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I am lost

by Mary
(WA)

I (35f) have been married to my husband (35m) for almost 13 years. He has always been a little on the selfish side but also been really nice for the first 8 years. Then we had kids. I feel like he is no longer the husband I thought I was marrying. I think it really threw him through a loop when we had kids and I expected things from him. Before kids I didn’t expect much-I did all the household chores inside and out while also working part time. He owns his own business and can have very busy weeks. I’m also an ideoent person who values alone time so he was able to go do hobbies and see friends a lot. However once kids came into the picture it was like he resented being expected to change. It wasn’t great for the first year we had a lot of arguments about helping with him even saying one time “well you're the one who wanted this”


Over the next 5 years I’ve been extremely unhappy. I have expressed it multiple times by talking to him and even letters and I don’t feel much has changed. We’ve had another and he’s been better this time around with helping he still doesn’t do near as much as I would like. I imagined a 50/50 partnership on all fronts but he doesn’t think that’s realistic. It’s probably my fault for not expecting that before kids but that’s where we are.

He’s also been slowly starting to change the way he speaks to me. It’s like he stopped trying to censor himself or be nice. In almost all arguments he has said extremely hurtful things to them say the next day that what’s what
he meant to say. I sometimes feel like he’s gas-lighting me when I get upset about an issue I usually always end up feeling like I’m in the wrong or that I’m being unreasonable.

Sex has always been an issue he expects it a lot. Obviously since I’m taking care of two kids all day in addition to working two separate jobs and taking care of all the household duties I’m exhausted. A few months ago he lost it and told me if I didn’t compromise and start giving him “good sex” and not just quickies that maybe he should leave for awhile so I’d understand the seriousness. Of course I compromised and made a schedule to help me and I know that it’s not enough. I can say he doesn’t harp on it but I know he wanted more.

It’s hard to write this because on one hand he is a good person. He works really hard and he loves his kids a lot. But I feel like I’m all alone. And I keep trying to tell him and he says he will work ok things but that usually last about a week or two and then he will say that nothing changes my attitude and he gives up. I’ll admit I am irritable a lot. I’m extremely overwhelmed. I decided to go on anxiety medication and also asked him to go to couple counseling—he replied that he didn’t think we needed therapy and that if I just went on the medicine then I’d like him again.

Anyways sorry for the long post but I feel like I am at a breaking point. I have a lot of built up resentment and I don’t know how to get past it.

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"You gave us counseling without making either one of us feel that you were taking sides.
You always maintained your impartiality with us. You encouraged Rita to be more assertive in stating what she wanted to get from your counseling sessions, as well as what she wanted to get from the relationship.
You taught both of us better communication between ourselves, which lead to an emotional comfort level between us that didn't exist before.
You took control of the direction of the session if things were not moving along.
Thanks so much
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Rita and Mark

Eugene Kayser, MA, MFT's profile on the Gottman Referral Network