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Dr. Olsen
Dr. Olsen, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2336
Experience:  PsyD Psychologist
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My husband of 30 years is currently experiencing a work

Customer Question

My husband of 30 years is currently experiencing a work related and family of origin related betrayal issues. He was largely responsible (singlehandedly) for his company gaining a
new client with 30 million dollar revenue. his boss had promised him a bonus and raise
for this, especially since the boss knew my husband had taken this job due to downsize
cuts at his last company losing a six figure income. they were supposed to go to the
big boss for a sit down and it seems his direct boss who had promised him went without
my husband and then human resources got involved remininding my husband he was
hired at a certain salary, etc. the result is myu husband was not acknowledged nor
rewarded for his use of c ontacts, ets., and now cannot fathom being in his direct
bosses company he is so angry bitter and betrayed that now i am almost frightned
of being with him. he is returning from a trip today (extensively travels i might add)
and he is drinking, angry practically spitting venom at me when he speaks to me.
i don't know what to do here ..... as we are experiencing much financial difficult
and he is obviously beginning to panic as he does not see a way out at 57 years old.
in addition his mother recently died not leaving him one penny and his brother and
sister took over her apartment and possessions .... so let's say this is not a fun
place to be at the moment. I am interested in a professional assessment of this
crazy situation as my husband has been known to rage, scream, etc. at home
and blame others for his predicaments. our communication is poor at best,
although i try to be as supportive as possible i am a substitute teacher and
am trying the best i can to level all out. thank you for your help.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Howard Wise replied 5 years ago.
Good morning, this is Howard,

I'm sorry to hear about your husband's situation, it sounds very upsetting both to you and him. From what you have reported, you have certainly done your best to take care of yourself. I empathize with your feelings of helplessness, and vulnerability.

You mentioned that you are considering leaving. I'm wondering if you have experienced a similar situation in the past. If you have, how did you deal with it, and what was the outcome?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
At one time I did leave and stayed with my very good friend who islike a sister to me - stayed with her for a month or so - that wasdue to an overinflated ego on my husband's part - although I do notknow him to be a true womanizer with affairs - he was doing a bang upimitation of one - chasing a married blonde akin to pamela sue anderson - so i got thru that with him with a bit of counseling togetherand a what i felt was a real apology - yes my husband lost his job 2 yearsago when i lost my first teaching job at the very same time due to paycuts and exaggerated performance issues - we both are talented communicatorshardworking educated and reflect i suppose middle class values and upbringing. i feel that this is going to be a very different storm - he is older not being acknowledged more vulnerable a time when you feel like youshould be buying your second vacation house not having to sell yourhome because you need the asset money - i feel he is beating up on himselfbut what he does is rather than work out his own issues, i am usuallytheone who is attacked - or my adult son - who is ultra senstive and hasserious issues of his own (which is another story altogether)i have been thru much and could write a book but i am supported bya wonderful educated network of family of origin - sisters, cousins,who are amazing .... and i work onmyself every day - but this is scaringme - because in truth my husband has been the provider - and i was although empowered, the support system .... there aremany holes in thissystem now and my fears are taking hold rather than my positive energyi hope this sheds some light on the situation ..... my husabnd didmention that he needs to go to a therapist as soon as he arrives homehe also told methat what he is going thru does not have to do with mehowever, as you can see it totally affects me because I am a very strongempath
Expert:  Howard Wise replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information. Again, I am very sorry to hear about this upsetting situation.

I understand what you mean about being a strong, empathetic, caring person. From what you have reported, it appears that you are quite worried about your husband's emotional reaction, and the way he will respond to you and your son, when he returns home.

It is very important for you to be sure to take care of yourself and your family. I'm reluctant to advise you to leave home to be with friends unless you speak to your husband first. If your husband agrees that this will be the best approach to dealing with the situation at this time, then I encourage you to do whatever is necessary to take care of yourself.

