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TherapistMarryAnn
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5770
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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MY HUSBAND AND i ARE SEPERATED. HE ACTS LIKE HE WANTS TO TRY TO FIX THINGS..HE STAYS WITH

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MY HUSBAND AND i ARE SEPERATED. HE ACTS LIKE HE WANTS TO TRY TO FIX THINGS..HE STAYS WITH ME ALOT OF THE TIME BUT SAYS HE DOESNT KNOW WHAT HE WANTS AND HE CANT COME HOME RIGHT NOW..WE HAVE BEEN MARRIED 15 YEARS. I DONT UNDERSTAND WHAT HE IS DOING..AND HE WANTS TO GO WITH THE FLOW AND NOT DISCUSS IT. WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIM?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

 

I am sorry you are going through this with your marriage. It is difficult to be separated and not be able to get answers as to what is going on.

 

There may be many reasons your husband has chosen to be separated. He could just need time to sort out how he feels about the marriage, he could be doubting his abilities as a husband or as a person or he could want to leave the marriage but doesn't know how.

 

Men also experience a mid life hormonal change similar to women's menopause. It is not often talked about and causes changes in men they may not be familiar with. This could also be part of what is happening with your husband. There is a good article about it here http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/guide/midlife-crisis-opportunity.

 

As for what you can do, there are options. First, when you see your husband, do not bring up the marriage. Speak with him in a nice and kind manner and do not cry or get upset. Talk about general topics and keep the conversation about fun and interesting things. If he brings up the marriage, go ahead and discuss it. But keep it general with no accusing.

 

Be strong and self sufficient. Take care of yourself and the home. Pay bills, keep the house up (hire help if needed) and generally live your life. Go out with friends, pamper yourself, and keep yourself busy. Let him know that you love him but that you also don't need to lean on him all the time.

 

Do not bring up the marriage problems unless he does. Let him have the time he needs. However, when he does bring it up, suggest counseling. You can get a referral from your doctor, local community mental health center, or if you attend church, your pastor can help. Pastors are often qualified counselors or they can refer you to a therapist.

 

There are also some books that may help you. One is called Hope For the Separated: Wounded Marriages Can Be Healed (Chapman, Gary) by Gary Chapman. Another one is Should I Stay Or Go? : How Controlled Separation (CS) Can Save Your Marriage by Lee Raffel. You can get these either on Amazon.com or your local library may have them for you.

 

Hang in there. Marriages often go through tough times. But your marriage will be much stronger once you come through this.

 

I hope this helped,
Kate

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
thank u for your advice..he has been gone eight weeks. the first weeks were terrible and he went back and forth on what he wanted..this past week has been better. when we are together it feels normal...but im afraid he may get used to this "arrangement" and never be able to commit to coming home because he is already getting everything he needs without a committment. ...how long should i allow this to go on while he sorts his feelings out? i know he loves me very much but sometimes i feel taken advantage of. I cant really tell him that though. alot of days he seems receptive to me but then some days like today he seems to distance himself for no apparent reason...is this normal? how much time should i allow this before i move on?
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

It all depends on what you want to tolerate. When he does bring up the relationship, gently ask about counseling. At least with counseling, he may not be back at home, but you will be making some sort of progress on the relationship, with less guessing on your part. Introduce it as an option to see where the marriage stands, not that you want him to move back and that is why.

 

Also, you can introduce some small suggestions to your conversations with him. How about catching dinner together? Just make it very casual. Getting a coffee together is good too. Anything that doesn't seem like a commitment.

 

You could also see a counselor by yourself. Someone to help give you support and guidance about how you want to handle this separation. That way, you can get a better idea of how long you want to allow this to go on without action or intervention on your part.

 

You said your husband loves you. That is good. If he does, then the likelihood that he will move back is good. Living alone is fine, but if you love someone you want to be with them as much as possible. He will know this and come back when he feels this need.

 

Kate

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