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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5334
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology helping with relationships
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I have been in a relationship for 9 yrs with someone (lived

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I have been in a relationship for 9 yrs with someone (lived together for 71/2 years) I believe to be my soul mate, he agrees but he doesn't want to get married or have kids I do. Knowing the way I do as well as his honesty to me he says its because he feels he would be a failure as a father and doesn't want to risk passing on his personal demons (alcohol, financial diassapointment,depression) to a child. Do I stay or give up? I know this is deep for a quick answer but never hurts to try.

Dr. Mark :

Hi! I'll be glad to help you with this issue.

Dr. Mark :

This is a very important question, indeed. You have been together for a long time and so this is a very serious time.

Dr. Mark :

Tell me, what do you think about his problems, his demons? How do you feel about his drinking? And his depression? And his financial situation?

Customer: I think I know them all (demons) and love him non the less, they are not deal breakers. I think he is untreated alcoholic, he tried AA for 6 months then gradually started again when he was in a bad place a few years ago he never comes home in that angry drunk state. Now it's more that he drinks frequently and can't be sober enough he's very high functioning as an alcoholic and uses it is a way to numb himself and possibly a chemical Imbalance that, his early younger years environment glorified alcohol making it something that was used constantly by his father and he doesn't know any other way as for his financial success he is his own barrier to anything happening he refuses to ask for help call in favors use connections and be aggressive with his ambition he settles constantly and lives in the present never fighting for his future or trying to set himself up for it because in some ways when his depression is at his worst he doesn't think he deserves it
Customer: I don't like to give up on people because I know what that feels like, but I have to wonder am I hoping for change that could potentially never happen or am I am in fear of me not being there to ensure he doesn't go too off course
Customer: I analyze a lot wanted to go into psychology .... Sorry if its too much info
Dr. Mark :

You are asking such a difficult question. let me just make sure, before I answer your question about whether to keep hoping for change: is it that your hope is he will change from being an alcoholic? That he will become the part of himself that you love, that is the clear thinking part of himself as opposed to the part that needs to numb himself emotionally?

Customer: Yes exactly
Customer: That he can eventually work through because I believe he can
Customer: I just think he needs to as well
Customer: Also that he will once he does he will want to get married and have kids because most of our relationship he did we discussed it many many times and talked about how would raise our kids what we would do differently than how we were raised even with religion he was raised Catholic I was raised Jewish.
Customer: Would we have gone that in depth if he was just going to change his mind
Dr. Mark :

I am concerned for you here. I hope that's okay.

Customer: In what way? And why
Customer: Your picture you look Jewish as well, if so shana Tova
Dr. Mark :

In my training and experience, alcoholics do not change without there being some triggering force that makes the change. It doesn't happen from realization that they have. Because realization is something they have plenty of. Thus, they can have very deep conversations. And they can even be inspired to mean it...for the moment. But it pales when the emotional need to numb comes up and they need to self medicate and the bottle is there and readily available.

Dr. Mark :

So I'm concerned for you because so often these hopes like you have become codependency and enabling in marriages.

Customer: I'm 29 and I don't want to waste my life with someone that doesn't love me the way I deserve to be loved but I know if not because he doesn't love me which is the rock and the hard place I'm in,. My sister just got diagnosed with breast cancer and u have been reevaluating everything and maybe I just need to walk away
Dr. Mark :

He needs treatment. If he were... hold on, let me respond to your last post

Customer: But our lives our entangled, financial where I have lived for 7 yrs it won't be easy to just go
Dr. Mark :

Shana Tova to you as well. Your sister needs our prayers. Do you know her Hebrew name and mother's name? I'll be going to synagogue soon and we can put her in the prayers. Your lives are entangled and it won't be easy, I understand.

Customer: I am putting all your expertise to use I should be studied lol or write a book.
Customer: Her Hebrew name is XXXXX XXXXX dorit is her mothers, mine is Esther Malka. My real name, thank you that is kind.
Customer: I just feel like I can't handle another change my head is so over whelmed right now with work my sister and my nieces they are 3 & 6
Customer: I think leaving is inevitable but I don't know if I'm strong enough to do it now and maybe I need to walk away for him to hit rock bottom and get help
Dr. Mark :

You need to take a deep breath. Can we continue later this evening after I return from synagogue? Is her name Simcha? That's usually a boy's name.