It's unfortunate that your husband blames you for issues that have nothing to do with you. I'm very happy that he wants to see a therapist as soon as he arrives home. Perhaps you can start investigating who he might be able to see as early as Monday or Tuesday. That would be a great way for you to show your husband that you care about him and that you are doing whatever you can to help.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I am not happy at all with you answer
it does not really address the issue
"upsetting" is not a response. i wish tospeak
to another expert
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 5 years ago.
Hi there,
Thank you for writing in here. I'll take over your question as it's relisted.
I'm sorry to hear about your husband's situation.
This is a very difficult situation for you and your husband as he has been under enormous stress from work and the original family issues.
It sounds like he was feeling betrayed (is betrayed) by his company and family of origin. His bosses didn't reward his work as they promised (I'm not sure as to whether there is a contract between his company and him). His brother and sister took over his mother's asset after his mother passed away.
I can imagine how sad, angry and anxious this situation must seem to your husband.
His drinking, screaming, and panic attacks are indicative of depression and anxiety.
He may be falling into crisis now.
His condition is causing lots of stress in your marriage as you may be at loss of what to do with his pain.
Yes, it's important for you to take care of yourself as you are doing.
Good news is, he is willing to see a psychotherapist.
He is aware of his depression and anxiety.
Perhaps, he may start working with a psychotherapist individually a few times.
Then you and he may start working with a marriage counselor if his behavior still cause stress in your marriage.
So, first of all, I would advise him to see a psychotherapist to express and process his feelings and thoughts and get advice and support WEEKLY. A combination of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy are considered to be effective to treat Depression and anxiety. Cognitive-behvaior therapy (CBT) will work for depression and anxiety.
He may ask his doctor for a psychologist/psychotherapist that he can work with weekly. Or he may call his insurance company and get a list of providers (licensed psychologists or psychotherapists) in his area.
Or, he can search a licensed psychologist on internet- such as the PSYCHOLOGY TODAY website. Go to ( and enter your zip code and optional category of specialty such as Depression. Read psychotherapists’ profile to see if he or she specializes in Cognitive-behavior therapy and Depression. You may also want to create your mental image of psychotherapist that he wants to work with – Male or female? To note, many therapists offer initial consultation for free. So he can see it as an informational meeting. he can ask any question and negotiate psychotherapy fee.
If he has no health insurance or seek a low fee counseling, he may call The United Way toll free # 211 (Dial 2-1-1)to find the community mental health centers in your area in which he can get counseling even without health insurance.
Also, a heart-healthy diet like Omega 3 fatty acid may improve his brain functioning and mood. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose low-fat protein sources, such as fish, lean meat and skinless poultry. Hydrate yourself during daytime. Get plenty of calcium and vitamin D in food or supplements.
Physical activity increases blood flow to your whole body, including his brain. This may help improve his mood.
Other recommendations for your husband are:
Avoid excess use of alcohol and drugs.
Sleep in complete darkness and try to be out in bright light during the day.
Spend time in nature weekly
Try to have pleasurable activities with friends and family.
Choose to listen to sounds that have positive effects on his mood.
I hope your husband overcomes this crisis in his mid-life and gets well with all available help.
Please let me know if you have more questions or I have overlooked any. Warm regards,
Dr. Olsen, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2336
Experience: PsyD Psychologist
Dr. Olsen and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I appreciate your understanding - I guess the expanded question I have now

has to do with me. I am very anxious today as much of this built up repression

and expression of anger has been occuring during this week on my husband's

business trip to France whereby he had to be in the company of his boss

each day. he called me several times to discuss his inability to be in his

boss's company without feeling enraged. this is quite unfortunate as he has been

with the company for 2 years now and up until this point he has enjoyed the culture

the people and even his boss. his boss by the way, was promoted to sr. vice

president with a raise on the deal that was single handedly negotiated by my husband.

i heard him negotiate the contract with french lawyers and u.s. lawyers and was impressed by his professionalism. this is why my husbnad is freaking out

obviously there was money that could hav ebeen utlizeed for his raise but

his boss was given the kudos which my husband was responsible for.

added to the fact that we are faced with the most stressful financial burdens of our

entire 31 year marriage at this moment, due to many reasons, job losses,a

devastating flood in our home last august, ( we have rebuilt and repaired thankfully)

but he had a positive attitude up until this happened with his boss.

i don't know how to deal with him when he walks in the door today as he was

angry venomous actually when he spoke with me on the phone - the tone

this time even for him was unusual ..... so there it is..... any extra advice you

might share is greatly appreciated.

i am willing to be quite spiritual and grounded about this all - do I do the

warm welcome candlight toast and light coffee when he walks in or do i

retreat ? and see what he says???? i am not totally ready for a negative recount

of the trip and his disappointments. thank you sincerely.

Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 5 years ago.
Hi there,
Thank you for waiting.
I sent my answer to your question/another question.
All the best,