Ask an expert
Question

05 Feb 2004

not allowed to have friends
Please do not publish my letter if possible – only the reply.

I truly hope you can give me some advice – I do not know who else to ask. I cannot afford to see a clinical psychologist.

My husband is 12 yrs older than I am – 51 v 39. We have been married for 16 yrs with 3 children. He sees us as his only family and has no friends. He cannot understand that one needs family and friends in your life to enrich it and to be there for one another. He sees family and friends as a burden and an extra expense. When he was young he had good friends in his cousins and they traveled a lot and did a lot of things together. Nowadays he almost has no contact with them – accept from their side occasionally. But somewhere along the line he became embittered – he had some failures in business – I do not know if this is part of the reason. I grew up without a father (passed away when I was a baby) and have a very supportive extended family. We regularly get together on weekends and for every birthday and happy occasion – which is not the same in his family.

He only has negative things to say about other people. I cannot share things with him, as he always criticizes and seldom has something positive to say about other people. He is a very good natured person and likes to help people, but I sometimes think he has a split personality. This all sounds very negative, but this is how I feel at the moment. He keeps on saying that if I find my friends and family more important than his desires, we should separate. I always maintained that the only reason for separating from my side, will be when I find out that he is in love with someone else and that I will always put my kids’ needs before my own. I feel that we should go and talk to a marriage councilor – to have a third person evaluate and give advice, but I don’t think he will ever go.

He maintains that I force him to go with me to my friends’ celebrations, but this is not the case – I always ask him whether he would like to go and never makes an issue if he does not want to.

I cannot talk to him, as I get very emotional, and I feel that he has preconceived ideas and that nothing I say or do, will (or very seldom has) changed the way he perceives the situation.

Please help me in deciding which is the best way to go.
Your help is greatly appreciated.
Answer 405 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Dear Caren,
As soon as anyone presses the button to upload their question, it is published. There's nothing I can do about that.
Maybe if you started to see a marriage counsellor, he'd worry about what you might be saying about him, and could become motivated to join the process ? Consider FAMSA.
Many folks stick to their preconceived ideas, and only get more rigid with increasing age. He seems to see "his desires" as the only important thing in the relationship, rather than taking tour "desires" into account --- this is especially unreasonable if he expects his "desires" to govern how YOU behave.
He is unlikely to change at this age, and certainly won't unless he really wants to. But decisions about staying or going, remain only yours. Have you considered a trial separation, maybe returning for a time to your family, with the children, so you can each sample what this is like for you ?
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 examination, 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.