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Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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i dont know how much detail to give here... this will likely

Resolved Question:

i don't know how much detail to give here... this will likely be very very long...

my wife and i have been together a long time... in our late 30's, we decided to start having kids. my daughter was born in '06, but then we decide to have another. when we found out we were having a boy, i kinda lost it. i'm not sure why... i have a fairly good relationship with my father though i feel he wasn't very emotionally --- present, ya know... anyway, i got really insecure and withdrawn and really freaky about everything... sex especially... how often we were getting, why she wasn't in the mood, etc...

eventually, i started to get counseling and started to pull it back together, slowly. then one night we were on a weekend get-away at a spa and my parents had the kids. we were having a blast (and drinking) and suddenly, i snapped and started telling her i was about to leave her and that i blamed her for forcing us to have another child and all this weird stuff... it was almost like i was outside my body wondering who was in there saying all this hurtful stuff...

i think she never really recovered from that situation, which was about 2 years ago. and on my birthday this year, she said she hasn't had an orgasm in the 2 years since our son was born. i kinda flipped out (but not outwardly or in the freaky way i had earlier) i instead flipped out internally and decided i would try an get myself and our relationship together. she says that she thinks it was maybe something physical but i am certain that the problem is that all these times i've flipped out, i've destroyed her trust in me at some fundamental level...

lately, i've been able to build that trust back up. i've done lots of loving things for her, really publicly showed my love and have been doing all this without an agenda or goal in mind, other than to make sure she completely feels and understands how much i love her (see, i've been reading alot of stuff about how women experience love and what stuff they see as loving). and really, it has been working. at first, on several occasions, she accused me of being able to read her mind like mel gibson in that movie.

then, a friend of hers at work had her husband leave her out of the blue... he cited her "controlling nature" as the reason. they had a 18 month old baby and a 3 year old son. i think, to my wife, it seems like a perfect parallel to our lives. the next day, the dude moves in with his 20 year old girlfriend... i'm certain that this caused her to go on total lock down. at this point, she won't hug me almost at all (she holds her arms stiffly by her side when i hug her). she certainly won't reach orgasm (she only wants quickies or, if she lets me get more will stop me before she reaches orgasm). i really understand her situation. she doesn't want to make herself vulnerable because she is CERTAIN in her mind that i'm about to leave her and the kids for some 20 year old. i think, also, me getting into better shape (both mentally and physically) actually backfires because she wonders why i'm so happy or seem so relaxed all the time...

i know she is capable of turning off the fear and letting go. i know this because i planned a surprise weekend getaway for us and made her go on a wild goose chase (first a spa, then a mall shopping spree, then while she was at the mall, i hid the key to our room in her car). she didn't know where she was going or why. it was hard for her, but she let go and trusted me and we had the time of our recent lives that weekend. i know she dug it (and had several orgasms too, though that isn't my focus, just more of an indicator of her comfort level) because the weekend was at a super-cheesy, smoke filled local casino and she now talks about that place as if it was the best place on the planet.

my question is how do i build up that trust again and how do i counter what she is seeing in her friend's situation? do i force her into situations where she has to "let go" like with the wild goose chase? do i directly talk to her about her friend's situation and compare it to ours to show her how different we are? do i just continue to shower her with love so it will slowly build her trust back up? all in all, our relationship is great but i know it can be better.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 2 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 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.

Customer:

right... so... what do you think?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I do believe you are currently doing a great job, and you have learned from past painful circumstances.

Customer:

my name is XXXXX XXXXX the way

Customer:

right... i think so... i'm sure she would agree as well

Customer:

she definitely loves me very much

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

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)

Customer:

right...

Customer:

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"

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

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.

Customer:

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

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

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.

Customer:

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)

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

When couples avoid taking about things, they end enabling destructive speculation, lack of trust and distance in relationships.

Customer:

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...

Customer:

so... talking might help... the trouble is, when i was flipping out, i wanted to talk about our relationship ALL THE TIME...

Customer:

which totally made things worse...

Customer:

ultimately, no matter how controlling she becomes, i'm not gonna leave

Customer:

but i do want her to be happy...

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

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.

Customer:

so... having a casual talk about it is OK? just don't obsess or jump to a solution

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

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.

Customer:

can you give me an example of communicating without being too pushy?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

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.

Customer:

like.. what would the conversation look like

Customer:

i see

Customer:

so... it would be ok to explore her fears of becoming like her friend

Customer:

what about setting up more situations where she has to trust me?

Customer:

like the wild goose chase thing..

Customer:

that went so well...

Customer:

course, i can't really do that so often, it was kinda expensive all told

Customer:

:)

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

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.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

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.

Customer:

right, but i can't just tell her, "you should learn more about me, what i want, expect, need, etc"

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You tell her about your feelings, what you like, want, what works for you, what could help you feel better and happier.

Customer:

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

Customer:

i just think things could be better

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

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.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

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.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

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.

Customer:

that makes sense... though i do feel bad for her and the kids, of course

Customer:

so in that sense, it isn't welcome

Customer:

but i get what you mean

Customer:

ok... thx so much!... i think i got it now

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Without challenges like this people would remain blind and passive about areas needing change and improvement.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You're very welcome.

Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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