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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5763
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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My husband has moved out, but has regular contact with me and

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My husband has moved out, but has regular contact with me and our 2 sons almost daily. He needs to "find himself", but I also know he is lying about his whereabouts and has been for 6 months. I want to work on this marriage, but I don't sense committment from him. He is slowly removing his personal goods. What are your thoughts? He said he does not want a divorce or separation, but being in our home makes him uncomfortable.

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


In order to provide you with the best answer possible, I need to ask a few questions.


When you and your husband saw the counselor together, what was the main issue you worked on?


Did your husband suffer from any psychological effects from the chronic neurological disorder? Has he acted out, been depressed or had other effects?


Thank you,


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Counselor issue: I believed he was/is having an affair (maybe only emotional) with a member of our church. I asked him to stop having contact; he refuses and continues to text her.


Psychological effects of neurologic event: he is denying, but I feel he is clincally depressed and has not dealt well with the last 3 years, even though our primary care physicians continues to ask about his mental state at every visit.






Thank you for the additional information. It helps.


It sounds like he is dealing with a combination of the effects of his disorder and a psychological issue.


Depression can be caused by neurological damage. Your husband's doctor is right to be concerned about his mental state. Your husband needs to be seen for an evaluation of his mental state related to his disorder. Since he refuses treatment however, there is little that can be done to help him. Unless he expresses a desire to hurt himself or someone else, he cannot be forced into treatment. But you can talk with his doctor, not for information about your husband (unless he signed a consent) but to at least get his opinion on how much of your husband's problem is as a result of the disorder and how much is behavioral.


If your husband has left your family and continues to have this affair against your request to stop, then it sounds like he has no intention at this point to try and repair the damage he has done to your marriage. Continuing to remove his personal belongings from your home says that he is continuing with his behavior, for now. However, the fact that he keeps in contact with you and your boys is a positive sign. He has not let go of the relationship he has with you and the children. Whether or not he will be able to work out his feelings and come back to the family is a matter of time.


Since your husband will not respond to your requests to repair the marriage, you are left to respond to it yourself. Start by going to counseling yourself (your children may benefit as well from counseling). You need the support right now and someone who can help you decide how to handle this situation.


Also, decide if you want to continue trying to work on your marriage or you want to move on. Here are some resources to help you:


Should I Stay or Should I Go?: A Guide to Sorting Out Whether Your Relationship Can--and should--be Saved by Lundy Bancroft and Judith Patrissi


My Husband's Affair Became the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me by Anne Bercht


Should You Stay or Should You Go? Compelling Questions and Insights to Help You Make that Difficult Relationship Decision by Susie Collins and Otto Collins


How to Know If It's Time to Go: A 10-Step Reality Test for Your Marriage by Dr. Lawrence Birnbach and Dr. Beverly Hyman


You can find these books on or your local library may have them for you.


Either way you decide, be sure to put you and your children first for now. Until your husband can sort out what he is doing, there is no reason to put your life on hold. Keep moving forward and trying to work on this issue. Hopefully, your husband will realize he needs help and make his way back to you and your kids.


I hope this has helped you,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Should I allow him to continue this regular contact with us, or should I ask for a "break" just like he seems to be taking? Thanks, Lisa

It depends on what you feel would work for you and the kids. If you feel you need a break from hearing about his behavior and listening to him, then by all means tell him that you are need to take a break and that you will contact him when you are ready.


It might be a good idea to cut contact for a while so you can get a clearer idea of how you feel about the situation. If you are continuing to be hurt by the contact, then you need to protect yourself. Repeated reminders of the pain of the situation can keep you stagnant and make it hard to recover.



Customer: replied 5 years ago.

How can I ever be sure he is telling the truth again; he's told so many lies, including opening 2 credit cards in his name only behind my back with about $11,000 in debt!



You cannot be sure. He needs to step up and take responsibility for his actions and work on repairing your marriage. It is only then that you can start to work on rebuilding trust. At this point, he is still acting out so there is no basis for trust to be built on.



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Do you think that with counseling from a professional there is hope he can change?

Yes, but only if he will go. If he is willing, then go with him. The key here is that he has to want to change in order for therapy to be effective.



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
His sister tells me he is only thinking about himself and I should just be done with this and divorce him, but that is easier said than done. Isn't it important to take my time on such and important decision? Ending a marriage (we'll "celebrate" our 12th anniversary this Mother's day) is a BIG decision!!!! Thanks, Lisa

That is why I recommended counseling for you. That way, you can take the time to work your feelings out thoroughly before you make a decision.



Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for your help; being patient is hard, but I hope it is worth it.

You are welcome! I am glad I could help.


If you are happy with my answer, please click on the Accept key so I can get credit for my answer.




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