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Heidi LPC
Heidi LPC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 278
Experience:  Licensed Professional Counselor
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Heidi Everything is going slightly bizzarly here if the

Customer Question

Hello Heidi
Everything is going slightly bizzarly here if the truth be known. I have been quite happily seeing my older man who is great, he cooked me a goose egg on toast the other day, he left me in bed and put a robe out for me to wear when I was ready to get up and went to cook lunch. Fantastic. He flew to Boston a few days ago to visit friends but will be back on friday so he is going to call on Saturday.
I was all ready to pack up and move out at the weekend as I had had another weekend of feeling out down by my husband. I took my young horse to a competetion on Saturday and Mr Old man can to watch as he says he enjoys horse things. He certainly was hands on helping with putting rugs on and off and fetching tack and holding the horse etc and watched me warm up and do both tests and even commented that we were the prettiest combination there ( I think we were as well!) I was 3rd in both tests which was fantastic considering that the horse has only been in training a couple of months.
Of course I got home and was asked how I got on then when I said 3rd he said were there only 3 in the class, lovely. Anyway I was feeling really fed up and my son and I were talking and to cut a long story short he said he didn't think Daddy loved me as much as everyone else does which was hard to hear and he asked why Daddy always had a frowning face and grumpy words.
I screwed up my courage and had another talk to him on Tuesday night, I was explicit about needing to see change or I was leaving. He reacted by being angry which is what I anticipated and even verged on blackmail, telling me if I took our son away it would devastate his parents (they live next door).
But on Wed he really made an effort, he took me out for lunch and suggested we went on a 'date' tonight to the cinema. He even texted me to ask how the dentist with our son went which I really appreciated.
Its early days and today he has been a trifle sour but I feel like I have to have a go at making it work. I have to confess a small part of me doesn't want him to try as then I will be proved right that it was impossible to work out the problems, but most of me has had the interest sparked of the possibility of stability coming back to the family.
I can't give up Mr Old man though, I want to keep a foot in each camp and hedge my bets. I know I should either fully commit to making a go of it with my husband or split and then look for someone else but I have never been anything if not practical, and I feel that a change in husbands behaviour is just too good to hope for so I might as well develop a plan B
Goodness but life gets complicated!!
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Heidi LPC replied 5 years ago.
Heidi LPC :

Wow!! That is an interesting turn of events, for sure!! I am sure that your son and his happiness is very important to you both, and so it is worth it to see if this family can come back together. I can totally understand your apprehension, and you don't need to make any decisions one way or another---- just trust the journey. What will be, will be... and keeping your feet as you mentioned is probably what you need as you renegotiate the terms of your marriage.

Heidi LPC :

It is quite possible that your husband sensed that you "checked out" sometime back, and so his defenses were put up to protect himself from what he unconsciously may have thought was coming, ie., an announcement about the end of the marriage. Now, if his defenses are down and he can see the error of his ways, you probably owe him your attention to give this a try.... just my thoughts!!

Heidi LPC :

Be sure that you clearly identify what it is that you need and want in a husband and a marriage so that when you two renogitiate the terms, that you know exactly what to ask him for. Friendship? Security? Wild romance? Compassion? Humor? Stability? Companionship? Shared hobbies? Care-taking? etc... because it is up to you to communicate clearly and teach him how to treat you as you move forwards. I look forward to the next chapter!!!!! Thank you for keeping me up to date!! Let me know if you need anything else... and you are doing a great job of sorting this whole situation out!!

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Well perhaps I spoke too soon. I was hopeful and a bit excited about our 'date' I did some bacon and mushroom and fried potato with some salad for lunch and then in the evening I had a shower and dressed in cloths I thought he would like. He asked if we were going to have a take away and I said I was keen on eating popcorn so perhaps we should eat at home first. So he went into the kitchen and had beans on toast and other stuff. I didn't eat.

I was dissapointed that he didn't tell me I looked nice even after two twirls in front of him, then I made an effort to tell him i liked his outfit and I put my hand in the crook of his arm on the walk there. We went in and he booked seats at the back of the film but then watched the whole film without touching me at all. I put my arm over so my fingers were on his thigh but he didn't respond. When we went out I took his arm again but he turned me loose to put his jacket on, the crossed the roads etc without checking to see if I was coming or waiting or anything. Then he took my hand, I was pleased but this is really confusing for me, does he want to be close or not?

When we got to bed he told me he was dissapointed that I didn't notice he was wearing his wedding ring, I was so furious with myself for not noticing that, I should have noticed and praised him or commented. I could have kicked myself. I apologised for not noticing and told him how great it was. I did tell him I hoped he would tell me I looked nice, I think he said oh sorry but I can't remember.

