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Ask Eleanor, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1517
Experience:  Marriage & Family Therapist/Prof. Counselor for 20 years
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I live in Italy and am married to an Italian doctor who left

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Hello.....I live in Italy and am married to an Italian doctor who left me a note saying he was leaving our family just before Christmas last year.......kissed me goodbye in the morning and when I came home he'd left a note saying he'd found someone he liked better, after 25 years..... (son 23 in army been to Afghanistan last year , daughter was apple of her father's eye 19 yrs last year of school). Now we are all suffering, he pays the utilities and gives us just enough to buy groceries. He's a surgeon, so earns well. He has gone to live with the 48 yr old daughter of a patient, and as he is impotent (diabetes, high blood pressure meds) he is taking her to Spain to a fertility clinic to give her a baby as she has never been married......we are all devastated....I've been very bad, at first in January I passed out (never happened in my life!) 2 or three times a week, then when he came here one day, I tried to commit suicide (cannot remember anything abt it, my son told me, I said I just wanted the pain to stop, not that I wanted to die). I have been to psychiatrist, and now see a psychotherapis, but not very often as we have little money. My lawyer told me that I should be grateful if he gave us 400 euro a month....I used to work for him so now obviously I have no at he end of my tether, devastated, constant panic attacks, but they are not getting any better, my heart still hurts as though it has a dagger stuck in it.... when oh when will I be able to breathe again? Every time I have to speak to him, I melt, I will always love him, but realise he has gone, I have no idea what to do and how to cope with the mental fallout for me or our! julia
Ask Eleanor :

Hello, I am here for you and am happy to respond. Give me a moment to carefully read over and consider your question.

I am so sorry to hear this, Julia. I have switch out of chat to this O&A mode as we are having site problems with our chat.

It will help me answer your question if I have a bit more information. Do you have a good relationship with your psychotherapist? Are you in the process of divorce? Is Italy your home, do you have family there?
While I await your reply, I will proceed with my response. First, this is not only a heartbreaking situation, but tells me that your husband has some serious mental health issues probably surrounding a mid-life crisis. This is not about you or your children, but about his issues. So I hope you are not blaming yourself. I am in the US, have traveled in Italy, but am not familiar with family law there. However, I am appaulled by what your lawyer told you. You should be getting more financial support from your husband. I am sorry you do not like your psychiatrist, but hope you have a good relationship with your psychotherapist. Have you talked with him/her about a more affordable fee so that you could go to therapy more often? You need to be going once a week right now.
While waiting I have also been researching psychotherapists in Italy. I am here to help you, just chat back.
Julia, I must leave the site for a few hours. I am going to finish my answer for you now based upon the information I have. I strongly recommend speaking with your therapist about an affordable fee so that you could see him/her once a week. Here is a link for psychotherapists in Italy that I believe would work with you at an affordable cost. Depression is often defined as Anger Turned Inward. In order to get better and get on with your life, you are going to need to get in touch with the anger you have toward your husband for abandoning you and the children for this other woman. The way he is treating you and them is very emotionally abusive. He should at least have the decency to provide well for you financially after 25 years of marriage, two children and the fact that you worked for him. Therapy is the only way to work through your feelings and get to your anger. This does not mean you should stay stuck in anger, anymore than in depression, but anger is a normal part of healthy grieving. And this is what you are doing, mourning a loss. Your therapist may also refer you to support groups for separated, divorced women. Support groups are free by definition and would be very helpful to you at this time. I hope this is helpful to you. Chat back if you need anything further and I will reply as soon as I return. If you are satisfied with my answer, please give me a positive rating and click on submit. I wish you healing for your broken heart, take care, Eleanor
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