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 Dr. Z Your Own Question

Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5996
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
74815544
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Dr. Z is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am feeling worn out and run down by my partner. He is either

Resolved Question:

I am feeling worn out and run down by my partner. He is either in my space dominating it on his terms with loud talk and opinions and what we are going to do and when.

Imagine 'Tigger' from Winnie the Poo, this is my partner, its all loud and, right now and his time frame and I feel overwhelmed and swamped by him. Trying to resist or change the time frame or bring things down a notch ends up with him physically, poking, tickling, jumping on me or shouting 'RAH RAH RAH' in my ear.

He's such a sensory overload that at times I want to cry, in fact I often end up curled up on the sofa or bed with him hooting and poking or pulling my hat down over my face multiple times. Usually when I say please stop, don't do that, cut it out, get off me.

The opposite of this, is that after doing what he considers a hard days responsibility, ie being in the outside world having to behave like a sane and ordinary grown up he retreats to his man cave with eight beers and remains there for six hour stretches playing X box and smoking weed and getting stoned, he will periodically come downstairs for reassurance that he is 'not in trouble' This reassurance involves him doing a silly dance towards me or just crabbing sideways drunkenly until I'm near enough to fall on, crush up against, breath on and then he goes through a sort of Jack Sparrow' routine of what he imagines is roguish charm.

I usually recoil, he smells, is slobbery, unpleasant and is invading my personal space regardless of whether I am watching a film or reading a book or cooking. He doesn't appear to register what I am doing, it seems to be of no concern and he seems to feel that he is utterly entitled to impose himself physically upon me if he so deems fit. Any resistance or displeasure from me gets the same Tigger routine. Pokes, tickles, grabbing, what basically feels and looks like a dog dominating another dogs space.
My partner doesn't enjoy pitching in with chores around the house or any of the ordinary things it takes to keep a home nice. He sees this as boring and not worthy of his time. He will do stuff if I pursue him relentlessly, but he will make sure that if I ask nicely he manages to not do it for a day or two or three and if I remind him I am branded a 'nagging little lady pants.'

He is never outright aggressive, he is Mr Comedy moment. But his jokes are quite regularly of this nature. Me ' Please will you sort out the upstairs bathroom you said you would three days ago and its still a tip.'
Him, 'Aw is the little ladypants getting upset and hormonal because the bathroom is messy? Is your tiny little lady brain getting stressy because its cleaning time of the month?'
If I get annoyed by this, because lets face it, this IS insulting crap, then I am branded 'Angry pants' or 'Grumpy Lady' and further patronized usually with some extra poking, tickling, leaning on me or grabbing my breast/arse and shouting BEEP BEEP.
If I remain angry and start to explain just why this behaviour is crappy and unacceptable for me then he will retreat upstairs to the man cave because I am being hormonal and a misery. This will be used as excuse for another six hours straight X boxing.
My partner is capable of being a regular acting adult, he is in the process of getting his Post Grad lecturing certificate, he understands equality, diversity policy and he knows better than to let rip with a load of misogynistic stuff in the workplace. Nobody would believe how he behaves if I filmed him, he is like a chimp.
Why is it that when he walks through the door I become the arena for the at best loud, showing off and at worst belligerent, offensive 14 year old.
What can I do with this, I am sinking under the onslaught, he's not remotely sexually attractive to me anymore and its reaching the stage where I am finding it harder to like him the more worn out and defeated I am by trying to engage him in just why, the work of running a home is an empowering and great adult thing to be able to accomplish in tandem.
It gets worse the more pressure he has outside the home.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

Dr. Z :

Hello

Dr. Z :

I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry that you are having these issues with your partner, I can imagine the stress you are currently going through with him.

Customer:

Great !

Dr. Z :

It definitely appears that your partner's maturity level is not on the same level as yours at the home. It may be because your partner does not like acting like an "adult" during the day that he comes home and acts in a manner that is more befitting of a teenager based on maturity level.

Dr. Z :

So you say that when you have taken a break from him he apologized and improved, but that was short-lived, is that correct?

Customer:

Yep, when he came back he was behaving quite responsibly and was nice to be around for a good few months, maybe four or five

Customer:

Might be worth mentioning his Mother kept him inside until the age of fourteen and he wasn't allowed to play out ever. She micro managed every element of his life and still tries to, sending him boxes of clothes that he doesn't like but she does etc

Customer:

She withholds praise and she thanks me for looking after him, in front of him

Dr. Z :

I think your partner may have traits of something called Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD). It is a personality where the individual actively seeks attention and their emotions are typically dramatic.

Dr. Z :

Well this level of parenting can create personality disorders to individuals that are susceptible to them.

Dr. Z :

Now I do not think he has a full disorder, but it sounds like he has a few traits of them

Customer:

He can reign himself in everywhere else, he is a master of presenting a good level of behaviour to others. I think it takes its toll though its as though pressure builds up in him.

Dr. Z :

I think it would take a toll as well and that is why he releases this at home with you.

Dr. Z :

Also the mix of alcohol and illicit substances probably compounds with his possible personality disorder and makes the symptoms appear worse

Customer:

When he walks through the door its like the lid coming off a shaken up bottle of coke. How do I deal with this without A) Him sliding into self loathing, criticism makes him very self hatey.

Customer:

Funny you should say that because he's a lot less hyper and loud after beer. He's more guilty and in need of being told he's not a bad person.

Customer:

Inside he's good, he has empathy and is kind but when he's maxed out on stress he's unmanageable and seems disconnected to how his behaviour might be impacting.

