First psychology appointment
My husband is not well, with severe agitation that results in him shouting at our children and saying horrible things.
He doesn’t think he has a problem - he thinks it’s the kids fault he acts this way because he thinks they don’t respect him.
After the last time this happened, I told him he needs to get help and he has agreed to see a psychologist (tonight).
He wants to attend alone, but I’m worried he’ll make light of his feelings and not tell the psychologist how bad it really is. What do I do? I don’t think there is anything I can do, but I just want him to be better.
Perception is a curious thing.
In essence, there is no such thing as right or wrong - only how we relate behaviour to what we would expect as normal... and normal is quite subjective given the conventions of society to define truth by the number of supporting views.
On that front, it would appear that husband presently feels outnumbered.
Of course outbursts are never appropriate, but perhaps you could delve into the source of husband's discontent - it could be something to do with his own perception of how he expects to be treated derived from long past experiences to form imagery so at odds with what is presently being processed.
We often see ourselves in our kids (albeit sometimes with a degree of creative embellishment) and find fault (ie disparity) from how we would have been allowed to behave at their age. It's the same old saga passed down through the generations where it is not they but we who often struggle to adapt to the new and ever changing normal.
To be supportive, it might be helpful to acknowledge his feelings, as whether right or wrong they are surely felt intensely, and having an ally in whom to express such feelings openly and without retribution could alleviate the sense of isolation when being singled out.
With our backs to the ropes, a little encouragement from the seconds can often lift the spirits.
During the first appointment, or even for the first several, the psychologist &/or he may not discuss the deep thoughts or feelings. Therapy takes time. If he is unwilling to delve into what is agrivating him & why he feels the rage he does, then it will take longer. He could even find reasons to quit, like, because he won't see the therapy working. It will go so much better if the psychologist has his co-operation & helps him to see that working with them is in their own best interest.
I don't think you can help him with that - he might think you are 'against' him, as if it is him against the world.
The most you can do is to ;support him, encourage him whenever he expresses willingness, hope, positive feelings or thoughts about the psychologist & the treatment.
It is in your children's best interest if you can intervene & try to calm things down when he gets loud & saying those horrible things to them.
When he's calm, are you able to talk to him about how he talks to the children? Can he see how the shouting & horrible things he says effects them?
If he's honest with the psychologist, they can help him to learn how to monitor his own behaviour.
Indeed, if you can, it could be a very good idea for you to see someone to help you through all of this, including learning ways of helping your children too.
At some point, maybe going together, as a couple, or, if the children are old enough, then, as a family., might be possible. I hope so, because it seems to me, this a problem the whole family is affected by.