An interesting quick read on marriage therapy experiences by therapists.
10."In my experience as a therapist, strong and healthy relationships are built on two very important qualities: trust and respect. Love is not included in these qualities because love is not a determiner of a strong and healthy relationship. Without respect and trust, most relationships are doomed to struggle or fail. For the couples who I've worked with, I always assess whether or not trust and respect is present (and then build treatment goals to see if it's possible to develop those qualities). If they are not willing or able, then in most cases, those relationships are likely to end."
I found this comment by a therapist to be interesting. And right in my experience. Love is the spice, and rather than the feeling, love is action. Thought without trust and respect, I do not know how there can be love of any quality.
My XW and I engaged a therapist for the last 6mos we were together. Interestingly, our relationship calmed, and improved. Though intimacy never returned to the relationship. It had really never been present at all.
In our first session Doc asked us each what we were looking for out of seeking couples therapy. My answer was that I wanted our marriage to be strong and passionate. By passionate, I meant ... have sex. In the previouse 18mos we had been intimate only a few times. I do not recall what my XW's answer was.
Doc said we would eventually get to addressing the topic of sex but that we had other work to do first.
In our last session, 6mos later, Doc commented that we had done a lot of work and that we would now discuss intimacy and sex. My XW stood up, said she did not have a problem with sex, walked out of session, and never attended another session.
2mos later, she moved out of the home we had purchased 2wks prior to our last therapy session together. I found out not long after that she was knocked up by her geriatric Fortune 500 executive sugar/baby daddy who she had met giving him sponge baths during her post op rotation of nursing school. For our entire marriage she was riding every swinging Johnson she could get her nether regions on and had been banging Grandpa Sugar/Baby daddy the entire time we were in marriage counseling.
6mos after she walked out of our last therapy session together, our divorce was final. She was pregnant at the court hearing... again. She lost the first cheat spawn to a miscarriage.
I carried relationship trust issues for years after the demise of my first marriage. I met DW 40mos after my divorce was final. We married nearly 4yrs to the day after my divorce was final.
It was not fair to my amazing bride, but I had another year or two of issues to work through during our first 2yrs of marriage. I was not quite fully the man I wanted to be. I had reconnected significantly though not completely with being the man I enjoyed being.
That DW stayed during that first couple of years, I am eternally grateful.
I trust and respect her beyond measure. That she trusted and respected me then, is still amazing to me. That 2yrs that it took me to finish extricating my head from my butt and fully find me again, is not something I am proud of and is something I will periodically visit without pride and with notable regret. I did not cheat, I did not abuse, but I could be an asshole.
It was me, not my bride.
I learned to trust and respect myself. I have always trusted and respected my incredible bride.