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Question
Posted by: Sally | 2012/01/20

When do you give up on a person?

When do you give up on someone? A year? A few years? Never? I feel like giving up on the husband that I love so very dearly.

His parents never nurtured him into being a successful adult and now he has a job that, I’ ll be honest, is not an ideal job for his age but I am grateful that he has a job and am thankful that he gets an OK salary from it. I don’ t earn a much better salary, but my job is more suited to someone my age. In anycase, I know my husband feels lost, I know he’ s hurt- his younger sister is very successful but their parents spent thousands and thousands making sure she did this course, that course, etc. They didn’ t offer him the same. So recently, I took him to do a career assessment so he can find his way a bit. He thought it was a waste of money but he went. Now he doesn’ t want to get the results. He’ s complaining it’ s a waste of money.

He’ s upset his sister is traveling internationally and he’ s never even traveled the country. I understand where he’ s coming from, I have seen with my own eyes the favouritism between the siblings and it disgusts me to say the least. But I am trying to support him, trying to encourage him, putting all MY wants and dreams aside to try make HIM happier. He needs counseling, he refuses. He says no one will ever change his mind. He’ s always been a bit of a depressive person, it’ s just getting worse as he gets older and he does not gain the success his sister has. I have been a part of his life since we were teens and his parents did not support him, guide him or the sorts in any way, never the same as they did his sister. I am now trying to pick up the pieces that is his life but I can’ t anymore- I am very much an optimist and he’ s crushing my spirit. I love him and don’ t want him to deal with this alone but he’ s just not interested in sorting himself out…  I don’ t know what do to.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I hear that you feel frustrated and disappointed.
But what you describe is a problem needing solutions, not a reason to give up and leave the guy, who will be even more devastated if you do.
I am wprroed, too, about the extent to which your concerns seem to be about him falling short of what you expect of him, of what you think would be "appropriate", "ideal", or "suited".
ing, about what is "appropriate", as though there are universal laws about these things.
Apparently his parents, sadly, failed him, and spoiled his younger sister at his cost - sad, but that happens. And it can cause long-term damage to someone's self-esteem and confidence. Neither of you must give power to the inadequate parents or the spoiled sister - there support and encouragement would have been useful, but are not needed for him to lead a successful and happy life.
Do get the results of his testing, as it can be useful to both of you as a guide to what would be a useful way forward. He may be reluctant, feeling it'll turn out to be just something else he will feel he has failed. If the testers are any good at all, they should have identified his strengths as well as weaknesses.
You don't need to put aside all your own dreams just to encourage his, but could work together to find ways to move ahead together. Maybe he can be persuaded to join you in couples counselling with a CBT approach ( Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy is potent at changing such fixed negative expectations and beliefs )- if he can be persuaded to see it as a way in which he could very valuable HELP YOU.
He clearly sees the situation as hopeless, and isn't prepared to risk further failures ( or what feel to him as failures ). Work in bite-sized chunks -select small areas of effort where he can definitely achieve success, so he can start to learn that failure isn't inevitable. Emphasize and enhance his abilities rather than his disabilities.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

5
Our users say:
Posted by: M | 2012/01/22

Some people learn the hard way. My brother was sort of full of excuse in life, didnt want to finish school because people didnt like him, didnt hold a job long enough because the boss this and that etc. etc. I gave up talking, shoulting and loving him, but didnt write him off completely. He knew that when he was rock, rock bottom, I would listen to his calls and still lecture him when he called. The difference is, I stopped chasing him, calling him, trying to show him how important change was for him. It took a few years, he learnt many hard lessons and is now a changed man. He constantly calls to say thank you for not throwing me away and thank you for tough love coz that was the wake up call. My point is help where you can (when he asks) but dont bend over backwards. He must learn on his own, for his own sake and those who love him. Unfortunatley, you can take the camel to the water but you cannot make it drink the water!

Reply to M
Posted by: Phil | 2012/01/20

Sorry to say this  once you are a grown up your destiny is in your own hands. You can''t blame the past for you not doing anything with your life - NOW THAT YOUARE GROWN UP AND RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN LIFE. Some people just remain loosers  it''s afterall a choice isn''t it.

Reply to Phil
Posted by: Maria | 2012/01/20

You cannot help him unless he is willing to admit that he needs help. At the moment he is dragging you down with him. You said it yourself, he is crushing your spirit. I''m really sorry to say this but the best thing you can do for yourself is walk away from him. You could decide to tell him you are going to do it, give him a certain period of time to pull himself together, and if he doesn''t then leave.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Sally | 2012/01/20

To add. he''s a very paranoid person as well. He''s adament that I''m going to leave one day, but he''s not prepared to change so I don''t. Or I have to live a miserable life with him, which he is also not prepared to change. Either way, it''s his way and either way, HE''S proven right no matter what I do which annoys me to the high heavens. I feel like he''s giving me no options, he''s making me feel bad no matter what I do and I feel like a prisoner to his mind. I do love him, but I don''t know how to help him.

Reply to Sally
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/01/20

I hear that you feel frustrated and disappointed.
But what you describe is a problem needing solutions, not a reason to give up and leave the guy, who will be even more devastated if you do.
I am wprroed, too, about the extent to which your concerns seem to be about him falling short of what you expect of him, of what you think would be "appropriate", "ideal", or "suited".
ing, about what is "appropriate", as though there are universal laws about these things.
Apparently his parents, sadly, failed him, and spoiled his younger sister at his cost - sad, but that happens. And it can cause long-term damage to someone's self-esteem and confidence. Neither of you must give power to the inadequate parents or the spoiled sister - there support and encouragement would have been useful, but are not needed for him to lead a successful and happy life.
Do get the results of his testing, as it can be useful to both of you as a guide to what would be a useful way forward. He may be reluctant, feeling it'll turn out to be just something else he will feel he has failed. If the testers are any good at all, they should have identified his strengths as well as weaknesses.
You don't need to put aside all your own dreams just to encourage his, but could work together to find ways to move ahead together. Maybe he can be persuaded to join you in couples counselling with a CBT approach ( Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy is potent at changing such fixed negative expectations and beliefs )- if he can be persuaded to see it as a way in which he could very valuable HELP YOU.
He clearly sees the situation as hopeless, and isn't prepared to risk further failures ( or what feel to him as failures ). Work in bite-sized chunks -select small areas of effort where he can definitely achieve success, so he can start to learn that failure isn't inevitable. Emphasize and enhance his abilities rather than his disabilities.

Reply to cybershrink

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