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TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3312
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
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Wife is moving out. Im broken-hearted and angry, but know she checked out of the re

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Wife is moving out. I'm broken-hearted and angry, but know she checked out of the relationship some time ago. She's leaving me with custody of my son

She's moving out in 3 weeks and wants to remain friends - take a seminar focused on future commitments (e.g., how to end our marriage), try to eat as a family once a week for the benefit of our 8 year old.

I want to try, but I just feel like I need my space. Space to get over the relationship, space to stop being hurt, space to stop being angry and abandoned.

Any advice?

CoachJenK :

Hi. Welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families on a variety of issues.

Customer:

hello

CoachJenK :

hi

CoachJenK :

I am so sorry to hear of your pain and that for your child as well.

CoachJenK :

I want to state right off the bat that you are entitled to your feelings and entitled to be with them in whatever way works for you too.

CoachJenK :

it sounds as if she is dictating it all even how it is supposed to be once the divorce is complete...family dinners.

CoachJenK :

but your needs matter too.

Customer:

Thank you - I am resigned to what is happening and believe she means that she wants the best for me and my kid, but she's just checked out so quickly and wants to make me move on.

Customer:

Told her tonight that she doesn't get to control how I get detached.

CoachJenK :

yes I think that is true as well but it might be a bit of fantasy

CoachJenK :

exactly...that is what i was saying.

Customer:

Also asked me to take a Landmark Education seminar on Committment.

CoachJenK :

you both want to do what is best for your child. could you expand on how it came to be that you are getting custody.

Customer:

We are both successful and healthy and make similiar salaries

Customer:

I've always been the move accomidating and nuturing - government job stable hours. She travels a lot

Customer:

It really was not a surprise or issue.

Customer:

I do want him.

CoachJenK :

ok I understand and how is your child doing with all of this.

Customer:

Where going to a therapist next week to figure out how to tell him

CoachJenK :

That is a good idea....it will take some time for him to process and fully grasp it. Be that safe and loving Dad you always are.

Customer:

Not sure what to do about counseling for us and the seminar.

Customer:

I really just want some time to greive

CoachJenK :

what do YOU want and how do you want to heal?

Customer:

Space

CoachJenK :

then that is what you are entitled to have.

CoachJenK :

I support that fully.

Customer:

Any value in really just getting angry at her/to her?

Customer:

When we talk, you can tell she doesn't really care...and I don't want the seperation to take a second longer than it has to.

CoachJenK :

I think you are angry...and that is okay...your world has been shattered. how could you not be angry? Do you fear expressing yourself to her?

Customer:

Only in that it doesn't matter to her. No value in that sense.

CoachJenK :

I think you expressing your feelings is crucial...I would do it in therapy whether it is with her or in your own an dI am hoping you do that for yourself.

Customer:

I do.

CoachJenK :

but you must let your feelings out.

Customer:

Her seminar is more forward thinking. Counseling would be right now.

CoachJenK :

to her? may not have value but certainly you need to have a place that is all for you

Customer:

Fair enough.

Customer:

No - no value to me. Won't change anything.

Customer:

I think she needs help.

Customer:

I think she's in a mid-level crisis and has lost her mind.

CoachJenK :

yes but our focus is on you and what you need.

Customer:

Exactly - space.

CoachJenK :

sounds like it cause you sound like a wonderful man and father. :-)

Customer:

I try

CoachJenK :

she is doing what she needs by leaving and now you can do what you need and that is space...she cant dictate this space for you too.

CoachJenK :

I am not slighting her but only focusing on you getting stronger and proceeding as you need to for yourself.

Customer:

My hope is that I can get a little perspective with the space - but do you maybe keep things unresolved?

Customer:

I'm in counseling for myself (remember).

Customer:

At this point, I just need to make sure she's there for the boy (which she will be - sort of like a dad).

CoachJenK :

explain that last part of the sentence above...."but do you maybe..." I got confused.

Customer:

Concern is that, if I take time to disengage, I might leave things unresolved with her.

Customer:

Or does that matter anymore?

Customer:

Just be as civil as possible and go from there

CoachJenK :

are you intending to do any therapy with her? I know she wants you to do the retreat.

Customer:

I suspect it's a package deal

CoachJenK :

but if you had some therapy to dissolve things then that would be the place to get resolve and closure.

Customer:

True.

Customer:

Her's is a little more flaky to me

CoachJenK :

your individual work is crucial too as you know.

CoachJenK :

yes and you dont need to engage in that if it doesnt feel right for you.

Customer:

And I already said I would.

Customer:

Ugh

CoachJenK :

lol

CoachJenK :

you are too nice!

Customer:

Yup - and here we are...

CoachJenK :

you are allowed to change your mind, no?

Customer:

Yup

CoachJenK :

you are funny!

Customer:

Also true

Customer:

...and here we are.

CoachJenK :

I see your spirit and that is the spirit that needs to be nurtured by you

Customer:

She's in South Beach on a business trip and I'm in DC post terrible storm

CoachJenK :

but you have power?

Customer:

Now

CoachJenK :

good.

CoachJenK :

so heres the goal...you, your son, you, your son, you, your son...am I repeating myself?

Customer:

Common theme and not a problem

CoachJenK :

and you are allowed to advocate for what works for you too

Customer:

What does that look like - do the seminar and the counseling and deal with it.

CoachJenK :

if you dont want a touchy feely retreat then dont do it

Customer:

And if she says no to conseling

CoachJenK :

you can suggest, that you are okay withe the counseling but the retreat feels a bit much for where you are now.

CoachJenK :

i thought she suggested it

Customer:

I suggested counseling, she suggested retreat

Customer:

Right now, we're doing both

Customer:

Not yet, but will do both

CoachJenK :

ahhh i see. so a compromise. Is that doable for you?

Customer:

It wasn't couched that way, but might end up being

CoachJenK :

well then you state it that way

CoachJenK :

you will get the chance in both to express yourself and that is a good thing

Customer:

I'm not crazy, committing to ending our marriage is...I don't know...something that maybe might take a little while to get to...

CoachJenK :

I get it and I feel for you.

Customer:

Curious - what do you recommend typically for people in this situation?

Customer:

Then we can wrap up

CoachJenK :

in what aspect...

Customer:

Well, most likely over-accommodating spouse is being left by more assertive (at least on face value) spouse. They want to manage the process...

CoachJenK :

ok.....here goes.

Customer:

I'm not used to being selfish, honestly. Doesn't come naturally...

CoachJenK :

it is time for you the over accommodating one to give to yourself in the way that maybe you have given over during the marriage. you are allowed to care for yourself and you should. compromise where you need to for the interest of your son but dont compromise to the detriment of the self!

Customer:

I truly don't know what that is.

Customer:

Always been difficult to define.

CoachJenK :

I am not saying be selfish, I am saying give to yourself.

Customer:

Space

CoachJenK :

then that is what you take

Customer:

OK - this was helpful. I really appreciate you talking it through.

Customer:

Take care.

CoachJenK :

it is my pleasure. come and request me anytime.

Customer:

Will do

TherapistJen and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you