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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5578
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I dont know where to start, my husband and I have become distant

Customer Question

I don't know where to start, my husband and I have become distant in the past two years,his choice not mine. Sometimes he shows interest in our marriage, then sometimes he doesn't. I was friend requested by an ex boyfriend of 24 yrs ago on face book,at first I didn't know who it was until he sent an apology for something that happened so many years ago. I accepted his request. We began messaging on fb. He would tell me about his life, I began telling him of mine. We then would message in double meaning, never saying explicit. Over the holidays my husband saw my fb open and read a few lines, oh he was angry. With every right, I should have never accepted his friend request. But since then my husband has accused me of being a sex addict, accusing me of sleeping with various men, even makes up conversations that he thinks I've had with them. He told me that the only way he would believe me was to take a lie detectors test or get hypnotized. So I took a lie detectors test, and I passed. But he believes that I beat the test,for 2 1/2 months he would ask me the same questions over and over. Of course I would cry because I couldn't understand why he doesn't believe me,my husband has a family history of mental illness.he has 2 brothers 1 is paranoid schizophrenic and the other is bi polar schizophrenic. I believe my husband may be suffering of paranoid personality disorder. He has since moved out, accusing me of hiring a private investigator to take pictures of him, accusing me of turning his family against him,also of sending things to his job, now filed a police report because he says he fears me. His paranoia is only pretty much focused on me. I suggested to him this theory of mine and he got really upset. I love my husband with all my heart, I know this is not him. I don't know what to do! Please advise as I am at my wits end.
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 sounds like your husband's paranoia might have already been there before and the relationship between you and your ex might have triggered it. That is not to say it is your fault for your husband's reaction. It is very normal for a spouse to be extremely upset at finding out about an emotional relationship like this, but accusing you of things that are not even related to what you did is hurtful to you and unfair. His accusations are more about his own possible illness than about what you did.

If your husband does have paranoid personality disorder then he most likely has taken this incident and has run with it. He already has a difficult time trusting due to the possible illness and gaining back his trust will be even more difficult for him now that he is convinced that you are doing things to him or behind his back.

However, if you feel you still want to work out your marriage, then it is worth trying to get him to work with you. If he will not listen to your attempts to talk to him, then you may have to ask others such as friends or family he feels he can trust to intervene for you. If they can approach him and let him know that they support the two of you being together, he may be able to listen.

You can also ask your husband what he needs from you in order to rebuild the trust between you. By asking him, you can get specifically what he is looking for in order to reconcile. While this may not work as the lie detector did not work, it is worth a try.

It may also help to write him an email or letter telling him steps you are taking in order to fix this issue. For example, let him know that you are no longer in contact with your ex. Tell him that you are willing to go to counseling with him or on your own. Tell him how you feel about him. Things like that, in an email or letter form he can read over and over, might help.

If all your attempts don't help, you may want to talk to a counselor on your own. Being in a relationship with someone who may have a personality disorder is difficult and draining. They do not react in the same ways to problems that someone without a disorder might. So you have to find the right way to address the issue that doesn't make it worse and the effort involved can be taxing. By talking to a counselor, you can get support for yourself and you can talk about the situation and get feedback so you know if you are on the right path.

Also, consider learning more about personality disorders. The more you know, the more tools you have in order to deal with your husband's reactions to you. Here are some resources to help:

http://psychology.about.com/od/personalitydisorders/a/personalitydis.htm

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stop-walking-eggshells/201209/can-people-personality-disorders-have-healthy-relationships

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/information/get-info/personality-disorders

I hope this has helped you,
Kate
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I wrote him several letters we have spoken on the phone 4 times. He does tell me he loves me but he says its over he doesn't need anymore proof and that he no longer will speak to me via phone or text. Until I ask for his help with my sex addiction, as he knows he is the only one who can help me. I sent him a text yesterday and he responded by texting our son. I know I can't force him to get help but I'm afraid he may lose his job or even worse. I know he can't sleep as he has told me this himself, he says these images come to him at 3am every morning and he can't sleep so he smokes like a pack of cigs a day while pacing back and forth. His family want me to have him committed to get a phsy evaluation, but I'm afraid my husband will hate me for this.
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
You are right, you can't force him to get help unless he is threatening to hurt himself or someone else. Otherwise, the law protects his right to do whatever he wants. However, if you feel that his health is in danger, you can check with your local ER about filing a 302. They can tell you the requirements you need in order to file. Your husband may not like it but there is also a chance he might get the help and support he needs and recover. That may allow him to be able to talk to you and work things out.

It sounds like you have made every effort to deal with this situation yet he is refusing to work with you on the problem. If you have tried everything and he won't budge, then you may want to try backing off for a while (unless you feel he needs admitted to the hospital). Try focusing on getting therapy for yourself and your children if needed. Your husband may need time to sort himself out. In the meanwhile, it can help you a lot to get support and to keep exploring your options so when your husband is ready, you will be too.

Kate
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If I were to do the 302. Would he lose his job, I don't wan him to lose his job,and as for myself I have been seeing a therapist for the past year. Who has been trying to get me to focus on myself. But I'm more focused on my husband. Maybe I should give him sometime like you said, our son will be home from college In a few weeks. Lets see how he sees his father as ok or acting strange. But my husband is smart, he only get irrational with me. Am I the person who triggers these thoughts? So in theory if he doesn't see or talk to me he may think his problem or way of thinking might go a way with me.
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
No he should not lose his job. It should be covered like any other hospitalization. But you can check with an attorney if you would feel better doing that. I know you are concerned for your husband but as you describe him now, getting him help is more important.

You are not doing anything to him that is not already there. Someone who is paranoid is going to latch on to whoever is in front of them. It does not matter who that is. It is an illness that cannot be caused by outside circumstances. So if it was not you your husband was focused on, it would be someone else.

I am glad you have the support of a therapist and that he/she is helping to you see that you need to focus on yourself. You cannot control or affect what your husband has or his behavior. You can only do what you can. The rest is up to him.

Kate
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So I guess my next question is how do the doctors or hospital know what questions to ask him. If I were to go ahead with the 302
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
It depends on the doctor and the situation. They are looking to see if he intends on hurting himself or someone else. That is the main focus. And if he is unable to care for himself enough to put his health at risk. You can contact the ER ahead of time to ask them specifically what they will ask him and the procedures.

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!
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5578
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
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 and your family,
Kate

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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
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Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.