How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Rafael M.T.Therapist Your Own Question

Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
65591635
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Rafael M.T.Therapist is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hi! In order to ask my question, I feel that I have to give

Resolved Question:

Hi!
In order to ask my question, I feel that I have to give you some background information. I´ve been in a relationship with a man for nearly eight years. When I met him I was separated and and had two daughters that were about 9 and 13, and he was divorced and had two daughters that were 10 and 12. I was really attracted to him, and felt that I had met the love of my life. Still, I was exhausted from a challenging job and the turmoil of getting divorced (my husband left..). I was depressed and had a lot of anxiety, and so this was not easy to deal with - both I and my boyfriend stuggled and had quite a few difficult moments, but we were always very motivated to get through it and stay together, because we´re so fascinated by each other.

We bought a house together after about a year and a half. My children stayed with us every other week, and one of his girls would have the same arrangement, but his 14 year old daughter had severe problems with her mom and her partner (that she refused to acknowledge), and so she stayed with us most of the time. Because of this we had little time for ourselves, and I found it hard to be a stepmom. I always tried to be a good wise and supporting adult, but it cost me.. She had behaviour problems, and I felt that if I didn´t get along with her, she would start hating me, and then he would have to leave me because we couldn´t live in the same house. I suppressed a lot of feelings, and found it hard to relax in my own home. I loved her, but didn´t agree with the way her father dealt with her. She had so many problems, and was so destructive that it was my opinion that she should see a therapist. He agreed to some point, but she would manipulate him and tell him that she didn´t need it. I loved my boyfriend so much, so I hoped things would get better. We kept talking and trying to find solutions, and kept trying to reach out to his daughter so that we could help her. We did manage to make some "progress", and after three years in the first house, we were optimistic and decided to buy a new home.

It was a beautiful house, and we redecorated and looked forward to staying there for the rest of our lives. But, around the time of the move, his daughter started using drugs on a regular basis. Having worked with teenagers i spotted this quite easily. My partner refused to realize how serious it was, and thought that it was a phase she was going through. I became more and more concerned, and was worried 24/7. He would make deals with her in order to make her "behave", but of course she´d just forget about it and go on as she had. Things just escalated and she got in deeper. Finally, the whole family was suffering, and I told my partner that we couldn´t go on like this, she would have to move out and then we could try to help her. I felt that at this point we couldn´t even help ourselves. She was now in her 19th year. He was not able to make her do that (which I understood, she was still his child), and we had to sell our home and buy two separate homes.

I had just started a new and very demanding job about a year earlier, but by the time this was happening (last spring), I was exhausted, depressed and had panic attacks regularly. The process of selling the house and moving was a lot of work, of course, and so i worked just a little bit through the spring and the summer. My employer was very understanding. At first we didn´t think we would be able to stay together, but we still loved each other, and were able to continue seeing each other. But, we both felt we had lost the family we had struggled so hard to keep together. I didn´t see his oldest daughter for a long time, but she has now been drug free for about six months, and we´re rebuilding our relationship. My daughters, though, doesn´t want to see her, and are not ready to forgive her. This is a long text, but it´s so complicated, so I felt I had to show you part of the picture.. I worked so hard to get back on track at work this fall and winter (I´m a project leader), and I also tried to rebuild the relationship I have with my own daughters. They suffered and didn´t get a whole lot of attention the last couple of years we lived together. A few weeks ago I just couldn´t cope at work. I haven´t slept well for months, back and neck has been killing me and I never feel rested, just wired and tired. I´m no longer able to do my job properly. I went to the doctor who put me on sick leave from my job, and referred med to a psychologist. She says I´m burned out and need to rest. Now I feel such doubt.. The love of my life seems so caught up in his daughter´s problems, and even though she has shown tremendous improvement, I know she´ll struggle for years. Sometimes I wonder if I should end the relationship because this is so exhausting. I fear it will break my heart, but still, all the stress is making me sick and depressed. Do you have any advice on how to deal with this? I feel torn.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 1 year ago.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am truly sorry to know about this sad and frustrating situation you have been facing for so long.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

