Is it possible to fix this? - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-31-2015, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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Is it possible to fix this?

Why are relationships so complicated? How do you know.. how do you decided if it’s right things to be together or be apart? Maybe I am a lucky girl to have someone who loves me as much as he does but I am too blind to see it. Maybe I am the complicated one?! Why are relationships so darn complicated? We are living separate.. again.. this is the second time in a year that I asked him to move out. The first time I asked him to move out was because he became so depressed, stressed and mean over the years and it was turning our house into a hostile environment full of tension. It wasn’t good for any of us. After a few months apart he admitted to hiding a sleeping pill/pain pill addiction from me for almost 2years. I wanted to believe that the addiction was our problem.. that was the reason he got so mean, distant and depressed. I want to believe that if he got clean we would be all better again. (He has had drinking addictions that he battles off and on since I met him but for the most part he has had a good control over that for years) I let him move back in to quick. I let him move back in before we worked on the underlying problems so of course a few months later even though he was clean from the pills.. he was miserable and we were fighting all the time again!! I asked him to move out.. again.. he begged me not to move on until he has a chance to try counseling.. meds for his anxiety is necessary and works on being a better man. He came 10 steps forward.. 5 steps back since then. He is going to counseling and he likes it. He’s learning a lot about himself. He is exercising. But not eating. He is obsessive still (about everything.. he lets his thoughts consume him.. whether it be about me or about worrying about saving money for winter) He doesn’t handle stress well. He is a hard worked that would bend over backwards for anyone. He is helpful around the house.. But he just doesn’t love himself enough. He doesn’t feel like he is good enough. He lacks confidence which shows. When I’m having a bad day he wants to fix it.. he tries to fix it.. and if he can’t (because sometimes I just need some me time to cool down) then he gets angry at himself for not being able to fix it for me and then we end of fighting. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what is best. Obviously we love each other.. we’ve been together for 13 years, have a home and kids together. But how do you begin to fix something like this??

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-31-2015, 12:19 PM
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Re: Is it possible to fix this?

Why you seem to imply that he is the guilty one. I suppose he even thinks that himself as he seems to be the only one going to counselling. I think you will find that you are also somehow to blame. It is hard to change someone else but it is easier to start on oneself. Look he is trying to do his best, are you helping him!
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-31-2015, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Is it possible to fix this?

• He is not the guilty one. We are equally to blame for the damage to our marriage. I will own my fair share of mistakes and flaws. The only reason that I listed his ‘flaws’ are because they are something I can understand.. I can’t make sense of. I do not understand his “disabilities” so I was hoping someone that may have more experience in mental health can tell me if those are things that we can work through. He is going to counseling because he will openly admit that he is not happy, not confident, very stressed and anxious. Believe this, if I could afford counseling I would love to go.. but as he moved out.. I have more financial and parental responsibilities that leave very very little extra time and money to spend on myself. I agree with you. I am working on myself as well. I am acknowledging my weaknesses and trying to build myself into a better/stronger person as well. He is trying.. yes and I think it is wonderful. I am not helping him at this point because I have tried for years and the fact of the matter is.. NO ONE can make him love himself.. NO ONE can change him.. and NO ONE can really help him but himself.. so I have stepped back to allow him the space that he needs to work on himself. I just don’t know if our issues are resolvable? That is where I am asking for advice.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-31-2015, 01:02 PM
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Re: Is it possible to fix this?

Issues can always be resolved, if both parties put in the time and effort, and have patience with the process.

If he is working on himself, and working on the relationship, then I think you should work with him. Yes, relationships are very difficult (speaking from personal experience with my marriage/separation/reconciliation). I think it comes down to you knowing what your limits are. Some limits would be deal-breakers for me (ie. affair). Other things, we could possibly work through, but only with very hard work.

I am currently in reconciliation mode. There are days I just want to call it quits. But because we love each other, because we have a child, because he has made a lot of improvements, and because I know every marriage has its share of problems, I choose to stay and fix this one. If time goes by and I see it's just not working out, or I'm turning in to a monster because I'm unhappy, then I know at that point in time I can ask to be separated and/or divorced. Today, I'm going to focus on what's happening right now and fix the issues we encounter on a day to day basis. I noticed that I get very overwhelmed when I think about the past or worry about the future so I have learned to take it one day at a time. I have also "let go" of a lot of things I cannot control.

