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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5111
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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My wife is 37 years old. We have been married for 10 Years.

Customer Question

My wife is 37 years old. We have been married for 10 Years. She is an extrovert. She come from a large family. Originally from the middle east. When we got married i completerd my surgical residency and moved to a small town. Lots of people of the same ethnic background but older generation. We managed to ravel and go out of town. Things were well. She felt homesick but manageable.

We had a little boy 6 yrs ago. Things been rough. Wife had tough time adapting to life in the US as a mom. We moved to a new city purchased a house etc - i kept commuting thing did not work well. two years ago moved again to a new area larger city better weather - rented a house for six months - made geat friends - then purchased a house and wife started having problems - the community we moved in - on a golf course - lots of snobs - joined the country club etc - wife plays tennis - had multiple very negative interactions. He does not feel she belongs. She blames thing on the people made several friends but not in our neighberhood. My wife is a house wife - she has 2 masters in business. I still kept of original practice - i commute. She wants to move to another neighberhood, or go back to her country, she does not feel she belongs. Also, me being away 2 nigths a week creates anxiety - I need help and some suggestions.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 1 year ago.

Hi! You know, to give you the best answer, I think I should ask you a few questions first that will help define the problem and the situation.


Do you agree with her that this is not a good social circle? Or do you think the problem is within her?

Would going to work and being in the workplace help her to feel more involved in life and in the US?

Is your being away 2 nights a problem between you? Is it something you can change or not?

In general, you seem to have moved a lot to try to accommodate her but it hasn't helped. Do you think there is some problem going on or is the culture in the US not right for her?

Has she had any psychotherapy?

Is she getting any treatment right now? If so, what type? How is it going?

If not, when was the last treatment? What type of treatment was it? Was it helpful?

Any extra information that will help, feel free to share.


Dr. Mark

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The town we moved to is charlott, nc it is the south - there is some prejudice and ethnocentrism - but to me it is tolerable. She is very sensitive to this issue - you have snobs and racist people anywhere in the world. My wife derives her self esteem from interactions from others and their opinion of her make very strong impact


 


My wife never worked in the US - i do not thing she is psychologically capable - will creat new set of issues, Considered opening a business but then if we do not resolve the pshych issues , we create bigger problems


 


I have a successful surgical practice. I fly to work. I take wed off and trying to establish a practice in charlotte but need about 12 months


 


She had binge eating disorder - she tried therapy via skype - was very good - she resolved that issue - also she had a Lap band procedure that helped her - that restored her self image


 


He is on anitidepresent - she refuses psychotherapy - claiming the cultural differences makes the therapy ineffective


 


My wife suffers from low self esteem - and she is very extrovert she loves people - she makes friends etc - she have high expectations and then gets dissapointed - a

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the replies to the questions and the added information. It helps a lot in understanding what the situation is. I believe I can now be of help with this issue.

I can imagine how frustrating this situation must be for you. You are clearly trying to make the best life you can for your family. And you are accepting of the fact that in order to do that there are trade-offs: some things are good, some bad. Some are fun, some not. Some are fair, some not. You accept that.

Your wife doesn't live that way. She's much more intense and has to have things go well to feel well. And, of course, they aren't going well all the time. And she's not accepting of the trade-offs like you are.

Therefore, the most important thing is for her to feel like you're on her side. That you see how things are tough for her. You will need to "swallow" your realistic view and be supportive when she complains and wails about how mean and cruel and racist everyone here is. In other words, rather than trying to calm her down and make her see it's not so bad, you're going to need to tell her she's right and how brave she is to put up with it.

This is not going to work all the time, but it will help a lot. So that's the first thing. This is very important. And it's also important that you're moving your practice slowly so you can be there to reinforce for her that her culture is good and that the culture here is not fair, etc.

Second, given that you're doing well, you need to have her visit her family often. I have worked with people from the Middle East with large families and often it is very explosive. Visits can be very stressful. But they tend to thrive on that stress and explosiveness. And again, as long as you take her side, that will be good. It will help her remember in herself (even if she doesn't admit it) why she doesn't want to live back home. And why it's better here.

A third strategy is if you can get her to volunteer. That is not as pressurized as being in the work force. She may begin to feel better about herself without needing you to reinforce her sense of worth so much. Perhaps in your son's school. Or in some other activity. Joining a support group for people with lap bands may be a social outlet as well.

The idea here is counterintuitive in terms of your attitude. You need to NOT try to calm her down. Rather, you need to keep supporting her view of things. That will calm her down and make her feel not so all alone.

Okay, I wish you the very best!

My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, Dr. Mark

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

are u aware of any therapy sessions that can be done online like the one she had for her eating disorder.

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I may be away until this evening before you reply, but I want to make sure I give you the best answer for this question that I can rather than a generic answer:


First, there was the issue, I thought, about cultural competency. It would need to be someone who she would be willing to work with and she seems unwilling to work with an American therapist, right?


Second, it depends what issues are going to be worked on. I work via Skype, for example, in therapy. But there are certain types of problems that aren't a good idea to work on without a more intensive therapy model.


If I'm away, I'll reply this evening, okay?


Dr. Mark
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 1 year ago.

Hi. I see you haven't responded yet to my answer. I would be very interested in hearing back from you on whether you thought my response was on target or if we need to continue with further clarification. My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons.

Let me know,

Dr. Mark

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