I have reached a point where I know I must find a good counselor for myself. My husband was diagnosed as bi-polar in the past but his issues go far beyond bi-polar. I suspect he has another problem - something like Narcissistic Personality Disorder. He has nearly all of the possible symptoms although not as severe as some cases I’ve read. In addition he has a major problem with binge drinking.
We have been married for nearly 20 years and have had possibly 6 months I would consider a “good” marriage. He will admit that he has no “real” emotions, doesn’t really understand what love is and tells me often that he will never be able to meet my emotional needs. He has told me multiple times in the past that I either have to accept that he will never be the husband I need or leave. At one point I expressed an interest in Marriage Encounter and he refused because he said that I would just learn things that would destroy our marriage. Some of these admissions make him less likely to be NPD but otherwise he fits the description to a T.
I have a strong belief in the marriage vows I took and believe that marriage is forever. I often feel it would be a better choice emotionally for my girls if we left him - my 15 yr old even asked that we move out last spring. The down side is that I know I would get no support from him for the girls and I would be very worried about them whenever he had custody or visitation time. At the same time I believe there is a strong possiblity he would commit suicide if I left and took the girls.
I have reached a point where I am depressed and unhappy all of the time. I find I am unable to forgive him for many things he has done in the past that have hurt so deeply. The times I do try to forgive and move on he does something that shatters my heart again. I am in severe emotional pain and have no one to turn.
I need to find someone to talk with. I have considered our parish priest but I know that he has many “issues” of his own and am not certain of his ability to help with my situation. I would love to find a good counselor but how do I do that? From past experience I know that unless a counselor understands my faith he/she will have a difficult time helping me in a way that works for me. I’ve tried searching online but haven’t had any luck.
Does anyone have suggestions about how to find a good, Catholic counselor?