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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5105
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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My husband left me after 20 years of marriage for another woman.He

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My husband left me after 20 years of marriage for another woman.He moved in with her and her 3 young kids and broke up her marriage which was about to dissolve anyway but our marriage was strong and we were always proud of our relationship together and with our 2 most amazing teenagers.We were considered the success story of happy couples and families.So it was a real shock to me and the kids when I found out through his mistresses mother in law on the phone that he was having an affair.
It has been almost 10 months now with him coming back to me twice and then leaving again saying that he felt trapped,caged. He always promised to take care of me and our kids financially but that he had found his soulmate and had to be with her.That I was his financial priority, that he still loved me but was not in love with me.
In the last 2 months or so,he has told me that he has woken up and feels like he was in a coma and if he could turn back time,he would not have done what he did.That he wants to come back to me and grow old with me but that I have to be patient and wait while he gets his mistress out of his system and wait for the lease to be finished on the house that he is responsible for renting with her,which will be done only in October while he continues to live with her since he cannot afford to move out on his own and since I have had to sell our house and move in with my dad.He would like for me to wait until he can move out and get himself a small apt and then we could start dating and see if we could work to save our marriage which he knows is my ultimate goal.
He has told his mistress that its over and that he wants to be back with me and his kids,but she is going bankrupt and cannot afford to move out so he feels responsible for her because if he kicks her out she will have no place to go.
I need to know if I should be talking with him like I have been for months now and even doing alot more than talking at times.I want him back so very much but I feel that I need to stay away from him and even stop talking to him for him to really see if he will miss me and perhaps speed up the process of moving out.
I am so confused!!!!
He also says that he needs to stay away from both of us and see if he isn't better off on his own,but then he says that no way does he want a divorce.He says that he has woken up to not wanting the life that he has with her and her kids and her crazy nutcase ex husband,and by the way she has 3 kids under 10 years old,one whom is autistic and one whom has anger issues and she is always fighting with her ex over the time they have the kids.My husband is 48 years old and I am 46 and she is 36.Her ex wants her back and is doing everything in his power to be contrary.They are in the process of a divorce and custady battle.Our kids are 19 and 16 and have been with me since this all started.They have no respect for their father.They have just recently started seeing him briefly.
Should I tell him that I don't want to hear from him until he has left his living arrangements with her and knows for sure that he still loves me and wants to save our marriage,or should I continue to see him occasionally which really hurts me alot and continue to hope that he means what he is saying and does not change his mind once again like he has done many times in the last few months.
As you can see I have been in limbo for many months now.I have lost my independence by having to move in with my father dragging my teens with me,which is not a healthy living situation.
I amstressed to the max.
What would you do if you were in my shoes?
Please be very very honest with me.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 3 years ago.

Hi! I believe I can be of help with this issue.

First, let me say I can imagine how confusing and distressing this situation must be for you. On the one hand you have said you want to get back together with him very much. But on the other hand he you can sense something is not right with what's going on here.

And this is actually the key to my answer to you that you need to consider and think about. Both you and your husband seem to have lost all sense of a moral compass, adult judgment. Now I know this was a harsh statement. You are a very competent and intelligent woman and you have asked me to be honest and open with you and that is how I am approaching this. But you have very little support right now, so I have to be careful and not be too honest even though you are a very strong person. So let's make sure that you know that I'm on your side here. And that this is the hardest thing I will say: you have lost your sense of judgment here. So lets try to get it back.

The best way to do that is to ask yourself every step of the way: what VALUES message will this action that I am thinking of taking be sending my kids? For example, if you try to get closer with him while he's living with this woman, what message is that sending your kids? What values is that TEACHING them?

I'll tell you one for sure: that it's acceptable for a man to treat his wife and kids as if they are old cars that he's trading in and then not have to have any consequences for it. Right?

Well, what message do you WANT to teach your kids? Right, that people must be treated with respect and consideration. And if they are not treated with respect and consideration, then they need to have SELF respect and close their boundaries and seek comfort and good times and happiness elsewhere. So why is mom not treating herself that way?

See how this works? You are their parent. They are your first responsibility. He has lost sight of that and acts as if he is an adolescent. He wants the red car today because he got tired of the yellow car he had last week. Your kids don't need two adolescent parents!

He is not a free man, is he? He is living with a woman. He doesn't seem to treat her with any more respect than he did you. He's willing to cheat on her as much as you. What message is that to send the kids?

