Dear Dr. Romance:

My wife and I  have been married for 5 years. We got married quickly - after only 9 months due to a couple of reasons. We have been fighting fairly regularly for several years -- and I think it comes down to: us not having much in common, which I ultimately resent her for, me losing my job and career, some health problems I have had, and the fact that she is foreign and we seem to have different sensibilities.

Fighting seems to be second nature to us - and at this point - I am not sure there is any turning back.

When there is a break of even 1 day from fighting - she mentions having children - and all I can think is... "Really?!" We have other issues - and it's clear to me at this point that we cannot work them out without help.

This she does not agree with. She thinks therapy is not an option [perhaps culturally] but really has shot me down every time. I am really scared of divorce - but I think it's obvious that we both feel it would be better off for us if we did. However - I am not sure that either of us is willing to go through that kind of Hell - each for our own reasons.  

Dear Reader:

If you're going to break up, definitely do it before you have children. There's no need to disrupt a child's life because his parents made bad choices.

You're right, it's not useful or necessary to fight. You can go to therapy by yourself if she won't go. I have found that one spouse going and making changes is the best catalyst to get the other to go.

Having children might be her idea of how to fix the marriage, but it never works.  "Guidelines for Finding and Using Therapy Wisely"  will help you figure out who is a good therapist to choose.  "Relationships 101: Do Opposites Attract?" will shed some light on your differences and how to get along with each other "From Struggling to Solving" will help you fix the problems in your relationship.
How to Be Happy Partners: Working it out Together contains the techniques and exercises you need to learn the skills to make a marriage work.

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For low-cost counseling, email me at tina@tinatessina.com

Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.