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Some semblance of normality?
June 24, 2012 7:08 AM   Subscribe

I'm increasingly certain that my marriage is  dying, and I need some help negotiating the time between now and my first realtionship counselling appointment. (Apologies for the long post)

My wife and I have been married for 4 years, together for over 15. We love each other dearly, and there has been no infidelity. Although our time together has been mostly happy we have always argued every couple of days.

Recently things have deteriorated. My wife is working 65+ hours a week and is extremely stressed. In her words she "feels nothing about anything." Our arguments are far more frequent and nasty during term time than during breaks. At the same time I'm starting to pursue a new career path, which is eating up a great deal of my time (though I try to ensure that it doesn't overlap with what time I get to spend with my wife).

Our sex life is at best, poor. We haven't had regular sex for at least 5 years, maybe longer, and what sexual contact we do have had is mostly in the form of me bringing her to orgasm manually to "help her get to sleep."

A recent business trip, which took me away for two weeks, threw much of this into sharp relief. I realised that I was far happier being on my own and that though I missed some things about being at home, I didn't miss spending time with my wife much at all.

Realising that this was a very big deal, I made an appointment with a relationship counselling service (I've been trying to get my wife to go for relationship counselling for nearly 10 months, though she refuses because she doesn't want several painful personal issues between us dragged up). My initial appointment is the week after next, and my main aim at this point is to figure out how the hell I actually feel about my marriage and where to go with it from here. I know I love my wife, but I don't know if I love her as anything more than a good friend.

In the meantime, perhaps foolishly, I've been reading "To Good To Leave, To Bad To Stay" which I'd seen recommended a great deal to people in my position. Many of the answers point to me bring happier if I leave (particularly to "have things ever been really good between you, even at their best" (no) and "if you were to split up tomorrow, is there anything you wouldn't have anymore besides a partner?" (no)) but I don't trust myself to make a rational decision at this point. I hope the counselling will help me with this.

My wife is aware of the relationship counselling appointment, and a couple of nights since, it came up in conversation. First of all, she asked whether there was any point in not just giving up now (my wife is a pessimist by nature and this is often her first response to a problem, though she usually perseveres once convinced to do so). Second, she told me that she can't live with the uncertainty of it all, though she appreciates my honesty. She now refuses to kiss me or to undress in front of me.

Whilst I realise that things are not normal, I'd really like to carry on trying to keep them as normal as possible, but I don't know whether that's being grossly unfair (after all, I'm the bastard in all this, I shouldn't be demanding anything really). 

Is here anything that I should be doing to help my wife get through this? She's responsive to general sympathy and is in every other respect behaving perfectly normally, but overt displays of affection are met with tearful refusals.

Note that I'm well aware that I'm the guilty party here, but I am willing to try and work at this - we deserve at least that much. I could just do with a little guidance from the hive mind in the space before the counselling starts.

Throwaway email: alakazamproblemsgone@gmail.com
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (27 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
It sounds like your wife is a teacher and is totally overwhelmed. Maybe over the summer break (assume you are in UK from language used re term time etc) you guys can sit down a bit more civilly and talk things out.

Not sure why you are taking the martyr role "of being the bastard in this". At the moment your marriage is broken and it doesn't seem to be one particular person's fault. It just seems like you presently have more time, energy and motivation to address the issue.

I would really try to get her to go to counselling with you, talk over term break time and decide what's going to happen re her work hours, stress level and your marriage in general.
posted by bquarters at 7:22 AM on June 24, 2012


The thing that strikes me about your post is that your wife sounds like she may be depressed. I mean, feeling nothing about anything, that's kind of a red flag right there. The worst thing I've done for myself, and I've seen other people close to me do the same thing, is not get necessary help (including drugs) when my depression gets bad. I would urge her to get in to see her doctor. This could really be key in saving your marriage.

It doesn't seem like you want to give up on the marriage just yet, and I think that's a smart idea. I know, you read that book and all, but I can tell you that several times in my marriage I've felt the same way during really busy, really fighty, really stressful times, and after a few months when things settle down I'm so insanely, intensely glad that I didn't actually begin the process of leaving. Have you gone through these times before and bounced back accordingly?

