Spousal Support? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 02-11-2008, 03:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I know I shouldn't "expect" any help/support from my dh when I'm dealing with this...especially because I'm frequently overreacting (I feel like it's just reacting) to something he does or doesn't do...but I really feel like I need more emotional support...and he feels like he has a chip on his shoulder that won't budge due to me...he doesn't like me when I'm depressed - as I can get mean with my mood swings...and I feel like he is there for me when I'm just fine but as soon as I need him the most is when his wall goes up...he says to protect himself from me getting too mean, but if I call him a name or get super frustrated with him it's because I feel that he's blowing me off, leaving me hanging, feeling completely alone and misunderstood, when he could grab me and hold me tight and make me feel loved. anyway, I know that's all not very clear - not feeling so much clarity right now - but how do I get him to understand that right now if I don't want to listen to him tell me all about the Pgh Penguins it's not justifiable to stop talking to me...I am not in the headspace to be able to listen to some crap about some random hockey player. Why is it okay for him to hold that against me right now when I really need love and support through this? That's one small thing...overall I just don't get why it's so difficult for me to get the support I need from my dh. Why can't he lose the chip on his shoulder to help his wife through this? What can I expect or should I expect from my dh, if anything?

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#2 of 27 Old 02-11-2008, 01:55 PM
 
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I know what you mean! My dh is sometimes great and sometimes just a pain! He defends himself no matter what, even if he's clearly done something wrong; changes what time he's coming home, schedules trips last minute; and thinks saying "I'm here for you. I suport you and I love you." makes it true with few actions to back it up.

I'm currently debating two things I think may help:
couples therapy (which my therapist recommended)

basically trying to arrange my life as if he'll be working tons--more childcare, hire a house cleaner, serve dinner and do bedtime at a kid-friendly hour rather than an accomodate-dh's-work schedule and pretty much just count it a bonus when he happens to be here (and is not sick; he's finally around more this week so now he's caught a bad cold). I'll need him to put in extra $ from the extra hours he's working to pay childcare, but that may be what I need to do.

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#3 of 27 Old 02-13-2008, 12:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the hugs.

i really don't want to be "dependent" on him when i'm an emotional wreck, and well, i can't be, but it just sure would be nice to have that support.

we're thinking it's time for counseling...since he doesn't think he can be nice when i'm freaking out and the meaner he gets the more i freak out.

what i don't "get" is that he says he's there for me. he asks what he can do. i tell him that when he sees, or i tell him, that i'm nearing the edge that if he just HELD me tight and didn't let go that i could calm down and all would be well very soon. he's managed this twice and it was all i needed. but he generally can't seem to pull it off. and i really DON'T want to be dependent on him to calm me down (especially since 95% of the time it doesn't happen) as nice and easy as that may be - so now the challenge is to find a GOOD counselor, i suppose.

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#4 of 27 Old 02-16-2008, 02:56 AM
 
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I just wanted to send you a hug b/c your situation sounds very similar to mine! *hug*
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#5 of 27 Old 02-17-2008, 07:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riverundine View Post
I know I shouldn't "expect" any help/support from my dh when I'm dealing with this...especially because I'm frequently overreacting (I feel like it's just reacting) to something he does or doesn't do...but I really feel like I need more emotional support...and he feels like he has a chip on his shoulder that won't budge due to me...he doesn't like me when I'm depressed - as I can get mean with my mood swings...and I feel like he is there for me when I'm just fine but as soon as I need him the most is when his wall goes up...he says to protect himself from me getting too mean, but if I call him a name or get super frustrated with him it's because I feel that he's blowing me off, leaving me hanging, feeling completely alone and misunderstood, when he could grab me and hold me tight and make me feel loved. [...] What can I expect or should I expect from my dh, if anything?
I can soooo relate to what you're saying. In the year (or two) after dd1's birth, I had a LOT of problems with mood, freaking out at dh, being mean and sarcastic the more I felt he was withdrawing from me or when I felt like he wasn't supporting me when I was desperately suffering with depression and anxiety. In the end, I needed to get some extra help for myself (meds, counselling) in order to land on my feet. And then we had to talk about how my mood was affecting and stressing him.

