Should I fix myself first before MC? - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-01-2016, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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Should I fix myself first before MC?

I admit that I am not the happiest person and I feel like it's contributed to many of the difficulties my marriage and children are experiencing. I don't think it's the sole cause of our problems though but from my perspective if I'm going to be the one to initiate progress on these other fronts I need to overcome feelings of inadequacy, frustration, depression - and even address some warning signs of potential life threatening medical problems. As it stands now it seems like every attempt to address issues or try and make progress in any one area is leaving me feeling frustrated and takes all the wind out of my sails, leaving me feeling bad about myself while blaming others for my problems and basically reinforcing the status quo.

Probably the only thing really keeping me going is my kids - but at this point divorce is NOT an option since they have needs greater than I can provide alone. That being said, I don't want them to think that by focusing on me that I'm turning away from them or admitting defeat. The truth is, they're still not old or wise enough to really understand much beyond their own needs. Nor do I want my wife to feel that I am giving up on our marriage - even if it's long since become cold.

All I know is this: the lack of validation and frustration is killing me. I can actually feel my body suffering from anxiety and lack of emotional support. I'm talking stuff like joint aches, feeling like I'm breaking out in hives, even chest pains. That is NOT good. Life is a gift and should be enjoyed. That is a lesson I took from having grown up as an only child to a single surviving parent.

Still, I cannot continue to exist if my functionality is reduced to putting on a mask of self assurance while looking for the silver lining and trying to dig out of a pit. I feel as if I'm living a lie that everyone can see through - even my youngest son. There have been many instances when he has seen the opportunity to manipulate me. I also feel like my wife sees me as less of a man for it. Though I have done all I am able to make her happy I don't think she fully realizes that I've made some pretty significant sacrifices. I get the feeling that my subservience to her desires may have had the opposite effect.

This is not who I see myself as. Looking back at my life I recognize that the past challenges made me stronger and that doubt was what had always held me back. I have many memories and ideas that I feel are valid and I want to share them - not just with my wife and kids but with everyone. Certainly, the times in my life when I enjoyed the most happiness and validation were those when I was more outgoing and less self involved. To consider that I need to withdraw in order to address my own issues seems to fly in the face of that.

I'm not prepared to check out like that. Besides, I still have work to do. But coming back to the original thought, WHERE should I start? I'm tired of spinning my wheels.

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-01-2016, 09:29 AM
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Re: Should I fix myself first before MC?

It sounds like a stress response. I'd start with your medical doctor.

But I also think individual counselling and marital counselling need to go hand in hand. IC will help you work on you; your response to stress, better ways of dealing with the situations you've got, including your marriage. MC will help you and your wife change the marriage you've got. Learning to deal with stress is important, but reducing sources of stress is just as critical. It sounds like your marriage is a biggie, so you're going to need your wife on board.

And divorce is always an option. Right now, you are teaching your children it's okay to manipulate people. Plus, feeling trapped is part of your stress.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-01-2016, 09:50 AM
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Re: Should I fix myself first before MC?

Work on yourself and your marriage at the same time.

See a medical doctor about what sound like anxiety attacks.

Get into individual counseling now.

Then shortly after that into marriage counseling.

I'm wondering if the book "No More Mr. Nice Guy" would be helpful to you. YOu might want to check it out.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-01-2016, 10:03 AM
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Re: Should I fix myself first before MC?

Absolutely, a mask serves no one and especially not self. To grow, the mask does needs to fall and one of the ways is to build the calm confidence to replace it.

By getting the counsel you need through the IC best suited to your needs, you will show them that it is absolutely ok to be humble and seek guidance when you have no answers yourself and that trust is an asset. Life is imperfect, show your wife that you can be happy through the imperfections and show her the love of being happy with her in MC once you have tackled your own stressors.

Once you have started working on your path to accepting how in control of yourself you really are from your individual counseling, please share that patience back with her as you do marital counseling... don't lecture her on the values or what she needs to do, speak to her through your actions and not your words, they will hold much more truth with her than anything while you not just align your paths, but relearn to walk them together again.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-01-2016, 01:31 PM
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Re: Should I fix myself first before MC?

