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Ask Coach Jen K. Your Own Question

Coach Jen K.
Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1723
Experience:  Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Life Coach
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Hi Coach Jen, I am writing to you because I have screwed

Resolved Question:

Hi Coach Jen,

I am writing to you because I have screwed up royally with my wife. I have gotten into some legal trouble with my previous employer and may have potentially hurt our financial situation. My wife is really angry with me, and has hurt our already fragile trust we have had over the past few years. We have a three year old, and she has said in the past that she does not trust me alone with our son because I am irresponsible, do not pay attention and "zone out" when I am around our son. I admit that I have screwed up in the past. I left our son on our stairs and walked away. I did it a number of times and I am very sorry. Luckily, he did not get hurt and I should have been paying attention.

Suffice to say, this latest incident with my former employer has caused even more distrust in our marriage. Can you please tell me how to make amends and get my marriage back on solid footing ?

I have suggested marriage counseling, but she wants nothing to do with it as she said that marriage counseling is B.S. and that it doesn't work.

I know I have hurt my wife, whom I love very much and I want to change and make amends. Unfortunately, she does not believe that I can change, which makes me feel down.

Can you please help ? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks,
M.S.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 11 months ago.

Coach Jen K. :

Hi and welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families on a variety of issues.

Coach Jen K. :

I applaud your honesty first and foremost!

Coach Jen K. :

I am disappointed to hear that she thinks marriage counseling is BS...clearly I feel otherwise.

Coach Jen K. :

I might suggest since she is unwilling at this point, that you get into some individual counseling to figure out what is going on for you and why you are getting into legal troubles and why can get distracted with your child.

Coach Jen K. :

It happens to all of us, although we don't like to believe that.

Customer:

I have been in counseling for a few years now

Coach Jen K. :

Is your wife very hard on you about many things?

Customer:

When it comes to raising our child - yes

Coach Jen K. :

i am glad you are in counseling. Do you find it helping you?

Customer:

Yes I do, I have learned a lot about myself,

Customer:

I tend to try too hard and think too much

Customer:

I have been told to think more about the present, than the future or past

Coach Jen K. :

not atypical...we as women think we know it best all the time. Sadly that isn't good for any of us...our children or our spouse.

Coach Jen K. :

It sounds like the more you are criticized the harder you try and doubt yourself too

Customer:

Jen, I love my wife and son with all my heart and soul. I want to make things right again. Unfortunately, she is really pissed at me

Coach Jen K. :

I would give it some time but while doing so, let her know that you are aware of your failings as a husband and a father and are doing and will do what is necessary to build trust again.

Coach Jen K. :

you will take her lead and do what it takes.

Coach Jen K. :

then giving some space for her to sort it out in her mind could be helpful too.

Coach Jen K. :

why the distraction with your son, do you think?

Customer:

I guess I will have to. Sometimes I can be pushy because I want a resolution right away

Customer:

Our son is acting out because he knows something is wrong with mommy & daddy

Coach Jen K. :

ahh again, the differences between men and women. we need time to process even stew and come back and connect when we are ready

Customer:

Ok, that's good advice

Customer:

I have a fear that I am going to lose her forever

Coach Jen K. :

that is why I suggest letting her know how you understand, take responsibility and will give her the time to heal while being there how she needs

Coach Jen K. :

yes and the more that fear guides you, the more you push and the more she pulls away.

Customer:

She is a great gal and is the best thing that has ever happened to me. If we break up, people will blame me

Customer:

they will label me as a screw up

Coach Jen K. :

"honey, I love you. I have made mistakes and keep asking you to trust in me. I see how I have hurt you and our son. I will give you the time to heal, but I love you and our Son and will do what it takes to stay together."

Coach Jen K. :

who is they? and I hate labels. we all do some things that arent great.

Customer:

my family

Coach Jen K. :

I am sorry you have had that label put on you. make the changes for you and that will impact your wife and child.

Customer:

I just want us to be a happy family that bonds together. Things were great when we first got married,

Customer:

When we had kids, things changed

Coach Jen K. :

it always does...sometimes in better way and sometimes in more difficult ways.

Customer:

Unfortunately, she does not like my family, when before, she did

Coach Jen K. :

how long are you married?

Customer:

it will be six years in a couple of weeks.

Customer:

I asked her if she wanted to do anything for our anniversary, and her response was "I do not even want to think about that right now"

Coach Jen K. :

ok and so dont push her..I know thats hard for you, but let it rest

Coach Jen K. :

has she said she is going to leave you?

Customer:

yes it is hard.

Customer:

not yet

Coach Jen K. :

ok, so hang onto that. give her space...we need it in order to reconnect. Trust me on this....it is how we females do it

Coach Jen K. :

we are not quick fixes

Coach Jen K. :

annoying perhaps, but true.