Customer: Really that's also my grandmothers name in Israel as far as I know it is. Am I allowed to continue later or do I get charged again? Would be great if you took insurance lol
Customer: Toda
Dr. Mark :

No, we'll continue the chat. I'll post as soon as I return. Simcha bat Dorit. Talk to you later this evening.

Dr. Mark :

Hi, I'm back. I'll wait for you to come online as well, okay?

Customer: Here
Dr. Mark :

Thanks for your patience. Give me a minute to type .

Customer: Ok no problem
Dr. Mark :

Tell me what you mean that you aren't sure if you're strong enough to leave the relationship. What is scaring you?

Customer: That I can't find that level of intimacy with someone else he's my best friend that no one will accept me as me
Customer: So many things
Customer: We've shared so many thongs in over 9 hys I don't want to start over and have to explain myself my life my story
Customer: Scared I'm giving up too easily
Dr. Mark :

Yes, it's true that fear is a powerful motivator in life. And inertia. They seem like a mountain. But then you look 10 years later at that fear and inertia and you realize they were only a mountain in your mind and there are regrets. Wanting to make the most of your life is also a motivator if you let it be.

Customer: True
Dr. Mark :

I'm concerned because he also needs motivation. And his motivation also has to be there for himself to get the help he needs. Because he needs help to overcome the alcoholism.

Customer: Yes and it needs to be his choice I know that but I don't know if maybe me walking away will be his rock bottom and I need to do that for him or I need to be patient stay and let him eventually get there himself
Dr. Mark :

And there are some elephants in the room as well. They have to do with marriage and children. One is being the child of an alcoholic. There are national and international societies devoted to Adult Children of Alcoholics. I treat people who came through this and have resources I use specifically for this.

Customer: Yeah his dad is all well he has 3 brothers they all do too some worse than others
Customer: One was sober for ten yrs then started for 2 yrs then stopped again
Dr. Mark :

How shall we proceed? I really don't want to go in a direction you don't want to. By the way, in the synagogue, I mentioned Simcha bat Dorit. I wish her a speedy recovery.

Customer: Thank u, I don't know should I walk away or did u men with more sessions
Dr. Mark :

I meant in terms of your decision. What would walking away look like?

Customer: I'd be sad lonely and I would need to figure out where to live and eventually be on my own two feet. But I've been through worse and if that's what I have to do than I know I'm strong enough to. I just don't want to if we end up back together months later when he figures it out and wants to move forward . Than should I just wait it out easier that way. Does that make sense ? But if its meant to be it will be if I'm meant to move on I believe there is a plan and a reason
Dr. Mark :

Two thoughts: first, you're making a life decision based on a short term consideration. Second, you're turning a positive into a negative. Give me a moment to expand on this.

Dr. Mark :

If he would somehow get it together after a few months, you're talking about a miracle, aren't you. A true miracle. You've been together 9 years, he has a family history. To overcome that in months is quite amazing. And if it happened, what would cause such a turnaround? You're saying you want to still be there and not have rocked the boat as if it would happen on its own somehow. Is that how life works? If he somehow is back at AA and counting sober days and in therapy and working on himself after months, perhaps having had to actually look at his life because you also made your life your priority.

Dr. Mark :

And you would be either still single or have moved on. Either one is okay, isn't it? Now for the other thought.

Dr. Mark :

So that was the positive into a negative.

Customer: Can u resend the second part it somehow went away and I didn't read it
Dr. Mark :

Now, we're talking about your life. For a few months, your life decision has to be based on you and who you are and what your life needs to be about.

Dr. Mark :

That is the second part: your life decision has to be based on your life, not a few months. What do you want for your children?

Customer: I want children and to get married and I believe he does to just can't fathom it till he is better
Customer: I didn't see the paragraph after you posted that you'd explain the two points
Dr. Mark :

Yes, we know that part. But we're just now having you begin to recognize what it would be like to have children with an alcoholic. He is thinking about it. You've been avoiding actually looking at what that would be like for your children.

Customer: That's true I didn't think that deep into it I just imagined that I would make it work somehow fix it
Dr. Mark :

Is it important to you that your grandchildren are Jewish? Because if so, that is another thought you need to have in mind. The statistics are overwhelming about this.