What can you expect from dh? This is an interesting question. Perhaps some of your expectations comes from your history together. Have you traditionally been able to lean on him? Is his withdrawal more recent? I know you've had your third baby recently (hello Jan 08 ddc mama!) - does HE feel some extra stress and strain? That might affect his ability to support you, if he is feeling overtaxed himself.

My dh was always there for me and, I felt, understood and supported me emotionally more than anyone else. But after dd1 was born the huge adjustment, strain and stress were too much for both of us to bear for awhile. On top of everything else I had to mourn the change in our dynamic, the loss of my best friend's ear, etc. But looking back, I realize that it was not because he was trying to be mean or something, he was just really overwhelmed too. Because of the difficulty of those couple of years, it made me think about the fact that sometimes people we really love let us down. It's just part of life and part of being human. Human beings make mistakes. I don't know if any of this makes sense or resonates with you. Maybe not. Just thought I'd share some thoughts.

You've been on my mind lately Riverundine, because we were in the same ddc, and you've mentioned you have PPD. I had it with dd1 and it was one of the biggest challenges of my life. And I only had one kid. You have three right? If I remember correctly. I wonder how you're doing, how your coping.

Are you doing any self-care stuff? Do you have support (family, friends)? Are you on any supplements or meds? Have you ever had PPD before? If so, what helped? You can get through this.

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#6 of 27 Old 02-18-2008, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks, mamas, for the support.

dh has always withdrawn (for 15 years now) when i go into that headspace. he has a wall that goes up immediately. self-protection from hurtful words, according to him. according to me the hurtful words don't come until i feel totally alone and rejected.

he does feel stress and strain right now. we just opened a restaurant in december and he is the owner/head chef/front and back of house manager/accountant, 6 days and 15 meals a week. it's a small town and it's the slow season, so we can't afford any more help than we have right now. we are trying really hard to eek our way through winter until the tourists come to town. so yeah, he's got a lot of work stress, lack of sleep, and then a wife with ppd, a toddler, a brand new baby, a mortgage, heaps of debt...

i have 2 kids. ppd with dd1 was much more mild. probably had something to do with the fact that we lived at an ashram and i could meditate frequently. also a much less stressful pregnancy the first time.

self-care this time...prenatals, Bs, omegas, placenta caps...oiling my body after bathing for grounding...awesome healthy food cooked by dh many days of the week...rescue remedy...not really going out much (toooo cold for walks with babe, especially after the O2 and hospital stay)...would love to be able to afford some warm oil massages...looking into SAMe, progesterone, counselling...i'm really not comfortable talking about ppd with family and friends...time helped with dd1...i'm counting on springtime being a huge help this time...it was with dd1 and another long winter i can think of...distraction is always a help too...a friend came for the weekend and my little bro is on his way today and will be here for a week...

thanks again for the support.

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#7 of 27 Old 02-18-2008, 07:47 PM
 
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Something that struck me, that you said earlier, was that sometimes all you want is a dang HUG. Maybe your dh needs the big flashing sign with lights and arrows, and needs you to say, "I feel crabby right now and I just need you to hug me for 1 minute!!!" YK?

I hope you enjoy your brother's company.

Must run right now. Thinking of you and sending healing energy :

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#8 of 27 Old 02-19-2008, 04:09 AM
 
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Now that I have another minute, I thought I would also add that I hope some of these self-care things are helpful to you right now. Sometimes it helps only so much and you just have to ride through the rough patches. Things will be looking up though with some distraction coming, and hey, isn't it technically SPRING next month???

Placenta caps - neat. Have you done that before? How are you finding them now? Perhaps not quite giving the boost you need?

It strikes me that what you are saying you need is some CONNECTION with dh. That can come in many forms. He's busy and away at work a lot...do you have a chance to connect when he comes home?

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#9 of 27 Old 02-25-2008, 01:40 AM
 
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How did things go with your brother visiting?

