coming from christian point of view though? But will have a proper look later

It is normal for children to talk to parents about their life. Even about their spouses.
Yes... I'm happy my wife has her parents to support her, as I previously said... but I'd like to think that if I were in my FIL's situation, I'd encourage my daughter to consider her own issues, not just ring a psychologist friend based on a partial understanding and try to wring some diagnosis out of him... And she's been talking to waaaay more people than just her parents

Whether or not you figure out how to deal with your wife you should see a qualified professional about the possibility of being on the spectrum. If you are on the spectrum, often times close personal relationships are difficult. What may seem very close can actually be kinda distant.
Yes been thinking a lot about this possibility. But my wife agrees I am very loving to my kids. Does that rule out the possibility of ASD? Or are children parents and siblings different, and ASD could only affect relationship with wife?

Thanks a lot for your response!
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Try a different marriage counselor if your wife doesn't like this one.
I could understand if she asked me to change and we sat down to discuss who would be better... only its a problem when she goes and chooses of her own accord a psychologist who she knows will be extremely uncomfortable for me!

Intimacy is often effected by current marital issues. If she isn't feeling loved and cherished she isn't going to feel friendly. Rubbing a simple mistake in her face isn't helping your situation. Being unhappy can be a driver for overeating.
You're right and I regret rubbing the mistake in her face. However while it is certainly true that intimacy is effected by current marital issues, the opposite is also true, i.e. current marital issues are often caused by issues with intimacy. And given that she can only find issues when she's not being intimate, I think its fair to assume its that way round. Is it reasonable in your opinion to expect a man who has consistently got this treatment over many years to continue being kind and giving unconditionally. Because I think most men will see things as I do... you get kind of fed up after so many years

Again, thanks a lot for your response... it's great to be getting different points of view, as the ones which look at it like me are supportive and validating, and the ones which challenge me give room for hope in the long run that sthg can be done!
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Do you guys go on dates without the children? Do you spend at least 15 hours a week together? Do you spend time sharing about each other's day?
We do spend quality time together, but not as much as 15 hours without the children, that just wouldn't be possible. Its more like when she needs a lift somewhere when the kids are in school, or supper every night is just us when we talk about our days, and bedtime (when thats happening). You're right this is sthg to work on, though I don't think this alone will turn things round

What did you do on Valentine's Day? Her birthday? Your birthday?
Funny you mention that, birthdays actually came up with the marriage counsellor a few months ago. Even though my wife was "not in the mood" at her last birthday, I decided I'd be big and went and got her a whole load of presents way above my budget, expensive perfume, a groupon for a beauty treatment she wanted and so on. The idea was like you're saying, be nice to her unconditionally and maybe she'll be OK with intimacy [it didn't help]. My birthday she basically ignored.

The funny thing is that after discussing it with the therapist, I had another birthday, when *again* she basically ignored it. Not even a card, she didn't even tell the kids to make a card for Daddy. I wouldn't've brought this up since it seems rather petty, but as you mentioned birthdays... She did a few weeks later bake me a cake, but only after it came up with the therapist. Not sure what to make of this...

Thanks again...
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
What is her physical response to different forms of intimacy? What is her emotional response?
Physically, since sessions 6 months ago with her personal therapist which focused specifically on this, she very much seems to enjoy it. (Before that she didn't)
Emotionally is a different question. She tells me that still now, often afterwards she cries for hours. It seems really weird, but googling it it seems fairly common, there's something called "postcoital dysphoria". So not sure what that's all about, she's discussed it with her personal therapist but not shared with me other than saying its because I don't make an emotional connection with her.

What is the relevance of the bolded above?
Just explaining she didn't do the dieting/exercising she'd agreed on, and that I found the results of this hard to say the least

OP, what was your wife's childhood like? What kind of relationship does her mother and father have? What does her relationship with them look like? With her siblings?
I think she had a happy positive childhood, she has good relationships with her parents and with her siblings.
Her parents' relationship, while they seem to get along fine, just judging by their personalities I don't think there's much physical going on, but of course I don't really know. Her Mum does seem to have a serious anxiety issue though

What is your wife's primary emotion? Does she get excited often/easily?
Yes she does get excited very easily about pretty small things. Why?
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I would be forced to say that your W appears to be looking for any excuse whatsoever not to be intimate with you, her H! Why, God only knows!

Given that she wants you to be examined by their friend, the in-house psychologist, while acquiescing to her family, is a bad idea!

If you're, indeed, going to be examined, please choose a psychologist who is totally independent and has no potential built-in bias! Get some recommendations from friends and associates and go to that one!

