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Inner Rage

Question:

My husband has recently begun to see a psychologist. He is a perfectionist, who appears to be walking around with a lot of inner rage. He does not seem violent in any way, to himself or others, but terribly unhappy. He seems unable to find joy in anything, sleeps a great deal, and will suddenly become very distant, quiet, and sad. He tells me the Dr. does not think he is depressed, does not have OCD, just needs to learn to “compartmentalize” his anger. I am totally at a loss as to what I am to do. He says during his bad times I need to just let him “sink”, and to not take it personally. How do I do that? He seems to think this affects only him. How do I get him to understand that this greatly affects me as well? Recently, we took a short vacation, and he was very down the whole time. Teasing, joking, merely commenting on what we saw… nothing worked. I got either polite responses, or none at all. Do therapists give advice to the spouses? Do I try to talk to his Doctor?

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Answer:

Your husband is in a bad place, whether you want to call it anger, or depression or whatever. It is good that he is seeking help for this problem and that a qualified professional will be able to assist. You can try to talk to his doctor – but if the doctor is doing her job properly, she will refuse to speak with you – there are confidentiality issues involved and the doctor would need your husband’s written permission before you could be in the loop. Speak to your husband about your desire to be included before you try to speak with the doctor (if you choose to attempt to speak with the doctor at all).

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p>While your husband’s problem is getting needed attention, the larger marital problem is being ignored. Your distress over how your husband is treating you would seem normal enough. You aren’t asking for too much (at least not as far as I can see from this distant perspective). I recommend that you both seek additional marital therapy with a new counselor who can treat you both as a married couple, and not as individuals. This will be the most expedient way to address the marriage problems which are present. This marital therapy should be in addition to your husband’s already-in-progress therapy for anger/depression/perfectionism. You, as an individual, may benefit additionally by seeking social supports through support groups, friends, clergy and other people you can trust.

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Comments
  • Anonymous-1

    Advice to seek marriage counselling at this point will cause further problems: husband will feel more rage which could become more outward. The thought behind this is that when a person has inner rage, he is in abandonment of himself - abandoning happiness, peace, and normalcy. Marriage counselling has the connotation that if things aren't corrected a divorce will ensue therefore leaving the husband feeling more alone and enraged. The probable cause of the inner rage can range from medical to physiological to psychological. Help the husband find his inner balance by being supportive but insisiting that he work through physicians to find a solution. Help make the appointments, help identify the paths to take. He knows that something is not right with him and he can not cold turkey it. A focus should be made on helping him (through physicians) reduce stress. Some people for periods of time can not handle the changes and challenges that are thrown at them from day to day from time to time. There is a sense of overload. Simplify is a key. A period of peace. A routine that is unbroken. Health steps of eating properly, adequate sleep, and non-stressful social interaction will help. Patience, Persistence, Prayer, and Power (Knowledge)

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