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SO won't agree to marriage counselling


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Old 19th January 2018, 4:34 AM   #1
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Marriage on the rocks due to parents in laws

Hi Loveshack forums,

I am in urgent need of some marriage advice. I have been procrastinating seeking help here because it is an emotionally upsetting subject. I am wondering whether to try saving my marriage or to call it a day and move on. Apologies in advance for the huge post.

A brief background:

My wife and I met about 12 years ago and have been married for 10 years (we have no kids due to her having severe PCOS - fine with me - but she sometimes gets upset and blames me for us not having children, because I didn't push for IVF), for the first five years things were good. We have never had much in common but we looked after each other and shared the love of eating out :-) We were originally a sweet couple and looked after each other. Our sex life was decent at the start in the first 3 years but is now non existent.

I have minor Asperger's syndrome and OCD so I am certainly not the perfect husband - but I did maintenance, housework and paid the bills but my wife pays the mortgage. So about 5 years ago we had a major breakup due to one instance of infidelity my wife had (she gave a wristie to a male friend of hers that she had an emotional relationship with) and lied about it initially and I had a nervous breakdown because of a medication that was prescribed to me that wasn't suitable - I unfortunately had a 2 year work break, I was working before then full-time as a tradesperson. So I went to live at my fathers house, we were separated for 2 years and were very close to divorce.

So to cut a long story short the spark rekindled at the end of the separation and we were dating again, she was coming around to my father's house and we were having semi regular sex - we hadn't had that much since the start of the marriage. It's amazing how distance can cause that to happen??!

She told me that she was buying a new house in a nice suburb and wanted me to join her but her parents have to live there for a few months until they got their own place. They were forced to sell their big house because they triple mortgaged it to help their two sons (my wife has been the only financially stable one) and the sons defaulted on their payments etc. At the time I was just getting back into the workforce but casually, I was not financially stable and my father - while he loves me, understandably he needed a break living with his adult son! So I accepted. I should have thought about the parents in law thing but for some reason I didn't.

So I moved into this house and I realised it was a nightmare living with her parents. Please note prior to living with them, I got along with them really well and also I am not just blaming them because it would be hard living with my wife and I as well.

Her mother is a complete control freak work-a-holic that works two jobs as a cleaner from 3:30am till 8:30pm because she enjoys it, when she is at the house she is loud and domineering - stomping around from about 2:30am when she gets up and from 8:30pm when she gets home till her brief bedtime. She also has a volume control problem and screams a lot. She is Italian. My father in law is very easy to get along with when you don't live with him. He worked for the first couple of months until his hip went and he was house bound - he eventually had to have a hip replacement and wasn't that mobile.

Just a quick note regarding the above observations of my parents in laws - I am certainly not perfect. I think that because of living with them for so long the bad sides are more prevalent to me! I think essentiality they are good people etc.

So before I get ahead of myself, what ended up happening is they stayed for good. It turns out they had no intention of finding another place and I believe my wife knew this. It has been 2.5 years now living with them.

So my mother in law does help pay the mortgage and I helped with bills, maintenance and renovations where I could as I am still getting more established into the workforce (part-time and casual work, sporadic) after the breakdown but my wife is the primary breadwinner because she is a manager at a factory. Despite all the help my wife was forced to sell our old house which was small but great and she almost broke even on the sale due to debts. I don't know where the money goes, my parents in laws are deeply religious and I think they donate a lot to the church but that is not really my business. My father in law could no longer work after his hip went and loves TV, so much so that he'd stay home all the time and watch TV. Sometimes for 14 hours at a time. I often clashed with him over stupid little things because we were often in each others face and we have very different religious beliefs.

So the marriage had been on the brink again for almost the whole 2.5 years living with her parents. There is no intimacy because of this and we literally have probably had sex about 3 times in that entire period on the rare occasion that a. we were getting along and b. both her parents were out.

So I was always vocal about this to my wife and we ended up having huge fights about it during the entire time. She actually told me several times that if I don't like it - I should leave and live somewhere else. After about a year in I started saving money actually and eventually found a flat to rent about half a year ago because I was afraid of being homeless if she eventually kicked me out - she was in the better financial position but she always wanted me around for company so didn't actually kick me out I think.

