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Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3191
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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My wife and I have over the years discussed communication issues

Resolved Question:

My wife and I have over the years discussed communication issues and whilst I now understand that I am from Mars and she from Venus, my recent change in behaviour to more suit what she needs is just proving even more to her that previously, I was taken her for granted (eve though I didn't feel I was). I feel that I cannot win - my change is just reinforcing her negative feelings of before. This is actually making the situation worse.
Any help & advice is very much appreciated
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 3 years ago.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am sorry to know about this distressful and frustrating situation

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Could you please tell me more how your present changes to "suit her needs" have worsen your marital life?

Customer: Because she has noticed I am better in my dealings I.e. Doing more around the house, calmer generally and come home from work earlier, this has just reinforced that our relationship and my behaviour wasn't ideal before. We are still distant physically although do get on generally most of the time however we are not as we normally are when things were good.
Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You mean your marital relationship was much better before when you were not a good husband/partner?

Customer: I thought I was a good husband however it is now apparent that from time to time, that I wasn't meeting her spiritua
Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I see, then how did you become aware of it and decided to change and make these improvements?

Customer: L needs I.e she has said that she felt she couldn't speak to me about certain things due to my likely reaction - communication on certain things had broken down. We have been married 11 years and have two children and in the main, we have been happy although both admit that there have been times that we have both been frustrated by our actions and reactions. In terms of how I became aware, it happened after a row in November when she lost it with me and came out with various things over the years - this appeared to be the thing that broke the camels back. The things she raised were things I didn't know or realise - as an example she said that when she asked me if I could take the kids to school one day, my frustration at having to change something at work that was hugely difficult to me made me react - I was ok to do but my behaviour didn't match my intention. Just an example
Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I see. Thank you. Then it was from this episode-crisis that you started working on making changes in yourself, but these positive changes have not helped at all but pushed your wife away from you?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Once you became aware of these limitations and faults in your actions towards your wife and children in the past, and decided to make improvements, did you apologized to her?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

This specific issue could happen, mostly because the resentment, frustration, sadness , lack of fulfilling and other negative feelings from the past start arising and the person, in this case your wife, allows herself to be more open, honest and direct, releasing what she repressed for that long, what could back fire.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

This is why it is so important for a person in your shoes to take full responsibility for past mistakes and limitations, even when you did not have a negative intention, but once you became aware of the pain they caused, you know it is necessary to show that it was not your intention to wound them, and that now that you are learning about it, choose to commit to make things better, once you know it is necessary and that they deserve it too.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I do suggest you to be very patient with your wife, she may be reacting in this way as a way to release negative feelings and emotions from the past as I just explained, which s necessary, unhappily she is not doing it in healthy ways, and that's why I believe she needs to forgive not to forget what was not good from the past, and for her to work on it, she needs to clearly see how much you regret your past mistakes, truly apologize and are totally willing to continue making real improvements to gain back her respect, love and trust.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I do not know for how long you have been facing this tough challenge, but if you see that it is taking too long for her heal from the past and enjoy the present with all the positive changes, please consider individual and marriage therapy as the ideal sources of support each of you as individuals ans as a couple to work on healing and rebuilding your relationship. It would not be easy but it seems necessary and absolutely worthy, since both of you would grow from it, and your children would also benefit from it.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Does it make sense?

Customer: Yes this does and while I have apologised, I know that I need to continue to work at. Whilst I feel damned if I do at present and damned if I don't, I would rather 'do' because I love her hugely and when things are good between us, I feel good too. She also lost her mother in August last year and in our rows, she has also mentioned her mother as a cause if frustration and despite her loving her, I know there were relationship problems too. My wife is also 48 and she is aware she could be pre-menopasial so she has a lot going on and last year was tough for her. I obviously need to persevere and give her time and trust that her love for me hasn't died conpletely
Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Thank you for replying.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am sorry to know about her loss

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Then all these factors have played a key role impacting your marital situation

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

and I can see you truly care about her, love her and are able and willing to continue working on yourself and the relationship to promote healing, trust and happiness.

Customer: I am but recognise I need to battle my desire to make her happy by making sure she has time and space, whilst not necessarily making her feel she hasn't my support always
Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Yes, that's very wise and necessary. I'd rather say that supporting and loving her requires you respecting her boundaries , limits and preferences too, being that understanding, sensitive and empathetic, would ensure the best possible experiences and improvements.

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