You guys are both really stressed out. Marriages don't always run like clockwork during intensely stressful times. But her words and actions scream depression to me, and it'd be a shame to throw a marriage where you love each other dearly away because of depression that can be managed with medication or CBT.
posted by kpht at 7:24 AM on June 24, 2012 [24 favorites]


Whilst I realise that things are not normal, I'd really like to carry on trying to keep them as normal as possible, but I don't know whether that's being grossly unfair (after all, I'm the bastard in all this, I shouldn't be demanding anything really).

Yes, this is unfair. She knows that you're contemplating leaving her, and she's completely within her rights to protect herself emotionally by not making herself sexually available to you.

John Gottman talks about how one of the "four horsemen of the apocalypse" of relationships is a rewriting of the relationship's history. You're likely seeing your past together through the lens of current hurt, focusing more on the instances of pain than on times of loving kindness. Which is to say, I'm not entirely sure that your account of your past is accurate.

If you're willing to work at it, I really wonder if there's any life restructuring you both could do to reduce work hours. It sounds like your wife's professional life is exhausting and draining, and there's no wonder you guys are fighting more. I suspect the relationship won't improve until you address the work stuff that's sapping your wife's sexual and emotional energy.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:24 AM on June 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


There's no "guilty party" and you shouldn't feel bad for seeking outside help.

Having said that, you probably need to back the heck off. Things aren't normal, and that means trying to force them to seem normal anyway is more or less doomed to failure, especially since your wife is quite clearly uninterested in helping you out with maintaining the illusion.

I suggest you make an effort to show that you appreciate her and aren't doing this as some kind of criticism of her, but rather to sort things out in your own head with an objective person (who will hold everything you tell them in complete confidence.) Use words, not physical displays, to communicate this. Also do your best to be helpful in a material sense (with the dishes, trash, etc.) - she won't take hugs right now, but she probably won't mind if you make sure the sink is empty.
posted by SMPA at 7:25 AM on June 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Do you have children? If the answer is no, then just leave. Have a trial separation. Commit to being cordial but apart for 3 months. Then see how you feel about one another.

If she is overwhelmed with work then she doesn't need the constant reminder that your presence brings that you just don't love her the way she wants to be loved. It's too much to put on her, even if she doesn't love you the way you want to be loved.

Give each other a little air.

If you do have kids, then buy her flowers, arrange for a holiday for the two of you and do everything that you can to make it work.
posted by myselfasme at 7:26 AM on June 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


(after all, I'm the bastard in all this, I shouldn't be demanding anything really).

Huh? This makes no sense.

overt displays of affection are met with tearful refusals.

Well yeah, if she thinks you're inflicting unnecessary pain on her then of course she doesn't want you to comfort her.

Note that I'm well aware that I'm the guilty party here

No. Again, this makes no sense. You're insisting that your own needs and feelings matter, and that a situation that is diminishing you change somehow. You absolutely have the right, even the responsibility, to do this. None of this makes you a bad guy at all.

You are not inflicting this situation on her. Repairing the relationship, if it's possible at all, will require her committed involvement. If she's not willing to work with you, then the relationship is already done. Sorry.
posted by jon1270 at 7:28 AM on June 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


Note that I'm well aware that I'm the guilty party here

In what way? Sounds like you're making an effort to fix things and your wife is not meeting you part way.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:31 AM on June 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


It sounds like you both want to end the marriage but you feel so guilty about it that you're trying to deny this reality. She has suggested you end it. So have you. She is cordial but not acting married, but more like a roommate/friend. Wait until term time is over and separate.

Not sure why reading Too Good to Leave was foolish? You are looking at everything through a lens of low self-esteem and guilt and therefore assuming that what you want is the shitty, irrational option, even though it's not.
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:44 AM on June 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Marriages endure two broad categories of conflict: situational and compatibility. It sounds like yours is situational: your wife is overwhelmed and stressed out in her job, very possibly clinically depressed as a result, and not feeling like she has anything to give sexually. God knows more than one career has killed a marriage, but you need to understand that this is a far cry from base incompatibility issues like "I want to live in the country and raise organic lamas and my husband wants to take a job in NYC with Dow." The former can mostly be fixed with effort; the second hardly ever survive unless the partners are extraordinarily committed.

