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JR, M.A.
JR, M.A., Mental Health Professional
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 184
Experience:  I have a master's degree in clinical psychology and am currently finishing my doctoral degree.
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my wife and i are separated for 8 weeks. she moved out after

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my wife and i are separated for 8 weeks. she moved out after i drank a beer after mowing the lawn on a hot day. see, i had a stroke on jan 25th and alcohol was a factor in my health issues. so when i did this she ripped the wedding ring off her finger, threw it at me, screamed "why would you do this to me?" and said "that's it!!!" i have been sober since, attending aa meetings, personal individual counseling, etc. my wife has included me in most every day, dinners, dvd movies at her apt., movies out, we're really spending good time together. every day. based on her words alone, i'd think that my marriage is doomed. however, i've committed myself thru the lord to improving and showing her that i can be "the man she fell in love with" (those were her words to me..she made the statement recently that "you're the man i fell in love with." my question: do i have a chance to save this marriage. what resources do you recommend?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  JR, M.A. replied 5 years ago.

Hi Customer,

 

First of all, good for you for being so honest about your problem. It sounds like you are taking the right steps to change your life. I'm glad that you are using your faith to help you through this struggle. I am a psychologist and a Christian, so given what you said about your faith, I will make recommendations to you based on that. It may seem like your wife overreacted to you having one beer, but her reaction was built on years of hurt most likely. As she said, that was the last straw. She could not stand to watch you destroy yourself with something as stupid as beer. It sounds like you realize this and are willing to do whatever it takes to change. I absolutely think your marriage has a chance. I would not tell you this if I did not believe it. Your attitude tells me that you are capable of change. However, you are going to have to work harder than you have ever worked before to prove to your wife that you are a changed man. She wants her man back and I think I can recommend a couple great resources for you. I have used these in my professional work and have actually utilized these for my own marriage. I think they are wonderful and life changing. First, I recommend that you go out and buy a book called, "Love and Respect." This book is Christian based and provides very detailed step by step tips for improving your relationship. Even if you are not a Christian, you can greatly benefit from the advice. You will learn more about yourself and your wife. She may want to read it with you at some point, but just focus on you for the meantime. You will enjoy this book and it will encourage you to try no matter what. Trust me...read the whole book. Second, I recommend that you get the book, "The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage." This is another book that I find to be excellent for couples. You will learn so much from these books. I absolutely love them and I'm a psychologist...so hopefully that communicates something about the value of these books. Read the books and follow the advice. You are fighting an uphill battle but you can do it! It is time to be a real man and fight for your wife's love. God Bless!

 

If you found this answer helpful, please click ACCEPT so that I get paid for my work. Bonuses are greatly appreciated if you found my answer worthy. For future questions, please type "question for JR" to request me. I would be happy to help you with mental health and relationship questions.

JR, M.A., Mental Health Professional
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 184
Experience: I have a master's degree in clinical psychology and am currently finishing my doctoral degree.
JR, M.A. and 2 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

many reasons i think i have a good chance to reconcile. my problem is impatience. i've had people say i should initiate sexual contact, give ultimatums, force the issue. hoever i know my wife. that's not gonna work.

 

my counselor has suggested she only attend one out of 4 or 5 sessions with me. we're adhering to that schedule.

 

she wouldn't spend as much time with me as she does (she's always pleasant) unless she wanted to be with me. that's my theory anyway. make sense? also, she introduced me to a co-worker as "my husband." that felt good.

Expert:  JR, M.A. replied 5 years ago.

Hi Customer,

 

I think the books I recommended will help you to understand your wife a little better. Also, I think it will validate some of your feelings and encourage you. You will be doing yourself a big favor by reading them.

 

I totally agree with you with respect to her desire to be with you. She would not be spending as much time with you if she really wanted to be apart from you. I think she is probably just afraid that you aren't going to change and go back to drinking. However, when she referred to you as her husband...that is a very good sign. I agree with your therapist with respect to the schedule. You really need to focus on yourself and get some support from your therapist. Eventually, you might benefit from marital therapy with another therapist who does not know either one of you...that is to make it fair to your wife.

 

I think you can take a deep breath...she wants to be with you. She is just afraid to commit all the way just yet. Keep showing her the new you and she will be back for good. It is really that simple. By reading those books I recommended, you will just enhance yourself.

