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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5418
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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hi I have been separated from from husband for a year . we

Customer Question

hi I have been separated from from husband for a year . we split up following years of what I consider emotional abuse and controlling behaviour from him culminating in a a sexual infidelty by him. We have a nine year old gild and I have two sons still financially dependant at uni (from a previous Relationship) It must be obvious to all the relationship is beyond repair and that iyt continues to damage my happiness and slef esteem. We have been trying to reconcile since the Summer although remain living apart. When we stay together I am disturbed by his disrupted sleep , and by the emotional impact of being with him. when I a m with him I eat and drink more sleep less and feel very unhappy insecure and very unattractive. When we are intimate he uses dirty talk which I dislike.
When he is away from me I feel more confident organized and focused, but also suffer loss and anxiety about the loss deeply. i slide into depression quite easlily and start to feel detached and completely isolated and alienated. It effects my identity deeply. I feel trapped between these two positions can you advise?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

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

 

It sounds like you are very aware of what you are feeling. You stated that you feel better and more self confident when you are not around your husband and you feel worse when you are with him. This can be one of two things.

 

First, you are feeling upset about what he has done in your relationship. It is natural and expected that you would feel a variety of emotions from anger to depression. When he is with you, these feelings come up and you start to feel less focused, less confident and upset. The separation has you left in limbo and you have no way to address what you feel about him and what he did.

 

Two, you have moved on from the relationship and have no desire to be with him anymore. So when he is around, you not only experience reminders of what he has done, you feel strongly enough about not wanting to be with him that you experience several disconcerting feelings in his presence.

 

Whichever you feel is more accurate is most likely the answer you are seeking. It would help you to continue your counseling if you are still going. If you feel it is not helping you, seek out a new counselor. Oftentimes, finding a counselor you feel you can work with takes a few tries, much like it does with your regular doctor.

 

Is your husband sorry for what he did? This can also be part of what you are feeling. If he has not tried to make amends and worked on the relationship, then you are going to be stuck feeling the same as you did when you separated. It makes it hard to forgive and work on your emotions if he is still treating you the same way.

 

Also, keep in mind that mourning your loss of a marriage and stable relationship is important, even if you decide to keep trying to reconcile with your husband. No one marries expecting to be treated badly and cheated on. You most likely married with the best of intentions and expectations. But you suffered a great loss instead. Give yourself time to mourn. Be aware of the stages of loss and let yourself go through them naturally.

 

Here are some books that may help you:

 

How To Save A Marriage: 92 Tips On How To Solve Your Marriage Problems Without Needing Marriage Counseling by Gary Vurnum

 

Should I Stay Or Go? : How Controlled Separation (CS) Can Save Your Marriage by Lee Raffel

 

Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship by Mira Kirshenbaum

 

Contemplating Divorce: A Step-by-Step Guide to Deciding Whether to Stay or Go by Susan Pease Gadoua

 

I hope this has helped you,
Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for that . He says he is sorry and tries to make ammends but the remains emortionally unavailable to me and continues to put himself in waht I consider risky sitauions of being out atthe weekend with friends of dubious morality. Hence I am struggling to regain real trust. The other major problem is that my ayoung adult sons supported me through the aftermath of the split and find it hard to accept him back. Her has been emotionally and on one accaocaion physiacl with them. I am currently raging with anger at him and am worried that my daughter is finding more happiness in spening time with her grandparents who provide a lot of after school support than with me. They klive in a close knit community and I feel scapegoated and blamed by them all for not accepting my husband back. Thay struggle to mange with his demandfing and controlling behaviours too
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

You cannot worry about what others think. I know it is difficult, but they did not live through what you have lived through. Instead, focus on gaining support and help with others. A counselor is a good place to start. Also, if you have any friends to rely on, that would help too. I'm not sure if you have any support groups in your area, but that may be another place to try.

 

Your sons will form an opinion on what their father is doing regardless of what you say or do because they see the behavior he has for what it is, very damaging to the family. I would be more worried about them if they denied what they saw. Your daughter may be trying to escape the same situation and find a place where she isn't exposed to your husband's behavior. You may want to consider counseling for her (and the boys) as well to help her cope.

 

It would be more than difficult to trust your husband if he is doing very little to be be worthy of trust. And consider his risky behavior as a danger to you. If he is out and possibly with other people, he could bring home a sexually transmitted disease.

