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Jean
Jean, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 433
Experience:  Masters degree in counseling, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
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My husband criticizes me in public. We go out to eat with

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My husband criticizes me in public. We go out to eat with friends and he will say that there is no food in the house (after I have shopped and cooked with his tastes in mind), Has said that a comment I made was mean(other people at table defended me and said it was not), Corrects me with hostile tone when I was contributing to a discussion where I prefaced statement saying that " I think it is about..." Friends notice and are visibly uncomfortable.
Jean N/20pluscounts :

Hello this is Jean and I will try to assist you

Customer:

Thanks Jean

Customer:

Hope I didn't sound to rambling

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Hello, it sounds like you are upset with what sounds like criticism- no you didn't sound like you were rambling.

Customer:

I am upset after it happens but am really looking to understand why it is happening in hopes of finding a solution. I find myself sitting quietly at social gatherings now when I used to be in the middle of things.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

There is a way to communicate that is more assertive vs. passive, passive aggressive, or aggressive. It's important to stay strongly and clearly what you thin and feel. A marriage is an equal partnership.

Customer:

I agree

Jean N/20pluscounts :

You are probably more quiet because you don't want to be embarassed or others to judge you or your husband.

Customer:

that is correct

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Your husband may be a bit sensitive in social situations and it comes out controlling

Customer:

sensitive to what?

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Not as confident as he'd like to be maybe

Customer:

One of the things that he liked about me when we married was that I had good social and entertaining skills.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Have you lost confidence because of the comments he makes to you?

Customer:

Very much so

Customer:

Have also lost motivation to take care of myself to the degree that I used to. Ex. can't interest myself and going out today to get a pedi/mani which is overdue

Customer:

"in" instead of "and"

Jean N/20pluscounts :

You may have to first really concentrate in identify those things that made you more happy and take small steps to get them back. Assertive communication such as the use of "I" statements is something worth trying and practicing. For example, "I" feel hurt, sad, irritated (whatever feeling) when you ... and I'd like you to..." The use of I statements tends to make the other person less defensive.

Customer:

True - I will have to try harder to do that in our conversations

Jean N/20pluscounts :

You need to fill yourself back up, gain more confidence, that in itself is attractive to others.

Customer:

I know but after months of trying to do that - I am at a loss of motivation

Jean N/20pluscounts :

It's not uncommon for this to happen in marriage and family. We as women and mothers take so much time caring for others we often put ourselves last. We need to be first sometimes.

Customer:

I believe that too -

Jean N/20pluscounts :

You deserve happiness and I'm not always sure our partner can do that for us. We get strong and happy and the love and companionship is a bonus, so to say.

Customer:

I know - I will try small steps again.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

I would encourage you today if you have time to list all of your strengths, I'm sure there are many and identify one thing to do for you.

Customer:

I will try that now although your suggestion makes me feel emotional for some reason. Thanks for clarifying things that I do know. I perhaps should get a local counselor for cheerleading purposes

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Don't give up on expressing yourself- others can't read our mind, although we often think they should "just know". Make a date with him for just the two of you and talk. Identify what attracted you to each other in the first place. Yes counselors are great, as a counselor I have felt like a coach and cheerleader- it helps a lot.

Customer:

Thank you so much. Onward and upward!

Jean N/20pluscounts :

A counselor can be a more uplifting positive voice because we tend to so easily get down on ourselves.

Customer:

I agree - I have several friends who are counselors but I no longer live near them. You all can do such good for people.

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