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Alicia_MSW, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 794
Experience:  Specializing in relationship/family counseling
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Thank you for your reply. alot has happened since then. I

Customer Question

Thank you for your reply. alot has happened since then. I was running up and down to see my mother who was dying from a brain tumor which all happened quickly, we burried her last Thursday. my husband, although seperated, has been very supportive, in fact exactly the same as if we were still living together, only diference is we don't any more. my life has been on hold for the past couple of months and I am very unsure of what to do now. We had to move from our rented acccomodation as the owners sold up so my husband now lives in a place he has bought and I am actually living in my mums old flat which suits me, it is half an hour from my husband. We have a pub/restaurant which we still run together and if anyone saw us they would not think anything was any different. He seems to know that what he wants and really wants to help me but I don't know wjhat I want. I could do anything and I would have his support, round the world cruise (no thanks) Gap year, possibly but would that solve anything? I am really trying to be strong and had to be when I was supporting my mum but now I fear that I am going to pieces. I feal lost, confused, let down, abandoned, unloved, unwanted. I have 3 great kids and try to see them alot but it is only a tempory 'fix'. I cry each and every night and can quite easly breakdown in tears at the moment, all a bit embarassing when in the pub putting on a 'normal' face trying to speak to people, many of them come in regularly. I feel that work is all false, and I am on a stage doing a performance. Having said that it is probably my saving grace. I don't know am I going mad?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Alicia_MSW replied 5 years ago.
Hi again. I remember helping you a while ago with your last question. I am so sorry to hear about the sudden loss of your mother, even though I know it's something you might have been expecting, it's not something we're ever truly prepared for - and no, you are not going mad. It's a normal reaction to the stress and loss that you've been experiencing (and I know there was some stress going on previously because of the relationship problems).

I am glad to hear that your husband is supportive of you - it's crucial that you have social support during this difficult time, even though the exact status of your relationship was/is a bit shaky. I think one of the key things to keep in mind is that you don't put too much pressure on yourself to figure out your relationship status just now, because you're going through so much, emotionally speaking, and I think you need some time to process the loss. It's normal to feel a bit of depersonalization after losing someone close to you (with regards XXXXX XXXXX saying that you feel a bit false, or like you're on stage doing a performance.) That will pass with time, but right now it's a way for your body and mind to continue to function.

I think what might be helpful for you is to think about joining a bereavement group (if that is something you would find useful - for social support and advice from others who have also lost a loved one). You might think about looking here to find a group:

Sometimes, going to pieces is a part of the grieving process, and the more you try to suppress it, the harder it can be to heal. I would also suggest that you consider seeing a private counselor to discuss your grief and to also help you sort through your feelings about your husband. I think those two issues are too difficult to process at the same time, so again, don't put too much pressure on yourself to figure everything out and "feel normal" all at once. In your last message, you said you wanted to win him back one day - now you don't sound so sure. So I would just let it sit for a little while, instead of trying to sort out the relationship right now. There's nothing wrong with accepting his love and support, and there's nothing wrong with seeing each other and seeing how things go in the meantime.

But I would recommend that you try to find a counselor to talk through some of these emotions. If you'd like, you can find a qualified mental health practitioner here:

You might also find the book "Motherless Daughers" by Hope Edelman to be very helpful. It specifically focuses on mother loss and the ways we deal and cope and eventually, move on. You can also visit Hope's website here for more information:

Best of luck, and please let me know if I can offer additional assistance.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I am very worried that my husband is not well. I saw him yesterday and all was well, we were working together and then we took the dog for a walk (I have our little dog but I do let my husband have him - it was what he wanted), went to pub for meal, very nice, but then he almost looked like he was going to cry. He looks unwell in his eyes and yes he is going to get his eyes checked as being an architect he does alot of close work. He says his arthiritis is playing up and I know this makes him very poorly. I have offered to help in any way I can, but he says hes ok. He really needs to talk to someone, He feels his children all despise him which they don't but two of them don't really have any time for him, the youngest is different. He is feeling very sorry for himself and I know all the stuff we have talked about has been hard and very hurtful, he says if he talks to me he will hurt me more, I don't know what he is trying or going to say, there is no one he can talk to his is rather a loner and doesn't enjoy the company of others, only on his terms - he says he hates his brother which is a big shame over a silly fall out. Should I gently try to get out of him what is eating him up at the risk of me getting upset, somehow I would rather know what it is that is causing the problem. He says he wants more out of our marriage that is why he left, I don;t know what more, I couldnt have loved him any more, looked after him anymore, I always put him first, because I wanted to. I always wanted to make him happy, we enjoyed each others company, but still he says he wanted more and wasnt getting it. He has been horrible to me on occassions over the years, he is a very dominating person, always needs to be iin control, everything on his terms, would just walk off in a mad rage and not be seen for a couple of days (this only happened on a very few occassions don;t get me wrong). Sorry I am babbling on, but I do feel I should try somehow to get him to talk, something is really bothering him and he wont't talk to anyone and has no one to talk to. I do have the support of my children and lots of friends, thank goodness, I feel very sorry for him as he is really on his own, I do know this is now of his own making, but I love him enough to really care and really want to help if he will let me and at the risk of getting hurt, or should I just leave well alone
Expert:  Alicia_MSW replied 5 years ago.
Hi again,

