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Love & Marriage Love & Marriage

Before we get married, I think we need a bit of counseling for some smaller issues

Posted by on Aug. 7, 2014 at 8:44 AM
  • 27 Replies

 Ok so long story short, I have a wonderful man I am engaged to!! If I make a list of the good/bad things about our relationship the good things much outweigh the bad!! But with that being said there are a few issues that I firmly believe could have an affect on our relationship in the future and have an affect now.

Heres my main problem, my guy is one of those men that does not talk a lot. He also has been "beat" up emotionally in the past to where he thinks that anytime anything is brought up to discuss it is confrontational and he will most of the time get defensive and cannot talk calmly about things.

I believe some couples counseling would be good for us but I asked him in the past about this and he said no, so how do I go about getting him to go so we can work these issues out to have a better relationship and to make him realize that communication can be a good thing?

I have tried talking with him about these issues but it gets me nowhere and he ends up getting stressed to the point where he has a panic attack and has to take anti anxiety meds. I do feel we need to resolve these issues to be able to have a happy marriage!! Any advice??

by on Aug. 7, 2014 at 8:44 AM
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Replies (1-10):
MagicTemptation
by Christina on Aug. 7, 2014 at 9:00 AM

If you keep pushing him to the point of him having anxiety attacks, I think you need to back off a bit. It is obviously he is emotionally scarred. If you try showing someone out of their comfort zone it tends to make things worse, not better. Instead of counseling, maybe he would be up for guidance books/workbooks that you two can do in private? Maybe start off with a book or two he can read on his own. If he does that then he might be up for doing a questionnaire type workbook with you. You also need to decide now, what if he doesn't change and stays anticonfrontational? You love him, you agreed to marry him for who he is then right? This part about him might not ever change. If he took emotional beatings in the past, part of him might be thinking that you don't think he is good enough as he is, and that is why he is getting defensive. 

deccaf
by Bronze Member on Aug. 7, 2014 at 9:08 AM
Try writing it down. Let him read and respond verbally or written. This way he can digest it in its own time. It is slower, but it forces patience and could calm things down.
furbabymum
by Gold Member on Aug. 7, 2014 at 10:10 AM
3 moms liked this

 Honestly, this isn't going to work. It's not working now. This isn't a small issue. This is an issue that changes everything. What possible relationship do you expect to have if you can't resolve conflict with him in any way? Where issues can't be discussed and compromises can't be made. Without that you have nothing else. If he refuses counseling than he is telling you he doesn't care enough to work on it. Do not marry him. This will not end well.

24clark
by Member on Aug. 7, 2014 at 10:35 AM

I respect furbabymum's opinion but mine differs from hers. I feel this is the perfect time to address your differences and stresses in your relationship.

I think that if you can find marriage enrichment material or a group to attend, you could both find wonderful tools to help with this and many common marital issues between men and women. Most men don't like to talk, they are wired differently than us women.

See if he will watch "Laugh Your Way To A Better Marriage" by Mark Gunger with you. You watch this video series together at home. It is extremely funny and may open up the door to having conversations about how to acknowledge the differences. You can view short clips of it on youtube to see what it is about.

My DH and I had wonderful experiences and results with our enrichment group and studies. He too had been emotionally beat up. We worked those issues and built the foundation to our marriage through our group and marriage retreats that focused on common tough topics/skills for couples. It was the best investment we have ever made.

Feel free to send me a PM. I would be happy to share what studies we have done and give you feedback on how it affected our relationship.

Good for you on reaching out to find advice for your future marriage. I prefer this to the posts on the dying marriages. Seems like folks plan more for the weeding DAY than they do for the marriage itself! 

Please let me know what you think too.

Regards, Chris


Quoting furbabymum:

 Honestly, this isn't going to work. It's not working now. This isn't a small issue. This is an issue that changes everything. What possible relationship do you expect to have if you can't resolve conflict with him in any way? Where issues can't be discussed and compromises can't be made. Without that you have nothing else. If he refuses counseling than he is telling you he doesn't care enough to work on it. Do not marry him. This will not end well.


furbabymum
by Gold Member on Aug. 7, 2014 at 10:42 AM

 This is only a fixable situation if both parties want to fix it. Did it sound like he wanted to work on this to you? Didn't to me.

