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Jean
Jean, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 433
Experience:  Masters degree in counseling, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
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I have been married to my husband for over 12 years- It was

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I have been married to my husband for over 12 years- It was a 2nd marriage for both of us in which we blended 5 kids between us (I had custody of 2 sons; he had custody of 2 sons and a daughter) and had one together. Many of these children had significant special needs, especially his children (cerebral palsy, severe Reactive Attachment/Homicidal Ideation...). My husband's ex no longer wanted to be a wife and mother and left him with the 3 kids (one in a wheel chair, a teen ager and a toddler). Anyway, shortly after we were married, I found an email dated just before the wedding from my husband to an old friend that stated my husband still loved his ex-wife. I almost took my children and left. I probably should have. I quit my job as a Speech Pathologist to stay home with all of these children. His kids were definitely more needy physically and emotionally. His ex never paid child support and caused us much heartache and legal problems. My ex husband and I continue to be friends and he has always been supportive and never caused us stress. Fast forward to this summer. I periodically check the search history to make sure our 9 yr old is 'safe' on the internet and complying with our rules. I was surprised to find that my husband was regularly cruising his ex-wife's Facebook profile, her website as well as the profile of a single neighbor and an old girlfriend. He even did this after I went to bed on one of our date nights. I was horrified and confronted him. He was immediately remorseful...did not know why he did it...Said it made him feel better about what he had with me to look at his ex-wife...He voluntarily took himself off Facebook. I told him it really had more to do with us and not Facebook. I wanted to believe him so I did. Now I find he is looking at that he is looking at pictures of the single neighbor's Facebook profile on his e-reader (nook). He has no idea how her info got on his web history....I am at a loss.  He has been great through my chronic illness but is in treatment for anger management as he can be rough with our kids and our pets.  I often am afraid to confront him as well. I have been getting counseling since 2007 but doing well.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Jean replied 2 years ago.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Hello, I'm available to assist you

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Thank you for your question/post today. You describe your relationship as starting with lots of layers of complication. Blending families, children with special needs, some very serious, and all the related challenges that go with this. You deserve an award for signing up for this one and sticking through some really difficult times. In good times and bad- you are a loyal, giving person for sure.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

I don't think it is uncommon for one to reminisce about past relationships, fantasize, look at Facebook with curiosity, checking out women. Part of this is also how accessible the internet is. Now if he were to act on some of this- then maybe be more concerned.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

He may be looking for an outlet to reduce the stress, escape, numb out a bit. You mentioned he has anger issues- typically lots of emotions underlying anger, like feeling a lack of control, fear.

Customer:

Yes. He also seems to use finances as a means of control in our relationship, which further diminishes me/my role/self esteem.

Customer:

I have very little left of my previous identity. However, I am no victim. I take responsibility for my choices and actions and desperately try to pull myself up by my bootstraps and learn from and make sense of my journey.

Customer:

At 44, I have 3 rare chronic genetic conditions that I am getting a handle on after being pretty ill of/on for the past 5 years or so.

Customer:

He has been patient with those but I don't know why he: a) won't be honest about his attractions; b) treats me with more control/worse than previous wife..And, more than anything, I am trying to maintain my core sense of self regardless of his actions.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Struggle with finances can create lots of fear in people, especially men. He may be struggling to communicate what he's really feeling, comes out in aggravation, anger. "Journey"- I like that- good way to look at it "life school". I'm sorry for your illness'- that adds to all of this. What you have endured tells me you are a survivor- not a victim- strong woman. Have you done counseling as a couple?

Customer:

No. I am supposed to go to his anger mgmt therapy session this week. Up to now, this has all been 'my problem' to deal with.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

I think your energy is best served in finding the support you need, to maintain your core self, like you said.

Customer:

When he was rough and lost it with our youngest, I told him he had to get help or i was leaving.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

A big part of "anger management" is a person taking more responsibility for their actions.

Customer:

i have seen him throw one of his kids across the room, kick the dog, etc. so I am glad he is finally going. I was losing hope.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Often times in a marriage when the anger hurts a child- more action is taken, has to be taken.

Customer:

I appreciate your time. I was afraid I needed to leave. I am losing respect for him.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Anger management- hard work to work through this- if he's motivated and works hard- there's hope.

Customer:

The lies and control are what bother me more than anything because they are the basis of our marriage.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Take care of you so you can be up to the task of caring for your children.

Customer:

Thank you for your help today.

Jean, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 433
Experience: Masters degree in counseling, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
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Jean
Jean
Psychotherapist
332 Satisfied Customers
Masters degree in counseling, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)