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TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3240
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Professional Coach
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Hello, my husband and I have been living separately for the

Resolved Question:

Hello, my husband and I have been living separately for the past few years. Our relationship was always on friendly terms ie platonic. Two years ago I developed a relationship with someone else and got pregnant. I told my husband about it who told me if I have an abortion we can move on with our life and have a family. I had hopes that maybe this was a wake up call and our relationship will change and did clearly state to my husband that if our relationship will stay the same it will be over.

I had abortion which was a very difficult time for me. However, I had counselling and had done a lot of reflecting and growing. My relationship with my husband did not change, he still felt more comfortable having a LDR whereas I wanted us to have the same base, share our life together. he told he is not sure how he feels, if we can live together, if it will work etc. Having had abortion and giving up on my dream of having a child this made me feel like I wanted to die. Indeed there were times I had suicidal thoughts.

My husband refused counselling and I started - after about a year - to look for another job. I was offered a better position - promotion - elsewhere and thought it will help me cut the ties. I confirmed with my husband how he felt about us, he told me he loves me like a sister and on those basis I accepted a new job.

Surprisingly, after I accepted a new job he had suddenly perked up. he helped me with the move and kept visiting me every weekend. He told me he loves me, cares for me. When I asked him if that is like a sister he would get angry saying that he said it only once.

I was not clear about his intentions and every time I tried to talk about our future he would come up with obstacles. there was very little substance to his arguments. However, he was visiting me every weekend, expecting me to make some 'moves' and when I did he was extremely tense so it made me feel uncomfortable and it put me off so I stopped trying and again - as do often in our relationship - I switched off emotionally. However, I was hurting.

I had counselling (he refused to go to counselling) and healed from my abortion etc. I asked him last weekend as he was accusing me of being cold toward him and said he is trying to make our relationship work. I suggested if he is feeling the way he does, why dont we meet the following weekend, he brings some flowers, we go out for a romantic meal out, dress up, no pressure, just start seeing each other in a different light, start again. He never said anything, came on Wednesday to fix my bike and on Friday evening when I called him to find out where he was he told me he wont be bothering and that as far he is concerned our marriage is over and that he loves me as a sister.

I asked him why he didnt speak to me when he was here on Wednesday, why he didn't come to speak to me face to face ... I was just shattered. He was very angry with me, offensive and just refused to reason. I went to see him on Sunday, we had a pleasant time together, he invited me to stay longer and watch a film but it was all a bit .. as his energy/ attitude is very negative. I wonder where is it coming from as he has been so angry with me every time I mentioned/ reminded him that he told me he loves me as a sister, he told me he is committed to us and when I suggested a simple thing: flowers and romantic time together he suddenly shut down on me, became furious and now refuses to see me, talk to me as if I am dirt under the mop/ broom.

I feel if he were to go for counselling - with me or without (ideally with me) - give ourselves time, with good will, positive attitude we would be ok. Our relationship could grow, we could become better, stronger couple as a result, learn from this. I feel divorce is an easy option and not a solution to this. But ...

Riht now Im giving him space and I too need a rest. I do feel better, lighter when he is not around. Every time Im around him I end up having a migraine whether we talk or not.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 3 years ago.

Coach Jen K. :

Hi and welcome. I'm a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families on a variety of issues.

Coach Jen K. :

I am sorry to hear of all of the stress that you have been dealing with and the abortion. You are very strong and have done what you can to get things on track.

Coach Jen K. :

My direct and honest view is that he has shown his true colors and desires and things most likely will not change and you will continue to feel left alone and abandoned by him.

Coach Jen K. :

He hasn't really done much to show that he truly desires a healthy marital relationship and his constant flip flopping is not helpful and it is hurtful.

Coach Jen K. :

I understand you desire to work on things and that is fine but go into it with open eyes...if you are not ready to walk away then do what you need to but care for yourself as well.

