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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. Its me again! You have been such a great

Resolved Question:

Hi Dr. Michael.

It's me again! You have been such a great help, and I feel comfortable telling you the truth so you can give me the best advice. You know about me, my ex and my husband's ex. Also I think you know about my relationship with my current husband and how we love each other...

The problem on top of all of this crap is my husband has been trying very hard to get rid of his vices....He quit smoking in August of 2011 after 30 years of smoking. As much as I wanted him to quit smoking for his health (that was his choice), he became mean. After he quit smoking he resumed another vice which was smoking pot. That is the mean vice! He is in the process of obtaining a new high power job that he has to pass a drug test. It has been hell! He really is trying and he is at this moment trying to find a local psychologist on his insurance plan. I defininitely will join him in couple's counseling but I think he needs some private help. I am not strong enough to be his wife, psychologist, Attorney and Accountant.....

Please offer any advice possible. I have been trying to avoid fights by withdrawing but he thinks I'm being unfair. I know he loves me and we both want to make this work. Help!

Thanks!
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 she comes back on line she will see your response and will return to assist you. 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.

At this point, with the pot issue added in, what do you want to do? I mean----what do you REALLY want to do at this point. Options? Stay with this guy but DISENGAGE enough to save your sanity i.e, can you stop being his accountant, attorney, advice-giver etc.? I tell many women who have men with LOTS of problems and issues-----please sort out what you are and are not, willing to get involved with; you need to protect your sanity. One wife's husband had some legal problems---he had embezzled some money and was leaning on her daily for emotional support and advice about different actions/options she should pursue. She became literally worn out by this and couldn't take the 'shared' stress of his life, much less her own life. So she said, "Look this is a problem area I cannot help you with. Get a therapist, and get an attorney and have them help you. I cannot help you in these matters so they need to be off limits in our conversations. Do not talk to me about anything related to your legal problems or how tough it is for you to cope; tell your psychologist".

Tell him also that you don't want to talk to him about any heavy-duty relationship topics UNLESS he brings them up in couples therapy, with a marital therapist. I'm very sorry you married such a 'winner' of a man. So again, what do YOU REALLY WANT TO DO at this point about the relationship? Do you want to stay and disengage, limit your l involvement with him emotionally, or do you want to leave?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I think I may have made him out to be worse than he is. I definitely want to stay in the relationship. He is very determined to totally

"clean" himself up for the family as well as himself. He is not in denial, and is seeking professional help. He already has been seeing his medical doctor, and is in search of a good therapist to help him with his problems. He was a very loving, kind strong "man" until he quit smoking. Until then, the other problems were not an issue. At times I actually wanted him to take up smoking again, at least it's legal!

I think I mispoke when I said he's "mean". It's more like grumpy and needy. The thing is, he knows he's being grumpy towards me and he really doesn't want to be. It's kind of like PMSing as a woman.

I'm actually thrilled that he has taken the steps he has and am proud of his accomplishments. I agree that I need to protect my own sanity by not allowing him to lean on me too much, but I also love him very much and want to support him in the best way possible to achieve his goals.

He really is a great husband and father, and I believe we can get through this and our horrible issues with our ex spouses and lead a happy healthy life.

I guess I need some advice on how I can still support him, but keep my own sanity.

 

Thanks!

Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 2 years ago.
So this is good news---you want to stay but you don't want to personally suffer under the weight of some of his baggage. I think you two need to be in marital therapy to handle some of these things i.e., set limits on how and where he feels he must have your involvement, have you to lean on, and where you cannot do this any longer. The best way to work out this kind of an agreement (e.g., this particular problem is a "not-mine" issue---this is an issue for your therapist, and vice versa) is to do it in an objective, safe environment with a couples therapist. He needs to understand that you all feel 'punished' by his withdrawal from marijuana because he is grumpy and ill-tempered and that HE needs to do something different about this---he should directly ask you for feedback about whether his moods have been good or bad during this past week----you can monitor and track him at certain times of the day, each day---keep a record, and share it with him. You'd compliment him heavily and give him hugs when he has had a good day and become more disengaged and silent when he gets grumpy---don't engage him at these times if you can avoid it. But this is just one example of the types of things you work out in marital therapy. If he refuses marital therapy, then you have to try to sit him down and reach these negotiated agreements of on and off-limit topics, whose problems are whose, the attempts you'd like to make to monitor his mood states and give him feedback, etc. What do you think?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

That is the advice I needed! He is the one that first suggested therapy for himself and as a couple. He actually says "I want to stop being an Ass Hole towards you". I like your advice about monitoring his behavior. He even asked me to do that. This is very helpful, and I'll keep you posted on our "success" with therapy.

 

Thanks Dr. Michael

Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 2 years ago.
My best to you; keep me posted. Thanks! Please click on the green Accept button at the bottom of the screen.
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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