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Question
Posted by: john | 2010/09/28

Communication

How does one communicate effectifly with your wife after she told you that she doesn''t love you anymore and does npt care what you do??? I am to blame for this because I realize that I was taking her for granted and didn''t give her the attention and affection she desirved. I get the feeling she only stays because of our son. I am trying to make an effort to fix up my mess but is unsuccessful thus far. She keeps me far away from her and doesn''t realy speak to me. Me myself is no great talker. I really want to know how to " talk"  as I am still in love with her and don''t want to loose her. I am just not able to communicate, talk. I am feeling depressed at this stage as I am feeling that she is slipping away and I don''t know what to do or say that will help. Counciling didn''t help it just burned a hole in my pocket.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

It is never fair or anything but cruel ( and often just profoundly cowardly ) for anyone to make such an announcement to their partner or spouse and then refuse to discuss it.
Faced with such really bad behaviour, you could write a letter to her.
We may all want more attention than we get ( and some of us are so insatiable as regards attention that nobody can supply as much as we want ), but that is no excuse for cruelty or for abandoning a relationship. Had she tried to remedy the situation she complains of, by discussing it with you, and by suggesting marriage counselling if this bore no results ?
I'm sorry to hear that counselling was attempted and was useless in your view - maybe an unskilled coun sellor, or maybe your wife was so reluctant to allow it to work that this sabotaged the process ?
qwerty summarizes a reasonable approach that would be useful. The point about specificity is crucial - its important for you to be specific in your proposed solutions - just as it is important for her to be far more specific in her complaint.

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Our users say:
Posted by: John | 2010/09/28

Qwerty / CS,
We went to a marriage counsellor. I tried to do what the counsellor said but it had no effect on her it actually caused her to get irritated with me more often.
I actually did write her a letter for her to read and found it in the dustbin the following morning. I confess I wasn''t clear in the letter on how and what I was going to do to fix the problem I caused.
The most difficult part is that she doesn''t fight with me anymore, that I can handle and sort out, but if I do something that she doesn''t like she just carries on with her own things and says I don''t care do what you want. Then I know something is up. I am really struggling. When I want to just talk to her she will answer me bluntly and soon get up and walk away to end the conversation.
She says she doesn''t try anymore because it doesn''t help  I am like any other person on the street for her, just another person. That really hurt badly, but I understand that she was hurt by me many times.
Is there a specific point that I will know that I am winning or losing the battle to win her back. I know I am grabbing at straws I just need some reassuring after 19months that there is light at the end and it’ s not a train.

Reply to John
Posted by: qwerty | 2010/09/28

Then write her a letter. If you find it hard to formulate your thoughts while trying to speak to her, put it in a letter and give it to her to read. Start by acknowledging your faults, and taking responsibility for what you know you did wrong. Then tell her how you intend to do better, (be specific!!) and how much she means to you and how important your marriage is to you. Ask her what she needs from you to make this work - then DO those things.
Show her that you are making an effort. Make it very clear that you will do everything in your power to make this marriage work - it might just be what she''s been waiting for...

You can''t force her to work on the marriage if she doesn''t want to, but you can show her you are willing to do your bit. The rest is up to her...

I know you say counselling didn''t help, but did you try going to a couple''s counselor together? Sometimes it helps to have a detached third party mediate between you, and they could also help you to learn valuable communication skills.

Good luck, and let us know what happens!!

Reply to qwerty
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/09/28

It is never fair or anything but cruel ( and often just profoundly cowardly ) for anyone to make such an announcement to their partner or spouse and then refuse to discuss it.
Faced with such really bad behaviour, you could write a letter to her.
We may all want more attention than we get ( and some of us are so insatiable as regards attention that nobody can supply as much as we want ), but that is no excuse for cruelty or for abandoning a relationship. Had she tried to remedy the situation she complains of, by discussing it with you, and by suggesting marriage counselling if this bore no results ?
I'm sorry to hear that counselling was attempted and was useless in your view - maybe an unskilled coun sellor, or maybe your wife was so reluctant to allow it to work that this sabotaged the process ?
qwerty summarizes a reasonable approach that would be useful. The point about specificity is crucial - its important for you to be specific in your proposed solutions - just as it is important for her to be far more specific in her complaint.

Reply to cybershrink

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