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This Exchange simulates the original Couples Coping Support Group. It is designed to help persons with concerns in their relationships, family, marriage, seperation, divorce, etc.Offering a wide range of real world, personal experiences, information, knowledge, suggestions, & views from real people.
Couple married & together for several years, have children, and have struggled in their marriage. They've only had a couple rounds of counseling years ago before kids but mostly the husband went on his own because the doc wished to continue seeing him. Once parenthood arrived the couple were great about going out on their own or doing something together a couple of times a month, however they were still not a solid, happily married couple. The wife started to tell the husband that he needed to calm down on the way he talked to the kids but he found her showing some of the same not-so-great parenting skills and didn't appreciate her questioning his. She continued to tell him to go out on the weekends, to go away on a trip, go to a doctor, whatever he needed to get in a better place. He went to doctors and did his own thing one day every weekend. The couple still appeared happy to the outside world. After the wife kept seeing the husband lose his temper she finally told him during a heated talk that she didn't approve of his parenting and that he should really take a break because the kids stressed him out too much. She too had not been the best parent but she knew he was not happy. He knew they both had a lot to learn about parenting and was crushed that she didn't approve of his parenting.He wanted her to clean more and felt that she was too rough with words with him. He shut down and started pulling away from her after that. She began to feel it and they began to bicker more. Then she confronted him about his distant behavior and he said that they should try living apart taking turns crashing at friends houses while they worked out their differences. He left the next day and later that week she asked him to stay at home just live in a different room so that they could work on problems under the same roof. He agreed but had such anxiety about the way he parented around her that he couldn't handle it. He left again. Meanwhile she found out that he was talking to another girl that she knew he was friends with, much more than she ever thought they talked. He assured her it was nothing, after admitting he had talked to her about his marriage he promised he wouldn't talk to her about it anymore. So he started seeing a counselor. The wife requested couples counseling but his counselor said he wasn't ready for that. The wife wanted him to be able to say that they could work on the marriage and the husband refused to say anything other than he needed time to think. He shut out his family and friends so she called his family and friends asking for them to reach out to him. She told them all that she wanted to remain married and just couldn't reach him. They reached out to him but he felt confronted and shut them out even more. He continued to clean and do laundry to help out while he was gone. They helped each other with the kids.He finally decided that he wasn't getting enough space to think crashing at friends houses so he told his wife that he needed to get a 3 month lease, not anything longer because he might change his mind after a week, he just needed to do something for himself. She cried & yelled that she didn't want any of that and that it was unacceptable. He told her that it was his decision. She emailed the family & friends that she had reached out to & told them she had taken a chance marrying a mentally ill man because she felt that only someone clinically depressed & irrational would switch so dramatically. After a couple of days she reached out to her husband asking for each of them to see the same counselor individually until he was ready to go together and he still refused to leave it as an option. He got the apartment & moved out a week later. One day he reads all of the emails on her account about him even though he knows he shouldn't. After this he tells her that he is done and has never spoken that way about her. She says that she never left him. What would you do if you were him or her?
1st off, if you are either the husband or the wife in this situation, while I can understand how referring to it in the 3rd person may help you get a little distance and perspective; it's confusing--& so is the lack of paragraphs.
Secondly, both spouses in your story have contributed to the current rocky state of the marriage---and both of them will need to show genuine effort, love, and understanding to fix it. The husband needs to open up more--running away from his problems and his marriage is not the way to handle things; neither is the wife's declaration that her husband must be mentally ill to act in such a way.
Saying you need space and then declaring you're going to sign a 3month lease, packs your things, and move out are two completely separate things--so I can understand why the wife was upset. Her husband is moving out without even bothering to attend couples counseling, or even really talk to her about what's going on--right on the heels of her finding out that while her husband refuses to talk to her, he's more than happy to talk to another woman. By the same token...it seems she didn't understand that her constant attempts to get her husband to open up were one of things things driving him away. I'd strongly recommend couples counseling for both of them--as well as joint sessions where the two attend counseling together in neutral ground.
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