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Question
Posted by: Unhappy | 2005/11/22

Want to help my Husband

My husband have been working long hours and we drifted apart these last few years. He wanted to leave me because he is feeling guilty for working these hours and I have to sit at home al the time. He also feels that we have become to used to each other over the past 20 years. We are seeing a counsler at the moment, but I need to know what I can do to try and releave some of the stress he is under. He is willing to work at it, but it is taking time. In the mean time both of us are very unhappy! Should I just keep my distance and wait until he has decided what he wants to do?

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Our expert says:
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Excellent answers from fin/ex and jakes. Obviously your question relates to important matters that you need to work on together in the counselling. Apart from the point the others raise about the importance of recognizing and dealing with your own needs, as regards the quwestion of how to help him deal with the stress he is under, surely that depends so very much on what hekp he needs and wants, the causwes of the stress, to what extent they are modifiable, and so on. Ask him, and explore what you can do for each other.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Jakes | 2005/11/23

There are a number of things needing clarification:

Why is he working those long hours - is it necessary? I also do.
What time do you have together and how do you spend it?

I am fortunate that I can take a lot work home and do it after spending time with the kids, sometimes late into the night. No support from my wife - either sleeping or TV.

What would I have liked ... the softness only a woman can give ... and while I’m working, a cuddle ... a bar of Chocolate ... once in a while …….., yes ...attention, but most of all I would have liked to see her being her happy self, able to talk freely about little things and emotions - how we feel. Yes, talking to each other in available time. For us it is too late but I realise that if we could just have communicated better, no matter if the time was short …..

Reply to Jakes
Posted by: fin/ex | 2005/11/22

Hi Unhappy
No wonder you are unhappy. not once in your post have you spoken about what could help you and what would make you happy and what decision you would like to take. it is as though your happiness is dependant on what your hub is feeling and that you have put your future into his hands. this in itself can be quite a bit of pressure on him and can also leave you feeling rather powerless - having given him all your power. why not try getting involved in some hobbies or maybe even a book club or a scrap book club or learn to play a musical instrument , learn a new language (everyone is learnoing Xhosa here in the Cape) or something that can keep you busy while he is working long hours, take up a sport even. in this way you yourself start developing and changing and well you become someone new to rediscover..... 20 years is a verrrry long time to be with one person and i am sure you become used to each other but you also get to know each other well and your love has had the years to develop into something many of us will never have.
i hope you can work things out - and do think of what you would like and what you would want - try take back some of the control
Good luck

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