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Tori, Psychologist
Tori, Psychologist, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 192
Experience:  Work/Coaching Psychologist & Therapist
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I have lots of childhood issues I need to deal with and am

Customer Question

Hi, I have lots of childhood issues I need to deal with and am leaving the family home to focus on a journey of self discovery to make myself a stronger person for my children. My husband does not understand and thinks I am being selfish.. how can I explain to him how important this is for me
JA: The Psychologist will know what to do. Is there anything else important you think the Psychologist should know?
Customer: Yes, I feel my husband is quite manipulating.. he encourages me to do things and then focuses solely on the negatives with I do.. it’s frustrating and tiring havin bro always explain my actions.. I feel like I need to do this with or without him but I don’t want the children to suffer. I have been honest with them from the beginning but my husband says I’m ‘up my own ar*e’ I mean, what does that even mean??
Submitted: 16 days ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Tori, Psychologist replied 16 days ago.

Hi, I hope I can offer some help with your question.

How long are you planning on leaving the family home? How old are your children?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
To be honest, I don’t know, as long as it takes I suppose, I have to go back to take my children to after school activities as I am the only one that drives and want to make sure that they understand I will always be there for them, but I must admit I think this is causing the confusion with my husband. I have been married for 16 years and my children are 12 and 14. I have a child from a previous relationship who doesn’t live with me, and my husband has never helped me progress my relationship with her, who I feel I have failed immensely, and this is one of the reasons for my journey. I don’t want that to happen to my 2 youngest.
Expert:  Tori, Psychologist replied 16 days ago.

While often some space away from your current situation helps to gain some perspective, and return refreshed and with a clearer head, usually in recovering from, or coming to terms with childhood issues the work that needs to be done is on the inside rather than on the outside.

Expert:  Tori, Psychologist replied 16 days ago.

Have you done or are you planning to do any work on the inside?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I have been to counselling which my husband initially encouraged, but then he didn't think it was helping so I stopped going. I feel like he wants to keep me at this level and doesn't want me to become a stronger person. That's why I feel I need to leave my home
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I'm sorry I can't call you as I am in work at the moment and do not want the conversation to be overheard.
Expert:  Tori, Psychologist replied 16 days ago.

We don't have to have a call.

I wonder how leaving your home, and your responsibilities as a parent, will necessary make you a stronger person? Being a Mum is about a lot more than driving them to activities. Will they have access to you at other times also? This is a vital developmental time for them. Have you considered whether this is about escaping, even running away?

Expert:  Tori, Psychologist replied 16 days ago.

Did you feel that the counselling was helping?

Have you considered whether there is a pattern here in terms of your childhood experiences, your relationship with your first child, your desire to leave now?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Maybe it is running away but I feel stronger without him, I want my daughter to be a strong independent woman and my son to be a good honest man. I feel our environment isn't learning them this so I was hoping by doing this I would be teaching them if they are unhappy in a situation they should have the courage to leave for their own happiness.. i don't know if you think this is wrong or not
Expert:  Tori, Psychologist replied 16 days ago.

So, you are leaving your husband? and leaving your children with him? Your children may learn from this that the way to deal with a situation is to walk away and leave others you love and are responsible for behind?Perhaps the real issue here is your relationship with your husband? Does your husband know this is about him? There is a big difference in leaving to discover yourself, and leaving your husband and family.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
OK, so you think that maybe I wantbto leave my husband but I don't want to say? I think that maybe true, but I was hoping the bu doing this it would make me stronger to either not be constantly battling with him or find the courage to eventually leave for good. Am I doing it all wrong then..because I feel so sure that this is the right thing?
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Maybe I am still not being honest with myself then.. the alternative is a much messier outcome and heartbreaking for our family. I was hoping that by doing this I was in some way trying to fix it? I'm so confused now.
Expert:  Tori, Psychologist replied 16 days ago.

It sounds as though you are not being entirely honest with yourself. Running away never makes us stronger, and certainly doesn't make us appear stronger to others, particularly our children. It sounds as though you are giving yourself only two choices here, and neither are particularly helpful or productive. You may have lost your way with your husband, but that is as much your responsibility as it is his. It sounds a bit like you want to blame him, rather than take responsibility for your part. You want to say he didn't support you in counselling, so you quit. He didn't think it was working , so you quit, as if it is his responsibility, his word decides your fate. This is not true. You quit counselling, because you decided that if he thought it wasn't working, that was enough. It sounds like you need to take back control of your life, and do this from within your life. You have responsibilities, and you have power. You are the only one who can take this back. Running away from your responsibilities in the hope that they will get sorted while you are away is not mature.

When we become a parent, we learn to put the needs of our children over our own. Discovering how to do this effectively is part of discovering ourselves, in the new identity we create when we become a parent. This is our responsibility until they are adults. We do not become a better parent by putting our own needs first, unless it is in the interests of our children.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I do belive that this is in their best interest because I feel I am taking responsibility for my own life.. i have let him control my thoughts and actions for so long that I am trying to take that back. I told him what I wanted to do so he told me to leave without the children. I honestly think he said this because he thought I wouldn't, calling my bluff so to speak, so I left to prove that I was being serious and I needed this time.
My mum left me, she never showed that she loved me or believed me and she certainly never tried to come back. I don't want to become my mother, I want to be stronger for them and not let someone dictate how I should be bringing them up, and he certainly does, everyday.
My 14yr old completely understands what I am doing and said that she thinks it's for the best, ***** ***** mean the world to me and the fact that I was co ersed into leaving my eldest has made me hold onto a lot of resentment and an uncontrollable guilt, that I am only just starting to make amends for. I don't want to blame anyone for my actions, I need to take control of my own mistakes and that is what I am trying to do.
Expert:  Tori, Psychologist replied 16 days ago.

