Marriage Counseling - Session 3

Session 3 was mostly with me this time. The reason is, I had forgotten that the kindergarten was closed today and we had to bring Baby Girl with us.  The therapist said she would not allow us to discuss things in front of her, so H took her out and they had a snack at a local cafe.

T:  So tell me how things are going. Good? Bad? Same?

Me:  Good and bad.  The good is that H wanted sex on the day he got back from China.  He also is paying for something for the house for the first time in three years, the curtains and rollo plisee's.  Bad is that he prefers to go out and drink over spending time with his family.  Monday night I planned a steak dinner and he sneaked out of the house, leaving an note on the door that he needed a beer and would be back by 9 pm.  Next night, last night, he goes out to watch football and comes home drunk at 1 a.m.  He also did not remember our homework assignment, the three value statements.  But I remembered.

T:  Do you feel that he is a partner to you?

Then I told her how technically he is, but he does not want to spend time with me and our daughter and does not want to bother with conversation between us.  I told her how I had some boyfriends in my 20's who loved to be with me, who loved to talk with me, and laugh with me, and that although I did not recognize it back then, I know today that those men gave me true love.

I also told her I traded sexual favors with Rudi in order to get the new bedroom light installed.

I told her that even in our courtship phase, my husband slept on the sofa but back then I always thought it was jet lag.  Then we got married and the problem stayed even after I moved to Europe.  I told her how the lack of sexual frequency left us no choice but to resort to IVF to have our child.

T:  Why would you be afraid to go back to the States, as your parents offered to take you in if needed?

Me:  I remember what it was like to work and live in the States.  10 to 12 hour workdays, lucky if you got three weeks of vacation, horrible public schools unless you get in the right district.  Companies fire at will, often just because some manager does not like you, then you lose your health insurance.  That is no quality of life for my child I tell you!!  And I could not afford those extras like piano and soccer camp for her if I am a single mom trying to go it alone.

The therapist gave me homework :  Suggest  to H small activities for us to do as a family and document his responses each time.

EinEngel EinEngel 46-50, F 5 Responses Nov 21, 2012

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Would Herr Engel have the resources and inclination to fight a trans Atlantic legal action should you return to the states to visit your family (with young engel) and inadvertantly forget to go back ?

Tread your own path.

It happened, sadly, to a friend. His wife took his daughter overseas to see family, and never returned. He did try to fight for custody, but it was a long process, and very expensive.

I'm confused on your monetary situation - who is contributing toward the lifestyle you "enjoy" that you intend to pass to your child. My read is that hubby doesn't contribute. Thus, if you part, there is no financial loss, except on your part to a nanny or daycare. I must be missing something.

It's worth challenging your thinking on the lifestyle, vs an actualized parent and an absentee father.

If you were to part, can you do it in stages? Would he realistically fight for custody? If you fought for full custody, with a drinking problem etc, would he realistically have a chance of retaining it?

If you first got full custody, would The Hague Convention apply?

Hi Apocrypha. Because I am living with H, there are no utlities and no rent or mortgage. Here in Germany, that is huge.

But keep in mind, we live in a building owned by H's father, so we pay no rent, and eventually H will inherit this building. By the end of the day, my husband's financial contribution here is phone and all the other utilities. But it does not matter if you ask what expenses I will have to cover if I were to leave him. Rent and utilities is a lot of money here in Germany.

I dropped thousands of dollars on "marriage counseling" Now Im getting divorced. If your hubby isnt giving it 100% effort then you are completely wasting your time and money. It takes effort by both to make it work.

I read your post, and then thought interesting. The therapist is teliing you what you should do, and I remind myself, it was becasue you were the one present for that session, but somehow, that just got me irritated. It seems to me, you are doing a lot all ready.I find it demeaning to be expected to do more and more. I have no solution for this. I would be getting very tired of having to beg. and so i don't know what to tell you, except that I am sorry, and i guess the only thing i could do, would be to say to the spouse, this nonsense has to stop. He is an adult and capable of making choices, and standing by those choices. So, I would have to speak up..I would have no more patience left. i realize you want to stay in Europe, so your price may be having to simply close your eyes to all of this, and continue on.

No, I am paying.

ifoundme here...I agree

I also paid for all our sessions. I too am a complete fool. That money will never be recovered... EinEngel, make sure you get what YOU want out of the sessions, because it's a business transaction that YOU are paying for.

I wonder how many more of us harbour this secret shame?

I'm guessing the documentation of his reactions is the important thing here. A lot of times we "forget"or "whitewash" our refuser's responses. But put them on paper, it's hard to deny how bad things are. Just a thought. Could be invaluable.

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How would divorce work out for you, in the event you want to stay in Europe? have you consulted a lawyer about that?

If you wanted to move to Canada we'd be happy to have you ;)

Hi Zsu, because of the Hague Convention, my situation is no different than that of ifoundmehere. We can never leave Germany because my husband's business is here.

But can you stay in Germany and be divorced, is the question. Can you stay in your new country, co-parent, get alimony, find some work, and move on with your life in your new country, untethered otherwise to this (I erased the bad name I wrote)?

No alimony, but certainly child support. Still though, we go back to the obvious, that I cannot give her all the extras in life if I am a single mom on my own, even with the alimony, because rent and utilities would eat my paycheck up.

Germany is different. The wife is expected to work if she has before (and I have), and whether or not the lifestyle is the same as it was during the marriage is not considered by the court. It is a simple math calculation. A certain percentage of the husband's income. Since he has no income right now, this would not be a nice number.

Yep, we are both dancing the 'It Ain't So Bad' Walz.

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