Hello, I'm a retired teacher, 57, and in the past couple of weeks have had some health concerns, including endometrial biopsy and other screenings. My beloved partner of nine years doesn't seem supportive or loving. Yesterday I cried and told him it seems he doesn't even care, and he shut down the rest of the day. One other time several years ago I was very sick with the flu, and he became unavailable. I'm so scared and am even more scared that the man I love isn't going to help me through this. Is it too much to need and want this? Are there men who have the capacity to be nurturing, or is this typical? p.s. I should add that he is good to me and wonderful in other areas of our relationship.
Good morning, My name is Ja`Ree, I am a mental health counselor and would like to try to help you with your question.
I am sorry to hear about your health issues and hope that all will turn out well for you. In answer to if it is typical for men to not be emotionally available when their mate is ill; I can tell you there are men who can be very nurturing and others who for different are not able to be there emotionally during that time. I would like to explain this to you further and maybe help you find a way to work through it. If you would like to talk with me please reply to my message and I will get back to you as soon as I see your reply. Thank you for contacting Just Answer. Ja`Ree
Hi Ja'Ree, I appreciate your getting back with me. I sent the message at 3:54 a.m., as I couldn
't sleep. I finally went to sleep and just now am getting around to your reply. I do realize some men are more nurturing than others. This has hurt to the point I consider ending our relationship. However, he is a wonderful partner is many other ways.Friends and family see him as a good man,as do I. Leaving doesn't seem to be a solution. How can I find acceptance and resolve in his limited capacity to be nurturing? Also, how (specifically) can I demonstrate more self sufficiency so he doesn't withdraw from my "neediness?"
Hello, I know that it is very difficult to deal with what you are dealing with without the emotional support of the most important person in your life. However, it is encouraging to see that you do realize that he has such wonderful other qualities. I was wondering if you know if as a child or in his life if he lost someone to illness that makes it hard for him to be there for you. Also, if he sees you as a strong person and maybe it scares him when you cannot be strong and he does not know how to express that as men have a much harder time talking about their feelings. When you tried counseling, did you do it alone and was it helpful, or did you and him do the counseling together? One other thing, have you and him talked about how your illness affects him to maybe learn a little more about what is going on for him and how you can help him be there for you? I know there are a lot of question, however, it will give me more insight and enable me to answer your questions in a manner that will truly help you. I look forward to hearing back from you. Ja`Ree
JaRee, thank you for responding! I am just now beginning to feel a sense of trust in this correspondence. yes, he lost someone, his mother, when he was a middle-aged adult, raising his own family. miles away, he didn't participate in the nurturing of his mother's illness...it was his father. Psychologically, not just geographically, I believe he felt unable to help.
p.s. no doubt I have my own painful past....my mother, who struggled with so many emotional issues, committed suicide when I was 13
thank you...i really need help. I'm scared.
It is truly my pleasure and honor to try to be of service to you. It sounds as though both of you are dealing with a lot of unresolved pain and are not able to share it with each other. I am truly sorry for both of your loses. I know you must be scared and that is so understandable. Have you and your husband ever been able to talk about your loses and how these loses affect you today? Also, you didn't say whether you went to counseling alone or if the two of you went together and if it helped when you were going. Can you answer that for me please.
hi, we've been to counseling together, and separately. Spending lots of money as well, which could be all worth it. Just doesn't sem sure if we're making any progress.
Thank you for your reply. Sometimes with counseling it is a matter of giving it time, sometimes it is a matter of finding the right counselor that you can connect with and trust. It does have to be on a regular basis in order to develop the therapeutic relationship that permits you to completely trust the counselor enough to share your pain with. Our pain is something so private that we need a true bond with the person we share with. I hope that is making sense. If you find it hard to talk with your husband, one of the things I have my clients do is to write a letter to the other person because sometimes it is easier to say what we want to say in a letter instead of in person. I have them write it the first time just letting everything they feel come out on the paper. Then I have them rewrite it as many times as they want to until they know they are saying exactly what they want to say.
They then give the letter to the other person and ask them to read it on three different days to help them truly hear what is in their heart. Then for the two of them to make time when they can feel close and talk about what is in the letter. Everyone who has tried it as came back and told me it really helped them and the other person. I have them make sure that they acknowledge the other person's feelings first in the letter before they share their feelings. You are going through so much right now that I would hate for you to make a major decision about your marriage in the stress you are under. Would you consider finding a good therapist and see if they can help you work through all of this before you make a decision. They can also be a great source of encouragement and support during your time of illness. Maybe then you and he can try counseling together again. If money is an issue there are county mental health agencies that go by a sliding scale fee. Is any of this a help to you and will you consider the letter and the counselor.
Hello, I wanted to check to see if there is anything else I can help you with. Please let me know if I can assist you with any other questions. If not, please complete rating survey to allow me to receive my pay and assist our customers with the best answers possible. I have enjoyed assisting you and would like to follow up with you in a couple of weeks to see how things are going for you if you don't mind. Thank you again for contacting Just Answer. Ja`Ree