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Husband Won't Let Go Of The Past

by Anonymous
(New York)

Dr. DeFoore, I'm a 37 year old mother of 3 children, and I have a loving husband but he has a lot of issues in his life. His mother gave him up as a child because he was the result of a drug-using affair she had. Her husband told her to give up the kid or get out so she did.

His mother died when he was a adult and she ask him to forgive her, and he said he did. As a result of his mother's drug use he was born with a lot of illnesses that he still has. He recently also found out that he has M.S.

He talks about how he hates what his mother did to him. He says it's good his real dad got killed because he was just a drug addict, and that he was worth nothing. He's glad he's dead. He hates drug addicts.

He doesn't trust me to go out with my girlfriends. He thinks I might go out and cheat and leave him. He thinks drinking is bad. He says it's just like using drugs, that anything that alters your brain is no good.

He's already deaf in one ear and blind in one eye from the M.S. I know he needs counseling--look at all the built up anger he has from what his mother did to him. He hates drug addicts, people who drink, me going out--I can't take it any more! Please can you give me some kind of advice?

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello, and thanks for telling your story here. Your husband's story is very difficult, and so is yours. There's no question about that. I will try to help.

First, I want you to consider that your husband's past trauma, as bad as it is, is no excuse for treating you badly in the present. You are his wife and the mother of his children, and you are worthy of respect, regardless of what has happened in his past.

I don't want to minimize his situation. It is clearly tragic that he has to suffer so much for his mother's choices. Yet, that does not justify his hatred or his bad treatment of you. It certainly explains it, but it does not justify it.

As a mother of 3 children, I realize you are very challenged about what to do next. The very best thing would be for your husband to get some counseling and begin his healing journey. Emotional healing from his past would lower his stress, which could also help with his M.S. symptoms.

I'm sure it was a good thing for him to forgive his mother before she died. However, forgiveness for what she did to him is huge, and takes a very long time. It is much more than just words. If he's open, the two of you might benefit from listening to my CD program entitled, Love, Anger and Forgiveness. It explains the process of forgiving, and how it requires also the full expression and healing of anger.

Meanwhile, to manage your own stress, I suggest you start journaling your thoughts and feelings daily, just to give you some release from your own emotions. You will find three journaling processes on this page. Pick the ones that seem to fit best for you.

Believe in the goodness in your husband, and take very good care of you. For your own sake and for the sake of your children, you can't let yourself be damaged too much by what your husband is going through.

This web site is full of helpful information and resources for you and your husband. Spend some time reading and searching, until you find what you need.

Believe in yourself, believe in the best of your husband, and believe in healing.

(By the way, I listed your name as "Anonymous" because you gave only your last name and first initial. I protect contributor's anonymity by only using first names.)

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

Comments for Husband Won't Let Go Of The Past

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Jun 29, 2017
To Anne
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hi Anne

I can see how your situation is very challenging for you.

You said a couple of things I wanted to respond to.

1) You said you are sacrificing your life for your fiance. That is never a good idea. Giving is one thing, sacrificing is another. The more you sacrifice, the more you will expect from him, and the more you will be disappointed and resentful. Only give with sacrifice.

2) You also said you don't know how to speak to him. I suggest you follow these guidelines for conflict resolution. Ask your fiance to read them as well, so that he can work with you to resolve this issue.

You will also benefit from taking a look at your expectations for marriage together. The program below will help you do that.

My best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

Jun 18, 2017
My Fiance's Daughter Wants To Break Us Up
by: Anne

I'm engaged to a great guy. We both lost our spouse from cancer. We met 2 years ago and fell in love. We got engaged this Spring.

We both have grown children. My problem is his daughter. She isn't happy for us. She is married and lives in s different state. She's asking for all his precious things. She doesn't want us to have anything nice to enjoy.

I have many beautiful things from my past to bring in this marriage for us. He doesn't because she wants to take it for herself. I feel that she wants to break us up for her own pleasure.

I don't know how to speak to him that he should only give it to her when he pass away in the future. She only wants him to keep crappie furniture that no one like including me.

I'm will to sell my home to move in his old home that needs a lot of work. I'm sacrificing my life for him. I'm confused how to handle this. Please reply with your suggestions.

Jan 24, 2015
Hold your focus and give him time
by: Dr. DeFoore

Your husband is still there, and so are you. Keep your focus on the good person you know you are, which is probably the same person he has been happy with until you disclosed the new (old) information. Believe in him, believe in yourself, and trust him to sort things out and forgive. I hope for both your sakes that he can.

Jan 23, 2015
Husband won't let go of the past
by: Anonymous

I made mistakes, I've held some important information from my husband for 10 years and now my husband doesn't trust me and calls me a liar when I'm telling him the truth. He said I ruin his life because if I had told him the truth from the beginning he wouldn't have kids with me. For a while there, we were great together and now it's been horrible. I need some advice.

Aug 04, 2014
You are right in what you feel
by: Dr. DeFoore

Of course you feel hurt and angry about your husband's issues with his daughters. Especially since he abandoned you on your first Christmas together. The question is, what do do about it.

I suggest a two-part approach. Tell him, when you're in a loving mood, exactly what you want. Not what you want him to do, but how you want to feel in your marriage to him. Then tell him how much you love him, and all of the things you love about him. Tell him that you feel hurt by his actions and focus on his daughters, and how that focus seems stronger (if it does) than his focus on you.

Your marriage is very young, and these are growing pains. I strongly encourage you and your husband to get a copy of Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples, or two copies would be even better. Both of you read it, then do the exercises in the back of the book. This will really help you get your marriage on track, and get started in a very good direction for your future together.

My very best to you as you work through this toward improving your marriage.

Aug 04, 2014
Who is right. here?
by: Anonymous

I married a wonderful man last year that treats me like a queen. He has two grown daughters that are married with children. They were married adults years ago when he divorced their mother. On our first Christmas last year they invited him, not me, to exchange gifts. He didn't really want to go without me but he did.

I tried to play the adult but I was furious because I felt he should have told them that if we weren't invited together as one then he wasn't coming. I told him to just go.

It since has caused quite a lot of division and even though I've forgiven him, it's been a very sore subject. He told me that night that he stood up to them and told them that this would never happen again.

It should never have happened. It's been eight months now and he is whining about wanting to see his grand kids so I told him to text his daughter who never calls him to see when he could come by. She told him she is only home on Sundays. Sundays my husband works out of town but goes right by their home on his way home so he thought it would be fine to stop on his way home from work.

I'm having serious issues with him even wanting to go because they didn't invite him or contact him. I feel like it's happening all over again. They don't seem to care about him at all and want nothing to do with him but he can't accept that.

Also, I believe that a married man should tell family or the whole world where to go if they are just going to cause division in the marriage. They are not the problem, they don't call or interfere at all, he is the only one that can't get on with his life constantly bringing it up wanting to see the grand kids.

Part of me wants to tell him heck no, they will invite you if they want to see you, which they never will, I don't want anything to do with them. This shouldn't be a problem but it is because of the mistake he made leaving me home alone and having Christmas with them, on our first Christmas together!

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