Shoemaker without boots: what the life of a psychologist looks like

All stories are real, but anonymous – this is the iron rule of psychology.

The first story, instructive:

Psychologist 1, 34 years. “I went to learn to make my husband a happy person”

There is an opinion that psychologists do not go from a good life – very, in my opinion, correct. If instead of taking care of yourself and your life, you want to treat someone, it’s already unhealthy. For example, women in their thirties often go to psychologists to bring their alcoholic husbands back to life. And I wanted to save all the children from all the parents.

In the first year of immersion in psychology, I did not think about myself – who am I? what am i – and about the husband (we didn’t have a child yet). I studied it, looked for problems and shortcomings. There was, for example, such a case. I decided to take a test with my husband (although putting “experiments” on loved ones is forbidden!). The essence of the test is to identify human priorities. And it turned out that for Vitaly the main thing is work, and family is only in third place. And then the first catastrophe happened in our family life with him. Because I failed as a psychologist and set up a scandal in the spirit of “How can you do that?”.

Similar episodes were not only in me. All novice psychologists are obsessed with the mania to make happy husbands and fathers who resist their happiness. And I didn’t just want to! I did my best – I showed my husband about the problems, said that he was wrong and how it could be fixed. A good husband, like, would say thank you to me for that, and he was angry for some reason.

The desire to bring light to people disappeared after I went to a course of personal psychotherapy (in other countries without her psychologist will not be allowed to the client, and we do not have such a law). Gradually, not immediately, the focus shifted. I began to pay attention to myself. And I should have left my husband alone, to stop pulling him to the “light”, as he himself, on his own initiative, began to change. Our relations have also changed. It used to be important for me to tell everything about myself and for him to keep everything under control. It was our neurotic “loop-hook” connection. But we are getting rid of it. No more schemes and right (or wrong) solutions. The family life of a psychologist is creativity.


Husband of a psychologist 1, 36 years. “Because of her psychotherapy, we almost divorced”

Psychologists are the strangest people I’ve ever seen. She is still fine. She has a second education. But seventeen-year-old psychologists – how is it? You ask, “Why did you learn?” Answer: “I understood people.” It also seemed to her at first that she understood something. I tell the scenario of an ordinary evening with family. The wife comes home. Everything radiates knowledge: “Today we went through the archetypes of Jung” – and for three hours retells the lecture. In the second minute I start nodding politely. But don’t fool her – she’s a psychologist. She asks questions on the understanding of the material covered. I was 100% honest for three and a half years of her studies and only recently confessed to her how boring (and hard after work) it was to listen to her lectures. And she replies that she was afraid to go ahead and leave me on the sidelines of the enlightened world.

The second point is that we stopped arguing. It is impossible for a psychologist’s wife to prove her rightness. First, she is smart. Second, it has an arsenal of three hundred terms. No matter how you turn, you are always wrong: “This is your projection of something. It tells you the fear of something. Or, for example, you come home without work, pour yourself wine, and she says: “It’s your addiction.” You: “Honey, it’s just wine.” “It simply came to our notice then. Today a glass, tomorrow a glass. And what does this glass give you? We had a lecture on addiction yesterday. Your stage is called “domestic drunkenness”.

And when my wife went to therapy, we almost got divorced. I stayed the same. But my applied girl was unrecognizable. She lived as she wished. She could make me hysterical or calmly state that her studies in psychology can lead to the rupture of our relationship. To me, a very married man, I dreamed of divorce only in a nightmare. There were thoughts that the wife had fallen into a sect and we were all over.

Going to therapy on my own was the only way for me to save my marriage. I honestly see no other way for a wife-psychologist husband. Thanks to therapy we stopped being dependent on each other. We stopped adjusting just because we needed something from each other. Two new people appeared. And, by and large, this is a new acquaintance, like: “I’m Misha!” “And I’m Masha!” – “Very nice!”


The second story that is encouraging:

Psychologist 2, 28 years. “It became financially unprofitable to quarrel”

We studied with him and have the same baggage of knowledge. Sometimes it seems to me without it it would be even easier. But the fact that I can discuss the work with my husband and do not need to introduce him to the case two weeks before – it’s nice. We speak the same language. We understand each other’s jokes – sometimes very specific. Sometimes we come up with therapeutic, in my opinion, ways to deal with certain situations. For example, there was a period in our relationship when we swore a lot. Then I made an envelope called “quarrelsome money”, and in each of our quarrels each of us put in it 1000 rubles. No matter who started first. After a while they stopped swearing – it’s expensive. If we notice that time and time again we come across the same rake, we come up with marker words that stop us. You can choose any word. A simple “ass” works great.

There is another psychological technique of “Three steps aside”. That is, after the quarrel you need to disperse for a while in different corners. Then, when emotions subside, we always discuss the problem in detail. And nice things are also discussed. And from the moment our son was born, I read tons of books on child psychology and asked my husband to watch the excerpts. After that, we decide what to use, what not. And life corrects everything. Like, for example, our wise decision is to continuously carry a baby in your arms. Here common sense over psychology still prevailed.


Husband of a psychologist 2, 27 years. “We dig a little deeper”

The knowledge in psychology I certainly have. No wonder I studied. But I am not a practicing psychologist and do not really believe in the need for psychotherapy in relation to myself. Especially family. You can discuss problems with your wife without special education. She thinks differently. And insists. Otherwise we wouldn’t have paid such a bunch of money for ten sessions from the doctor she went to if something upset her about our relationship. She offered me, but I refused – I was satisfied.

