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Ask Rev.Dr. August Abbott Your Own Question
Rev.Dr. August Abbott
Rev.Dr. August Abbott, Clergy
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7608
Experience:  Ordained minister: Counselor (spiritual/life)
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My husband was talking to some women, back turned to me as

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My husband was talking to some women, back turned to me as I walked up. I waved twice, no acknowledgement. So I continued to walk and shop. Now I have been accused of being disrespectful, ruining a friendship, being self centered. On top of that when I was sleeping that night, he purposely came into the bedroom, turned the lights on, started screaming at me and slammed the doors real loud. I told him over and over again that I went on shopping since I figured he was in a conversation. The behavior to me is over the top. He did take some codeine. I have tried to talk to his doctors about his abuse of pain meds, but they don't want to hear. HELP.

You have no avenues about his pain medications because he is an adult. You should keep trying in talking to his doctors especially in considering something that is not addictive. As far as the woman, this is probably all a result of medication if he is abusing it. This can cause extreme emotions. You do not have to change anything if you did nothing wrong. For there to be work on an issue you have to come together and you have to consider the opinion of the other. You can't work on anything if only one of you is willing. You have to both work on compromise. Accusing and blaming doesn't work. Find a time when he is receptive to talk about these defenses with him.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

It has been 5 days, nothing but the silent treatment. He just gave notice he is going to Chincoteague with his friend (belssing in disguise). I might add he has been to anger management - things were ok, then boom.


I don't understand why his doctor did not talk to me post operation he had since he did give permission for me to talk to his doctor.


These outbursts happen over little misunderstandings - the abusiveness has been aniihilating my desire to have sex with him....what can I say to the guy to let him know he is driving me away?

Sometimes doctors just don't have the time they need to get to everyone. This is common. I think you should approach your husband in a way that is honest but not accusatory. Tell him that his moods are harming the relationship and how you relate to him. Tell him they effect your ability to physically intimate because you are turned off by his abrasiveness. Let him know that you are not accusing him of anything but know that he needs help with this. Talk about the misunderstandings and how this effects your ability to respond to him physically. Offer to address this any way he wishes. See how he responds then go from there
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Everything you suggested I have tried. When I calmly try and tell him these things he says I make any excuse for not having sex and I use it as a weapon. I appreciate your comments, but the botXXXXX XXXXXne is I honestly believe he needs help and is bipolar.

HelloCustomer your previous expert asked me to take a look here. Psychlady made excellent suggestions and observations to which you replied you've already tried.

Before we continue, how about catching us up on everything you've tried so we know what not to mention.

And while he clearly needs help, we aren't terribly sure how we can help him when it's you asking the question. That would be like sending a healthy person in to the doctor to have someone else's disease treated.

--- Does manic-depressive/bi-polar disease run in his family? Usually this is a genetic disorder (not 'always', but 'usually').

Has a doctor suggested this prior to now? What age group is he in? Has he held jobs in the competitive workforce up to now?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Here is what I and we have tried:


1. Writing issues down, sharing and agreeing on resolution - that has not happened in awhile, his focus is on what he calls my abnormal sex drive (as I said - I have a hard time wanting intimacy after being verbally abused).


2. Working with therapists - any time the therapist approaches the abuse factor and how it contributes to lack of sympathy; he wants to stop.


3. Tried to be calm and state facts without emotions; see first questions on I had on outcome.


4. He is 58; former alcoholic but still loves pain killers and gets his hands on them easily. His father and mother were alcoholics.


5. His daughter was diagnosed with bipolar and propensity to anger (per several assessments through the courts). She also has ADD


6. From what I have heard through his brother in law and neices/nephews is that not only he but his siblings exhibit these nasty tempers, sudden changes in mood, silence treatments.


7. He is 16 years younger than his next in line sibling.


8. He was court ordered to go to anger management.


9. When he was in highschool he got kicked out; then it took him more than the normal 4 years to finish the degree - he has worked for the federal government all his career (I have worked in private industry).


Hope above helps with the background. I have always been told by therapists that I am not being unreasonable. I never had an alcohol or drug issue.

-- The parts that won't work, no matter how calm, sober and clear thinking you are would be any effort that comes from you about how he can be better, different or 'changed'.

-- Even though you very well may be all of those things, it's not how he sees you. That's not an insult, believe me. Even spouses of long time, licensed, practicing psychologists and psychiatrists will refuse to believe their husband/wife can be unbiased and professional. And chances are they can't. Imagine that you owned a company and there was no one above you, no one for you to answer to. Someone thinks that your company behaved badly in some aspect and the final decision about whether or not it's true, is up to you.

But wait. If it's true, your company will lose a lot of profits and you will lose most of your income for a year.

What are the chances that in a real life situation you'll decide against yourself? Even though we'd like to think so highly of ourselves and insist we'd be ok losing our home and moving into the backseat of our car --- in reality we're going to find a way to 'justify' the misbehavior, decide we're not really at fault and that's the end of it. We keep our lifestyle and promise ourselves to never have to make such a decision again (we try to do better).

--- Same principle with one of the two parties in a relationship deciding they know what's wrong with the 'whole' and most of the blame is going to be flatly on the other person. Whether it's right or not that other person isn't going to be receptive or confident in their partners "diagnosis".

Your husband has told you all of the things wrong with you, right? Are you listening? Do you think he's got a point? Of course not, and you note all the reasons why his judgement is impaired. He's doing the same with you.

--- And chances are that he's either not giving counseling a fair try or that both of you quit before it's able to work.

--- Alcoholics don't go to AA 'for a while' and stop the meetings when they stop drinking. It's a lifelong necessity.

Counseling can require months or even years of attendence. After all, it took a lot longer for certain habits we have and aspects of our personality and thought processes to become deeply rooted in us.

The most important point to keep in mind is that the two of you are doing the same things over and over, expecting a different outcome. That's like watching an old movie time after time and hoping it ends differently. You see?

--- So it will take a real 3rd party to intervene and re-train both of you. Hubby will need to look inside himself and if the qualified counselor (please, no unlicensed, uncertified, uneducated 'therapists') suspects anything from alcoholism to drug abuse to bi-polar disorder, they will know the next steps there too. And they'll help you learn what your part will be in supporting hubby.

--- Now, as for the incident that seemed to start all of this (his feeling you were rude to people he was talking to): Yes, he overreacted. No, you did not do anything wrong (and I happen to be an 'etiquette expert' & teacher so consider that a professional opinion).

--- You acknowledged the group and politely continued on your way. If hubby wanted you to join he should have waved you over to introduce you and include you. Simple.

--- So something else is going on in order to trigger his outburst. Yes, many medications (and alcohol) can cause severe mood swings when the individual comes 'down', but I cannot say that this is absolutely the reason behind his behavior.

--- Get yourself to another (better?) counselor for couples. Enter into it for the long run.

You can also start Al-Anon for yourself to learn not only how to live with someone who is an admitted alcoholic, but pick up resources the others there will surely have in the way of finding those qualified psychologists. And probably quite a few for free or sliding scale pay if that's necessary.

--- What you need to do on top of these things is unburden yourself of the responsibility of "fixing" him. It's like trying to teach a pig to play the violin: It will never work, it annoys the pig and it wastes a perfectly fine violin.

--- If and when all of this fails, have your escape plan in place. You cannot continue to live as a victim of his (or any other person's) actions. You are responsible for one and only person: You.

Taking care of yourself is even above taking care of any children since if you 'fall', they'd have no one.

You sound very strong, very well informed and determined to survive. Now do it.

Rev.Dr. August Abbott, Clergy
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7608
Experience: Ordained minister: Counselor (spiritual/life)
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