So I crept over the bed and tucked myself up next to him with my head on his arm but he didn't cuddle me or respond really and after a while he asked for his arm back so he could go to sleep.

I woke up about 7 this morning and as ususal he was already up, then he came up at 7.10 and told me he was surprised I was still in bed and did I know that my horse was in the feed room. I cursed the horse and said no I didn't know. I asked if he had got the horse out and shut the door, and he said 'No!' and went off downstairs.

I grabbed clothes and sorted the horrid horse!

When I came in James told me he didn't like me staying in bed so late when there was work to be done. I let him go out and then had a little cry, he came back in and we talked a bit more. He asked me how would feel if I worked all day then didn't have dinner ready for me when I got in, it turns out he was grumpy that he had to get his own tea last night. Heidi I cook almost everyday and if I go out for the evening I cook for him and my son before I go. I shop and make sure there is food in the house if I go away for the weekend. I did say it was very unusual he had to make his own dinner.

Then he went on to tell me if I got up earlier and made the coffee ready and packed the dishes etc he would probably be kinder. He said if I worked harder for him then he would be happier.

I just felt utterly gutted, I do everything in the house, I do all the paperwork for 2 businesses, I look after our child, I do all the cooking and the animals. Plus his mother told me I was at least 50% to blame for the marriage being bad yesterday.

All that hope that we were going forward seems to have just been dashed. One semi pleasent day was all I got from telling him honestly I was ready to leave.

I have been in tears most of the morning over all this. I know I could work harder and do more. I suddenly said to a friend this morning ' Oh my god I am a battered wife' a moment of clarity, not physically, in some ways that would be better but I am an emotionally battered wife. I feel like I must try harder every time he gets angry with me, its my own fault for not being good enough that he isn't treating me right.

On the other hand I wonder if I am being unreasonable about the whole thing but if I feel like this I can't be surely?

Expert:  Heidi LPC replied 5 years ago.

Oh darling... I am so sorry. You were so excited and really tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. His actions sound cold and self-interested, and I wouldn't feel that he put any effort into trying to connect either because he didn't reach out towards you in any way. If you want your hand held, and a man to be chivalrous (opening doors, etc.), complimenting you, etc... you have every right to have this. You are not wrong to want this.

Truly, you now have a comparison between what it feels like if a man shows you that you are special and beautiful, and when a man is self-absorbed. You are lucky enough to have this choice to make, as many other women or men in your situation have nothing to compare. It is a big decision you have in front of you, but if you have clearly communicated what you would need to stay in it and he is still unable or unwilling to meet your needs, then the answer is clear. If you have any regrets about your own attempts to make it work, if there is anything more that you know would help and you just haven't been willing to accommodate him in some form or fashion, the only thing left is to do this so that you have no regrets when the time comes to decide whether to stay or go. But, to me, it sounds as if you have done all that you can, and then some.

You deserve to be treated with love, care, respect and gentleness. You are worth it. Never let anyone make you feel worthless, and expect respect. You sometimes have to teach people how to treat you, and if they don't get the lesson, this doesn't mean that you are wrong; it's their choice, and we cannot choose for anyone else but ourselves. Take your power back; you are in limbo now, but you WILL make the right choice. Give yourself time to sort it out... and take good care of yourself while you do.

Heidi LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hello Heidi, thank you for the answer. I spent a weekend in London with my sisters and had a real relax. Well mental relax! We cycled 30 miles round london in 2 days!

I talked with my sisters and thought about it. When I left James had left me a note on the table saying he didn't want us to throw away 12 years together and please to come back from London. ad he did text me to tell me he was looking forward to me coming home.

I don't feel like I can give up quite yet, He has been nice to me yesterday evening and today and it feels good. Admittedly I did spend all the school day with my other man. He is off on a sailing trip tomorrow and may be as long as 6 weeks! I can hardly stand the thought of him being away so much. I so wanted to tell him I loved him today but I held myself back as its still really too early to be rushing into these things. I did however tell him he wasn't doing anything to prevent me from falling in love with him. He feels so good to be with.

I will see this out until July and if not enough has changed then maybe I will go and stay with my mother for the summer. I don't want to take my son out of school, he finds change very hard (must inherit that from me!)

I am clearly a glutton for punishment!

Expert:  Heidi LPC replied 5 years ago.
You are in a pretty good spot, it seems; it sounds as if you are getting your needs met, albeit in an unconventional way!! James has got to wake up and see that he has a bit of work to do; I truly hope he will take this relationship seriously and stop taking it for granted! Keep expressing yourself to him, and keep an open mind... and just trust this journey!!!!!