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Saturday, 01 January 2000

Real Life Problems

Written by  Dr. Louise Klein

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QDear WholeFamily,

I am about to file for divorce. Searching for help I came across your address. I have to say that the advice that you gave the lady with the problem about x-mas was good but in the same breath and in the next thousand I have to let you know that people with far deeper problems (not to minimise the others) can't find the help we need. I need. I have been married for ten years, together for fourteen, the last nine years have been awfull, and the last seven even worse. I have tried everything from counseling together, just me, me and the kids (we have 2, 7, and 5-years-old) reading countless books, videos, talking to friends, talking to clergy, crying, pleading, yelling, writing letters, nothing has worked with my husband, and finally I found a little peace, I read that it's not my fault, it's not my job to make him love and respect me and the children, it's HIS!!!!!!!!!!! He has to want to make this marriage work too. My home has been a battleground for far too long and even though emotionally I'm strong enough to let go. He doesn't want out, he still doesn't see what my problem is! Incredible!

Why aren't there more real life problems like this for you to address? I can only help myself, if the window of hope is open. So far every time i try to open it it may stay open for a short while, but it usually slams shut. Please try to make this page of yours really matter, really help people. The truth of the matter is there are a lot of people in the world that want and need help. Please don't make this just another advice column. And if you get a chance maybe someone could contact me to discuss my problem, and I can go into further detail, I'd appreciate it. Thank you for taking the time to ask for and read this feedback.

Have a great day.

ADear Feedback,

Your sound exhausted from dealing with this unhappy situation for so long. You're right, it's not your fault that your husband is the way that he is. A person can only change if they want to and he doesn't appear to even comprehend what is making you so unhappy in this situation. You can only be responsible for yourself and do the best that you can to take care of your children.

You say that the last 7 years have been completely awful and yet you continue to stay with this man. What are you still hoping to get out of this marriage? What are the reasons that compel you to stay? I can understand that being on your own with three small children is incredibly difficult financially and emotionally. What resources do you have? Are there family or friends that you could turn to for support if you decide to leave?

You need to find a therapist who can help you explore these difficult issues. An advice column is limited by time and space. You need someone who is available to you on a regular basis. Perhaps the therapist would also have access to a support group that would be helpful to you. If cost is the issue, check in your local phone book for women's shelters and mental health clinics as they have access to therapists who work on a sliding fee scale. Depending upon your health insurance your doctor may be able to refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist. You say that you have talked to clergy, call the church and ask if they have a referral list.

You say that you are ready to file for divorce but your husband won't let go. I'm not sure what you mean by that. Is he refusing to move out? Is he refusing to acknowledge that the marriage is over? Talk with an attorney about what options are available to you. There are low-cost legal aid clinics in most cities or call your local Bar Association for a referral. Again I say, you are not responsible for your husband's behavior but you are responsible for your own actions. Only you can help yourself. If you really want to change your situation, you can. You've already shown that you have incredible reserves of strength to have survived this long. Now apply that energy to moving on with your life.

I wish you luck as you make these changes.

Dr. Louise Klein

Last modified on Saturday, 21 January 2012 07:19
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Dr. Louise Klein

Dr. Louise Klein

Louise Klein was born on the West Coast of Canada but lived for many years in Los Angeles and Philadelphia. She has a doctorate in clinical psychology from Widener University in Pennsylvania. Dr. Louise Klein is an experienced therapist in insight-oriented talk therapy. She has worked with individuals, couples and groups for many years. Her experience with families includes stepfamilies, adoptive families, nuclear families and families dealing with illness or death. Dr Klein is also trained in thought field therapy and regression therapy and has taught and worked internationally. Louise Klein lives in a rural community with her husband and St. Bernard and has a stepdaughter in college in New England.

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