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#10 of 27 Old 02-26-2008, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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it was super nice to see my brother. he left yesterday. it helped distract, definitely.
dh and i got in two fights while he was here. one was over the damn trash. there are 3 things i would like dh to help with, regularly, outside of his own work. they are trash, compost and recycling. he snapped the other night cuz the trash was overflowing. now that i'm healed from pregnancy and birth apparently i have to add this to my list of things to take care of. but he didn't tell me this. it's been his "job" for quite some time, but now (without me knowing in advance) it's apparently a slap in his face for him to come home to an overflowing trashcan. and it's a slap in the face that i didn't pick up the trash on the side porch that the dog got into, even though he put the bag out there instead of in the trash can (down the steps) cuz he was too tired to go all the way down there (knowing that the roommates dog get into trash if it's left out), and knowing i don't look out there so i would have never known. and it's a slap in the face if he comes home and there are any dirty dishes in the sink (which hasn't really happened but a couple of times since the baby was born and he went back to work). i'm super annoyed that he can be this insensitive.
and last night he came in here while i was on the ppd thread and demanded i click on my "spousal support?" thread so he could read through it. i knew that rereading everything would be a bit heavy for me right then so i asked him if he could just do it on his own time. this just made him mad and i wanted to reread with him so i could remember what i wrote in case he had anything to say about anything. instead he read it all, said absolutely nothing, and walked away.
he told me it's impossible for him to get the chip off of his shoulder .
i need support and it sucks that i can't lean on him.

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#11 of 27 Old 02-29-2008, 01:06 PM
 
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A few days have passed since this incident. How are things now? Have you two talked any more about things?

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#12 of 27 Old 02-29-2008, 05:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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same as they've been my whole pregnancy and postpartum.
we either ignore the situation that has passed or go right back to the same place. so time helps us get back to the screwed up regularity. we both love each other but neither of us is really happy.
i called the counseler and am waiting for a call back.

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#13 of 27 Old 03-01-2008, 05:04 AM
 
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I'm glad to hear you've got a call in to the counsellor. Have you guys gone before as a couple?

Perhaps in the meantime, you can get some support you need from other friends, MDC posts, etc. And I'm wondering if there's something dh CAN give you now, if not the kind of emotional support you need, then perhaps physically a hug for 20 seconds each night. YK? Sometimes you don't need to make huge changes, small ones can make a bit of a difference. This is not to minimize your relationship issues or your feelings, please understand. It just might help as a stopgap until you can get to therapy. Hoping for better times for you.

In the meantime, how's the PPD going?

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#14 of 27 Old 03-02-2008, 01:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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we have an appt for the 10th...with a little old man. we'll see how well he knows ppd, i suppose. not too many options in a town of 1400. i feel pretty good about it, so hopefully he'll be just what we need.
we went about 5 years ago, just 3 or 4 times i think. it was just what we needed at the time. neither of us particularly preferred the woman, but it gave us something to talk about when we left.
i can't ask him for anything right now. he's too stressed out. when i tell him i need a hug he gets pretty frustrated or it's pretty weak. but i'll think about it.
i know it sounds like he's not super loving, but he is actually very loving. he's just not emotionally supportive right now, as he backs waaaaaay off when i'm depressed and/or anxious.
ppd is so lame. i'm not a fan at all. i tried going to a potluck with friends tonight, but it's a new town and i don't have any super good friends yet, so just trying to have blah blah blah conversation wasn't working out so well for me. thank goodness i have a new baby as a good excuse to take off early. the party did start with a walk, which was very nice, although i ended up having to carry dd1 the whole way, a lot of uphill, and i haven't really held her for any length of time since my first trimester. i'm sore and pooped, but enjoyed the fresh air immensely. thank goodness the weather is getting nicer.

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#15 of 27 Old 03-05-2008, 09:24 PM
 
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I hope that counsellor turns out to be helpful. And even if this "little old man" doesn't "know PPD" so much, perhaps he can still help you two see where you're both coming from and find some way to help you break down some of the walls between you.

I'm sorry you feel so unsupported right now.
Sounds like you have some hard transitions having moved, etc. I'm thinking of you, hoping things get better. Keep enjoying that fresh air!

