07-07-2019 09:23 AM
Sending love @wombats that sounds like a really challenging situation to be in. It's a common pattern, where one partner is rigid and unmoving and the other is regularly compromising to keep the peace. It works for the rigid partner, but it won't work for the relationship long term, as you've found. Have you had another counselling session since you last posted? Has there been any progress?
07-07-2019 10:35 PM
Thanks @Ali11 ,
Still pretty stalemated here, probably worse.
I didn't see my counsellor last week, his wife had a baby so he's taking a couple of weeks off, and so he should.
My wife through the week again stated that she wasn't going to go to marriage counselling, so I went alone. I had a good chat with the marriage counsellor, but I'm of the thought now that I've pretty much done all/most of what my wife has asked me to to try and fix this (over the last few years), and she has done nothing.
As some background, my wife's father has alcohol dementia. When she was little, he was at the pub or sleeping around instead of dinner with the family. Not long after our eldest was born, my wife's father had his first full 'turn' - bunkered himself in his apartment in NZ and had to be removed by the police. He was back on the streets not long after and still drinking. My wife is the only reason he is alive, we are in regional WA, and she managed to get him safely 'locked up' and he went into rehab. Then not long after our second was born, it turned out he had been drinking again and he went off the rails, again with the police involved. These understandably had a big effect on my wife. In hindsight I can see that our arguments/me getting extremely frustrated increased after the first incident (although there was also our first child, I had also just run out of my phd scholarship, with little to show (I made a very bad choice in supervisors), and was working full time for money, and on phd in my spare time. So there was other stuff. But the second time her dad's alcolhol dementia kicked in (and our second child was only months old), things really got worse (again in hindsight). I think that her dad is key to all this somehow (but that's nothing but my guess/opinion). I used to drink a bit. My typical week was no alcohol Mon-Wed, then I would have a six pack each night Thurs - Sun. More than I should I know, but it was also cut back from what I used to be like.
Over the last couple of years, my wife started blaming everything on alcohol. I knew it didn't help, but I also knew that it wasn't the core of our problems. She would have no problem telling me that I was just like her dad (although I have not slept around and I would knock off work early to get home to help her out about the house - I made dinner for the kids and us most nights), but then she would have a couple of beers before her afternoon weekend shifts at her job. My wife insisted I see a counsellor at a drug and alcohol place, so I went - that is who my counsellor now is. I al the mess of the last months, my wife stopped drinking two or three months ago. She made it clear that if I was to move back, it would be complete abstinence for me, so I haven't drank at all for the past month. I honestly don't think I could've coped this long if I had've had a couple of beers. It hasn't fixed our relationship though.
Last week, my wife told me that she has job interviews in NZ (she is a kiwi), the job is part time. I said that I wasn't saying no, just asking her to be reasonable and rational, but maybe going overseas with two small kids and a mortgage here for a part time job might not be the best idea. The response was that if she gets the job, she is going with the kids. This got ontop of me, I went to a mental health place in town, and told them I needed support, so I'm on their intake.
My wife is also refusing to back to her weekend job (it is an easy job which pays well, I'm not trying to send her down a coal mine, but her 2-3 day/week job on weekdays doesn't pay much). I'm worried about this as she hasn't stopped getting her centrelink payments since I've been back. I don't want to get stung, but we can't survive if she has no money coming in.
Yesterday was awful. She lets the kids watch too much tv/play computer games, if I ever try to bring it up there is an argument. She told the kids yesterday when they woke up (I'm talking awake for less than 5 minutes) that they could watch a dvd, I bit my tongue. This was followed straight away by another movie, which thankfully didn't last long (because kids weren't interested). So a third went on straight away. I tried to be diplomatic and as kindly as I could, asked if we could have breaks between tv. There was an argument, very little of it was about me asking for more timeout from the TV, despite my trying to bring it back to that. It did come up though that she reckons she is so sensitive about this because I have hurt her before by saying that all she does is put the kids in front of the tv (which is true - all she is doing is what she knows from her childhood). I made the point that this is something that she has to work through or we will not move forward. That may get something rolling in her head, but I'm not hopeful. I also had the chance to bring up the fact that she always complains that I bottle things up, I told her that this is why - if I say anything it ends in a fight.
I'm running out of patience, trying to be nice to someone who won't accept that they also need to put effort in, probably because that means accepting things which are very scarey for them.
08-07-2019 06:34 PM
Good to see you checking in @wombats, we're sorry to hear that nothing much has changed but it's great that you are still seeing your counsellors and accessing services when you need them. Things sound tough for you with what is going on, has your marriage counsellor been able to reach out and rebook with your wife?
If you need urgent assistance, see Need help now
For mental health information, guidance and referrals, see the SANE Help Centre
SANE Forums is published by SANE Australia with funding from the Australian Government Department of Health
SANE Australia ABN 92006533606
PO Box 226 South Melbourne 3205 Australia