She always treated her parents like angels and sometimes she'd be treating me badly after a fight and then turn around and be super sweet to her Dad or Mum. This obviously caused me to be resentful. Her parents always come first. I often clashed with them over the smallest things.

So something pretty horrid happened before Christmas. Her father had a stroke, it happened early in the morning (coincidentally when my MIL was getting up for work at 2:30am). He went to the toilet and collapsed in there, he was conscious the whole time. My MIL found him and slammed on our bedroom door and shouted that he had a fall and she needed help getting him on his feet because she had to go to work. What followed was my wife screaming that he'd had a stroke and the ambulance being called. They took him away and luckily administered stroke medication so there wasn't further damage. He basically is paralysed down one side of his body and rehab is very slow. Anyway in a few months we may be able to walk again and he is in reasonably good spirits in the hospital. They actually found out he had untreated A-Fib and that's what caused it. At first everyone was blaming the fact that he watched TV all the time.

So my wife and I were fighting but ever since that happened she apologised and said she needs me. I am still in as much shock as her (a month later now) and I moved into my flat after that night. Call me a coward but I just couldn't cope with living with her parents anymore. She is rather hot and cold over the phone, urgently wants me to move back in but I was actually often woken up at 2:30 till 3:30am for the whole 2.5 years because her mother stomps around when getting ready for work and is very loud. I had special earmuffs next to the bed for this. But I didn't want to be awakened during that time and reminded what happened to my poor FIL.

And yes my MIL has gone back to work after two weeks like nothing has happened and still works the two jobs, still gets up at 2:30am. She does visit my FIL daily when she is not picking up my brother in laws kids between her two jobs.

My wife wants my FIL to move back but he can't walk yet, my MIL is very religious and believed that he'd be completely healed by now and that he'll move back in. I have gone over there to have dinner with my wife a few times and if my MIL is there it's very tense. She got very upset with me when I suggested that my FIL will need a flat single story modified house (the current house is three story, built on a slope and not disability friendly). My MIL said that if my wife sells that house, she'll go live on the street. When she doesn't like something, she threatens to go live on the street - I don't have to tell you what I was always thinking when she said that but I kept my mouth shut to keep the peace!

I just wanted to mention I am going over there and helping where I can with my FIL situation. I visit the poor guy in hospital and I'm making modifications to the house for my wife because of the hot weather - I haven't completely backed off.

So, I don't know what to do about this situation. My wife doesn't like my suggestion that her and I should go live somewhere on our own and her PIL can rent somewhere (we'd help them if need be - just not live with them). She feels like she needs to buy a place to live with them. I have finally put my foot down after what occurred and said I can never live with her PIL again. I still feel like I am put last in the marriage.

Thank you for reading this far, I really need help and don't know what to do. Any advice would be much appreciated. I am a big boy and can take criticism if it's warranted. Thank you.

Last edited by LoveShack.org Moderator; 19th January 2018 at 8:20 PM.. Reason: annonymity ~T
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Old 19th January 2018, 5:55 AM   #2
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In all of your story there is one serious problem that struck me. You both very much live like an unmarried couple. You have separate finances, she bought a house on her own, she sold your marital home on her own, she threatens to kick you out, she unilaterally invites her parents into your marital home indefinitely, you have your own flat, your wife mentions what will happen if SHE sells HER house, etc etc.

None of these are things that married people should be saying or doing. When you are married, everything is JOINT. Decisions, finances, purchases, property etc. There should be no "yours" and "mine". Just "ours".

You say you've put your foot down and told her that it's the PIL or you. There's not much more to say really. You just need to wait for her to make a decision. But even if she chooses you, I don't think it's a good relationship and I don't see it lasting long.
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Old 19th January 2018, 7:34 AM   #3
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Time to grow up...

Time to grow up... and be a man. Hate to be so blunt.

Here is the deal, your Asperger's syndrome and OCD, those are excuses that you are using for being weak.

Yes I understand how hard it can be, but you need to deal with it in what ever way necessary. Because you are using these and other issues to allow yourself to be mistreated and to justify the fact that you really have not grown up and become an adult, self sufficient man.