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#16 of 27 Old 03-07-2008, 03:48 AM
 
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I'm sorry.
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#17 of 27 Old 03-07-2008, 07:06 AM
 
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Here too. The past couple of days have been a reminder of this.

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#18 of 27 Old 03-09-2008, 01:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riverundine View Post
dh has always withdrawn (for 15 years now) when i go into that headspace.
What have you done in the past to cope when this occurs?

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#19 of 27 Old 03-09-2008, 03:29 AM
 
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i tried going to a potluck with friends tonight, but it's a new town and i don't have any super good friends yet, so just trying to have blah blah blah conversation wasn't working out so well for me. thank goodness i have a new baby as a good excuse to take off early. the party did start with a walk, which was very nice, although i ended up having to carry dd1 the whole way, a lot of uphill, and i haven't really held her for any length of time since my first trimester. i'm sore and pooped, but enjoyed the fresh air immensely. thank goodness the weather is getting nicer.
good job! thats a great start to feeling better, i know sometimes i feel like i really have to push myself to go anywhere escpecially an event like a potluck in a new town!
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#20 of 27 Old 03-09-2008, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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in the past i've just pushed harder for what i'm needing, cried harder, pleaded more, gotten angry and hurt when he withdraws.
things have been okay the last couple of days.
counseling is tomorrow morning.

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#21 of 27 Old 03-10-2008, 01:29 PM
 
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Thinking of you today.... looking forward to an update when you have the chance...

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#22 of 27 Old 03-14-2008, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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our counselor appt was for monday, which we had. i was worried about the fact that he was a little old man, but he is perfect. we both really like him. he promotes NVC and really talked to us about compassionate listening. our homework is to look into each others eyes for 5-10 minutes.
the day before (sunday night) dh surprised me. he told me there was a guy in town who wanted to talk to me about pancha karma (an ayurvedic detoxification i do). i was resisting cuz i'm taking time off from practicing, but he insisted i come just talk to him. he picked me up and took me to his hotel across the street from our restaurant. turns out it was our room, complete with a hot pizza on the bed, chilling champagne, chocolate cake, and beautiful flowers. i had been mentioning that we needed time with each other. something finally clicked (after months and months). he said he'd realized it'd been forever since he'd done anything romantic and he marched straight over to the hotel and got us the best room. he's been trying and, as much as i want to be balanced on my own and not need him to lean on, his more compassionate nature this week has really helped my emotional state. it's been really nice. so i'm riding the wave.
thanks for asking!

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#23 of 27 Old 03-16-2008, 01:36 PM
 
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I'm so glad to hear the counsellor suits you both and that you like his style. Yay! I'm also glad to hear that your dh made that little romantic gesture and the two of you are reconnecting some. Yay! Yay for the upswing!

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#24 of 27 Old 03-16-2008, 10:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks.
wave crashed.
he said today on the phone, "so what are we going to tell t (counselor) we did all week? work?" yep. pretty much. he worked every day all day. we didn't have 5 minutes together until today, and i'm so not in the mood for him right now. i'm super sad. i told him there was plenty to talk about. he was like, "what?" so i calmly told him that we could talk about how i don't trust him. it's about him smoking, which has been an ongoing thing since we started to reproduce. well, when we went to counseling years ago it was because i couldn't stop nagging him about it. she convinced me to leave him alone, which was fine except he had to quit if he wanted to bear children with me. since then it's been a pack of lies. i actually believed he was a non-smoker for laurel's whole first 2 years. then it caught up with him...the gas station guy told me steve ought to quit. so he went to a hypnotist, twice, and we left for CO from CA with him as a supposed non-smoker. after the hypnotist the first time didn't work he was honest (upon prodding) and went again. then i don't know. i really can't trust him with this topic. and today i was cleaning up the yard after the melt and found some butts. we have friends and a roommate who smoke, but no one who rips the butts off like he does. and a friend slipped up, perhaps, and mentioned something about our husbands who smoke. when i, calmly, mentioned these 2 things as things i'd like to talk about with t, well basically all he said was that i'm now ruining his day off (first of all is it considered a day off when you work 7-4:30?). i'm always ruining his day off when i bring up something less than pleasant if he's not at work. and when he is he can't talk either. and when he gets home he passes out from exhaustion. but i never got angry, just sad. he still claims he's not smoking. and i still can't trust him. btw - it's a big concern of mine since he smoke(s/d) camel non-filtered since he was 15. he's now 35. both of his grandfathers smoked the same. one died at 45 and one died at 54. i didn't want to reproduce with him because i didn't want to have to worry about the consequences of him smoking and not being there for the long haul. i know it's his personal choice, but not anymore - he's now brought other people into his reality that he has a responsibility for and to. and and and he's started to drink quite a bit more since the stress of opening our own restaurant. he always told me to tell him if i ever was worried about his drinking because all the men (and some women) in his life have been alcoholics. when i mentioned this to him he told me to not mention it again because he's stressed and is going to drink whatever he wants. now pair this with how he only wants me to talk to him about issues whenever he gets home from work and there's already a 6 pack and some vodka in him. perfect timing.

