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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5089
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I went behind my husbands back and sent an email to his therapist

Resolved Question:

I went behind my husband's back and sent an email to his therapist about my side of things (he was abusive, etc), and immediately regretted it, and sent another note asking (pleading) with her not to tell him and just delete it...does she have to tell him?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

DoctorZ :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

DoctorZ :

I am sorry that you are feeling this distress over the emails that you sent to your husband's therapist.

DoctorZ :

May I ask what type of abuse did you describe in the emails?

Customer:

physical

Customer:

it is a long and complicated story - husband has been through major transition (loosing weight, stopping drinking,etc), and in the process has a) developed an obessive on line relationship with my niece, and b) become very aggressive with me

Customer:

we have started fighting regularly. He went to a dr, then a therapist, who told him he was bipolar. he did not like that, left him, and for months has been trying to "beat" the diagnosis on his own

Customer:

then, in a fight, he lost it, and caused severe facial injuries. He did not mean to loose it, and he cried, and I did not call the police...but my face took a month to heel

Customer:

weeks later, he finally agreed to see another therapist, but he has not been telling her the abuse side, he is telling her about my yelling at him, etc. He did not tell her about the abuse, and he has not told her he spends hours every day in a relationship

Customer:

in a visit recently, he call HIM an abused spouse because I yell at him and in a following one, told him he should leave. He was yelling at me again, and in a panic, I wrote to her, behind is back and told him I was afraid and could she please dig into HIS problems as opposed to just mine (I was abused as a child, and he believes that is the source of all evil in our marriage). In any case, he is calm now, and I want to find a way out, but if she tells him I went to her, he will loose it again, I know it...so, I pleaded with her not to tell him, but I think she may be obligated to do so...if that is the case, I need to know

DoctorZ :

Okay, well I will let you know what his therapist is obligated to do. If his therapist believes that you are in imminent danger from further physical abuse, then she must inform the authorities because that is the law that all doctors and mental health professionals have to follow. Now if she thinks that this abuse happened in the past and that you are not in danger of it happening again, then she is not required to alert the authorities. The therapist does not have to disclose what you wrote to her to your husband, but she may ask if he has ever abused you (without mentioning the letter).

Customer:

well, that explains her response. she wrote and asked me to please not email her at her personal address (fair, it was all I could find) and she then told me that if I was in immediate danger to call 911 and if I wanted to leave the home, to go to a shelter. She copied her boss at the hospital, so she was following protocol. I wrote back to them both, and said I was not in danger now, he was remorseful and sad (and, I actually do think that he may yell alot, I think he has convinced me he will not hit me again). I am also going to go and get some help of my own.

DoctorZ :

I think for yourself seeking counseling is wise, and that no one should ever physically abuse you in a relationship, so if you feel like your life is in danger I do encourage you to call the authorities because your life is more important. Most likely the therapist will not tell your husband about the email, but she will prod and ask about abuse that he has ever inflicted on you to gauge his reaction and reasoning.

DoctorZ :

The reason why she will not tell your husband about the email because she knows that it could trigger an anger response directed towards you and that is not something that this therapist will risk

DoctorZ :

By the way some of his symptoms that he has been exhibiting, controlling, abuse, blaming you for his issues, and manipulation of therapy can all be symptoms of a personality disorder called Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)

Customer:

yes...I had mentioned in my letter that after two of his visits, he has been agitated and it has caused fighting...once, when she suggested he was an abused spouse (verbal) and second, when she suggested maybe we should divorce (I am not at all sure that she really did...hard to imagine, since she has only seen him a few times). I had asked my husband if I could come with him for a session or two, to help out marriage, but he said no way

DoctorZ :

Of course he does not want you to go with him to a session of therapy because he has manipulated this therapist to thinking he is the victim in the relationship when in actuality you are.

Customer:

yes, I do realize that, but I am at a loss as to what to do. He did go to a psychiatrist last week, to "rule out" bipolar, so it was a short visit, and he has no follow up. I don't know how to get him the help me needs, and what you described above, is really what he does do

Customer:

btw, he also thinks that as long as he wants to stay married, we will - he cannot wrap his head around the fact that I might want him out

Customer:

both his therapist and his dr are both quite new in their roles (psychiatrist is one year in her practice, and has specialized in child and adolescence). Am not suggesting they are not good at their jobs, but he is very manipulative, and at 54, has been at this a long time

DoctorZ :

Individuals with NPD do not respond well to therapy because they do not believe anything is wrong with them, they believe everyone else is wrong. So I definitely think this marriage is unhealthy for you and that you should seek counseling to help remove yourself from this relationship when you can. Here are a couple books that can help you

Customer:

oh, thank you so much

Customer:

and yes, I had gotten myself to a place that I realize I have to leave

DoctorZ :

I think you are right that maybe his psychiatrist and therapist are not used the manipulative behavior associated with NPD and they do not realize they are being lied to

Customer:

my youngest son saw my face, and wants me to leave

DoctorZ :

I think you should leave too as this is no way to treat a spouse. I would go to a therapist for yourself that specializes in domestic violence situations.

DoctorZ :

Here is a good hotline that can help you with resources in your area too

DoctorZ :

Also I can help you find a therapist in your area that can help you if you wish?

Customer:

you have been so very helpful, I cannot thank you enough

Customer:

sure, that you would great

Customer:

I live in Newtown CT 06470

DoctorZ :

I am always happy to help. Give me a couple minutes to look for therapists in your area

DoctorZ :

Okay so these three therapists are near you and have a specialty in domestic abuse, so they should help you

Customer:

ok, so, this has been great

Customer:

thank you so much

DoctorZ :

Anytime, i am happy to help.

Customer:

I honestly was beginning to think I was loosing my mind. I am very successful at work (a very senior leader at ibm), and have built a great life, but was beginning to think all of the things he was telling me was wrong with me were true...this has helped me get my focus back

DoctorZ :

Individuals with NPD can be very manipulative and make you think that you are at fault when that is not true.

DoctorZ :

I am glad that you are asking for help and hopefully you will get help soon to leave this marriage for your own safety and emotional well being

Customer:

yes, I will work on it. tricky bit is that I am the one who earns the living, and always has. My husband has never worked, raised the kids, and is only living here (we were canadian) because of my job...so, he has no where to go. I am going to see a lawyer this week as well to start that process

DoctorZ :

That is good that you are going to see a lawyer. I think right now you have to look after yourself

Customer:

well, thank you again. This has been very helpful.

DoctorZ :

I am glad that I can help you today. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you have any other questions or concerns please feel free to contact me at anytime

Customer:

oh, that is great...is there a way I can keep your contact info? and am I now to punch in a rating? (excellent!)

DoctorZ :

If you want to contact me in the future you can put "For DoctorZ only" to make sure that you want to speak to me.

Customer:

ok, great. Thank you again

DoctorZ :

And yes once you put the rating in, the chat will be finished, but you can always ask follow up questions if you wish and this chat will always be saved for your future use

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5089
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
Dr. Z and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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