A: You are in a difficult situation. If you push too much, you may push her away, but if you just back off to give her space, she may not feel that you care enough to fight for the marriage. On the positive side, it sounds like these problems really only started around the same time you got the new job requiring travel, so hopefully it is just an adjustment period. It could be that your traveling is triggering some underlying issues for her regarding abandonment — or some other left over issues from her “horrible childhood,” and with time things will stabilize again.
It is unfortunate that she isn’t willing to go to counseling right now, but that doesn’t stop you from going. If you set up some appointments for yourself it might show her how much you really care. It might also help pave the way for her to join you or decide to see someone herself. The therapist can also help you deal with the negative effects of the traveling job and your wife’s response to it.
If things don’t improve in the next few months, you might have to reconsider the job and its effect on your family. Aside from therapy, you might benefit from reading some self-help books on marital problems and childhood abuse and neglect, such as Outgrowing the Pain Together. I hope things work out for the two of you and you are able to work through this difficult time.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts