Mental Health

Have Mental Health Questions? Ask a Psychiatrist Online

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Mental Health

I cannot communicate with my husband without him getting

Customer Question
angry. When I ask...
I cannot communicate with my husband without him getting angry. When I ask him to confirm that I understand what he is saying I am always wrong and he gets very angry that I did not understand him. He accuses me of not listening and then when I say I was listening he calls me a liar. If I answer his accusation with the least amount of upset in my voice ( even a tiny tiny amount) he asks why I can never talk to him without getting emotional. The he starts shouting, name calling and banging on the cushions. The gets angry if I suggest we carry on the conversation at a time when we are less emotional. Its like he has set a trap and no matter what I say or do his anger elevates. He seems to be angry at me for not understanding him. Is there some way to keep a conversation amicable when the other person is determined to escalate into verbal violence? We agree and get along in every other way. He seems to feel it is evil of me to misunderstand him.
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: Mental Health
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Mental Health Question
Answered in 28 minutes by:
2/4/2011
Mental Health Professional: Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist replied 6 years ago
Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5,334
Experience: Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
Verified

Hi, I believe I can be of help with this issue.

First, let me say I can imagine how frustrating and worrisome this situation must be for you. You seem like a very fine, strong, and compatible couple that are having a problem of emotional communication. It is coming out as a problem of verbal communication, but this seems symbolic of a lacking of emotional communication between the two of you.

And this is actually the key to the answer that I will be giving you that you need to consider and to implement. There is a blockage in your marriage. That blockage is in the communication system. I am pretty certain that this did not just start with this incident but has become a pattern of behavior: things go okay and then something happens and you two get into the "I can't understand you and what you are trying to tell me", "You just don't listen to me" cycle. The cycle escalates quite high. It is possible that you are correct and the cycle relates to something that triggers him, though this could easily be subconscious or only semi-conscious and would not be productive to try to bring out on your own.

The problem is that the techniques you are trying do not promote communication, which is a movement toward closeness, but promote separation even more. And this is exacerbated by his being emotionally very sensitive and stubborn. So you need new techniques.

You clearly love him and want to help him learn better ways to express his displeasure with you when it occurs rather than letting it get this far out of hand. But it will take work by both of you. This would be SO much easier with a competent couples therapy. If he would be willing to go with you, please consider Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. I work with three main types of therapy modalities with couples. This one is the one I would use in your situation. Why? Because it focuses on how there have been created emotional barriers and how to get through those barriers. Please consider it before you take other action.

Here is the web address for their therapist finder:

http://iceeft.com/findtherapist.php

On the website you'll also find excellent books by the founders, Sue Johnson and Leslie Greenberg. I hope you do, but you may not find an EFT therapist in your area. So if not, the other therapy is Gottman therapy. Seek a therapist who is certified by the Gottman Institute. Here's their web address for finding a therapist:


http://www.gottman.com/49824/Find-A-Therapist.html

Why? Because John Gottman is the foremost researcher in marriage today and his couples therapy model is the most straightforward model available and you may need that because there isn't much time to see if he will move closer. So if you don't connect with EFT, use this therapy. I hope that therapists working in these types of couples therapies are listed for your area. If not, find a couples therapist who makes you feel confident in his/her skills and values.

Well, that would be the easiest route in terms of wear and tear on you. The do it yourself methods are going to be tough on you emotionally. But here's one that may speed things up.

Ask him to go to Starbucks with you when it's not crowded there for a quiet chat. It needs to be a neutral site. Take my answer and have him read it too. Ask him what he thinks of it, especially this part: that I had written above about the cycle of getting hurt by each other's communication troubles.

Let me talk to him now: can you see the basic outlines of this cycle in what goes on in your marriage? Maybe I'm wrong. If so, start telling her what IS going on inside for you. It doesn't have to come out perfectly or even coherently. She's here because she agrees she's going to try to not be judgmental and to be on your side emotionally. So, get started by just starting to talk. Anything about why you're upset with her. And go from there. She's not going to get it perfect the first time. But if you keep talking, she'll learn what you need. She wants to! And please consider the couples therapy. I think it will help you so much.

Okay, I wish you both the very, very best!

Please remember to click the green accept button. Feel free to continue the discussion; my goal is to get you the best answers possible. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue, just put "for Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, ***** *****

Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5,334
Experience: Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
Verified
Dr. Mark and 87 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask Dr. Mark Your Own Question
Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5,334
5,334 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice

Dr. Mark is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

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 MollPretoria, 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!

ClaudiaAlbuquerque, NM

Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion.

KevinBeaverton, 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.

ElanorTracy, 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.

JulieLockesburg, 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 StefanieTucson, 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 VPhoenix, AZ

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Dr. Keane

Dr. Keane

Therapist

1,379 satisfied customers

Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.

TherapistMarryAnn

TherapistMarryAnn

Therapist

4,021 satisfied customers

Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.

Dr. Olsen

Dr. Olsen

Psychologist

2,336 satisfied customers

PsyD Psychologist

Norman M.

Norman M.

Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA

2,246 satisfied customers

ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.

Dr. Michael

Dr. Michael

Psychologist

2,177 satisfied customers

Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.

