Dear Dr. Archer,
My husband of six years has been diagnosed with PTSD due to, perhaps, his military service, although I believe it's from his childhood and the manner in which he was raised.
We have been physically separated for four years. Despite that, he insists on talking every day over the telephone and computer. It's the oddest thing!
I feel uncomfortable around him, whether it's over the phone or in person. He insists on making every decision, even if the idea stem from me. Not a day goes by that he does not bring up a woman from his past; it varies day to day who it is he brings up.
I feel as though I'm never good enough. He only thinks about himself and his son, and I find I just cannot go on with this volatile relationship.
There has always been abuse of some sort, whether it's physical, mental, emotional, the comparing of females -- what's good in one or not so good in another, neglect and control issues. The list is endless.
I feel like I can't ever be myself around him. I want to divorce him, yet when I try he constantly calls until I give in. It's really odd. Do you have suggestions or psychological advice?
This sounds like a case of he doesn't want you but he doesn't want anyone else to have you, either. Enough! Go talk to an attorney and get the ball rolling. Afterwards, shoot him an email and let him know you want a divorce and that you've contacted an attorney and the papers will be coming his way soon.
Do not call because I don't want him to talk you out of it. Change your phone number and your email address if you have to, and get a restraining order if he threatens you.
If you've been separated for four years, don't love him, want a divorce and feel uncomfortable around him, there's NO reason in the world to remain married.
But understand that to get this done you're going to have to have some backbone and finally stand up to him. You've let him push you around in the past, and he's going to expect to do the same this time. If you say it, you must mean it.
The rest is up to you, Jesusita. You must finally put your mind to it and just get it done. I believe that you can do it, you just have to take a stand now. You deserve to have a happy life. Check back with us later and let us know how you're doing. Best wishes.