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Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2568
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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My husband is driving me to screaming point. He has a

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My husband is driving me to screaming point. He has a hearing problem but plames me if he doesn't hear/listen/ bother when I speak. It's a case of " I was getting the dog's dinner" etc etc etc. Ove rthe years I have tried to speak to him and now I find myself screaming (which I am ashamed of). I tell him this and apolise and then he agrees and promises not to do it again. Today it took one hour for him to forget his :promise'. I lost it!
Now he's being the 'holdier than now" and blaming me for not giving in.
I've done this for years! Now proud of myself. but believe that this and hundreds of other petty things are driving me to the beyond.
No one would believe me. We've been married for 40 yrs and still have agood sex life. so that's not it. The bot***** *****ne is that I know longer believe him when he says he's sorry etc and this is the not believing that really beings me to the brink. When I get beyond it he becomes a so perfect and promises to leave because I am 'so horrible" Where do I go from here?
Can you explain tome what he does that he promises not to do again?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I will listen to what you say. I will answer you politely. I do love you and don't want to leave....Tonight he has said he will leave tomorrow. I find I don't want to be in the same room as him as he has had so many promises, but the moment everything is 'sorted' he goes back to where he came from. @ weels away we had a similar probem and he promises so much that I believed him. Now we're back to square once.

I'm sorry to hear what you have been going through .From what you say, it is crystal clear that he does not respect you – because actions speak louder than words.He puts you down, hurts you and demeans you. Are his actions those of a loving partner?

This is so, so wrong.You need to stand up to this man, seriously so.It is critically important that you understand this concept.

We humans only indulge in behaviour that brings reward of some kind. Only when that reward (whatever it might be) disappears, or the consequences of our behaviour promise to be unpleasant do we consider changing what we do. Like a child, your husbandis going to have to learn to accept boundaries, and you have to give him reason to change.

He needs to know that if he does not change his ways, there will be consequences.

The important point is that this is NOT blackmail – it is giving him a chance to change and grow emotionally, to the benefit of both of you.He needs incentive to change his ways, or he will not – why should he, he gets his own way right now.If you want your life to continue like this, do what you are doing.I not, have the strength and maturity to give him some tough love and allow him to grow.

Up until now, he has just been exploitative and abusive, and he has done that, and kept doing it, simply because he has been allowed to.

There is an old saying that "If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got",so if he will not change, your future with him is going to be just like your past.

For that reason, I’m going to suggest that you would benefit greatly from a course of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It is a form of therapy that addresses problems in a direct and targeted way and is brief compared with most other therapies.

You need to be able to see your situation more objectively and rationally, so that you can make good, balanced decisions about your future. In the end of the day, if he does stay, and does not change, you really have to ask yourself whether the good things in your relationship outweigh the bad. If they don’t, is it worth the pain?

CBT is based on the fact that what we think in any given situation generates beliefs about, and reactions to that situation, and also causes the behaviour and feelings which flow from those beliefs and reactions.

These ‘automatic thoughts’ are so fast that generally, we are unaware that we have even had them. We call them ANTS (automatic negative thoughts) for short.

If the pattern of thinking we use, or our beliefs about our situation are even slightly distorted, the resulting emotions and actions that flow from them can be extremely negative and unhelpful. The object of CBT is to identify these ‘automatic thoughts’ then to re-adjust our thoughts and beliefs so that they are entirely realistic and correspond to the realities of our lives, and that therefore, the resulting emotions, feelings and actions we have will be more useful and helpful.

Cognitive therapists do not usually interpret or seek for unconscious motivations but bring cognitions and beliefs into the current focus of attention and through guided discovery encourage clients to gently re-evaluate their thinking.

Therapy is not seen as something “done to” the client. CBT is not about trying to prove a client wrong and the therapist right, or getting into unhelpful debates. Through collaboration, questioning and re-evaluating their views, clients come to see for themselves that there are alternatives and that they can change.

Clients try things out in between therapy sessions, putting what has been learned into practice, learning how therapy translates into real life improvement.

Please visit this website for much more detailed information on CBT:

If you cannot afford to see a therapist, there are good free CBT based self-help resources here:

Best wishes,


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

You answered so quickly that my immediate negative response was that this was a sort of automatic response to hear. Please tell me I am wrong for that is what basically wish to hear. I am a former professional, now retired and I don't take kindly to what I perceive automatic action on line. This is the first I have responded to paid advice, but tonight

find myself beyond personal advice.

I like what you say but it doesn't solve my marriage of 40 years. No one would believe me as my husband is so accomodating beyond the home, so here am I communicating with a complete stranger and trusting his advice

Consider that I will have to delete all of this on his computer. So much deception. Would it be better for me to tell all?

You mentioned that he doesn't respect me. I have said that so many times that I don't know how else to explain. when in a 'corner' he blames me. Please give advice to me again. I have been so long with him that it is hard to leave, but I am when different person when not with him.He is coming in now, so I will leave until I hear again.

By the way, he says I am wrong to say he doesn't respect me. He gives me 'on the honour of God' that he


I am upset that he will hear that I have paid from this by a stranger. Not good is it?

this is not an automatic response. The information on CBT comes from a handout I give my clients to explain what CBT is and how they might benefit from it.

We talked about actions speaking louder than words. It is easy for him to promise verbally that he repects you, but do his actions confirm that? I suggest that his actions indicate the opposite.

It is hard to consider ending what has been a long and for the most part, a good relationship. Howvere in the end, it boils down to this. If you give him the incentive to change, and he refuses to change, can you continue to tolerate the bad parts of the relationaship for the sake of enjoying the good parts. If you can, then that's fine. If you feel you cannot, you are going to have to look hard at your options.

CBT would not only help you clarify your thinking on your options, but also equip you to deal with him more effectively.
Norman M. and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank thank you for facing the truth. Finally, I must ask you. What do I need to solve this situation? I love my life. I wish to spend it in the best way I can, but do not wish to treated it like as lesser being. So where do I go from here? I'm not stupid. Indeed, I am what I consider an intelligent being, but where am I to go from here?

Do I stay where I am are and hope things will improve?

Or am I to break the scariest move of my life? Do I leave all I have done over the past 40 years and my child who

thing all is fine. or do I break out?

I'm afraid. I want the rest of my life to be comfortable. Is it impossible?

Meantime I go to a room on my only. A spare room. Will read your answer tomorrow.


Irene - you are faced with an incredibly diificult choice, and I cannit nake that choice for you.

Take some time, as I have already suggested, to decide which is the better alternative. Accept his problems as a part of the price of your relationship, or if you cannot, look at the alternatives. First of all though, please arrange some CBT for yourself. It will help you assess things from a position of strength and understanding, rather than from a position of confusion and weakness.

You owe it to yourself to do this, so that a rash decision might be avoided.

You also need to talk to your child, but before you do so, please get some legal advice about the the practicalities of what your future options might be in the worst case - financial, housing custody and so on.

I understand that you are feeling, I suspect, overwhelmed at the moment, and that is not a place from which to make critical decisions. Get some help first, Irene.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you. You are answering and suggesting the advice that I know is correct. It is sobering to have someone tell that which you know is true. I cannot speak to him about this any more as I know that words with him are but fleeting. It is a hard decision, but I will see what is available beyond you. I cannot believe that I have taken this on line, but I am beyond trying to work this out by myself. If I find that to leave is too hard and the consequences are too confronting I will seek help for myself as I have mentally done for myself.....but I wish only wish he would share with me. I have no more to say at the moment and can only say thanks for at least listening and suggesting an option. Unfortunately I do not have the finances to keep this up.

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