Why did he do that? Psychiatrist's display of affection to wife with me present. - Forums at Psych Central



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Old 04-10-2019, 10:53 AM #1
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Default Why did he do that? Psychiatrist's display of affection to wife with me present.

I briefly mentioned this in my usual forum, but this seems like a more apt place.

I have always had a crush on my psychiatrist, really almost from the moment I met him. For some years, it actually became a rather intense erotic transference. He knew it. At one point, when sort of in a dissociative state, I even told him I loved him. As a result, he tried to be especially "stiff" and professional during our sessions. He never discussed the transference. He was almost intimidated to do so and when I told him I loved him he was literally disturbed. And yet, he has always been exceptionally kind in most ways and probably offers me more appointments than he really should. He always returns my calls expeditiously and fills out any forms at no cost. Sometimes I've wondered if he has a slight crush on me, too.

So in the last couple of years, my transference has eased significantly. I still adore him, but it has become more of a father-daughter kind of feeling rather than erotic transference. My behavior is much more in check, too. I am sure he has noticed the reduction.

So, last week I noticed that he and his wife attended the same lecture of a lecture series at the university that I attended. It was open (for a fee) to the local community. The topic had nothing to do with mental health. It had to do with China. It was definitely more likely that I'd attend than him and his wife given my degree in East Asian Languages and Area Studies (China focus). Anyway, a day later during my appt with him, I said I saw him and would I'd be attending the remainder of the lectures. I told him that I wouldn't approach him there. I knew that would make him feel uncomfortable.

So this week we both attended the latest lecture. He was there again with his wife. But this time, unlike last, he sat with his arm around her the whole time. That kind of surprised me. Do you think it is normal that a 70 something year old man would be putting his arm around his 70ish year old wife in a lecture hall or a concert hall? Maybe a movie theater, but a lecture hall? I almost wonder if he did that deliberately because I was there. Normally he's a bit stiff and reserved. I don't even think it's usual that a teenage couple would have an arm around each other at such a venue. My husband and I never would.

It does seem curious to me. Well...obviously I'm a little bothered by it, especially since he knew I was there this most recent time. Again, he didn't have his arm around her last time.

As an FYI, I'm much younger than my pdoc. I'm in my late 40s. He definitely saw me. Two men sitting very near me asked the professor questions, so he would have spotted me. I was also wearing a bright red blouse, though that was just coincidental, not deliberate. I did not stare at the two. I deliberately made myself avoid that, though the four or five times they were within eye shot, he had his arm around her.

He is a great psychiatrist and has helped me make great progress in my bipolar recovery. Though there were some times when people recommended I find a new pdoc, I of course didn't want to. There's no need to now, nor do I want to. Plus, my husband and I will likely move far away in a few years.
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Last edited by BirdDancer; 04-10-2019 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:26 AM #2
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Default Re: Why did he do that? Psychiatrist's display of affection to wife with me present.

I very much doubt you are on his mind. This is probably normal behavior for him.
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Old 04-10-2019, 03:57 PM #3
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Default Re: Why did he do that? Psychiatrist's display of affection to wife with me present.

While I can definitely see why this would bother you, especially given your feelings toward him, I think its a fairly normal behavior for the setting. Its probably just something he does without thinking much about it.
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:48 AM #4
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Default Re: Why did he do that? Psychiatrist's display of affection to wife with me present.

I dont see anything wrong with a 70 year old putting his arm around his wife. Maybe it was unconcious?
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:00 AM #5
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Default Re: Why did he do that? Psychiatrist's display of affection to wife with me present.

Try not to get upset over this. Yes, we sometimes hate it when people say this. However, this could be natural for him. Or, if he was in fact trying to make it easier for you to fight off any transference caused by seeing him in a social situation rather than in the office by doing that, is that so horrible?
Where do you plan to move? I know you mentioned living more economically away from the States, but where would you get decent psychiatric care? I watch House Hunters International a lot. I will count on your still being on the forum. You know you are one of my favorite people. Hugs!
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:22 AM #6
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Default Re: Why did he do that? Psychiatrist's display of affection to wife with me present.

Doesn't seem unusual at all for a man to have his arm around his wife. That's rather normal behavior.
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Old 04-12-2019, 01:56 PM #7
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Default Re: Why did he do that? Psychiatrist's display of affection to wife with me present.

Thanks for your input on this, everyone! I just thought it was very strange in a lecture hall. I know that in general it is normal, but in a lecture hall it did seem strange. Neither my grandparents, parents, nor my brother-in-law, brother, or my husband would ever have done that in a lecture hall. Elsewhere, perhaps. Lecture hall? No. Maybe it's a cultural thing with us, though my psychiatrist is likely of the same ancestral background as me, and his wife is of a similar background as my husband. Perhaps I am just sensitive because of lingering transference.

@luvyrself , you are always so sweet! Of course I would come here even from Europe (likely France). I'd miss you, too.
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I have Bipolar type 1

Tegretol XR generic (1200 mg)
Lamictal generic (100 mg)
Seroquel XR generic (550 mg)
Latuda (20 mg)
Klonopin generic (0.5 mg)

PRNs - Seroquel IR generic (25 to 100 mg in a day), Ativan (1 mg, up to 3 mg/day)

Others: Propranolol (40 mg), Synthroid (150 mcg), OTC multi-vitamin, OTC iron supplement (during periods), Biotin supplement (for my otherwise thin fingernails)
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Old 04-13-2019, 06:55 PM #8
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Default Re: Why did he do that? Psychiatrist's display of affection to wife with me present.

There are definitely cultural factors in public displays of affection. But what is so special about the lecture hall?
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Old 04-13-2019, 09:51 PM #9
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Default Re: Why did he do that? Psychiatrist's display of affection to wife with me present.

Not atypical to me.

However, if I had strong feelings for someone Id probably find the closeness upsetting to witness in person.
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