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Ask CounselorJules Your Own Question

CounselorJules, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 566
Experience:  Licensed Professional Counselor
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Oh JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about

Customer Question

Oh hello
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: Separated from my husband 4 years now He's in another country. He goes back and forth about he loves me then he wants to finish it but he never does anything. Finally I'm traveling to his country to knock him off fence but I really don't want to go there and I don't want a divorce
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Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  CounselorJules replied 6 months ago.
Good evening. I am happy to help you. Can you provide any additional information? In the meantime I will be working on your answer :)
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
More details.....he is tired of the drama and the fighting. I'm tired of the neglect and indecisiveness. I was abandoned and I have to chase after him so I'm angry with myself. Let's see..married in the United States 10 years then he lent back to his country. I don't know what other details to provide. You can ask me specifics if you want
Expert:  CounselorJules replied 6 months ago.
Thank you for that additional information. My interest is in how long altogether have you been married? Was your conflict based on past indiscretions or simply poor communication? I can help you process how to allow conflict to create opportunity. I teach relationship skills in my clinic, but also about healthy conflict and using it to actually become closer. How a couple fights is important :) 4 years is a long time to go back and forth and it may feel like you are an emotional hostage while he is debating on what he wants long-term. Not knowing his real feelings can lead to a great deal of insecurity. If you go to meet with him, I would suggest talking honestly and vulnerably about what you really want. Be motivated by love not the fear of rejection.Insecurity can be really hard to overcome, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that this has to be a part of your future relationship. You can focus on how you can use your insecurity to create intimacy, but you have to do this through honesty and vulnerability, rather than focusing on your anger. Sometimes we are reactive when we feel insecure. We really want to understand, but instead we react. There is a difference in responding and reacting. I am going to send some tips on healthy conflict and how it can lead to you guys becoming closer.There is no need to fear fighting, it is healthy— it open communication and leads to resolution. Often conflict shows us where we can or need to grow.When fighting, focus on the issue— not the person. you cannot attack someone’s character or go after their past mistakes to make them feel bad. You have to remain open to their statements and how it can be solution focused. It’s enough to deal with the problem without adding the new problem of hurting each other’s feelings.Also, listen to the other person when they are communicating. Be aware of your body language and tone when communicating. Sometimes we don’t realize that we begin to assert ourselves loudly and that escalates the situation. So talk softly and make eye contact. Be honest and vulnerable. His own vulnerability with you leads me to recognize he truly trusts you....It is also easy to be defensive, and it would seem natural to want to justify your feelings. Try to be curious about what they are saying, but not with sarcasm. Be sincere.Fighting ends when cooperation begins. Ask for options, ask what you can do to adjust your role and show empathy? Offering alternatives of your own shows that you also are willing to try something different and work toward a collaboration with him.Take ownership of your role too, make concessions to him about your fears and feelings. If you give a little, it makes room for the other person to make concessions too. This isn’t about scorekeeping. It’s about finding a solution that is workable for both of you.Be vulnerable and remember that anger is a secondary emotion that protects us when we are hurting, disappointed or scared…. Try to be honest with him and recognize how much is your issue to address without blaming him. I am going to share information from a couple of different sources that I have always found helpful.... These are based on philosophies of Jack Canfield and Louise Hay. I am a big fan of Jack Canfield, he has the books "Chicken Soup for The Soul." He talks about the "Law of Attraction" and using a simple equation to help us realize our goals and focus on achieving the things that we want. It is E+R=O. Events +Response= outcome. In life, we cannot always control the events that occur, but we can focus on what we want long term (outcome). So first, decide what it is that you want. Write it down and be very specific about the relationship, career, personal goals, etc that you have. Then think of every possible event that can affect your achievement of this. Then take the time to create potential responses to these. It creates a safety plan or at least some sort of tool that you have in your "toolbox" to help you continue to achieve that preferred outcome. It may sound silly. But I think it is always a good idea to feel prepared-- it tends to ease some anxiety too. It also keeps you "congruent" or from reacting or overreacting when something comes up.I want to share a bit more about Louise Hay with you. I am an optimist and tend to believe that I can use positive self-talk to affirm who I am regardless of what or how others may say or treat me. That is where Louise Hay comes in. She teaches affirmations and talks about recognizing our worth to help us get through the