Steven Olsen

Steven Olsen

Therapist

1,728 satisfied customers

More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education

Anna

Anna

Mental Health Professional

1,656 satisfied customers

Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 29 years in addictions and mental health.

< Previous | Next >

Related Mental Health Questions
My ex did gay porn but swears he's not gay.. he's so back
My ex did gay porn but swears he's not gay.. he's so back and forth with me.. he was addicted to oxy I love him but he's so closed off… read more
Dr. Kaushik
Dr. Kaushik
PSYCHIATRIST ( MD Psychiatry)
Doctoral Degree
204 satisfied customers
I keep thinking about what I did when I was younger, when I
I keep thinking about what I did when I was younger, when I was about 6 I remeber like kissing almost making out with my two sisters, they were 5 and 4 then later when I was about 14-15 I developed la… read more
Linda D.
Linda D.
Master\u0027s Degree
794 satisfied customers
I am having terrible guilt and shame about things I did in
I am having terrible guilt and shame about things I did in my past which have suddenly come to my consciousness - when I was about 16 I was extremely sexual and ended up sniffing knickers on a number … read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
767 satisfied customers
Leah,I had a question I did get to mention yesterday..the
Hi Leah,I had a question I did get to mention yesterday..the thread was getting a bit to long anyway lol… read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
767 satisfied customers
I did ask a male professional earlier about my problem, but
I did ask a male professional earlier about my problem, but it would be great to get a female psychologists view also. My husband and I have not had sex in 6 years. He had a mild stroke 5 years ago, b… read more
Linda D.
Linda D.
Master\u0027s Degree
794 satisfied customers
My husband call me a, he did it today. I told him under no
My husband call me a bitch, he did it today. I told him under no circumstances do you have the right to call a woman a bitch. He also tells me that I am miserable. Everytime he starts a fight. … read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
767 satisfied customers
Its kind of imbarrising.. I did realize I could chat to some
its kind of imbarrising.. I did realize I could chat to some one on here … read more
Therapist Leslie
Therapist Leslie
Masters, Professional Psychology
5 satisfied customers
My doctor switched me from sertraline to viibryd. I did one
My doctor switched me from sertraline to viibryd. I did one week of 10 mg, then 2 weeks of 20 mg, now back to 10mg so I can switch back to sertraline. I don't like viibryd. How can I safely switch bac… read more
Dr. Kaushik
Dr. Kaushik
PSYCHIATRIST ( MD Psychiatry)
Doctoral Degree
204 satisfied customers
Dear Dr. Keane, just a quick message to say that I did not
Dear Dr. Keane, just a quick message to say that I did not get that job, enough time has passed by to now know this. I've plenty to say, but not plenty of time this week as my gran is now visiting, so… read more
Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane
Therapist
Doctoral Degree
1,379 satisfied customers
I have a friend who says she has DID but she doesn't meet
I have a friend who says she has DID but she doesn't meet the criteria. Her alters are dead people. Mostly characters from Movies or Musicals like Phantom of the Opera. Would this behavior be a sympto… read more
llw26
llw26
Private Practice
Doctoral Degree
11 satisfied customers
Why some people get angry if other people point out they did
Why some people get angry if other people point out they did wrong things? I would think when people know they did wrong things they should feel sorry and try to correct. Thanks.… read more
llw26
llw26
Private Practice
Doctoral Degree
11 satisfied customers
Dear Dr. Keane, I did what you suggested about my dad.
Dear Dr. Keane,I did what you suggested about my dad. Actually, I spoke to my mum too and she's right, it just is not his kind of thing, to get support. You were right, when I initially brought up the… read more
Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane
Therapist
Doctoral Degree
1,379 satisfied customers
Thank you. I did download a book about a little boy with
Thank you. I did download a book about a little boy with autism, from the perspective of an autistic child, but it turned out to be 64 pages long and just a little too grown up -- even though it menti… read more
Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark
Psychotherapist
5,334 satisfied customers
My husband lied to me about his. He did cheat on his ex-wife
My husband lied to me about his. He did cheat on his ex-wife after all. Now he says I am sticking my nose into his business. … read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
767 satisfied customers
My wife and I did some role reversal consisting of her being
My wife and I did some role reversal consisting of her being dominant. Domestic discipline and domination. SometiMrs she makes me wear panties. I find embarrassing but arousing too. The whole mentalk … read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
767 satisfied customers
Have DID. totally dissociated for the first time the other
have DID. totally dissociated for the first time the other day in therapy and embarrassed self. now terrified to face therapist again. any ideas how to calm anxiety and face therapist?… read more
TherapistMarryAnn
TherapistMarryAnn
Therapist
Master's Degree
4,021 satisfied customers
I've been having serious guilt over something I did in the
I've been having serious guilt over something I did in the past. It all triggered when I saw a kid that used to live on my street. I'm 18 now. At the time of incident I was about 11/12 and the kid was… read more
Linda D.
Linda D.
Master\u0027s Degree
794 satisfied customers
I did a no no and tried to look up articles about what I
I did a no no and tried to look up articles about what I have and how pure O can sometimes be misdiagnosed as pedophila! Well I read a comment where one person says even if they've had these thoughts … read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
767 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x