Hi! I'm sorry that since you were offline the system reverted to the question/answer format, so I'll answer you here, okay?
First, let me say I can imagine how frustrating and distressing this situation must be for you. I have a feeling that the frustration you expressed that came through so clearly in your few brief words are not limited to this one episode. It sounds as though the lack of unity and togetherness is a problem that you feel strongly is hurting the relationship. And that he doesn't recognize this and isn't making efforts to create unity and togetherness.
It is hard to say, without you two in session in marriage counseling (I'll get to that further in my answer to you) why he is behaving this way. There are a number of reasons why men take this approach in marriage:
They are overwhelmed by their responsibilities and don't know how to communicate it well; their approach to marriage is that it just sort of coasts along unless something is broken; they might be depressed themselves (men show depression differently than women); there are so many possibilities. But that doesn't change the essential problem, that the communication between you two is not satisfying and not effective. I know this is not only frustrating for you but hurtful as well.
Communication is the muscular system of love. And love is the circulatory system. Let me repeat that because it's so important: it's not sex; it's not beauty or looking good; it's not being smart or clever. Communication between the two people is the love muscle; it's the muscular system of love. The desire to give to the other person, to make the other person happy is the heart of love, the circulatory system.
So, we'll try to see if we can get him to be willing to put his "heart" back into this, to reactivate his giving circulatory system. I want you to print out my answer and take it and him to a Starbucks or other quiet place (I think they have Starbucks in Australia, right?) and discuss it and commit to the program to try to make your marriage a success. You're going to start with a book. You'll get 2 copies, one for each of you. Each night you're both going to read a few pages or a chapter and do the exercise there if there is one in those pages. Every other night, or at most, every third night sometimes, you will get together, either at home or at the Starbucks and talk about what you read. What you think of it, what it inspired in you. Make notes in the margins. And each one talk about the subject of the pages and what you think. That's your assignment and dates. He is busy, but this is his marriage is what you have to tell him. And you know that if there was a life threatening illness, you'd find the time. Well, he needs to know that your marriage has a life threatening illness, or at least a very serious one.
The book: It's by the foremost researcher into relationships in our day, John Gottman. He's famous for being interviewed on TV and being able to tell when a couple will get divorced within 5 minutes and having 90% accuracy. I've studied his therapy and use his therapy in my practice and that's why I'm concerned that you two do this. So the book is the Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. You can get it cheaply online or see if you can get it locally to save time.
Now, a secret: the magic is not in the book. The exercises and Gottman's insights will be very useful and important for the two of you. But the magic is in the act of working together on your marriage! The two of you paying attention every single day to your marriage and making effort every single day: that's the magic ingredient in great marriages that GROW in love as the years pile up. I want to make sure you both understand this. Because that's the key to our work here. Okay?
If this work gets you two started but doesn't get you where you think you two should be, then consider couples therapy: the two of you MUST work on how emotional connections are made and maintained. The two of you together need help in learning how to make your marriage more emotionally intimate and positive.
One type of therapy is called Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. Why this type for you? Because it focuses on how there have been created emotional barriers and how to get through those barriers. Here is the web address for their therapist finder:
On the website you'll also find excellent books by the founders, Sue Johnson and Leslie Greenberg.
There are not that many therapist who work in these therapiesin Australia and so I recommended EFT couples therapy knowing that often it's a way to orient you on the type of work you want the therapist you do choose to focus on.
Here is a general online therapist finder for Australia that I like because you can see a picture of the person and read about them a bit. So put in for the therapist either psychologist or a psychotherapist and psychodynamic for the technique.
The Australian Psychological Society has a search. Scroll down and put in self-esteem in the search window.
Okay, I wish you the very best!
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