Emotionally Distant Wife & My therapist... Really Need Advice
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Let me first start off by saying I will be married 10 years in May and together 12. We have an 9 year old little girl . I have posted my story here a few weeks ago & received some great advice but things have changed a bit. I am not sure what to do now.
It's been about 6 weeks since my wife had that " I am not happy with us " conversation ( she initiated that ) . We have had up and down moments since then . I find out a little more each week about how I hurt her over the past few years . She had been showing me warning signs but I was did not see them. I was ill for a few years & pushed her away. I was only trying to protect her & I didn't let her share in my pain and struggle. I am better now. I got well over the past 2 years but got very involved at work with trying to keep my Job during these tough economic times . While I was off working . My wife began working on herself and is now not needing me for any emotional support . I am crushed but I am now in this situation . I can deal with it or bail. I love my wife and daughter so I want to try and repair my marriage .
She has said terms like we have been " disconnected " for awhile now . I agree . I shut her out and she has built up a "wall " emotionally ( as she describes it) & she is "having trouble letting me back into her life" . So of course , I accused her of cheating. I did this on 3 different occasions over the past month. As recently as 4 days ago. She has denied it . I didn't believe her . A couple of weeks ago , she left her cell home by mistake and I came home from work early. I had to go through it .I went through all Emails, texts & phone logs. I found nothing . I went to see if her password was changed on her laptop today. It was not changed . So I am giving up on the idea she is cheating . I have been Stalking her facebook page too. Ugh...I Can't do that anymore . It's making me insane . I really have not found any clues of another man & I have been looking .

I have been going to therapy for about 6 weeks to work on insecurities & depression. I am also reading a lot of self help books about marriage . I have learned a lot & I feel like I am moving in the right direction with my behavior and outlook on life. I took too much for granted. My therapist is really bringing me down. I leave angry or anxious after our weekly session . I think I should stop going . My therapist is divorced and had a husband who cheated on her . She told me so. I have explained my situation in detail . I told I have checked out the phone records , went through her cell phone & confronted her about cheating . I have explained that My wife doesn't get strange calls or texts messages late at night. Her phone is not guarded 24/7. She doesn't stay out late or have girls night outs....BUT Week after week she gets me fired up, making me angry & suspicious of wife. My therapist still seems bitter about her divorce. Can she really give me good advice ? Can she really help me? After a long week of some progress at home and then I walk out of the office angry . My wife has not come with me to therapy but has offered to go when I am ready. Would you keep going ? I feel like I am learning more on my own but she is a professional. I don't know what to do with the whole therapist thing.
I am working on myself. My wife is happy that I am doing this. But It's very hard for me know how to treat her in this situation. I tried giving her a lot attention at first but that just came off as needy & desperate on my part. I did not get any reaction out her . In fact, I think I empowered her to keep this emotional wall up . I have read that I need to get her to chase me again . A nice idea but very hard to do in my situation . We live together . We have dinner together as a family. We go out on weekends together . Even sleep in the same bed. We do even more now as a family than we ever did....BUT That wall is up .She is going through the motions. No doubt about it. She rarely is the one initiating contact with me. I have to do that now. The tables have turned and she knows that I am chasing her. There are moments that I feel a connection again and then there moments where I feel like she hates me. So cold. Mostly Short answers when we talk or text each other. When we are together we have seem to get close and when she is out at work or with her family I get the cold side of her . SHe is getting close to 40 years old now. I think she is doing some soul searching and is not sure if she wants to be with me for rest of her life. My in-laws don't like me much anymore either..Ugh & most likely give her an potential for her to go home to them with our Kid! That another story. So I don't have any allies right now . I am in a bad spot & I think only my actions can save us ? I feel likes it's a bit unfair but I did not realize the hurt that I had given her over the years. I was not very supportive of with her endeavors. I was jealous and controlling . This was one of biggest faults . I see that now .I did apologize for my actions but the apology didn't cut it.
She is starting to notice some of my changes , physically & mentally. I get a compliment here and there. Of course , I figured since I worked on myself now that she should beak that wall down! Well that is not happening right now . We have never gone though anything like this before . When we are home I have this urge to be close to her all the time. When I am away from her , I am always thinking of something I could text her so I can keep in contact with her. I am sure it is getting annoying and not coming off very attractive . She is on my mind almost 24/7 and it consumes me. It's fear of losing her . I know acting and thinking like that can't be good and will not work on getting her back to me .
Have you been in a situation similar to mine ? How long did it take for your loved one to come back to you emotionally ? How did you treat the person that cut you off? How did you act at home with your spouse?
I realize that there is a chance she may never come back but right now I want to try and save my marriage .
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Emotionally Distant Wife & My therapist... Really Need Advice

