The Blame Game

Dear Dr. Darcy:

My fiancé and I have been together over 4 years and we used to be a very loving and passionate couple. About a year ago she switched jobs to working nights to be able to handle things with kids better. Over the last 6 to 8 months the passion and intimacy in our relationship has disappeared. We have barely any time together due to her sleep schedule and unless she wants to have sex there is nothing more to our relationship then talking. I have tried all kinds of things from romantic cards, flowers, leaving little love notes, doing all the house chores, massages to help her relax and even talking to her about how I feel and she just tells me we are fine. Is there anyway for me to get her back?

Answer

People exit relationships many different ways.  Your fiancé works nights as her chosen method.  I don’t know what your history with her is, but this seems to be a passive-aggressive ‘out’ on her part.  In short, she’s pissed off at you.

Despite the laundry list of good deeds you’ve done, I’m here to tell you that you hold some responsibility in this situation, but you’ve tied my hands to a certain extent because you haven’t described your role in this mess. Instead, you're indirectly blaming her.

Listen, I’ve seen the best finger-pointers there are.  I’ve worked with people who are so skilled at deflecting responsibility for their problems that even their partners agree with them.  Until I can get these clients to take a good look in the mirror and own their part, they remain victims and disempowered.

So let me ask you:  What did you do to make this woman voluntarily give up her life to avoid being in a relationship with you? A happy woman does not seek an exit strategy.  And as long as it’s all her fault, as long as you have done everything right, you remain stuck in a holding pattern where things won’t change.  So the question is, do you want things to change badly enough to be willing to change yourself?

You’re probably expecting a recommendation for couples counseling, but that’s not where I’m headed.  Get yourself into individual counseling so you can identify your contribution to in this relationship.