Note that you have put divorce on the table and your wife has every right to protect herself. I wouldn't kiss you either at the moment.

I am also unclear how you get to "mostly happy" without at least moments of "really good" but I guess that's about how you want to see the history of your marriage.

Your best chance of saving your marriage is both of you actually wanting to save the marriage. If you can get to a place where you can say "This marriage is broken, I really want to make our lives better and fix it, I think we need professional help and some new skills to do that" she may come along.

Regardless, your wife needs some medical help. She sounds depressed and strung out and it is no wonder she is disengaged. Please make an appointment with her primary care doctor (this may be her GYN) and go with her.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:56 AM on June 24, 2012 [22 favorites]


Generally I've found it's a bad idea to make important decisions while under a large amount of outside stress, since it aggravates little problems and makes them seem much worse than they are.

This is not to say that your relationship is healthy. The sex thing in particular and the "feeling nothing about anything" are big red flags. My point is simply that it may be better to wait till you get through the 65+ hour work weeks and the adjustment period of your new job before making a decision like this. It's entirely possible that these things are fixable, and a relationship that has lasted fifteen years is something that deserves more than just a couple of months effort to improve before you write it off entirely.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 7:59 AM on June 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ouch, sounds like your lives are really stressful at the moment, but I don't read that as being the marriage's fault.

If you were both feeling fine, and working normal hours, and still wanted to break up, then yes, that would be the marriage having problems.


It just kind of sounds like you've already decided? And are just wanting counseling to put the rubber stamp on it?
Look, if this relationship does or has meant anything to you, give it a fair shot. Try and sort your non-marriage life out a bit, and consider the counseling as a tool to legitimately use to get a healthy, happy relationship.
Seconding the Gottman recommendation. Should provide a good counterbalance in your reading, at least. Seems like a healthy approach.

But, really, the worst thing you can do for a relationship is just give up on it. And if it feels like you've already done that, then unless you make a really committed effort, it might be too late.
If you want it to work out, counselling is something you bring up *before* talking about divorce.
posted by Elysum at 8:12 AM on June 24, 2012


Sounds like you are just looking to cross all your t's and dot your i's so you can say you tried before you leave. The default right now is "leaving" unless convinced otherwise. If that is the case, leave now.
posted by AugustWest at 8:22 AM on June 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Note that I'm well aware that I'm the guilty party here,

As others have said, I don't see this and I'm not clear on where it's coming from, unless it's guilt from realizing you were happier when you were apart. Your relationship isn't much fun right now, so it's not surprising you were happier apart.

It sounds like you've both gotten used to phoning it in, and as someone mentioned above, your wife sounds clinically depressed. She should most likely see her own counselor, or at least a doctor, and get some advice about dealing with her depression. You're both also incredibly distracted by your jobs. If those can be put on hold, or at least backed away from somewhat, the situation would be easier to figure out.

I don't think it's a great idea to make major decisions when you're addled, and I think for identifiable reasons, you're both a little addled.

So I would focus on getting you both into circumstances where you can think more clearly.

Also:

she refuses because she doesn't want several painful personal issues between us dragged up


Isn't going to fly if she wants to work things out. You can't refuse to work on stuff like that, because all the energy that goes into blocking out those things blocks out anything fun and intimate as well.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 8:55 AM on June 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


In the meantime, perhaps foolishly, I've been reading "To Good To Leave, To Bad To Stay" which I'd seen recommended a great deal to people in my position. Many of the answers point to me bring happier if I leave (particularly to "have things ever been really good between you, even at their best" (no) and "if you were to split up tomorrow, is there anything you wouldn't have anymore besides a partner?" (no)) but I don't trust myself to make a rational decision at this point.

Why would it be foolish for you to read a book that was written expressly for people in your position? Why don't you trust yourself to make a rational decision?* It sounds like your decision process is extremely rational: the things you talk about as problematic with your wife (sexual frequency that doesn't work for you at all, lack of emotional connection, not having fun together, fighting a lot) are very real problems. And then there's the thing where she doesn't want to work on any of these issues.

I'm not saying that divorce is the only logical outcome of the situation in your marriage. I am saying that divorce is one of the logical outcomes of the situation in your marriage. If you and she want to save the marriage, you are both going to have to do lots of work.

