My wife is demanding that I quit seeing my therapist.
We have been married 15 years. 4 going on 5 children. We both came from families with severe issues -- alcoholism, sexual abuse, etc. She is a teacher turned stay-at-home mom. I am an attorney with a successful niche practice in upstate NY.
I am 120+ pounds overweight and am constantly stressed. I wake up with panic
attacks -- screaming. My father had his first heart attack at 40. I just turned 38.
About 6 months ago I began seeing a therapist. One of the areas that she has counseled me on is the ability to set limits in my life -- i.e. assuming the responsibility to make everyone (my clients, employees, children, wife, family) happy ALL of the time. She is also working with me on a game plan to address my physical health -- making time for exercise, getting in for a physical with a GP, etc.
I have told my wife about my conversations with my therapist dealing with me need to please everyone in my life all of the time. I love my wife very much. She is certainly not an inherently demanding person but our relationship, like many in my life, has become characterized by unreasonable demands upon me.
For example, she wanted to be a stay-at-home mom -- so I increased my hours working and doubled my income so we could afford a very large home, housekeeper, part time nanny, etc. Recently she has become upset about not working so, with my support, she took on a "home business" involving jewelry parties. The parties are held during evenings. She generally makes enough to cover her "overhead" with no profit but she enjoys what she is doing and I think she needs time outside of the home. Problems arise when she schedules evening parties during the week -- requiring me to get home before my work is done, feed the kids dinner, etc. and stay up late and/or go back into the office (as late as 12am) to finish my work. She demands that we give her "job" equal traction -- despite the fact that it is not helping with our family finances.
This week I unexpectedly lost a key staff person at my office. My substitute staffperson is also my wife's daytime childcare provider -- watching the kids when my wife has her own doctor appointments, etc. I truly needed the help from the staffperson today but my wife had her scheduled to watch the kids during her hair appointment and she refused to change the appointment so I could get the help I need. During the course of this conversation I told my wife her demands were unreasonable - she was insisting that I take care of my "own problem" in a way which didn't impact her -- which I was not able to do. I pointed out that, while it was my office that needed the help, the income from my office is ours which we need to support our family and lifestyle. My wife exploded and told me that my counselor is anti-marriage has demanded I leave her.
Part of me just wants to do it to appease her -- I don't need the added stress
in my life. But I I feel like this is the wat I've set bad precedents with her and others. She may not be happy with my choice to stay with my counselor but isn't the decision mine?