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LoveOneAnother
LoveOneAnother, Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 33
Experience:  13 years experience working with individuals in various capacities including counseling, leading, and teaching.
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Ive been married for 9 years. My husband is my best friend,

Customer Question

I've been married for 9 years. My husband is my best friend, and the love of my life. We live a very full and stressful life, and I'm afraid our marriage is suffering. We have 6 kids at home (blended family + foster kids we adopted together), and we are business partners.

The business is on the "tipping point" of success or failure, with huge financial implications on either side of the coin--much will be determined in the next few weeks.

We've always had a passionate relationship, with many fights, and many "make-ups". Our personalities are very different. It takes a lot to make me mad ("water off the duck", as my husband says), where my husband has a very short-fuse temper, and gets very mad quickly. When he gets mad, he stays mad, and gets very emotionally distant from me. So, even when I feel I'm "in the right", I will end up apologizing because I can't stand being mad that long, and I want the closeness back.

He has been working super hard on the business, and has developed a lot of good potential deals. He has been traveling a lot, for business. I have been supportive of most of it--but it's been hard to hear of him in sunny locations, eating great dinners, while I'm at home, scraping dollars, eating mac & cheese, keeping family, house and business churning in his abscence. But, all had been going well, and I know its for the best for the business.

However, there was a recent trip oversees for a Trade Show that I was not supportive of. (for many legit financial & business reasons). He booked the trip anyway. (violating our marriage policy of "enthusiastic agreement") I got even more mad, when he wanted to talk about his hotels, and sight seeing he wanted to do. Then, it turns out he only went to the Trade Show 2 of the 4 days, and left early to go to a location in Europe where I've always wanted to go. It happened on a particularly bad day for our business and for me. He texted me how he just had a 4 course dinner on the French Riveria, while I was stuck in traffic on my way home from a hell day at work, wondering if i had enough cans of tuna to make sandwiches for dinner.

We have not been able to talk that much, which has made it worse. He called me today, and I was at the office, so I couldn't talk openly to him. So, told him I had everything under control, and he proceeded to tell me all about another day of exploration and adventure. I told him that I was not interested in hearing about the details of his meals. He got mad. He texted me a few minutes later saying "You're not playing fair. Thanks for the warm thoughts. Talk Soon." I almost laughed. I'm not playing fair?!?? who booked the trip that I didn't agree with in the first place? and can't he be a LITTLE more sensitive to how I might perceive this?

I, of course, apologized for my crabby comment, and said I missed him and loved him, and things will be better when we are living the same life together again. He (short-term fuse again) over-reacted saying (texting) he's just going to close the business on Monday, and find a "real job". He also told me that I should go on a trip when he gets back b/c that is the only way he's going to hear the end of my nagging on this. I can't get a hold of him now, his phone is out of battery, and I won't be able to connect with him again until Monday.

He comes home on Monday, and I'm nervous. I am angry. So angry, and so many things, not just him. This is very unlike me to stay this mad for this long, so I'm worried there is something else wrong with me. I am so mad that I am waking up with fingernail marks in the palm of my hands from clentched fists. But anytime I get mad, about anything, he completely over-reacts. I want his homecoming to be happy, but I don't see that in the cards. How can I put this to rest? I think we are both on the same page that this is the result of the fact we did not have "enthusistic agreement" on this europe trip, but he is still blaming me. I know I could get "over this" very quickly if he made a LITTLE effort to make some deposits in my "love bank", but instead he is getting defensive and making me feel like I should apologize.

I just want to move on, and not be angry anymore.

Thoughts? Help!?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  LoveOneAnother replied 2 years ago.
Hi there,

First off, I must relay my admiration to you for being married for 9 years and having 6 years. You must have already gone through some pretty difficult times and I am sure the determination and perseverance you have displayed in these times will you get you through the next and future hurdles.

I hear you say that you eventually give in to your husband when you are in a debate about something, and even apologize for something that you did not do just to resolve the tension. While practically no one likes disagreement, this pattern in your behavior allows your husband the leeway to keep doing the things you do not like because he knows by now that you will eventually cave in just to have "peace." Even so, this is still not absolute warm and fuzzies because you are still feeling frustrated about the situation. What would it be like for you to not give in and be firm about what you want?

It does not seem fair to me either that he is off on practically a vacation while you and the children are almost starving. Sounds like you are feeling frustrated that he is not taking good care of you and the children's' needs. I validate your feelings. Have you tried talking with him about this and how does this go? Does he not feel for the rest of the family, and if not, can you depict what you are going through as you so beautifully did describing your experience in your question?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

To be fair, this is the first time he has been so blatant about making a decision that is clearly something I am not supportive of...and, I can afford more food--so we are far from "starving", but I don't feel right about spending a lot on groceries when we are on the tipping point on financial freedom or ruin (will know more in a few weeks).


