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Ask Dr. Rossi Your Own Question

Dr. Rossi
Dr. Rossi, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4627
Experience:  PsyD, LPC, CHt
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Is it common to feel suspended between two relationships, and

Resolved Question:

Is it common to feel suspended between two relationships, and immobilized to give either up? How do I explore what emotional blocks I need to work through to decide to stay in my marriage or end both relationships? The second relationship is an emotional one.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 1 year ago.

Dr. Rossi :

Hi,

Dr. Rossi :

The relationship that you identify as emotional one, you mean it is a platonic relationship?

Dr. Rossi :

How long was the second relationship?

Dr. Rossi :

Was your husband or is he now aware of what you're dealing with?

Customer:

It did cross the boundary to sexual once and my husband found out and I have been open what happened and why. We are still friends and now platonic if that is still the appropriate description to use. three years

Dr. Rossi :

Did the counseling ever help you come to some conclusions as to what had caused this to transpire in the first place?

Dr. Rossi :

The emotional blocks yo're concerned about can represent different things. 1) feeling somewhat bored within the marriage, 2) seeking external stimulation, 3) trying to subconsciously correct a past relationship (the second partner possibly having similar traits to another individual from your past) 4) finding out some qualities in that partner that you don't find in your husband, etc. A main question to ask yourself would be- What purpose did that relationship serve to me?

Customer:

Yes our marital counsellor identified isolation and dealing with a health issue for my husband, he felt we worked through our issues. In individual counselling my counsellor concluded I had figured out I needed to exit my marriage and suggested I leave to explore the person I wanted to be and leave

Dr. Rossi :

In addition to the counselor having made that conclusion/interpretation on you part, what conclusion did you arrive at yourself?

Dr. Rossi :

When did you notice changes in your feelings towards your husband? At the onset of the new relationship, way before that, or after the new relationship had progressed for some time?

Customer:

Good question, so I ponder if it has aided my self esteem to again feel revitalized as a person or a sexual being. I am still in my marriage!!?? I do love my husband but feel I am very much solo and disconnected, as tho we are just existing in a familiar place.

Dr. Rossi :

Yes, I gather that you're still married.

Dr. Rossi :

What did the new relationship offer that your husband was unable/unwilling to provide? Or, do you believe that the two of you had changed over time as to where you're no longer compatible as a couple?

Customer:

We have been struggling for awhile, and it seems that I internalize feelings like I am alone when a crisis presents, never really feeling a sense of partnership, he still refers to our home as my home, completely subconsciously, but resonates to me loud and clear exactly my feelings of disconnection

Dr. Rossi :

Is your husband generally a nondemostrative person? Or did he change over time perhaps subconsciously on his part in relation to the changes having taken place within you?

Customer:

Surprisingly the new relationship provided me with a communication style that made me feel heard, loved and respected in my feelings, expressed about our relationship and my marital relationship. He is also married and struggling and it has never been a consideration to be together. Kind of two floundering spouses finding solace in a friend who feels the same in our respective marriages. We don't bash our marriages just express our feelings within them.

Dr. Rossi :

When you say you "internalize feelinings", does it mean that your husband is unaware of what you're experiencing? The emotional blocks could be some sort of self sabotage within the marriage. These would be seen as blocks only if you believe that they hinder you one way or another in moving forward (in whichever direction you desire)

Dr. Rossi :

Something to determine is whether or not you believe that your husband simply ingnored you and your needs versus him being unable to attend to you to the extent that you desired. Hence, you found another individual who had similar issues. Could that have turned into a codependent relationship then?

Customer:

He is affectionate but in a guarded way, often protecting his feelings from rejection. His parents relationship was that of little affection, my parents often show affection and express their love for each other openly, now 51 years married.

Dr. Rossi :

Your marriage differs from that of you parents though. Your husband and you're are unique and different individuals. Back to the issue of these emotional blocks, what is your main concern now? To leave the marriage and be with the other person or to leave both and move on?

Dr. Rossi :

What do you feel drawn to do emotionally rather than logically?

Customer:

emotionally to leave, logically to stay and upset no one. My husband suffers from depression and has an autoimmune disease he is coping with. What I struggle with is his internal sabatoir taking on my

Dr. Rossi :

Guilt and fear can be emotional blocks. To get to the bottom of it, you would want to do the thing that is most genuine to your own self (psychologicall and emotionally) Meaning, if you don't live in a way that is true to you, you'd only be assuming the role of a martyr for your husband, That in the long run can create resentment on your part as well as on his.

