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 TherapistJen Your Own Question

TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 2737
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Professional Coach
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
TherapistJen is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hi, my husband and I have been married for 10 1/2 years, together

This answer was rated:

Hi, my husband and I have been married for 10 1/2 years, together just over 11 years. We have been seperated for 7 months. The first 3 months my husband begged me to come home, I needed some time to work on some serious personal issues from my childhood. We were then trying to sort things out but in april he announces he wants a divorce. He has since been very up and down, one week he wants to see me, we have dinner and have been intimate on many occasions, the next week he says never and can be very cruel with the things he says. I really don't want to lose what we had, 90% of our relationship was amazing. I am very confused as to what to do, I begged him from April for weeks to try again, this was met with different responses every te from, give me some time to never!! I love him with all my heart and have been in counselling for 3 months now for my personal issues and am making good progress, I have now got a job and am feeling some self worth again. We have a5 year old daughter together. I miss him and love him with all my heart.
Hi. Welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families on a variety of issues.

I am glad to know that you are taking care of yourself and your personal struggles. i commend you for having the strength to do so. I am sorry that it has put a strain on your marriage to the point where things are now up in the air.

It sounds to me as if he is dealing with some very hurt feelings around this separation and is in self-protective mode. He seems angry and first he begged you to come back and you weren't ready and now you are...this seems to have caused some anger and that is why he can be so cruel.

I am glad you are in counseling and my hope would be that the two of you get into some counseling together to see if you can get back on the same page and move toward being together. It might also help him learn more about the things you have struggled with that played a part in the difficulties in the marriage so that he doesn't personalize it all. I am hoping he will be willing to do so in order for both of you to have that safe space to be as open as possible and listen to the other. His cruelty is because he has many feelings but doesnt have the proper outlet to express them. you need that too, so that the self esteem you have been acquiring doesnt take a hit each time you are with him or ask him to reconcile. Your continued personal work is crucial too.

Let me know your thoughts.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX a VERY proud and stubborn man, what is the best way to try to help him to let his pride go a little so that he might even consider trying to move our marriage forward rather than throwing it away by being stubborn, it almost feels like he is cutting his nose off to spite his face! I need to tread very carefully with him, he has to think everything is his idea or it's a no go. Any help with dealing with a man like this, in this situation, where it feels like I'm the only one trying, or who even cares anymore?
That makes sense to me about him being a proud man and because he has felt hurt he hasn't been able to fully articulate how he feels. And if it needs to come from him and be his idea i would suggest giving him the room and space to do so. Let him know you are desirous and willing to do what it takes and will give him the space to work out what he needs to.

If he needs things to be on his terms then giving him the space to come back how he sees fit might be the answer. Does that make sense?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
That is what I have been doing, leaving him alone to work his feelings out. But he contacts me, we have a lovely time together then he gets cruel. It's so hard. It's been months of him going back and forth, he has just picked our daughter up and looked so sad, it broke my heart but I can't ask him if he's ok or what is wrong as he will just blow up at me. If he didn't still care would he behave this way? Or would he just be indifferent and show no emotion whatsoever? I'm finding this all very, very hard as I miss him and love him do much. Sorry to keep asking questions!
Please dont apologize for talking more. That is what i am here for. Of course he still cares that is why he blows up. I do think he will come around in time as he is able to process all of this. He blows up because he is angry that he still loves you. Keep doing as you patient and be steady.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX feel as if I'm clinging onto nothing at times and that makes me feel a fool to be honest! Friends and family tell me to move on and they think after 7 months I should not feel as I do about him, but I can't help but love him! We planned to grow old together and I want nothing more. On one hand I think, so what if it takes another 7 months? What's that compared to the rest of our lives? But then I think, am I an idiot, is he ever coming back to me or am I kidding myself? My head is like a washer on full spin!!
You are not an love him and truly nobody can tell you to move on unless you feel it is time. You are not there and that is okay. You get to decide about waiting. If things dont feel like they are changing your heart will tell you and you will know when you are ready. Keep working on your self esteem and focus on you and your continued growth.
TherapistJen and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
He has thrown divorce at me again today, the third time in 7 months. He wants me to divorce him as apparently he can't afford to!! I'm devestated, he is so up and down but so stubborn. I feel that even if he wanted us together more than anything, he would now be too proud and stubborn to say so. I have kept a cool head every time we have spoken and not reacted to anything he has said, there is part of me that thinks its all to try to get a reaction out of me, but another part that thinks he might follow through with it.
I am sorry to hear this, but it sounds like more of the same. When he gets overwhelmed he throws these things at you. I like how you have been staying steady and not reacting. Just let it be for now and if he wants a divorce then he should be the one to pursue it.

