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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5810
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I have been in a relationship with my husband for over 23

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I have been in a relationship with my husband for over 23 years. Soon after we started dating I was attacked and held for 2 days, I kept this from him until recently. Our whole realtionship has been colored by this event. He has been very angery and even abusive to me and I stayed with him because I felt very guilty over what had happened. I know the event was not my fault, but I did set the stage that allowed it to take place. Now I am considering divorce but we have 5 children. We are in therapy but how do I know when it is time to stop working on these problems and just move on. He can't seem to stop blaming me and making excuses for his behavior. I know what I did.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

I was struck by how much insight you have into how your trauma affected your marriage. It is understandable how you would feel after such a traumatic event and it seems you have worked to deal with how you feel successfully.

You mentioned that you and your husband have been through marriage therapy and you did not feel it helped your husband to deal with your marriage any better than before. It becomes a very difficult decision then to decide what your options are. If you feel that this will always be an issue between you, then you may want to tell your husband that you do not feel you can continue in your marriage. Talk with him first and see what he has to say.

Depending on his reaction, you can decide if you want to stay or go. It is a very difficult decision and one that you should take your time with. You don't want to feel later that you made a mistake.

Do you have any trusted friends or family you can talk with about this situation? If you leave the marriage, you will need support so talking with them will help either way. Also, you may want to see a therapist by yourself. They can help you make the decision or if you do choose to go, they can be an additional support to you during the divorce.

Also, if you attend church, you may want to talk with your pastor. They are often very well trained in marital therapy and can help you come to a decision about what to do.

You can also have a trial separation to see how it works. If you find that you feel better when you are away from your husband, that will give you your answer. A separation also gives you a chance to work out living arrangements (if you leave the home) and other details while still married.

Here are some books to help you. One is called Should I Stay Or Go? : How Controlled Separation (CS) Can Save Your Marriage by Lee Raffel. Another is How to Know If It's Time to Go: A 10-Step Reality Test for Your Marriage by Dr. Lawrence Birnbach and Dr. Beverly Hyman. You can find these both on or your local library may have them available.

I hope this has helped you,


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