A clinical psychologist weighs in on the worst email of all time

I promise, this is the last time I will stir up things in regards to the worst email I ever received last week. I’m still angered by this email, the criticism I received in dealing with it, and the nasty emails that I received after this week’s radio show in which I read the email on air. I was called a “femme”, and accused of siding with the wife in order to gain favor with women.

I asked Dr. Greg Sipes Ph.D., Sc.D., H.S.P.P., Clinical Psychologist and Senior Partner Indiana Health Group, Inc., to look at the email that I received, as well as my response. His thoughts are below. Dr. Sipes is a wonderfully honest professional, and I wouldn’t have been surprised had he told me that my response to the email was inappropriate, if he so thought.

“First, money problems in marriage are ALWAYS about control. This couple has very serious marital issues (control related) and they’ll be spending lots of money with a divorce attorney in the not too distant future if they don’t get a handle on this. They need marital counseling NOW!
Second, indeed Jeff seems to have his priorities confused. He seems to be lacking in the capacity to reflect on himself and his behavior. The ability to take account of one’s self is the basic element of maturity. It seems there is much immaturity in this situation. Certainly Jeff’s apparent blind spot to the importance of medication and music lessons over his car, weekends with his buddies and golf suggests his immaturity but it may be (likely is) a two way street. People are generally married to someone who reflects who and what they are.
While this may be a character issue (long-term and chronic) it also may simply be immaturity and Jeff might benefit from some life coaching/counseling. It’s hard to tell from this snip it whether this is a trait (character) or a state (immaturity).
While your financial advice is obviously “spot on” it is also not likely to resolve anything. So Jeff takes your advice and sells his car but within a short time there will be a new issue involving money management and control.”
I didn’t ask for Dr Sipes’ opinion to prove I was right. I asked for his opinion because I wanted to know if I was right.

5 thoughts on “A clinical psychologist weighs in on the worst email of all time

  1. Funny, you didn’t have Dr. Sipes address the WAY you responded to the e-mailer, only that your financial advice was correct. I don’t think anyone took issue with you telling him to sell his car. You crossed a line with your response, have the good Dr. address that.

  2. Excellent point. I specifically asked Dr Sipes to address the way I responded. I printed his email back to me verbatim. He either didn’t want to embarrass me with criticism (which I would have welcomed, if warranted), or he didn’t find issue with it, thus he didn’t address. Trust me Steve, I did ask him to address it.

  3. The reality is that any man who thinks his wife should be paid based on her chores so that she can see the “value” of money while he’s driving a luxury vehicle obviously has more than financial issues. I dont care if he was “venting” that’s obviously how he feels deep down. Shes his employee instead of his partner and that’s a major issue in making your household work. If he really wants to understand value of her being at home he could begin with how much they are saving because they are not paying for child care…

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