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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1760
Experience:  Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
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My husband of 12 years has left the family home almost 4ths

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My husband of 12 years has left the family home almost 4ths ago. I suspect that he is suffering some form of depression. His behaviour over the 3+ years has been taking its toll on me. He is only just now starting to talk to me after acknowleging that I am suffering and our two young children are left to pick up the pieces. He now claims that he has no feelings for me and has only stayed for the sake of children. Now says that he has not talked to me about the situation in an effort to protect me from harm. He comes when he is called. He is still heavily involved with the family routine and is fullfilling all of his previous financial obligations. Stays for family meals. Is reluctant to call the marriage over, does not want a divorce, does not want me miss out on social/personal obligations and or committments. I am currently seeing a phsychologist at the moment so coping ok. Was just wondering what you take might be on this.Is it possible to be fixed? He has agreed to talk.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Keane replied 7 years ago.
Hi and welcome,

I am sorry you are going through this hard time in your marriage. It sounds like he is hesitant about ending this marriage, he feels bad about the way he feels. Now that he has agreed to see a psychologist you may find that he is suffering from depression. I suspect this due to his behaviors. He doesn't want a divorce, he is around when he is called and needed etc. He sounds like someone just going through the motions and his overall affect sounds "flat" which is a symptom of depression.
He should see a psychiatrist for a full evaluation and possibly medication. If there is something else going on that he doesn't want to talk about now, after a few sessions he may be able to tell you what it is. It took time for him to get to this point and it may take time to figure it all out. You sound as though you are doing all the right things and have patience. It's difficult when someone is saying one thing and their behavior is saying another but it's obvious he is struggling with his feelings. Do not forget you while this is going on. Make sure you take care of yourself emotionally too. I'm curious as to your comment about him sitting in front of the computer for three years. I hope this is helpful to you.
Dr. Keane
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I feel I am doing all the right things. I have a good support system around me. Unfortunately it does not stop me from having low days. My husband would come home from work and fluff around on the computer the moment he got in. In his own words he was just wasting time. He used it to avoid time with myself and the children. Would stay on computer until time for bed. My family came to stay for a few months while they were in between houses. I remeber my mother commenting about him always being there. I did not realise all the signs and symptoms fully until I did my homework after he moved out. We have only had one an arguement in the 18yrs we have been together. You cannot have an arguement with only one participant. I just thought the computer was a phase he was going through. He now can see that he has handled everything badly. He thinks it is too late for us but is willing to try. He does agree with me that this is a positive thing.
Expert:  Dr. Keane replied 7 years ago.
I am sure you have low days, that is one of the reasons for you to make sure you take care of you during this time. Having these low times is normal, just know they will pass.
You husband sounds very depressed and unhappy with himself. You are correct about only having one argument in 18 years, that speaks volumes to communication issues. As for therapy, try to find a cognitive behavioral therapist. He/She will give you the "tools" you need to learn how to commuicate with each other. Somewhere along the way your husband decided that he had no "voice" in a relationship. Could be his personality, maybe he has been this way since childhood. The fact that he is willing to work on the relationship is a big plus. He knows there is something amiss with him and he can't figure it out on his own.
Good luck to you and know I am here for follow up if needed.
Dr. Keane
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