*Of course, it makes sense for you not to want to make a hasty decision. But really, nothing about what you're saying here sounds irrational.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:11 AM on June 24, 2012


If I had to work 65 hours a week on top of regular life things, I would be as shut down as your wife. Then, when you wanted to get close, I would cry, too. It would be the only emotion left in my tool bag.

It sounds like she is overwhelmed. Taking away her stress will help the marriage. Can she change to a part time job? Can you guys take a full month vacation to recharge?

I would be careful of making decisions when you are both stressed. Leaving would be the 'easiest' solution, because when you are stressed you usually want the easiest way out. Right now it seems like you both have to put a bit of work into the marriage, which is normal, but your wife is not in the emotional place where she has the strength to do that.

I recommend finding a way to solve the stressors first, then look at the marriage. It might be what saves it.
posted by Vaike at 9:13 AM on June 24, 2012 [18 favorites]


John Gottman talks about how one of the "four horsemen of the apocalypse" of relationships is a rewriting of the relationship's history.

Actually Gottman's "Four Horsemen" are criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling.

Agreed that you are not the bastard or the guilty party here. Adopting this narrative helps neither you nor her.
posted by ottereroticist at 9:20 AM on June 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Marriages endure two broad categories of conflict: situational and compatibility. It sounds like yours is situational: your wife is overwhelmed and stressed out in her job, very possibly clinically depressed as a result, and not feeling like she has anything to give sexually

Except for the fact that they haven't had real sex in 4 years and the OP thinks things have never been "really good" between them.
posted by benbenson at 12:26 PM on June 24, 2012


All I can really add is that if there are children, they change the relationship dynamic quite a lot... NOT saying you stay for the kids, but that if there are, your #1, 110% priority should be on making sure they are taken care of.
posted by Jacen at 12:27 PM on June 24, 2012


Except for the fact that they haven't had real sex in 4 years and the OP thinks things have never been "really good" between them.

Certainly there has been very limited sex, but "we have not had real sex in 4 years" is not what the OP said. I'm leaving aside what your personal definition of "real sex" is and simply agreeing that there doesn't seem to have been enough mutually satisfying sex to meet the OP's needs. I am also agreeing that sucks. But if they once had happy happy sex, then they are indeed baseline compatible in the sack, and can fix this along with the other situational aspects of their disconnect.

the OP thinks things have never been "really good" between them.

And yet also reports that they have been "mostly happy." So this isn't really clear, which is why I flagged it as meriting more attention because I don't think that adds up.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:09 PM on June 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Joining the chorus that says your wife is stressed and overwhelmed. You're not a bastard because you're asserting your own rights/wants (intimacy, lack of fighting, etc) but you have to acknowledge she must assert her own rights as well (withholding intimacy because she's overwhelmed).

Your wife sounds like a realist, not a pessimist. What I'm getting from your question is that you've moved on and she will know how you're feeling. She will feel lost and will form her own coping mechanisms to retain control over her own life. Overt displays of affection will not be a part of that - she has started to build that wall between the two of you to protect herself. Though it's painful to be on the receiving end of it, this is what she needs to do for herself.

I think you know where you're at, hard as that is. What you should be discussing with your counsellor is how to make that transition as easy as possible for you all taking into account your wife's circumstances. It will not be easy. But it's commendable that you're getting the help you need.

So what do you do now before your appointment - don't try to enforce 'normal' intimacy on your wife, respect her boundaries, respect your own boundaries, acknowledge that this is painful for both of you, be compassionate, and understand that you can't break down that wall, that is her wall, and it's not there because you're a bastard, it's there to help look after her.
posted by mleigh at 2:44 PM on June 24, 2012


I seem to be in the minority here. Yes, it does sound like your wife is stressed, but it sounds like that's a new situation whereas the problems with your marriage have been going on for awhile. And this?
(I've been trying to get my wife to go for relationship counselling for nearly 10 months, though she refuses because she doesn't want several painful personal issues between us dragged up).
Reads to me like somebody who has given up on her marriage. Work stress is tough, of course, but the fact that she'll accept all your sympathy but refuse your affection, to me, doesn't speak well. That's really unfair.
If she can see how unhappy you guys are, and still refuses to go to therapy for 10 months, and has basically said to you "Can't we just give up already?"...maybe I'm missing something but to me that sounds like quitting. Job stress or not.
posted by dithmer at 2:59 PM on June 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Actually Gottman's "Four Horsemen" are criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling.

