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Ask Eleanor, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1517
Experience:  Marriage & Family Therapist/Prof. Counselor for 20 years
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My husband does not want to spend time with my family. He

Customer Question

My husband does not want to spend time with my family. He refuses to accompany me for visits with them, or when he does agree he puts up such a fuss that it causes alot of tension. I don't really enjoy his family either but try to be gracious when we visit because I know it's important to him. How can I get him to be more involved and supportive in my attempts to stay in touch with my family?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Ask Eleanor replied 3 years ago.

Ask Eleanor :

Hello, your certainly have an unbalanced situation in dealing with your families. More often than not, it is the women in the family who keep the social connections healthy; men are just not usually as emotionally connected to family as are we women. Having said that, to hear that it is important to him to stay connected with his family piques my curiosity. Do you believe he would visit his family if you did not go along?

Customer :

Yes, he would go along and enjoy himself if I went or not.

Ask Eleanor :

Hello, I am here for you. May I ask if there is some issue between your husband and your family which may cause him not to want to visit?

Customer :

Well, both of our families have pathology, but no big issues or reasons. He just wants to do what he wants and doesn't seem to really care about my feelings.

Ask Eleanor :

Well, this is not good for the relationship. Is he selfish regarding issues other than visiting your family?

Customer :

Yes, over smaller things. IE; doing activites on weekends, he wont because he doesnt want to. Or it's OK for him to do things that spend extra money(weekly bowling, annual softball), but gives me a hard time when I get a haircut once every 8 weeks. I do say something then to him that he has no right to start in with me about that, when he does A. B and C. He will then give me the cold shoulder for an hour or so.

Ask Eleanor :

I am sorry to hear this. I am almost ready to give you my answer. First please tell me how long you have been in this relationship and how long the two of you have been married.

Customer :

We have been together for 7 years, and married for almost 3 years.

Ask Eleanor :

I am going to begin typing my answer. It will take a few minutes.

Ask Eleanor :

It is extremely important that the two of you work on these issues as soon as possible; the longer this pattern goes on the worse it will get. And you deserve to be honored and respected by your husband. I strongly suggest that you find a Marriage and Family Therapist to help you correct the imbalance in your relationship. MFTs are trained to help couples learn to communicate better and work out issues that are hurting the marriage. You may go to www.TherapistLocator.net to find an MFT in your area. If money is an issue, call your United Way Helpline and ask for numbers of non-profit community counseling centers. These centers offer excellent professional sevices at a low fee or sliding scale fee based upon income. I realize that your husband may balk at the idea of couples counseling. I usually contract with my couples for 6 weekly sessions and tell them that after that six weeks I will make a recommendation as to whether we need to continue with therapy or they have made enough progress that we do not need to meet again. Of course, I tell them they may return at any time if they hit a rough patch. This contract with an end in sight, often makes the relunctant spouse more open the couples counseling. Not all MFTs use this contract, but you could always ask for them to work with you in this way. In my professional opinion, you cannot fix this yourself. The two of you are in too much of an emotional rut and need a professional to help with your communication. His not refusing to visit your parents is a symptom of underlying issues with him and between you. And you will also discover things you can do to improve the relationship. I hope I have answered your question. If so, please click on the green accept button so that I will be credited for my time. If not, chat back and I will respond. I am so glad your asked this question. Often couples go on for years, decades without acknowledging and addressing problems in their marriage. Good for you! I wish you all the best, take care, Eleanor

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Marriage & Family Therapist/Prof. Counselor for 20 years