Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).
I am sorry to know about your situation. Each one of the issues you have reported could easily overwhelmed anybody in your shoes. facing all of them together is tough, and only you know how hard it feels.
You are absolutely right here about the need each of you have to work on personal issues in order to be able to work on healing and rebuilding your marriage.
rehabilitation from any addiction is tough and you seem to have been working very consistently even when undergoing so much stress, that is wonderful and shows your assertiveness, will power and love towards yourself and your loved ones.
On the other hand menopause and perimenopause problems are many times overwhelming for women, making it necessary to get both, medical and psychological support to work on coping with all the challenges this physiological change present, from physical transformations to self-image, poor or absent libido, mood changes and more.
You said it was the lack of communication and understanding what have been undermining your marriage in the past years, and there is where you need to focus now. I am sorry to know you got a negative impact from this "esoteric counselor", when what you need is a professional marriage an family therapist to truly support you and your
marriage instead of undermining it even more.
I use to say that marriage or couples counseling could be very powerful and beneficial but only as long as each spouse works on her-his personal issues first, otherwise they would distort and undermine the marriage because of unresolved personal problems. Then please, seriously consider individual professional psychotherapy/counseling for each of you, then professiona
l marriage counseling.
Anger is not a core feeling, but one we use when unable to vent and process painful feelings from life issues, that's what led you to develop depression. If both of you are truly willing to work on yourselves as individuals and as a couple, taking responsibility for your own mistakes and committing to making necessary changes with adequate professional support, then you have concrete chances for healing and growth from this crisis.
Does it make sense?
Repressing feelings is a form of avoidance, when people do not know how to effectively cope with painful feelings from life issues,
and holding them in, literally poisons and undermines the person's mental health and relationships, then depression and anxiety disorders as well as addictions are very common as unhealthy means to get some relief.
I do recommend a professional marriage and family therapist, since you need to work on marital issues, to work on them and for that a professional mediator cannot help you.
I will change from chat to postings for you to be able to read everything. Thanks.
Following the breakdown of reconciliation with the previous "counsellor"(3 months please see attached agreement ),we are both now willing to attend
another 3 to 6 months of counselling/psychotherapy intensive sessions.We still live separately, and that was at the request of my spouse who at the time desperately wanted more "freedom" as she could not deal with my situation .She is a high school teacher and carreers counsellor at her school and has her own earnings.I take care of all other expenses including 3 children at university in UK.
The last agreement provided that for the counselling period i would support her income by paying the rent of her own apartment.
My question is whether such support will help the process OR will make her feel more comfortable and less keen to work for a solution...
The second question is to clarify with the children(who so far been financially spoiled) my financial support/a budget agreement for the period of their studies and should such an agreement be in writing and to the extent of detail....
Following is a letter prepared jointly by my wife and the councellor on 12 April.
The actual agreement i have in pdf file , how can I forward it to you??
These past weeks with Wil may seem to be slow progress, but gradually I am becoming aware of the changes that we need to make in order to see positive growth in our lives.
Originally we had been talking about a ‘separation’ agreement but that is hard for both of us to digest, so I would say it is best to refer to the necessary change as a ‘solution’ . This solution has to involve spending time apart . This solution needs to happen as much to help me as to help you. It is to help us both to grow and and make the necessary changes to become a positive – rather than a negative - influence on each other.
This solution, or distance, is not a form of escape, nor is it a holiday. It comes with no guarantees but requires sacrifices. I am sacrificing the safety and security of my home in the hope of positive outcomes on both sides. I see this solution as a gift we give to each other.
By continuing the way we are, we try to put a sticking plaster on a festering wound! We keep each other imprisoned in old patterns. We keep each other on a leash and perpetuate our addictive relationship, so clearly, these patterns have to be broken.
This solution is scary but it is a step towards real freedom. You know me and my needs so well. By giving up the security of my home I am telling you that I trust you and I believe that we can resolve our respective issues and move towards a real and mature relationship of trust and respect.
For my part I will work on myself. Your challenge of freeing yourself from the dependency on pills is already a tremendous task and I do not want to be your distraction.
