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Vanessa,LMHC, Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 30
Experience:  Licensed Mental Health Counselor
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We have been together 16 years been married years I am 38

Customer Question

We have been together for about 16 years been married for 12 years I am 38 and he is 39 we have three kids, 12, 8, & 5. we fight constantly over everything. we cannot agree on nothing and we would try and work things out Years ago. Our disagreements would never be fully worked out, only half way. And when we think we work things out, but the past 3 to 4 years our fights get closer and closer to where it went from once or twice a year big fight to, 4-6 times a year to now almost every day. we are the opposite attract couple. Hardly every like the same things. In anything. The only thing we do know is we both love our children and I think that's what is the only thing. I myself was a stay at home mom for 9 years off an on between children but now teachers assist. So I have no true income. Divorce is on the table because we cannot get along. I was not brought up to give up on marriage but o am unhappy and he is only happy when things are going his way and no compromise. What do I do? Please help
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Vanessa,LMHC replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for sharing the details regarding the difficulties you are experiencing in your marriage. You have definitely taken the first step in seeking expert advice. You and your husband would benefit from being able to participate in marital counseling before choosing to divorce. Of course, you would both need to be willing to participate. It takes two people in a relationship. Sometimes, a community offers free resources if financial difficulties are present. You did not state that they are but I wanted to suggest the possibility of free resources in case marital counseling would not be an affordable option for your family. Often, the free options are affiliated with local churches. I'm not sure if marital counseling has ever been discussed or attempted, but if not it is definitely worth trying since you have 16 years together and 3 children. Just remember that you cannot make your husband attend or participate since we cannot control anyone but ourselves. He would need to be willing to do so. The bot***** *****ne is that you both would need to decide what is more important, improving the marriage or divorcing. This would mean that both of you would need to agree that working on the marriage is more important than choosing to end it because of discord. Relationships last when both partners invest energy into making it work. Marital counseling could help the two of you work on communication, compromise, and assist with strengthening your relationship. It can be quite effective to have a neutral individual who is also a trained professional to work with when it comes to working on the relationship. Another suggestion is to focus less on your spouse and instead on what changes you can make within yourself in the context of the relationship. The fights are occurring because you are both in a pattern of responding. If you decided to respond differently, such as choosing not to fight or doing something different from what you've been doing, your husband will likely not be able to react in the same manner. Rather than staying and engaging in a fight or argument, express your feelings without using blame statements (use "I feel" statements) and then refrain from engaging in arguing, raised voices, and whatever else occurs during arguments with your spouse. This may even require removing yourself from the room because you will still be experiencing emotions, such as frustration or anger, that you will have to cope with while also actively choosing to control how you respond to the situation. I hope this helps and if you need any further time, I am readily available to assist! Best wishes for your happiness and peace of mind.