I’ve read over a lot of your stuff, and there’s one thing that keeps going around in my head. I need to talk to an expert about my problems. I know now that the stuff I went through as a young child was pretty bad and it’s had a pretty huge effect on my marriage. It’s pretty much had an effect on every relationship I’ve ever had. What worries me is that going to get help will further drive away my wife from me. I’ve been working on our dead bedroom issues (I read your book), but I realize that I have way bigger issues to deal with. I’ve been researching counselors and psychiatrists and I found one that I want to visit. I know I need to tell my wife what I’m doing. She’ll just find out somehow anyway and it will look like I’m hiding things. So, I know I should just tell her up front. That will lead to a talk that I’m really not ready to have with her and I know it will just show me as being weaker than I already am in her eyes.
So now I’m not sure I should even go to counseling.
What do you think?
Vulnerability. That’s a tough one for men. “I’m not as tough as you may think I am. I actually need help.” It taps into a primal fear in men: She will see the REAL me and run away.
It can be argued that NOT telling your wife is a sign of weakness. The fear of being honest and open and losing your wife is needy. “I need her… therefore I can’t be honest with her”.
Look, you’re human. We all have issues we have to deal with. We all have our past. Baggage. Vices. Those that are strong say, “I need some help with this”.. and they GET HELP and get their shit taken care of. Those that are weaklings say, “Nothing wrong with me. It’s YOU who has the problem”, as they destroy the lives of those around them.
Congrats. You’re a strong dude. If your wife has a modicum of decency, she will see you getting help for what it is: A genuine real man stepping up to the plate and getting shit done that needs to get done.
So, yes… tell her. “Honey, I haven’t been really open and honest with you about my past. I have some pretty serious issues from my childhood I’ve been dealing with, and I’m going to go talk to somebody about it. Just being open and transparent with you. Don’t want to hide anything. Just be patient with me because I don’t know what all this will entail… but I do know that I love you.”
Good luck to you, brother.