Question: Dear Luise: My Husband of 11 years announced he wanted to separate. He and I have 1 child together and I have one from a previous marriage. We have suffered huge financial change in the last couple of years. My husband has been diagnosed with bipolar and anger management issues, about 4 years ago we had a huge fight and he was arrested for domestic violence and was not permitted to contact me or the kids for about a month then we were allowed to talk on the phone, then eventually he was allowed to come home. The actual event of the arrest is vague due to my friend was the one to call the police and have him arrested. He was angry and out of control however he did not put his hands on me. Now he says the financial struggles and the resentment he has for me for the arrest and the stress he has at work has caused him to just break down and give up. We communicate a little now, its been 2 months since we separated, and he says i need to be patient as he is not right mentally and the best thing for us right now is to be apart. But he says he doesnt want to give up on the marriage yet, he says its not over yet, etc.. but when he text messages me when I ask how I am suppose to feel he comes at me with mean words. It seems like he text messages one thing but when we talk he says another. I know we need this time apart but I need to know I am not hanging on for nothing. What if he is just afraid to hurt my feelings so he wont say what he really feels. I really dont know what to do. I started seeing a councelor but it really doesnt seem to help. I am truly devasted because it feels like all of his words for the last 11 years are lies. I just need to know what I need to do.. my friends think he had or is having a breakdown, and he will regret this, but I dont know. any advice would be greatly appreciated…K.
Answer: Dear K.: Please don’t give up on seeing a counselor because you didn’t find the right one the first time. There is someone out there who will “get it” and who is qualified to help you through this. You need an advocate and for most of us, our friends just aren’t trained to take it on.
My take on texting is that it can be a place to hide. It is totally one sided and it can be brutal without any direct repercussions. At the same time, the truth may lie there. You deserve so much better.
You decision needs to come from what will work for you. It can’t be about putting your self aside and excusing abuse. Your own mental and physical health is primary. You have children depending on you and your self-respect is what gets you through each day. We can’t carry other adults on our shoulders, at least not for long. We have to “hold them able” to find their own solutions as we focus on finding ours. Blessings, Luise