Q—I’m in San Diego with my girlfriend. We used your technique and it worked, but I’m stumped as to where to go from here.
Her husband never calls or texts during the day, and so she feels the need to initiate it and do it. And then if she doesn’t do it he gets mad at her. So last night, as usual, she didn’t want to go to bed without saying good night. She was going to text him, knowing that he may or may not text back, so I had her call him. She said he wouldn’t pick up, and he didn’t. So she left a message saying, “I just called to hear your voice.” And then by accentuating the positive in the message, he DID text back with a good night with a pet name, which was positive.
So the thing we want to know is, she doesn’t want to always be the one to initiate contact. However, if she doesn’t contact him he gets mad and wonders why she hasn’t contacted him. What kind of verbiage can we use to get her back to him initiating three to her one without his getting mad when she backs off?
A—As a licensed marriage and family therapist, there’s a lot I could say on this subject, but I hesitate to do so out of respect for your friend’s marriage. They have established an unfortunate pattern, and changing it now will be a bit more complex and something that a counselor would be best to attempt (so that all the dynamics of the relationship can be considered).
Also, I make it a habit to not use this website in any way for marital advice. Its sole purpose is for singles. It would be unfortunate if married individuals began perusing the advice here. It could cause misunderstanding and even the temptation to want to date again. All visitors to this site should be single (i.e., legally divorced) and only dating others who are single as well. I’m sure you understand. I know you want to help, and I’m glad you’re enjoying the concepts I’m teaching. I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more help in this regard.
Hopefully for singles who read this article, it will drive home the importance of making sure that both parties are investing in the relationship and each other early on. Looking for and developing an equally invested relationship will prevent later issues.