Need some marital advice


#1

I have been married 16 years and I am really frustated with my relationship with my husband. I dont know if this is something that is just a phase or something I am doing wrong or something that I have to deal with for the rest of my life.

It seems that the only emotion I can have around him is happy or neutral. If I try to express my frustion, anger, sadness,disappointment or disagree with him he gets very angry and leaves me with our four daughters to contend with, by myself regardless of how I feel at the time.

He turns things around on me and puts words in my mouth that the reason I feel frustrated, angry, disappointed or sad is all HIS fault.

This not only applies when I feel this way, but even when our 2 and 3 year old cry and get upset. He becomes upset and says how bad a father he is and everything is HIS fault.

He says that everyone at work and at home and everywhere he goes disrespects him and we all make him feel he cant do anything right and its all his fault…
(he hates his job by the way)

I am walking on egg shells. I cant get any emotional support from him. I cant express myself . I am afraid to because he will get angry and leave(goes to bars and doesn’t come home). He has threatened to leave and has packed his bags on several occasions and then he calms down and apologizes.

He does say how much he loves me and loves our family but
He seems to have no tolerance for me or our family. There are good days but alot of bad days. I feel sooooooo alone. I feel like I am raising this family alone. Any advice or suggestions?


#2

Is he going through a lot of stress right now? Is this just newly happening or has he always been like this… ?

Sorry things are so hard for you right now :frowning:


#3

Sounds like he may be depressed, and venting his bad feelings by being emotionally unavailable, and at times, abusive.

He needs to see a family therapist. Probably, you all should.


#4

The average number of years of marriage at our “10 Great Dates” marriage meetings at church was… about 16 years.

Something had happened to us and I sounded like your husband. 10 Great Dates helped. A marriage encounter may be in order. Sounds like a communications problem is possible. Do you two get “alone time” away from the kids? This might be a good time to look into it.


#5

You cannot change him, only your reaction to him. Keep in mind that you have children to think about. Also keep in mind that his mental health is his responsibility. You can be a helper, but you cannot do more than that. It’s up to him. Talk to your priest. I’m sure he has many resources.


#6

It’s not you. It’s him. He sounds like he needs some professional assitance from someone in the mental health field. This is not normal behavior by any stretch of the imagination.


#7

I will give the man the benefit of doubt from my experience. I suspect that the OP isn’t perfect (none of us are) and some of the usual traps a marriage may encounter have come their way.

Given no more than what adv has posted, it seems familiar enough to me to be pausable. I suggest this is a communications/needs not being met problem. Serious for sure.

adv, has this been gradual or all of a sudden?


#8

Sounds like you have a serious communication problem. You need to go to Retrouvaille to learn how to really communicate your feelings to each other. www.retrouvaille.org


#9

The OP stated: “This not only applies when I feel this way, but even when our 2 and 3 year old cry and get upset. He becomes upset and says how bad a father he is and everything is HIS fault.”

This is **NOT **normal. Two and three year olds cry and get upset-- it’s what they do.

The fact that dad practically becomes unhinged at this and any other expression of emotion tells me he has some *serious *issues he needs help dealing with.


#10

It does sound like serious stress. It’s not you or your marriage, but probably responsibility, frustration and disappointment fuelling his anger . If he’s a bit ‘driven’ and perfectionist, he’s showing signs that unless he gets help he could have a stress breakdown. Those signs, and how hard it is to live with them, then his blaming himself…in some way he’s not coping and he hates himself for it…something in this kind of area. He can’t take time out because of his responsibilities…and like a lot of fathers, including my husband can’t cope well with all the noise and needs of the children.

I lived with all that, and my husband was a perfectionist who was utterly driven. He was angry over everything and anything. I walked on eggshells for years.

He was achievement oriented. He did seek help but not early enough. He had a total stress-breakdown, nearly went through with divorce…but now he has close to zero energy and other problems relating to complete stress breakdown and hasn’t been able to work or function well for years. My husband left four times. He always came back, two weeks, three months, six months, ten months…but here he is and we reach 40 years marriage this year.

It isn’t you, and he does love you and he’s holding things together but he is in some way losing control and is scared because he doesn’t know what to do about it. He doesn’t mean to be angry or to make things miserable and feels a failure for being like that, and for making you unhappy.

I only say all this in case you can help your husband find a way to get throught all this and come out a whole man.
My husband was a tough, often angry Dad, but he has turned out to be the best kind of grandfathers and the kids adore him. It can change, but it takes time, and he needs to find a way to get help and peace. Love him the best you can even though your heart is bruised cold. Don’t I know about that! It is so sad and lonely, but he will need your faithful, gentle loving actions until your heart bruises eventually heal.

I will pray for you and your husband and the children. Love, Trishie


#11

Hear what he is saying:

This not only applies when I feel this way, but even when our 2 and 3 year old cry and get upset. He becomes upset and says how bad a father he is and everything is HIS fault.