Quoting 24clark:

I respect furbabymum's opinion but mine differs from hers. I feel this is the perfect time to address your differences and stresses in your relationship.

I think that if you can find marriage enrichment material or a group to attend, you could both find wonderful tools to help with this and many common marital issues between men and women. Most men don't like to talk, they are wired differently than us women.

See if he will watch "Laugh Your Way To A Better Marriage" by Mark Gunger with you. You watch this video series together at home. It is extremely funny and may open up the door to having conversations about how to acknowledge the differences. You can view short clips of it on youtube to see what it is about.

My DH and I had wonderful experiences and results with our enrichment group and studies. He too had been emotionally beat up. We worked those issues and built the foundation to our marriage through our group and marriage retreats that focused on common tough topics/skills for couples. It was the best investment we have ever made.

Feel free to send me a PM. I would be happy to share what studies we have done and give you feedback on how it affected our relationship.

Good for you on reaching out to find advice for your future marriage. I prefer this to the posts on the dying marriages. Seems like folks plan more for the weeding DAY than they do for the marriage itself! 

Please let me know what you think too.

Regards, Chris

 

Quoting furbabymum:

 Honestly, this isn't going to work. It's not working now. This isn't a small issue. This is an issue that changes everything. What possible relationship do you expect to have if you can't resolve conflict with him in any way? Where issues can't be discussed and compromises can't be made. Without that you have nothing else. If he refuses counseling than he is telling you he doesn't care enough to work on it. Do not marry him. This will not end well.

 

LadyMe
by Member on Aug. 7, 2014 at 10:51 AM
That's not a small problem, momma. That's big. You gotta get it fixed before you get married. I've dealt with it in my marriage. Luckily for me I have been able to find times when I could talk to him about what he's doing and he listens. It's getting a lot better, after 3 years. I agree with writing him a letter and see where that takes you.
One thing my husband tells me is that if I just say I love him before I say whatever I need to it will knock his guard down and he won't blow up. Not saying I think that's cool, but if it works I'll use it.
24clark
by Member on Aug. 7, 2014 at 10:53 AM
1 mom liked this

Other good books and materials are:

Book: The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman 

Discovering Your Heart is an online tool by Mark Gungor as well. Helps you to understand what type of personalities you have. 

FamilyLife is a group/company that sells lots of materials and offers weekend seminars to build a loving, secure marriage. Some of the things we studied were 1) Managing Pressure In Your Marriage 2) The Art Of Marriage 3) Building Teamwork In Your Marriage etc. We attended several weekend seminars too. One was called A Weekend To Remember.

All of these things cost money but we considered to be the best investment of our lives. After all, ones marriage is all about building the most important relationship you will ever have on this earth!

We were fortunate to have a marriage enrichment group hosted at one of our duty stations in VA and it was free. That is how we started down the path of these types of lessons. So we got some of our marriage enrichment material free because of the group founders offered the materials when attending the group. The studies were held once a week for 2 hours and we would study a topic for 6 weeks. It was so much fun and educational. It has saved our marriage already during one particularly difficult time. We used the tools we had learned. It was tough, but worth it!

24clark
by Member on Aug. 7, 2014 at 11:08 AM

I agree 100%. You cannot force someone to open up or work on an issue at all. What I hope for her is that she can find an approach that will work for him. Something he can feel comfortable and safe doing. Men are delicate creatures. (smiling)

Pushing until someone has a panic attack is not the answer but the opposite of what is desired. If she is willing to try to approach him differently and treat him with respect, she may see different results. 

Quoting furbabymum:

 This is only a fixable situation if both parties want to fix it. Did it sound like he wanted to work on this to you? Didn't to me.

Quoting 24clark:

I respect furbabymum's opinion but mine differs from hers. I feel this is the perfect time to address your differences and stresses in your relationship.

I think that if you can find marriage enrichment material or a group to attend, you could both find wonderful tools to help with this and many common marital issues between men and women. Most men don't like to talk, they are wired differently than us women.

See if he will watch "Laugh Your Way To A Better Marriage" by Mark Gunger with you. You watch this video series together at home. It is extremely funny and may open up the door to having conversations about how to acknowledge the differences. You can view short clips of it on youtube to see what it is about.

