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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5778
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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Hi there, Ive been married for 6.5 years and together with

Customer Question

Hi there, I've been married for 6.5 years and together with my wife for 10. Over the past 12 months, I have threatened divorce out of frustration as well as lied to her and not shown affection for a lot of our marriage. After the latest threat of divorce a week and a half ago and calming down, I went to appologise and she now wants to go through with it. I realise the issue was with me and I have not only appologised but tried to show her. After spending the week trying to talk to her as well as doing small romantic things as well as cleaning the house etc, she told me yesterday that she has set up a profile on a dating site. This has completely shattered me and I don't know what to do. I keep thinking that she may be angry and is trying to hurt me but she tells me it makes her feel better.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

DoctorZ :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concerns

DoctorZ :

May I ask why out of frustration in the last 12 months have you threatened divorce and lied to your wife?

DoctorZ :

What exactly were your frustrated about and why do you think the issues lie with you?

Customer:

I felt that she was calling all the shots with the kids, home and everything else and these frustrations perpetuated to these outbursts

Customer:

Having reflected, I think the biggest thing with my frustrations that i felt also that she was not close to me anymore - i now realise she wasn't close because of my outbursts etc.

Customer:

I also realise that I wasn't affectionate

DoctorZ :

Have you told her this? Have you told her what has been bothering you?

Customer:

yes but only recently - i didn't realise it until i reflected and kept blaming her for it.

Customer:

she didn't accept this and has told me its too late.

DoctorZ :

Okay, well it does sound like she is angry and putting herself on a dating site may make her feel good, but I suspect that she is not fully committed to this. She wants to release some of her anger that directed at you

Customer:

i'm hoping for that but i'm really not sure how to deal with it.

DoctorZ :

I will have to say I think it is a good thing that you have reflected and realized what some of the roots were that caused your behavior, but you also have to know this cannot be fixed quickly

Customer:

we have 2 young kids together

DoctorZ :

It will take a lot of time and effort on both your parts

DoctorZ :

Have you considered couples therapy?

Customer:

i know that it cant' be fixed quickly but the problem is that i've begged and pleaded for her to give me 4 months so that we can work on the relationship and she won't have a bar of it. I also asked her to go to couples therapy but she said it was too late.

Customer:

ideally, i want to do all that it takes to fix this, no matter how long

DoctorZ :

I agree it does take time, but from what I read you have tried to apologize for the last week, so she has been very angry for the last week is that correct?

Customer:

i'm really not sure if she's angry - although she's been quite calm, she has put me down when i've tried to talk to her

DoctorZ :

Let me ask you do you think she still loves you?

Customer:

i've repeatedly asked her this question and she won't answer it. the only thing she's said so far is she definately loves me less than before

DoctorZ :

So there is still some love in there, but she is obviously hurt, which I think you agree is understandable

Customer:

absolutely

DoctorZ :

I would give her some space to be hurt, angry, and any other emotions she is feeling. If you keep pushing her for an answer or to talk to you, it most likely will push her away further

DoctorZ :

She has to process a lot of things, reflect, and come to you. Keep being supportive and doing sweet things for her, but dont push her

DoctorZ :

If there is still love there, then the relationship is still worth fighting for

Customer:

i'm starting to realise that - i guess this is a two fold question - how do I cope with the time to calm down and is there a point when I should give up

Customer:

also, its really hard to give the space when our home is on the same property that I work at - i

Customer:

* i'm living in the hotel on the property now as well

Customer:

also hard because of the kids

DoctorZ :

I understand that it is hard to give her space, i mean obviously you can talk to her, watch tv, have meals, but do not push her to talk about these issues until she is ready

Customer:

ok

DoctorZ :

Now how to cope is the difficult part. Anytime you feel an urge to talk to her about your marriage, do some activity that will keep you busy and something that you enjoy. Like jogging, listen to music, work on something, crafting, etc...

Customer:

i'm trying that, truly am but it doesn't seem to help

DoctorZ :

Also seeing an individual therapist may help you with coping and talking about these issues with someone. Also it may show your wife that you are really trying to change

Customer:

ok

Customer:

how long does it usually take a person to calm down to talk - I know people are individuals but as a guide???

DoctorZ :

Coping with the anxiety and the unknown is never meant to be easy, it takes a lot of hard work. Sometimes a little trick that I have used with patients to stop certain behaviors is take a rubberband and put it on your wrist. Anytime you get a compulsive feeling or thought to talk to you wife about your marriage, snap the rubber band on your wrist to consciously remind you not to. And then go straight to another activity to keep your mind busy.

DoctorZ :

Nights will be the hardest by the way because that is usually when we are alone with our thoughts the most

Customer:

that doesn't sound like a bad idea

Customer:

and true, the nights have been the worst

DoctorZ :

It really depends on the person and how hurt they are, so I cannot give you and accurate timeline. I have seen some people calm down in a couple weeks and some people in a couple months. But I have never seen anybody take longer than 3 months. Also in between the time, your wife may ask you random questions at times about your thoughts and feelings, so typically it is not a total silent treatment regarding this

Customer:

ok

Customer:

that makes sense

Customer:

I'm going to have to run now, its 6.30 in the morning in australia and I've been allowed to say good morning to the kids.

Customer:

thank you so much for your help, its clarified a lot for me

DoctorZ :

Okay no problem, I am glad I can help

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5778
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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Dr. Z
Dr. Z
Mental Health Professional
5778 Satisfied Customers
Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.