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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4271
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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Well, I am at a cross roads. Ive been married for 1 year

Resolved Question:

Well, I am at a cross roads. I've been married for 1 year and a half and my wife is currently 4 months pregnant. Some may say this is normal, after all, she's pregnant; but I noticed a change in her behavior 2 weeks prior to our wedding that has been consistent. She has a 7 year old son from a previous relationship who travels from house to house throughout the week due to a court order. This will be my very first at 27 years old.
My wife, had a ruff childhood. Being a twin, she always competed for attention and validity. Both of them grew up overweight, dealing with insecurities that come with that territory. Her mother and father had divorced when she was 12 and did not have a tight knit relationship with her father. He did fight to get custody of all 4 of his children from this relationship but lost, leaving frustrated and focusing on starting new families. She struggled with feeling abandoned by her mother and father; in fact, her mother would leave for long periods of time leaving my wife and her siblings alone to raise themselves up.
My wife was forced to grow up quickly basically without parents and is very independent. Her mother was not close to my wife's grandfather; almost all of the women in her family are alone or divorced. My wife's father grew up in an orphanage in New York. His parents passed away from overdoses.
My wife had her son when she was 19 while attending college. I assumed that the child is extremely intelligent after listening to lectures for so long lol.
She met her son's father during summer vacation; he was immersed in the church, and converted her to Christianity. They had their son shortly. Living in his mother's row home among other family members', they went their separate ways after he cheated on her with his ex-girlfriend (current wife). She went into a self destructive way of life for about a year; embracing the nightclub scene, drinking irresponsibly and being recklessly promiscuous on a daily basis.
She went into counseling for a year seeking peace and help.
Just a little background on my wife.
As for myself, I grew up with both parents, my mother being more dominant than my father. As the oldest in a home with 3 other siblings, I found myself sacrificing a lot in order to raise my siblings while my parents constantly worked. All of the women in my family are extremely strong. The boys grew up without men showing them how to be men, other than our grandfather. We grew up in a Christian household that emasculated me and my brothers, in which we are still effected in major ways today.
I grew up not feeling respected wherever I went. Possessing a love-hard heart, I was taken advantage of everywhere I went. The connection with my parents to this day, feels non-existent and taxes my soul. My mother wasn't perfect, but she made an honest effort to raise us right. However because of her lust for control, she would go to great lengths at distorting truth in order to manipulate our impressionable minds.
I sought relationships with women as young as 1st grade to fill the voids left by my mother. I adopted a love for music and martial arts that help channel my energy in more helpful ways. Martial arts ended when I was 12, and I didn't start making my own music until I was 15. I've struggled with very strong and aggressive women in all areas of life. Its as if, they all wanted to challenge my manhood, to see if they can control me. Not knowing how to handle situations, I would often allow the abuse or remain in very depressed states.
I see male's role in society changing everyday, and its frightening. There are no male role-models' with any ethics. Almost all the men I know are repeat offenders, drug dealers, just negatively flawed. I was engaged before my wife, to a ministers daughter, and ended in confusion. The minister, who I sought for spiritual guidance, would excuse any and all negative behavior of her daughter and give me advice based on her benefit.
Having no relationship with my parents and a faulty relationship with my minister, I held on to my beliefs in God. Its all I had. My wife met me a church function and we exchanged numbers. We were inseparable. I laid out everything on the table for her about myself and my expectations. Trying to be thorough and extremely sure that this was my future wife, I would ask questions and observe so I had a pretty good idea what I was getting myself into.
My mother did not approve of us being together and invested time and energy into sabotaging our relationship. I don't associate with my family any more because of things they've done against my wife and myself. I don't have many friends and I work all the time. I don't have time for myself really, its spent working on trying to grow businesses and bring money into our household.
My wife and I can never seem to resolve any of our problems
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 7 months 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 difficulties with your wife, I can understand how distressing this is for you.

Dr. Z :

You mentioned that you have tried counseling from older couples in the past, but what about trying therapy from a therapist/psychologist?

