While H says he wants this marriage and he loves me - actions AND words speak loudly.
I feel like I'm the only one making a strong fight and really trying to make this work.
Even the stupid self-help book I got said that women have to change their behavior and how they approach their Hs before there will be change. That's what ticks me off! How come I have to change and I have to take the first step!?
Oh well, I'm in this fight and I'm not a quitter. Sending up prayers for you!
Dr. Harley, the author of His Needs, Her Needs, states that this is why so many couples fail as well as most marriage counselors. So much time is spent on the negative past, that which cannot be altered, little or no focus is put on the one thing that really matters, creating a better future.
If things are done just the opposite, spend time talking about ways to move forward, ways to have fun, ways to spend time together, ways to recreate the intimacy, things would change faster. Less time spent on bad memories and more time spent creating new and joyful ones. When that happens, it would seem the bad memories become just that - a memory.
I wrote a piece on this myself, I'll share it here.
"Over the last several years, I have read many Marriage Counseling books, and have also spent a great deal of time on the counselors couch. These experiences did little to improve my marriage, and I believe that the problem lies in the common theme that seems to underpin most traditional marriage counseling practices.
Traditional marriage counseling seems to believe that before they can make progress, a couple must first "Air out the dirty laundry". The counselor asks you to sit down with your spouse and relive every little thing that has ever bothered the two of you during your marriage. On the surface, this logic seems to make sense. If there are sins in the past that are continuing to affect your marriage, then they should to be discussed and resolved so that they do not continue to cast their shadow in the future. However, there is a problem with this historical approach.
What you focus on in the present is what you will get more of in the future.
As an individual, it is important to keep in mind the lessons that have been learned over the course of your life. Learning from past mistakes is a big part of how we grow over time.
As a couple, dwelling on the past is not as useful. It is my opinion that when a couple has reached a point that they are seeking outside counseling, the conversations at home have already been dwelling on past behaviors for quite some time. When they go into formal counseling, the only difference is that they now have a high paid professional to act as referee when the finger pointing and blame shifting starts to get out of hand. Working through the past does not solve problems. It only encourages a couple to nurse their grudges and entrench themselves further. It is much better, in my opinion, to always be looking to the future.
Instead of talking about how bad your marriage has been, talk about how you want it to be from now on. What are you going to start doing differently today? What will allow tomorrow, and the future to be different from the past?
We had to find a Marriage Counselor that focused on this exact philosophy. It did wonders for my marriage. It helped me to achieve breakthroughs with my wife that traditional counseling could not. It empowered my wife and I to start letting go of the past, and focus instead on what each of us could be doing in the here and now.
This is not to say that we forgot about the past entirely; quite the contrary. We had to remember why we had fallen in love in the first place. We left the unhappiness in the past, and carried forward the positive memories and energy that we needed to build a stronger marriage for today.
What is the problem that you guys are thinking about divorce? What are the reasons?
I'm thinking about it because it does not seem like my husband wants to devote any time to "talking about family or future". I take that as "I've given up". In a way, I've given up as well. My reason is that we have zero in common = live very independent lives = lack of communication. Also, the fact that he chooses his parents over mine and doesnt seem to want to attempt to "get along" with my parents (but I have to try to get along w/ his). The 3rd reason is that in chinese culture, and in my husband's opinion, his only plan for the future is that he wants his parents to live w/ him full-time.
Would any of those reasons be something you would "not agree" to live with? He has expressed his unhappiness compared to other couples and the more I think of it, the more depressed and unhappy I am.
May i ask a question about "working on yourself" Does that always mean going to counselling, or reading books ? Or are there any techniques to do it without help ? How do you guys do it ? I really need some feedbacks!
Charlene - for me it is finding out what makes me happy. I went to see a therapist for awhile, but they were not a good fit, as they kept telling me to file for divorce, forget about H, only worry about me. Well, that isn't want a marriage is about. So I took some of what I learned at therapy - I saw a friend who is getting her certification for life coaching - she taught me some meditation and yoga techniques. I read a lot, spend time with friends. I've decided to go back to school...fo....wait for it......to get a degree and become a therapist. My sitauation has impacted me so much that I feel driven to soak up the knowledge and share it with others.
Sit down and make a list of what makes you happy - do something from the list everyday.
That's the thing, I'm left with very little ,not so close friends, my sister just had her baby, she and my mother are busy for that. I use to do yoga, but now i'm feeling like i can't , i can't focus, in the end of the year i should start learning for my final exam at the university, may be that will do it. But i feel i can'r make the effort for that too. i'm feeling very tired...not wanting to do anything...
So jenna i take you are still with your husband, how are things for you after you've done that for yourself?
Charlene - you sound like you are having a bout with depression, which is normal. I am not with my H...we are seperated (though not legally)....it doesn't look good for us - pretty much just wanting for the other foot to drop as they say. I keep praying and holding out hope, but he seems to have grown completely cold.
Even though your sister and mom have a little one now doesn't mean they won't be there for you.
You need to feel what you feel - it's all part of the process from what I am learning.
Can I ask what your situation is Charlene? I might be in the same boat as you, whereas I've learned where our marriage faultered, and why, and it seems as though it'd be an easy fix (easy in that it's easier than just throwing away 10 years and starting over)....but my H is reluctant...as he just wants to give up. Seems at this point nothing will change H's mind - though he hasn't filed for D, he keeps saying he wants to move out (he lives in our home now, I have been at my mom's). ????
You invested much more/10 years/, it must be very hard for you. I've been married only a year, but it seems like our problems are unrworkable.We're living together, he works abroad from time to time, so now he's not here and we haven't heart from eachother in a week now. We'll see what happens when he comes back.
why did things turned out this way for you? What actually happened?
Well married just shy of 3 years but together for 10...had typical issues...money sex inlaws time affection etc
I wasn't the greatest to him at some points likewise for him. He'd had a panic attack 8 months ago. Diagnosed with anxiety by general doc...medicated. 3 months later brought up D...went back n forth for 2 months still living together. Mid august bro in law comes back to town and moves in and I leave. Bro tells me for h that h is done doesnt want to work on things. Bro is nonviolent sociopath. H still hasn't filed for d but made zero effort to reconcile. We talked and saw each other but its lessoned. H is back to nonresonsive. Bro is still living for free a ns im still heartbroken. Been working on me figuring out how I faltered.... H hasn't talked for himself...lots of unanswered stuff.
Do you and your h talk while he's gone? Posted via Mobile Device
Sorry to hear that, Jenna, Yesterday he called for the fist time in more then a week ,and aagain ,like nothing happened/ he left after a fight, without saying goodbye/ I'm very confused, it's like starting all over again ,when you were prepared for the worst! I'm tired of goin in circles!!!