You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel 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...
Dear Dr. Sherry,
I'm Annette. I read the advice you gave to someone who is still in love with her ex even though he's with someone else and it really resonated with me because I happen to be going through the same thing. We have two sons who are now teenagers but we have are often in and out of a relationship with one another and it's starting to take a toll. I still love him but we are currently not together. We are originally from the same town but now we live in two different states after he took a job out of state a few years back and has repeatedly taken work which moves him farther from me and our children. Right now, he's in Tampa, Florida and I reside in Louisiana. One of the biggest problems in our relationship has always been finances. Even though he often moved for work, he was never able to find stablility no matter where it was. I was always the responsible one while he was the opposite. I stayed put to give our sons a sense of home but because I wouldn't move with him every time he picked up for a job, he started seeing someone else. He became angry, blaming me for him seeing others and tells me I'm the one who didn't want to make a good life so that your family could have stayed together. After leaving last year, he hasn't returned home to us but when we talk, he tells me he still loves me. I still keep him in my heart and that's why I can't let another man get close to me. I'm afraid for my teenage boys. I don't trust any man around them and most importantly, I want their father to be the only man in their life and mine. I think about the one I still love very often. So what should I do? I do love myself and I want to truly be happy but I know I can't do this to myself. I cry sometimes and say why did it have to go like this for my children and I. It's lost me because I feel like I'm in a bubble. I believe I need to talk to someone. What are my options?
I agree with you, you are in a "bubble." That bubble has allowed you to float along without dealing honestly with the way things really are with your relationship with your ex. You are struggling with letting go of a man who has "never" been stable financially, hasn't taken care of his two children or you, and cheats on you but blames you for his cheating. Really?? Is this what you expect and accept from someone you love or says he loves you. You said you love yourself but apparently not enough to expect more in a relationship. I hate to burst your bubble but it needs to be done in order for you to understand of what is happening and why you are holding on to the relationship. You appear to be dealing with how things could be rather than the reality of how they are. Your codependency and insecurity keeps you from letting go and moving on. Your lack of trust with other men being around your teenage sons is only an excuse for not entertaining the possibility of having another relationship. It is also likely to be a way of avoiding the possibility of not being approached by men or rejected by them. I suggest that you seek individual therapy to work through issues that are keeping you emotionally trapped in an unhealthy relationship. You must believe that you deserve more in order to have more in a relationship. --Dr Sherry
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