Customer:

We have tried family therapy with the therapist at the church we were married at.

Customer:

Unfortunately, I got the impression that generally, no matter what, the man is always to blame.

Dr. Z :

So you talked a lot about your history and hers, what exactly are the change in her behaviors that you noticed towards you and the marriage?

Customer:

What I have noticed is a lack of respect for my role in our home. My wife is doing the same things I grew up seeing my mother do to my father, emasculation.

Customer:

She doesn't trust my judgements

Customer:

None of my decisions are worth considering.

Customer:

She doesn't want to be intimate,

Customer:

she makes excuses not to have sex

Customer:

She won't pickup after herself or like cleaning so I find myself being so disgusted with our home and vehicles that i

Customer:

am the one doing it by myself

Customer:

She doesn't want to cook, I am making an effort to learn how to just so I can sustain myself

Customer:

She treats her son like her boyfriend and me like a sponsor

Customer:

She isn't considerate of my time.

Customer:

She make rash decisions based on her emotions and it scares me.

Customer:

She wants me to listen to her and taking into consideration everything she wants, feels, thinks, ect, but is unwilling to reciprocate.

Customer:

Now that she is pregnant, Im am fearful of bringing a child into a bad situation, something I never wanted to do.

Customer:

My wife will listen to someone else before she listens to me. I really don't ask for much

Dr. Z :

Has she been diagnosed with a mental illness at all?

Customer:

no

Customer:

but i can tell she's got something going on

Customer:

even our conversation last night went beyond shouldnt have

Dr. Z :

I agree, I think she may have a mental health disorder, most likely a personality disorder actually

Customer:

I try to speak calmly everytime we have discussions, but without fail she's interrupting me, becoming defensive and emotional

Customer:

I wondered to myself, could she suffer from post traumatic stress? bi polar?

Dr. Z :

It does not sound like Bipolar Disorder, but it definitely could be PTSD

Dr. Z :

Most likely stemming from her past issues with relationships

Customer:

I even wonder if its me? Am I doing something wrong? Could I be sick?

Dr. Z :

No I do not think it is you, no one deserves to be treated this way at all.

Customer:

I dont want to get a divorce, I love my wife. Im just becoming increasingly more unhappy with our situation.

Customer:

Its to the point the job that I can't stand going to, Id rather be there then go home

Customer:

I hate that I feel that way, but I like peace, i believe your home should

Customer:

be your sanctuary you know?

Dr. Z :

Well you have tried therapy which did not help, but I feel that your wife may need psychotropic medications and individual therapy to help with her issues and how she reacts to certain issues

Customer:

But I cant seem to find it here.

Customer:

I recently have been going out to clubs just to take my mind off of the stress, but its not good

Customer:

because in my venerable state, women are attractive, and attracted to me and the last thing I want to do is have an affair

Dr. Z :

Well you are doing that as an escape for your problems with your wife, which is understandable, but not a solution

Customer:

Last week, my wife told me at the last possible moment that I had to take care of some business that she wasnt able to

Customer:

I had already had obligations, but something asked me to ask her

Customer:

how long did she know about it

Customer:

she said since yesterday

Customer:

her excuse was she had forgotten, but she has been using that excuse for sometime now, not respecting my limited amount of time to get things done before i have to go work

Customer:

I said, well ok honey.

Customer:

She told me this at 10 am to be somewhere at 2 pm. I work midnights and its taxing on my body. Its hard to force myself to go to sleep, and I struggled. So I asked my wife if she wouldnt mind coming upstairs to help me relax (sex) and she did everything she could

Customer:

to get out of it. She says she feels like i use her for sex so she told me to go jerk off! Im married now, I dont want to do that stuff you know?

Customer:

But yet, she'll be out all day with her friends and send me a text saying that she's gonna need some; there are alot of double standards you see

Customer:

I dont know what else to do, im at my witts end

Customer:

I feel emasculated as a man in my own home, a terrible example for her son, and hopefully not for our unborn child.