It's great he's in individual counselling. Have you considered attending marital counselling together? I think it will help. Ask him to pay for it, if you cannot afford it at the moment. Yes it can be expensive but isn't it worth it, if it will help repair some of the damage, or help you both develop into more conscious individuals?
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-31-2015, 01:17 PM
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Re: Is it possible to fix this?

OP,
Could you elaborate on "he doesn't love himself"? How does this manifest? What problems is it causing? Stress and anxiety are very much a part of 21st century life. We are being asked to cope with circumstances that we simply are far to underevolved to handle. Advancements in societal development have far exceeded our ability to evolve coping mechanisms.

Peace and long life
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-31-2015, 01:45 PM
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Re: Is it possible to fix this?

In my honest opinion. Well, because of his substance abuse problem, and I am going to guess it stems from childhood,, around the age of adolescence. Reason why, around that age there are major changes mentally and children at that age develop coping skills to handle the stress.

If he has been continuing substance abuse since his teen years, there will be some permanent damage done because things like weed, alcohol, and other drugs affect the rapidly developing brain by screwing with the wiring.

As you can see, his battle with substance may be life long.

Until you go further into his past, and if this was him at a very early age, hard to tell.

And you can only invest so much of yourself before you become emotionally exhausted, or becoming too codependent and staying when it has become too detrimental to yourself.

They have to learn to stand on their own, because you being a crutch will make them too dependent on you for their own well-being.

You cannot neglect yourself over him. Often in these cases when one partner is battling depression, substance abuse, the other will tend to neglect themselves years on end.

Is it possible, maybe. It is reliant on both putting up the hard work, and the viability that both could hold their own end. If he cannot fix his issues, if you stay, then you may be playing the caretaker role more than one of a partner. Again, it is reliant on outcome.

This could possibility of a life long battle. It requires him changing his brain's circuitry, his way of thinking, coping, behaving. habits do not fully disappear, they get replaced with new ones and has the possibility to resurface at times.

You can only look at history to the present and judge. No one has foresight to give you any guarantee.

How about you? How are you doing?

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-31-2015, 03:39 PM
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Re: Is it possible to fix this?

Thanks for your reply. I would expect his counselor to know best if he can be 'fixed'. In the mean time he is taking your money. Many people 'over' worry and it is hard to live with someone like that. I dont think that can be cured. You have been together a long time and have kids. You have to make a list of his 'faults' and concentrate on the ones that can be cured. I think you should be able to manage.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-13-2015, 11:10 PM
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Re: Is it possible to fix this?

Addicts are typically compulsive in many areas of life, is he in AA and does he have a sponsor? What does his counselor offer him, is it someone trained in addiction and obsessive tendencies? Maybe he needs an antidepressant, i'd stay away from anti-anxiety meds due to his chemical issues. Men in general are fixers, it's just a fundamental difference between men and women that he doesn't understand you just want to vent or share your feelings.

He could just need time to adjust to life without drugs or drinking. It's a huge life change and he is learning to experience emotions without the crutch of drugs. AA could be very helpful to him, it's basically group therapy and he will be with people who know exactly what he's going through. Counselors are sometimes afraid to hold people accountable for their actions but sponsors don't usually have that fear, it's not like they're getting paid. He's probably not happy right now because he doesn't know who he is, his place in the world and how he feels about. It's like a baby experiencing emotions for the first time, he needs to learn how to control and regulate himself because the drugs used to do that for him.

He sounds like he has many good qualities! A hard working, generous person who worries about bills isn't your typical addict. Have you ever gone to Alanon? If you can't afford therapy, it may be a good place for you to go and talk to others, like yourself, who understand what you're going through. And it's free! I vote, yes, it can be fixed.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-23-2015, 02:47 PM
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Re: Is it possible to fix this?

Wow. I'm a 40 year old man who's been married for 11 years with two children. When I read your story, I began to cry because both our stories are so similar. I wish we didn't have to speak through a keyboard because there's so much that I'd like to share with you. I've been in the same position that he was and now I've gotten through that on a personal level, but when I look back, it's a path of destruction. So now I'm trying so hard to put this marriage back together.
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