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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5823
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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My boyfriend has been going to counseling for over a year

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my boyfriend has been going to counseling for over a year now. He suffers from regular and winter depression. He is on meds and has been for a year. He was in a very emotionally abusive and controlling marriage that ended 5 years ago. After he went into a depression and never worked through the marriage (she also cheated on him) issues. He has severe avoidance issues and hasn't made much progress in his therapy. The last session he was asked to write a marriage history. A week and a half later, he hasn't done it or thought about it (he told me this). Then when I voice my concerns about no processing between sessions and avoidance of the assignment he gets very defensive, gives excuses (he had a busy week) and then says that there was no due date on the assignment. This avoidance is tearing us apart, I don't know how much longer I can wait for him to want to face it, and until he does we will continue to have problems. Will he ever face this or do I need to end I said counseling for over a year.

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

It sounds like your boyfriend went through a rough relationship that ended very badly. From what you said, it appears that he is grieving and is not willing to face dealing with recovery yet.

Whether or not you want to stay in the relationship or end it depends on how you feel this issue with your boyfriend is affecting your relationship with him. It also depends on if he is willing to work on the issues he has with you. At this point, he may be unable to focus on having a relationship with you because he has not yet dealt with the loss of his marriage.

Oftentimes, people start new relationships before they have completely dealt with the former one. This can bring all kinds of issues into the new relationship, much like your boyfriend did.

You have a few choices on how you can deal with this situation. One, you can wait until your boyfriend works out his issues with his counselor. Ask if you can go with him to see the counselor and express your concerns about your relationship and your boyfriend's reluctance to work on his issues with you.

Two, you can take a break from the relationship. Take some time away, and separate for a short period. See if this helps the situation. It would give your boyfriend time to work on his feelings and also give you time to see how you feel about your relationship.

Third, you can end the relationship. Although it is advisable that you slowly work up to ending the relationship, just so you can be sure, sometimes people feel sure they are not able to continue in their relationship and they need to move on.

Here is a book that may help you decide what to do. It is called Can Your Relationship Be Saved? How to Know Whether to Stay or Go (Rebuilding Books) by Michael S. Broder. You can find it on or your local library may have it available.

I hope this has helped you,


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