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LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 645
Experience:  10 years post-MSW experience
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I'm trying to figure things out with my marriage, make

Customer Question

I'm trying to figure things out with my marriage, make things right but I think my husband might be emotionally unstable because he's really sweet one minute and mean the next.
JA: Have you seen a doctor about this yet? What medications are you taking?
Customer: No and none
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the psychologist should know?
Customer: His mother has been diagnosed with mental disorders
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Psychologist about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  LeahMSWuofm replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thanks for writing to us. My name is ***** ***** i'd like to help. I am sorry you are struggling with this inconsistency in your husband's mood. Most of us can relate that when someone's mood fluctuates like this, it is like walking on eggshells and extremely uncomfortable and frustrating. Have you ever talked about this with your husband? It can be really difficult to initiate these tough conversations but that is the best place to start if you have not, It is likely that if his mood is extremely unstable and unpredictable, he may also be suffering with an illness that could be benefited from treatment such as medications or counseling (or both).

At this point, the best thing for you to do is to gently point out to your husband that you are concerned about his moods because you would guess that it does not feel good to feel up one minute and down the next. Also, help him understand that this moodiness affects you and your marriage and that you would like to him to talk to a professional so you aren't constantly feeling unsure of which version of husband will be with you. If he is apprehensive, continue to engage in honest conversation about how this affects you and how much you care for him and your marriage. Offer to attend counseling with him and consider letting him select a counselor that he feels he might prefer as some added incentive for him to go.

If all this fails and your husband continues to decline help, deflects this issues, blames you, or becomes angry at the suggestion of help, then you may be in a tough spot. When it all boils down to, your husband's behavior is his own, including his handling of bad moods and his treatment of you. If he continues to choose to act this way and does not respect your feelings that his behavior is hurtful and ignores your pleads he get help, then you may face an uphill battle because he has to take the responsibility to want to make positive change. This doesn't mean it isn't worth supporting, encouraging and even trying to demand he talk to someone, but again, you can't control his instability or force he get help and without commitment and self-determination, people don't often make lasting change.

I hope this helps encourage you to continue to talk to your husband with a goal he get professional help. As you said, there was some illness in his mother which could be a factor here, so ideally, he should be assessed by a professional who may really be able to offer some opportunities for him to feel better and ore in control of his moods.

I look forward to hearing back from you,


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will try and talk to him very carefully.
He is typically prone to get very frustrated and sometimes downright hateful when attention is drawn to faults. But last night I was pretty blunt with him and told him there have been times I was scared. This morning he did apologize, saying he didn't mean to make me feel like that! So that's a huge answer to prayer! I just want to know if he really does have a disorder and I'm really apprehensive about him taking medication with all the side effects. Do you think I should show him proof or research that might convince him he needs either counseling and/or natural medicine?
Expert:  LeahMSWuofm replied 1 year ago.

That is great news that you are opening up to him more bluntly and that he took time to apologize after he had thought about what you said. I think that showing someone supportive documentation for your case can often help, but more so, talking to him about the impact of his actions on you is the best place to keep this directed for now.

As far as medications, there are some natural remedies for depression/mood and anxiety and these may be worth looking into if you feel like his unstable mood is reflective of depression (it certainly could be). However, you have to be weary of these medications if you believe his condition may be Bipolar, meaning he fluctuates fairly dramatically between mania and depressive states ( Bipolar can run in families so if this is what his mother had or what you see in him after reading more, then he dies need professional medication management beyond over the counter. The natural supplements for depression are St. John's Wort, SAM-e,and Omega-3. These are safe to use for mild-moderate depression. If you do like to support your reasoning with proof/research, you could start with asking him to try these things and showing him info on the internet that supports their safety and use. There are easy to come by through Google but here are a few...

Lastly, as far as support to prove the counseling is warranted, i again would let your heart guide the discussion here. if he is truly opposed to talking to someone when you present it, then an article probably won't change his mind. Hopefully he is willing to bend though, and either try medications OTC, seek a professional consult on meds, or try talking to someone like a counselor if he isn't willing to do both. You definitely don't deserve to live a life fearful of your husband so continue to advocate for yourself and your own safety and security!! I hope he listens to you and engages in help even if it is only baby steps..