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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10643
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I am currently going through separation with my wife of 9

Customer Question

I am currently going through separation with my wife of 9 years, we have 3 young children together. She does not want to work on things, and has refused counseling or any other method of support. She had left me once before about 5 months ago and cheated on me with another man, but then came back after an excruciating 3 months where I fought through hell to save our marriage. We got back together for 2 months but she never was actually back with me and I felt it, until finally she told me again she wants to separate, and maybe we can date again in time. I have wanted to save our marriage like crazy but with all that has happened I am not at a point where I am tired.
When the first issue occurred 5 months ago, I nearly had a breakdown, or I guess you can say I did. I had to take a leave from work, couldn't think, couldn't eat and couldn't sleep. I lost my job trying to fight for my marriage, and it was an amazing job!
This time around I am not quite as bad off the first time, but I am very upset and still wont take the leadership role in my life or in my family to get through this issue. I currently am at a standstill in my mind with making a choice on where I want to live and what I want to do. My 3 children live in Colorado and my wife will not go anywhere else but my entire family is in Tucson AZ so I am considering moving back there. This breaks my heart because I know this means I would have only part custody of my kids, but emotionally I have been in terrible distress and feel like I need to be near my family. On the other hand, I have always been a strong, successful and confident man, and I have some great work opportunities here in Colorado which keep me next to my children, but I can't get myself to commit because I am scared I will fall apart out here without family and having my wife gone, knowing she is seeking other men.
I need to get my head straight right away, I have a job offer on the table here in Colorado until Monday but I am also border line with moving back to Tucson AZ. I can't get myself to make a decision, I can't feel confident and I am hurting and scared about losing my wife. I also dwell on her and the what if's, such as seeing her with other men, terrible things like that.
I want to be happy (or at least happier for now). I want to feel value in myself again and confidence. Can you help?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

*This website DOES NOT constitute treatment and only provides information and advice in a Q&A format. For treatment (therapy and/or medications) you must go to a licensed professional in your area. Please note that anything said here is not private or confidential, as this is a public forum.

Hello and thank you for using JustAnswer. I am very sorry that you are struggling with this issue regarding your wife and your emotional well being. Have you considered going to a therapist to help you process all of this adversity and to help you move forward?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have, and i intend on doing so in the very near future. To get in with a true psychiatrist in Colorado takes weeks, if not a month. Some counselors who I used originally are available but they are very costly without insurance right now (long story, lost my job because I was fighting for my marriage, got another one shortly after my wife decided to work with me again, applied for their insurance and didnt get gap insurance, left that job because it was not allowing me to work on my marriage again and then my wife said she was done again). Long answer, but yes I want to do that, unfortunately I am trying to get on the path to some clarity now, just even to help me make a choice on the question facing me now, stay in Colorado or move to Tucson AZ
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

It sounds likes you need systematic treatment through therapy to truly overcome this, so that is not something that can be substituted through this simple Q&A website. I can recommend that you could look into taking natural supplements like St. Johns Wort and Omega-3 as this will help to lessen some of your symptoms of depression/anxiety. The use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy would be of benefit to you as well. CBT has a premise that your symptoms are caused by negative thoughts, so if we change your thought process to be more positive and objective, then your symptoms will lessen as well. This is a good therapy that can help you to focus on the present and help you to better move forward with your life as well as CBT does not let you focus on the past since we cannot change the past.

So this link may help you, it contains a technique I use with patients called a thought record. It will help you keep track of any negative thoughts you have. You put the negative thought on paper, the emotion accompanying, the evidence to support it, and the evidence against it. Then I want you to come up with an alternative thought for the situation (more objective and plausible). This will help you change your way of thinking to be able to think more positive and not automatically go to a negative type of thinking.

In addition, these two worksheets are very good at helping to lessen negative type thinking. It can help you focus on the big picture and the objective/positive thoughts and outcomes.

In addition, the use of certain relaxation techniques can help to bring about a sense of inner calm and help you to not feel as overwhelmed too.

This is only a starting point though and in order for you to truly overcome all of this adversity, I would strongly recommend that you enter into therapy as soon as you can. Therapy will be long-term for several months, but it will help you to cope and to move forward in a healthier way.

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

I hope this answers your questions and gives you some guidance on this issue. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns as I am happy to assist and support you regarding this issue.

*Please do not forget to leave a positive rating at the top of the page so that I can get credit for helping you. Thank you, ***** ***** appreciate it.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay, thank you. I have another question.I believe my wife has a pathological lying issue, and it's existed since before I knew her.
When I met her, she lied to me about her entire life. She told me detailed stories about owning a house in Tucson AZ (thats where we met) working on a horse ranch breaking in horses, and having severe physical health issues which had made her infertile (as a young man at the time, I of course took that as I can be sexual without protection, very dumb...). So she got pregnant, and I found out that she didn't own the house, it was her grandparents and they were on vacation, she never worked on a horse ranch. She didn't tell me the truth, I found out from investigation because things didnt seem to add up. In either case I was young and dumb and I just got her pregnant. Her parents came down from Wyoming and pressured us into marriage so we did. She then was going to leave with my son back to Wyoming, so I moved with her. Over time I grew to identify when she was lying (which was constantly) but I never confronted her on it, I was married to her and not strong enough to say anything. Even her parents knew about her lying issues, but they too just brushed it off. Time went on, and we had 3 children through this. Since starting this road of separation from me, her lying appears to have gotten worse, to the point where I question everything.
While we are still together working through the steps of this separation or wherever it goes, are there things I can do in cases like this to diffuse the lying? I've called her on this and asked her to get help but she says there's nothing wrong with her, she doesn't deny that she lies but she never would admit to it either. Now our 8 year old son has the same problem.
Any thoughts?
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

Unfortunately you personally cannot diffuse her lying behavior as that is on her. She is the only person in control of her actions, just like you are the only person in control of your actions, and that means she must make a choice to stop lying or a choice to get help for her behavior. Because she is choosing to deny that this is an issue or just lacks insight on it means her lying behavior will only continue. Most likely this is a deep seeded symptom that can be caused by a personality disorder, significant low self-esteem, or some other mental health disorder because pathological lying in itself is not a disorder, but a serious symptom of a bigger psychological issue.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I know this is somewhat of a difficult question to ask. But is it wrong for me to be honestly considering a move to another state and leaving my 3 children behind? I am a very involved father, my children love me and I love them. I've spent every holiday with them, been there for all their big milestones and obviously I have lived with them since they were all born (3 years, 6 years and 8 years old). The only reason i'm thinking about moving is for my own mental health, since I have fallen apart so drastically here (plus I hate Colorado, I miss Arizona, I have since I moved away 8 years ago). Even considering this makes me feel like a terrible father, and a failure in my family and house.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

I obviously cannot tell you what to do in this situation as this is a personal decision on what you feel is best for your mental health and your children. If you think that living in your current situation is bad and hurts your mental health than that can cause you to be less of a father to your children, so in the long run you may be doing what is best for you children by getting balanced mentally by moving to Arizona. It is a difficult decision and there are positive and negatives no matter what you decide, and from what I can see there is no right or wrong either.

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

*Please do not forget to leave a positive rating at the top of the page so that I can get credit for helping you. Thank you, ***** ***** appreciate it.

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