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psychlady, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 6893
Experience:  Psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of a variety of mental health issues.
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I have been having a very difficult time with pain

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I have been having a very difficult time with pain associated with my illness. Particularly these last few days. I have been suffering a lot (autoimmune disease). And am considering taking steroids to cal it down some.
My husband is generally not good with emotional connects, and is very functional.
This hurts me a lot (his emotional limitations). My therapist after meeting with him,
Asked me to reconsider what he is capable of and what I can reasonably expect by
Way of emotional connection which the therapist also acknowledges his limits.
However, now that I suffer so much, my emotional needs are much greater.
Not only is he limited in what he can give me, but he goes out of his way to
Do activities with kids and connects more with them than me. Sometimes
He is giving me equal attention, but mostly he puts kids needs before my needs.
What's difficult is that I come from a home with neglect, and he comes from
A home where kids come first. He tries to spend more time with me but today
When I am so in need, he failed. In fact he went to go play tennis with my son,
When I have tune worst pain ever. And yesterdaycwhen I tried talking about my
Suffering, he was looking at the blackberry not giving me any attention, giving me
Half answers. When I sat in the waiting room with him today, he was standing
Looking at the blackberry, never once sat down next to me. He always looks
At the blackberry when at home. I know he is trying to show care when he gives
Me fruit, or goes to work, or fixes my car, or helps with dishes, ect..
Ut he is highly functional which helps a lot. Ut what I need the most is emotional
Support. I am hurting, on the curve of tears and he is going to play tennis?
He admits putting kids before me because my son suffers with depression.
What abput me? How do I feel? I am scared (due to pain). And it totally
Takes Way from my concentration. And when I look over at him, I see a
Functional man. Thats all I see. He is limited emotionally even when I am
Not suffering. Now that my emotional needs are increased, he is an alien.
No intimacy, no connection beyond the surface. He knows I am hurt.
He told moe he will make time for me tomorrow. Why bother?
I thought I could deal with his limits, because I have limits too.
I have physical limits due to my illness, but it is too hard. He often
Puts kids before me. I feel alone, isolated, in pain, with no real
Support (except financial and physical help which is admirable).
But their is nothing beyond that. Advice please? I try to talk to my
Friends, and have a support group online, but when I look at him,
It feels hollow. I see it as either acceptance or not. Be ause it hurts
Me so much, I am looking for other ways to reduce the pain, or
Try to reach a level of acceptance. Thank you.

The issue is first and foremost is whether you can live with emotional isolation.. You have tried marriage counseling and talked about your differences. You can access marriage counseling online if you think that this final try will change your lives. There has to be communication and he has to listen. I would revisit this discussion first. I would give him structure at first. Plan an activity that takes your illness into account but is quality couple time (have him pick up dinner with a bottle of wine - no children). Try having this discussion with the consequence that will follow if he is not willing to try. Maybe then he will get it. Get a agreement from him that he will make a concerted effort to be a better husband. If you need to find a resource on communication read Mars and Venus in the Bedroom. You have to decide if you have had enough or you are willing to still try. Only you can decide that

If this has been helpful press accept

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Even if he gets it somehow, and plans activities within my limits, and puts forth effort-
Will he really get it? (emotional needs are off his radar screen as the therapist put it),
Meaning we can spend time together, but after a while of talking current events,
And eventually feeling shallow, will things change or can intimacy still build
Despite his emotional limits?
It was easier when I was healthy and we had lots of shared activities and
Were also intimate. The illness weakened this type of bond, it feels very
Isolating but I have a serious illness, and am not in a position to walk away.
I don't know that he will get it. That is why I recommended marriage counseling online but that has no guarantees either. Under normal ci rcumstances being as unhappy as you are I would recommend trial separation, but I knew your illness wouldn't support that. Is there a way to do this in your home? Wouldn't that create more isolation. You have to keep trying if you are too ill to leave. Is there no activity now that you can share
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I can get him to go with me say once a week to take a drive to the shore, probably successfully.
He puts forth effort, which does satisfy me somewhat. I guess any attention he gives me is better than no
Attention. But I don't know if it wil help us connect on a deeper level. I tried counseling online and it
Helped somewhat when we were in a crisis, but that's about it. Can I teach by example?
Make plans , give hugs.... I could try... But, the question remains, will it ever reach that deeper
Level, or will I feel like I am giving, and he gives back, but I won't ever really feel it in the way
I need it, when I talk emotional stuff, he shys away from it, and is uncomfortable.
So maybe we can reach a certain level with effort, but will it meet my needs?
Cam I teach?
What discoveries does he have to make in order to reach that level (if ever). ?
I think teaching by example is the best way to get what you want. He may come around eventually. He may not have been taught to be kind through actions. He may really not know how to be what you want but it may be in there. He just has to make a commitment. If he recognizes the problem he can fix it especially with your guidance. He has to acknowledge that he is not emotional, identify what he needs to do and then do this. The major discovery needed is learning how emotionally knowledgeable he is or is not. What makes him this unemotional and how to fix it.
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