Having said that, understand this. Your wife is exactly like her mother. The older she gets the more like her she will become.

These type of woman, find weak men to pray on, and keep down so that they can say that they have a man.

A strong, confident, man, would never ever even allow his self to be in a situation and would never stay in one if he found himself in a situation like this.

So basically, brother, you have to get out, like yesterday.

And not to cause another breakdown, but her emotional affair, yeah, she is lying about that, still.

You really need to wake up and take charge of your life. And please get away from this woman...
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Old 19th January 2018, 8:36 AM   #4
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Hi Pegnosepete,

Thank you, I never thought of it like that. Ever since it originally went bad, we become me probably without realising (same for her). Yes, I have put my foot down as you say. Given the information, would you say it was the right decision?

Hi BluesPower,

Thank you for your perspective, I value it. I agree that I definitely have a self confidence issue that I have to work on. That is interesting and scary that you say that my wife may grow to become like her mother, it gives me shivers thinking about it. In your opinion, would the best break up be forceful or amiable?

There is one point that I disagree with you on however although I respect your opinion. You mention that you believe that OCD is an excuse and a weakness. OCD is no excuse, It's a neurological disorder, a mental illness with real and sometimes debilitating symptoms that I've battled since I was 12yo that has caused me great distress and sometimes disability. It is not an excuse, but something tangible that I must face daily. I sometimes forget that not everyone understands the truth of mental illness. Only if you've been touched by it yourself can you truly understand. Thankyou for your thoughts, I shall truly consider them
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Old 19th January 2018, 9:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matty2323 View Post
would you say it was the right decision?
I would say the right decision would have been to divorce when you discovered her cheating. Things have just gone downhill from then and don't show any sign of improvement.
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Old 19th January 2018, 9:35 AM   #6
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After my mother died, I broached the subject of my father coming to live with DH & I because I was worried about dad's declining ability to be fully independent.

DH gave me a thoughtful answer which I think would work for you: a two family house. You & your wife combine financial forces & buy a two family house. You & her live on one side & your ILs live on the other. If you need help with the mortgage you get them to pay you rent, obviously below market but some contribution. Everybody has their own space. Your marital relations can resume. FIL can watch TV. MIL can be loud & you don't have to directly deal with any of it. But your wife is right there for her parents in the event of an emergency.

Meanwhile you step up your game to get a better paying job so you can carry more of the load.
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Old 19th January 2018, 9:40 AM   #7
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What blues is saying is that your condition is manageable. And to use it as a crutch does just the opposite. You let your condition "manage" you.
And as for Alpha type behavior, you need some input in your life. Your "wife" is the alpha in the dynamic, and you are the beta. You go along to get along. But since your MIL is in the picture...The defining roles are being blurred. You see your alpha wife being second guessed by the MIL. (Its doesn't work when you have two masters...)
I think you did have an epiphany when you leased the flat because you saw the writing on the wall. You do not have a marriage in the traditional sense, you have a room mate that isn't a very good one.

She has a history of infidelity, narcissism, negative cycles and control issues. Also, the lack of separation from the parents is a big issue. I get that the FIL had a medical emergency, but this wouldn't have changed a thing if he didn't. Your wife would have another reason to backdrop the need to keep your inlaws living with her.

BTW..You had an emergency yourself prior, right? Nervous breakdown? And what did she do during this to help her poor dear husband?...She went shopping and bought a new house! Uh, okay....
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Old 19th January 2018, 10:18 AM   #8
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I get what you are saying...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matty2323 View Post
Hi Pegnosepete,

Thank you, I never thought of it like that. Ever since it originally went bad, we become me probably without realising (same for her). Yes, I have put my foot down as you say. Given the information, would you say it was the right decision?

Hi BluesPower,

Thank you for your perspective, I value it. I agree that I definitely have a self confidence issue that I have to work on. That is interesting and scary that you say that my wife may grow to become like her mother, it gives me shivers thinking about it. In your opinion, would the best break up be forceful or amiable?