Sorry for delay.

You're not babbling on, I think it's a very difficult situation and it's hard to know exactly how to handle it. I can understand why you're feeling so confused and upset about this. Much of it does sound like it is of his own making, because it sounds like he's isolated himself from a lot of the people who care/once cared about him. I don't think there's any harm in talking to him about what's troubling him. It sounds like that something you both want, and it would probably help to put your mind at ease (and his). It doesn't mean that you have to completely re-engage with him, and you can handle the situation on your terms - so if you start to feel uncomfortable or anything like that, you can tell him that you can't handle the conversation right now and then just leave it at that. But I think you would feel more comfortable knowing what's causing the problem and talking to him about it, so I don't really see any harm in that at all. Just protect yourself and don't get drawn in too much or feel like you are responsible for him or need to rescue him and I think it will be fine. Good luck!
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
just been away with my daughter for a week in spain. Lovely, slept, swam in see, sunbathed, eat alot, drank alot, but too much time for thinking. I think sometimes that my head will explode, I cant get my husband out of my head. I really , really want him back but having spent the day with him today, I dont think this will happen, not in the way i want it i.e. a proper relationship, like we used to have. He wants the best of both worlds, him being on his own in his house which I helped him to buy! me as a friend and helping with our business. I dont know how much longer I can keep this up, I am trying really hard in the hope that he will miss me so much becaue he enjoys my company when he sees me that he will ask me back. I can only describe him as an 'addiction' is this usual, or am I going mad. He comes accross as the one going insane and says I will hold it together better than him, but I put on a brave face. we have 2 businesses, a pub/restaurant and his architect practice,the first for 2 years, the architecture which relys on him, for 20 years with us both working together closely in both. I dont know how much longer I can keep it together, I cry most nights I hate being on my own, and miss the 'close' contact with him I suspose I am trying to say I miss the intimacy of our marriage which was very close (we had sex very regularly). Is this normal, am I obsessed with him, if so how on earth can I get on with my life without constantly thinking of how to get him back, what if, why, I am scared of the future especially at my age ( 57) the thought of being with another man is terrifying. How do I meet another man, if only to be another friend. Please help before I go too mad
Expert:  Alicia_MSW replied 5 years ago.
Hi there,

You've been married for 34 years - so I don't think any of your feelings are unusual - and in light of that, you haven't been separated all that long. It does take time (often a long time) to grieve the loss of a relationship - but the grieving process is delayed for you because you have so much contact with your husband. You're in limbo, and that's what is making the situation so much more complicated. You can't cut ties with him and say, that's that, and feel sad and mourn and then start the process of moving on, and on the other hand, you can't start over with him yet either. And it's unclear as to whether that will ever happen - but it sounds like there's a part of you that is ready to start moving on. It's normal to crave human contact - and especially meaningful contact with another person with whom you can be intimate (not just physically, but emotionally, of course.) So, to answer your question, I do believe a lot of what you're experiencing is normal; it might seem like you're obsessed with him but I think that is part of the grieving process and the fact that you're longing for that intimate connection with someone right now (which is also normal); trying to get your life back is a process of starting to dis-engage (at least emotionally), perhaps getting in to counseling to help you process these feelings, and starting to focus on yourself, your daughter and the other relationships in your life. I'm not sure if you're emotionally ready to meet someone else just yet, because then you'd just be replacing your husband with someone else and that wouldn't give you the sense of intimacy and fulfillment that you're longing for. Have you thought about joining a single parents group or another support group? It would help you meet others, get social support and perhaps, when you're ready, it would also be a jumping off place to start to find a new relationship. You might look here as an example:
Just remember to still try to protect yourself, distract yourself when necessary to prevent getting too emotionally drained and low, and think about seeing a counselor when you're ready.
Good luck!

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