Dr. Z :

Interesting, well alcohol is a depressant, so it can cause these feelings. Also do you feel he sometimes over-exaggerates when he self-blames?

Customer:

Yes he totally over exaggerates, his level of self loathing is in no way proportionate to being annoying, immature or getting on my nerves. But I've noticed that the self loathing seems to fuel worse acting out. It's as though the more bad he suspects he might be being the further he takes it. Its as though he cant stop himself from being worse and worse.

Dr. Z :

I think he acts worse and worse and over-exaggerates for attention. This is a part of the personality disorder that I described.

Customer:

It's like watching a child who starts off messing about and then each verbal response to calm down is met with a ramp up of the behaviour.

Customer:

Then a huge wave of self loathing follows and a retreat to the man cave.

Customer:

This leaves me feeling very alone in the relationship.

Dr. Z :

I understand why you feel alone in the relationship, anyone would if their partner was exhibiting this behavior.

Customer:

To avoid the behaviour I have to drop whatever I am doing and pay attention, this isn't a healthy option for me and to ignore the behaviour leads to the volume and physical prodding and poking being turned up until whatever I was doing is totally interrupted and overwhelmed. Then I feel annoyed and as though my thoughts and peace have been imposed upon. Its hard after that to feel loving and giving.

Customer:

How can I manage my responses to get the best out of this situation without either of us coming off as the loser.

Dr. Z :

I understand. Okay so the only real treatment here to help him and help you be sane in the relationship is for him to get Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) from a trained therapist. They specialize in this and CBT is the only proven effective therapy to treat this type of personality disorder. You both can do together, so that you are a support for him, but there is no way you can do this on your own.

Dr. Z :

No matter what techniques I give you, it will not stop his behavior without intensive therapy

Customer:

I love myself and I love him too. I want to help him if I can, but not to the extent that I become a resentful, husk of a human being. I am pretty close to that right now which is why I am here.

Dr. Z :

And I can definitely see that and I do not want that for you either, which is why therapy is the best option here.

Customer:

OK that makes sense, I think there will be resistance to CBT with him because it means admitting something is wrong, this 'idea of being wrong' will frighten him and he will get the self hates.

Customer:

Also I am not really supposed to be behaving as his social worker am I? This is dangerous ground for an equal and loving relationship of respect.

Dr. Z :

Exactly and that is why you should pose it as couples therapy and use the pronouns "we" and "us" a lot to not directly blame him

Dr. Z :

Yes you do not want to be his social worker, you are his partner and romantic interest

Customer:

OK so CBT for him if HE WANTS to pursue health.

Dr. Z :

CBT is the best treatment for this.

Customer:

OK and what is the best way for me to deal with his domination attempts on my space and time in the meantime. I need a strategy for stopping it in its tracks without undermining him further.

Customer:

I need a way to protect us both from his acting out.

Dr. Z :

Well the best way would be make a set contract before hand, this can also be done in therapy, delegating appropriate time when he can act out and interact with you more. But when the time is done than he has to go back to his man-cave or not be in your personal space. If you both sign it, it confirms a therapeutic contract.

Dr. Z :

The CBT will help him think more objectively and not selfishly, but this will take time and it will be gradual, so the results probably will not start to appear until 3 months.

Dr. Z :

I know that is a long time for you because you have already gone through so much, but I wanted to point that out to you

Dr. Z :

I also want to provide you with these CBT books that contain techniques too

Customer:

Thanks being realistic is better than hopeful. I understand that therapy takes time and commitment and I expect there will be some odd changes too when he starts to need me less, should I expect him to withdraw from me utterly before he comes forward again?

Customer:

I imagine that facing the reality of your utter neediness would result in an opposite swing of some sort maybe some dislike of me?

Customer:

What should I be prepared for in terms of how therapy will change the way he relates to me as the object of need or release?

Dr. Z :

I do not think he will withdraw from you completely, but instead he may show you appropriate space and not need the constant attention

Customer:

I am afraid that he will withdraw completely and see me as his 'poison'

Dr. Z :

Well he will show you more respect and probably act more like an adult with therapy. Believe me you will see the differences gradually

Customer:

This is a bit how he is with his Mother currently swinging between a need for approval then when it is withheld self hate and consequently hating her.

Customer:

OK I'm going to have a look at the links you have given to me and broach the subject, perhaps a book will be the first step for us, it's a way to ease into the ideas of CBT without a commitment to laying all his stuff on the line right away.

Dr. Z :

I think the books will be very helpful for you and him

Dr. Z :

It is a first step in the right direction regarding his behavior

Customer:

Thanks Dr Z I feel as though you've given me enough to go on now and that I have had my moneys worth.

Dr. Z :

Anytime, I am happy that I was able to help you. Is there anything else I can assist you with today?

Customer:

No that's all thank you, XXXXX XXXXX some work to do now and need to remember that I have a life and needs separate to these issues. Thank you for your advice.

Dr. Z :

Well I am happy to help, I wish you and your partner all the best. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime.

Dr. Z :

I hope you have a great rest of your day :)

Dr. Z :

Oh and also when you finish rating me, this chat will be sent as a link to your email, if it has not already, so you can always use it for future reference

Dr. Z :

Before you sign off though, I would very much appreciate if you could rate my performance in helping you so that I can get credit for this question. Thank you very much

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5996
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
Dr. Z and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Mental Health Professional
Dr. Z
Dr. Z
Psychologist
5388 Satisfied Customers
Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.