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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5469
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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my husband of 10 years has a stable paycheck in the clergy,

Customer Question

my husband of 10 years has a stable paycheck in the clergy, is highly dedicated to a couple of "causes" and is extreme in his devotion to them (e.g. veganism) and is a highly devoted and loving father to our children. with me, however, he has always been emotionally flat - i know he is dedicated to our union as a contract and trust that he has not had affairs, but he never shows deep passion or compassion toward me and really never has, since we married. for example, when i was pregnant with our children, i suffered from terrible morning sickness. in one pregnancy, he was so bothered by my sickness that he went home to his parents for a few weeks. recently, i was called back for a sonogram after a mamogram and i was scared. i informed him of the upcoming appointment and he never followed up before or after the appointment (all was fine!). i often feel that were i to leave him, he'd survive perfectly well on his own. a separate but disturbing second concern is his eccentric behavior in public...he sometimes makes vulgar comments and jokes about marriage/"wives" that are either highly embarrassing or inappropriate. i remember him being this way before we married but when we were alone together, he was much more toned down and mature, so and i focused on that aspect of him when i chose to marry. he also has quirky habits, like keeping tags on clothes, walking around with a string tied around his forehead on vacation, or feeling comfortable lying across an entire sofa at the public entrance to a large concert hall and sleeping during the concert. we have worked on these issues in therapy and he does try to curtail the inappropriate comments, but he doesn't seem to be able to. sometimes with the kids, he acts so immaturely that i can't be in the room with him. he is often sillier, louder, and more wild than them. is he simply a man with immature tendencies that i have to either accept or not or is it possible that he has low-level aspergers or some other social disorder? thank you very much.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It certainly sounds like your husband may have Asperger's. But it is just as equally possible that he has some pre set notions about women and he is taking those beliefs out on you.

The fact that he can say inappropriate comments to you and have to be told by a therapist that it is inappropriate behavior says a lot. His inability to bond to you as well, especially when you are vulnerable also speaks to his lack of insight and compassion. Although he seems able to show passion when he wants to with his causes and interests, it seems he is unable to do so when he is needed by you.

If he is able to be loving with your children and connect with them, then his issues sound more about his specific issues with women and connecting with others in general. His behavior in public is also of concern and it doesn't seem he cares about what others think of him even though he is a clergy person expected to uphold a certain standard.

At this point, the therapist you saw together should have provided some type of evaluation and diagnosis of your husband's issues. If they did not, you may want to contact them to see what they have to say. Seeing someone face to face is vital in getting an accurate diagnosis.

Because there are several possibilities as to what might be going on with your husband (it's even possible to have overlapping diagnoses), you may want to focus on what you feel you need to do about your marriage. You do not deserve to be left out emotionally and be treated poorly by the one person who is supposed to be there for you. If you feel counseling was not helpful to address your husband's behavior (he has to be willing to change for that to happen), then you may want to consider going to therapy on your own. You need the support and someone to help you make a decision about your options in your marriage.

You may also want to decide if you feel a controlled separation might help. Although the idea of a divorce is difficult to consider, a controlled separation may help your husband see that you are serious about these issues. Here is a resource to help you:

http://divorcesupport.about.com/od/separation/f/controlledsep.htm

Sometimes it takes a dramatic action to get a spouse's attention.

Also, get as much support around you as possible There is gap in your emotional support so having others to turn to can help, especially when you feel so alone.

I hope this has helped you,
Kate
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5469
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
This resource may help you as well:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anger-in-the-age-entitlement/200808/effects-emotional-abuse-it-hurts-when-i-love

Kate





May I please request that if you find the service I provided helpful at all that you rate me with three or above? Your rating is the only way I am reimbursed for my answer. Thank you so much!
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much for the positive rating and bonus! I appreciate it.

My best to you,
Kate

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