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Originally Posted by m00nman View Post
I admit that I am not the happiest person and I feel like it's contributed to many of the difficulties my marriage and children are experiencing. I don't think it's the sole cause of our problems though but from my perspective if I'm going to be the one to initiate progress on these other fronts I need to overcome feelings of inadequacy, frustration, depression
If independent counseling is going to make changes, it's going to take years. It's not like you're going to go to a dozen sessions, give the therapist your life story and list the problems and walk out of there a few months later significantly improved and ready to move on. Best case scenario, over many months or more likely YEARS you'll start to figure things out. Doesn't sound like your rapidly failing marriage can wait that long.

Now if you're depressed and anxious as you state, and you treat that depression and anxiety effectively with medications, you can experience huge changes in attitude within a few weeks.

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Probably the only thing really keeping me going is my kids - but at this point divorce is NOT an option since they have needs greater than I can provide alone.
I don't understand this main reason for staying married. If the kids have two parents now, they'll have two parents after divorce, you just won't be tending to their needs at the same time.


All I know is this: the lack of validation and frustration is killing me. I can actually feel my body suffering from anxiety and lack of emotional support. I'm talking stuff like joint aches, feeling like I'm breaking out in hives, even chest pains. That is NOT good. Life is a gift and should be enjoyed. That is a lesson I took from having grown up as an only child to a single surviving parent.

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I get the feeling that my subservience to her desires may have had the opposite effect.
In other words the kids see you as a doormat and they're starting to step on you as well. Well there's an easy fix for that.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-02-2016, 07:31 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Should I fix myself first before MC?

Thanks for the replies. I will call my doctor first thing on Tuesday (they're closed on Mondays) and see if I can get an appointment with a psychologist Monday.

Last edited by m00nman; 10-02-2016 at 08:58 PM.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-02-2016, 07:36 AM
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Re: Should I fix myself first before MC?

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Thanks for the replies. I will call my doctor first thing on Tuesday (they're closed on Mondays) and see if I can get an appointment with a counselor Monday.
You can't get an appointment with a counselor on Monday. They're closed Mondays, remember?
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-17-2016, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Should I fix myself first before MC?

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You can't get an appointment with a counselor on Monday. They're closed Mondays, remember?
Too funny. I'm guessing by the banning that there are troll tendencies with this one.

I called my PCP and have a checkup scheduled for February. That's the earliest I can get. In the meantime, I've been trying to watch how I eat and walk at least 4 miles a day. I'm working up to jogging short distances even though my feet hurt; I've had bouts of plantar fasciitis and a general feeling of stiffness/achiness in the balls of my feet. Even still I lost about 5 pounds over the last month and have been able to take a couple of mini vacations since starting this thread. I'll admit that I am still very hesitant to move forward with IC though.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-17-2016, 04:23 PM
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Re: Should I fix myself first before MC?

You cannot love another until you love your self first. It is really that simple. You need to work on your self. You don't need to wait until someone else is available such as your PCP or a counselor. The bottom line is that no one is coming to save you! You must save your self. Keep exercising and dieting those are good things. In the meantime find a hobby you enjoy and dive in. Read some books, not just about self improvement, but about subject's you enjoy. Learn something new. Try something difference. Do things just for you!
I understand your reluctance to upend your marriage. But the reality is that you need to at the minimum suspend your marriage. You may find it is the anchor holding you back or you may find it the energy that keeps you moving forward. Either way, at this moment you must focus on you and your needs, so that you can become a whole healthy person. I am not telling you to end the marriage, just don't allow it to become an excuse not to take care of your self.

At the center of every moMEnt of my life is ME!
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-17-2016, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Should I fix myself first before MC?

