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 very sorry to know about this situation
What you describe here is very sad and frustrating, truly overwhelming for most people in your shoes.
If he has been this reluctant to take good care of you and your family for all this long, not having you as a top priority in his life, then what gives you hope this could significantly improve after 20 years?
I see, praying is a wonderful tool , but when reality is pushing you this mush, and you and our children continue to suffer of the serious and chronic neglect, then praying would not be enough, you would need to reassess your own core priorities and needs and decide what you want to afford more and for long.
I am sure he would not, since his position is very selfish and controlling, and he feels confident you would continue to be unconditionally there taking it n o matter what, eh has learned that from all these years of neglect.
He is the only one with the power, right, and responsibility to make necessary changes in himself and in the role he plays in your lives, and as long as he chooses not to take good care of you, this situation would be hopeless, but you cannot continue suffering because of it, that would just worsen your situation and deteriorate your health and well-being even more.
Start by setting your health and happiness as the number one priority in your life, and from there you would be able to effectively cope, set and keep healthy boundaries and take consistent actions not to allow or enable any form of neglect or abuse, taking your power back you own your life and make of it something truly fulfilling.
Absolutely. There are spouses-husband who do a good job, but it is also true that there are many who are abusive and neglectful , who focus on material, financial, social or professional success, leaving aside the most important aspect of their lives, which are their spouses and families.
Individual psychotherapy would be the best intensive and direct way to work on yourself in order to heal, grow stronger and wiser, and to take consistent actions with the best possible support, for you not to self-sabotage but to make things happen, focusing on what you can and should control, while letting go what is unhealthy or dysfunctional.
They can, but only if they happen to have to afford painful consequences and do not have the means to keep fueling their own ego, dysfunctions, addictions and distorted ways, and most times they do everything to perpetuate and protect their dysfunctional lives.
it would take hard work with professional psychotherapy, and it would be a long term process, otherwise it would not happen.
While your husband has decided what and how he wants to live his life, you still need and deserve to choose what you really need, want ad deserve, you said you have two young children, and their lives are being shaped by this reality, and I think you nor them deserve to get more undermined because of your husband's choices and action.I agree, that's why setting priorities, healthy limits and boundaries about everything is essential, otherwise you would just be giving your life to one area while neglecting the other equally or more important ones
The very moment you allowed this serious neglect to start and be perpetuated this much you self-sabotages, and allowed your marriage and family to afford the consequences. You did not look for it, it was your husband who did ti, but tolerating it this long, enabled the whole illusion.
I think you have codependently tolerated and from there enabled this serious neglect for all this long, out of love and caring, but in ways that led you and your family to face this painful reality, where there is not real intimacy, happiness and fulfillment.
Absolutely, in Christianism, the more you suffer and "sacrifice" yourself, the holier you could get, but in real life, this approach could only lead to increasing self-sabotaging, suffering, dysfunction and to mental health disorders.
You need to start by coming to terms to the fact that you need and deserve to be happy and fulfilled at every level, and that everything assertive you may need to do in order to create such reality, must be embraced and implemented with full consistency with all the effective support you could get
No problem, I understand.
What time line would I need for psychotherapy say on average?
This is something that could depends a lot on different factors, but if you want an idea, I'd say that a weekly session for a couple of months and then every other week for three to four months would be the minimum to start this process. This is something that is planned after a direct assessment and discussion about core issues, needs and expectations with your therapist. Then it gets adjusted depending on your need and what you find out works the best for you. Flexibility is key here, since there is not two people with similar situations presenting the same needs, and even the same person, could change depending on specific circumstances and stressors..
Once you start this process, you would fins out a lot about yourself, and it would become clearer for you what and how you could work on necessary changes, and how effectively therapy is helping you in this process. Many times finding good therapist is a big challenge for most people, but it is necessary and absolutely worthy, once this is about your health, happiness and well-being.
I am here to support you as much as possible, thus please feel free to ask any further questions you may have. Thabk you for your trust.
You're very welcome.
I am very glad to know this happened.
I truly hope this is the start of a new phase in your lives, leading to more intimacy, trust, mutual understanding, support and fulfillment. You can but it would be just harder and take longer; it would be like learning to play piano by yourself, compared to having a piano instructor supporting you.
Remember that there s also online counseling/psychotherapy, which allows busy people or those who have other challenges limiting their access to regular face-to-face support, to work on themselves with professional help.
You mean of regular psychotherapy sessions?
That depends on the expertise and credentials the professional has, your location, whether it is at a community mental health clinic or trough private practice, and other factors.
It could go from $30 to 200 per session, you could truly find from more affordable to very expensive services depending on where you look for support.
Online counseling offers fully private and confidential support.
It's worthy reviewing it, even more when time, location, expertise availability and other factors affect your chances to get sound psychotherapeutic support.
Thank you for your trust. Please take your time, be careful when choosing a professional, since there are many bad ones, who are not even mature people an could have more serious mental health and personality problems that regular clients, what would not help but undermine your health. Take your time to assess at least 3 of hem for you to get good support, and do not think twice if after discussing about adjustments and concerns, she/he is unable or unwilling to support you the way you need and deserve, much better to look for a really good professional then.
If you have any further questions please feel free to contact me. I will be here to to support you as possible.
(Ideally, a marriage and family therapist would be the best professional to support both of you to work on any marital and family issues you may have).