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#25 of 27 Old 03-16-2008, 11:13 PM
 
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Dammit. That up didn't last very long, did it?
Okay, so here's evidence that there was no quick fix bandaid. (Not suggesting you ever thought there would be!!!) You know, I think if the counsellor sees/hears reality, that dh is working all the time and you can't connect with dh, there's issues with drinking and smoking, etc. it will give him some insight into the real dynamics at work here. I hear you on the empty promises--so frustrating, esp. when it's being going on for years. Yep, reality looks like this, right? No easy answers, ongoing frustrations, and tying a knot to hang on.

Sending some positive vibes for your sanity and health.... ~*~*~*~*

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#26 of 27 Old 03-27-2008, 01:34 AM
 
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So what's going on River? How're things?

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#27 of 27 Old 03-30-2008, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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breaking down, building up, breaking down, building up...
after the counselor meeting about smoking we argued all day...then i gave up.
all week was fine, then the day before our next counselor meeting it all went to hell in a handbasket once again. the counselor totally pissed me off the next day. he says things like, "i don't know if i see any hope for the two of you." what kind of crap is that? we've been together, in love, for 15 years. we're seeing him because we know we need help communicating. we know we love each other and we're both fully committed to working through the madness times. i don't know what it is that makes him think that if we can't "fix" our problems that have been accumulating over the entire 15 years in a matter of 3 weeks that we're doomed. we don't feel that way at all. it's very frustrating and confusing. thankfully, we both know better.
he also believes i have a fear of intimacy and wants me to do some hypnotherapy. not sure what to think of this yet.
now i'm starting to see why i wanted to see a woman who is familiar with ppd. this old man really has no concept. everything in his reality can be fixed with just being present. i know this can be true, but that certainly doesn't help me when that's all he says all the time. and if i bring up all the overwhelm i'm experiencing right now he just says i have a victim mentality. i'm not looking to play the victim. i'm just saying that i'm overwhelmed right now. that's all. and he doesn't like the words "acknowledge" or "respect". we're going to see him a time or two more and see how we feel. dh likes him, which helps, but doesn't like the earlier stated comments he made, or the fact that he feels he over-simplifies things. we're also not sure he's ever pulled off a successful relationship himself.
after that appt i was super depressed - mainly because i was still upset that dh blew off my birthday that week (on top of our anniversary in january the day before faith was born, and valentines day), told me we'd celebrate after our appt, and then blew that off too. i was bummed, and then he just sat there telling me i was playing the victim while he proceeded to get really really wasted and mean.
he apologized profusely in the morning and we've been getting along spledidly all week. go figure. we've put off the counselor until next week, so we've got 2 weeks of time to find some balance. we're not really working on anything but living. i would like to spend some time with him, but there isn't any time to be had. btw, when i mentioned this to my counselor, that i think we need to spend some time together to stay connected, he said this wasn't important. that we could be present in our own lives and maintain connection. i'm not sure i agree with his perspective of things.

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