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in this case, the psychologist is a friend of his wifes dad. a friend of the family who lives close, who also happens to be a psychologist. THAT is the one that bothers him, not her normal psychologist that she sees...

that his wife is **** talking her husband to this family friend, who now seems to want to diagnose him with autism without ever having a session.

i would find it to be very disrespectful. sounds like some pretty low handed scheming.

unless im not following his posts correctly...
Okay but let’s appky some real world common sense. Do you think it likely an actual PhD psychologist is making any sort of diagnosis based on complaints from the wife? Hell No! More likely the phsychologist said something like, “autism spectrum is pretty wide” or “logical people can easily fit into the spectrum...”

I think OP feeling violated that his wife confided in someone he knows without his permission. I think OP is negating the professional nature of people in the psychology field who do not involve themselves in judgmental gossip, at all, and I know this personally.
 
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Discussion Starter · #122 ·
I get the idea of not wanting someone talking about your private stuff to every Tom, **** and Harry. But this one makes no sense. A psychologist is a professional who is meant to help your wife. Guess how much this professional thinks about you when s/he goes home? Not At All. In person help is way better than skype. Are you sure, to your own self, that you are not just concerned with your image?
He lives nearby, is an important member of my community. If I ever have dealings with him in the future I will be conscious of the fact he knows whats going on in my private life. This is part of the power imbalance between therapist and client: apart from that the client is seeking help, also the therapist knows more about the client than the client knows about the therapist.

The fact that I'm sure the psychologist doesn't really think about it afterwards won't make me feel less self conscious.

Some people seem to get me on this, some people don't. I guess people are different. Either way this is how I feel (and my wife was aware of this).
 

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He lives nearby, is an important member of my community. If I ever have dealings with him in the future I will be conscious of the fact he knows whats going on in my private life. This is part of the power imbalance between therapist and client: apart from that the client is seeking help, also the therapist knows more about the client than the client knows about the therapist.

The fact that I'm sure the psychologist doesn't really think about it afterwards won't make me feel less self conscious.

Some people seem to get me on this, some people don't. I guess people are different. Either way this is how I feel (and my wife was aware of this).

This may freak you out even more, but people in the psych field can spot significant personality maladaptions pretty easily just from a few polite conversations. So whatever diagnosis you think this psychologist might be attributing to you, chances are, they had already been attributed.

This might help you feel less invaded, professional detachment carries into personal day to day interactions with others. It is seen, noted on a very insignificant level, and quickly dismissed as irrelevant to the current interplay dynamic.
 

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He lives nearby, is an important member of my community.
A friend of her father's?

If I ever have dealings with him in the future I will be conscious of the fact he knows whats going on in my private life. This is part of the power imbalance between therapist and client: apart from that the client is seeking help, also the therapist knows more about the client than the client knows about the therapist.

The fact that I'm sure the psychologist doesn't really think about it afterwards won't make me feel less self conscious.

Some people seem to get me on this, some people don't. I guess people are different. Either way this is how I feel (and my wife was aware of this).
I'd be tempted to say that getting a different psychologist would be a no brainer, but around here, they are not easy to come by.
 

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Okay but let’s appky some real world common sense. Do you think it likely an actual PhD psychologist is making any sort of diagnosis based on complaints from the wife? Hell No! More likely the phsychologist said something like, “autism spectrum is pretty wide” or “logical people can easily fit into the spectrum...”

I think OP feeling violated that his wife confided in someone he knows without his permission. I think OP is negating the professional nature of people in the psychology field who do not involve themselves in judgmental gossip, at all, and I know this personally.
from what i have read, she does the same thing my wife did that i nearly divorced over. basically, it amounts to stabbing your partner in the back, wherever you go. my wife would talk **** about me to anyone who would listen, especially her family. it did not matter what i did to try and do things right, everything got twisted around in the worst light and then was used as more proof of how bad i was, pathetic i was, evil, etc. plenty of disrespectful judgments. it finally became something i was willing to divorce her over when people outside our marriage began to start plotting ways to get me to shut up and accept her foul treatment of me by using "authority" figures to slap a label on me.


OP's wife is the one who keeps telling everyone he is not emotionally connecting, but either refuses to tell him what he can do better, or simply doesnt know. SHE is the one who has always been adverse to physical intimacy of any kind, even holding hands. she sounds more likely to be on the spectrum than he does, to be honest. if she isnt just unwilling to tell him, then we have to consider the possibility that she simply does not know what that looks like.



thing is, OP has taken criticism quite well. he has not flipped out over anything anyone has said has has barely shown any defensiveness at all. earlier, you said that he has a need to be right, but it doesnt look like that to me. if that were the case, he would try to defend himself from everyone pointing out his flaws. instead, he says "you may be right, where can i learn more about this"?

that is NOT how someone would react to being challenged if their whole goal is to seek validation. its quite obvious that he wants to find out how he can fix his relationship with his wife, and seems quite agreeable to suggestions to change his own behavior. so far as emotions go, he seemed quite expressive of emotions when he responded to SunCMars's poetic description of his predicament.
 