We were asked to make a list of things we want or expect from each other. I believe that your best intentions guide you and I trust that you will provide for me. Mutual trust will guide us to a better solution.
I want to do what is best for both of us and I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX this is it. We need to create a new basis from which to form a healthy relationship and this solution I give it to you wholeheartedly so that you can focus on your health. And what I need, in return, is your trust.
Catherine 12 April 2012
I have manage to copy the pdf text and I am attaching it below
24 April 2012
This last week we seem to have got lost in detail and have lost sight of the bigger picture and the real purpose behind what we need to do.
Before that, I want to reassure you of certain things:
- There is no issue about moving the family home - it is and will remain Anna Court;
- Our individual meetings and meetings together with Wil will continue so that we can make progress;
- Alexis – and all the kids - will know that his home is in Anna Court and he is free to stay in either place;
I feel the need to regroup and make it clear to myself and perhaps to us both what is going on and where we stand in all this.
As long as we stay together under the same roof we maintain the old habits which entrap us. My being there keeps us in the old habits; the medication keeps us in the old habits. We are blocked. That is why it is necessary to create this distance. This distance will energize us, and will allow us to progress.
We have to knock down before we can build up – we have to destroy the toxic relationship and break down the old patterns where we hold each other prisoner, each depending on the other. To do this we need the space to be apart and look at ourselves afresh. It will be the beginning of a healing process where we can build up a new relationship.
ME: to focus on myself; to understand myself better; to know what is good about me and how I can be better
YOU: to focus on yourself; to quit the medication; to be good to yourself; to find happiness
US: to establish a healthy relationship; to understand each other and communicate better
KIDS: To see us at peace and cooperating, working on our problems; to enjoy happiness in household
SO it is important that I move to a place where I will feel good during this period.
This solution will give us both a real chance to work and make progress. We each have an opportunity to improve ourselves. You see the situation from your perspective as I do from mine – but neither one of us is right or wrong. This move is a temporary solution which we must act on immediately for our own good and so that we can START to make progress.
We WANT to make a fresh and a positive start and I respect and trust you and BELIEVE in you.
It will be easier if – as you suggested – you take over payments for the children and grammar school.
So you can stop the EUR1,800 as well as the EUR1,100 payment. It would be good if you could look after the rent. I believe I can manage with that.
25 April 2012
We are still at a standstill trying to agree on a professional therapist,and i have some more questions ...
1. we still leave separately and my wife is demanding more money...and pleads that she does not have enough to live comfortably...Anyhow i think she has enough and living separate is temporary until some sort of solution.
However even if i feel she has enough, i fear that her reaction will be extreme if i dont agree to pay her rent and that the effort for a solution may be jeopardised......Ofcourse i feel supressed by many unreasonable demands but still hope (and was admitted by her that " I am not her problem" only her trigger) that she is finding a beggining to her real problems.She insists that the previous "esoteric school counsel"
has helped her and asks to we go back to her....
2 Does living apart for a prolonged period pose any dangers to the process..?ofcourse at the moment none of us 2 is ready to co habit as things are ....
3 My retired swiss friend (ex psychologist) is of the opinion that the therapy process w my wife must continue,separately ,as you suggested,
and he firmly believes that my detox to zero and my wellbeing is a milestone to the family, and that my real therapy on myself will start after zero detox , because he believes that the antidepressants that i take limits at present my ability for deeper therapy....whats your opinion?
4 My friend also advises me that i must travel once a month for a few days out of our island,as a break but also as a way to face my past fear of travelling (panick attacks in past ,insecurity of being out of control,no fear of planes...) I travelled to greece begining of july but been postponing it as the process is stagnated and not feeling my best..
Finally, I know that the future depends on my handling of my issues, which will influence the rest of family, and of course how long it will take my wife to come to a realisation ...
I have now almost closing a year since unsuccesfull detox,depression,loss of my mother, son getting involved in drugs, family break up.......tiring but thank God I am almost at the end of detox and physically fitter.
How does it bother me so much the break up? If i think logically i should abandon my wife for the treatment i received during my critical times, but i know deep down she has an option to free herself from all suffering ,suppressed feelings and blaming ....