Dr. Z :

Well her personal issues are definitely a concern and taking a tole on you obviously, but if she will not respond to therapy or change her behavior. I believe that your wife may also have traits of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) which is a personality disorder where the person is very selfish, blames others for issues, and looks for a lot of praise/attention

Customer:

everyone ive talked to about this has made me feel like shes right and im responsible. Im confused and unhappy.

Customer:

You know what Dr. Z, she did mention that to me when we were dating, that she needs alot of attention. I didnt pay it much mind until whenever I would try to work on my music or a business idea, she wouldnt leave me alone, or even contribute

Customer:

She says that I talk to her like a child/treat her like a child. I honestly dont see how i do such things. I give her lots of room to do what she wants Dr. Z

Customer:

I even point out examples of other couples who have it worse than us to show her Im a good catch and it goes over her head.

Dr. Z :

Yeah with this disorder of NPD, she needs individual therapy, but even then there is no guarantee that she will get better and treat you with respect.

Customer:

I really have tried hard to stop my behaviours like distancing myself away, and being silent when i was angry with her

Dr. Z :

But why should you change, when she is having the psychological issues?

Customer:

i had a habit of cutting people off if they treated me wrong, but being married, I have to love her for better or worse

Customer:

Im always looking for ways to improve myself cuz i know im not perfect

Customer:

but i dont see her making changes and its effecting our relationship

Customer:

The same things Ive expressed to her from the beginning of our marriage is the same things she continues to do.

Customer:

Cleaning up after herself, making decisions for us,

Customer:

Not respecting my thoughts or feelings and demanding it be done for her

Customer:

She seems to be led by her emotions way more than logic

Customer:

For example,

Dr. Z :

I think you are making a lot of effort to repair the marriage, but it is not working and she is not making any effort to help this marriage. I know you do not want to divorce her, but because she is not working on herself, there may be no choice or you will be unhappy for a long period of time.

Customer:

I expressed to her that I feel uncomfortable with her driving at night without having both headlights working properly and being pregnant. I cant count the times that she still does it

Customer:

I don't want our child to grow up in a bad situation, he/she didn't ask for this... let alone a similar situation to her 7 year old you know?

Customer:

What should I do?

Dr. Z :

I think if she does not agree to proper treatment, you may have to think about divorcing her for your sake and the safety/well being of your children as well

Customer:

Even if I did divorce her, the court will probably send the child to be with her

Customer:

What alternatives are out there Dr. Z?

Customer:

I don't want to tear up my family.

Customer:

I dont have anything else

Dr. Z :

Well you can ask for a psychological evaluation for her. The alternative would be trying to get her into a therapy called Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) because I believe that your wife may have a combination of NPD and another personality disorder called Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

Dr. Z :

I understand that you do not want to tear up your family, but she has to be willing and motivated to seek treatment for these issues and she has not yet

Customer:

What signaled to you those particular disorders?

Dr. Z :

The mood swings and her behaviors, they seem consistent with BPD and NPD, which can co-occur together

Customer:

How can they be corrected?

Customer:

And did you notice anything wrong with me in my background Dr. Z?

Dr. Z :

No I did not notice anything wrong with you to trigger these behaviors by her at all. I see you as somewhat passive and not assertive in some instances, but other than that there is not thing wrong with you

Customer:

I have been told that by many people in the past, being passive

Customer:

Im trying to be more assertive, I just struggle with doing it.

Dr. Z :

I understand and it does take time to be assertive

Customer:

Well, Dr. Z, what would be the steps to take?

Dr. Z :

Well approach her with the treatment options about DBT therapy and then have a therapist discuss with her about possible use of medications. If she agrees then hopefully your marriage has a chance to succeed, but if she does not then most likely you will continue to be unhappy. DBT is a specialized form of therapy to help with her symptoms and is very effective

Customer:

Alright Dr. Z, I will do my best. I truly appreciate your help. Thank you

Dr. Z :

Anytime I wish you and your wife all the best and I hope that she responds well to the treatment. 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. 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

Customer:

sure thing

Dr. Z :

Thank you I appreciate it a lot

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4271
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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