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How do you tell someone that being around them makes you sick?XD


ChasingDreams
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... without just sounding like an insensitive jerk/b*%^h? I can tell that my boyfriend is going through a lot of pain and stress... He is unhappy with the way his life turned out and overwhelmed by being back in college at 36... and with the responsibilities of being a parent to a 1-year-old... and having a hard time assimilating to a new country/culture... and feeling incredibly shamed by being basically disowned and ostracized by his own culture... and feeling lonely because he has no friends and no one to talk to but me... and basically just overall miserable... I do understand this...

However, the negative energy he is spreading around is making me sick:( Sometimes I literally feel like throwing up when I think about it... And I feel all panicked inside, like I need to change the situation... because I can't take being around this negativity anymore:( I am so tired of hearing him complain about his life and yet do nothing to change it... just feeling sorry for himself.. and I don't know what he wants from me... I think part of the problem is that HE DOESN'T KNOW what he wants... because he's from a culture that squashes individual wants/needs and goals in life... I think he is totally lost having to come up with a gameplan for his own life, after being raised to think that he had no choice in the matter... But I find it so pathetic for a 36 year old to not have any direction in his life whatsoever... and every time I try to help give him a direction, he can't handle it>< Well, I can't handle it><

I know some people on here have basically told me to leave him... but I won't for 2 reasons... 1) he would go back to his country and we would have a ridiculously complicated international custody issue, with the potential for him to take our daughter to his country and me to never see her again (his country does not participate in any sort of international agreement on child abduction and would not cooperate...) and 2) I do love him and can see how much he is hurting and can also see some of the past decisions I made that have made his situation worse (like helping to alienate him from his family) and REALLY want to help him...

So, that brings me to the next question... How can I suggest couples therapy to him in a way that he won't feel threatened and angry? I've tried explaining to him that I'm working on changing my own ways (like becoming a better listener), but even at the slightest hint that I want him to make an effort to improve the situation too, he gets mad:( I know that what probably really needs to happen is for him to get into some sort of counseling of his own, to work through things and help his depression, but he's not on my health insurance, so he would have to find some sort of free counseling or something, which I'm sure would be very embarrassing for him to seek. And the suggestion of it coming from me would probably not be taken very well... SO I'm thinking maybe if I can get him to go to couples therapy with me (my insurance will pay) then along with trying to work on our communication, etc. maybe the therapist will direct him toward some help for his depression... Because as long as he is in the state he is, nothing we try to do to improve our relationship is going to help:(

So, does anyone have any ideas for turning needing couples counseling into a positive thing and not having him feel threatened?

Thanks.

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Temp,

Have you ever heard of the game of i-go, as it's known in Japan? Do you know if your boyfriend knows how to play the game, or might be interested? There are clubs in most big cities in the States, and web sites where you can play online.

The reason I mention it is that it might be something that would give him a link back to his own culture, even though he's living here, not to mention helping him to relax a little.

Just thought I'd throw that out there at random. The person you're in charge of is you, though. You can't help him deal with his stuff if you let yours overwhelm you.

Couples counseling might be valuable. The thing is, he has to be willing, as well. I know that when I started couple counseling with my wife, I was too certain that nothing would change for me to give it the chance it deserved. In other words, you not only have to get him there, you have to give him hope that it will help. The thing is, we're back to things you can't control, such as any other person on the planet.

Also, is custodial kidnapping something you fear would happen? That doesn't seem like a very trusting situation ...

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I don't... think... he would actually kidnap her.... but it's something that scares the crap out of me... because of all the countries I could have gotten involved with they are probably the most accepting of parental kidnapping and would be the least cooperative...

But yeah, I guess I don't totally trust him:( There have been so many things that I have discovered about his culture that go against everything I am and I believe and it scares me. Things that we take for granted here are totally different there..

I think I need to do some legal research just in case... I know when we went to get her citizenship at the consulate there was some issue with us not being married before she was born and me being American that made it so she couldn't get citizenship, so I'm hoping because of legal crap like that they would not recognize his claim to her... but I don't know for sure, and yeah I'm scared..

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Hi temp,

well, I'm sure that if your husband is in pain he will, maybe not at first, eventually appreciate that you care and try to offer him the best that you can. Maybe some tips would just be by communicating with him openly but not in a directive way, asking him for example: "if you had a magic spell and could wish anything what would you ask for?" (ok, not just to get better, but something less general). Or try to refrase his feelings for example: "you feel discouraged and don't see any solution is that how you are feeling?"

I'm studying counselling and don't want to substitute a professional practice with some tips given superficially here, but I remember that you talked about communication:

l... SO I'm thinking maybe if I can get him to go to couples therapy with me (my insurance will pay) then along with trying to work on our communication,

if you think this may be something you would want to work on: I remember reading about an exercise how to implement communication and complicity between couples: that is to experiment a sort of game: that both of you cannot to talk to each other for, lets say, 1 or 2 days, and can only communicate non-verbally: that is: if you want to ask him if he can take the garbage out you need to act it out. If you feel like you want a hug show him how you feel without words. You can try this for as long as you like and/or are able to. In the end its important that you can talk together about what both of you weren't able to communicate correctly to the other. If you do so it should help you to learn better how your partner communicates non verbally but most importantly you also learn not to infer and misinterpret verbal communication through body language.

Lastly I always thought it must be a lot of fun, and may distract him for some time from his negative feelings and problems.

I leave it to you to evaluate if this could be helpful.

good luck,

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Temp,

I'm not a lawyer; it seems to me that you need to get one.

My feeling as a layman is that it would be better to get an American court to rule on custody before he had a chance to reach the border (or the airport) with her. Is she, then, an American citizen? That would carry some weight ...

It's not his culture that worries me, really. It's your worries. ;-)

It seems that he hasn't given you the chance to get to know him as a person, well enough to know whether it would be his culture that would prevail, for him.

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Thanks for the replies:)

Yeah, I think communication is definitely what we are lacking these days.... Your idea of communicating without words is interesting... Especially since English is not his native language, so I can never be positive that what he is saying is exactly what he intended to say.. Although I think the non-verbal language is a bit different between our cultures too.. But it would be interesting to see how that that would work out. I think he doesn't realize how he comes across, because even when he says he isn't angry, he sure "acts" angry>< Maybe that's a cultural thing too...

As far as the kidnapping thing, I just did a bit of research online and found 2 good things:) 1) They are talking about signing the Haugue Convention, maybe as soon as next year, then there will be protections for foreign parents when their kids get kidnapped there (you're right though, that the best way to stop it would be to catch it before he took her out of the country) and 2) it sounds like because we weren't married when she was born (and still aren't) that he has no legal tie to her there. So if he did try that, I "should" get her back...

Ok, I feel a bit better about that now:P Although that would probably mean that she would have no contact with him at all, which I don't like either:( She adores her daddy...

So, on that note, I'm gonna try to do what I can to salvage this relationship... Yeah, he has to put the effort in to get anything out of therapy, but I guess its worth a try:)

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