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. Tom Your Own Question

Dr. Tom
Dr. Tom, Tom Smith, Ph.D.
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 23
Experience:  Dr. Smith has been offering counseling for over 37 years.
72310017
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
Dr. Tom is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have been married for over ten years, my spouse has had three

Resolved Question:

I have been married for over ten years, my spouse has had three marriages before me, this is my second marriage. Throughout our relationship my wife has encountered what can only be described as mood swings, when her attitude changes quickly and she becomes verbally harsh and hurtful to me. I now see that certain things will trigger this behavior, with a tirade of hurtful words usually following. Recently during one of these tirades, she informed me that her feelings for me were now apathetic, she no longer was in love with me, she had suffered long enough, and was now planning her exit from the marriage. She has spoken of this numerous times over the years but then afterward expressing such words will settle down, even expressing love and affection for me once again.
Naturally this on and off again behavior confuses me and can leave me on edge. She may express things only to change those views or act completely different the next day, almost as if the incident never happened. Initially I found her behavior to be in step with dysthymia, now I am not so sure. I exercise a lot of self restraint and acceptance of her during these incidents, but I believe she may need help and I am not sure how I can even broach the subject. We have one child whom I would like to protect and keep their environment stable, with both parents under one roof, as my other children and her children from previous marriages suffered through a divorce. Any insight as to what may be going on would be appreciated.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Tom replied 1 year ago.

Dr. Tom :

A critical part of your narrative is that you have identified things that trigger her behavior. What are they? Is there a common thread? That may give you a clue to what is going on with her. Mood swings may indicate a medical problem. Note that she has been married three times before. Why did those marriages end? How long did they last? Answers to these questions may open the door to a conversation with her. It is admirable that you want to look out for the children's interests. How does she feel about that?

Customer:

Thank you for your response and insight. Upon further reflection, the triggers to these outbursts seem to lie in areas of contention that she has with me ie. my job and its demands. (I work in retail to supplement our income and this calls for weekend day shifts which takes me away from the home during the weekend, leaving her feeling isolated and lonely. She has expressed this to me in those words.)

Customer:

My wife's previous marriages ended, I fear, because of her behaviors within the marriages, behaviors I believe to be akin to those she exhibits with me. She is a product of a divorced family herself, and in so, does have insecurities about relationships. An almost fatalistic view, that all relationships fail or end and someone ends up leaving. This is reflective of what occurred with her parents, both of whom, abandoned her at some point or another during her formative years. Her previous marriages did not last long, all less than four or so years. Our marriages have outlasted all of her previous marriages combined. Unfotunately she is very opinionated, and in so is not open to discussion on subjects she does not hold the upper hand in. If I parrot back something she may have said at one time or another when applicable in a discussion, she will essentially shut down and not entertain any further discussion. She has a tendency to read to take things out of context, marrying two sentences together or giving her own spin on something that was said, when in fact the inference was not ever there. I hope this gives some further insight for you to some further thoughts.

Dr. Tom :

Thank you for more information. If she is feeling isolated on the weekends, is there something she could do with the kids or some other recreational interest with some friends? It seems that your spouse needs to find some insight into her own history regarding marriage and her inclination to end them. Certainly some marriage counseling would help if she is willing. It seems that she may be locked into a pattern that she is unaware that she is creating. Communication is a two way street and essential to keeping marriages intact.

Dr. Tom, Tom Smith, Ph.D.
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 23
Experience: Dr. Smith has been offering counseling for over 37 years.
Dr. Tom and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Tom replied 1 year ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

What happens now?

If you haven’t already done so, please rate your answer above. Or, you can reply to me using the box below.
Expert:  Dr. Tom replied 1 year ago.
Let me know if a path to communication has been found and if not what is blocking a good, honest conversation with you spouse about what you both need and want.
Expert:  Dr. Tom replied 1 year ago.
If I can be of any more assistance do not hesitate to contact me. Yours, Dr. Tom
Dr. Tom, Tom Smith, Ph.D.
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 23
Experience: Dr. Smith has been offering counseling for over 37 years.
Dr. Tom and other Relationship 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:

 
 
 
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Last | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dear Debra

    Advice Columnist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1719
    I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DE/deedeeham/2011-1-24_51523_408.64x64.JPG Dear Debra's Avatar

    Dear Debra

    Advice Columnist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1719
    I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy's Avatar

    Kate McCoy

    Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    1235
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
  • 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:

    1215
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CO/CoachJenK/2012-3-9_31019_Jen.64x64.jpg Coach Jen K.'s Avatar

    Coach Jen K.

    LMSW, CPC

    Satisfied Customers:

    726
    Providing the utmost care and support.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IN/intrapsyc.com/2012-2-20_161928_RGMTPicturex5002012.64x64.png Rafael M.T.Therapist's Avatar

    Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    549
    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/HU/hungryjack20/IMG_1281_edit_2.64x64.jpg Dr. L's Avatar

    Dr. L

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    349
    Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/SU/suzmsw/2011-9-2_184634_Thisone.64x64.JPG Suzanne's Avatar

    Suzanne

    Therapist, LCSW

    Satisfied Customers:

    338
    Experienced in treating trauma, relationship issues, co-dependency
 
 
 

Related Relationship Questions