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Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience:  Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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Hi Dr. Michael,I appreciate so much the help you have given

Resolved Question:

Hi Dr. Michael,

I appreciate so much the help you have given my husband and me on our ex spouses' personality disorders. Now I am asking for some help for myself:

My husband and I have been married for over 2 years and we love each other very much. I finally married my King of the Castle! The problem we are facing is that we both have significant scars from being married to people with major Personality Disorders....

I would ask my question of my mother since she had 4 boys and my father was a "real man'; however, she is 83 and I am her baby. I don't want to stress her out. She always did have good advice from the male perspective. I am asking that of you....

Both of us are under a great deal of stress, but I believe as a Man, my husband's stressors are much greater than mine. Not only is he dealing with the major turmoil with his daughter, but he is currently anticipating a major job change after 9 years. He has travelled up the ranks and has made an excellent name for himself. He has been agressively sought after by headhunters which to him is bitter/sweet.

Meanwhile he is dealing with his evil ex-wife, and sincerely XXXXX XXXXX to help him out since I somewhat know what I'm doing since I've been dealing with my ex for 6 years. He has been very receptive of my research and reads yours and the Attorney Expert responses. He wants to fight for his daughter, but has admitted he will probably not do it without me pushing him. That part is really hard for me. The last thing I want to do is push or control.

Lately, we have had a difficult time communicating. I think we are both exhausted, and our scars are rearing their ugly heads. I feel like whenever I try to tell him how I feel he gets mad at me even though he says he's not. Sometimes I just want to walk away because no matter what I say makes him upset. I was told by a local psychologist that it seems like I talk to him like a child and not a man. I believe sometimes I do, but I don't realize I'm doing it. I have to talk to my NPD ex-husband like that.

I believe we have what it takes to make a great marriage, but we are dealing with so much crud all at once. Can you give us some suggestions on how we can regroup, and truly think of eachother and take a breather.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Camille-Mod replied 2 years ago.

Hi, I am a Moderator with Just Answer, I have Emailed your Expert so that when he comes back on line he will see your question. If I can help further, please let me know. Thank you for your continued patience:-)

Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 2 years ago.
Hello. I believe I can be of help to you with this issue.

You may need to take some vacation time off quite soon; I'm not talking a day or two but perhaps 4-5 workdays, with a weekend attached at both ends. Why? Well, first, it is hard to continue pushing forward with your lives and individual and joint stress ors. When things get as difficult and stressful as they sound like they are right now. The time you spend together should be 'down time'. You shouldn't plan a busy itinerary of travel, visiting friends/relatives, sightseeing, etc. This should be real down-time for taking walks, taking naps by a swimming pool, eating a multi- course meal over the course of a couple of hours in the evening, seeing a show; renting a room at a lodge at a national part and just walk, sight see, get off the 'beaten path'. During this time, I would not spend any hours during at least the first couple of days discussing much of anything; you'd agree that life problems are to be 'suspended'; you'll only talk about the HERE AND NOW experience you are having---the things you see and do in this moment. Everything else should be off limits for the first 2-3 days. And, he needs to agree to leave his work behind. No cell phones, even. I think you'd want to then end this time together with a planned session with a couples therapist to short of regroup and discuss what's been happening in the relationship generally, over the past couple of months. You can ask him if he WANTS you to take th initiative regarding his child or if he'd prefer to not deal with that battle right now---but perhaps in a few months. So if I were you, I'd identify just 2-3 major things that you think are the sources of contention and stress for BOTH OF YOU, as they affect the relationship. Let him know that mini-plan---down time and then talking to a couples therapist would be a worthwhile 'experiment' to try to help both of you feel more in control of life and build the relationship some more.

There is no telling what will come of this down time mini-vacation but it absolutely cannot hurt---you have nothing at all to lose by trying it. I can tell you that in all likelihood, unless there is an abrupt change of routine for both of you, the stress and sense of isolation in your relationship will probably get worse---won't get better on its own. What do you think?
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 2 years ago.
I see you read my last post to you. Feel free to write a follow up comment. If you have no further comment or a follow-up questoin, please click on the green Accept button at the bottom of the screen. THANKS>
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 2 years ago.
I see you read my last post to you. Feel free to write a follow up comment. If you have no further comment or a follow-up question, please click on the green Accept button at the bottom of the screen. THANKS>
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The vacation sounds awesome and well needed. Unfortunately, we have some hurdles to complete before we can afford the time and cost of the vacation. I think planning it and setting our minds to it will give us something fun to look forward to once we meet our immediate goals. We had a good conversation after we both read your answer. We think by setting an actual schedule where we deal with our ex-spouse/legal crap, will help alleviate the 24 hour drain and allow us to enjoy time together with out the ex's interfering. My husband is a real romantic, and contantly discussing the ex's is a major downer for him even though he knows taking care of the business at hand is necessary. We do have a long weekend planned in March, and I think making it a bit spicey with no mention of the ex's or his work is just what he needs.

 

After your feedback, we realized we are farther along than we originally thought. He told me he wants to send his ex an e-mail asking if she will submit to a psychological evaluation with a clinical psychologist as long as he does the same. He also wants to tell her that he believe's their daughter needs counseling. I assume she will refuse and come back at him saying he's the crazy one. That's what she does. Is that Projection? Is this the right thing to do or will it make her go off the deep end? Does he really need a diagnosis or can he accomplish what he needs to just by understanding her probable personality disorder?

 

I really appreciate your help. I do have a very good family clinical psychologist who has helped my children and I a great deal; however, he is very expensive and is the therapist on record for my divorce case. Your straight forward answers and expert advice is welcomed by both my husband and me.

Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 2 years ago.
Simply planning and then knowing you'll take this vacation will certainly help the two of you. So I'm glad you also thought this made good sense.

Yes, I am willing to place a 'bet' that your husband's ex will become upset at the suggestion that they both be evaluated objectively. She will probably say directly, or in so many words that she in no way needs to 'justify' her mental health status or that your husband is nuts. This would be a form of projection, of course. I'd definitely go ahead and do this, As I noted in my last post, it is important for someone dealing with an ex-spouse with a significant personality disorder such as this to always maintain a certain amount of leverage and power over them and the situation, and this can be done by creating a sense of anxiety and threat with the pressure to have the psychological evaluation done. I would doubt it will send her over the 'deep end', as you describe someone who is more functional than this. But it will provoke a great deal of anxiety and anger, which again, is probably a good thing to do, in order to maintain mild threat and leverage with her.

Let me know if I can be of additional assistance. Please let me know if I"ve overlooked anything. Click on the green Accept button at the bottom of the screen before logging off. Thanks.
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience: Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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