So, here is what I am pondering and struggling with: is there ever a time that it is useful to ask a person to change? I listened to a call with Dr. Laura that I am in a quandry about. In the call, an aloof, disconnected husband acknowledges that he starved his wife emotionally for their 12 years of marriage, with the wife pleading for her husband to take the time to be close… and she ended up having an affair, and then sticking with the marriage because of guilt and Dr. Laura told the husband that as long as he starves his wife by remaining so detached emotionally from her, then its not going to be happy and it is because he has something wrong in his brain that keeps him from being willing to open up and he needs counseling and it is nothing to do with the wife…she can’t change to fix it, because it is his problem he needs to get worked out. So, on the one hand I can hear Brooke saying, you can’t change anyone and the wife just needs to accept him as he is and get her needs met elsewhere if he is emotionally aloof, but that seems like it would be hard on the children. But I also wonder if you can even be emotionally intimate in a relationship if you are unwilling to talk openly and express your feelings including desire for improvement in the relationship. As this applies to me: I also have an emotionally aloof husband and have felt starved through the decades of marriage. I’ve hinted to, prayed for, asked, pleaded with, given instruction on, begged openly for him, written specific how-to steps, etc. to at least try to be connected to me and our children, but he will try for a day and then go back to being detached, doing his life pretty much solo emotionally. Can you bat this around with me? is there ever a time in a relationship that is appropriate to express your wishes or should you just accept the person and realize you didn’t get what you want, and that is how it is.
T- we could be so much happier and have the close fulfilling relationship I want if he would open up a bit, try to be sensitive and connected
A- try to get him to change
R-may as well beat my head against the wall
T- he has many good points, but sensitivity and emotional closeness are not his strong points and its okay
F- grateful for his good points
A- focus on and enjoy his good points
R-feel happier with what I’ve got (not buying it, still disappointed)
thank you for help!