If you decide that therapy is right for you, I think you need to change therapists. You should not be coming away from a session designed to help you by feeling angry. She isn't being very professional IMO. Re your wife. You need to talk to her and explain your feelings for her, and how desperate you are to make things right and better for you both. Then you need to ask her outright if there is still a chance to make your marriage work, you need to listen very carefully to what she says and be prepared for the worst and to move on, as tough as it may seem, you can't make a marriage work if only one of you is committed.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Emotionally Distant Wife & My therapist... Really Need Advice

It sounds to me like you need to change your therapist.

There is a way that has a high potential for you to win your wife back. It's doing what is called the Plan A. Basically you find out what her most important needs are and you find ways to fill those. There are two books that I link to in my signature block below... "Love Busters" and "His Needs, Her Needs". They would go a long way in getting your marriage back on track.

Dr. Harley is the author of the books. He does phone marriage "coaching". I think you would benefit quite a bit by having a session or two with him as he could put you the right track for doing a very good/strong Plan A.

If you get the books you probably don't want to share them with your wife because she might think that the changes you make are just part of gaming her to get her back. They have to be real.. you will change quite a bit as a person if you do them. She will know if you are just play acting.
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Emotionally Distant Wife & My therapist... Really Need Advice

I agree about changing therapists. Find a man.

Also, you dont get to choose when your wife takes the wall back down. You are chasing her, but you must because you blocked her out. I for one will try to remember not to do that in the future; it makes sense that a wife would want to be involved and grow emotionally as a couple through the hard times.

The way I see it, you're on the right track. Put your efforts into fixing yourself. Eventually you will start resembling the man she fell in love with enough for her to really start coming around.
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Emotionally Distant Wife & My therapist... Really Need Advice

Sorry to be the downer again. Among all of the "keep it up" and "you can do it" posts, look for the "I was in the same boat as you, we fixed it, and here's how we did it" posts. You will get many of the former and very few of the latter.

My one shot with therapy was a waste of time, so I can't give you advice there. Read the 180 posts. That's what you need. Make yourself better for you and your daughter. Your wife is probably gone for good. Think about it: how many unmarried couples break up then get back together? Not many. And with those unmarried couples there is distance, separation and "absence makes the heart grow fonder" dynamics working into it. In your situation, the only thing that grows is more resentment that you stole her happiness.

I will NEVER forget the day I forced it out of my wife that our lack of intimacy and affection, all of the problems that I was trying to fix after 19 years of marriage, was not only my fault, but that I was an a.s.s.h.o.l.e. An emotional abuser. I thought I was a nice guy.

My world collapsed. I spent a year begging, crying and pleading. Nothing changed. I finally gave up. Bettered myself. Got myself a life without her. So while she wastes away in front of the TV, I live my life. I am even almost at the point where her coming to bed and immediately turning her back to me doesn't kill me a little more.

Wives fall out of love with their husbands. All of the time. But we are STILL treating it like individual rare occurances as opposed to the epidemic it is.
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Emotionally Distant Wife & My therapist... Really Need Advice

CS,
I've read some of you previous post, don't be discouraged so easily.

I'm married 37 years and was in a similar situation. I too pushed my wife away for many years. Not knowing what I was doing was wrong. I got the the we're just room mates talk from her and it floored me. She was right. I realized it was me.

But with work I won back her love and admiration. I know now to never stop working on our marriage and never to take it for granted. It does take time and no one can tell you how long it will take.

Your wife is in a b/s now. She is having a hard time letting you fill her needs. She may accept them from someone else, if she hasn't already. This is why you can't give up the work to win her back, ever.

