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Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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This may be an overly complicated issue for a simple online

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This may be an overly complicated issue for a simple online answer, but I thought I'd start somewhere. I'll try to be as concise as possible. My wife and I own our own home in Los Angeles. We can pay the bills, but there is no savings, and about $6,000 in credit card debt. I own my own business, which is basically a subsistence income. My wife wanted to have a child, and while I was hesitant at first, I am very happy that we did. However, we are running into tension. I work about 60 hours per week, and am unable to cut my hours at the moment, or it will be impossible for me to help pay our mortgage. She is upset that I do not help enough with our son. I help as much as I possibly can when I'm at home, but I can't be at work and at home at the same time. My wife has decided to go back to school to get her PhD, and she will have to work at least part time while going. This will make the job of raising our son even more difficult. Generally, he will have less time with either of us, but it's something I think we can manage with enough planning and effort. However, my wife is discussing the desire to have a second child, which is keeping me awake at night. We have to pay our mortgage. I must work more than full-time hours. She wants full-time graduate school, and will have to work part time. We have no current savings beyond the investment in our home. On top of it all, she wants two children. From my perspective, this seems totally unrealistic and nearly impossible. My wife thinks I'm an eternal pessimist, while I think she's optimistic beyond reality. I want to make her happy, do what's right for our son, and hopefully not grind myself down into a life of stress and misery. But ultimately I feel like I have to ask her the question, "Just how many dreams do you think one person can fulfill?" Anyway, this is my conundrum. I'm not even really sure if I asked a proper question, but this is the situation.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 1 year ago.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

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).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am sorry to know about this very frustrating situation

Customer:

Thanks Rafael. I don't think this is an uncommon issue, but it's certainly daunting.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You're welcome. This is a very common problem, and it's overwhelmignly frustrating to be in your shoes, for those who have gone through it.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

The scenario you described is very concrete. You do have a credit card debt for a few thousands of dollars, you have to pay your mortgage, you are already working 1.5 full time job and find no much time to enjoy your child neither to be able to support with parenting, house chores nor to share with your wife as much as most couples would expect.

Customer:

Indeed. My wife gets very defensive when I mention the overwhelming nature of the situation.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

In your current situation, your wife is already unsatisfied with the limited time you have, the challenges of raising your only son, but she has decided to start full time graduate school plus keep a part-time job and to have a second child. This is not about assumptions or speculations but reality. if you in your present situation have been hardly coping with stress from responsibilities, challenges and issues from time and financial limitations, how could you handle adding so much extra significant expenses, taking so much more from your time, finances, little tranquility and who is going to raise your son , specially now that he is little?

Customer:

I'm not even handling the stress of the thought of the responsibility of a second child, much less the actual event. I want to be able to tell her that she's going to have to make some hard choices, but she doesn't seem to like having to make those hard choices. Rather, she wants to do it all and let things sort themselves out. I don't see the world that way. Simply unsure how to approach her about my concerns.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

This must be addressed with a realistic approach based on your concrete situation. Dreams are wonderful and necessary guiding our lives and efforts to literally shape situations through concrete effort and work, but they would become destructive illusions if we disregard reality, concrete limitations, needs and responsibilities, pushing things and yourselves too much.

Customer:

I'm of the same conclusion. I guess I just need to sit down and have a very hard conversation with her and hope for the best. It's good to hear that I'm not merely being a Debbie Downer. She seems to be of the conclusion that I'm afraid to take risks. But yes, I am afraid of taking the risk of losing our home, or having children with parents that are never around.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Spouses could only build a healthy and fulfilling reality, family and life together if able to be %100 honest, open and direct with each other, taking full responsibility for their own feelings, choices and actions. If you are even afraid of confronting her distorted thinking and plans, which would deeply undermine your lives, then nothing healthy would come from it, since things would just happen without control, insight, accountability nor assertiveness, and you are adults not children. I can see you are clear about it, but she is just far away from grasping it, but both have been together for a while and still seem not to have the communication and intimacy necessary to discuss and address these issues, and present crisis is pushing you to become aware of these needs, so to start working on them.

Customer:

Most of the time we communicate pretty well, but it's a perception issue. My dream was to start my own business. I fulfilled it, and I'm satisfied with that. Her dream was to buy a house, get a dog, then get a second dog, then have a child, then go back to school. Yet she is unhappy that she's having to do the lion's share of the work with our son because she doesn't get any "me" time. I don't get "me" time either. I work 7 days per week. You're right though. It's time to just have a "come to Jesus" conversation, so to speak.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Absolutely, it is about setting the right priorities and being fully responsible for taking good care of your health and well-being, and one core priority here should be the needs your son has to be raised as a healthy and happy human being. One common and tragic error many couples make, is to focus on gathering material wealth, while literally neglecting their children, and the worst is that they convince themselves that they do "sacrifice" themselves for their happiness and well-being, and that's a huge delusion, and time and life shows the consequences, and clearly differentiates what is healthy from what is dysfunctional.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Correct, and if there is such a distance between your approached, even marriage counseling could be necessary in order for you to develop a healthy and constructive dialogue, leading to concrete an dd consistent actions and improvements instead of self-sabotaging your marriage and family, because of lack of assertiveness, insight and accountability.

Customer:

Thanks. I think I just primarily needed an objective opinion about whether I was simply being too negative, or actually looking at things from a realistic, concrete perspective before approaching this conversation with her.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Everything i a relationship must be mutual for it to work. If a spouse just follows what the other wants as a way to please her and to avoid conflict, it would never work but become very dysfunctional. Conflict and crisis are essential in relationships as long as happen to be constructive ones, led by assertive communication, honesty, accountability and a positive and caring attitude, setting the right priorities and taking one step at a time.

Customer:

You've helped a lot, Rafael. Thanks. I guess I'd have one final question. In your professional opinion, rather than telling her I think she needs to think about making some hard choices, would it be more wise to ask her how she plans to achieve all of these things she wants to accomplish?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You're very welcome. being realistic and optimistic at the same time is not incompatible as long as approached with responsibility, maturity, assertiveness and real respect and caring for each other and for the most important aspects of your life, namely your child and you own physical and mental health and well-being, since it is from there that your happiness and fulfillment develop.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Absolutely, be proactive, literally invite her to work with you on assessing her plans and the means and resources available to make them work, while setting the right priorities. Be empathic, understanding, gentle and loving, but not passive nor codependent, since that would only enable further illusions and dysfunction for sure.

Customer:

Thank you Rafael. This is very good advice. I appreciate your assistance. Have a good holiday weekend.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am glad to know this has been this helpful, please feel free to contact me again as needed, and if you consider professional and confidential counseling, you could also find them available here:https://pearl.etherapi.com/connectme/164

Customer:

Great, thanks. Take care.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Please remember, on justanswer.com, your information is NOT confidential, but is public. On pearl.etherapi.com, we can speak confidentially, over a secure network. I am willing to support you either way.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

No problem. You too! Bye for now.

Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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Rafael M.T.Therapist
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MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach