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psychlady, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 6893
Experience:  Psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of a variety of mental health issues.
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My wife of 38 years is totally irrational. She has

Customer Question

My wife of 38 years is totally irrational. She has completely disassociated herself from our daughter's family (husband and a 5 and 2 year old) because she says our daughter bashed her when she said she had some difficulty feeling comfortable when my wife babysat the kids. She demands an apology, when none is warranted. Our daughter came over yesterday to try to put this behind us (she is going to have a baby any day) for the good of the kids and the holidays. My wife lashed out at her, stormed out of the room and sat down to play a video game. Daughter follows her trying to be kind but wanting to get some resolution. Daughter turned off TV, mom jumped up as to hit her, didn't, then made a motion that she was going to wring her neck but stopped all the while yelling at her. When my daughter said we needed to put this behind us for the sake of the kids, she said they will learn to deal with not seeing her, coldly. She is very close to the five year old. She now wants to move back "home" in Wisconsin 1000 miles away and disown our daughter and family. She refuses to see a doctor because there is nothing wrong with her, it is all the rest of us who bash her. This behavior, while not regular has repeated itself at each major event in our daughter's life; wedding day, first baby, second baby and now third. She claims I have always favored my daughter over her since she was little. I'm at my wits end, and do not know where to go. In the mean time I saw a Psychiatrist two weeks ago and will see her again next week. My wife needs some intervention, I just do not know how to deal with it.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  psychlady replied 5 years ago.

It sounds like her moods are very erratic and she may be taking this out on everyone else. Many times when someone tries to manage mood problems the problem manifests itself through anger and resentment. It is very common for the person to not want to deal with their own problems. What she does is called externalizing - it's all everybody else's fault. Then she creates havoc wherever she can. She has to accept that she has some serious problems. I usually don't like ultimatums but you have tried being nice. You could arrange for a family meeting but she would have to be able to accept that she has a problem. I would introduce therapy in a way where she isn't the identified patient. Try marriage counseling and bring her into it as part of the problem.

You know what would serve as her wake up call. Don't be scared to use it. You need to give a consequence and be prepared to carry it out - not anything that you won't do! The key is for her to realize that it's not everyone else.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
She has stated she will move to Wisconsin in January, to which I have said, fine. She insinuated I should move with her, I replied, I was not moving back to Wisconsin. By the way, we own a home in Wis. where our son, wife and baby live. She would move in with them. Today she said she would give me a list of what she wants, I said OK. I have always sort of known I was a caregiver, making meals, serving her dinner at the TV, doing laundry, etc. things I have not entirely minded. It is difficult to stop doing for her, even now. I have been taking Zoloft for 15 years, perhaps that keeps me sane. I want to get her help,but .... The holidays are here, our granson turns 5 next week,our daughter will have a new daughter next week, I want to preserve the family, how?
Expert:  psychlady replied 5 years ago.
It may not be possible to preserve the family if you are only part of a couple where one person isn't doing their share. At some point you have to realize that a marriage even with these positive things happening is not functioning well. She has to be as motivated as you. You may have to have your family minus her and that's okay. Better happy then miserable. Work on a plan that you can live with. You can't get her help that she doesn't want. Sometimes you have to have a new plan that makes more sense.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I struggle with the impact on the grandkids, especially her relationship with the five year old. Where do I change my habits? A christmas tree? Does that make sense, going to dinner at a friend's house together, or playing the game until she moves to Wis? I do not want to increase her pain, I believe she cannot see what she is doing is wrong. My daughter is willing to simply walk away, I have great difficulty.
Expert:  psychlady replied 5 years ago.
I know but you can't control other people. She is having an impact by being around them too. You change your habits by doing what makes you and them. Stop trying to invite her in if she is acting irrationally. I wouldn't play the game. I would just do my own thing and let her move if that is what she wants to do. I know it's hard but you have to do what is best for you in the long term - and your family. You have to stop hoping for what is probably not likely to happen