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We are continuing marriage counseling. My husband was told

We are continuing marriage counseling...
We are continuing marriage counseling. My husband was told to get all of the skeletons out of the closet. He now has admitted to having a one night stand with a customer while traveling a year ago. He regrets it and knows that it was wrong and he made a poor decision but still blames me totally for making him feel like we didin't have a marriage. He says now he wants to just stop talking about it and move forward and see if he can regain any feelings toward me. He knows that he did at one time since he married me but that he feels nothing but confusion and anger for me. I'm still concerned about him not having feelings for anybody or anything. Is it possible that he could regain feelings for me? He says he is starting to have feelings for our kids again. Is it possible that the anger toward me, the guilt of the affair, the stress of his job, thinking that our marriage was over, the extensive traveling of his job, juggling the lies of the most recent emotional affair could have caused him to just have an emotional breakdown? By working through the problems in our marriage will he be able to feel again? I want to try and salvage what is left of our marriage but I'm concerned that he may never regain feelings again. He accepts and is willing to get help for his anger issues on top of the marriage issues.
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Answered in 2 hours by:
1/19/2011
TherapistMarryAnn
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5,896
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like from what you described that your husband has a lot of emotional issues to work through. You can have problems in a marriage but no matter what happens, it should not cause an affair with someone else. Nor should the partner having the affair blame the other. The person having the affair is solely responsible for their behavior. He broke the trust in the relationship and that needs repaired, by him.

You mentioned he has trouble with feeling anything towards you or the kids. He also has a lot of anger. Has the therapist you are working with helped him explore any possible childhood issues that could cause your husband to withhold his feelings? Any abuse or neglect in his background? Also, inadequate parenting, such as a parent who is emotionally unavailable, can have a great effect on the kids. Is it possible your husband experienced this in his childhood? That would explain how he is reacting now.

It is good that your husband was checked out physically. Often, therapists refer patients for a physical before considering behavior to be psychological. This way, you know his issues can be dealt with in therapy.

It is possible for your husband to regain his feelings towards you but he needs to work out his issues first. The therapist should be able to help him with that, but he could also see someone on his own too.

There are some resources that can help you. One is http://www.5lovelanguages.com/. They offer great ways for couples to learn to communicate with one another. Another resource is After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful by Janis Abrahms Spring and Michael Spring and Communication: Key to Your Marriage: A Practical Guide to Creating a Happy, Fulfilling Relationship by H. Norman Wright. You can find the books on Amazon.com or your local library may have them for you.

I hope this helped you,

Kate

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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
I know that he was abused emotionally as a child by his father. That subject has been off limits to talk about during our 9 year marriage. Just recently he has been sharing bits and pieces of his childhood such as seeing his father come home and push around his mother, the constant yelling at him and his brothers. His dad also traveled alot for his job and was home on weekends and then left. Today, his father has parkinsons and I think there is still alot of unresolved feelings there. Most of the time he is very hostile at his dad but then still feels the need to be there to help his mother take care of him. I know he is fearful of turning int o his father. I have already told him that he well on his way. And he now sees how he has treated me by what I tell him I have felt like--he tells me that is exactly how his father has treated all of them.
I keep hoping it is a good sign that he is willing to go to counseling. How long I can get him to continue is yet to be determined. Do you believe that by working with our counselor on our marriage at the same time as working on him is a good thing? I'm also very concerned about all the anger he has towards me---like he says that I abandoned him and he has felt so alone for the past 2 years of our marriage. But yet he still comes home to me and during crisis he wants me to be there by him. Is any of this good or encouraging?

What you said makes a lot of sense and gives me a good idea of where this is coming from.

When you mentioned that your husband's father used to abuse his mother, it sounds as if he has the same kind of relationship with you. His father showed a lot of anger to his mother and now your husband is doing the same to you.

He also has unresolved feelings towards his father which is another sign he needs to work this through.

It sounds to me that most of the issues with your husband probably came from these unresolved feelings from childhood. There is a lot of anger, abuse and neglect from what you described.

I do think the additional therapy would help. However, I would talk with your current counselor to see what they think as well. They may also have some suggestions and possibly be able to refer your husband to someone who can work with them to coordinate treatment.

You may also want to suggest to your husband to try reading some books on abused kids. One good one is Adult Children of Abusive Parents by Steven Farmer. It is an excellent guide on emotions from childhood and how to deal with them.

Kate

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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
Do you feel there is hope for our marriage given all the layers to work through? Do you think my husband is capable of having a healthy fulfilling relationship with me given his past? Do you think that all of this has led him to have no feelings for anything or anybody?
Seeing him deteriorating like this breaks my heart and then I'm still trying to digest the information of him telling me 2 days ago of the one night stand he had a year ago.

It seems to me that if your husband is willing to work on his issues and then work on your marriage, then yes it can work. It is all up to him as to whether or not it will work since you already stated you want to stay in the marriage and are willing to work through the issues.

Kate

TherapistMarryAnn
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5,896
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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