 


So, I do feel he is caring for the family, and he has had a long, hard run, working as hard as he can on the business for the ultimate success for the family--so maybe he deserves a few days off.... But I just don't think it's fair that he expects that when he calls me that I am going to enthusiasically be asking about his trip, and all the details on his fabulous day, when I'm not having a good day. I'm wondering if I'm mad because of some stupid jealousy, and if so, it feels like I own that, and it's my problem.


The easy cave-in/apology to bring peace is an on-going problem.....but I'm not sure how to fix this. If I bring it up, it will be another fight. I have brought it up many times, and he says we both handle anger/arguments in different ways, and he handles it by taking some time/space to think it through that I misinterpret as emotional coolness (which if you saw him, it would be hard to not interpret it that way).


 


We have solved many problems, and this high stress just adding as gasoline to a fire. I'm just not sure how to prepare for his return. He is mad right now, and over-reacting. I want to tell him I'm angry, but I also don't know if I'm "right" to be angry, or if I'm really just mad/angry about many other things (including his travel behavior), and I'm just spinning with no resolution.


 


That's actually why I'm writing. I feel like I can't tell my friends or family because I don't want them to think he's a jerk, or to know what's going on with our business worries. It's hard, I feel like I have no "vent" to my steam-pot of anger/(Jealousy?).


 


I'm sure we'll just have to have a blow-out fight, where I can vent, and he can be mad for a few days, and then we move on.

Expert:  LoveOneAnother replied 2 years ago.
To be fair, I will write more tomorrow, as I am quite tired now. I am almost done for the night. If you would kindly type a single letter or phrase when you see my reply, then I can continue or I'll try reclicking on your question tomorrow.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks, have a goodnight.

Expert:  LoveOneAnother replied 2 years ago.
I appreciate your clarification of your circumstances, that your husband has been dutiful to provide for you in the past.

In regards to being angry that your husband is enjoying himself when you are not, if you flip the situation around, would you want him to rejoice with you or be angry if you were having a good time and he was not? I am just trying to produce some empathy here, what it is like to stand in someone else's shoes, if you will.

Also, even though you are working very hard, is there not a way to enjoy yourself at the same time? (e.g. turn on music or movies while you work, take time for yourself to do things you enjoy - self-care):

Self care is an act of loving yourself. Maybe the act is to nourish your mind, body or spirit. Whatever it is, you do something nurturing. You don’t put off from taking a needed break or having some me-time. You create a better relationship with self.

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(Read tip #69 – creating affirmation cards)

Self care is taking care of your inner home. And obviously, you do not wreck yourself apart when you undertake self-care. This means that you don’t give excuses for feeling tired, crying or going for an expensive pedicure. You please yourself rather than others. Very importantly, you do not experience guilt, shame or blame. So it may mean eating more, less or having an indulgence every now and then. You take a balanced approach to overall holistic well-being.

 

When taking care of a home, you would clear out the rubbish, clean, scrub, make it comfortable and beautify it. You feel nourished from within. There are many ways that you can undertake self care. Here are 70 Mind-Body-Spirit Ways….

1. Have a pampering massage. Book a session with a therapist instead of sitting on a massage chair. Get an hour-long full body massage for complete relaxation of your tense muscles.

2. Learn to say no. So you have been feeling overwhelmed because you are in the habit of saying yes to all kinds of requests? Learn to say no if you need some time and attention for yourself.

3. Meditate. This is my favorite tip! I enjoy being in a peaceful sanctuary, away from the noise, crowd and clutter. So whenever I am feeling tense, I would retreat into silence for a while. I practice breath meditation, allowing me to relax my mind. Consider incorporating this tip as part of your regular routine too! You will experience the benefits of mediation.

4. Have healthy meals. If you have been eating way too much over Christmas, New Year or any festive period, then give your body a break. Go easy on the meats and eat more of the greens.

5. Have a snack. It’s okay to indulge every once in a while, especially when you have already been pretty good at sticking to a healthy diet regime. Go snack if it makes you feel good – even if it is potato chips! Just know when to stop!

6. Wear comfortable clothes. Forget the skimpy G-string! Wear big comfortable undies.

7. Take a warm bath. Don’t just take a quick shower but soak yourself in a long and relaxing bath. You would feel rejuvenated for sure!

8. Go offline. Reduce mental clutter by going off the internet for a day or even a week.

9. Switch off your handphone. Just for a day or two, take a break from answering calls or responding to smses. It’s okay! The world won’t collapse without you.

10. Take an afternoon nap. If you are feeling tired during the day, take a nap. No excuses are needed, even if you end up sleeping way longer than what is considered a power nap.

