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Jen Helant
Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1124
Experience:  I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
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My husband wants a divorce and I am beside myself with guilt?

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My husband wants a divorce and I am beside myself with guilt? Some advise PLEASE!?
I am 38, been with my husband since I was 21, married at 25. He is 11 years older than me and from a foreign country. At 24 I left the US to mover here with him (Greece) and have been living here ever since. For the first few years of marriage I was so happy. I felt that God sent me an angel, a partner, a best friend, everything. Slowly but surely several years later I had a long list of complaints: He was not ambitious or organized. He was not optimistic and he was slow. I really didn't like having sex with him. We couldn't communicate - by this time last year we were fighting every weekend. I would pray for Monday to come so I could go to work again and not have to see him. Just about everything he did bothered me and I made it known to him. Pretty soon he avoided coming home - always had to "be somewhere." At the same time, I told him I felt that we were having problems and that we should see someone and he would always say NO WAY - you go see someone, I'm not seeing anyone. So, over the summer I had an affair. I told him about. This caused everything to fall apart. He moved out, left me here with the kids. In the beginning I thought this is what I wanted but since November I have been begging him to come back. On the one hand he is miserable and on the other he refused. I have had several complete meltdowns in front of him, begging him to come back, apologizing for everything, telling him I love him, I am sorry, he is the light of my life and I took so much for granted. Now he wants to finalize by going to a lawyer. My friends, family and therapist are telling me I will be fine but I feel I won't be. I feel like I ruined my life and I don't know what to do to get him back. And suggestions on how to get him back? Or how to deal with my guilt at least? I am always in a state of shock and panic and I can't even take care of my kids...
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 1 year ago.

jenhelant :

Hi,

jenhelant :

I am so sorry for the way you are feeling.

jenhelant :

Sometimes we feel we want our partners when they now want to leave us regardless if it was our wrong doing or not. People as humans in general tend to want more what they can not have. It sometimes it is due to the fact we took the person for granted. However, other times it is due just based on the fact that we now want it due to it not being within reach any longer as well as comfort. I would try and remind yourself of how you felt before this happened and what caused you to the affair. What of the affair never happened. Do you think you would still be miserable or happily married?

jenhelant :

It seems as the relationship was not working out. He even refused counseling and now yoiu are blaming yourself for ruining everything

jenhelant :

The fact is that it is not your fault. This does not make the affair right, but you should not be blaming yourself for the break up. This was just pretty much the "straw that broke the camels back"

jenhelant :

How would you feel if he were to stay?

jenhelant :

Think about it. Would that really ,make you happy or would you be left in the same,e situation as you were when you couldn't wait for Monday to go back to work?

jenhelant :

We can not change others and you have tried to make it work and he was unwilling so now he is divorcing due to the affair and disregarding everything else that happened in the relationship.

jenhelant :

It is a scary situation because he is what you have known and you find comfort in that, but you can definitely get passed him and be happier than you ever were.

Customer:

He did come back for about a month...but basically all i did was take a 'beating' every day - describing me as a monster and then breaking down crying and telling me I destroyed him. He feels he did nothing wrong all this time...today he told me he regretted marrying me and that I am a monster...

jenhelant :

It will take time, but I suggest keeping busy focusing on your children and what is important to you.

jenhelant :

I am so sorry he said that.

jenhelant :

Are you believing what he said?

jenhelant :

Did he give reasons?

Customer:

No I don't believe I am a monster. But I do believe that just because someone isn't the husband I wanted that I should have been so bitchy. He is such a sweet guy and loved me so much. He says, "okay I wasn't perfect either, but you just took a match and set everything on fire..." I am buying into this guilt. I keep trying to keep my head above water but every moment I feel like I am just going to break down and cry.....for being so mean...

jenhelant :

It is good that you are not believing that you are a monster, but that you are aware of your mistakes as well. The fact is no one is perfect and we all need to learn from our mistakes, but it does take two to make a marriage work.

jenhelant :

You both were at fault and you asked him to go to counselling and he refused. You could not force him to do that.

jenhelant :

He is blaming you for everything. Maybe you both took matches because he argued back as well. The first step in healing is to stop the blame and work together on making things right

jenhelant :

Blaming will not help

Customer:

I told him that many times... I told him he had to stop dismissing me whenever I spoke, that I was feeling invalidated. I told him that I needed him to spend more time with me, make me feel wanted....he didn't listen to any of it. Is there a way to get him back now? What do you think?

jenhelant :

Do you feel that if you were not "bitchy" then things would have been different?

jenhelant :

Think about what caused you to become like this? And why were you wanting so bad for Monday to come if it was just due to your attitude?

jenhelant :

It seems that he pushed you to become " bitchy" by his actions. This does not make it right and yes you could have handled it differently, but this does not change the fact that the problem would have still been there.

jenhelant :

Even if you handled it nicer this does not mean he would have changed. He still would need to admit his faults and want to change

jenhelant :

This may or may not have happened and based on the fact you have expressed your feelings and he disregarded them the chances of him admitting may have been slim

jenhelant :

The best way to get him back if you truly want to

jenhelant :

And I would be true to yourself about that answer

jenhelant :

Would be to tell him you will change your attitude and I would start counseling, so he sees you are serious

jenhelant :

Then give him some time to see that change

jenhelant :

Ask if things can be taken slowly and if you can still try

jenhelant :

Explain to him in a non judgmental way the things you were not happy about, but tell him rather than blame you want to work as a team

jenhelant :

Tell him you want to react different when there is a problem rather than make things worse

jenhelant :

Ask him if he is willing to start from scratch

jenhelant :

Tell him you are willing to work as a team. You want to know your faults as well as state his, so you both can come up with a plan together in order to do team work

jenhelant :

That way you are working together rather than against

jenhelant :

A letter would be good for because that will help you to perfect what you want to say as well as give him time to dwell on it rather than make a hasty decision.

jenhelant :

From there all you can do is give him space and time to cool down

jenhelant :

I am still here. If I can be of further help let me know. If I do not hear back from you I do wish you all the best, XXXXX XXXXX am still here if you need

Customer:

I have done all that. That was him on the phone. He is so depressed he wants to disappear

Customer:

that

Customer:

's him again... so sorry

jenhelant :

I am so sorry. You have done all that you could, but please do not blame yourself

jenhelant :

It sounds like he needs a shoulder to lean on

jenhelant :

Be that shoulder for him

jenhelant :

Tell him all the good in him a and how much you appreciate him

jenhelant :

Sometimes giving the person time makes a huge difference

Customer:

I am...

jenhelant :

Then you are doing all of the right things

jenhelant :

There really is no quick fix, but you are on the right track

Customer:

we're on the phone...

Customer:

thank you so much...

jenhelant :

It is my pleasure. Anytime please do come back even after rating me you can always follow up with me here

Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1124
Experience: I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
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