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DrJackiePhD, Doctor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 363
Experience:  I have been doing research in relational/interpersonal communication since 1998. My Ph.D. is in interpersonal communication.
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For Sarah, psychic guidance- Hi Sarah! its just me... i saw

Customer Question

For Sarah, psychic guidance-
Hi Sarah! its just me... i saw my special friend this morning and it was so good. when he knew my husband wasn't around, he came right up and talked to me until he realized his girls and wife were there. Then he left me. We exchanged many looks. I hope it made him feel and reassured as it did me. Can you tell me, did he feel the same connection I did? And, is my divorcing my husband going to give him the courage he needs to move forward?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  DrJackiePhD replied 5 years ago.

DrJackiePhD : Is anyone helping you? I am Dr. Jackie.
DrJackiePhD : I would like to try to help if I can!

No, I was trying to get in touch with Sarah


DrJackiePhD : I am so sorry. I will opt out. Do you mean psychology help, not psychic right?

i'm game if you want to give my messed up head a shot

DrJackiePhD : Sure, but if Sarah is around, I don't want to steal her customer. Should I switch to Q&A so that I can let tou see if she is around? And please don't say that about your head. We all need someone to talk to and bounce ideas off of! :)
Expert:  DrJackiePhD replied 5 years ago.
Hi there,

I am not Sarah, and I apologize that I was helping someone else who was ahead of you. However, if you would like to chat or email on here, I am happy to help.

If you would like me to try to help, please reply to this. Don't hit "ACCEPT" yet to deposit money because we haven't really talked yet. But in order to continue, I would need a bit more information so that I can try to give you the best informed response.

==Dr. Jackie
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Dr. Jackie! I'm sorry for the delay getting back to you. I've been swamped both physically and emotionally. This is the low down. I have been married for 22 years. In hindsight, I do not believe I have been in love with my husband this whole time. Before getting married, we had broken up and I didn't want anything to do with him. Then about two weeks later, I found out I was pregnant. Back then you weren't really given a choice. You dropped out of college, got a job and got married and had a baby.


He is a really great guy. He has been a good husband and provider, and an excellent father to our four children. I feel like he is a best friend. I'm not attracted to him sexually. I don't want to kiss him or be intimate with him. He is a handsome man, I'm just not attracted to him that way at all.


Last summer a friendship blossomed between me and a dad from my son's class at school. Our lives are very similar in that he too is unhappily married. She doesn't give him any attention and doesn't generally have a lot to do with their children. (She had one from a previous marriage and really did not want any more. She agreed to have babies for him but told him that he would be the one responsible for them.) Anyway, this friendship progressed to some pretty intimate conversations. Nothing physical ever happened between us. I cannot say that nothing would have happened if we were in a certain environment. I think I would have liked something to happen. But. We are both married and neither of us were willing to literally step over that line.


Last Labor Day, my husband confronted me with the relationship. He had been reading my emails and texts and monitoring them. I knew what I was feeling but didn't realize just how much we were communicating. Anyway. I told my husband that I was not in love with him, that I care for him a lot, but was not in love. Since then, we have been going to counseling, he has tried "woo-ing" me, but my feelings have not changed, not even a little.


Though I am ready to move forward with a divorce, I am having a difficult time actually saying those words to my husband. It would be much easier to stay though I wouldn't be happy. I feel extremely guilty for wanting to put my happiness above that of my children. I know, and he keeps telling me, how much this will destroy their lives. I really feel that how they cope with it will depend a lot on how we deal with it. If we make it ok, and stay civil with each other, they will be ok with it too.


Part of my problem is that this gentleman, Matt, is still very much in my head and heart. He is also still very much, though unhappily still, married. I miss him so much it hurts. I just want to spend some time with him, talk to him, just see him. I don't have any idea where his head is. I know that he can't be a part of this decision to split with my husband. He has said that he can't do that to my kids. He can't hurt them. I reassured him that he is not doing anything to them. I am. I am in love with him. You are the only person I have said that to. I know that I am seeing him through rosy colored glasses. I haven't spent the day to day time with him that a statement like that deserves. I just know how my heart feels about him. And I want more than anything to explore those feelings.