So, when he is a free man, if you have any reason to want this man, go ahead. But I caution you to move slowly at that time and require that the two of you go to couples therapy first to deal with this. He will deny he did anything wrong. What message is that sending?

But until then, what business do you have talking with a man who has committed himself to another woman? Would you want to send this message to your kids? That it's okay to talk to a man who is living with another woman about him leaving her for you? So maybe tell your kids this is why you aren't seeing their dad, because you have values you live by. And that's why you are struggling financially, because values are more important to you than what's easy. It certainly seems like he likes things to be easy, doesn't it? And then when they get hard, he exits...

So, I have given you some clues here about the values that have been violated and what he looks like from a values point of view. I hope that gives you an opportunity to reassess why you might want to stay away from him. And what you might require to even consider getting back with him. And what you want your kids to learn from all of this. And then teach them.

I wish you the very best!

Please remember to click the green accept button. Feel free to continue the discussion; my goal is to get you the best answers possible. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue, just put "for Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much for your reply.

 

My teenagers only think that I have decided to be civil to him.I started this because my daughter did not want to see him or talk to him at all,ever.She was falling apart slowly and I said to her to not think about what her father deserves but what she deserves.She deserves a father although her father does not deserve her.She just kept saying from the beggining of this mess that her father did not deserve her time of day.That he did not deserve to see her sadness,destruction and despair. She has always been very close to her dad and this was very hard on her.She keeps wondering why she was not enough for him to stay.We all do.We all begged him to stay and he just walked out.

I feel that he is depressed and going through a mid life crisis that he will wake up from someday,but I just pray that its not to late.

I have done nothing but protect my teens from this mess.I want them to learn the right things from this.We have had many many long talks and they are so wise in their thinking process.They see much more clearly than I do.I don't know how to back away from him again now that he has told me that he wants me back in time.That I need to give him time if I still want him.

 

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 3 years ago.
I can see that what I wrote was a bit too strong. I was concerned because you have no support and that even though you wanted me to be open and honest I knew it would be hard to actually absorb it.

I do know that you have been the rock that has kept your kids anchored to solid ground. And this is so important and you are a hero for that. Your desire to get the family back to how it was is understandable. You've been dragged through a purgatory and it's been no fun. And it wasn't your fault.

And it wasn't your daughter's fault. You and your daughter were enough. Your husband was not as stable as you thought. We call it mid life crisis, but what we mean is that the stability of personality is not so stable.

So hidden in your response is the question: is it so bad to just forgive him and get back to where we were? No.

But that's not the situation right now, is it? What I'm getting at is that what your daughter needs is comforting, not the holding out of hope that may not pan out. Because what will you do if he changes his mind again three months from now?

You are under an incredible strain and I don't know how to ease it for you. Because he is being selfish at every step of the way here. He's bailing out on her now and he's trying to get back to stable ground through you. Is he willing to go to psychotherapy long term? Not just to appease you but to actually work on his problems?

There are many questions here and you are not Superwoman. You want to try to help him stay stable so he can come back. You want to nurture him back to health. I'm a little concerned about that dynamic in your marriage.

So, I know this is hard, but comfort your daughter. Let her know that dad has some problems he is not fully facing yet. That it is not your fault or her fault. But that when the people we love have problems, we get to suffer too. And that you're waiting to see if he is willing to take action to get help for his problems. Until then, and until he is a free man, I am concerned for you being hurt again.

I wish you the very best!

Please remember to click the green accept button. Feel free to continue the discussion; my goal is to get you the best answers possible. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue, just put "for Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, Dr. Mark

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Dr.Mark,

 

Thank you so much.

You have been very helpful and supportive.

I wish I could just get a supportive comment from you on a daily basis.It makes me feel better.It make me feel like I'm not alone during these confusing times.

 

thanks again

you are very kind

 

karen

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 3 years ago.
Karen,

You have shown your strength and your loving and caring after receiving blows that would fell many people. You have done this because you knew you had to. But in doing this you have kept two kids afloat at a time when they could have drowned. I have had to work with kids who have been there. So you are a hero in my book.

Take care of them. You can even discuss my answer with them. They are old enough. And they've had to grow up more than they needed to because of this. So support each other.

I wish you the very best!

Please remember to click the green accept button. Feel free to continue the discussion; my goal is to get you the best answers possible. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue, just put "for Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, Dr. Mark

Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5105
Experience: Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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