11. Pick up a new hobby. It’s not about work all the time. Pick up a new hobby to nurture your soul. A crafty hobby, for instance, is about aligning yourself with “creative” energies.

12. Watch a funny movie. Heard of the phrase, “laughter is the best medicine”? A silly or funny show can just do the trick in helping you loosen up!

13. Journal. Writing your thoughts and feelings in your diary or on a blog is self-help therapy that does not cost you a single cent.

14. Take walks in the park. Another of my favorite tip. Spend time in a botanical garden of smiling orchids and experience wellness right away.

15. Do yoga. Yoga is a mind-body-spirit practice that helps you feel centered. Through appropriate yoga postures, you get to balance your chakras, stretch for exercise and experience a sense of connection with the universe.

16. Sing or listen to music. Singing is a vocal expression of your heart. It allows you to connect with your feelings. Putting on some music can also help you to get in touch with your soul.

17. Catch up with an old friend. Set aside some time to catch up for idle chit chat. Look up an old friend and laugh over old times.

18. Read comics. Comics make us think and laugh. Some offer a wonderful escape into an imaginary world, while others take us back to our childhood.

19. Sleep in on Sunday. It’s nice to be able to sleep in rather than wake up in a rush.

20. Write poetry. Expressing yourself through poetry is making music out of your thoughts and feelings.

21. Go for a card reading. Angelic or goddesses cards have nurturing messages. For self divination, try the packs by Doreen Virtue.

22. Do a detoxification cleanse. If you have been feeling lethargic, consider doing a cleansing routine. A detoxification cleanse helps to remove toxins, making you feel “lighter”, more energized and less tired.

23. Burn some aromatherapy candles. Use scent therapy to invoke the right mood, release your tension or simply to clear the air of toxins.

24. Remove physical clutter. Having excessive physical clutter around can weigh you down. Clear your desk to make some space. Throw away things that can no longer be used. And most certainly, give away your old clothes to the needy.

25. Play some music.
Play the piano, violin or any musical instrument that allows you to lose yourself in the moment.

26. Get a babysitter. Caring for your baby is important but it does not hurt to take a few hours off for some needed rest.

27. Reduce alcohol intake. Drinking alcohol to make you forget your worries is a short-sighted measure. Getting intoxicated does not erase your problems. Having clarity, on the other hand, helps.

28. Get some cleaning help. Take a break from having to do ironing or washing that dirty pile of plates in your kitchen sink. Hire help.

29. Go to the beach. Let the sea breeze work its magic on you. Feel the sand from below your feet. Get a lift in your spirits after a trip to the beach.

30. Have a delicious scoop or two of chocolate ice-cream – my favorite tip anytime!

31. Read a book. It always feels nice to curl up in a nice comfortable chair to read a great book from start to finish. A memoir that I recommend reading is Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

32. Scrapbook. Instead of simply creating scrapbook albums for photos, I have been using scrapbook ideas to make collections of inspirational quotes and sayings. My favorite pictures are featured here, here and here.

33. Flip through albums of old photographs. Old photos invoke happy memories. I enjoy going through my travel albums. Looking at my pictures – whether they are taken in Alaska, Mexico, Spain, England or Japan – makes me smile.

34. Bake a cake. Baking or cooking, for that matter, can be therapeutic. My husband enjoys cooking up a storm every once in a while.

35. Express appreciation for your blessings. Learn how to start a gratitude journal here.

36. Swing on a swing. There is something about swings that make many of us feel free, young and loving life!

37. Go for a swim. Whether we choose to take a dip or swim laps, being in the water makes us feel refreshed and revitalized. Which reminds me. I need to make use of the condominium pool downstairs more often!

38. Try retail therapy. It’s always nice to give yourself a treat every now and then. Once again, no excuses needed! Don’t stinge on yourself by buying presents for your children or others only. Buy something lovely for yourself, like a new shade of lipstick for instance!

39. Play with young children. Being around young children can bring out your child-like side. In case you are wondering, you have always had this side in you. Being child-like is to be who you are, without a worry in the world.

40. Paint. Painting is therapeutic self-care that you wouldn’t want to miss out on. The last time you painted may have been years ago, when you were little. You awaken the creative streak in you that has long been forgotten.

41. Dance. Dancing can be a form of relaxation for some. My daughter loves to dance in front of the mirror when no one is looking…ha. Forget about trying to master the moonwalk, just dance – with wild abandonment.

42. Pick up nature photography. Don’t just take family portraits or posed pictures, capture nature in its raw beauty. As you view through your lens, keep a record of the moments that take your breath away.

43. Listen to personal development audio tapes for self care. There are audios that you can purchase to build self esteem or calmness. Guided meditation tapes are also excellent buys!

