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 Kate McCoy Your Own Question

Kate McCoy
Kate McCoy, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5450
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
54658078
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
Kate McCoy is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have been married for 6 years. Textbook dysfunction....he

Customer Question

I have been married for 6 years. Textbook dysfunction....he is a sex addict and I am the codependent one. We have usually been very honest with each other and are both in recover 12 step programs. I am the pursuer in the relationship - and I know it pushes him away. Trying to battle my abandonment issues. One of the things he has alwys done is to give me the silent treatment - so painful. A week ago he announced that he hated me and wanted a divorce but he wouldnt leave the house. We have a 3 year old and him living in the basement and ignoring me has been very hard on her.
I have not done my typical thing and begged him to be reasonable and tried to make peace in any way I can. I am staying away and busy. I need to have some dignity. I do love him and want our family to stay together. But I am tired of fearfully begging him to stay with me.
I am struggling with separating what is my fear of being alone - my pride and I do not know how to handle this situation at all. Do I try to talk to him? Do I keep my distance and let him make the first move?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Kate McCoy replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like since you are working on your issues and have altered your behavior to stop asking for his attention and pursuing him, he may be "stepping up" his reaction to your recovery by removing himself from the main part of the home. In a way, he may be trying to trigger you into the past behavior that he has always counted on, you begging him to come back.

When someone gets into a cycle of behavior that feeds their needs, it can be very difficult to break, as you have experienced in your marriage. You are seeing your part in the situation and are addressing it. But his needs may be more deep seated than yours and therefore harder to break. He also may not have the insight that you do, making his reaction automatic so he can get the attention he wants and craves.

In coping with this situation, it is important that you stay on track with your recovery, no matter his reaction. You are doing the right thing by not asking him to come back. It is painful and hard to do. But I think he is also in pain too. He is trying to get you to react to his behavior because it is the only way he knows how to address his needs. And until one of you breaks this cycle, like you are doing, it will keep going. Also, it is important to note that he did not leave your home. Although he is not with your and your child, he is still there. If he had meant to leave, he would have. So that shows that this is more about his pain and needs than him actually wanting to leave. It may be a small comfort with what you are going through, but it can give you some hope that he will recover from this and stay in the marriage.

I hope this has helped you,
Kate
Kate McCoy, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5450
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
Kate McCoy and 3 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Kate thanks for your reply. Do you think it is best to just stay away - I know he is in pain and I know is history. Do you think there is a way I can show him I care and love him? I am worried that it will prevent him from hitting his bottom if I do it wrong - and this is new territory for me. I care deeply for him, but don't want to manipulate to meet my own needs. And when (IF) he comes to me - how do I handle that?

Expert:  Kate McCoy replied 1 year ago.
THIS ANSWER IS LOCKED!
You can view this answer by clicking here to Register or Login and paying $3.
If you've already paid for this answer, simply Login.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Last | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dear Debra

    Advice Columnist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1719
    I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DE/deedeeham/2011-1-24_51523_408.64x64.JPG Dear Debra's Avatar

    Dear Debra

    Advice Columnist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1719
    I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy's Avatar

    Kate McCoy

    Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    1235
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1215
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CO/CoachJenK/2012-3-9_31019_Jen.64x64.jpg Coach Jen K.'s Avatar

    Coach Jen K.

    LMSW, CPC

    Satisfied Customers:

    726
    Providing the utmost care and support.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IN/intrapsyc.com/2012-2-20_161928_RGMTPicturex5002012.64x64.png Rafael M.T.Therapist's Avatar

    Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    549
    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/HU/hungryjack20/IMG_1281_edit_2.64x64.jpg Dr. L's Avatar

    Dr. L

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    349
    Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/SU/suzmsw/2011-9-2_184634_Thisone.64x64.JPG Suzanne's Avatar

    Suzanne

    Therapist, LCSW

    Satisfied Customers:

    338
    Experienced in treating trauma, relationship issues, co-dependency