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After thinking about it for a while I'm inclined to think you're right. Its very nice thinking about whats bothering her and trying to work on it etc as many people here have suggested (@Keke24, @Anon Pink and @anastasia6 main culprits). But on the other hand the way she handled it wasn't OK. So as well as trying to improve so she'll be happy, there also need to be some clear result of her actions. She's been told countless times these are red lines for me, and she could've handled the situation in a way I'd've found OK, e.g. telling me she wants to see a new marriage counsellor, we'd go to one who was a proper psychologist and see what he says without going behind my back and getting me pre-diagnosed. She chose to handle it a way which completely trampled on me, and is pretty much a betrayal as you wrote. So its great to be compassionate and understanding, but it needs to be backed up with something or it will just happen again.

The thing is it needs to be backed up with something which doesn't punish me more. A separation would be pretty embarrassing for me, whereas for her she would be able to bask in the attention and pity. Sure it would be unpleasant for her, but it'd be worse for me.

Any suggestions for some other forms of consequence? And what does everyone else think about the suggestion in general?
I don't see why establishing consequences for your wife repeatedly discussing personal issues behind your back negates the option to be compassionate towards her in an effort to figure out her issue with you and your emotional connection with her. Being compassionate doesn't mean no consequences, that's being codependent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #127 ·
I don't see why establishing consequences for your wife repeatedly discussing personal issues behind your back negates the option to be compassionate towards her in an effort to figure out her issue with you and your emotional connection with her. Being compassionate doesn't mean no consequences, that's being codependent.
I agree. Its just that it might depend on what the "consequence" is. I.e. something fairly drastic like telling her if she does xyz then I'll be asking you to go to your fathers' house, would probably make her feel threatened, which won't really go too well with the compassionate thing. Thats another reason why I was trying to think of a less extreme consequence.

Also if the consequences are spelt out rather than simply implied, then she'll probably react by saying "that's not a normal way to behave in a marriage by making threats to control your wife". So I'm not sure how I would present the consequence in a way which won't get her upset
 

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I agree. Its just that it might depend on what the "consequence" is. I.e. something fairly drastic like telling her if she does xyz then I'll be asking you to go to your fathers' house, would probably make her feel threatened, which won't really go too well with the compassionate thing. Thats another reason why I was trying to think of a less extreme consequence.

Also if the consequences are spelt out rather than simply implied, then she'll probably react by saying "that's not a normal way to behave in a marriage by making threats to control your wife". So I'm not sure how I would present the consequence in a way which won't get her upset
"In a normal marriage to a respectful and loving wife that would not be the way to behave. Maybe you should consider becoming a respectful and loving wife."
 

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@As’laDain

Seeking validation is not the same as always has to be right. Pathological, or just annoying AF. People who have a need to be right don’t always get defensive or argue every point. Also, OP doesn’t strike me as an idiot and only an idiot would argue back about not always being right. I once accused another poster here that she always had to have the last word...and guess what she did? “That’s not true...bla bla bla.” So she was stupid as well as arrogant.

Secondly, both you and the lovely Aki can go from one extreme to another and while your experiences may well be relatable I would be no means suggest them to be average, as in bell curve average.

Lastly, as a wife who routinely heard...tell me what you want me to do...thus letting himself off the hook if I failed to proved the script, or the recipe, I’m having a hard time believe his wife is that damned obtuse to refuse to answer the question.
 

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I agree. Its just that it might depend on what the "consequence" is. I.e. something fairly drastic like telling her if she does xyz then I'll be asking you to go to your fathers' house, would probably make her feel threatened, which won't really go too well with the compassionate thing. Thats another reason why I was trying to think of a less extreme consequence.

Also if the consequences are spelt out rather than simply implied, then she'll probably react by saying "that's not a normal way to behave in a marriage by making threats to control your wife". So I'm not sure how I would present the consequence in a way which won't get her upset
that would be a pointless consequence anyway. it is not something YOU can do. well, you can ASK her to go, but you can not make her. you cannot make her do ANYTHING.

you can only chose your own actions and responses to her behavior. here is the thing about stating what you are going to do... it is not open for debate. she can say whatever she wants about it, but she has no say in what you do unless you give her a say in it.
 

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@georgieporgie

if you are unwilling to suffer shame of being separated, then you will have to find other consequences for her behavior. so, lets look at the biggest thing that she does that you have an issue with: gossiping about you to everyone who will listen. complaining about you to people who are not there to help the marriage. **** talking. whatever you want to call it.

it seems to me that you wife is VERY concerned about her image. she wants people to view her in a positive light and you in a negative light. otherwise, why would she constantly complain about you to other people, but not tell you what you can do to fix anything? that said, you are very worried about your image too. otherwise, why would you care what she says about you, and why would you care how people would view you in the event that you two separate? it would be much easier for you to fix things if you did not care how society would try to shame you. but, since you do, ill try to suggest something that you can do. if you are too afraid to do it, then you will just have to accept that YOU are the one keeping yourself in this situation and just accept the life you have chosen to exist in.