Truth be told, I cannot help but believe that it is your W who needs the psychological evaluation much rather than you!
Yes I think you're right about getting a different psychologist. Its not just potential bias which he may be professional enough to overcome, and not just the fact that he's already half-formed his opinions before meeting me. Its also the fact that this is plain forum-shopping on her part by first finding a psychologist who says what she wants and then demanding to go to him. I'm just concerned because its become a whole big thing in her mind that only this particular one understands her and is professional enough to help. So even if she agrees to go to a different fellow, if she doesn't hear from them what she wants to she'll just start again until I go to her one. This has already happened previously...

What type of thing do you think my wife might need to be evaluated for? I don't know much about these things, what types of areas could be worth looking into?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Seriously, I'm not sure one can easily have a couple sessions with a total stranger and come up with a diagnosis. It takes an awful lot of interaction and clinical history to even venture a diagnosis. Esp if you're an introvert geek engineer type like half my team.
Yes I think "introvert geek engineer" fits me quite well...
Why is it harder to diagnose that type of person?
Aren't there fixed tests which evaluate for autism, why would it take so long? Sorry if that's a naive question

Thank you!
 

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Yes I think you're right about getting a different psychologist. Its not just potential bias which he may be professional enough to overcome, and not just the fact that he's already half-formed his opinions before meeting me. Its also the fact that this is plain forum-shopping on her part by first finding a psychologist who says what she wants and then demanding to go to him. I'm just concerned because its become a whole big thing in her mind that only this particular one understands her and is professional enough to help. So even if she agrees to go to a different fellow, if she doesn't hear from them what she wants to she'll just start again until I go to her one. This has already happened previously...

What type of thing do you think my wife might need to be evaluated for? I don't know much about these things, what types of areas could be worth looking into?

Thanks!
Just the mere fact that she seems to be fastly shirking away from extending affection to you and will do just about anything to keep it from happening!
 

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Sorry let me clarify my question: what type of condition could cause these behaviours do you think?
Lots of things.

If we're talking touch aversion, even Asperger's.

Prior skeletons in the closet due to CSA

Oppression by males in the family or culture

Role models growing up

Expectations messed up due to culture or upbringing

Etc
 

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Sorry let me clarify my question: what type of condition could cause these behaviours do you think?
I think that my good friend, John, has definitely answered your question, and I'd be greatly inclined to agree!
 

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Physically, since sessions 6 months ago with her personal therapist which focused specifically on this, she very much seems to enjoy it. (Before that she didn't)
Emotionally is a different question. She tells me that still now, often afterwards she cries for hours. It seems really weird, but googling it it seems fairly common, there's something called "postcoital dysphoria". So not sure what that's all about, she's discussed it with her personal therapist but not shared with me other than saying its because I don't make an emotional connection with her.

Why aren't you more interested in her crying after sex and her discussions with her personal therapist? Have you considered that your lacking effort to find out about these topics in detail would suggest to her that you don't think these are serious issues? Rather than relying on the simple explanation you got online, you need to ask your wife exactly what she's experiencing when she's crying. She could be reliving a past unwanted sexual experience and the sadness/hopelessness of that situation for all you know.

Just explaining she didn't do the dieting/exercising she'd agreed on, and that I found the results of this hard to say the least

I think she had a happy positive childhood, she has good relationships with her parents and with her siblings.

Her parents' relationship, while they seem to get along fine, just judging by their personalities I don't think there's much physical going on, but of course I don't really know. Her Mum does seem to have a serious anxiety issue though

Yes she does get excited very easily about pretty small things. Why?
Lots of things.

If we're talking touch aversion, even Asperger's.

Prior skeletons in the closet due to CSA

Oppression by males in the family or culture

Role models growing up

Expectations messed up due to culture or upbringing

Etc
You need to find out more about your wife's childhood. Our childhood experiences and the relationships we're exposed to have a big impact on our behavior in relationships as adults. The fact that your wife feels the need to run to her parents/friends and they support this behavior is a big red flag. Your wife's attitude towards intimacy is a red flag. Her crying after sex is another red flag. Our personalities/temperament are not honed in a vacuum, the people we are today are the result of decades of conditioning.

In addition to john's list above, alexithymia was a consideration hence the question re does she get excited easily. People with alexithymia have a difficulty experiencing emotions, verbalizing emotions and getting sexual pleasure from sex.

The prior skeletons in the closet due to csa is a common explanation for the intimacy avoidance that you describe with your wife. Either way, it would behoove you to find out as much as you can about your wife's childhood and the dynamics of her parents' relationship. It would not be a coincidence if their marriage also suffers from intimacy issues.

Was sex painful for her prior to the sessions 6 months ago?
 

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Alexithymia may be just a signal or symptom of an underlying issue. In general emotional regulation is messed up so...