And again, when you feel it is enough of this cycle of back and forth with him you will know it and will be stronger to make a decision that feels right for you rather than because of the roller coaster ride he has put you on. You can get off anytime.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I spoke to him this morning, he said he is a wreck and is just trying to get buy at the moment. I asked him if the divorce is honestly what he wants and he said that he can't go back to the up and downs we had before. He said he still cares but I feel he is scared of getting hurt again. How cani get him to see that I have made the changes to myself needed to stop it happening again? We are talking again tonight, any tips on what to say? He is still very angry and defensive over the relationship. The stubbornness is still there too. I. Want to make him see that we can have the good tea and that the bad tea that we had due to my past won't happen again. I know it wouldn't be perfect, what is? But I'm not the same person anymore.
It really comes down to a leap of faith for both of you....meaning that none of us can talk about every little thing and plan and predict how it will all go.

I think the thing to let him know is just are willing and desirous to take that leap of faith and hope he will too. You both have hurts and fears but together with care toward the other it can be worked through. If we all protect ourselves from the possibility of getting hurt, then none of us are truly living. In time he can see your changes, but he must be wiling to take that leap and let you in so he can see them.

He needs the reassurance and that will come from you telling him you are willing to do what it takes and then showing him in your actions if he is able to let go a bit and let you in.

Tell me your thoughts.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you, I do truly believ. Deep down that if he had a magic wand we would all be together again, I just don't know how to help him get past the past! The last thing I want is a divorce, I love him so much. I just hoping beyond hope that he will let go of the past. I mentioned counselling this morning as got a flat "no". I'm finding it hard to know how to say wha I want to him without it sounding like I'm begging him.
so give him the time to go through all of his feelings. Be steady, be patient and be loving. that is how he will feel safe again and hopefully let go of things form the past.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I have found out he is seeing someone, we were in bed together 10 weeks ago and now he is seeing someone else, for about 8 weeks I think. It is a friend of his mums who has 2 small children. There's a part of me that says give up but another that says it won't last, he couldn't take on someone else's kids, he still shows so much emotion toward me, he said not even a week ago if he saw me with someone else he would hate it!!! What is he doing? How do I get the picture of them in bed together out of my head? I'm devestated. I rang him yesterday after I found out and went mad at him, I know I shouldn't have and regret it now, he was so cruel on the phone "the wholes triage was miserable" "I want you out of my life" how can he be so up and down? He denies saying nice things to me or showing any emotion recently, I'm so confused and hurt.
I am truly sorry to hear all of this. I am also sad that you are taking responsibility for things that aren't yours to take. Of course you would call him and let him know how you feel and of course you would be so angry. You have been dancing around him and keeping your feelings inside as he does as he pleases.

When you ask what is he doing? He is being disrespectful toward you and your marriage.
He sounds to be quite selfish and self-absorbed and will continue to do as he pleases. Even if this affair with this other woman doesn't last there are still tremendous issues that need to be worked through and I do not hear that he has any willingness or desire to do so.

I would focus on you deserve to be treated with kindness and respect and he is not giving that on any level. You are worth it.

Related Relationship Questions