"i Don't Like You Pushing Me!" Well, Not Pushing Isn't Working!

I meant to write about this incident right after it occurred just under a week ago, but got too busy. The basic story is one you've surely heard, or lived, before: my wife and I had decided to go to couple's counseling with a sex therapist. We went to one appointment in October -- haven't been back sense!
Now, this is not to say it's her fault we haven't been back. What frustrates me is that when I push to get our ducks in a row to schedule an appointment, it just seems to agitate her! No, it actually ****** her off!
This time, I'd asked about me scheduling an appointment.
She said we needed to organize childcare.
Then I said our usual sitter was busy.
No real response was given.
A couple days later, I asked if she could ask her mom.
Instead of a response, I got a phone call back with her biting my head off. Apparently, pushing her to go to therapy is like me saying, "**** you, wife! You're ****** up!"
No, pushing to go to therapy is "we need help and aren't going to make it if we're not proactive."
Part of ******* her off was my mention of her taking "initiative," at which point she reminded me that I'd said I would take care of making the appointments. I did, and I do. But overall with this issue, there's been little initiative. Twice in the last two years, I've mentioned couples counseling. She would agree and then back out. Then, she was referred by a friend to a hypnotherapist. It took her over a month just to make an appointment. Three weeks later, I asked about her follow up appointment only to find out that she didn't like the first appointment and didn't plan to go back. Were you going to tell me?
So now we're three months after our first couple's counseling appointment. Our appointment in November had to be rescheduled because of a trip, and then eventually cancelled at her request because of money we needed to spend on our doctor's bills. That I totally understood. But now, I'm a giant ****** for wanting to push us to make going back a priority.
Now, part of my problem is I'm not aggressive enough at times. But that's changing.
I finally stopped her ranting and growling at me to inform her that what she was saying wasn't true, that making an appointment was important, and that yes, by God, I was pushing her! And if she didn't like being pushed, take the initiative to push yourself because sitting around waiting for changes isn't working! I'm giving it until after Christmas, at which point our money will be a little better to work with and our sitter won't be quite as busy. If I still get resistance to making the counseling appointment...
That's where I'm drawing a blank. What do I do? I'm done extending, and waiting, and biding time, and being the nice guy. Two years of no sex is patient enough. Line is drawn. If it doesn't get crossed, what do I do then?
deltachi78 deltachi78
31-35, M
6 Responses Dec 13, 2012

If pushing will not work, and neither will not pushing, you might as well save the energy to **********.

You are the master of the "one liner"!! Love it!

Conan Doyle would call such one liner "ejaculations" :-) Anyway, I hope I am not annoying too many people with these TheOnion "American Voices" knock-offs.

Nope. Love it, in fact! :-)

I said to Baz yesterday: "I'm loving that great sense of humour that Ulae is only now letting us see!" I think this great sense of humour must be one reason you can survive your environment with equanimity. {{{hugs}}}

Sad to say, equianimity was in short supply three days back. Trigger: junior, as usual. The policy pattern is clear: have fun and be the model kid when daddy and I are alone and there is no option to have mommy around. When mommy is around, behave badly with daddy (e.g., screaming "I don't want daddy" and running away from the room), cling to mommy, whine loudly all the time, and hold her to ransom ("mommy will not take a shower now") and make her life quite difficult. I let loose some regrettable expletives and said I am not going to exploit my flex time and stay with junior all afternoon, then work through the night and get less then five hours of sleep, only to get this kind of behavior and atmosphere at home. I also said that I have very little at stake. My parents are visiting for Christmas and the wife was mortified they would hear and suspect something so I "should not create a drama when they are around". She has agreed to consult the pediatrician about behavior control.

2 More Responses

Two separate agendas running here, each contrary to the other.

You want to see if it is fixable.
She doesn't think it's broke.

Basic mismatch.

Sister ChangeWillDoYouGood wrote a recent piece titled just that - "Basic Mismatch". You'd do well to have a read of it. It will give you a signpost as to where your marriage is going.

You won't like what you read, but unfortunately, that won't make it any less true.

Tread your own path.

Thanks, ya'll. I have a little time to think about this, but it's tickin' by fairly quick. I genuinely love her - completely. Just not gonna be able to live like this forever.

humans have the ability to love deeply, passionately, and often. We are not meant to marry all those we love. We should marry someone we love who fulfills our healthy needs. IMO

I found it much better to know who I was, what I wanted, and where my boundaries were, before making changes. However you do this (whether individual therapy or whatever) - you are then in a much better place to take action that results in effective change because:

a) you stick to your path in the face of the almost inevitable resistance to you having the temerity to assert yourself

b) you can look them in the eye and they will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you mean what you say, that the status quo is no more.

c) you can have a meaningful negotiation of values, with the confidence that you will not sell yourself short or allow yourself to be walked over: you know you baselines.

It doesn't really sound like you've got to that place, other than the desperation is increasing, and the evidence is mounting that hope is hopeless.

Two unfvcking years.

I'm feeling this particularly sharply today so bare with me.

What someone does when not pushed tells you EVERYTHING about their true feelings and true motivations. What she does when you push, nag, whine or complain is not an indicator of long term change. It is in direct response and proportion to how hard you have pushed her, not because she actually wants things to be better.

That is NOT the same thing as communication. You can communicate your feelings without pushing or coercing. Once you have communicated your feelings, watch her actions. Her reaction to your communication IS your answer. No amount of pushing or coercing will get you an honest answer. It might get you some reset sex, guilt sex, mercy sex or pretense about the marriage being important to her. If you communicate your feelings and your needs and she does not do anything differently, that is your answer. Don't beat a dead horse. At that point you need to consider the options available to you.

I'm sorry, but what would you like me to bare with you?


Yeah... that's it. :-)

I have read your back stories to get an understanding of where you are at present. I see that one of her strategies is to convince you, by whatever means is appropriate at the given time, that SHE is just as keen on the idea of reconnecting in a fully intimate and sexual way.

But the real truth is that she effectively stymies every single opportunity for this to happen! So this is one way in which she derails you from insisting on the changes that need to take place - by pretending she also wants them but the time is not exactly right.

I suggest you have two options - and they both involve calling her on this bull-****.

In the first one, you arrange with the baby sitter and / or your MIL to care for the kids, you make the relevant appointment and you tell her "We ARE going". Nothing short of a major international disaster in which you are centrally located should be allowed to derail this!!

At the Counselling session you clearly call her for the above behaviour and tell her you don't believe her. Then see how it plays out from thee . . . .

Option Two: after Christmas you go straight to the "This isn't working and it is obvious it isn't going to work" talk in which you lay out the divorce options. I strongly urge you to consult a lawyer if you plan to take this route.

Sadly I see very little likelihood of a genuine turn around in this situation. You might convince her tio give you re-set sex or mercy sex a few times, but after that I think the old patterns will re-emerge. You are a young man with your whole life ahead of you. You can be an excellent co-parent with her for your child. But do NOT tie yourself to this awful situation in the vain hope it will work out. Give it every chance - but be aware that SHE needs to want it too. And there is precious little evidence of that . . . .

In response to Enna's first two paragraphs:

Could be passive aggressive behavior which is based on suppressed anger. In which case it will take more than sex therapy. Even if she does nothing, therapy for you to help you deal with her would be a good thing.