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I can't bear life without my husband

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 11 December 2015
Dear Patricia Marie,

I can't bear the thought of Christmas, or in fact next year, without my beloved husband, who died three months ago.

What is the point of my life without him? How do I even start to get on with my life now he is gone?


Patricia Marie says...

Dealing with the death of a loved one is an extremely difficult and traumatic experience, and the pain is significantly heightened at this time of year when others are joyously celebrating the festivities. It's not going to be easy this very first Christmas without your husband, but instead of focusing on life without him, perhaps allow yourself some time to remember the special times you enjoyed with him. I often suggest to those grieving that they could light a candle in memory of their loved ones. Keep a photograph of your husband nearby, and open up to your family and friends, as they care for you and will be conscious of your loss. At times you may feel overwhelmed, but this is perfectly natural. Starting to address your grief, often through tears, does provide relief, and promote healing.

Cruse Bereavement Care offer professional help and support, including group counselling which I feel could be particularly beneficial, allowing you to see that if others can make it through their losses, than so can you. Learning coping techniques may give you hope for the future, and, even better, perhaps supportive friendships could be forged, through experiences shared within the group.

At this moment you are clearly suffering, but you don't have to hurt forever or manage this alone. Be compassionate with yourself as you work to relinquish old routines and establish new ones. Life without your husband will inevitably be different, but, given time, you will hopefully soon realise your life is still very much worth living, and certainly not over.

I recommend 'Death And How To Survive It' by Kate Boydell, a unique, practical and uplifting guide to coming to terms with the loss of a partner.

Cruse Bereavement Care: www.cruse.org.uk 0844 477 9400

My daughter aged 13 died 6 months ago

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Wednesday, 06 May 2015
Dear Patricia Marie,

I do not know what to do, or where to go for help. I keep having panic attacks, and can't go on feeling this way for much longer. My daughter aged 13, died 6 months ago, after suffering a devastating degenerative condition. She gave me the greatest purpose in life, and now she's no longer here, I feel lonely and abandoned.

When my daughter was alive, I received much support from family and friends. However, since she's gone I have had little or no understanding from my close ones. In fact, if I mention my daughter, the conversation soon changes, leaving me frustrated and tearful. They insist time is a great healer, which offers no comfort whatsoever. I don't want counselling as this will not bring my daughter back, just wanting my friends and family to listen to me.

I am lucky to have another child, and a caring husband, but he gets annoyed with me for expecting too much from people. I am very close to my mother, but as soon as I mention my daughter, she becomes extremely upset, so I withdraw from opening up about my feelings. So I ask you, am I wrong for expecting others to be there for me?

Patricia Marie says.....

The loss of a child is the most devastating experience a parent can face, and you should not be expected to 'get over' the pain it causes at any stage.

For thirteen years you took care of your daughter who was totally dependant on you, and as you so rightly say, gave you a purpose. I make a heartfelt request to you to see that your purpose as a mother still goes on with your living child.

Let me ask you not to see your husband as annoyed, nor your friends as lacking compassion. It's not uncommon for friends to pull away during a grieving period, as they often do not know what to say. Have you considered your friends could be feeling guilty that they have children who are alive and well? They may well want to help, but don't know how - so tell them what you need. And don't push your husband away, as he too is having to deal with his own grief, as indeed is your mother who seems to be struggling to come to terms with the loss of her granddaughter. Your quarrel is not with them, but with what life has thrown at you - taking your beautiful daughter from you. Whilst you have every right to feel angry, by expressing it to others, you will only be hurting yourself.

Counselling won't bring your daughter back. Nothing will. But it will allow you to explore the feelings that you are clearly both needing and wanting to express. Grief can feel very lonely, even when your loved ones are close. I think you would benefit greatly from attending a bereavement group, as sharing your sorrow with others who are going through similar experiences could be comforting, and will help you to feel understood. Furthermore, I urge you to see your G.P for help with your panic attacks.

When you're lonely and wanting to feel close to your daughter, light a candle and enjoy those special memories you have - which can never be taken from you.

Your life is forever changed - but it's not over. It must seem at this moment that you won't ever recover from your loss, but be patient, and allow yourself time to heal. I believe with the right help and support, you may begin to find a way forward that acknowledges and continues to incorporate the love you will always feel for your daughter.

Cruse offer bereavement support groups in most areas: 0844 477 9400 www.cruse.org.uk 

I think my husband is having an affair

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 07 August 2014
Dear Patricia Marie

Please help. I fear that my husband of 15 years marriage is having an affair.

He is spending so many extra hours at work, including weekends, and pays me very little attention when he is at home. He has become very possessive over his mobile phone and bank statements.

One day last week he failed to come home at all. He said he'd spent all night in the office, though I later found a receipt for a hotel and for a meal for two people. When I asked him about this he claimed he'd had dinner with a co-director, but I'm not so sure. I'm still so in love with him, and am scared of losing him. How do I go about confronting him?

Patricia Marie says...

It seems to me after questioning your husband about his whereabouts and the change in his behaviour, you are trusting your instinct rather than believing what he says.

