My husband is suffering severe stress from work, we do not have any relationship at all now. I am in the spare room, no sex, he shouts at the kids all the time. I am angry because it seems he's given up and he wont let me near to help. I love him but right now I dont want to be with him because he is so destructive. Help
Being supportive, taking the responsibility, shouting, crying, trying to reason with him , suggesting counselling, medical assistance, threats, asking him what he needs.suggestions offers to help....what else??????
Hello! Please remember that my responses are informational only, we are not establishing a therapeutic relationship.
It sounds like a very difficult and frustrating situation.
And --it sounds like you've tried a lot of things. What kind of response do you get when you suggest counseling, medical assistance, etc?
um. i dont think he likes the idea of it because he thinks he knows whats wrong and they cant do anything
What is wrong?
he says its work, he is in an industry whereby customers get very irate and abusive and the management do not appear to do anything about this
That sounds terrible, but his reaction so far is to alienate his family. Does he at least acknowledge that he is doing that?
when i point hat out to him he seems to recede further, ie he goes to the computer room plays music full balst all night, or doggedly sits and watches documentaries all night. kids are 11 and 14...they need their dad
i think he just puts his head in the sand and hopes it will all go away
Yes, they do --and you need him too. And, he needs you! I've seen over and over again how difficult it is to get men into therapy. Sometimes they are a bit more willing to take medication --but you said he said no to going to a medical doctor too?
yep. I had a suspicion he might be heading to depression, i didnt say that but i wanted him to talk to someone independant of us. He has a lot of stomach upsets, headaches/migraines, general illness, no energy, cant sleep etc
but he just finds an excuse not to go.
head in the sand again
I don't have magic words for you, but I'd encourage you to keep telling him in as non-shaming way that you can, that he is not himself, avoiding isn't going to solve anything, and that although support, meds, therapy aren't going to change the people in his industry, he might learn how to cope with them better.
One thing I've noticed that many men do respond to are word pictures, though....if you could paint the picture of him in an analogy....I am trying to think one
I can give you an example that's unrelated to you...and maybe we can go from there ----
well all i can do is try, unfortunately at some point I have to protect the kids and show them that marriage and relationships arent like this....I hope we dont come to that point. Thanks anyway. Appreciate your comments and support
There was this woman whose husband could never remember to lock the doors at night
example would be good
She tried pleading with him, crying, telling him "he didn't care about her feelings,"
Telling him "it's important that he lock the door"
All of that. But whatever she said, he just couldn't remember...and it's not that he was uncaring.
Finally, (this was in a therapy situation) the therapist had her describe to her husband what it was like for her to go to bed with the door unlocked (or not sure it was locked) (she would always get up to check by the way --he came home late from work)
She told him that she had an image of some stranger coming in the door, and doing harm (which she described excatly what she pictured).
So --the description of what was going on in her head was vivid, real --but she had never told him like that before. As soon as he had the visual (with the accompanying emotion) --he started locking the door...he could connect with it suddenly.
I know we could make all kinds of crictisims of him for not being able to get it before, but that's not really useful. And, what I'm suggesting here, is that your husband is not clearly "seeing" what is occuring.
If he could "see" it say, from an outside perspective --like say if this was happening in another family, and it was described to him, he might have a completly different response.
So --now the question remains --how you can help him "see" it clearly ----
I have a few ideas running through my head, but wanted to get your response so far.....
i want to have long enough with him to try a few things but the retreat happens very quickley
I wonder if you wrote a letter instead ---that even if he retreats --it's still there for him to come back to?
yep thats a definite option
Or --would taking him away somewhere help ?
no...dont think so, he cant relax or discuss and then worries constantly if the children are ok, tried that one
too bad ---
weekend away wouldve been nice :-)
The other idea I had was more of an "intervention" style thing....are you familiar with Interventions for drug addicts?
no whats that
With an intervention, a group of people who really care about the addict, get together and plan to confront the addict. Generally speaking, each person writes a letter, and they state exactly how the addiction has affected their relationship. Then, demands are usually made, like "if you don't go into rehab, you can't live in our house anymore," that type of thing --I'm not saying it should be modeled just like an Intervention, but I'm wondering if there are other really close relatives or friends who see the effects of his stress on his life ----
Retreat of course, is always possible, but not until everyone has had their say and the person is asked to respond.
our immediate family are all overseas, we migrated, just me him and the kids. I do have a circle of friends but he feels they are my friends. Me and the kids could do something similar if the kids are prepared to be honest instead of trying not to hurt him.
that would be very hard for them i think
Yes...I know 11 is young
I'm thinking about it.....
What if it had a more positive spin on it ---do you all celebrate Father's Day?
OK...what if you created a Father's Day a bit early ---and showered him with special food, gifts, but more to the point, each write a letter talking about exactly how important he is and what he means to you? It's kind of expected on the real Father's day -- a bit different on a random day that you dub "father's day."
now that sound like a good idea....i think my daughter (11) would be more receptive to that. I really want to try and keep on a positive rather than a negative point.
I agree ---
Love can melt defenses sometimes.....
i dont know about that...but Im willing to keep trying at the moment
You are welcome. I know it's hard to hang onto that hope when you're in the thick of it --
15 years married, 7 like this......Im hanging on in there.:-)
Yes! That's a big investment, it's worth hanging in there!!!
7 years like this is a long time though
I'm surprised he could keep going like this for that long!!!!!
Yep, lots of things got int he way over the years, my mum was diagnosed with cancer and died last year, His mum has decided to alienate the kids, we live in another country and all the usual family foibles. Its funny how we prioritise the wrong things sometimes
yes, that is sad
Maybe we can recover him, but i think hes developed a habit too
It sounds like it ---he needs to know that you miss the "old X," or the "X you used to be," or the "real X"
We;ll give it a go... Look thanks for your help, will try some of the above. But mostly thanks for letting me sound off, I feel like I am in a better position to try again.
I'm glad. Best wishes to you.
20+ years of counseling experience, Wife & Mother