You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel All Alone in Their Marriages, keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show Braxton Family Values. Now it's your turn to sit in her chair...
I have been married for nine years and have two beautiful kids. My husband has recently become very attentive and I am having a hard time embracing it as truth versus agenda. The last eight years I have endured my husband’s addiction to opiate drugs, alcohol and unemployment. He has been an excellent father, but not a good husband. How do I let my guard down to trust his intentions?
Trust is not something that is given; it is something earned. It sounds as if your husband has not earned your trust. This is understandable after enduring eight years of your husband's drug addiction, alcoholism and unemployment. It is unclear, but it sounds as if your husband is drug free at this time. If that is the case, he may indeed be attempting to be attentive and become a better husband. It is difficult for him to be a good husband or anything else when he is using drugs or intoxicated. His unemployment adds to the level of stress in your relationship.
It is great that he is being attentive regardless of his motives. I am sure this is what you have longed for from your husband. Be grateful for each day that he is focusing on you. This does not mean that you should be naive. Eight years of addiction and inappropriate behaviors will not change overnight but it can change in time. Be patient and look for consistency in his behaviors. Trust is going to take time to rebuild. I would strongly suggest that the two of you seek marital therapy. This will give both of you a chance to deal with issues that contributed to his drug and alcohol addition as well as other issues in the marriage.
I would also suggest that you seek individual therapy too. This will give you a chance to deal with underlying anger and other feelings that you may be holding on to. Emotional healing is a process. If you want your husband and marriage, you must fight to make it what you want. -- Dr. Sherry
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