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Health & Spirit

Husband refuses to take steps to improve marriage

Carolyn Hax on

Dear Carolyn:

I have been asking my husband to go to therapy for more than five years and he always said a firm NO -- absolutely not. After a particularly nasty fight, he conceded.

He just said, after three sessions, he thinks our marriage is fine; he doesn't see a need to change to meet my needs -- for example, to have sex or kiss me, or spend less time on his phone; and I am just looking for excuses to leave.

This is not true. If he came to me and needed me to work on a behavior to remain happily married, I would.

I have my own therapist to work on some trauma and anxiety, and I am making progress. But he refuses to see anything wrong with his behaviors and has an "If you don't like it, leave" attitude.

Our therapist was less than helpful. She tended to defer to his feelings more, trying to get me to understand his points of view. She asked us simple questions like, "How does that make you feel?" and, "Do you hear him say ... ?" and offered us no guidance beyond scheduling date nights. It was maddening, and I honestly think she was trying to tell me our marriage was probably over.

 

My husband said I had embarrassed him by talking about our sex life, and wished me good luck finding "that unicorn of a man" -- meaning someone who wants to have sex with his wife and be a good provider. We haven't spoken in a day.

I'm willing to try another therapist, one who gives us the tools needed to understand our relationship. He says absolutely not, it is a waste of time. I am not happy, but I love him. He refuses to budge. Am I a fool to leave my best friend and secure marriage because he refuses to do the (not unreasonable) things I need to be happy?

-- One Chance at Therapy Blown

And then there's that unicorn of a therapist who can turn a phone-addicted, therapy-bashing, blame-shifting, defiantly lousy spouse into a good one.

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