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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5334
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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I'm the owner of a construction company for 23 years. I have

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I'm the owner of a construction company for 23 years. I have 15 fulltime employees on different jobsite.
I have 3 partime people in the office, to handle payroll, billing, taking messages and relaying them to me and clerical. I'm responsible for HR, Bidding, Project Management, Customer Relations, Ordering all job materails, Scheduling all service work, jobsites, deliveries and inspections and collecting money we are owed. I work from 5:30am to 5pm, 5 days a week, but I never really stop thinking about work. My wife's brother was my partner, but we parted company 2 years ago, now in the lawyers hands. The economy has taken its toll on me over the last 2 years. The company owes about $360,000, $240,000 to my wife and I, $50,000 credit card and $70,000 to my mom. The pressure to succeed is enormous. I feel responsible for my family and my employee's families. I have to solve many problems on a daily basis. I have had several blowups over the 2 years, mostly with my family. When this happends I leave the house for a week or so, to get my head on straight. The last one was in Sept., while my dad was in the hospital dieing. I take blood pressure, cholesterol pills and effexor xr. I also have Ulcerative Colitis, which is in remission, but I still take medication for it. I usally get 6 to 8 hours of sleep a night. I don't have anxiety attacks. I'm devoted husband and father, my family has always come first. I'm hard headed and I hate to lose. I don't lie, cheat or steal. I always help friends, family and strangers. My wife says she will leave me if I don't get help. I'm not sure anyone can help.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.

Hi, Rick! You know, to give you the best answer, I think I should ask you a few questions first that will help define the problem and the situation.

Why do you think nothing will help?

What kind of help does your wife want you to get? For what?

Would you and she be willing to go to couples therapy? That way you could both work on making changes.

Any extra information that will help, feel free to share.

Dr. Mark

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thanks for the response.

Won't help, because they can't change all my responsiblities.

Wife says that I need anger management.

We tried it all ready.


Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.

Rick, I know you want an answer as quickly as possible. But this is your life and I want to make sure that the answer I give you is the most fitting to your specific situation and who you are. So I need to ask just a little more:

Rick, you're a man who deals with problems all day long. You've set up a problem here that you say has no solution: your wife will leave you unless you change; you can't change because you've already gone to anger management classes and you have all these responsibilities that make you angry.

The only solution you've left us is her leaving.

What in the equation can we change other than her leaving?

Dr. Mark

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Just so you know we've been married for 31 years and we have 2 daughters 23 and 24. Things have been rough for the last 21/2 years, about as long as we start losing money and problems with her brother. I just can't see how somone can change my work situation.

Its probable best for her to leave. See just doesn't understand what I have to deal with everyday. She thinks that someone can wave a magic wand and thinks will get better. I love her but its not enough.

Thanks for your help.


Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.
Rick, I don't see our conversation as a failure. So don't give up so quickly, okay?

What you're saying, Rick, is that you're more married to your profession/business than to your wife. You'd rather let her leave than leave your business.

Your response will be: yeah, big shot, so who's going to support us?

Rick, this is something married couples talk about! You don't just let her leave. You talk about what you two can do when you've sold the house and liquidated the business, etc. You talk about how to make the changes so that you have a more reasonable stress load. Maybe she works at the local grocery store and you take a job somewhere. But you talk it out.

I'll wait for your reply.

Dr. Mark
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Dr. Mark,
Because of the breakup of the company between my partner and me the company is in limbo until the courts instruct me what to do with it. Also I have employees that have worked for me for a long time. For 20 years things were ok, but with the bad economy things have gotten real tough to keep the business profitable, we lost money the last 3 years. It is getting better but it a slow process. My wife says that she understands what I have to do everyday to keep the business afloat, but I asked her to write it down for me just so I could she if she really does understand all my daily responsibilities, but she want me to tell her what they were, which I have done on a number of occasional.
Just to give you some more background info, my wife has a horse, she moved it to a different farm this past summer. The farm needed to build paddocks, which I help the owner do. I would go to the farm with my wife and help her with the horse. I had a riding arena built on our property for her. I bought her a used horse trailer and fixed it up for her. When my girls were growing up I never missed a activities that they were in, ( soccer, gymnastics, dance, etc). I have not had a vacation in over 10 years that I didn't take work with me. I have tried to balance work and home life. I think I did a better good job of it. I just think my wife just doesn't want to cut me any slack, she wants me to be Mr Happy go Lucky all the time. I just don't know how much one person can handle without getting upset now and then, when a building gets flooded, an employee get hurt or has an accident, when I'm owed over $50,000 dollars or more and I'm not paid and the numerous other things that go wrong on a daily basis. Sorry if I repeat things.
Thanks again for you replay,
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.

I don't know if you want to continue or not. I can see how frustrated you are. But you are an exceptionally good guy. You're a man of values. And that's why I'm willing to take the time. But I know this is frustrating to you. I'm going to press this time that I'm answering instead of asking for more information, so that if you want to end the conversation here, I'd like to ask you if you would press ACCEPT first as that's the only way I'm credited here.

Rick, you've presented me with a number of possibilities. And i don't know which is the most accurate one.

The first one is that yes, your employees are important in your life. And yes, it's an important value to worry about their welfare after their loyalty all these years. But your marriage must come first. They will have to take care of themselves with unemployment benefits, etc. Your marriage can't be second to their lives.

Or maybe that's not the real situation. Maybe:

You have a wife who's used to the good life you've provided and wants both the good life and Mr. Happy. And you can't give her both. Maybe she's become a bit narcissistic and is looking out only for her own comforts and wants and needs. And she's not supportive of you and doesn't learn how to calm you when you're stressed or getting over the top with anger.

Which sounds more accurate?

I'm not really sure from what you've told me. I've worked with a LOT of guys. And very few tell me at the first that they are yelling and raging way too much and too often. They most often say "once in a while". I've had guys say that until their wives leave and then they are crying (no shame in that) and they admit that maybe it was way too often and she had enough. So I have to balance all this with that possibility, Rick.

You're an honorable man. Is she selfish or is she fed up? I think that's the key here for you. How you answer this will determine whether you are right that you should let her go or whether it's time to let the employees go.

I wish you the very best!

Please remember to click the green accept button because: even though you have made a deposit, I do not get paid for my time unless you press ACCEPT. Feel free to continue the discussion as my goal is to get you the best answer possible. You can continue the discussion even after pressing ACCEPT. 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, ***** *****

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