Posted by: Eva | 2009-04-15

re your reply to long-suffering wife

Hi CS. I find it interesting that you did not offer any advice to this obviously stressed lady about her rude husband. I have been a counselling psychologist for many years and deal a lot with couples. I find that, in my experience, alcohol seems to be a factor with many older men' s bad behaviour. I have also found that older women do become more outspoken in that they say what they really feel and can sometimes hurt feelings, but that they retain their basic manners, without exception. There are of course men who retain their manners too, as this lady noted in her own family. She has my deepest sympathy and I wish you would advise her.

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Hmm, I thought I had offered at least SOME advice to the lady, suggesting some alternative explanations for a situation such as she described. Of course, you're right, alcohol also could help explain the problem, though I would have expected that to be obvious enough to her for her to have mentioned it more emphatically. I like the point I think you make, that older women, even when somewhat disinhibited, tend to be rude politely. Its a bit like my observation I remember discussing with Noam Chomsky, of how people with marked brain damage and dementia, even when the content of their speech no longer made sense, tended to speak non-sense with proper grammatical structure. As though some skills are programmed at a deeper level in the brain than others, and not always in the order one might expect.
I did not feel able to give concrete advice before a diagnosis was clear, before it was clear what was causing the situation she found unpleasant.
And I must point out that you also copped out here --- though an experienced counseling psychologist, you also give no advice ( unless you added it to the previous thread, which I don't see once I have made my initial comments ) --- I'd like to have heard what you would suggest.

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