The pattern here is others leaving you, or you leaving others, so taking control of when you leave or are left is possibly a protective strategy.

In what way does your husband control your thoughts and actions. Is he abusive? Or have you allowed him to have more say in your life because you have been unsure yourself? No one can control our thoughts, unless we give them the power to do so.

Your 14 year old says that they completely understand what you are doing. Have you told them that you are leaving their father because you feel he is overly controlling? Of your parenting? Does that mean he is overly controlling of them? Could this be interpreted that it is ok for them to be controlled and influenced by him, but it is not ok for you?

Expert:  Tori, Psychologist replied 16 days ago.

It is possible to reproduce the very patterns we are trying to avoid that we experienced from our own parents, if issues from the past are not fully addressed, understood and resolved. While your intention here is trying to do the right thing, or the best thing, it sounds as though your only experience of this is actually in witnessing and experiencing the opposite. I think you would benefit form more help to resolve some of the patterns and hurts from the past, that are influencing the choices you believe you have now, and the ways you are interpreting the situation, and the opportunities you have to make things better.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
No he is not abusive, he is just very controlling and he manipulates situations to his own advantage, he says i am weak and I let people walk all over me, he doesn't realise that that's how he is with me too. He is an amazing father but we have completely different views on things. He is very opinionated and judgemental, whereas I am not, he says he is a realist and I am a fantasist and a martyr. I always believed that what he said was for the best for us all but I am learning that this is not the case. He is a very proud man almost caveman like to some extent and I have allowed our dynamic to become that way..it is my fault, I chose to follow him. But now I want to take back my own life and make my own decisions.Should I go back gone then? I feel like if I do, I will have caused this upset for nothing..for a few days of space?..i will just revert back as soon as I am there and I will just feel defeated.
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I don't have the ability to be myself with him, i feel mocked when I try to better myself.. he feels like I am saying I am too good for him.. but I'm not. I am saying I want him to let me go.
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
314; worry so much about upsetting others that i have become a person that everyone wants me to be..not who I want to be and its killing me..i just want to be me.
Expert:  Tori, Psychologist replied 16 days ago.

You are in control of your life now. You don't have to run away, and no one need be taken away from you or leave you. These are not the only choices available to you. There are many more productive and effective choices. You have a family who loves you., and you have done your best with the circumstances given you, but it sounds as though you are still responding as if you don't have any say or any control.

It sounds as though you need to learn to feel safe to voice your feelings assertively, not timidly, and not with massive action. Just to learn that you have a right to voice your own opinion, right or wrong, as does your husband.

You can choose to take it to heart when he mocks you. You can also choose to just ignore him and shrug it off. You can choose to be yourself, whether he is in the room or not. It is your choice.

I think everyone in your life now also wants you to be you. You are the one now that is losing yourself to others. You can take yourself back. There are some very powerful beliefs that you will have held since a child, to help you survive, that it is now safe to let go of.

Expert:  Tori, Psychologist replied 16 days ago.

Have a look at "Will i Ever be good enough - healing the daughters of narcissistic mothers" by Dr Karyl McBride. I think you will find it helpful in your self discovery. You need to learn that you are good enough and worthy, and assert that in your life, rather than feeling overwhelmed and wanting to run away. This is just a throw back to another time in your life.

Expert:  Tori, Psychologist replied 16 days ago.

Also the website www.willieverbegoodenough.com

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
OK so maybe this is it..i have some serious issues that i fought for the courage to tell. Every time I was not believed or taken seriously, life just went on..i still speak to people who wronged me because I don't want to upset my siblings.. there was a chance that some of the secrets i have or that my mother shared with me also had maybe come out..she said if they do..i was dead to her.. she was more worried about how it would effect her.. i have carried her guilt and shame all my life.. we have not spoken since. I have learned to hide away and deal with things alone.. i feel like this is my way of saying whats on my mind and instead of someone not believing me I am showing that its true..that I am in control of the outcome this time.
I just feel lost.
Expert:  Tori, Psychologist replied 16 days ago.

All of this is very understandable and a familiar response when your experiences have been invalidated, and you have learned to cope and survive by not telling your truth. The way forward for you however may be to gain validation from yourself. While you think this will explain everything, in reality others will only see what they want to see, or the surface of the moment. This will not expose the things done or said to you. It simply won't, and as you know, exposing them in the wrong way or to the wrong people may cause you more harm at the moment. There is a lot of support out there however from others in a similar situation, and traumatised. I think the book I have suggested, although it will be a difficult read for you, will also help you to see your own power and ability to survive enormously. You will start to see why you do and say and feel the things you do, and begin to learn that, now, you do have a choice, and a more effective one. You can look at what you have built, a marriage, a home, a family, and begin to feel worthy to keep it and make it better, rather than self sabotage it. You can begin to heal.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Thank you Tori, you have made me look at my situation a little differently in regards ***** ***** aspects. I will be sure to follow your guidance and I will discuss your replies with my husband so he has a little more understanding. Thank you for your time x
Expert:  Tori, Psychologist replied 16 days ago.

Keep well and safe.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Thank you but just before you go.. i have briefly looked at the booked you suggested and am starting to think I am harbouring the same traits as my mother.. I'm becoming if not have already done so. Thank for opening my eyes today x
Expert:  Tori, Psychologist replied 16 days ago.

I'm glad I could help. We can only do the best we can with the knowledge and resources we have at the time. The more insight you can gain the better you will notice where you may have learned or developed unhealthy coping strategies and you can begin to address them for the better.