 

Best Luck!

 

If you found this answer helpful, please click ACCEPT so that I get paid for my work. Bonuses are greatly appreciated if you found my help worthy. Please request me in the future by typing "question for JR" in the subject line.

JR, M.A., Mental Health Professional
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 184
Experience: I have a master's degree in clinical psychology and am currently finishing my doctoral degree.
JR, M.A. and 2 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

JR,

why does it seem that when i get close, she sometimes acts distant. tonite is a good example. we've spent several nice evenings in a row together. y'know, the kind that might give a guy hope. then tonite, she doesn't want to hang out because she's tired from going to work at 6:30 this morning. she does work hard, many hours, so i understand, and that's what is keeping me stay sane when she says she doesn't want to take the kids to the community showing of pirates of the carribean at the local park. on the flip side of that coin, last weekend on a sunday drive up to the mountains where we used to camp quite a bit, she said "it's nice to be around you when you're not so tense. positive feedback to my progress, i hope.

Expert:  JR, M.A. replied 5 years ago.

Hi Customer,

 

It sounds like you are naturally very tense and she enjoys being around you when you are displaying more patience and calmness. I think you may be reading into the situation too much on this occasion. Your wife is probably just tired and does not want to be a drag on you. It is no fun to spend time with someone when they are irritable. Maybe she is just trying to spare you from spending time with her when she knows she might be cranky. The fact that she has spent several nice evenings with you in a row is a great sign. Let me assure you...this is not the behavior of a woman who no longer is interested. You are changing, but it will take time to put back together the damaged aspects of your relationship. I think your impatience may be coming into play here. You want immediate results and by her turning you down tonight, you are assuming the worst possible scenario. Stop that negative thinking...it isn't going to get you anywhere. You are doing everything in your power to reconnect with your wife. Now is the time to sit down and pray...give your concerns to God. Don't allow your impatience or anxiety to ruin the reunion of your marriage. One night does not mean anything. My wife and I work hard and get tired and sometimes we do not want to be around each other. Now if she started turning you down every night...that would be a different story. I think you are in good shape here...just get the materials I suggest and start applying it. Your wife will melt back into your arms the way she used to. Don't allow anxiety or impatience to drive you back to bad habits...keep moving forward. You are doing GREAT! Please feel free to request me for future questions.

 

JR, M.A., Mental Health Professional
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 184
Experience: I have a master's degree in clinical psychology and am currently finishing my doctoral degree.
JR, M.A. and 2 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

JR,

so here's what happened today. she came by to help me clean some stuff out of the garage. she set her cell phone down. it has text messaging. in her text messages was two messages from her step-nephew (her step-brother's son). so his first text message to her was "how do you like being single", to which she replies "i like it a lot." his second message was "been on any dates?" i didn't see her reply to that one because i was too sick to my stomach to look.

 

what the hell? how could you interpret that???? i am scared to death, man. i am working my ass off to save this marriage, in the face of that comment, it makes it hard.

 

Expert:  JR, M.A. replied 5 years ago.

Hi Customer,

 

First off, I do not think it was wise of you to look at her cell phone messages. This is probably the type of "tense" behavior you described earlier. If you keep that up and she catches you...you will be digging your own grave. As I said before...STOP and BREATHE! For all you know, the step-nephew has no clue about what has been going on between the two of you lately...that is, that you are getting along with her now. I bet she does like being "single" because you are acting a whole lot nicer now. Before...you were just the unappreciative guy who would rather have a beer than watch out for his health and well-being. You need to accept that you are going to have to win your wife back. Don't freak out...she likes the calm you. She WANTS the calm you! Not the overbearing...looking at her phone...can't stop worrying you! Look...you just need to make yourself someone who is pleasant to be around. She has been on dates...WITH YOU!!! Treat your wife like your GIRLFRIEND! Do not expect anything in return. You screwed this one up and you need to fix it by sucking it up and giving it all you got. Now, I do not mean to be harsh with you...but now is not the time to panic, it is the time to give all you got to make her happy. You need to just go along with what she wants and try your best to smile and give her genuine compliments. Tell her how much you have enjoyed spending time with her and tell her that you are sorry for taking her for granted. Tell her that you were such a fool to not value you her more! Then take a breath...you cannot control her, man! You can only try to love her. Stop making a mountain out of a mole hill. Show her how calm, relaxed, and fun you can be! Go buy her some flowers! Tell her that she deserves to have a man treat her right! Do something good with your anxiety...don't just get scared....GET GOING and do something nice for her. She is the queen in your life...treat her like it for goodness sake.