So this is where my term, "messed up head" comes from. I don't know how to take a step and move forward with anything. Can you help?

Expert:  DrJackiePhD replied 5 years ago.
Oh your heart and head must be arguing constantly, and this is a very difficult place to be! I am sorry you are going through this.

I think you are very responsible in that you are owning your own feelings and acknowledging that your decision to divorce should not be based on your in-love feelings for Matt.

I know you mentioned having been married for 22 years and have four children. Are they all at home? How young is the youngest? I know for certain that children suffer more when parents are continually fighting --verbally and/or physically. Some of these parents try to "stay together for the sake of the kids;" but in these cases, children do much better if they are not living in a combat zone.

You and your husband do not appear to have that kind of combative relationship. Your husband is trying to "woo you" so he is probably very amenable. Added to this, I'm sure you know feelings can change over the years. I believe you still love this man you still call husband, but you are not "in love" with him. Only you can make the decision to leave or stay.

You are your own best analyst--you have enough wisdom to know that while you have these incredible infatuation and attraction feelings for Matt, that you have not "spent the day to day time with him..." I think you have the best insight on this!

I would ask you to be sure if you take Matt out of the equation that you would be fine being by yourself because there are definitely no guarantees according to your own words that Matt will leave his wife and children. So if you are sure that you will be okay and that there is no amount of counseling or time that will bring you and your husband closer in a romantic sort of way versus best friendship, and if you are sure your children will be ok, and if you are sure you will be miserable if you stay, then you need to do what is best for you.

Here is something to think about--I once talked with a woman who took on a 12-year-old step-son at a young age (24; her husband was 36). He was a "functioning alcoholic" in that no one except his young knew second wife really knew about the alcoholism. She had his second son 6 years later. She stuck the marriage out for about 20 years but was tired of the drinking and had met a boyfriend at work. The boyfriend had a wife and children. She said that he had promised to leave his family and she would leave her husband since the second son was about 14 and old enough to decide with whom he would live. She did divorce her husband and they split custody of their son. But the boyfriend in the end stayed with his wife and kids.

I am not sharing that true story with you to try to scare you or guilt you or anything at all like that. I'm sharing it with you to reinforce what you have already said--that you don't know if Matt will leave his wife or not. If you know this and still want to leave your husband, then that has to be your decision. I just want to encourage you to think if there is any possible way you think counseling or therapy might help your marriage. It's best to be sure about such a big, life-changing decision.

I know this is so very difficult. I would encourage you to seek out a counselor where you live for support through this time. And if I can be of further help, I am here to try to provide that.

==Dr. Jackie

DrJackiePhD and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I do have four children. The are 22 (recent college graduate, started a full time job, living in NYC), 20 (in college, currently home for the summer), 14 (starting hs in the fall), and a sweetheart, cuddly, "I love my family" 8 yr. old. My oldest will have to be told over the phone since I don't expect him home before the holidays. My middle two can probably be talked to together. And I think my little guy will need to have his own conversation with us. He is at a very different place, maturity wise than the middle girls.


My husband and I have been through counseling, I think 3 times during our marriage. We go for a while and then stop, but things just always stay the same. I feel like he deserves to have a wife/girlfriend that loves him and wants to be with him in the way he wants to be with me. I just am not that person.


I'm trying very hard to balance those feelings of wanting Matt with my desire to end my marriage. I do know that he cannot be a part of that decision and I really think that I am okay with it. I want to figure out just who i am and what it is that makes me happy. How does one do that? figure out who they are and what makes them happy?


I just care about him so much. I want to support him and encourage him to do what makes him happy too, because right now, he's not. He told me that he does not love his wife and really does not even care what she does. His only worry is upsetting his daughters and the fear that his wife will try to take them away from him. It terrifies him.


