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Anna, Social Worker
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  29 years experience in addictions & mental health. I'll tell you my honest opinion.
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My partner of 16 years separated from his wife a few years

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My partner of 16 years separated from his wife a few years before we met but has never divorced her despite my numerous pleas. Whilst I was bothered by it in the first five years, I became especially upset once I had our son, now 10. To add insult to injury, this woman has invested a lot of energy into trying to cause problems for us, claiming to me that he would never divorce her because he was still in love with her! When we had problems he turned to her, which hurt. It is difficult for me to express how much it has hurt me that he has not saught the divorce. I have loved him so much, for so long, that when ultimatum deadlines came up, I set new ones. It has broken my heart that he doesn't love me enough to stop hurting me. I can't find words to describe the pain in my heart of his being married to another woman. He says it's nothing to him. Just a piece of paper. But he is aware that to me it's devastating, and is something that hurts me every single day. Would counselling help?

Hi Turandot,

Yes, counseling will help. This is clearly a big issue, and a big issue for you which is what should be the reason for him to pay attention to it. He is married to the other woman for some reason, otherwise he would let go of that and commit to you. That he isn't doing it speaks volumes, and you're hearing it. Don't let him convince you that you shouldn't be feeling upset about this, or "that its just a piece of paper". If that were true, he would fix it.

How would you feel about him giving the dog just a little kick each day? "Just a little one...not enough to really hurt him". I think if you put the situation outside of yourself like that, you might be able to see it for what it is: simply a cruel thing to do to a loyal family member. Why would a lovable man do something so consistantly painful to the dog? Why would he do this to you? Nice people don't do things like this.

Counseling for you will help you firm up your boundaries and give you the confidence to hold firm to your stance of respect for yourself.I'm going to give you some links on Codependency, that if you'll read, you'll start to understand why you have trouble keeping your deadlines and how your feelings of love for this man are allowing you to be in a situation that hurts you every day. It's humiliating to you and is breaking your heart. That needs to matter, and when it doesn't matter enough for him to deal with, it's a big problem in both of you and the coupleship. Most any licensed counselor will be able to help you with this.

good article

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