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).
I can see you have been working very hard to promote your marital relationship, and have been having a hard time after past episode of abuse and recently because of her friend's situation.
right... so... what do you think?
I do believe you are currently doing a great job, and you have learned from past painful circumstances.
my name is XXXXX XXXXX the way
right... i think so... i'm sure she would agree as well
she definitely loves me very much
I would say that you keep the approach, without becoming pushy, but being natural..(remember that this is a public forum, thus anybody could read what we share here)
so you don't think directly addressing it... for instance saying to her, "i know you're having trouble trusting me... i just want to assure you you can... etc"
You have the very most important requirement, and it is real love, real affection, as long as you keep and nurture that, you would be fine. But I see your point, and you are right, without actually working on taking good care of it, promoting mutual trust and further intimacy, even good relationship would get undermined and collapse.
she did recently say she was afraid i was having an affair, but i'm pretty certain she knows, deep down, that it isn't the case
I believe that intimacy is essential in every healthy and fulfilling relationship, and it requires honesty and openness, for both of you to feel comfortable expressing what you think, feel, want and concerns you.
and i certainly assured her it wasn't without getting defensive (especially since i've been in the reverse situation, i know what she is going through)
When couples avoid taking about things, they end enabling destructive speculation, lack of trust and distance in relationships.
right... i think her fear is sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy... she is afraid that i'm gonna leave cause she is too controlling, so she becomes more controlling to protect herself...
so... talking might help... the trouble is, when i was flipping out, i wanted to talk about our relationship ALL THE TIME...
which totally made things worse...
ultimately, no matter how controlling she becomes, i'm not gonna leave
but i do want her to be happy...
Focus on showing her that your actions are consistent with your words and affection, that you do not need to convince her about your love, because your actions do, while at the same time you would not neglect words and dialogue , but use it effectively to further improve mutual understanding, trust, motivation and enjoyment.
so... having a casual talk about it is OK? just don't obsess or jump to a solution
That's why I said work on it without "pushing" her, for it to be spontaneous, natural, something that goes with you making things easier and not creating stress or concern.
can you give me an example of communicating without being too pushy?
No pushing, no obsessive approaches at all, but being present, affectionate, showing your love more through concrete consistent actions and intimate sharing than through words, while using them a necessary to explore fears, misunderstandings or concerns.
like.. what would the conversation look like
so... it would be ok to explore her fears of becoming like her friend
what about setting up more situations where she has to trust me?
like the wild goose chase thing..
that went so well...
course, i can't really do that so often, it was kinda expensive all told
The attitude, the emotion you invest on it would be caring, empathic, respecting her boundaries, being sensitive to her feelings and needs at the moment, so you would not push something that does not match the specific situation. You would work on creating adequate scenarios for things like such dialogues, and know when to go slowly. You know her, her personality, defenses and expectations, fears too, then use such knowledge in order to show empathy, understanding , support and caring.
You work on learning about her even more, what she wants, expects, needs from you the most for you to work on fulfilling her in healthy and loving ways. She should learn and do the same towards you. that's what a healthy and happy couple does.
right, but i can't just tell her, "you should learn more about me, what i want, expect, need, etc"
You tell her about your feelings, what you like, want, what works for you, what could help you feel better and happier.
ok... well... i think you've given me some great stuff here to work with... like i said in my question, i don't think we are in a desperate situation or anything
i just think things could be better
We are talking about your spouse, and when couples do not have the freedom and openness, trust to share at this level, they just miss so much and keep distances and barriers that shape relationship is multiple ways.
Absolutely they can, and working on it would allow you to heal what has been distorted by past painful episodes so nurture and promote your relationship in multiple ways.
Things good fine and recent friend's situation is a challenge but a useful one since it is pushing you to work on areas requiring improvement, thus it should be welcome and taken proactively.
that makes sense... though i do feel bad for her and the kids, of course
so in that sense, it isn't welcome
but i get what you mean
ok... thx so much!... i think i got it now
Without challenges like this people would remain blind and passive about areas needing change and improvement.
You're very welcome.