In psychotherapy it is important – who has a request, he goes to the therapist. I must admit, then psychotherapy helped us. I do not mind. Money in psychotherapy is an important motivation. If I cry, I have to solve my problem. What, do I have twenty sessions, or what, pay? That is, in fact, the wife did everything herself. With the same success she could pay me. But if the money remained in the family, it would not work. The wife likes to dig deep, asking questions: “What emotions did it evoke in you?” To which I respond: “Stop psychotherapy!” But I often admit. Why? Because it’s interesting. Psychology does not replace us with discussions of movies, books, gossip. She goes for an extra point. In ordinary people, our reflection is called “flight analysis”. We just dig a little deeper. My wife, for example, specifically praises me for good deeds, let me repeat them: “Well done, wash the dishes!” And I’m going for it and I’m doing it again.

She still has a cunning trick. When she sees me trying to do stupid things, she doesn’t stop me. On the contrary, he agrees: “Yes. Now you’re going to do it, and it’s so great. Because you will have something and something. I listen and think, “What madness!” And then I understand – hell, but that’s what I was going to do! In our family, no one leaves psychology outside the house. Let’s take math. Let him leave the profession on the doorstep, and at home, where he has a cup of tea or a dream valuable thoughts come to mind, he does not even know how to write them down. This is unreasonable and fortunately impossible.


The third story is ambiguous:

Psychologist 3, 33 years. “I went to save my family”

The decision to become a psychologist is my last attempt to save this family. Formally, the push was given by my psychotherapist when he realized that he could not tell me anything new. Just works “ears”. Five years ago I came to him with a completely different problem. I noticed that in the presence of my husband constantly eating. Going on a business trip – do not eat. He comes back – all over again. I did not connect it with the situation in the family, because there was zero in psychology. Aunt almost at the first session diagnosed: narcissism in her husband and, consequently, the collapse of our marriage. We got married early, back at the institute. The “girl” really wanted to leave the authoritarian mother. The “boy”, who lived in a dormitory of a technical university, found that the “girl” is a source of food, order in the room and sex. A year later a son was born. The husband started working, got a taste and disappeared. Not literally. no, he spends the night at home for half an hour. He usually has no strength to get to the bedroom. No matter how hard I tried to break through the wall between us – shouting, caressing, beating dishes – he stopped noticing me.

At the same time, I knew for sure that my husband did not have a mistress. He has nothing but his favorite job – no friends, no interests, no bad habits. Even favorite food. The psychologist spent almost a year freeing me from addiction to break this vicious bond. And then, in one of the rare moments of intimacy, I managed to get pregnant again. Therapy was interrupted for obvious reasons. Life seemed to be getting better. But a year after giving birth I was covered in a new way. In addition to gluttony and loneliness, alcohol was added to my misfortunes. The husband began to earn a lot and still disappeared into the office. And when I was home, I only heard, “Honey, listen, I’m tired. Let me throw you some more money? “Then another tossed, and another. The amount of compensation increased to fifty thousand a week. I started a mistress. My psychotherapist, when I came to him a year after the birth of the child, he handed me over to his colleague. The diagnosis was the same – his narcissism and the collapse of the relationship.

It was a kind of existential impasse. I still didn’t want a break, and the therapist just waved his hands. It was as if I was called: “divorce! Divorced! “And I found a third way – enrolled in psychology courses. I want to deal with my own life, and if I understand what is necessary, and divorces have become – it will be at least my own decision.


Husband of a psychologist 3, 27 years. “For me, psychology is obscurantism”

I have a serious technical education. And psychology is, sorry, obscurantism. Why my wife went to a psychologist, I also understood. The children have grown up. They can be dropped on babysitters from time to time – we have two of them. To provide their services as well as the services of a cleaner, a driver and, among other things, a wife’s psychotherapist, I work hard. The wife is sad. It seems to her that she is degrading, falling behind in life. So I found a fashionable hobby – I do not mind. Of course, I would have preferred it if she had taken up languages. But learning a language is a work in progress. Here it is easy to check whether a person is engaged or hanging out. And in such a murky discipline as psychology, nothing is clear. I think in a year his wife will abandon her. But I don’t feel sorry for the money thrown away. I have always supported my wife’s endeavors, including money. I know she doesn’t appreciate it, she complains to me to her psychologist.

Psychologist Vadim Petrovsky recommends:


Rules of communication with the husband for the wife-psychologist:

  • Don’t try to experiment on your husband. If you don’t hold back and you’ve been caught, say, “I’m conducting a complex experiment on myself. You are normal to me, and I am a psychologist. Don’t punish me severely. “
  • Avoid estimates. Don’t show your husband that you know everything about him. Explain what you have learned about yourself as a psychologist and what you would like to change in yourself. Let him think that he is in control of you, not you – him.
  • No family psychotherapy! Only friendly support, compassion, understanding.
  • Don’t talk in terms. The phrase: “You took me out!” sounds more honest and clear than “You’re a man with a schizophrenic character accentuation.”
  • Remember – he married you, a man, not a psychologist.


Rules for the husband of the wife-psychologist:

  • Read books on psychology and ask questions to your wife – she will be happy.
  • Just in case, find yourself an alternative counseling psychologist. Preferably female and not girlfriend wife. She will explain everything to you if you and your wife quarrel.
  • Don’t laugh when your wife talks about psychology. Maybe she secretly dreams that psychology will help you better understand each other.
  • Learn a couple of phrases in professional slang (for example: “Luba, I understand the countertransference at work! But why drag it into the house?”). It doesn’t matter what that means. The wife will understand and appreciate.
  • Relax. The wife-psychologist still loves you. At home she talks about work, and at work (with colleagues) – about you.

Photo: Getty Images



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