Customer:

He has an inability to hear what i am actually saying, our grown children as well, he misinterprets alot of expressed feelings as a result of the internal voice that is very self critical

Dr. Rossi :

Whatever decision you make, would have to be the one that is trully genuine to you. If your husband has not shown the ability of being emotionally present or hearing you for the duration of the marriage, it is unlikely that it would change. People can change their behaviors but it takes time and effort on their part.

Customer:

The resentment is an absolute for sure

Dr. Rossi :

You can't save your husband from his own issues. That would be unhealthy and codependent behavior.

Dr. Rossi :

The, you ask yourself, why do I need to stay in a situation filled w/ resentment? For whom?

Dr. Rossi :

I would caution that you arrive at your own truth rather than what your counselor had said to you. This is your own journey. Whatever you decide now would influence your life hence forth. You are the only one that is living that life and no one else (counselor, husband, ex partner, etc)

Customer:

I believe I allowed myself to become his emotional security blanket and when I became overwhelmed with feeling responsible as a result of significant life altering changes, a light bulb went on for me and I had no ability to say, hey what about me!!! I matter too!! My family are supportive and just want me to be happy yet I remain??!!

Dr. Rossi :

In order to move on, you'd want to abandon past labels or assumption of what you're doing i.e. not see it as selfish, not take to heart what others may say (judgements) In order to see clearly, you'd want to view this not only objectively but in a whole different light.

Dr. Rossi :

You may decide that these blocks don't really exist but that are labels your conscious mind had created as a defense mechanism.

Dr. Rossi :

Can you say now "what about me?"

Dr. Rossi :

You don't want to be anyone's security blanket. You seem to want to be an equal partner, feel desired and appreciated.

Customer:

Yes, he does have an understanding of just how difficult this has been for me.

Dr. Rossi :

The so called emotional blocks you can view by thinking what do I want for myself? How can I move from point A to point B and what is in the midst of A and B that is preventing me to do that.

Dr. Rossi :

Him being understandant of how you feel can that be what is stopping you? You feel guilty if you move on?

Dr. Rossi :

Because you'd see yourself as the bad guy and he and others may see you in that light as well?

Customer:

I have tried to silence the internal dialogue as well as the family and friends opinions, but that is a struggle as well.

Dr. Rossi :

But silencing that dialogue/voice would be another defense- denial. You'd want to reframe this dialogue.

Dr. Rossi :

Your life is your own. Others don't know what you're experiencing subgectively.

Dr. Rossi :

Perhaps you could work on this block- reframing the inner judge

Customer:

Yes I do still view my behaviour as wrong and feel a huge sense of guilt. Yes I suppose I am denying myself as well as what may be best for both of us as a couple and individuals. I fear his daily drinking with skyrocket him into a depressive addiction and that too is immobilizing

Dr. Rossi :

Not judging yourself based on what others think and not viewing yourself from a preprogrammed view point

Dr. Rossi :

You are not in control of his health or drinking or any other behavior!

Dr. Rossi :

Each of you has free will.

Dr. Rossi :

Why keep yourself a hostage to believing that you're in control of his reactions?

Customer:

That is the basis of my inability to walk away, feeling responsible being the peace maker is a role I need to shed. Perhaps that will be my starting point.

Dr. Rossi :

Maybe today you can jot down all of these concerns and one by one start addressing them. Not making a decision to move on is still a decision in itself.

Dr. Rossi :

Not sure if you're still on line as it says you're off line now.

Dr. Rossi, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4627
Experience: PsyD, LPC, CHt
Dr. Rossi and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 1 year ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

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Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 1 year ago.
Jan,
When back online, you can always use this thread to write back as needed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I saw an interesting web site of a couple in connecticut who provide marital counselling over a weekend, which offers intensive therapy. What caught my interest was they had the ability to speak frankly about not all marriages should be saved, that they teach the couple how to exit as friends. That may be just what we need to get over the conundrum of too bad to stay too good to leave!!


Thanks Dr Rossi

Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 1 year ago.
You welcome. A marriage when no longer healthy or happy (or at least peaceful), should not be forced into something that is not. Nor should each partner assume blame for it 100%

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