He feels like a failure. When a man is failing somewhere, he typically projects that out in his entire life. So, if work is bad, personal life is too; the same applies if he is failing as a husband and father, it will spill over into work.

As for the mean person who basically said it’s all his problem, his mental health is his issue and he needs to deal with it - I pray she is never in need of help of any kind. If she gets treated the way she suggests then she will be heartbroken indeed. How cruel.

It may be mental health issues, i.e. depression. It may just be the realization we all have along the way that life is filled with drudgery. Not that life is drudgery, mind you, but that life is filled with a lot of the same menial tasks day in and day out.

Why does he want you happy all the time? What happens when you’re not? Think about your reactions to him when you’re not feeling your best. Does this lead to arguments? Tears? The silent treatment?

From the brief snippet you wrote, i’ll surmise that he isn’t all that good about sharing feelings. You may have to help him figure things out.

If his job isn’t going well, his self-esteem is shot. Are you buidling him up at home? Are you teaching the children to respect and admire him? When he gets home from work is he greeted like a conquering hero or is he tossed children by an equally tired mom who just needs a break? Those first five minutes home can make the difference in the entire evening.

Do you agree in child discipline? Do the children know there’s a difference when Daddy gets home and change their behavior?

Are you handling your shared stress as a team or a pair of individuals? My own wife cannot handle even the slightest amount of stress. She refuses to answer the phone because she might have to talk to someone who will cause her stress. I’ve learned that I have to handle almost everything myself. This used to really get to me, but now I’ve just come to accept this is who she is and deal with it. If you have different expectations of how to handle financial, family, friend or child induced stress, he may not know what to do sometimes. Some people just like to pretend that there is no problem because facing them is too hard. If that is his behavior, then he will need strong positive support from you to handle it.

Praise his problem solving skills when he handles something he has been avoiding. Make him your strong arm of protection. Let him know how much you value being cared for. Tell the children, in front of them, positive things about their Daddy. Build him up in their eyes.

Don’t abandon him, as one poster suggested. When we marry we take vows that we must take seriously. The vows did not include “happily ever after”.


#12

Duskyjewel is right. This is most certainly depression. If he is able to admit that, during the easier times when you can talk with him, he might be willing to take the next step and a) see a therapist, or b) talk to his doctor about antidepressants. Sometimes depression results from circumstances, sometimes from chemistry, and sometimes both. But he needs to seek treatment, if not for himself, for the benefit of his family.


#13

Agree.


#14

He feels like a failure. When a man is failing somewhere, he typically projects that out in his entire life. So, if work is bad, personal life is too; the same applies if he is failing as a husband and father, it will spill over into work.

As for the mean person who basically said it’s all his problem, his mental health is his issue and he needs to deal with it - I pray she is never in need of help of any kind. If she gets treated the way she suggests then she will be heartbroken indeed. How cruel.

It may be mental health issues, i.e. depression. It may just be the realization we all have along the way that life is filled with drudgery. Not that life is drudgery, mind you, but that life is filled with a lot of the same menial tasks day in and day out.

Why does he want you happy all the time? What happens when you’re not? Think about your reactions to him when you’re not feeling your best. Does this lead to arguments? Tears? The silent treatment?

From the brief snippet you wrote, i’ll surmise that he isn’t all that good about sharing feelings. You may have to help him figure things out.

If his job isn’t going well, his self-esteem is shot. Are you buidling him up at home? Are you teaching the children to respect and admire him? When he gets home from work is he greeted like a conquering hero or is he tossed children by an equally tired mom who just needs a break? Those first five minutes home can make the difference in the entire evening.

Do you agree in child discipline? Do the children know there’s a difference when Daddy gets home and change their behavior?

Are you handling your shared stress as a team or a pair of individuals? My own wife cannot handle even the slightest amount of stress. She refuses to answer the phone because she might have to talk to someone who will cause her stress. I’ve learned that I have to handle almost everything myself. This used to really get to me, but now I’ve just come to accept this is who she is and deal with it. If you have different expectations of how to handle financial, family, friend or child induced stress, he may not know what to do sometimes. Some people just like to pretend that there is no problem because facing them is too hard. If that is his behavior, then he will need strong positive support from you to handle it.

Praise his problem solving skills when he handles something he has been avoiding. Make him your strong arm of protection. Let him know how much you value being cared for. Tell the children, in front of them, positive things about their Daddy. Build him up in their eyes.

Don’t abandon him, as one poster suggested. When we marry we take vows that we must take seriously. The vows did not include “happily ever after”.
[/quote]

This is some of the best advice I have ever heard on this forum. :thumbsup:

Please, your husband probably feels inadequate and need support. Even if you have stress, stress is not equally divided at all times, by helping him this his now, he will be better able to help you with yours later.


#15

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