Customer:

LOL.....I hear ya. I am a very ambitious, get it done type of person

Coach Jen K. :

yes I can hear it and the two styles right now are bumping into each other.

Customer:

I have Executive Management qualities

Coach Jen K. :

I can hear them!!! :-)

Coach Jen K. :

that is not how a marriage or fatherhood works...put that on the back burner when you walk in the door.

Customer:

she went out with her mom and took our son with her to do some "shopping therapy"

Customer:

her mom, will probably buy something for her.

Coach Jen K. :

lol that could be a good thing. do not harass her when she comes home...let things be.

Customer:

what should I say / Do ?

Coach Jen K. :

Hope you had a great time with your mom!

Coach Jen K. :

did you get anything fun?

Customer:

ok, I will tell you that I sometimes feel jealous she spends so much time with her mom

Coach Jen K. :

I sensed it which is why I suggested that statement.

Customer:

she comes from a very tight knit, traditional Italian family where family is everything

Coach Jen K. :

the jealousy thing is not helpful.

Coach Jen K. :

I want you to look at it this way....the more she connects with others, the happier she feels in the world. the tighter you hold her, the less happy she will be

Customer:

I know, my son is now very close with her mom, but very distant with my family and that hurts me

Coach Jen K. :

that is understandable. your son is young so keep giving him time with your family so he can develop a lot of healthy relationships

Customer:

unfortunately, she has put up roadblocks with seeing my family.

Coach Jen K. :

why/

Coach Jen K. :

?

Customer:

She feels that my mom & dad have certain qualities that are detrimental to a child's development

Coach Jen K. :

and what qualities are those?

Customer:

passive aggressiveness, nit picking,

Coach Jen K. :

your wife seems critical of a lot and would do better judging less.

Coach Jen K. :

your son will benefit from love and if they give that to him then great. he can be shielded from passive/aggressive behavior if that really exists

Customer:

I agree, but she says she is looking out for the welfare of our child and she does not want anyone to screw it up

Coach Jen K. :

well then she will have a lot of difficulties in life with that view as she will meet many along the way who do not share her views and that over protecting could also be detrimental to him

Customer:

I know, her mom is like that. I have heard her mom say: "I have been criticized for being over-protective, but you do not sacrifice the life of your child or put them in danger...."

Coach Jen K. :

and that is true...but you also need to let children grow, experience, learn.

Coach Jen K. :

I am not suggesting putting a child in harms way, but I cant imagine being around his dads parents qualifies as harm.

Coach Jen K. :

they love him and care for him and havent done anything to put him at risk?

Customer:

IMO, no, however, at our son's Birthday party this past year, my dad picked up our son

Customer:

My dad claims that Matty came to him when he called him and then he walked into the kitchen, where my mom took a picture

Coach Jen K. :

I am confused. He is not allowed to pick up your son?

Customer:

my wife and brother in law claim that my dad grabbed Matthew, that he did not come to him

Customer:

Coincidentally, that evening, Matthew was very clingy to mom, shy, and not himself

Coach Jen K. :

this sounds a bit much and you sound like you are up against some tough nonsense.

Customer:

it is much, I have tried to resolve it, but to no avail.

Coach Jen K. :

did your wife make a big deal in front of him when your dad picked him up? could taht have scared him and cause mistrust

Customer:

my parents are not bad people. Yes, they have their quirks, but hurting or dominating my son is not one of them

Coach Jen K. :

I am in complete agreement that marriage therapy is in order but if she wont go then all you can do is continue to work on yourself.

Coach Jen K. :

I hear loving grandparents!

Coach Jen K. :

and a Dad!

Customer:

my wife grabbed Matty and then took him in the other room

Customer:

where her mom was, and I heard her saying to her mom, "see, he wants to sink his claws into him.."

Coach Jen K. :

yes and your child sensed that so it makes sense he would be clingy. That behavior wasnt in the best interest of Matty

Coach Jen K. :

yowza.

Customer:

my wife claims that my dad traumatized him and caused him to regress 6 months

Coach Jen K. :

Heavy duty statements.

Coach Jen K. :

and even if he did grab him as grandparents can do...then the appropriate thing for her to have said is Dad, please don't grab him like that, wait for him to come and play with you.

Customer:

so as you can see I have been dealing with this since Matty was born and trying to find solutions to correct the problem. But my parents are getting hurt, and I am too/

Coach Jen K. :

I hear it all around and feel for you.

Customer:

I agree, look I need to go. She is home. My email address is LXXX@XXXXXX.XXX

Coach Jen K. :

these philosophies they have are going to be difficult to change...not likely

Coach Jen K. :

i cannot email you.

Coach Jen K. :

please take a moment to offer a rating and come back and request me

Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1723
Experience: Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Life Coach
Coach Jen K. and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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