Thank you for explaining the background and asking for some direction about your condition. From what you have described your current situation makes sense because of your past experiences. Let’s see if we can sort it out.
People that should have been there to comfort, love and guide you betrayed you. This means that trust and betrayal has played a large part in your life experience. Your mom’s passing when you were so young may have begun the concern that people you love may not be there for you. Your father’s remarrying, and the behavior of your stepmother and stepsiblings were all contributing factors. Your father not coming to your aid during this time was a huge disappointment. Essentially every person you should have been able to rely on betrayed your trust.
When this happens early in life it colors our perspective of the world. Imagine having a piece of dark gray glass that you are holding up in front of your eyes. Everything you will see through that glass will look gray. The gray glass is your earlier experiences and they are tinting everything else. The work is to recognize that not everything is that color. If you move the piece of glass from in front of your eyes you will see that the world can look very different. The gray tint is still there, but it doesn’t have to color all that you see.
I would recommend two things. First, some individual therapy to sort through the dynamics of the history of betrayals in your life would be in order. You obviously have a very good start on understanding this, but working with a therapist will accelerate the process. The find help tab at the top will give you some referrals in your area.
Secondly, I would do one of two things. I would have some brief couples therapy so you and your husband can deal effectively with each other around these issues. Or, alternately, if your work with the individual therapist is productive you can ask the therapist if inviting your husband in for a session or two would be possible. Often a brief information session for spouses can relieve the struggle.
I admire your resilience and desire for growth and positive change.
Wishing you patience and peace,
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on September 10, 2010.