How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Mark Manley Your Own Question

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.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Mark Manley is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have been married 35; the last 15 years have been emotionally

Resolved Question:

I have been married 35; the last 15 years have been emotionally difficult. It started when I became ill with undiagnosed pernicious anemia. By the time a doctor figured out the problem, I had no measurable B-12 in my system. For 2 years I was in a downward spiral. I went from being a happy, energetic 43 year old who ran about 20 miles a week, worked for a rape crisis program, attended college and was raising 3 children who I adored. I had to give up running (for the first time, I was dealing with injuries), became extremely depressed, gained 40 pounds because I was driven to eat to the point that I got up several times during the night to eat even though I knew I wasn't hungry. I quit school, and eventually my job, because I couldn't concentrate and had difficulty getting up in the morning. I stopped driving because I was going through red lights even though I kept telling myself to stop. Once I was diagnosed and started B-12 treatments, I slowly returned to my normal self with one exception. During that time, my husband never showed any sympathy or concern. In fact he was very rejecting and critical which led to more depression which remains today. When I try to talk to him about this, he is not sympathic, has never apologized for his rejection and insensitivity, and uses the fact that I was "crazy" to justify his actions (or inactions). Around this same time, the family dog was dying. He put all his energy and sympathy into the dog. Shortly after all this, in the span of 6 years, his father died and then his mother followed by his sister. Our relationship has never gotten back on track. I am looking for some understanding about this period in our relationship. He refuses to discuss it. We have not had any intimacy in six or seven years. I withdrew from any intimate conversations because it was too painful to be constantly rejected. In the last year he has rejected his younger sister (the last one person from his original family) when she was receiving treatment for cancer and told her he didn't love her. In fact, he said he didn't love anyone (except maybe his children). Last month he moved out of our home, telling me it may be temporary or it may be for good. He told me if someone came into his life that he was interested in, he would pursue that relationship. I am in therapy. My therapist tells me that he is a narcissist and that I was no longer valuable to him when I was sick. He sister also thinks he fits the description of a narcissist. This is not the person I married. He was never very communicative or emotional or empathetic but I am uncomfortable labeling him with a personality disorder. I need to understand what is going on.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Mark Manley replied 2 years ago.
He came face to face with mortality due to your illness, then he was further overwhelmed by the loss of his family members. Instead of learning to make peace with mortality (his own and loved ones), he ran away. If he doesn't care then he can't be hurt when death or illness robs him of his loved ones. In short he is allergic to mortality his own and his loved one's.

What can you do to help him? The only thing I know of is to confront him with his reality. He is so afraid of loosing his life and and his loved ones that he has actually created the situation he fears most. His prognosis for recovery is poor, but you never know, with you getting in his face, and a miracle or two he might learn to grow up and face reality. If not, I suggest that you let him go and see if you can find a man who is not afraid to love and be loved.

Sorry for your great pain.

Sincerely,
Mark Manley
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
thank you for your reply. In your opinion (and with the information I have given you) do you think his response to things that have happened is driven by narcissism? People who have told me he is a narcissist have also told me there is no possibility of change because of the narcissism.
Expert:  Mark Manley replied 2 years ago.
He appears willing to give up everybody he loves in an attempt to avoid pain, insecurity and loss. This is not so indicative of Narcissism but it is probably equally difficult to treat due to his very strong aversion to facing reality and dealing with it.

If you are going to try to get through to him you have to confront him heavily. Instead of trying to diagnose him I recommended you learn how to be very assertive with him and "get in his face". If you have already become skilled at this, and you saw no movement in him, then you should consider letting go and moving on.

The label isn't very important. Your actions in relation to him are what you can control. Learn to confront his defensive thinking and behavior and how to invite him to come out from his hiding place. Some people are very fragile and hide their fragility behind any number of defenses. They not only attempt to hide from others but from themselves as well.

Put him to the test. Call him on his crap, all of it! and see what happens.

I will be surprised if he has the ability to respond in a genuine manner but If I were you I would want to know that I tried.

I am sorry this is so painful for you.

Sincerely,
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.
Mark Manley and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
 
 
 

Related Mental Health Questions