Having said that, anyone in her family having any mental health issue? Developmental issue?
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Lots of things.
If we're talking touch aversion, even Asperger's.
Prior skeletons in the closet due to CSA
Oppression by males in the family or culture
Role models growing up
Expectations messed up due to culture or upbringing
Etc
Why aren't you more interested in her crying after sex and her discussions with her personal therapist? Have you considered that your lacking effort to find out about these topics in detail would suggest to her that you don't think these are serious issues? Rather than relying on the simple explanation you got online, you need to ask your wife exactly what she's experiencing when she's crying. She could be reliving a past unwanted sexual experience and the sadness/hopelessness of that situation for all you know.

You need to find out more about your wife's childhood. Our childhood experiences and the relationships we're exposed to have a big impact on our behavior in relationships as adults. The fact that your wife feels the need to run to her parents/friends and they support this behavior is a big red flag. Your wife's attitude towards intimacy is a red flag. Her crying after sex is another red flag. Our personalities/temperament are not honed in a vacuum, the people we are today are the result of decades of conditioning.

In addition to john's list above, alexithymia was a consideration hence the question re does she get excited easily. People with alexithymia have a difficulty experiencing emotions, verbalizing emotions and getting sexual pleasure from sex.

The prior skeletons in the closet due to csa is a common explanation for the intimacy avoidance that you describe with your wife. Either way, it would behoove you to find out as much as you can about your wife's childhood and the dynamics of her parents' relationship. It would not be a coincidence if their marriage also suffers from intimacy issues.

Was sex painful for her prior to the sessions 6 months ago?
Alexithymia may be just a signal or symptom of an underlying issue. In general emotional regulation is messed up so...
Having said that, anyone in her family having any mental health issue? Developmental issue?
Thanks a lot for all your feedback! As the comments overlap I'll address them all in one go.

I don't think its any type of touch aversion, she's very happy to hug the kids and her nephews and nieces etc.

I understand Alexithymia has been ruled out as she gets excited easily, also she does get physical pleasure from intimacy.

CSA is the interesting one. This was the express reason I asked her to go to her personal therapist 6 months ago. My wife tells me she discussed it with her, and that the therapist concluded that there was no overt abuse (although all this means is that that's what my wife told the therapist, so for all I know she may just be unwilling to come to terms with it).

While the therapist said there was no overt abuse, there were several issues which could have caused problems. Firstly, that she had never had anyone explain to her what marriage was all about in a positive way (I literally can't believe it, what were her parents thinking!). Secondly and more worryingly, when she was about 15 she had an older girl giving her "the talk", and my wife was very disturbed about it at the time, thinking it was disgusting and telling other girls not to speak to that girl. So I can well imagine that having gotten a very negative impression of intimacy, which was then never corrected before marriage, and then she was thrown in the deep end with me being totally unaware of all this, could have been very traumatic for her. As I told the marriage counsellor, it was several months before we could fully consummate the marriage, at the time she said it was because she found it extremely painful physically, which I think can happen in some women, although in hindsight perhaps other explanations are more likely. She spent most of the first year of marriage extremely homesick, as we weren't in the same country as her parents, and then morning sickness as she became pregnant; again, in hindsight it may well have been more than homesickness and morning sickness. (I don't think there was any physical pain after the consummation got done, apart from when she would get a sore).

However, she is supposed to have dealt with these issues with her therapist, and her attitude did change a lot outwardly. Its just that after five months that balloon got popped, and then I found out that all along she'd still been crying afterwards. I suppose it could be residual effects which haven't been cleared up 100%, however my wife adamantly says the problem now is nothing to do with that, but because I don't connect to her emotionally.

Believe me I am very interested in her conversations with her personal therapist and I'd be very interested to hear what goes on in them, however I'm not invited, this is not for lack of trying, I've sent the therapist dozens of emails and she never replies. All I know is what I've been told, that a) no overt abuse, b) negative view of intimacy has now been cleared up, c) any problems remaining now (crying and the complete switch off) must be because of my inability to connect emotionally. Unfortunately after a bit the personal therapist stopped being willing to talk to me and tell me what she'd found out, presumably some ethical problem that she has to only be my wife's counsellor. So this is what I've heard from my wife, that this is what the therapist has decided, based on what my wife told this therapist... Of course its entirely possible that my wife finally opened up to this counsellor that there was abuse, which is why she can no longer speak to me, and my wife doesn't want me to know about it, which is quite understandable.

If you think these waters are murky, read on. One of my wife's sisters has apparently been in therapy for serious anxiety issues, and apparently she and her therapist ended up with a narrative in which when she was younger the way her father looked at her made her feel that he had inappropriate feelings towards her. She then went to this psychologist who I'm being told to go to (the one who's a good friend of my father in law), who rubbished the whole thing, that wasn't her father's intention at all, and this psychologist is considered senior to the first one. I know this will immediately seem extremely suspicious, but to be honest I have trouble believing things like that of my father in law, or that this psychologist is biased enough to cover up something so serious. Am I being naive? Perhaps I'm being irresponsible by not trying to be in touch with the first therapist. BUT at the very least this does show a very serious issue. I mean, what girl who grows up in a normal healthy way suspects her father of having such thoughts about her!

