Emotional Shut Down
I just joined the group so I don't know how my story may compare to others. I have been married for over 15 years and much of it was happy. A few years ago my wife just shut down emotionally. This was after a discussion of family finances, always a sensitive topic for her. I told her I was sorry if I said something offensive to her. Believe it or not, our marriage has not been the same since. Obviously, there are other issues but she won't talk about them. When she shut down emotionally, she shut down physically as well. At first, I thought there was someone else but there is not. She just seems to have no physical or emotional needs anymore, or she has just suppressed them.
I have told her over and over how I want to be close. I have tried giving her space. Nothing has worked. I have gone for counseling because she won't. She actually went for a few sessions and then dropped out. There has been no infidelity but there is a lot of loneliness and sadness on my part because we once had a very close marriage. My wife now seems to have rewritten history (forgotten all of the experiences we had together). We are raising a child and I don't think she understands the impact all of this has had on him. She just seems content to have this kind of a marriage with no emotion.
I have always thought that talking about things would help. I have told her I want more affection and have asked her what I can do to make things better. Always I get the same answer, that it takes a long time for her to heal. When she was a teenager, she immigrated to this country to live with a relative and she was emotionally abused. I think that experience causes her to just shut down whenever she gets hurt. From my standpoint, the lack of sex and emotion is very heartbreaking. We have been through a lot together. I supported her for many years when we got married while she went through school. I know that a part of her craves independence. She has never been on her own and she doesn't get the concept of interdependence, something I told her I believe marriage should be.
I am left with a difficult choice. I love my wife but don't want to live this way forever. It is possible that the threat of divorce will jolt her out of this place she is in. She may be depressed but won't seek help. What other options do I have? I am thinking of teeling her that if she doesn't go for counseling with me, then I will file for divorce. Anybody have any other ideas? Thanks.