Sorry, I misspoke. Gottman says that rewriting history is one the signs he uses to predict divorce, of which the four horsemen, together, are also a sign:
When a relationship gets subsumed in negativity, it's not only the
couple's present and future life together that are put at risk. Their past
is in danger, too. When I interview couples, I usually ask about the
history of their marriage. I have found over and over that couples
who are deeply entrenched in a negative view of their spouse and
their marriage often rewrite their past. When I ask them about their
early courtship, their wedding, their first year together, I can predict
their chances of divorce, even if I'm not privy to their current feelings.

Most couples enter marriage with high hopes and great
expectations. In a happy marriage couples tend to look back on their
early days fondly. Even if the wedding didn't go off perfectly, they
tend to remember the highlights rather than the low points. The same
goes for each other. They remember how positive they felt early on,
how excited they were when they met, and how much admiration
they had for each other. When they talk about the tough times they've
had, they glorify the struggles they've been through, drawing
strength from the adversity they weathered together.

But when a marriage is not going well, history gets rewritten for
the worse. Now she recalls that he was thirty minutes late getting
to the ceremony. Or he focuses on all that time she spent talking to his
best man at the rehearsal dinner--or "flirting" with his friend, as it
seems to him now. Another sad sign is when you find the past
difficult to remember--it has become so unimportant or painful that
you've let it fade away.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:20 PM on June 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


I missed, or misread:
"I've been trying to get my wife to go for relationship counselling for nearly 10 months, though she refuses because she doesn't want several painful personal issues between us dragged up"

It sounds as though you have been contemplating counseling before mentioning divorce. My apologies for the errors in my earlier post.
posted by Elysum at 10:46 PM on June 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


From the OP:
Hi everyone, thank you so much for the responses so far. I'll address the oft-raised and general points first:

- I realise I was being unfair, and thank you for calling me on it.*
- Thank you, too, for calling me on the guilty party / martyrdom complex. This was the result of something my wife said (along the lines of "you're the bastard that's breaking my heart" and I guess it stuck in my head as I was writing the post).
- Re: my wife's job. As bquarters guessed, she's a teacher. And whilst I do view the summer break (currently 4 weeks away) as a time where we get to decompress and iron out all the kinks from the last year of stress and work, it's occurred to me that this cycle - highly stressed term-times, working breaks at Christmas and Easter, decompress over summer - has continued for three or four years now. My wife readily calls herself a workaholic and will work until one or two in the morning (I usually stay up with her at her request; if I don't, she'll frequently forget to come to bed and I'll find her curled up on the sofa in the morning).
- There's no option for her to take part-time hours at this stage in her career, nor does she want to. She does want to move to another place of employment, but she's also working on getting a promotion, so whether her effective working hours would change is up for debate.
- I, too, strongly suspect that my wife is depressed, and have done so for a while. I've been trying to get her to see her GP since the start of this year, but with no success (during a similar depression last year where she admitted to thinking about letting the car drift off the road at high speed because she was bored her GP told her it would "blow over". As you can guess, this hasn't inclined her to go back about this issue). I can't force her to go and see anyone about this, so I'm a bit stumped here.
- We have no children.
- A trial separation is not an option at the moment. I could afford to move out, but I couldn't afford to do that and contribute to the rent on hour current home. My wife couldn't afford this home or any nearby alternatives on her own. We do have some apart-time coming up, and also a two week vacation in a place completely out of reach of the internet and, indeed, mobile phone service. I'm hoping that this will give us some time to reconnect.


