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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5839
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I'm in a "toxic relationship". I've been in this

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I'm in a "toxic relationship". I've been in this relationship for 24 yrs. I'm also employed by my husband, whom I'm in the process to divorce him. In the meantime the business must go on to support our two teenage children. I have no friends or family to talk too. I try to remain strong for the business and for our kids. We still live together while I provide our mediator all our information that is required for the divorce and also for financial reasons. We are also trying to keep the divorce "quiet" for business sake. I'm always trying to be calm, professional, and a strong mother. But I feel that I can't continue this way for much longer. I need to confide in someone. I'm not crazy for not getting emotional, am I?

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

No, you are not crazy for not being emotional about this situation. You are trying to hold it all together right now, and trying to be calm and strong is what you feel is best for the moment. Many people going through a tough time will hold their emotions in so they can cope with the difficulties they are faced with. But once the difficult time is over, the emotions will come out. That is when you need to allow yourself to experience the grief and loss that come with divorce.

You may also need an outlet right now. Going through the stress of the divorce and holding your family together for as long as it takes is not easy. Most people begin to feel the stress and get to the point they need to talk about it or somehow express what they feel. Having no family or friends to share your feelings with means you have no support, which is vital in helping you through this time. A therapist would be a good option, but since it is not feasible for you right now, you could opt for support on line until you can make other arrangements. There are numerous support groups and helpful information on line. Here are some resources to help:

Also, find other ways to express how you feel. Some people find writing out their feelings in a journal or even in a private blog helps. You can also express yourself through art or music. You can have therapeutic benefit from something as simple as just turning up your stereo and dancing for fun. Use relaxation CDs, positive thought CDs, or read about increasing your self esteem.

Make some plans to go out of town with the kids once your divorce is final. Give yourself something to look forward to and some time to begin the grieving process. Even if you cannot afford much, try a long weekend somewhere. The change in scenery and a break may be all you need to help you begin your recovery.

I hope this has helped you,

I have not heard from you. May I help you any further?


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
what you have stated is that it is ok to feel this way. I've been told by my soon-to-be-ex is that "I'm cold hearted". I don't want him to control my emotions. I don't like to get to his level of anger. I sometimes slip up and let him get me upset but then I feel worse off. I just wanted to be sure I wasn't that way or it's ok. I also have to work with him and he can "vent off" and I have to be professional and upbeat when the patient comes to me or when I answer the phone. I shut my emotions "on and off". I do believe in positive energy and thinking. I was afraid that I was having a "nervous breakdown" because I wasn't crying or emotional all the time. Our lawyer expected me to be more "emotional'. That's why I contacted you. I needed to "talk".

I understand. But it is alright for you to control your feelings. You are not saying that you do not feel upset, you are just saying that you are controlling it. That is a big difference.

If you do not feel safe letting out your emotions in front of your husband, then you have good reason to keep your feelings under control. You cannot afford to show your feelings in front of him lest he take advantage. You also are at work so showing your feelings there would be a bad idea.

You are not cold hearted. Just careful in protecting yourself. There is nothing wrong with that.


TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I feel so much better! I thought I was loosing touch with myself. I was really afraid I was "not in a good mental state". Not able to communicate to anyone has really made my situation with the divorce and also having to work with him, worse. I was just unsure and I do feel better now. Thank you for your advice!

You're welcome! I am glad I could help.