It is very sad but real, and it appears the severity and length of thee issues have deeply impacted your and your daughters' lives.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

One things I use to say is that before anything, we all have the right, need and responsibility to take good care of ourselves, of this core relationship we have with ourselves, in order to be able to develop and promote healthy and fulfilling relationship with other people. If we happen to neglect or abuse ourselves, we end exposing to different forms of dysfunctional relationships, where we end being used, abused or neglected in different obvious or subtle ways. Many times couples could have very good intentions but ff there is no mutual respect, empathy, caring, accountability and support, no matter how much affection and longing you many have, it would not work. Now you know that from personal experience.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Taking good care of ourselves means setting healthy and clear boundaries about what is acceptable or not, so we could create and promote a healthy and harmonious life together as couples and families. If for any reason a partner stops playing this role, allowing any form of neglect or abuse to get in the way, then every effort and hard work could easily vanish.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Your health is showing you in very obvious ways how much these life events have undermined your personal health and family well-being, and it seems essential for you to reassess your core needs and expectations, to know what you are truly willing to afford or not in this relationship, once many consequences are already there and many more would come unless you improve the way you take care of yourself and children. There are many things you cannot control, including your partner's decisions and actions and his adult daughter, and they need to hold full accountability for their own choices and actions, the same way you need to do the same to take good care of yourself and daughters.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

If he is unable or unwilling to come to terms with reality and acknowledge how serious mental health issues his daughter has and his own need to work on improving their relationship and the way he supports her, then I do not see how this reality could significantly improve at all.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

She requires professional psychological treatment and he needs to work on improving the way he shares and supports her, otherwise he could end enabling further destructive behaviors. I think he naed to get professional counseling to work on his issues, eliminating any codependency limiting his ability to take good care of self and to support her daughter in healthier ways.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Does it make sense?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I strongly suggest you to commit to your rehabilitation process with psychothereutic support, in that way you would be able to get your health and power back to take good care of yourself and daughters, and to share in healthy ways in your relationships, knowing how to set boundaries and limits, and offer your best, XXXXX XXXXX self-sabotaging. Psychotherapy becomes a unique source of healing and support since allows us to explore creating insight, vent and process emotionally our experiences and develop further and better coping skills and assertiveness, leading us to take consistent actions, literally reshaping the way we think, feel and do things, setting the right priorities and learning from past mistakes and pain.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I believe each of you need to work on yourselves as individuals and in your relationships with your daughters, taking good care of yourselves first. Then you would be able to truly know what you want and are willing to afford or not, and to actually do work on rebuilding your relationship if both of you happen to feel that's what you want, and that you can make it work, not as before, but with clear minds, healed hearts, and full responsibility without allowing any form of neglect, abuse, manipulation or destructive pattern to get in the way. Nobody knows if that would happen, but you can only take care of what depends on you, yourself and daughters, then everything else time would show and you would know then and choose what you want to do, but that time it would be a strong, balanced and wiser you who would know and do things the way you want, need and deserve.

Customer:

Thank for your answer! What you say makes sense. I think you are right about the fact that I need to assess this relationship and what it is costing me. I will work on with a therapist, and try to regain my strength. I will suggest that he does the same, and it sounds like a couples therapist can be helpful too.

Customer:

Thank for your answer! Everything you say makes sense! I think you are right about the fact that I need to assess this relationship and what it is costing me. I will follow your advice and work with a therapist, and try to regain my strength. I will suggest that he does the same. I think you have a good point when you say that it will be easier to make decisions when I have learned to take of myself and my own needs.. Thanks again!

Customer:

(Oops, I thought my answer was erased and retyped it;-)

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You're very welcome. Thank you for your trust. Please take gentle care and consistent action.

Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
Rafael M.T.Therapist and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education