Coach Jen K. :

you have said it yourself that you feel lighter and with less physical symptoms when he is not around.

Coach Jen K. :

Yes therapy for him would be helpful but if he wont go then there is not much you can do.

Coach Jen K. :

So I suggest caring for yourself and figuring out if this back and forth is really what you desire.

Customer:

It is difficult because I have always been very open with him in terms of how I feel and how I wish for our relationship to be. I always felt he was maybe unable to open up etc. I see now that I was making excuses for him, often having to interpret his actions as I pleased. He never said anything, was always vague and I thought that he does care and love me as he was seeing me every weekend, was always there but something was missing. Now, after all this time he is saying that he di not want to hurt my feelings when he has been hurting them all along. He may have shown his true colours - I suspected them for a long time - but why go one way ie negative and not turn for the positive. And why is he waiting for me now to deal with divorce? It feels to me as if he is pushing me more and more just so that he does not have to make any decisions. I dont understand and he is not giving me any answers.

Coach Jen K. :

he seems to tackle all issues like that....very passively so you get to decide what you want and make it happen. get your power and control back and continue to feel light as you do!!!!

Customer:

I do not desire his back and forth but moving forward positively - I thought it may be possible with him but he has a lot of negative energy. It is all directed at me and he blames me for all the things that have gone wrong in his life - he always did that. Putting me down and criticising me. Not sure if I can repair this. And I do not know what he wants from me now. Put up or shut up I feel.

Coach Jen K. :

I am with you and feel looking at it objectively that you deserve and should want more for yourself.

Customer:

How do I get my power and control back? By filing for a divorce?

Coach Jen K. :

by sitting with yourself for a bit and realizing what you want and dont want from anyone...then it will become clear as to whether filing for divorce is what you want....

Coach Jen K. :

when you feel worth more then you will have your power and right now his back and forth has taken that from you

Customer:

I want him to work with me.

Coach Jen K. :

as you always have but he isnt willing and you cant force him...you can only do what you need to do

Customer:

I appreciate that but I find it hard to reason with him because he will tell me one thing eg he wants to work with me but his actions will say something else eg refusing counselling and building intimacy with me through simple things such as talking, sharing his thoughts and feelings.

Coach Jen K. :

I agree with you...the words dont mean much if the action isn't behind it. trust your gut...give yourself space and take your time to see what you need and whether he can do it or not. the space isnt for him now it is for you

Customer:

Hmmm...I had plenty of space. I want him to work with me ie if he wants to work on a relationship to go for counselling. Alternatively, he can work with me and we file for a divorce. He is refusing to do both, is very passive. So... I find it hurtful that after 17 years of marriage it has come to this. There is no appreciation for my wants, needs, no respect and I do not feel there ever was. I find him controlling, passive aggressive and struggle to deal with him.

Coach Jen K. :

you are spot on with all of that and I feel for all that you are feeling about it all.

Coach Jen K. :

you deserve more than all of this and as we know we cant force him to be any different, to get in therapy, etc.

Coach Jen K. :

so that is why I desire only for you to care for you in whatever way that means

Customer:

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX care for myself. Is there any way that I can encourage him to co-operate? Why is he so shut down? Why so easily throw away 17 years of our marriage? And if he does not wish to continue that I can appreciate also, however why not than state lets divorce and do it in a civil way?

Coach Jen K. :

again amazing questions...all things I am sure you have been trying to achieve in this marriage....

Coach Jen K. :

he is passive so he cant act and doesnt just plays the back and forth

Coach Jen K. :

you have tried to encourage him and more back and forth

Coach Jen K. :

you can answer all those questions by looking at his behavior

Coach Jen K. :

so you make the decisions and forget whether you are angry because he cant

Coach Jen K. :

that keeps you stuck

Coach Jen K. :

you wish he could be different but he isnt

Coach Jen K. :

so focus on you and your decisions and not him!

Customer:

Hm. Thanks.

TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3240
Experience: Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Professional Coach
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