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Dr. Autumn
Dr. Autumn, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 43
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Psychologist with over 10 years of experience working with children and teens.
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My husband constantly picks fights with me about my 17 year

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My husband constantly picks fights with me about my 17 year old son from my previous marriage. Both of them have been diagnosed with ADHD, my son when he was young and my husband recently. My son just moved in with us in June after it just being me and my husband for 8 years. We also recently had a baby, my husbands first biological child, although the fighting started before my daughter was born. My husband always picks apart everything my son does and at night complains to me about it, by saying rude stuff about him to me, which of course upsets me and then i wind up in tears. Almost everytime my husband says he will stop because he sees how upset and depressed I am getting but then he always does it again. My son does well in school, is respectful and is in sports daily after school until 6 or 7 pm. My husband has crazy mood swings, one day he will want to hang out with my son then the next he is ignoring him or being rude to him then complaining to me about him. This is causing me so much anxiety I cry daily. I feel I am starting to hate my husband because of this. He knows how hard it was when my son was living with his father and I hardly saw him so why would he do this now? I am considering leaving him but I dont want my newborn daughter to be raised in a broken home or my son to think he caused the breakup because it would upset him greatly. Please help I love my husband but love my son more!!!
Dr. Autumn :


Dr. Autumn :

I'm happy to help you with this issue. I'm going to switch to the Q & A board so that I can send you a few questions.

I'm so sorry about your struggles with your husband. It sounds like you are having a really difficult time right now.
Has your husband ever attended therapy? If he has not yet attended therapy, do you think that's something that he would consider? I wonder if possibly something else might be going on with your husband, whether it might be in addition to the ADHD, or instead of ADHD. If he is having these severe mood swings, and his behavior is affecting your marriage so much, it seems like he (and the rest of the family) could really benefit from therapy.
Let me know what you think about this, and then we can continue the discussion from there.
Dr. Autumn
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes he goes to therapy but only for his ADHD medicine, we seperated a few years back and went to therapy together and when we got back together we stopped going because everything was better but once my son came everything changed.

I inquired with the therapist about him being bipolar but they didnt agree with that.

It sounds like the two of you might benefit from attending couples therapy again. I like to look at therapy as a tool that you can use at different times throughout your relationship. When you're done, and you've fixed something, you can put the tool away. It seems like it's time to use the tool again. Having a child completely changes the family. So, even though your son is 17, once he joined you and your husband in your home, the three of you became a new family. Then, when you had your next child, you became another family. It sounds like your husband has had a really hard time adjusting to these new families. I think that if he agreed to attend therapy again, it would provide a safe space for you to continue to try to let him know how much he is hurting you. For whatever reason, it sounds like he is either not hearing you when you say how much he is hurting you, or he is not making the changes that he needs to make. Sometimes, it really helps to have another person who can work with you to help him understand how you feel.
Separating from a spouse is a huge decision, and it's one that a therapist could help you make after they have had time to work with you for a while. And, you are correct, that neither you, nor your children need to continue in an environment that is hurting you.
Let me know if you have any additional questions.
Dr. Autumn
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What bothers me is that I know that my son is effected by this but is scared to say anything to me for fear that he will hurt my feelings. I constantly have a nervous feeling in my stomach that something will happen, especially when I am not home when my husband and son are home together. It is mentally affecting me now.

I know when I tell my husband that I want to start therapy again he will tell me just to leave him then. Also when we do fight he says that my son is going to cause us to break up, which is not the case but I cant get him to see that. I honestly think that he does not think that he is to blame. I am at the end of my rope!!!!

I would also try talking to your son about this. You can talk to him about your worries about how he is being affected, and let him know that your feelings won't be hurt if he tells you how he is feeling.
If your husband won't consider couples therapy with you, maybe you could go see a therapist for yourself. They could help you work through this, and help you to make the best decision for you and your kids. Additionally, your son could attend, and maybe he would feel better discussing his feelings in that environment.
Unfortunately, if your husband isn't willing to work with you, then it sounds like your options are somewhat limited.
Dr. Autumn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
I was just checking in to see how things are going with your husband.
Let me know if I can do anything else to help.
Dr. Autumn
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Things are just going downhill now. I spoke to him about going to marriage counseling but he wont go, he says he has no time. I am honestly starting to dread when he comes home after work. My doctor thinks that I should take medicine for depression and anxiety but why should I self medicate when it wont help anything. This morning we had another huge fight and i actually told him i am considering a divorce but he blames it on the kids which is not the case. He also told me that he will not have anything to do with my son anymore which upsets me. I do not want my son to think if we get divorced it is his fault at all.

I'm so sorry that things seem to be going downhill.
I definitely think that you are correct about the medication. It might be helpful with some of the depression and anxiety that you are experiencing, but it will not change your husband's behavior.
If your husband isn't willing to work with you on anything, then it does seem like you should consider what your other options might be. Whatever you do decide, it will be important to have a discussion with your son, and let him know that it's not his fault. Your son is old enough that you should be able to have a conversation with him where you really discuss what is happening.
You might also want to consider counseling for yourself to help you get through this difficult time.