Sunday, December 10, 2017
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Wife's low-set bar makes her unrealistic

Q: 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.

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 offered us no guidance beyond scheduling date nights. It was maddening, and I 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. Am I a fool to leave my best friend and secure marriage because he refuses to do the things I need to be happy?

One Chance at Therapy Blown

A: 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.

Wanting a little attention from your marriage is reasonable, and that's the problem — the modesty of your goal has seduced you into believing it's possible to achieve.

But it's not. Not from a guy who accepts your plainly stated unhappiness as preferable to dropping his guard (or anything else) in any significant way.

So, no, it's not foolish at all to weigh whether you're better off now by yourself.

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