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Jen Helant
Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1386
Experience:  I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
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Been married 10 years, together 12 years. We have had alot

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Been married 10 years, together 12 years. We have had alot of external problems from the beginning. Both of us came into relationship with baggage. And both of us have added baggage to the marriage. I am more emotional and have in the past perseverated on not such great things--- worries..., he is very independent. Money is a struggle for us. We have 2 young children. Husband has his own business--which he has restarted about 5 years ago-- our home life used to be filled with tension...not a lot of smiles and laughs. He (in my eyes) always seemed tense and burdened with our life. SHort with the kids, snippy with me... although there were periodic moments of happiness. About a month ago- it all came out- his resenmtent towards me and the life we have createded together and the choices we have made to get us where we are... In the past he has told me he is unhappy with our life and things needed to change--- I wasn't sure exactly what he meant--- I know believe it's many things both external and inside our marriage-- he doesn't know what to do. We have been seeing a counselor- but I don't know how great he is with couples. WE've gone 3 times together- he went once by himself and I went 2 times myself... Every time we go it just seems to stir things up and we regurgitate what we already know the problems are...We are scheduled togo back- but I don't know if it's a good idea or not-- in between the sessions (although my husband still says he still feels the burden of our life on him and doesn't know if it will, if it can go away while we are married) there has really no tension- and we have been able to enjoy hanging out-- although- he wont be intimate with me. He says he loves me so much and will always love me- but can't go on being so unhappy and doesn't know what to do.... He said it's hard to 'be inlove' when there is so much water under the bridge- he feels like he is buried in sludge...and doesn't know how to get out or if it's something he wants to work on... He's confused, hurt, frustrated, angry and can't believe we have actually let our relationship come to this... THis morning he initiated being intimate... I didn't know what to make of it--- then in the middle he pulled away and looked overcome with saddnesss- I asked if he was okay - and he said he felt weird.. I asked hime if he was upset we did that- and he said no-- he just felt weird- thant I said too much too fast? And he nodded his head and slighlt smiled- I told him it' s okay--- but I am confused- Is this a potential hopeful sign- do I talk about it with him- do I initiate now- or do I take this as a moment that he was trying to open himself up to me and its just going to take a long time

I am so sorry what you both have been going through. I can imagine how confusing and frustrating this must be. I think his actions could have been a hopeful sign. It seems that he wants to make it work, but may be afraid that it will not. However, he is still in love with you based on what he said. It may take time and from here is best to do your part through action. Communication is good, but if it gets to the point that the communication is not being backed up with action by one or both individuals or it just seems like things are going into circles then it may be time to not focus so much on communicating. Rather show him how things can be different. Whatever you feel needs to be changed do whatever you can do make that happen. Try making a plan within yourself of what these issues are and steps on how to go about changing them. You can not change him, but by seeing your change you will give him hope and motivation for the relationship as well as for him to make changes as well. I would take what he did as a steeping stone and build on it from here. Just take things day by day and try to make each day count and moving closer to change and proceed with it. It is the little things we do each day over a long period of time that make us and our families who we are.

In addition I would recommend trying another counselor. Counseling can really help if you find the right fit for your individual needs. Not every counselor is for everyone.

I hope this answered your question and helped, but if there is anything else I can do to help please feel free to reply and I will continue until you are satisfied.

I truly wish you both the very best during this time, but love can sustain all problems. Try and stay positive in order to not give up on the family you both have been building for so long. .
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you so much. I guess I m confused on what to do next. Can I initiate or do i need to let him when he is ready... I feel like the counseling was highlighting the bad and right now we need to focus on the happy. Do I talk to him about this morning or just let it go? I love him so much and he just seems to be in sooo much pain. He keeps saying how we have had ten years if struggle and the majority of it has been unhappy and he wants to be happy. He said our past together has changed him and he doesn't like who he has become. I told him I don't want to separate or divorce but I'm not him and I don't know how to help him see how to move forward with me. At one point he also said he didn't know if he had anything left to give he was empty.
Its hard to say exactly since I do not know all the details of what has been happeneing over the ten years to make him feel this way. But the best thing from here would be to see where he goes from here. I would try initiating if you are prepared to take the risk of rejection, but I would not try to talk about what happened right now. That could add extra stress and pressure on him especially if he is feeling this way. I would try to focus on the happy as you said and try through action. It takes work to condition ourselves to see things positively and change our reactions to certain situations, but if we keep trying it does come naturally in time. Counseling does dig up a lot of stuff, but sometimes that needs to be done in order to change the future. However, that should not be the only focus of your relationship. At this point he is still with you, so it is really best to do your part as a wife to try to do whatever you can to change the future. In regards XXXXX XXXXX personal issues he would need to deal with that from within, but you can be there to do your part to support him as well. Actions daily can change your relationship moving forward.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi there,
I'm having so much trouble grasping what is happening. My husband and I had a heart to heart and I apologized for sabatausing our relationship from the beginning and my difficulty separating from my family when we were first married. I feel like he never thought I put him first. Maybe I didn't the way I should have. He says he wants to be happy again and feels changed by our life together and doesn't know if he can or even wants to try because he couldnt take the thought of two years from now things falling back into our old pattern. It's school vacation this week and he's thinking of going and staying at his moms to step away from the situation and try and get some clarity. He also asked if I followed up with looking into a counselor for our kids. I asked him if he has already made a decision and is just wanting to take time to iron it all out. He said he's not moving out right now... And that the reason he feels the counselor for the kids is a good idea because they have been exposed to previous tension in the house... Nothing more or less. He's been somewhat short with me... Is there still hope???

I think you did the right thing and I believe that there is hope. The fact that he does not want to move out now shows that he does not want to leave and believes there is hope. He is just afraid of everything going back to how it was after awhile. He also wants to take a refresher by going away for the week. This is actually good and can help clear his mind and rejuvenate him. I would use this time to focus on the children and plan how you can do your part when he gets back. Your goal can be trying to be consistent with your actions. This will show him that there can be change and give him motivation as well. Change is difficult because we are stuck in our old habits. This is normal for everyone. It takes acknowledgment and strength to change. However, after time it does come natural. All in all I would not give up and based on what you explained I believe their is hope. I also think it is wonderful that you have great insight into yourself and the situation, you both are in communication, and you both discuss matters of the children.

I will be here when you need, so please feel free.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you so much. Do you think it is possible for someone who is so black and white , so concrete and independent to use space as a way to gain energy to come back to the relationship stronger? I'm nervous with space hell feel relief and not feel like he should try and come back.... What do you think?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
My husband just seems miserable. I have been out of town since Friday. I called to check in on him and kids... He was do distant and withdrawn on the phone... Ugh

I think he could possibly use this as reflecting time. I would make the most of each of your encounters even if they are short to show him how you are changing on your end.

He probably sounds like this because the situation is very overwhelming and stressful. That is expected and is not necessarily bad. Working on the relationship can change the way he feels and rebuild the relationship. He does not want to stay as it is now nor do you. Some people get comfortable and are fine with the way it is when there are problems and use it as an excuse to do as they please so it is good he is not doing that.
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