My wife demands that I see a psychiatrist

My wife demands that I see a psychiatrist

My wife follows a psychoanalysis because she is in a depression. She blames me for my shyness, my lack of self-confidence, my introverted side, my anxiety, the "pain of living" she feels in me, which, she says, reflect on her and our children. She gave me an ultimatum, if I wanted to have a chance to save our couple, which is to go see a shrink. I'm lost. Jean-Marc, 40

Christophe André

Psychiatrist and psychotherapist


Many very important questions in your testimony! Here are some elements of reflection rather than answer, because the situation seems very complex.

You would be, according to your wife, the cause of all her ills, as well as the problems of our children? A suffering like depression is not explained by a single cause. But if your wife says that, it is 1) that she suffers to blame you for this, 2) your way of being gives her dissatisfaction and grievances. This is important, more than a charge that seems excessive.

The same goes for your children's difficulties: some may come from you, but there are certainly other factors as well. Again, do not overconfidence yourself does not mean to get rid of the problem: what could you do to help them assert themselves?

Go to therapy? Why not? But above all, why? Try to get your wife more constructive criticism than this imperious order to go for treatment: what does she expect of you? Fewer inhibitions? More dialogue with her? More presence with your children? All this at the same time? Then think about your own motives for going to therapy. Do not go there only to avoid divorce: think of yourself as a person, not just as a spouse.

Last, would not it be useful to talk to your wife about her psychotherapy? What did she learn about her and your relationships? Why does she think so much that the same approach could help you? Does she feel that this big project of deconstruction and questioning in which she is committed will be followed by a reconstruction?

Sorry to answer your questions with other questions. And good luck for the efforts that await you.


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