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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can I decide whether to stay in this marriage?

    The last 2 years for my hubby & I have been really tough. His business is going thru tough times, he is questioning himself & feeling like a failure. He nearly had an affair 2years ago, & probably would have done if I had not intercepted an sms that brought the issue to light. He has been diagnosed with depression but refuses medication & counselling, & does nothing to deal with it.

    I had made the decision to leave him 2 months ago & wrote him a letter which explained all my frustrations, the needs that weren't being met & what I had needed from him. These have often been discussed before. We were about to separate, when he revealed the extent of his business woes. After he told me of his business issues, I told him I could not leave him at that time, he cried & said he could not imagine losing me (&kids) too committed to working on our relationship together.

    Things have not changed. He keeps things inside, doesn't make any effort & I feel alone & unwanted. how long do i stay
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1

    Thanks

    With a passion to see people move forward and break free from the barriers holding them back, Grant is a highly experienced counsellor with over … View Profile

    It is certainly difficult to make big decisions like this, especially since you seem to have a high commitment to your family and relationship. I've seen a lot of guys in business who are under tremendous amounts of stress and this impacts their personal relationships. Unfortunately many men don't reach out for help or value their family until it is gone. I think it would be helpful for you to talk to a counsellor and be clear in your mind where you stand and what path you will follow. Ultimately your husband needs to make his own decisions and take steps to get himself sorted but I'd suggest you find a counsellor who is good at working with men and couples. Not all counsellors are effective at engaging ‘non-compliant’ men so find one who is and make a time to seem her/him as a couple. Counsellors have different approaches, I always spend 10-15 minutes with each partner separately at the beginning of the first session as this gives me a good insight into where each person is at and helps me engage them, especially the guy. He needs to commit to you and your kids and to getting himself and his business sorted. You can support and help him but he needs to make some decisions first. I know there can be many complications with a poor performing business but I also know the longer it drags on the worse it gets so decisions need to be made.

    Make a few phone calls and find a counsellor you think will connect with your husband, book a time and do your best to get him along. If he doesn't make the appointment or goes and just opps out then that gives you a good idea where he is at and you can make some decisions from there.

    I wish you the best, give me a call if you want to have a chat.

  • Dr Clive Jones

    Counselling Psychologist, Counsellor, Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Sport Psychologist

    Dr Clive Jones is a registered psychologist specialising in the assessment and treatment of mental health issues and disorders and High Performance Sport psychology. He … View Profile

    This is really where outside assistance can help. You both want things to be different but have no idea of how to make that happen. We can all get in to that place from time to time. Its what most of us would call being in a rut.

    If your husband is really keen to keep the relationship then its time for him to face the reality of the contrast between where it is and where it needs to be.

    it is clear neither of you want the relationship to continue the way it is; so it is about biting the bullet and very intentionally doing something about it.

    While you have asked this forum a question… I have one for you… How distressed do you and your partner need to be in the relationship before you decide to do something about it? Or to put it another way… how hot does the seat have to get before you jump up out of it?

    If you draw the line regarding the relationship then that could be a good thing. Letting him know that the relationship has to change for both your sake and his can be a great thing to add clarity to the level of distress it is causing you and him. The more you understand how much you are both being hurt by the way things are the more motivated you will be to want changes and make changes for the better.

    it may be time to start dabbling the toes with a few different therapists to lock in with one that you and your husband feel comfortable with.

    Feel free to email if you want to talk on this a little more. 

  • Jan Seeley

    Counselling Psychologist, Psychologist

    Jan Seeley is a Counselling Psychologist and a member of the Australian Psychological Society with a Master of Counselling (Psychology). For over 25 years she … View Profile


  • Dr Clive Jones

    Counselling Psychologist, Counsellor, Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Sport Psychologist

    Dr Clive Jones is a registered psychologist specialising in the assessment and treatment of mental health issues and disorders and High Performance Sport psychology. He … View Profile

    It's important to ensure the nuances of your uniqueness as two individual human beings in the relationship are upheld and respected regardless of gender. Everybody behaves and responds uniquely and to divide lines as typically male or female is not necessarily the best way to go. You want your husband to understand you and your pain/frustrations/disapointments and he would want you to understand him. Stereotyping induces misunderstanding and prejudicial interpretations and responses. Locking in to speak with someone who gets to know and respect you and your husband is really important to have a balanced approach to any assistance given.

  • steven1

    HealthShare Member

    Depression does not discriminate between sexes. The door swings both ways and it is not fair to post anti-male replies. That will not help this woman in her turmoil.  I am not saying what she said is not true, but that men also face these problems in relationships as well. 

  • steven1

    HealthShare Member

    Sorry, that comment was in reply to jane seeley's comments

  • partner

    HealthShare Member

    Thank you for all of your responses. As an update, I left my now ex husband 3 months ago. 

    I understand and agree with most if not all of your advice but unfortunately if a person is not prepared to help themselves than sacrificing my own and my children's happiness is not going to change that.  He was not prepared to see a counsellor, his GP or to take anti-depression medication, but neither did he come up with a game plan for addressing the issue as an alternative.

    I tell people that there is a 5-10% chance that the marriage could have been saved.  Such a slim chance and, as I believe the children will adjust better to a separation at a younger age, not a chance I was prepared to take when he had been given so many opportunities and not acted on them.

    So thank you!  But we can probably close this discussion now as it is done and I am happy with my decision :-)

  • With a passion to see people move forward and break free from the barriers holding them back, Grant is a highly experienced counsellor with over … View Profile

    Hi, well done on taking some action - if nothing changes, nothing changes. Sometimes a separation can jolt the other party into action, or not. My advice;
    - don't go back to the relationship without both of you seeing a counsellor for several sessions first so you are both clear on a plan formoving forward
    - if you decide to legally termininate the relationship see a mediation service - you will generally have better outcomes for a LOT LESS money and conflict.

    Good luck, I hope you are able to keep moving forward,

    Grant

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