LI Marriage Counseling Blog – The Case of the Wonderful Husband Who Did Everything Right

Long Island Marriage Counseling Center at Huntington, NY

From Dr. Kramer – Give me a call now at 631-553-1476 to make an appointment or email me at Marriage Counseling Long Island.

At the??Long Island Marriage Counseling Center, Huntington, NY, often a spouse will come in to work with me on convincing the other spouse to stay in the marriage. There is always more to the story than meets the eye.

Fran and?Pat’s Marriage

Pat came in, very disturbed. Fran went to a lawyer for a divorce and he did not want it. He did not know what to do. The story of their marriage unfolded and why he had come to a marriage counselor.

Fran had had it with him. She accused him of drinking and drugging. One of their boys had seen him inebriated and it was not the first time. She wanted out. She insisted Pat was an alcoholic.

Pat was devastated but said he was not an alcoholic. He had used substances on occasion but he was not a regular user. Nothing he did could convince Fran and she went forward with the divorce. As Pat’s life unraveled, the deeper parts of their marriage began to unveil themselves. Pat had been an abused child. He had learned to please his mother so that she would not hit him. In turn, the more he pleased his mother, the more she applauded him and told him he was very special.

When Pat married, he, not surprisingly, found a woman just like Mom. Fran was rather self-involved and wanted a great deal of attention, control and material well-being. Fran provided that for her. He worked super hard as an accountant to satisfy her needs, and always went along with her social plans. If not, she screamed at him. He quickly learned to go along, as he was used to that with his mother.

In their marriage, Pat looked like the wonderful husband and Fran was the pampered wife. Everyone in their affluent community thought they were the perfect couple. Only Pat knew the truth. In the deeper parts of himself, he felt more and more isolated, alone and empty, because he could never speak up and voice his own needs. Some part of him insisted he be good. So he got punished on the inside as well as the outside if he declared his true desires, like hanging out with the guys instead of going to Fran’s mother.

Pat now recognizes he turned to alchohol and drugs both to fill his own emptiness and to spite Fran. Her father had been an alcoholic and the worst sin to her was drinking and drugging. She absolutely refused to go to marriage counseling unless Fran went into rehab for a year. He knew that was not his real problem and so said no.

Finally nothing more could be done. Pat went through with the divorce as he had no choice. As the marriage was reaching its final ending, he attempted to seduce Fran back into the marriage, not because he wanted her so much but because he hated failure and wanted to redo the past. Fran absolutely blocked his attempts at reconcilation and went forward. The marriage ended. Pat then worked on forgiving himself for his part in the marriage failure.

Could this marriage have been saved? Perhaps, if Pat had years ago realized that he was denying his own needs and desires and had spoken up for himself and insisted on marriage counseling.

Pat?would have needed to learn to negotiate how they spent their time and the way money was spent. He would have had to give up the role of being the ‘wonderful husband who did everything right’. He would have had to become more assertive. Fran would have had to learn to give up total control in the marriage and instead co-control with Pat She would have had to learn to spend less and still feel good about herself.

Pat is determined to go to find a marriage counselor earlier if similar problems arise in his next marriage. He does intend to do it again and learn from his past mistakes.

If? you have a similar situation and wish to discuss, please email me to the right or give me a call. Would love to help.

From Dr. Kramer – Give me a call now at 631-553-1476 to make an appointment or email me at Marriage Counseling Long Island.

Warmly, Diane

Dr. Diane Kramer, Psychologist
Long Island Marriage Counseling Center at Huntington, NY
75 Prospect St., Suite 103
Huntington, NY 11743

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