If Nellie learns to take loving care of herself and stop buying into Brad's anger, then his controlling behavior would no longer work for him. If she learned to get her emotional needs met elsewhere and disengaged when Brad was acting like a needy little boy, then his behavior might change…or it might not.If it doesn't, and if the anger and withdrawal, lack of intimacy and the sexual pull is not acceptable and Nellie is willing to leave, then she would need to let him know that and see if he would be willing to open with her. I have had many husbands, who were dragged to one of my 5-Day Inner Bonding Intensives, really open and move beyond their fears of personal growth and emotional intimacy.
The first thing that needs to happen is that Nellie needs to validate her need for connection and emotional intimacy, especially in order to feel sexual. Once she stops feeling guilty for how she feels and learns to take loving action in her own behalf, then she can see what the reality of the situation is. While Brad is afraid of intimacy and growth, he might be even more afraid of losing Nellie. When he sees that his anger and withdrawal no longer work to make her feel guilty and responsible for him, he might decide to open.
The only way that Nellie will know if Brad will open or not is to learn, through her Inner Bonding practice, to take 100% responsibility for her own feelings and needs. As long as she is trying to get Brad to change, she will be stuck feeling unhappy. It is always well worth doing your inner work to try to save a marriage, whatever the outcome. If the marriage improves — great! If it doesn't, you will have learned what you needed to learn to not make the same mistakes in your next relationship.
To begin learning how to love and connect with yourself so that you can connect with your partner and others, take advantage of our free Inner Bonding eCourse, receive Free Help, and take our 12-Week home study eCourse, "The Intimate Relationship Toolbox" – the first two weeks are free!