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flip flop
By: catmeow67
Age: 54, 
South Carolina
2/20/2018 2:37:18 PM

Our marriage has been in trouble for some time now. We have separated a couple of times, but the last time back in October we decided we would not give up on each other. Well, both of us have explored outside relationships while we were married. Mine have been emotionally driven as I cannot get my needs met from my husband and he has told me on numerous occassions to go find someone else.... he hopes that I do so they can take me off his hands, etc. so when I do, he acts as though that is some big blow to our relationship. While I know if is not right, but he pushes me to that point. Now, he has done the same thing... constantly approaching women to have sex with him, or sending them emails, getting and receiving pictures, going on craigs list for hook ups, etc. i have offered him every avenue to re build trust on my end. He looks at my phone whenever he wants,,,,goies through my emails, texts, phone calls. I even share my location with him so he can find me at any given time. I am not doing anything inappropriate. The slightest disagreement turns into a 911 and it never fails that when we argue, he wants to leave and stay the night at his friends house, ignores me sometimes for days-- has been weeks. Then tells me he doesn't trust me and he can't get over the past. Well, he never says that when we have not had an argument. He has cheated repeatedly and I don't rake him over the coals, He would not do the same things I do for him to rebuild trust. I don't have his passwords, etc. like he has mine. One day he seems all fine and loves me to no end. Then he gets mad at me and then wants a divorce. I call that flip flop but he can't see it. Drives me insane and I can't no matter what I do get him to recognize he does nothing to help our marriage. He won't seek counseling yet he claims he has tried so hard?????? what to do?  

Reply Posted By: Kelly Laney-Holstein, MFT - Female, LomitaCalifornia

Date Posted:
2/20/2018 3:03:17 PM

Kelly Laney-Holstein, MFT

This sounds like a deeply ingrained pattern that would take a lot of intervention. I think counseling is a good idea but if that’s not possible a good start is to sit down together and see how all these problems are caused by both people equally. For every action there is a reaction and vise versa and it sounds like it goes so far back that it’s pointless to tease out how it started. Focus on the idea that all of these issues were caused by both people equally and both parties need to take steps to correct them. Talk about the core problems and identify how each of you make them worse. Come up with a solid plan of action as to what each party can do to stop this pattern. Keep the plan specific. Nothing vague like be nicer to me. Things like hold my hand and talk to me without looking at your cell phone for 10 min every day. Both parties can come up with 2-3 concrete and specific things they can do to stop the pattern and 2-3 things the other person can do and make sure to do all of these things. Hold eachepther accountable! Your marriage depends on neither of you slacking! 

Reply Posted By: Rafael Morales Toia, MS, MA, MFT - Male, Age: 47, BettendorfIowa

Date Posted:
2/21/2018 3:12:23 AM

Rafael Morales Toia, MS, MA, MFT

I am sorry to know you have been facing such tough times in your marriage. Based on what you have described here, it seems from the time you were together, both were dissatisfied with each other and looking for what was missing through affairs, which is a normal and common reaction when couples feel hopeless and helpless within marriage or long-term relationships. Then you separated, came back together and same issues continued, and regardless both agreeing to stay together, you described how he has been unable and unwilling to take actions showing respect, accountability, healthy affection, commitment, fidelity, and everything else necessary for a healthy marriage.

Being that the case, having episodes where he appears to be very nice just to get back to the same chronic pattern, appears to show he lacks what it takes to work on healing and then building your marriage, and since he is unwilling to commit to any form professional support, I do not see as realistic or helpful to expect this situation to significantly improve at all.

I also believe that the more you stay and take the disrespect, manipulation and abuse, the more you enable more of his dysfunctional behavior against yourself, reinforcing what is already very distorted in him. It is unrealistic to expect a person unable to take good care of himself and to work on personal issues with necessary professional support, to be able to play a good role, and to work on marital issues.

I suggest you to focus on what you can control and commit to work on your own healing, for you to take good care of yourself, and assertively end any form of abusive/unhealthy relationship. It is then from such process that you would be able to identify healthy people, and from there work on building a reciprocal respectful and fulfilling relationship. Please feel free to contact me if you''d like my support to work on it.





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