Customer: Yes all points I think about we discussed taking them to temple and exposing them to it as well.
Customer: Even my Israeli father loves him though lol
Dr. Mark :

Yes, that's true for the children. But the grandchildren do not stay Jewish in these situations. Again, I don't know how important that is for you. You mentioned that your sister is named after your grandmother I believe. This is where it breaks down. The children don't have the same strength of identity as you, and their children have none is the pattern. This is why the Jewish population in the US has remained about the same over the half century even though there has been a positive birth rate.

Customer: So I should walk away either way
Dr. Mark :

I can't make that decision for you. But I can help you clarify your own heart and mind's path.

Customer: Yes but I also want to love the person I'm with and them to love me
Dr. Mark :

Is this your way of saying he's the only man who you believe will love you?

Customer: If he won't change until he gets help than I need to walk away because I can't wait around forever ill regret that
Customer: I think so yes, he knows me on the deepest levels it doesn't happen all the time
Customer: But I could be wrong maybe someone better exists and I have to leave to find out
Customer: I wish I knew or had a crystal ball to tell me what's right
Customer: I want an answer
Dr. Mark :

Life is a series of choices we make between unknowns. You don't know what will happen if you stay. You don't know what will happen if you leave. I'll continue, hold on.

Dr. Mark :

You are imagining if you stay, everything positive you wish might happen. And you've prepared for that. You're imagining if you leave, everything negative you dread might happen. And you've prepared for that.

Dr. Mark :

I've shaken that up. I've introduced a more realistic perspective on alcoholism and it's pervasiveness. I've questioned you about your desire for connection to Judaism. That has given you a more even handed view of staying.

Dr. Mark :

I'm suggesting that there are men in the US who can love. There are Jewish men if that is beginning to be of interest to you. There are men who are seeking to raise a family. There are also lots of men who are not who you are looking for.

Dr. Mark :

So, it's a question of getting to know yourself some more too, don't you think?

Customer: Very true
Customer: Your right
Customer: This is the best therapy session ever usually I always talk and its so one sided I've always an exchange of the mind to gain perspective
Dr. Mark :

If you want to explore Judaism, there's, a remarkable site with so much information in so many areas and there are many ways to connect.

Customer: He is an alcoholic and I can't fix him or me loving him enough won't fix him . He has to do it
Dr. Mark :

Yes, that is the truth.

Customer: And I wish I could predict whether be would but I can't and that drives me crazy
Dr. Mark :

And that is what reality is.

Customer: I hate reality sometimes
Customer: I like logic and things to make sense and point in a direction to lead u to the answer
Dr. Mark :

You can't predict. Life is a taking of chances. There is a Chassidic saying: life is a narrow bridge and the main thing is not to be afraid.

Customer: Is it bad that I don't want to make a decision right now and want to wait a bit because I have too much pressure at work plus helping my sister with what she's going through and processing watching her at chemo and my poor innocent nieces and helping deal with these changes is it selfish that I want to stay because its easier right now and go when I know it's right and I think I'll know when it's time
Customer: Am I naive
Dr. Mark :

It's not bad. This is not a question of good or bad; it's a question of inertia. The ancient Sages said that when we have a thought we know is right and true, to delay it is to cast it aside until it trips us up. The interpretation is that casting aside means that when we know something is right and true, if we say "later", we are erasing it from our lives. The problem is, we will awaken again some time later, sometimes years later, and realize that that truth is still there but we are now older and less strong. This is tripping us up.

Customer: Wow that's an interesting point, I gave myself till December 31st didn't want to start another year on the wrong foot. I also know my sister will be done with treatment work will be easier and I set a date ill stick to it.
Dr. Mark :

That's beautiful. Okay. Yom Kippur is coming. Do some reading on about Yom Kippur and fix in your mind your resolve about December 31 and your sister's treatment ending and prepare yourself.

Dr. Mark :

Just has an internet counseling site called where you can ask for me. I believe that the link for me is:

Customer: Sounds like a plan thank you so much for everything you gave me much clarity
Dr. Mark :

Customer: Ok great!
Dr. Mark :

All the very best to you and if you could give a positive rating, I'd be grateful. Again, all the best to you and a speedy recovery to your sister.

Customer: Thanks will do
Dr. Mark and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Hi! I'm very glad that I was able to help you with this and thank you for your positive rating. If I can help you in the future in any way, please don't hesitate to let me know. Have a meaningful Yom Kippur and regards to your father from a fellow Israeli.

All the best,
Dr. Mark