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 RealSupport Your Own Question
RealSupport, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3191
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
RealSupport is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My wife is demanding that I quit seeing my therapist. We

This answer was rated:

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?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am very sorry to know about this very frustrating and stressing situation.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Your story shows very clearly how tough it could have been for each of you to cope with unavoidable life challenges and difficulties because of past neglect and abuse during childhood to the time you could move away from your dysfunctional families. All the medical and mental health problems you have been presenting are just very hard to cope with for anybody in your shoes, but you have had the assertiveness and responsibility to star taking good care of it, getting necessary physical and psychological treatment, and you should feel proud of it.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

At the same time one of the core issues you have mentioned is about the serious codependency issues undermining your life and marriage, like by this neediness to please people instead of taking good care of yourself, setting healthy and clear boundaries and limits, and not allowing any form of abuse, manipulation or neglect. When people do start making these necessary changes, they will always have to afford huge resistance from those people around them who have been playing a codependent role, since they would not be willing nor happy to end the conscious circle and stop having all the benefits they got from it in the past.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

The episodes you described show how much work needs to be done by your wife on herself in order for your marriage and family to heal and grow as a healthy and fulfilling reality for all of you. For this to happen, each of you need to take full responsibility of your own feelings, choices, actions and reactions, and eradicate any selfish approach undermining your core responsibilities to each other. You are the breadwinner of your family, they totally depend on you and your hard work for everything around their material, health, education needs and for everything else, then there is not doubt that anything done undermining your job would damage the whole family. Life is about priorities and for sure there is much need for your wife to truly understand what it means to be a healthy, accountable and supportive life partner, otherwise your life together could not flourish.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Firing your counselor would just be an unhealthy decision based on the very same codependency you have started to work on in therapy. My recommendation is for you to continue to commit to your rehabilitation processes from medical and mental health conditions, getting all the support you can, and being %100 consistent taking action for these changes to become a reality, one you and your family deserve.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Does it make sense?


It does.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I truly hope she could reflect on her behavior and reassess her priorities, for her to take good care not only of her personal health, but for your marital and family well-being.

RealSupport and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you