Re any mental health issue in her family, apart from this sister, her mother is also extremely anxious, getting very worried about say waking up neighbours by not-very-loud singing, or about cleanliness, using anti-bacterial wipes to clean a dryer in the kitchen and then cleaning it again shortly afterwards, etc. For a family which pushes so much towards psychologists I'm unsure why they haven't done anything about this... my wife agrees with me on this one that her mum should really go for help with this.


So basically after thinking this all through it seems to me there are 3 possibilities:

1) the worst, that she was abused and doesn't want to admit it to me. This would explain all her issues (crying, avoidance), why her therapist is unwilling to talk to me, what happened with her sister, and what Keke's pointed out that "the fact that your wife feels the need to run to her parents/friends", and secondly that "they support this behavior is a big red flag" as naturally they would have to support her.

2) the medium, that she had no positive role model in intimacy from her parents, who I'm sure never touched each other in front of the kids, or nothing which gave her a positive attitude towards intimacy, rather she had this experience with her older friend, and then she landed in marriage which only compounded things as she didn't explain that it was hard for her. She also has a family background (sister and mother) of anxiety issues, she herself has been told by a doctor to exercise because of her own anxiety issues; this may make things worse as she stresses irrationally about how I might be unkind to her. And although the therapist apparently has worked through this, perhaps she hasn't been completely successful. This would explain her personal issues (crying, avoidance), but none of the other items.

3) The best: She's absolutely fine, the problem lies with me because I'm autistic. This is the best because the solution is simplest: I go to be evaluated and hopefully there's something which can change things (is there?)


Soooo.... any thoughts?
 

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Most situations aren't only one thing.

There is no reason you or her have to go to the family friend.

While I'm positive there is a whole website of men that will side with you and they'll add to divorce her now. You've stated you don't want that.

You've stated when you first got married that she had a negative view of sex yet you two still had it, you focus on it, she cries and says she doesn't feel emotionally connected. This would make most women feel like nothing but a hole for your use. Resentment would build, disgust. While I would encourage you to explore both hers and your mental health, you should also consider she actually is telling you the truth, she doesn't want to be intimate because she doesn't feel connected. That can be problems with her or/and you.

For her birthday you went overboard hoping it would lead to intimacy. In languages of love, are gifts her thing? BTW one who wasn't connected to you and thought you only viewed her as a sex object could think you were trying to buy sex.

Final food for thought. While you may not have said anything I guarantee she probably could tell about your disgust and her leg. Whether she took it as you being upset because you had to take care of her or if she took it as you not liking her leg either will interfere with connection and intimacy. Most women including thin ones worry about being judged during sex on either looks, response, ****ty, prude, taking too long to O or ... Take your pick.

I'd like to say I am in no way saying this is your fault or her fault. I'm saying if you come here and only bask in the men telling you she's terrible or that you should have sex whenever you want and she's crazy you'll never get to the truth which most likely somewhere in the middle. You two have to figure out a way to communicate. Trying multiple times to get her therapists to give you the scoop isn't good. In the states the therapist isn't supposed to give away anything without permission. I understand your desire for information but dozens of emails is bordering on controlling
 

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OP:

I agree with others that you see the problem clearly.

What Mem suggested is absolutely necessary. Her need to obfuscate her reasons, combined with her want to remain married, is a perfect storm (or boxing you in) to remain exactly as is.

In order to alter the trajectory, you must break out of the box...or kick over the proverbial apple cart. Tell her she can communicate her grievances, or communicate with a divorce attorney.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
You've stated when you first got married that she had a negative view of sex yet you two still had it, you focus on it, she cries and says she doesn't feel emotionally connected. This would make most women feel like nothing but a hole for your use. Resentment would build, disgust.
Look I understand that she might feel that way. (Its basically what I meant in my previous post #36 in option 2). But its completely unfair and unreasonable. At the time I had no idea it was hard for her, she only told me about all this years later. I accepted her explanations at the time that she was feeling homesick etc. Just like any man in a healthy marriage, I was trying to build a relationship through physical intimacy (as well as by being nice to her), to characterise this as her being "a hole for my use" (as you put it so eloquently) is just wrong.

I understand all you're saying is that that is how she may feel, not that its the truth of the matter. However I would hope she can see past the admittedly traumatic experience it must have been, to admit that its not my fault and that I wasn't simply trying to use her, I was trying to connect with her. Yes it will be hard for her to do this, but that's what she has a personal therapist for. She's been at it now with this therapist for months, if it isn't being successful then is there any realistic chance it will be?

The bottom line is that as much as it isn't her fault and it really is hard for her and for good reason, and as much as we both want to save the marriage, however if there is no realistic reason to expect improvement, I will just go crazy!
 
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