Looking for a Kick-ass Marriage Counsellor
September 29, 2009 4:34 PM   Subscribe

Help me save my family. I am looking for a really good marriage counsellor in Edmonton, AB. Complications inside.

Everything was really great and loving and fun and then suddenly my husband moved out. He is having an affair with a much, much younger woman but says that he wants to work on our latent compatibility issues. (my wording)

The complicating issue is that, through google and a discussion with a psychiatrist friend, I feel that he had been having a hypomanic episode for the first (recognised) time in his life.

I am seeing a counsellor since this happened (two weeks ago) and saw one for years in the past to get my head in order. He is a recovered addict who has never seen a counsellor. I hope that he will start seeing one but that's not my call. He feels confused but great.

Ironically, we are really great communicators and we need someone really, hard core to help us--not someone who will ask us to "think of five nice things to say to each other". Know what I mean?

And I also need someone who can see and possibly treat (or direct to treatment) the hypomania because I can't mention it to him because he would resent me for trying to blame him. I don't mind going there--I just don't want to start there.

Also any similar experience with hypomania is welcome. The information on the web is sometimes conflicting.

Here is a throw-away email if you want to respond that way. -- savemyfamilyplease@gmail.com
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (7 answers total)
Oh, wow, that sounds really, really tough and I'm so sorry that this is happening.

I can't help you with the counselor suggestion but I have some experience with hypomania (something from which I have suffered based on being put on the wrong medication). It made me go absolutely fucking bonkers insane; I could only sleep from four am to six am, I couldn't sit still through the theme song of a TV show, I couldn't stop talking (always sort of a problem for me) and part of me knew that there was something wrong but I couldn't slow myself down enough to stop it. I almost made tons of really bad decisions and I just behaved very unsafely, like driving too fast and being unable to pay proper attention to things. I don't know if this helps you at all but something like my suddenly moving out would fit in with my experience, although fortunately things never got that intense for me. It was really, really hard on my husband (then fiance), but I've just asked him what he thought and he said that if you recognize that your husband is having a hypomanic episode you're about six steps ahead of where he was. We were in a similar situation; we communicate really, really well but I wasn't really me at the time and I couldn't listen to what we had to say because I just couldn't take it in, I was just sort of buzzing too much. If your husband is having a hypomanic episode, I understand that he thinks he feels great (and maybe he does, I'm not one to say) but it's also a strong possibility that he just can't reflect long enough to realize how badly he feels.

If there's anything else I can do to help you, please MeFi Mail me; I am so sorry that I can't help you with anything more specific, but your situation rings really familiarly to me and if it helps I want you to know that throughout all the really frightening, difficult, horrible times I still loved my husband very, very deeply even if I didn't act like it or couldn't express it.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 4:52 PM on September 29, 2009

Not every human characteristic is a psychiatric condition and Wikipedia and "discussion with a psychiatrist friend" are not clinical diagnoses. I don't doubt that there are legitimate hypomaniacs but frankly this guy sounds like he's "elevated" because he's fucking some hot young thing but wants to pretend like he's making an effort, because mentally that renders him unburdened of guilt("Hey, I tried!").

You say "family" so I'm assuming you have kids. Concentrate on them, and yourself. As for your cheating "hypomanic" husband, sooner a cold bed than one warmed with a steaming piece of shit.
posted by turgid dahlia at 6:43 PM on September 29, 2009 [3 favorites]

Hypomania is not to be sneezed at. But,as Carrie Fisher said, the mania is the meal, and the depression that follows is the check. Your husband sounds as though he's in for a hard fall.
Mania is fun while it lasts. It never lasts for long, though.
posted by Sara Anne at 7:05 PM on September 29, 2009

I made very stupid and dangerous sexual choices during 'hypomanic' episodes. Libido can go waaaaaaaaay up. Unfortunately, you can't reason with people while they're in such a state. Sara Anne above has got it. If he truly suffers from some sort of bipolar disorder, the depression will follow and he might see his move as the impulsive pseudo-revelation it was.

You're in my area, but I don't know anything about marriage counsellors. I do know of a very good psychiatrist, however. Memail me if you like.
posted by kitcat at 8:28 PM on September 29, 2009

It is his fault. You can't operate in a situation where he does not take moral responsibilitŸ for his actions. He may be ill, but his actions which hurt you need to be acknowledged. The person who has to save the family is him. Until he acknowledges the hurt and pain that he has caused, he is not 'better' in any way.

Ask your current counselor for a referral.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:51 PM on September 29, 2009

Asking some family in Edmonton, I'll try to get back to you in the next day.
posted by furtive at 8:52 PM on September 29, 2009

I know of one in Calgary (high river actually). A little too far south for you, but if you need let me know.
posted by burhan at 9:44 AM on September 30, 2009

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