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You cannot love another until you love your self first. It is really that simple. You need to work on your self. You don't need to wait until someone else is available such as your PCP or a counselor. The bottom line is that no one is coming to save you! You must save your self. Keep exercising and dieting those are good things. In the meantime find a hobby you enjoy and dive in. Read some books, not just about self improvement, but about subject's you enjoy. Learn something new. Try something difference. Do things just for you!
I understand your reluctance to upend your marriage. But the reality is that you need to at the minimum suspend your marriage. You may find it is the anchor holding you back or you may find it the energy that keeps you moving forward. Either way, at this moment you must focus on you and your needs, so that you can become a whole healthy person. I am not telling you to end the marriage, just don't allow it to become an excuse not to take care of your self.
Thanks,

I already have several hobbies. I'm a musician and have also enjoyed writing. My wife has called them obsessions - and I wouldn't doubt that they're part of the reason why we're not close - but I'd actually like to be able to earn a little money on the side if I could.

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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-18-2016, 06:21 AM
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Re: Should I fix myself first before MC?

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Thanks,

I already have several hobbies. I'm a musician and have also enjoyed writing. My wife has called them obsessions - and I wouldn't doubt that they're part of the reason why we're not close - but I'd actually like to be able to earn a little money on the side if I could.
Regardless, you have to come to terms with you before you can with anyone else. You still need to focus on you and your needs. It sounds as though you are feeling that your life has been less than satisfying, both to yourself to others. I understand that. I struggled for years with the same issue. In fact I still do to a degree. Mainly because I defined my success with some one else's definition. You need to decide what success is your self. You may find it includes your marriage. You may find it doesn't. The key is that it is your standards and not someone else's. If making some money is what you need to do, go do it.

At the center of every moMEnt of my life is ME!
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-18-2016, 06:40 AM
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Cool Re: Should I fix myself first before MC?

Working on oneself at any juncture of their life is certainly appropriate.

Don't just wait to be "healed" by other professionals while awaiting their often complex diagnoses! Always be somewhat proactive in that regard by starting to "help yourself" with whatever you perceive are your problem areas!

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Last edited by arbitrator; 11-18-2016 at 06:45 AM. Reason: Edification
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Should I fix myself first before MC?

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Too funny. I'm guessing by the banning that there are troll tendencies with this one.

I called my PCP and have a checkup scheduled for February. That's the earliest I can get. In the meantime, I've been trying to watch how I eat and walk at least 4 miles a day. I'm working up to jogging short distances even though my feet hurt; I've had bouts of plantar fasciitis and a general feeling of stiffness/achiness in the balls of my feet. Even still I lost about 5 pounds over the last month and have been able to take a couple of mini vacations since starting this thread. I'll admit that I am still very hesitant to move forward with IC though.
Update: I had my physical today and have to go get blood drawn. My BP was a little high so they took an EKG. Doc suggested I lose another 10 pounds but ideally 30 would be about right. I've been trying to count calories and have success during the week but then on the weekend I cheat (on the diet) and end up putting a couple of pounds back on. I'm hoping that if I get back down to under 200 that I build up some momentum. As for the foot problems, I stopped wearing an uncomfortable pair of Nike running shoes and bought a new pair of walking shoes from another brand and cushioned inserts. My feet are thanking me. I need to make an effort to use the oft neglected gym membership and get some light cardio in.

I admit, I wanted to get through the holidays and try and focus on the kids before going through IC but my wife and I are pretty much at the roommate phase right now. We have a date scheduled for this weekend to see a concert but I'm dubious about if she'll enjoy it. To me it's more about the concert and meeting up with friends. She's voiced disinterest in my musical tastes so as long as she minds her manners (she has been known to say things about me that I feel are derogatory to make herself feel smart) I'm hoping to come away feeling inspired.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Should I fix myself first before MC?

The concert went well. It was probably the best day I've had in the longest time. I felt like a human being and not a shut in. Things have settled down a little but I'm still feeling quite blue most of the time. My wife and I have yet to show any interest in entering the "get to know you again" phase but I got to meet and greet and chat with the artist and met a couple of friends and shared some enjoyable face to face conversation which lifted my spirits and left me feeling mildly inspired. I still need to work on me though. Newton's third law: a body at rest wants to stay at rest.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 09:10 AM
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Re: Should I fix myself first before MC?

How is the weight? Are you getting to the gym at all?
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