You need to work on you first. Be the man your wife wants to be with. Don't be needy. Get rid of the therapist if she's not working for you. Find another one to work on you.
I read the 'Five Love Languages' and 'His Needs, Her Needs'. These books were very helpful. The 180 and Dr. Harley's Plan A are the best I've found.
Don't let the discouragement stop you. You'll be a better man for it.
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:07 AM   #7 (permalink)
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MRK- so it's been over a year for you . You are still married and living together ( i am assuming that since you sleep in the same bed ) but not much has changed with her emotions towards you. I guess you are holding out and hoping something changes down the line ?
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I've been in your situation and I was the spouse that did wrong and my husband was the one with the wall up.

I'm not on my computer so can't give you my whole story but I can give you the very very short version of how I fixed it.

Step 1 was therapy and lots of it. I focused on healing/fixing myself. And yes you need to find a new therapist.

Step 2 was to quit being clingy towards my husband. It's really not attractive.

Step 3 when I gained my self confidence back I was finally willing to let him go. He could choose to keep that wall up or work WITH me to fix it. I stated I was no longer willing to live like this. I didn't get to this step for years. He was emotionally unavailable but he never left.

This process of me working on me left me in a place where I admitted I'd done wrong but no longer believed I should be punished for the rest of my life for it. Either he needed to forgive me or he needed to let me go. Again took YEARS to get here.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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There is no quick fix....

I'm 2.5 years into our initial disconnect. Basically still sexless.
I went the full circle of bettering myself, being happy etc to no avail.

I basically stopped trying and am now creating emotional distance with my wife. I'm not mean or anything but I do less working on our marriage. I pretty much just do my own thing, if she needs something I do it but frankly I'm tired of trying hard and seeing no good results.

I basically found that her and I don't communicate very well when it comes to discussing marriage issues so I in effect just stopped communicating about it (as it never seems to solve anything). She has heard all the stuff when I did communicate so she knows why our situation in my eyes is less than ideal.

I love my wife and I hope she one day sees the light. By essentially stop trying I feel "better" I can concentrate on things that interest me. I'm getting back to being me and not just about her.

I notice she is trying harder to connect with me. I think eventually we will be ok... but it's now up to her to try. I tried for two years...I'm done. She knows that I'm done.

I think the bottom line is YOU CAN'T CHANGE ANYONE unless THEY WANT TO. In my mind by disconnecting at this point that will make my wife want to eventually reconnect. At the same time it gives me some sanity. Let her worry about how to make it "better" for a change.

BTW like the poster above I told my wife she NEEDS to leave me if she can't get to the point of having a normal health sexual marriage with me OR I will eventually totally disconnect from her. I'm done with being in limbo always.

When she starts trying I will too. Does no good when only one is trying.

Her wall was up and starting to come down as my wall is going up. Hopefully she sees this in time to break my wall down. As a guy I see things pretty black and white, two years is enough trying.

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Old 03-29-2012, 11:02 AM   #10 (permalink)
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@trying2figureitout

You sound like you were in my shoes two years ago. You went off and tried everything with no results. Now that you have finally given up "she is trying harder to connect with you" . It sounds like i need to really pull a 180 and make her believe it. I know that is what i need to do... I'm trying hard to not have to do that but i'm running out of options. It will be difficult for me.
How did you & wife get disconnected ? were you blindsided ? did you have a specific conversation that lead to it?
thanks
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:12 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I also agree that you need to change therapists. Don't give up on that. It's normal to feel a bit uncomfortable but with something to think about after leaving a session--and sometimes you'll leave feeling great, b/c you have made some progress-but always leaving angry? Not good at all.

Yes, try the 180. Depending on "how far gone" your wife is, you may be successful. If there was an emotional disconnect b/c you had withdrawn from her, you might win her back. If the emotional disconnect grew out of her resentment over things you didn't listen to, wouldn't do, ignored, etc., I think the chances are significantly lower--but not impossible.

The 180 will make you a better man, either way. Good luck! I'm pulling for you.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:37 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Thank you sister359.
Is there a good 180 book I could read?

