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Page Contents: When a psychotherapist breaks up a marriage.                    


My husband has been seeing a psychologist for the last 2 years and last week came home and said he was leaving me. We’ve been married for 36 years and have what I thought was a good relationship. His psychologist has now said he is co-dependent and needs to leave his family in order to get better. Is this a normal part of healing? Of course I need a help now as I can’t think without crying and can’t stop shaking.

Is this normal? It’s a stain upon the face of humanity. No psychologist has a right to attempt to break up a marriage. In fact, nothing in the practice of psychology gives anyone the right to tell others what to do. Psychology has its clear limits.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if your husband’s psychologist has been divorced at least once and is acting out his or her own psychological conflicts by instigating your husband to leave his marriage.

Of course, your husband’s psychotherapy may have brought out some of his hidden feelings of discontent with the marriage, but that should be a matter to be worked out with you, in the context of marriage counseling if necessary. Marriage is a commitment to life and family that must be respected even by psychology.

All in all, it sounds as if your husband needs to leave his psychologist in order to get better. Perhaps you will tell him that I said so.


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Raymond Lloyd Richmond, Ph.D.
San Francisco




A Guide to Psychology and its Practice



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