Video: "Does My Wife Love Me Or Use Me?" - Relations
A fit man with a very pleasant smile sits in front of me. He is about 40 years old, dressed tastefully. And of course, she gets a little nervous before sharing her problem with a female psychologist …
Pavel: My wife and I have been living for 17 years, we have a son, he is 16 years old. His wife, Marina, works as a teacher near home. And I am a major of militia and I also earn extra money, I fix cars for my friends.
It is rare for a client (especially a man) to talk about what worries him at the very beginning of the consultation. When sharing a problem, female clients speak a lot and at a faster pace, so that the problem situation can be localized quickly. But with men everything is more complicated: they are laconic and, even having come to a psychologist, are not always ready to state the necessary.
P.: I cannot understand what is happening in our relationship with my wife. More precisely, in my attitude to her. As I said, I work a lot to provide for my family, especially since my son will soon go to college and a lot of money is spent on tutors. Marina also works a lot, but still comes much earlier. And the son has already grown up, no nannies are required. In the last year I began to ask myself the question: who am I for my wife?
Well, Paul is in the same "middle age", which is characterized by a certain crisis, a reassessment of what is happening in life. And this often affects the relationship with the spouse. The habitual becomes the object of careful analysis.
P.: It seems to me that my wife only wants money from me. Maybe not only, but basically something that you can get from me. For example, my ability to drive in order to go shopping or to the country. My strength is to drag furniture or dig up beds for her favorite roses. My cooking skills to get Saturday lunch from me. Lately it seems to me that she talks to me only if she needs something from me. Now there is such an expression: "I am being used." So I sometimes think: does she still love me or is she just “using” me?
Yulia Vasilkina: What do you expect from your wife?
P: I would like her to ask how you are when I come home from work. Of course, I myself am telling, but I would like her to ask. I wish she would praise me more. I really deserve it: I try to make money so that she can dress beautifully, I cook well, I help her. But she seems to take it for granted. But he does not forget to indicate if I do something wrong. I wish she could take better care of me. I don't see that she was waiting for me when I come home: the food is often not ready, the apartment is not cleaned.
Yu. V.: When problems arise in family life, it is important what happens in sexual relations …
P: In general, everything is in order. Once or twice a week and mostly on my initiative. But here, too, the question arises: is she interested in me as a man, or is it just a habit on her part? Why doesn't she show initiative at all? If I don't start, then nothing will happen. Sometimes it even seems to me that she is relieved when she realizes that today I will not be active.
Yu. V.: Is there something in which the wife is active?
P.: She often takes tickets to theaters, especially she loves opera. I like some performances, especially comedy ones. But with operas and dramas I start to fall asleep. He pulls me out to exhibitions, but I'm not very interested, and I'm very tired, I want to relax on the weekend. Marina, on the other hand, is unhappy and says: "I am not developing."
Yu. V.: In short, what would you like in a relationship with your wife?
P. P.: Concern, delicious food, interest in my business. And also: to stop “developing” me and I could rest the way I want. I would love to walk with her in the woods, not at the exhibition! And, of course, to sometimes be active in sex.
Yu. V.: Well, you have a formulated goal. What have you already done to achieve it? Have you tried to somehow convey your wishes to your wife?
P.: (Thinking): Of course, I told her about something. Recently, for example, that I would be pleased if she took the initiative in sex. At first she was a little offended. A few days later, Marina had a "romantic evening", but (guilty) … I was so tired that I fell asleep while she was in the bathroom. She was very offended, and after that there was no initiative, although I apologized.
Yu. V.: What else did you talk with her about?
V. P.: Once we had a raised conversation when I did not want to go to the next exhibition on Saturday. I had to make a car for a friend, for which, by the way, I could get a good amount. She said that I was just hiding in the garage so as not to rest with her, but I could not restrain myself and said that I was tired of resting just the way she said. Even if I work in the police, it does not mean that my intellect is bad. By the way, I have a higher education!
Yu. V.: You have expectations regarding your wife, but she does not know about them, because you have never told her about it in such a way that she could perceive and not be offended. Neither the “shy one try” method, nor the “fiery spoken” method is suitable for talking about what is important to you in a relationship. It is important to build a constructive conversation here. Unfortunately, many people are subject to several illusions: "the partner can guess what I am thinking" and "the partner knows what I need, but simply does not do it." In fact, your wife should get information about what is important to you from yourself. As for whether she "uses" you, the following can be said about this. Each of us, being in a relationship, gives something to a partner and takes something. Only the balance of "give and take" allows the relationship to develop. Moreover, each of the partners should give a little more than he received. Do you think your wife is giving you something?
P: I think so. Nevertheless, she cleans up, cooks, helps me choose clothes, we do a lot together in the country. We have sex, and quite good, albeit familiar. And also the desire to give me "cultural development" …
Yu. V.: This is often the problem! The partner tries to give not what is really important to the other, but what he himself considers important. And misses the mark! Both of you are making this mistake. Your wife is trying to organize leisure activities, but it is not interesting for you. And you are trying to earn more money, although your wife might want to spend this time with you, even at the cost of the unreceived rubles. And it may well turn out that she wonders if you are using her as a housewife. She, too, may ask herself if she is interesting to you as a person, if you are not ready to share her hobbies with her. Thus, both of you are striving for love and both are showing love, but the "signal" is not getting through!
P: What to do?
Yu. V.: Choose a time to talk to each other. Express your concerns and, most importantly, expectations. Be ready to listen to her reciprocal expectations. And most importantly, remember that both you and her will need to find a common solution. Marina loves and appreciates your family. Perhaps she will reallocate her time to take care of you more and support you. She can, if necessary, overcome some shyness in order to take the initiative in sex. But you will have to do no less for her: to realize that it is important for her that which you did not attach importance to or which you considered an element of your "upbringing".
Of course, it is difficult to fit a conversation that lasted more than an hour into two pages of printed text. Therefore, I hope that readers and colleagues will forgive me for being somewhat "schematic". Of course, we talked with Paul about what “using” a partner is, when one definitely “takes” more, without “giving” practically anything in return, and also uses manipulation to continue to seek the usual benefits.
Paul decided that his wife was not using him. Of course, we also discussed how to build a constructive conversation, having previously chosen the time for it. We also talked about personal responsibility, that relationships are a “team game”, and there is no one “right” and another “guilty”.