Also my therapist wants me to come in and work through my anger issues that I have with her now. She says that's what I need to do in order to get better. Eh...
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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@trying2figureitout

You sound like you were in my shoes two years ago. You went off and tried everything with no results. Now that you have finally given up "she is trying harder to connect with you" . It sounds like i need to really pull a 180 and make her believe it. I know that is what i need to do... I'm trying hard to not have to do that but i'm running out of options. It will be difficult for me.
How did you & wife get disconnected ? were you blindsided ? did you have a specific conversation that lead to it?
thanks
Yes you are were I was two years ago... I don't know if a 180 back then would have done anything to be honest. I put in my time trying hard and showing consistency to my changes so now I feel a semi-180 will have a much better result... like I said there is NO QUICK FIX. I expect this to take 3-4 years. I am not "angry" at my wife... she has obvious issues she needs to work through (just like I do) we will have a "solution" when she has a revelation moment. Until then as time passes we get closer to that moment. It has to come from her. I can do nothing to speed this up.

For me it was basically year 17.... her mid-life crisis. I was blindsided but did see some of the stuff she was complaining about as being valid, I stopped drinking cold turkey as she mentioned drinking (I was no where near an alcoholic but since she mentioned it I quit). I then went on to bet the perfect husband (i read everything including Calle Lima etc, books, websites). Did this for two years. Now in order to maintain sanity I decided NO MORE she can now compare how I was when trying and how I am not trying... her choice. It's not like I'm asking for the moon and the stars I just want a fair decent marriage where both of us are trying for each other.

In reality it was her lack of being sexually available that led to my original issues. I'm trying to find us a permanent fix. I don't want to go back to what led us to the original disconnect so i'm willing to WAIT for a better permanent fix to our marriage. One in which we find a middle-ground when it comes to intimacy.

Like I said I believe my wife will come around one day. We really do get along well and respect each other. She just needs to move on and understand she is a wife! Sex is good.

My advice to you is come to grips with the basic fact that it will take a long time. Break the "fix" up into 6-month segments and have a plan. Plans make you feel better. I can see change in my wife so I know my overall plan is working.... we are getting there....slowly. Whatever you do be consistent and not all over the place. Let time help you.

Ditch the counselor... this is between you and your wife.

I think the overall goal is to show your wife you are sorry for whatever you did. make the necessary changes and be consistent. Don't be needy or clingy. Show her the better you (someone any woman could love) . Then start to put things on the other foot... you did your time now it's time for her to change to become a better woman. Make her work for you. In the end you both end up being better and both probably never want to go back to the standoff. A permanent fix indeed.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I draw strength from knowing I'm closer to that fix everyday.

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Old 03-29-2012, 01:13 PM   #14 (permalink)
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MRK- so it's been over a year for you . You are still married and living together ( i am assuming that since you sleep in the same bed ) but not much has changed with her emotions towards you. I guess you are holding out and hoping something changes down the line ?
This is a good thread. You are getting some good advice.

I will stay with my wife because it is better than the alternative. I am in my house with my kids. I don't fight with my wife, I just don't talk to her much. I am not going to break up my family just because I'm not happy. I won't do it. I am sad that my marriage is over, and it still hurts when she comes to bed and turns her back, but I'm dealing with it. I may need to move out of my room soon, I don't know.

I have no hope of a reconciliation. My wife is so disconnected that she won't come back. She's already been through the mourning. She's gone. Because of my decision to stay, maybe it will work, but I doubt it. Even if she came back, I don't know if I could. I needed her badly this past year and she wasn't there for me. She hung me out to dry. It will be hard for me to give my heart to her again. I'm doing my own thing. I'll be out of it soon as well. I guess you can say we're not even trying and I don't see us starting to try.
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:20 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Y

Ditch the counselor... this is between you and your wife.

I think the overall goal is to show your wife you are sorry for whatever you did. make the necessary changes and be consistent. Don't be needy or clingy. Show her the better you (someone any woman could love) . Then start to put things on the other foot... you did your time now it's time for her to change to become a better woman. Make her work for you. In the end you both end up being better and both probably never want to go back to the standoff. A permanent fix indeed.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I draw strength from knowing I'm closer to that fix everyday.
This is good stuff. I'd like to frame it and put it on my wall. One comment on the consistency. I was up and down and my wife hated it. I got consistent, and too bad for us I chose down, but now at least she is seeing that I'm serious about moving on. Not that it'll help, but at least we know better where we each stand.
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