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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1379
Experience:  Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
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I have ben in a eleven and a half year relationship with a

Customer Question

I have ben in a eleven and a half year relationship with a Maori male, he has always been emotionally very unavailable, he has his interests, plays golf, goes to stock car meetings, plays in bands and generally has many interests that don't include me. We have no sex life very little intimacy in any way, he feels like a concrete block when we hug, he is unable to kiss me due to SOB, has sleep apnea. If we go out he inevitably forgets we are a couple and goes off and does his own thing. Of late I have become more and more down in mood, have avoided going out with him anywhere. Get more and more upset when he buggers of and leaves me when we are out, and feel our time together is coming to an end. I have asked him numerous times to move out, I haven't pushed it further to date. Prior to this relationship I lived a relatively happy life, with a good circle of friends, many interests, good family life, all of this has changed. Kevin rarely sees his family who only live 40 minutes away. He tells me he has lost all his friends because of me, I know this is rubbish. I try to talk to him about something that we could do as a couple instead of him always being tied up with his own hobbies and interests. Nothing changes when I have discussions with him, same old patterns. I try not to run around after him, clean up after him, mow the lawns, cook for him, but usually unfortunately it is hard not to do this. Basically very few of my needs are met in this relationship. Sometimes I think it is over, then I can't bring myself to "make" him go, knowing he has nothing, no furniture, no house, etc. Sometimes I just feel so stuck where I currently am. I would be interested to hear your comments. Thanks Fiona
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 having this difficulty with your partner, I can understand how his apathy and this lack of connection can cause you distress and emotional pain. Because this is a Q&A service, may I ask what is your specific mental health question that you would like an answer to in regards ***** ***** situation?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How to cope with all of this, what strategies to use, etc
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

Unfortunately any strategies to help you cope will only be temporary because his behavior will still continue and will eventually overwhelm you and cause you distress. Basically without him actually changing, any strategies you use will only be like a bandaid for you. But as for strategies to help you cope, well you can use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to focus on you and help lessen your focus on how he behaves and how it hurts you. 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.

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, a couple relaxation exercises may help to keep you calm as well:

But again as I have stated before, if you focus on yourself to cope than you are making it appear that you are the problem and that you need to change, when in fact it is he who needs to change. Any coping strategies you use will only be temporary in helping you because his behavior will continue to erode your mental defense and coping strategies...remember there is only so much poor treatment one person can take.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is this a standard answer sent to everyone? Can't see that I need CBT. Thanks goodnight.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

CBT is the most widely used therapy modality in the world and it may benefit you, but like I said I believe you are asking the wrong question about coping since his behavior will continue to frustrate you unless he stops or you leave.