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I Am Left ‘on Hold’ Indefinitely

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I need to clarify what it is that causes such anguish with this person. When I feel I really want or need something from my husband, if it is not mutual, it never comes about. I can ask, I can cry, I can be adamant, I can restate and explain my feelings, but there is no response.

He will explain to a point as to why he is not doing it. His reasons are sometimes acceptable (to a point) but more often, I’m simply left confused. I will give you an example but I must explain that we have been separated for 12 years. He has been living in the Philippines while I have been living in the states. I sought to reestablish something since both of us are in our senior years.

I learned he was living with his married children here in the states and so I contacted him and invited him to come and visit. Both of us were excited to see each other. We made plans. He had some doctor appointments he could not miss. He had no car and no driver’s license and was dependent on his kids for driving him. OK. He’s about 2 hours from me….that was three months ago.

Every time we talk, he has another procedure and must wait. I’ve tried to help him plan his time, suggest he be more assertive with the doctor so as to not make appointment piece by piece, etc. In the meantime, he empathizes with me over the phone; nothing happens. All the signals are there but no action. I’m put on hold indefinitely.

When his last appointment had a three week gap, I jumped on the bandwagon and put my foot down. I could tell he felt cornered so I let it go only to hear him quietly but frustratingly say, “You–you really are a determined woman…” When we hung up, I could feel very intensely the old emotional rage and chaotic pain. It was all too familiar. What is it that is triggering me? It’s more than just him ignoring what I want. Please help me…and thanks.

I Am Left ‘on Hold’ Indefinitely

Answered by on -


I respectfully disagree with you. All the signals are not there for reconciliation. Your husband hasn’t changed over the 12 year separation. For reasons you may never understand, he is not able to be the kind of man you want him to be. It must be terribly disappointing.

Now that you are in your 60s, you may have had hopes that the two of you could enjoy each other’s companionship and perhaps care for each other in those senior years. Sadly, those hopes have been dashed — which may be what is “triggering” you. The relationship, such as it is, only exists because you are a “determined woman.” It is dependent on your insistence. Your husband is meeting that powerful force with something just as powerful: passive resistance.

If you want love and companionship, please give up on this man. Make yourself available for someone who wants what you want out of life and who can communicate emotionally as well as verbally. You deserve to have that in your life. But you will only find it if you go out and look for it.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

I Am Left ‘on Hold’ Indefinitely

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). I Am Left ‘on Hold’ Indefinitely. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 4, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 13 Jul 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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