anyway, here is what i would do in your shoes: i would tell her that the next time i find out about her gossiping about our relationship and complaining to people who we ARE NOT PAYING to help one or both of us with our issues, i will post what find out about on social media. before i tell her that, i would first write out my first post on the subject, something along the lines of this:

"for everyone who reads this, i am posting this to let you all know that my marriage to my wife is in trouble. for X amount of time, my wife has been complaining about me behind my back to friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors. it seems to me that she has even gone so far as to convince people that i suffer from autism spectrum disorder. she has told people that i do not emotionally connect to her, but has so far refused to tell me what an emotional connection looks like from her. i have asked her to stop gossiping about me behind my back several times, and is something that i have never done to her, but she has continued to do so. since she has chosen to continue to do so, i have decided to do something that i have never done before. i am publicly talking about our marriage issues to people who are not professionals who are trained and paid to assist us in building a stronger marriage. from now on, i will publicly announce the things that she says about me on social media whenever i find out about it. i will also publicly announce the things that i have issues with regarding her. in doing so, i will not be able to bring myself to resent her for gossiping about me because i will essentially be doing the same to her. i am uncomfortable with putting our issues out to the public like this, but i would rather suffer the public shame of airing our dirty laundry than harbor resentment against my wife, the mother of my children and my life partner. i would much prefer that we learn to address our issues between us in a private manner, but if we cannot do that, then i will at least be able to let go of my resentment of her actions.

that said, this is what i have found out that she has said about me recently, and these her behaviors that i currently have issues with..."

write up something like the above. copy and paste it if you want. show it to her and tell her that the next time you find out that she is gossiping, you are posting that for EVERYONE to see, and then you are going to name her behaviors that are destructive to your marriage. just don't tell her that you will do it unless you are actually willing to do it. if you dont have social media, then tell her that you will text it to everyone, email everyone, etc. the point is, you will be causing her public shame by her own actions. if she does not want you publicly complain about her and put her in a bad light, then she will have to stop doing it to you.

think you can stomach that?
 

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@Anon Pink

I dont think the weight issue is baby weight. The youngest is 6 years old. If as a mother you have not lost the "baby weight" after that amount of time, and then gained even more, a husband who cares for his wife is nearly duty bound to say something to his wife. When saying something does nothing, and his attraction level falls, sex will stop. By all means, he is only human.

@OP

Culturely it sounds like you going up against a rather strong obstacle. Her family will not help you because their devotion is to her, not you nor the family you are trying to create. Here is a suggestion I doubt that has been suggested yet. Call it the Mystic Marriage Journal. In it, only Non Aggressively worded questions can go in it from one person to the next. 3 questions a day can be asked (or whatever number is considered holy). It is handed to the other person at night and the next night is returned with answers and filled with new questions for the other spouse. The questions can be asked like "What do you feel when you talk to so and so?" (If you want to find about why she gossips). You're looking for what's she's feeling about situations and whatnot because you can probably come up with other ways for her to feel those feelings once you know the situations she currently feels them in. But also ask about things within the marriage, things that make her feel loved by you, safe with you, etc. I'll help ya out with first couple of questions if you wanna try this route
 

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Discussion Starter · #133 ·
the point is, you will be causing her public shame by her own actions. if she does not want you publicly complain about her and put her in a bad light, then she will have to stop doing it to you.

think you can stomach that?
Its certainly fair, although she does it not to hurt me but because she really needs validation from all these people, its a need for her, whereas for me it would be out of frustration/trying to get her back.

Maybe I should take the bull by the horns and discuss it openly with her father. Right now when we meet we both fake it as though everythings OK. Maybe I should just have it out with him: How do you justify my wife doing xyz. Hmmm not sure how he'd react. Maybe if he knows my point of view it will take away my wifes ability to get validation by talking to him because he'll say but why did you do xyz. Why do you think he's autistic, he's distant because you hurt him. So maybe that will get her to stop. It all depends on how reasonable he'll be/ willing to hear my POV. What do you think
 

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Discussion Starter · #134 ·
Maybe if he knows my point of view it will take away my wifes ability to get validation by talking to him because he'll say but why did you do xyz. Why do you think he's autistic, he's distant because you hurt him. So maybe that will get her to stop. It all depends on how reasonable he'll be/ willing to hear my POV. What do you think
Although this suggestion has a strong risk of getting me accused of needing to be right :)
 

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Its certainly fair, although she does it not to hurt me but because she really needs validation from all these people, its a need for her, whereas for me it would be out of frustration/trying to get her back.

Maybe I should take the bull by the horns and discuss it openly with her father. Right now when we meet we both fake it as though everythings OK. Maybe I should just have it out with him: How do you justify my wife doing xyz. Hmmm not sure how he'd react. Maybe if he knows my point of view it will take away my wifes ability to get validation by talking to him because he'll say but why did you do xyz. Why do you think he's autistic, he's distant because you hurt him. So maybe that will get her to stop. It all depends on how reasonable he'll be/ willing to hear my POV. What do you think
so, you want your father in law to fix this for you? are you not a grown man capable of enforcing your own boundaries by yourself?
 
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