There is one point that I disagree with you on however although I respect your opinion. You mention that you believe that OCD is an excuse and a weakness. OCD is no excuse, It's a neurological disorder, a mental illness with real and sometimes debilitating symptoms that I've battled since I was 12yo that has caused me great distress and sometimes disability. It is not an excuse, but something tangible that I must face daily. I sometimes forget that not everyone understands the truth of mental illness. Only if you've been touched by it yourself can you truly understand. Thankyou for your thoughts, I shall truly consider them
I get what you are saying... but think of it this way.

OCD for example is a disorder that can be dealt with. If you let it control your life, you are not dealing with it. I know that it may sound too cut and dry. But that is what growing up is all about. YOU DEAL WITH WHAT YOU HAVE TO DEAL WITH.

And so that you know, I have dealt with it. I have had family and friends that have dealt with it and I was right by their side, helping them.

It can be done, you can do it, and if you don't, the disorder wins. It is called being a man. I am not trying to hurt your feelings, understand that. What I am saying is stop using it as an excuse, deal with it and live your life.

Who cares if your wife would like it amicable or not.

Dude, Pack your S*** and get. Leave her in the dust. Get healthy.

When you are ready, find a woman that loves you, cherishes you.

And I am not saying that your wife "could" become her mother.

I am saying that she "WILL" become her mother. That is just the way it works.

You got this, you just have to realize that you are a human being, and that you deserve to be happy. And you don't deserve to be treated this way.
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Old 19th January 2018, 2:03 PM   #9
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Due..you need professional help with this one...if you have health care, use it.
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Old 19th January 2018, 8:13 PM   #10
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Hey! Thanks for sharing your story here! I see that you are in treatment for your health conditions but do you see a therapist or meet with a counselor? I think that it would be a good idea for you to get some additional support on this! I think that you have received some good advice here! I see two main things here: your relationship with your wife and your relationship with your ILS. Here is a resource for both: . You do need to make some decisions and stick to them and an objective third party can help you with that! Find someone that can support you and start drawing some lines and moving forward! Please let me know if you need some help finding someone to talk!

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Old 25th January 2018, 6:49 PM   #11
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This is no marriage. Go your separate ways and get divorced.

Your wife wants you around to help her with her dad ...nothing she does shows that she loves you tbh.

It doesn't even sound like spitting assets will be an issue...because you have very separate finances.
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Old 2nd February 2018, 9:04 AM   #12
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SO won't agree to marriage counselling

Hi again,

So after the previous advice I received here, I decided due to the fact that my situation with my SO is so multi faceted and complicated, counselling before divorce would be a wise decision.

I am still separated, living separately but see my SO twice a week because I'm still moving stuff out and I do help where I can. My SO told me she wanted me to move back in today, I told her I'd only do it on the condition that we received proper counselling and advice beforehand. She actually refused surprisingly (we both have access to free counselling from various sources) because she said we'd had it years ago and I didn't commit, I don't remember that but anyways. I'm not continuing without proper counselling, so I guess we're still separated. She curtly said "well don't move back in then." but she made it clear again that she doesn't want divorce.

There's plenty of time to think about it though because legally a couple must be separated (not sleeping in the same house) for twelve months before the courts will grant divorce in my state.

Any further thoughts would be appreciated, for eg, how can you convince someone that counselling is helpful, should I? etc. Thank you.
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Old 2nd February 2018, 9:30 AM   #13
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You can't convince anyone to do anything.

If counselling is a condition for you to consider staying married, then she is making her decision to move toward separation/divorce when she refuses to go to counselling. It's as simple as that.
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Old 2nd February 2018, 10:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matty2323 View Post
So after the previous advice I received here, I decided due to the fact that my situation with my SO is so multi faceted and complicated, counselling before divorce would be a wise decision.
You mean, you ignored all the advice you were given and decided counselling would be a good idea?

Well, seems that's failed so you're back where you started.

Time to file.
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Old 2nd February 2018, 11:10 AM   #15
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Your "marriage" is a sham, your wife is a manipulative, selfish, adulteress, who probably wants you to move back in because A) they need the help and B) she knows damn well no one will want her with the way she behaves and the baggage she comes with. The entire family seems to be fairly horrid, living with them is a nightmare, you need to get the last of your stuff, stop helping them, detach, and file for a divorce.
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