My DH and I had wonderful experiences and results with our enrichment group and studies. He too had been emotionally beat up. We worked those issues and built the foundation to our marriage through our group and marriage retreats that focused on common tough topics/skills for couples. It was the best investment we have ever made.

Feel free to send me a PM. I would be happy to share what studies we have done and give you feedback on how it affected our relationship.

Good for you on reaching out to find advice for your future marriage. I prefer this to the posts on the dying marriages. Seems like folks plan more for the weeding DAY than they do for the marriage itself! 

Please let me know what you think too.

Regards, Chris


Quoting furbabymum:

 Honestly, this isn't going to work. It's not working now. This isn't a small issue. This is an issue that changes everything. What possible relationship do you expect to have if you can't resolve conflict with him in any way? Where issues can't be discussed and compromises can't be made. Without that you have nothing else. If he refuses counseling than he is telling you he doesn't care enough to work on it. Do not marry him. This will not end well.

 


furbabymum
by Gold Member on Aug. 7, 2014 at 11:25 AM
1 mom liked this

 She hasn't been particulary specific about how things are approached but she does say that "anytime anything is brought up to discuss". Sure, maybe she has a horrid approach. Or maybe no approach would be good enough. Maybe no matter what she does he'll always react negatively.

I could not handle this. I require resolution to issues or I dwell. I have absolutely bashed my DH upside the head with issues until resolution was reached. If I couldn't bring up anything, anytime in any way.....well I would have to move on to a "real" man who could act like a decent human being.

Quoting 24clark:

I agree 100%. You cannot force someone to open up or work on an issue at all. What I hope for her is that she can find an approach that will work for him. Something he can feel comfortable and safe doing. Men are delicate creatures. (smiling)

Pushing until someone has a panic attack is not the answer but the opposite of what is desired. If she is willing to try to approach him differently and treat him with respect, she may see different results. 

Quoting furbabymum:

 This is only a fixable situation if both parties want to fix it. Did it sound like he wanted to work on this to you? Didn't to me.

Quoting 24clark:

I respect furbabymum's opinion but mine differs from hers. I feel this is the perfect time to address your differences and stresses in your relationship.

I think that if you can find marriage enrichment material or a group to attend, you could both find wonderful tools to help with this and many common marital issues between men and women. Most men don't like to talk, they are wired differently than us women.

See if he will watch "Laugh Your Way To A Better Marriage" by Mark Gunger with you. You watch this video series together at home. It is extremely funny and may open up the door to having conversations about how to acknowledge the differences. You can view short clips of it on youtube to see what it is about.

My DH and I had wonderful experiences and results with our enrichment group and studies. He too had been emotionally beat up. We worked those issues and built the foundation to our marriage through our group and marriage retreats that focused on common tough topics/skills for couples. It was the best investment we have ever made.

Feel free to send me a PM. I would be happy to share what studies we have done and give you feedback on how it affected our relationship.

Good for you on reaching out to find advice for your future marriage. I prefer this to the posts on the dying marriages. Seems like folks plan more for the weeding DAY than they do for the marriage itself! 

Please let me know what you think too.

Regards, Chris

 

Quoting furbabymum:

 Honestly, this isn't going to work. It's not working now. This isn't a small issue. This is an issue that changes everything. What possible relationship do you expect to have if you can't resolve conflict with him in any way? Where issues can't be discussed and compromises can't be made. Without that you have nothing else. If he refuses counseling than he is telling you he doesn't care enough to work on it. Do not marry him. This will not end well.

 

 

MomToovey
by Marianne on Aug. 7, 2014 at 11:38 AM

 I actually agree with all the advice given so far, conflicting though it is. You won't ever get anywhere with him if he's continually pushed to panic attacks. So maybe find a new tactic. I know you said anytime you approach him, he hops on the defensive. How are you approaching him? Can you try something differently?

At this point, it doesn't sound like he's willing to put forth the effort to strengthen the relationship, which usually raises a red flag for me. However, if you're able to find a new way to come to him and address your issues, he may be more willing to seek help.

In the end, you knew he was like this before you got married - because you know he's like this now and you're not married! So if he's unwilling to change, and you've already committed yourself to marriage, you need to decide what the next step will be. You've already shown him by agreeing to marry him that he's who you want to spend the rest of your life with, as is. But if you can't go through with marrying someone you can't talk to (who can blame you?) make sure you wait to marry him until you know what to do.

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