What do you suggest, Doc? :)

Expert:  DrJackiePhD replied 5 years ago.
I am feeling for you. It's a very hard decision, probably the hardest you have to make. And I believe you will be there for Matt if/when he makes the decision to leave. It sounds like his girls are younger than your children. You probably know that most often (not always though) primary custodian is the mom. More recently, though, judges are granting split custody meaning 3 days with one, 4 days with another, etc. One family I worked with had 1 week with mom, 1 week with dad, etc. But if you plan to be in another city---or if Matt plans to be in another city, then usually there has to be primary custody. I know all of this not because I am an attorney but because I have worked with a lot of blended families.

Getting back to what I started out with, I do believe you will be there for Matt. And if he does follow through, he will need a lot of emotional support.

Back to you. I think if you are absolutely sure of your decision apart from what Matt does or does not do (like I said in a previous post), and if you are sure about splitting custody (however the judge decides), then you should get a good plan together.

First, I just want to make sure you know that if custody does become an issue, that you are prepared to deal with that. A girl friend of mine was in a similar situation--she married very young and had two older kids (both in high school at the time). She cared about her husband but was not in love. She had met someone else. But she decided to leave her husband regardless of what the new man was going to do. She did divorce and move into a little apartment. Her kids were old enough to decide; they decided to stay in the house with their dad. Her man did get a divorce eventually, and they got married about a year ago and bought a little house. Fortunately she lives close enough to her kids, 18 and 20 now, that she sees them often.

Second, I shared this true story with you just so you can think about your plan. She lost primary custody of her older children although fortunately everyone was amicable and she saw them often and still sees them often. But she left on her own and got an apartment and had to go get a job. She didn't work much outside the home since she had gotten married shortly out of high school. She had no job skills. So again, I just want you to be as healthy and prepared as possible. I do not know how much you have worked or if you have a job, a plan for a new home, etc. These are things you should really plan out before you execute leaving.

I hope that helps. Above all, be prepared FINANCIALLY and emotionally. In so many families even today, many moms "sacrifice" careers and job skills to raise their families. This is a tremendous calling and probably the hardest job out there. Unfortunately, a lot of women don't have a lot of work experience and/or job skills and/or education. So just please make sure you have a plan and can afford to be on your own with OR WITHOUT child support.

I wish you well in this whole decision. If I can help more, please let me know.

Take good care,
==Dr. Jackie
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for your words. They ring very true in every sense. You are correct, his girls are a bit younger than mine. They are 13, 9, & 6. They are his whole world and as much as their mother does not do anything for them, he fears that out of spite she would fight to take them away. (I keep thinking, but it wouldn't last long because then she would have to actually take care of them!) But that is neither here nor there. I love and care about his little girls and would do anything for them.


My husband and I have both agreed that since we each want the kids, and we each think the other parent is a very good parent, it would be best for us to have the kids 50/50, however that would work.


I also married at the tender age of 21. I also spent the first 15 years of our marriage at home with children. I occasionally worked part time here and there but not anything serious or long lasting. About 7 years ago I started working at my son's elementary school part time. It was a good choice for then. It kept me on my children's schedule and gave us a little breathing room financially. This past February I took my very first full time job. I am working at our local University. Because it is full time, I now have my own benefits and am making enough that I believe I would be able to support myself and my kids. It would be a much smaller lifestyle than what they are used to, but I think we would be just fine/comfortable.


In Indiana, I've been told we are a no-fault state. Everything between us gets split equitably. I would be entitled to half of my husband's retirement as well as half of the equity in our home (which these days isn't great). I feel like with having that money, I can put a nice down payment on a nearby home and be able to have the payments affordable. The rest would need to go back into some sort of savings so it can continue to earn money, but I would need to be able to access it in case of an emergency (new roof, hot water heater, etc.).


So that's kind of where my mind is, my plan per se. Any advice on talking to the 8 yr old? He is the one I am dreading the most. I can already imagine his little heart breaking.