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Howard Wise
Howard Wise, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 650
Experience:  Counseling with a compassionate ear and a loving heart.
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What is wrong with me? Why am I so feeble? I feel as though

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What is wrong with me? Why am I so feeble? I feel as though I have no control over my life & other people calling all the shots & I am letting them. My husband is quite a control freak & always has been, although I didn't realise this before we married. He tries to stop me from visiting family or doing other things I like & will not listen to reason. I often go against his orders & do it anyway but it is not a happy situation & he will not accept that he is being unreasonable. This keeps happening over & over again.

I am close to my family but again, if I disagree with one of them over something or offer an opinion they don't share or give them advice they don't want, they sulk & hold it against me, even if I have said it in a reasonable way.

I can't seem to handle any kind of confrontation, not even at work, & it means that I am always downtrodden, never able to defend myself. Just freeze like a rabbit in headlights & have nothing to say because words will not come into my head.

I have been to assertiveness training, I have seen counsellors, I have taken anti-depressant medication in the past. None of this ever made any difference to me. I am so tired now of feeling as though I am being buried alive with other people shovelling the earth on top of me.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Howard Wise replied 5 years ago.
Good morning, this is Howard,

This sounds like a very bad situation for you and I'm sorry to hear about it.

My suspicion is that you grew up in a family in which year feelings and thoughts were not valued. You learned that to complain or assert yourself would get you nowhere, and that it would probably result in more trouble for you. So, at some point in your life, probably when you were still a fairly young child, you made an unconscious decision not to assert yourself or cause trouble. What you're dealing with now are the aftereffects of that decision many years ago.

You mentioned that you have tried counseling and assertiveness training. It's possible that you did not stick with either one of these approaches long enough to see beneficial effects. Another possibility is that your therapist was not capable of helping you with this issue.

I strongly encourage you to consider individual psychotherapy again.
You will need to make sure that your therapist is capable of helping you become a more assertive person. If you find, after three or four sessions, that you're not making any progress, you should consider seeking help from another therapist. Not all therapist are equally skilled, it's important to be aware of that.

Please feel free to post a follow-up question if you like.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Do you think that a therapist could help me overcome the fear I feel when faced with confrontation? For me, it is not just the "freezing in the headlights" feeling, it is the fear that goes with it - fear of possible consequences.


Also, could they help me find words to use in those situations?

Expert:  Howard Wise replied 5 years ago.
A therapist can definitely help you overcome this fear that you have when you are faced with a confrontation. He can also help you find the words to use in those situations. You will need to find the right therapist, however, because not every therapist will have the appropriate training to help you with these issues.

Below is a link to a website that has important information about determining if your therapist is a good one. I suggest that you read it over very carefully.

When you go in for your initial meeting with your new therapist you must tell him exactly what your problem is and what you are looking for from him. Make sure that he has the proper training to help you, and that he is experienced in using behavior modification techniques. That will be crucial! You might even want to talk to him by phone before seeing in him in his office to ask him about his experience in working with clients who present the problem you have. If he indicates to you that he typically does not use behavior modification techniques, I suggest that you find a different therapist to work with you.

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