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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10643
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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My husband is emotionally stunted. he can not express s

Customer Question

Customer: my husband is emotionally stunted. he can not express his feelings or emotions. When i try to tell him how i feel or something that he did that was rude... it always ends in an argument with him being angry at me. He feels I criticize him and he is just defending himself. He doesn't apologize even when he really should. I have stopped loving him. I have tried to talk to him in so many ways, thinking that it was my fault for his reaction.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: married since 1995. 3 children - boy/girl twins - 10 years old, 7 year old daughter.. Severe post partum depression with no understanding from him. Went on medication for many years without telling him. Once I did, he has used it in many arguments to hurt me. Son has dyslexia and APD... we had difficult time because he was in denial and did not want to learn more about his problems. I felt lonely and stressed trying to figure out how to help my son. He has hit me twice before and last night was third time. First two times was when he was drunk. this time he was not.
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Customer: yes.
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

*This website DOES NOT constitute treatment and only provides information and advice in a Q&A format. For treatment (therapy and/or medications) you must go to a licensed professional in your area. Please note that anything said here is not private or confidential, as this is a public forum.

Hello and thank you for using JustAnswer. May I ask, what is your specific mental health question that you would like an answer to in regards ***** ***** situation?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
my husband is emotionally stunted. He can not show his emotions and can not express himself. i have suffered for many years because of this. I am the opposite. I need to express myself. Everytime I try to tell him how i feel, we end up arguing and him getting angry at me because I "am not talking"... to him. I have tried so many approaches. He rarely apologizes even for things that he knows was rude. Last night he hit me. This is the third time. The other two times, he was drunk. I believe he hates me and he is so angry. I had post partum depression and have been on anti depressants for some time. He uses this and hurtfully uses it against me when he thinks i act irrationally - I'm "not taking my meds" or "are you off your meds".. He has been in denial of our son who has dyslexia and APD.. I had struggled to get him the right support he needs - i felt so alone. My husband didn't even read up on his condition just to help out. Needless to say, my son and him do not have a good relationship. Because he has little knowledge of my son and his emotions (like me) he sees things that he does as rebellious or defiant when its really other issues.. I despise my husband now. I have lost respect for him.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

I understand that you are having problems with your husband and that he is not putting in the effort to recognize your emotions or well being, but remember this is a Q&A website only so what is your specific mental health question that you would like an answer to in regards ***** ***** situation?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
is my husband emotionally unstable?
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

No I would not say unstable. Emotionally unstable means one is not in control of their emotions and typically will have a barrage of mood swings. Your description of him appears to be more cold and apathetic

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have tried so many things to remain calm with him. He is a good father but once it comes to being emotional. He is not there. He has such a hard time to express how he feels. What can I recommend for him?
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

Without actually having met your husband or understanding the core issues of his lack of emotion, I would say that a good first start would be for both of you to go to couples therapy. Sometimes the use of a couples therapist can help your husband better understand how you are feeling and can help improve his recognition and the communication between the two of you. But he has to make the choice and effort in therapy to help repair this marriage as you cannot do this alone

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What if we can not financially afford couples therapy? are there any books to use? I am desperate.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
am i in an abusive relationship without knowing it? one time, he stopped talking to me for 3 months after a fight.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

The books that I would recommend and have used with patients would be :

"Love Is Never Enough: How Couples Can Overcome Misunderstandings, Resolve Conflicts, and Solve Relationship Problems Through Cognitive Therapy " by Beck

"The Couples Therapy Companion: A Cognitive Behavior Workbook" by Grieger

"The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert " by Gottman and Silver

"Couple Skills: Making Your Relationship Work" by McKay, Fanning, Paleg

If your husband is purposefully acting this way than I would say that it is an emotionally abusive relationship, but if these are signs of a greater problem within him than I would say that his emotional coldness could be a possible Developmental Disorder or Personality Disorder that he has to treat, but again I cannot diagnose him without a face to face evaluation.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
his father was a very cold man and possibly emotionally abusive to his wife. His father died when he was 17. When asked if he remembers his father ever showing his love for him, he says no, not really. Could he have developed this way because of his father? His mother is the sweetest person i know. He still received love but maybe it wasn't enough. He was sent away to boarding school at 15 or 16... What kind of Personality Disorder exists that would cover this?
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

Schizoid Personality Disorder would cover this behavior, but it is rare as are all personality disorders. And yes he could have developed this behavior from his father.

*I will be stepping away for an hour or two because of a prior appointment so I will get back to any responses you have at that time. Thank you