pain. I make lists of affirmations and read through them every day- especially at the beginning of the day or before bed. It is a great way to start and end. It is somewhat like the serenity prayer for me. I think of the blessings I received through that hurt and how I am going to focus on being a better woman tomorrow. I have quotes all over my clinical office to inspire me, and others. Some of them say things like "courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is that quiet voice at the end of the day that says I will try again tomorrow." I have had to learn to be patient with myself also. And accept that there are times when I am weak and hurt. God gave us a spectrum of emotions-- those emotions, even the painful ones, really are a gift. You have to remember that you are created for a purpose and you are the daughter of a king-- that kinda makes you a princess. HA. But, what I mean by that is your worth is far greater than the acceptance of another person.Please remember also that there is nothing wrong with using a bit of self-talk and self-love to reaffirm that. It's not self-indulgent- in fact it is appreciative for the blessings you have been granted. Try being patient with yourself but also telling yourself things such as "I am totally adequate for all situations." "I choose to feel good about myself. I am worthy of my own love." "I can stand on my own two feet. I accept and use my own power." "I take a deep breath and allow myself to relax. My entire body calms down." Some affirmations about relationships may be "I release the need for love, and instead, allow it to find me in the perfect time-space sequence." or "My heart is open and I speak with loving words." Even something like "I am comfortable looking in the mirror, recognizing who I am, and saying "I love you" to myself." For pain or forgiveness try "I am ready to be healed. I am willing to forgive. All is well." Or "I move beyond forgiveness or understanding. I have compassion for all." "Each day is a new opportunity. Yesterday is over and done. Today is the first day of my future." Even "the past has is over, so it has no power now. The thoughts of this moment create my future."Something that I learned about, is understanding the difference in two concepts that are often confused-- "Forgiveness and acceptance."I am typing the following from the book “I Can Do It” by Louise Hay. I think it offers an amazing explanation.“Forgiveness is a tricky and confusing concept for many people, but understanding the difference in acceptance and forgiveness is important. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean that you condone their behaviors. The act of forgiveness takes place in your own mind. It really has nothing to do with the other person, The reality of true forgiveness lies in setting yourself free from the pain. It is an act of releasing yourself from the negative energy that you’ve been holding on to. Also forgiveness doesn’t mean allowing the painful behaviors or actions of another to continue in your life. Sometimes forgiveness means letting go. You forgive that person and then you release them. Taking and stand and setting healthy boundaries is often the most loving thing you can do. “You have the freedom to make your life anything that you want it to be because you have freedom of choice.Something else to try is learning about one another's love languages. I would encourage you to try is understanding your love language and his. Gary Chapman found that there are 5 patterns of emotional connections and how we demonstrate them. He calls these our "love languages." The Love languages are words of affirmation, gifts, physical touch, quality time, and acts of service. I will explain a bit of these. Words of affirmation are based on demonstrating appreciation, approval, recognizing efforts made by you or your partner- on the flip side if you recognize that you are sensitive to criticism or perceived criticism this can be a sign that your love language may be words of affirmation. Gifts are about little tokens or offerings that suggest that you are thinking of someone. It can be simple or elaborate, but it's the thought that counts. As far as acts of service, a quote comes to mind, ”Actions speak louder than words.” Acts of service may include mowing the yard, helping with laundry, starting the dishes, making the bed, helping load the car or unload the car of groceries. It could even be something that helps someone else in their career— anything that offers support someone through an action. Quality Time is based on providing undivided attention to your partner. Turning off the TV, making eye contact, turning toward them as they communicate with you— it is about focusing on your partner without allowing distractions to occur. Finally, physical touch, there is power in tenderness. This does not have to include sexual touch, but more or less, gentleness. It can be holding hands, a stroke of their hair, a massage, or a simple hug. There is encouragement in touch.....This can help you meet your husband's needs, but also have yours met. Hope that addresses part of your question. Also you can think back on what led to some of your conflict-- this could be signs of what is needed in the relationship to feel more secure....Be vulnerable. Let him know what you mostly want. Show him that you want the marriage to work and that you are addressing your role in the past problems. If you don't want a divorce, don't settle for one :) but process what keeps you in the relationship and share with him what type of foundation that you want.... Let me know what you think!
Expert:  CounselorJules replied 6 months ago.
I just wanted to follow up with you regarding your question. I noticed that you had requested the live phone call, but maybe the information sent in the answer was enough. Please just let me know what I can do to help you :)

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