 

 

 

 

JR, M.A., Mental Health Professional
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 184
Experience: I have a master's degree in clinical psychology and am currently finishing my doctoral degree.
JR, M.A. and 2 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

JR,

i guess what i meant was, who is this punk ass 25 yr old to stick his nose in like that when i'm trying to save a marriage? i don't wanna be interfered with, by some kid, putting ideas in her head when we're seemingly getting along. i'm wondering, might a note or email, something tangible, be appropriate right now. i wanna feel like she's noticing and accepting my efforts.

Expert:  JR, M.A. replied 5 years ago.

Hi Customer,

 

Ya, I'm not really sure why the nephew was getting involved but that does not really matter right now. I think you should probably sit down with your wife and ask her if she really wants to give your marriage another shot. Tell her that you are working and will continue to work to show her how much she means to you. Tell her how scared you are to lose her. Tell her that you could not stand to live the rest of your life without the joy of sharing it with her. See how she responds and then you will have some clarity. You seem very upset right now and perhaps this little discussion will at least give you some hope. Tell her that you are willing to take it as slow as she would like to. Be relaxed but be sincere.

 

If you found this answer helpful, please click ACCEPT so that I get paid for my work. Bonuses are greatly appreciated if you found my answer worthy. Please request me for future questions by typing "question for JR" in the subject line.

 

 

JR, M.A., Mental Health Professional
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 184
Experience: I have a master's degree in clinical psychology and am currently finishing my doctoral degree.
JR, M.A. and 2 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

JR,

the problem i have with asking her, as you said: "if she really wants to give your marriage another shot."

 

is that she has stated that, "if i told you i was giving you a chance, how different would you act from the past 20 years?"

 

i have made many mistakes and tried to cover them up with short term promises. it's almost pathological. i wouldn't trust me. this, i believe, is her "put up or shut up" to me. i've learned my lesson, i've seen the consequemces of my actions. i am clean and sober for life. in fact this week i'm going to a meeting that they're gonna give me the opportunity to talk about "not going back." i can't. no matter how skilled i get at covering up my drinking troubles, one drink, i lose it all, family included. hey, maybe i've already lost it, but this "chance" that i'm being given by my wife is it, the last shot i'll ever have. if i want to keep them i can never go back. relapse is not an option. also, i've given my life to the lord, and he's made it clear that he does not approve of the drinking life for me.

 

thanks for all your input. you'll get paid. my card, i think, was turned down, but its one of those rechargeable debit cards. i'll fix it sunday.

Expert:  JR, M.A. replied 5 years ago.

Hi Customer,

 

I agree with what you said above. I do believe this will be your last chance with your wife. Drinking is equivalent to throwing that all away...I think that ought to motivate you to stay dry! You need to sit down and tell her "i have made many mistakes and tried to cover them up with short term promises. it's almost pathological. i wouldn't trust me. this, i believe, is her "put up or shut up" to me. i've learned my lesson, i've seen the consequences of my actions. i am clean and sober for life." What you said to me sounded very genuine...you need to tell her this and admit to your pathological behaviors in the past. Tell her that you have realized you will never have another chance and that you have hurt her too much. If you tell her all of this....make sure that you tell her you intend to prove everything you say with your actions. She needs to know that this is not an empty promise. Did you get "Love and Respect" yet? That book will really help you out a lot.

JR, M.A., Mental Health Professional
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 184
Experience: I have a master's degree in clinical psychology and am currently finishing my doctoral degree.
JR, M.A. and 2 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  JR, M.A. replied 5 years ago.

Hi Customer,

 

For some reason the question you posted was sent to health. I am in the process of getting it sent back to me. I will be able to answer you after I get it sent back. If you want, you can post it back in relationships yourself...just copy and paste it and post it in relationships again. Sorry about that...it is a problem with the website sometimes.

 

thanks!

JR, M.A., Mental Health Professional
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 184
Experience: I have a master's degree in clinical psychology and am currently finishing my doctoral degree.
JR, M.A. and 2 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you

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