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Is it normal that when my hubby and I have a discussion I…

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Is it normal that when...
Is it normal that when my hubby and I have a discussion I fantasize about running to my distant cousin I have known since a child and is single and I always felt a strong connection? I feel sometimes at my wit's end. I am a dog trainer and in order to keep my certification I have to train dogs every now and then. Every time I take a dog for board and training (the dog is kept in my home) my husband (who is a clean freak) starts bitching about stuff. Like today, he scolded me because I was wearing my treat bag and while I was placing food in the oven, the treat bag touched the edge of the oven door. Now he doesn't want me to get any more dogs. I don't want to lose my certification. I train at home only because I don't drive and suffer from panic attacks in public place. He has always been a clean freak, since I got married he started showing his behavior. I had to stop eating potato chips on the couch and he even tried to stop making me walk with my shoes in the bedroom (only slippers allowed) but for that I won as I held tight and told me then that if I had to wear slippers our dogs should not be allowed to come in the bedroom either. I looks at my cousin's pictures on Facebook and see when he was engaged with this girl (who broke up with him), and admire how nice he was with her. He is always looking at her in every picture, and I know how a good man he was. I just feel that he has a big heart and would understand me better and never come up with stupid arguments about crumbs left on the couch or materialistic things like not wanting me to walk near the car when I have a jacket on in fear I will scratch it. Sometimes I can put up with all the bull.(at times I wonder if he's right, others I feel like he exaggerates, he was in the ARMY by the way if that can explain his obsessions..). but at others I get really tired and get these fantasies. Sometimes I feel like confessing to him I think about my ex just to give him a wakeup call, would that make things worse? We have been married almost 20 years, my mom always thought I have a great patience to be with him.
Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Relationship
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Answered in 14 hours by:
1/21/2018
Counselor: DrJackiePhD, Doctor replied 6 months ago
DrJackiePhD
DrJackiePhD, Doctor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 431
Experience: I have been doing research in relational/interpersonal communication since 1998. My Ph.D. is in interpersonal communication.
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Hi, I'm Dr. Jackie, a relationship expert, interpersonal communication professor, and behavioral/mental health therapist. I am so sorry you are going through this. It sounds as though you have been unhappy for a very long time.

I am not sure I can answer this completely without some chat back and forth--would you be open to that? However, I can leave a few thoughts and then wait for you to reply.

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Counselor: DrJackiePhD, Doctor replied 6 months ago

First, If it is a distant cousin, then by mentioning that he is a "distant cousin," are you seeking approval because in some circles, dating a family member, even a distant relative, is certainly taboo. You could have easily mentioned "Childhood friend." Second, do you mention the family relation because it is "safe" to fantasize about someone who is likely not ever going to be a dating partner or more because again, the taboo in society? Or, beyond that then, could you fantasize about someone else? These are things that I think you should at least think about because the issue of thinking about a family member may (or may) not be relative in that your mind knows it can ONLY EVER be a fantasy and not reality.

Now, back to an even bigger issue--your marriage and relationship. I may have missed it, but I cannot find anywhere that you stated you loved him (or he loves you). Your question pertains to fantasizing about someone else. And yes, to answer that straight away, yes, everyone fantasizes about someone else at times during a relationship or even a marriage. Especially if you have just been in conflict, that is normal. The relative thing is something you can answer--but just so you know, you are not alone. I have had clients and customers before say similar things.

The fact that you are only mentioning conflict and negative things about your husband seems to suggest that you are unhappy. If this is the case, then let's chat, hopefully in real time, either on the phone or on here, because it's hard just to post and then wait for a response and then post again...you have to ask yourself if the "rules" about jackets near the car and shoes/slippers in the bedroom if he still brings that up and snacks in the living room...can you live with requests like this? While they seem trivial to me, they are very likely not trivial to him, someone who has a high value on cleanliness, neatness, and order.

Can you be happy with positive traits that your husband possesses. You don't say this, but you note that your cousin was always looking at his fiance in the pics on FB. I know those images are probably very strong, but don't let them mislead you. You have been married for 20 years and have been together presumably for even longer. You know this--the honey moon is long gone. This does not mean it HAS to be over or that you cannot rekindle romance or sparks or even the passion you may have had once upon a time. But after 20 years, it does take work to be creative and invent new ways to get the spark going.

I hope I have started to answer you. Again, it may be very beneficial to discuss in a phone call or real time chat. Please let me know.

Best,

Dr. J.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Thanks, I do love him and when we have discussions I get very distraught. I don't have family or friends here (they are in another country) so my hubby is my best friend and so when he have a fight I get these terrible feelings of isolation, like my world is over and I am even unable to sleep. I guess I emphasized distant because it's taboo and I grew up with my mom talking bad about my friend who married her cousin. Anyhow, I knew my cousin since a child and sometimes just feel this "connection". It's not always him I fantasize about, sometimes I just dream of running away and meeting somebody that adores me without having to often scold me for stupid insignificant things. Like this morning he had to lecture me on how to treat "his" camera well when I use it for making pictures. We bought another camera and he doesn't like I use it. OK it's true my stuff break more easily than his, but I use things a lot, while he just keeps them always in a closet. I just feel that there are people out there who can treat me better. I sense it at times, and it feels very real. But then, when I really think of leaving, I can't. I feel like crying, I feel terrible and I worry about him alone. Sometimes though I am afraid that if I had the support of somebody (like my cousin) saying something like " just ditch him, I will treat your better than that" I would have the strength to just leave and run away. Maybe this fantasizing is just a way for me to vent, because it happens mostly when I feel mistreated. It's a stupid fantasy at times, like me wandering in the woods and meeting somebody on a horse like in a medieval movie.
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Also, from my experience, even if I adhere to his many rules like not eating on the couch, walking far from the car, not bringing drinks in the office, then he comes up with more "rules."
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Also, when we fight we say hurtful things at times and talk about divorce but we have been doing this for many years.
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