All of this makes it difficult to trust him. If he could start taking the situation more seriously, I'd say you would have a shot at rebuilding trust. But until he does, it's going to be difficult at best.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5418
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I will take up counselling and focuas on support to me I have read a lot about this matter. I have hasd a lot of nights sitting alone to do so .I feel that after all that has happened I cannot allow him back into our home. My sons need this to be their home , They have no one else and are financially dependant , I feel that for too long my relationship with them was messed up by me focusing all my energies on surviving the emotional abuse. i dont ever want themto lose me again in that way at such a critical time in their development. When I met him I did not want to introduce a step parent into their lives but he worked his way in against my better judgement and I became empotionally dependant on him. I think Im quite co-dependant and needy, my father was a domineering person and I witnessed a lot of domestic abuse, my sister died or drug related issues prematurely and my brother suffers from chronic mental health problems.. I feel my sense of self is waek and my self esteem easily dented. What other paople think of me preccupies me too much. I havve tried to express my needs to hime but feel that I continue to me manipulated by hime, Its Friday night again and he will be out again, only he manages to twist meanings around to try to make feel responsible. We have had ah orrible argumentative day and he said to me so i suppose You dont want me to come around later then, I say no and am then left feeling a sense of repsonsibiliy for not being able to make a go of things. I am either left with that or I challenge it and become emotionally exhausted by someone who is not willing to listen. What is the best tactic to deal with his blaming and reframing?
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

You have excellent insight! I'm very impressed. It takes many people some time in therapy before they understand as much as you do right now. Understanding where your problems came from and how you got to where you are is a great start to helping yourself heal and form healthier relationships as well.

 

It is good that you are considering therapy. I think the support and further insight you would get from it will help you feel better.

 

The first step to getting out from under his control is to stop feeling guilty. Easier said than done, I know. But if you can take small steps and go slowly, it will start to help. Next time he asks you about coming home, say no. When he responds with "you don't want me to come around later?" say no again. Then shut the door, move away, whatever. Then tell yourself you have a right to say that. He is hurting you and you are protecting yourself. You are doing something that is good for yourself, and for your family. He is not helping you or being there for you. The contact with him is not for your benefit. He knows how to push your buttons and he is using it for all it's worth. Don't let him.

 

If it would help, make a list of the good things about the relationship and the bad. Don't hold back. Say everything that comes to mind- feelings, behaviors, and the effects on your family, you and your children. Once you see all the problems in black and white, it will help you gain perspective. You can also refer to this list when you feel guilty or upset.

 

Practice staying away from him longer and longer. Say no more often. See how long you can stay away. It'll help you eventually end the relationship or at least say no when he is hurting you or the kids.

 

Kate

 

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for that . He says he is sorry and tries to make ammends but the remains emortionally unavailable to me and continues to put himself in waht I consider risky sitauions of being out atthe weekend with friends of dubious morality. Hence I am struggling to regain real trust. The other major problem is that my ayoung adult sons supported me through the aftermath of the split and find it hard to accept him back. Her has been emotionally and on one accaocaion physiacl with them. I am currently raging with anger at him and am worried that my daughter is finding more happiness in spening time with her grandparents who provide a lot of after school support than with me. They klive in a close knit community and I feel scapegoated and blamed by them all for not accepting my husband back. Thay struggle to mange with his demandfing and controlling behaviours too
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Other.
was satisfied just want another perspective
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

I think you will do wonderfully if you keep on the path you are on now. Keep going as you are now and keep seeking out support. And you can always check back with us here on JA if you feel the need for a second opinion or more suggestions.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

what about his reframing how do i deal with that and remain sane without becoming irrate
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

You can step out of the conversation. There is no reason to play the game he is playing. Give short and only necessary answers. He is trying to draw you in and control the situation. For some reason, he enjoys this exchange. You can stop it anytime and let him know you will talk to him when he is willing to speak nicely and make sense. Then walk away.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
He has me so brainwashed. Can you describe how a man in this position who wanted to retry and come bback and who loved me the way that he says he loves me would behave, even in the face of my rejection?
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

He obviously has many issues that prevent him from behaving in a way that is appropriate for a normal relationship. He should care for you and put your needs before his, in an appropriate way, of course. He should listen to you and care about how you feel. He should also be his own person and be responsible for himself and the others in his care.

 

Here are some good books to help you understand what is normal:

 

An Adult Child's Guide to What's 'Normal' by John C. Friel Ph.D. and Linda D. Friel M.A.

 

Are You Normal About Sex, Love, and Relationships? by Bernice Kanner

 

 

Kate

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