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Mark Manley
Mark Manley, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 402
Experience:  Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Over 15 years exp. Married 30 years and happy.
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My husband is suffering from a nervous stomach. It is so bad

Customer Question

My husband is suffering from a nervous stomach. It is so bad that he was in hospital for kidney shut down because he kept throwing up every thing he ate or drank. The only thing that seems to calm him are showers and back rubs. To give you an idea of how much time he spends in the shower, our water bill went from $40 to $150 in one month. I have to give him back rubs at least 3-4 times a day otherwise he is back in the shower. I am at my wits end. He is 56 years old and this is taking a toll on him physically. When he was in hospital I asked for a mental consultation and they offered a week stay and he refused. Please, what can I say to him to get him to follow through and except this assistance?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Mark Manley replied 3 years ago.

Mark Manley :

Hello are you available to chat for a bit?

Customer:

Yes.

Mark Manley :

How long has this been going on?

Customer:

6 weeks

Mark Manley :

Has he had this problem before?

Customer:

Yes, about 2 years ago and he saw a pcycitrist for 3 visits and was put on diasapan (sorry about spelling).

Customer:

Know he is sick again but it is worse

Mark Manley :

What was the result of that treatment?

Customer:

He actually got better and gained all his weight back (lost 50 lbs). But he does not like psycatrist

Mark Manley :

What impact does this current episode have on your finances?

Customer:

We have medical insurance, he is retired cival service, but there is a $500 deductable for mental. I am unemployed and going to school, so at this point we have enogh to bay our bills and mortgage but thats about it.

Mark Manley :

Have you tried a 'tough love' approach with him, i.e. telling him "you accept all medical treatment that may be helpful or __________________? Fill in the blank with a consequence he won't like?

Customer:

To be quite honest I just did that. He asked for a back rub and I refused and he got mad and said he was going back in the shower.

Mark Manley :

Is this a new approach for you? Would you describe yourself as the soft nurturing type as opposed to the strict type?

Customer:

Yes to an extent. We have been married 30 years and I have always been there taking care of everything.

Mark Manley :

Thanks for the information it is very helpful. I have some ideas for you. I am going to stop chatting at this point and I will send you an answer in about 25 minutes

Customer:

Thank you for any assistance you can give me.

Mark Manley :

You bet.

Expert:  Mark Manley replied 3 years ago.
You are unwittingly reinforcing your husband's behavior. You will help him more, and love him better by making some demands in a firm way. Your Husband is not going to like this, he will resist your efforts in this direction and he may act out even more before it gets better. What I am recommending will also be challenging for you because it will go against the grain of your nurturing nature. It will be important for you to remember that this is all about being as loving as you can be towards him even though he will accuse you of the opposite. Are you interested in learning more about this approach?
Mark Manley, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 402
Experience: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Over 15 years exp. Married 30 years and happy.
Mark Manley and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
One other thing-earlier today I did some research and advised him that it sounds like he has stomach anxiety and when I tried talking to him about it he got mad and got back in shower. About 5 minutes latter he apoligized and asked me about it. I told him it could be because of all the negative self talk. That he needed to think more positivly and maybe hstart helping others such as at a food shelter etc. That will start making him feel better about himself. He got mad about that then.
Expert:  Mark Manley replied 3 years ago.
You gave him good advice! As you act in healthy ways. there is going to be a lot of 'angry' in your house. That's not comfortable but comfort is a secondary concern, the primary concern is health!

Have you ever heard the saying, 'Why buy a cow if the milk is free?' It means We won't pay the price for something if we can get it for free. As things are he gets everything for free because you give it to him. You need to start charging him so he can have the benefit of taking responsibility for himself. Ultimately this will help him feel better about himself and others too. Are you with me so far?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Mentally I understand what you are saying, and I have even tried talking to him about different issues and he is saying to me that I am making it worse. What is my response to this?

 

Expert:  Mark Manley replied 3 years ago.
He can't be trusted to define what is "worse". I am sure it feels worse to him but what it feels like and what it is may be totally different. I went to the doctor for a cut and he gave me a tetanus shot, I felt worse! but I was getting better. Are you willing to think about letting other sources guide you in this situation? I promise you, listening to him is not going to improve your situation or his.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
It is not that I am unwillingto let other sources guide me in this situation. I will be happy to, even with the additional "anger" in the home, as long as it gets my husband better. I am an introverted person when it comes to my thinking process. I am not quick with my responses. I have to think before I speak, thus the reason I asked about a response to his remark. I needed someone who is not so close to the situation to guide me. I thank you for your time and will follow through with the advise you have given me.
Expert:  Mark Manley replied 3 years ago.
A good thing here is that you don't have to be quick with a response and you don't have to think the responses up either. The task is to learn a handful of healthy responses and use them repeatedly. The hard part won't be what to say, the hard part will be staying strong in your resolve to say healthy things even though he becomes angry when you do.

I have more advise for you, but I don't want to overwhelm you. Are you ready for more or do you need a break?

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Mark Manley
Mark Manley
268 Satisfied Customers
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Over 15 years exp. Married 30 years and happy.