You need to make it clear to your husband that you need to have a proper talk and be honest with each other. Make him aware of how unhappy he is making you feel by the lack of attention he shows you, and the secrecy he displays which is causing you to feel insecure. He may be under the impression you are accepting of this and have no idea of your concerns.

Have you avoided confronting him because you may not want to hear what he has to say, or is it that if he confesses to you that he has met someone else, the situation becomes real?

Until you talk to him about how you are feeling, and open up to him, you won't be able to move forward with this.

Listen to what he has to say, it may be that he's not being disloyal at all. You seem to have drifted apart, which is typical of many relationships when there is no communication. When this happens couples don't recognise each other anymore.

You say you adore him, so whatever the outcome, wherever it has gone wrong, if you both feel the relationship is worth saving you can start to work together towards a more positive future.

I believe you may benefit from some professional help. Ask him to go to Relate with you for some counselling sessions, which could prove helpful (relate.org.uk)


Have a dilemma? Please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk  Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.


In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows

I can't cope with my friend's death

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 05 June 2014
Dear Patricia Marie,

My best friend died a year ago after being in a tragic car accident. At first everyone was supportive and caring, but this was short lived. Now, nobody wants to talk about her, and dismissive of me if I try to speak of my very much missed friend, who understood me like no other. I am feeling so alone at this moment and don't know who to turn to. I have started to have thoughts of suicide which scares me. Would appreciate some help.

Patricia Marie says...

How very sad for you to lose someone so close, I am so sorry. When a close friend dies, it can be extremely painful and difficult to come to terms with. When you say people are dismissive of you wanting to speak, I believe it's because they are not sure what to say. Unfortunately, sometimes those closest to us just aren't capable of dealing with death - wanting to help, just unsure how. Make it clear to them there are times you want to talk about your friend - not wanting them to fix things for you, but just to listen and be there for you.

Even if you get upset, its better to express your feelings, and important to remember the happy times as well as the sad ones.

I am sure if your friend adored you as you did her, she would be upset that you are contemplating suicide. Very sadly she has lost her life, however, you are very much alive, and although you can't see it now, there is much to live for. This is hard to believe when you are in such a dark place, but you don't have to deal with it alone. Please see your G.P about how you are feeling, as he can offer a medical check up and organise some bereavement counselling. Cruse are an excellent organisation offering support for those struggling with grief and loss.  Contact: cruse.org.uk (0844 477 9400) For a comforting read, I recommend  'The Courage To Grieve ' by Judy Tatelbaum.



Have a dilemma? Please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk  Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.

In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows

A rather sensitive topic

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 09 January 2014
Dear Patricia Marie,

I have a rather sensitive topic I'd like your advice on, if you're able to oblige. I recently got out of a 4.5 year relationship because my ex told me he would want an abortion if I were to ever become pregnant. Not that he would force one on me of course, but that would be what he would prefer. This crushed me, not because I'm against abortion (because I'm not, it's a personal choice in my opinion but an emotional one I couldn't go through with).

My ex and I split up because of that, and I've been with someone new for the past three months. The new gentleman in my life also told me he'd prefer an abortion. While the new boyfriend reassures me that his feelings aren't personal against me, that he simply isn't mature enough to entertain the thought of wanting a child, he knows that while he wants children one day, he'd want an abortion right now. I have no intention of ever becoming pregnant before marriage, however I do want some reassurance that no matter what happens, the man I love would be there for me.

I am not ready to have a family right now, nor am I planning to. But I find it incredibly difficult at my age (28) to consider that a man who is truly emotionally mature and responsible and in love can also not even entertain the fact of not wanting an abortion. I truly believe that I could never handle the emotional reprucutions of an abortion, and cannot quite come to terms with the fact that the men I seem to fall in love with don't see a pregnancy as something they would have an emotional connection with.

My question to you is, should I stay with my current boyfriend and just trust that he doesn't mean this personally, or leave him and seek out a man who is on the same page as me in regards to this sensitive topic? What would you do in my situation?

Thank you so much for the courtesy of your reply.

Patricia Marie says...

You are making decisions on assumptions, and by doing so not only are you putting intense pressure on yourself, but are then unable to fully enjoy your relationship. If you were to get pregnant, the fear of your partner wanting you to have an abortion and abandoning you is so overwhelming you are almost wanting to risk ending it for something that may never happen. I'm wondering if these insecurities are connected to deeply buried feelings, igniting past fears of loss and separation.

Even if you were to meet someone who initially gave you assurances, the reality is people and situations change and we can leave ourselves open to disappointment if things can't always be as we had initially hoped. You are wanting guarantees, something life cannot give us, no matter what the circumstances. Not sure the men you say you fall in love with aren't able to connect emotionally to a pregnancy, I suspect it's more likely they are neither ready nor wanting to be fathers just yet.

I do feel counselling will help your fears and anxiety, enabling you to deal with things in a more positive way, so you can hopefully enjoy your relationship in the here and now and be in a better place to deal with whatever the future brings.

The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy have a directory where you can find a therapist in your area www.bacp.co.uk



Got a dilemma, please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk
Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.

In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows


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