Specific answers now:

- @DarlingBri: My wife and I get along very well most of the time. We started out as good friends and have remained that way for our entire time together. The "really good" comment was a reference to "Too Good to Leave..." in which the author points out that if, at its best, your "really good" times are poisoned by arguments and suchlike, then they're not "really good." That's the criteria I'm particularly responding to - we've had wonderful times together and still rowed horribly and painfully almost every day. Each day of our honeymoon, for example, had wonderfully romantic moments, but also had massive rows. I have spent over ten years thinking this was normal, and I'm now starting to come to the conclusion that maybe it isn't.
- @Elysium, @AugustWest: I've not already decided. I'm very confused right now, because there is a huge temptation to leave, but I'm well aware that that's the "easy" thing to do. I don't think it's fair to either my wife or my marriage for me to give up without trying. I am concerned that without my wife joining me in counselling, as @Llama points out, I may be on to a non-starter.
- @SidheDevil: I don't trust my own rationality because I'm in the thick of it all - I can't see the forest for the trees, and whilst the book seems to point in a given direction, I don't know how I actually feel about that. I intend to re-read the book and try and nail down some more concrete answers to some of the questions (I have lots of notes from the first reading).
- @DarlingBri and @benbenson: When I say "no real sex" I mean that we have had occasional penetrative sex, but not regularly, except for in bursts of a week or so whilst on vacation. As I stated in my original post, most of our sex life is of the me-bringing-my-wife-to-orgasm variety.


Addendum:

Shortly after I submitted this question my wife and I had a huge row (though quietly, because we were staying at a friend's house for a party, and it was late). She couldn't sleep, convinced I was about to walk out on her, and was researching places to live - none of which she could afford - on her iPod. She made basically the same point that @AugustWest and @Elysium made above: that I was using counselling as a way to get someone else to tell me to leave (and, later, that she was afraid that that's what a counsellor would do). When I reassured her that I wasn't about to walk out, that I want to try to work this out, she pretty much jumped me and we ended up having make-up sex for the first time in nearly a year. This has confused matters more; I'm glad that we're on intimate terms again, but I don't want to lead her on - I'm still very muddled about our whole relationship at the moment and I understand perfectly, in light of this thread, why she didn't want to be on intimate terms with me in the first place. I don't want to push her away and cause yet more hurt. And my first counselling appointment is still over a week away, so navigating through this time is getting ever trickier.
posted by mathowie at 12:17 PM on June 26, 2012


With your notes about your fights, I'd really, really recommend you pick up two copies of Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman (which I cribbed the above quote from). Gottman also says: "Couples simply have different styles of conflict. Some of which avoid fights at all costs, some fight a lot, and some are able to 'talk out' their differences without ever raising their voices. No one style is necessarily better than the other--as long as the style works for both people."

In other words, there's no normal except what's normal for your relationship. The Gottman book is really really good at figuring out which problems are fixable and which aren't and it gives you a real thorough examination of behaviors in arguments that can snowball or contribute to ongoing marital problems.

Your wife might find a book--one focused in the very title on improving relationships--less threatening than counseling at this stage. I agree it sounds like she needs it, but it sounds like she's not ready yet and needs to come to that conclusion on her own.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:27 PM on June 26, 2012


. When I reassured her that I wasn't about to walk out, that I want to try to work this out, she pretty much jumped me and we ended up having make-up sex for the first time in nearly a year.

I get very frustrated with the world that there is a near-universal perception that therapy is where you go when your marriage is over. It is not. It is where you go when you want to make your marriage better. Again, tell her you love her, you don't want to leave her, you want to make things better, and that you hope she agrees you need the new and better tools a therapist can give you guys.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:59 PM on June 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I apologize for saying you knew what you wanted to do - your update demonstrates that that's clearly not the case.

but I'm well aware that that's the "easy" thing to do

It's actually not - it's a freaking difficult thing to do. Very few people ever actually change things.

There is a very strange view (that's frequently socially/family driven) that you have to persevere with things even if they're harming you because otherwise you've "failed". It's a load of crap.

But, yes, first, you do need to work out whether you're having a good enough time here or not. As it's been pointed out, all relationships are different.

As the biggest concern seems to be that you want to go to counselling and she doesn't but she does need to be a part of making changes if you are to stay together - I agree that books or websites for her would be good - they are non-threatening and non-confrontational.

How she responds to that would give you a good indication as to whether she's prepared to make changes.

As for not leading her on, let her make the moves, see what happens, and don't push her away unless you want to.

As an aside, her GP is shit.
posted by mleigh at 4:59 AM on June 27, 2012


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