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psychlady, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 6893
Experience:  I have over 16 years experience in treating adults presenting with a variety of relationship issues
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We are trying to make our marriage work (after 30 years) following

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We are trying to make our marriage work (after 30 years) following my husband being unfaithful. It was hard but I felt if we both tried it would be ok. We have been going to counselling and they seemed to second this. My husband then seemed to stop engaging with me and has now said he doesn't love me enough, he is afraid he will hurt me again in some way and that I deserve someone who will love me how I should be loved. He just wants to be on his own. We have two grown up adopted children and he says he doesn't care about them. He has no friends - plenty of work colleagues and acquaintences he will chat to in the pub. He says he is not depressed. It was only at the New Year that I found out about his infidelity so part of me thinks it is a short time for anything to be solved but unless he is prepared to reach out to me I can't see how. Despite everything I love him and do not want anybody else. Should I just give him lots of space or give up. Help
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  psychlady replied 6 years ago.
It is very soon to throw in the towel. Plus he is talking about being depressed. I would continue counseling with separate sessions for each of you. He may need to resolve his depression before totally focusing on what he wants from relationship. Depression can leave one not knowing what you want. I would give him some space but so much he feels abandoned. Sometimes people when they are depressed will test the water to see if you really care. Please read Mars and Venus series. They are wonderful and you will learn a lot.I would put up any front either. It doesn't help anyone. Support further counseling, educate both of you about depression, and be there to pick up the pieces
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
He says he is not depressed but has thought this through and realises he is better off on his own. However on Friday in the session he said he wanted to make things work and how he worked hard for us etc Now a day later this. He won't even look me in the eye. He is away approximately every other week on business and work is his number one priority. It does not help that his work takes him to Kenya where he had the relationship. Our next session is not for two weeks and in this time he will go there. The relationshion is over but sex there is easy. On Friday I trusted him but now feels he might do something just to make me take the initiative to say it is all over rather than him. As I say despite this I still want to be with him. In your answer you said to give him some space but did you mean not so much that he feels abandoned? I am just rrying to be positive and polite to him but no more. He will not see a doctor and says the counselling was useless. Help
Expert:  psychlady replied 6 years ago.
I would encourage counseling with someone different. I meant that you don't give him so much space that it feels to him like you have given up. This work must make it so much more difficult for you. He seems totally confused and this causes stress on everyone. You could benefit from counseling too as his wishes seem to change all the time. You can continue to want to be together but remember that you may be in limbo with him. That's why it's best to talk to someone. You can approach him about his inconsistent wishes but you run the risk of hearing his choices impulsively. I wish there were more certainty in this situation.
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Should I try and engage in general conversation?


Should I ask what he is feeling


He keeps sighing, looks awful, can't sleep, drinking and smoking too much


We always used to enjoy watching University Challenge on TV together. It is about to start and he informed me he finds it smug and irritating much like everything else but he spends hours on computer playing pretend cricket. Also goes to football.

Expert:  psychlady replied 6 years ago.
His reasoning for whatever seems challenged right now. That is another sign of depression - not participating in the things you used to enjoy! I wouldn't push the mutual activities right now. That may make it feel forced or artificial. Invite him to do things and accept the answer. He really seems to be going through at least situational depression. Encourage him to get professional help and it may work out. You can ask how he's feeling but he may not be in a good emotional place to tell you. Try general conversation and see if it seems to help him feel better to a certain degree.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Should I perhaps send him an e-mail suggesting a doctors visit as it then might seem less confrontational than speaking to him and also re the counselling?
Expert:  psychlady replied 6 years ago.
I would. It sounds like a good way to make a suggestion. If he doesn't leave it alone. if you want to seek out a couples counselor that can work and they often see one partner more than the other. It may be the push he needs. Also encourage him to educate himself on certain feelings which may make him more curious too. He may find his way alone but these are just some suggestions. If it wouldnt bother him too much you could suggest something on depression. There is a ton of stuff out there
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Just one last thing. If I describe how he is can you tell whether you think he is depressed even though he saya not.


Says he is a f**ked up person

Only work defines him

Canot love me enough - might hurt me again - has been thinking this for a while, not sure he ever loved me - I deserve better than him

Doesn't care about the children (two adopted in their twenties one at home one at uni)

Doesn't need any friends (indeed doesn't have any) as everyone is facile and uninteresting

Can have chat with acquaintances in pub or after football

Can put on act for work colleagues

Only likes reading, internet cricket and watching football

No enjoyment in anything else even thingd he used to like doesn't now and in fact seems to hate a lot

Just wants to be on his own

Drinks and smokes heavily - at least bottle of wine or three large spirits every day usually more

Problems sleeping solidly

Sometimes doesn't wah for a few days although does clean teeth

No initiative to do anything at home like take rubbish out, wash up his breakfast things

Can barely bring himself to say hello, goodbye to me

Can't look me in the eye

If I speak to him seems to pretend to be surprised and might mutter back, such as me - do you want a cup of tea either just a no or ok then and no thanks

Says the marriage counselling is rubbish


On Friday in session things seemes so promising and then tow days later all this. He said there that he did love me perhaps not as much as ever but would realy make an effort to connect and do things. Last time he was away he said he looked forward to coming home and always had.


Could he be being so obnoxious that he is waiting for me to explode and say I don't want this or as I suspect he is so depressed that he can't motivate himself to try or doesn't know what he wants.


As things seemed to be going well we (yes him too) asked four friends to supper on Saturday, day before he goes back to Kenya - I feel we need to have talked before this happens

Expert:  psychlady replied 6 years ago.
These definitely seem consistent with depression although he would need to seek professional help and really talk about these with them. One of the symptoms is not enjoying things anymore that you used to enjoy so you see how that might be a sign. So now you have to decide if staying with him like this is an option. There is the possibility that he won't seek help and how to protect yourself. That may mean looking at your options and what you deserve if he doesn't come around. You can continue to try to push him the right direction but if he doesn't go you have a decision to make.
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