44. Hug a soft cuddly teddy bear. Or ask for a hug from someone.

45. Practice some creative visualization. Engage in an afternoon of dreams by practicing the pink bubble technique for creative visualization.

46. Get a workout. Make use of the nearby gym facilities and get some exercise. Feel better after breaking out in beads of sweat!

47. Read a travel magazine. Let your mind take you away on a vacation. See yourself holidaying in the place that you have always wanted to go, and doing the things you have always wanted to do.

48. Take a holiday. Okay, I have to admit that nothing beats the actual experience of travel. Refrain from booking a group tour that tries to pack 10 countries in 5 days. Go on a leisurely one, instead. You can do many of your bookings yourself by researching online.

49. Go on a meditation retreat. A holiday and a retreat is not quite the same thing. For a holiday, your focus is about fun and relaxation. In a meditation retreat, you are setting aside dedicated days for quiet contemplation. Ever tried a Noble Silence retreat? Read about one of my experiences here.

50. Let go of emotional clutter. Spend an afternoon, night or simply allocate some time to clear emotional clutter. I do this at least 2-3 times per week, using emotional healing methods such as EFT or The Sedona Method.

51.Quit smoking. Smoking introduces toxins into your body. The chance of getting lung cancer goes up. Good self care is taking care of your body and getting rid of habits that do not serve you.

52. Have a vase of fresh flowers on your desk. This is a simple, yet often overlooked, tip. If you spend a long time at your desk, it is a great idea to bring in some nature and sunshine indoors.

53. Heal your inner child. Click here for more information on inner child healing. Need to book a personal consultation? If you are Singaporean, I offer face-to-face sessions. Contact me at abundancetapestry [at] gmail.com.

54. Listen to music. Putting on some music can also help you to get in touch with your soul. New age meditative music can be therapeutic, healing and calming.

55. Drink plenty of water. It is important to drink the daily 7-8 glasses of plain water daily. Juices, herbal teas or coffee do no count in this daily requirement.

56. Switch to herbal tea. To reduce intake of caffeine, cut down on the coffee that you are drinking. Consider a switch to herbal tea!

57. Shield yourself from negativity.
Find yourself surrounded by toxic criticism, scathing remarks and unsupportive comments? Stay away from people who are negative. If you need to be near them, consider shielding yourself energetically.

58. Write a love letter to yourself.
Project 10 years from now. Write a letter of love and encouragement to your current self.

59. Enhance yourself by attending workshops. There are different workshops that you can attend for enhancing the self. These include life coaching, public speaking, personal grooming and so on. Taking an active interest in your personal development is self-care.

60. Practice tai-chi. Tai-chi is a mind-body-spirit practice that is described as “meditation in motion”. At first awkward, you will eventually find yourself engaged in a graceful dance after some practice.

61. Trash email messages that you won’t read.
I know you have been meaning to but you have been too busy to read the pile of emails in your inbox. And you know that it will take you ages to get to them. Well, either organize them into folders for those that you are likely to read even after weeks or send those that you suspect you won’t ever read into the trash bin.

62. Take leisurely drives. Take a drive and check out areas that you have never ventured before. Doing so tunes you into the energetic vibrations of possibility, play and adventure. You release yourself from the repetitive strains of daily pressures.

63. Get grounded. If you find yourself being flighty and unable to get settled, then get some grounding done. Read this post on How to get Grounded.

64. Make a to-do list. If you have been feeling overwhelmed, sit down and make a list of to-do things, ranking them in priority. Getting your tasks down on paper gives you a clearer idea of what is or is not essential.

65. Brighten up your wardrobe. Forget about the sober blacks, dull greys and boring browns. Observe yourself brightening up when you wear clothes with colors.

66. Simply smile. With a guide on 17 types of smiles, you can’t go wrong. So look into the mirror and give yourself a wide smile. Go ahead, you deserve it!

67. Book a healing session. Maybe it is Reiki, Quantum touch or crystal therapy. Whatever the healing modality is, feel revitalized after a session of energy healing.

68. Reconnect with a family member. It’s time to rebuild the relationships that have been estranged by time and distance. Call a family member to reconnect. Set aside past grievances for inner healing.

69. Create affirmation cards. Putting your affirmations on cards can make great reminders. Flipping through them at a later stage also reinforces your commitment for self-care. Need ideas for affirmations? Check out my previous article 101 affirmations for children to get started on some.

70. Create a Vision Board. Create a vision board for self care. Cut and paste pictures of you and the aspects of self-care that you intend to focus on. Want to learn more about Vision Boards? Details of workshop and program to be announced soon!

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LoveOneAnother
LoveOneAnother
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13 years experience working with individuals in various capacities including counseling, leading, and teaching.