Husband's father has died, mother is ill and he refuses to seek help - Talk About Marriage
Dealing with Grief and Loss The grieving process is difficult. When we lose someone close to us, we go through many different emotions.

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-25-2014, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Husband's father has died, mother is ill and he refuses to seek help

My husband's parents have been ailing for many months, his dad of old age and his mom of heart problems and strokes. His mom broke her pelvic bone last week (from a fall) and his dad passed the next day. My husband was very close to his parents despite being thousands of miles away. He and his brother have been doing the best to manage their parents home health care from afar in the midst of their busy schedule.

The last six months have been agonizing for me as my husband has been dealing with his grief and stress by yelling at me for the smallest and insignificant things. It's gotten to the point where it's almost intolerable because if I point out to him that he is out of line, he goes into a rampage on how living with me is no cake walk and that I repeatedly "disappoint" him.

When I suggested that he needed to go talk to someone, he got angry and said he doesn't think he is close to melting down b/c he dealing with his frustrations as they come up aka, letting me know when I've done something to upset him. He then becomes upset with me if he doesn't feel "loved and appreciated". I keep trying to explain how his behavior towards me is affecting our relationship but he doesn't want to listen and he tells me that I am insensitive.

I've scheduled an appointment for myself to talk to a therapist about the issues on hand but I am wondering if anyone who has experienced this has any advice.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-25-2014, 03:56 PM
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Re: Husband's father has died, mother is ill and he refuses to seek help

How old are the two of you?
How long have you been married?
How many children do you have and what are their ages?

It help to have this kind of info to get a more complete picture of what is going on.

It sounds like this kind of behavior is new for your husband.

I agree with you going to counseling on your own if he will not right now.

When he is angry/yelling... how long does this go on? Does it turn into an argument/fight where you are both going at each other? Or does he have his angry say and that's the end of it?
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-25-2014, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Husband's father has died, mother is ill and he refuses to seek help

My husband is 55, I'm in 43 and we have two preschool children. While I wouldn't say that this behavior is necessarily new, the depth of his anger has definitely intensified.

Here is an example, I deep cleaned our car prior to an upcoming long trip. In doing so, I bumped the rubber gasket that the door shuts into out of place. I pushed most of it back into place but most have missed a spot. I left the car door open so that the interior could continue to dry as I had steamed cleaned it. While I was walking our dogs, he went into the garage tried to close the car door and found he could not. When I returned from the walk, he started to quiz me asking me if I forgot to tell him anything. I had no idea what he was referring to. He started badgering me about failing to tell him about things that were broken and how it upset him greatly and asked did I forget to tell him something. Finally, I looked at him and asked him what the heck he was talking about and he told me about trying to shut the car door. At this point, I was ticked because he spent 15 minutes yelling at me about 'forgetting to tell him about broken things". I told him the car door was not broken and the gasket must be out of place somewhere and I would take care it. He then proceeded to yell at me over how I was so careless and multitude of other things.

Another example, I picked him up at the airport last night after visiting his mother for two days. In one of his texts prior to leaving SC and returning, he wrote that he had "finally cracked the case". When he got into the car, the first thing he said was did you see my text about Mr. X. I had no idea about what he was referring to and said so. He then went off on me that I should be reading emails and messages more thoroughly and not skimming them. His parents had been having problems with their AC and heating system for at least 1.5 years and the AC repairman kept saying the unit had to be replaced. We'll it turned out that ducts that connected it to unit to the house had been chewed away by an animal and so there was a gaping hole in the duct system allowing the cool air to escape before it reached the house. Obviously, he was upset that he figured this out after a year and that the AC person had not and fair to say that this is displaced anger. I do not know how to effectively deal with the rage when it is directed at me.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-25-2014, 05:04 PM
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Re: Husband's father has died, mother is ill and he refuses to seek help

Get the book "Dance of Anger". It talks about people who have so much anger that they do what your husband does.

The first thing you need to do is to stop being an audience for his angry outbursts. When he's clam, tell him that you will no longer put up with his outbursts, name calling, accusation's, etc. That when he does this you will tell him "STOP" and then you will leave .. go to another room or even leave the house with the children. He can then calm himself down and work on coming up with what he needs to really say.

For example "The car door does no close. Do you have any idea why?"

Or "I found out that the AC has appeared to no work because some animal chewed a hole in the duct work. The AC guy has not done a good job of it because he's missed this pretty obvious issue."

The book I suggested talks about how to do this.

He has to figure out how to calm himself down. Exercise is a good way. Going to counseling helps. He might need anti depressants. Since he is rejecting anything you suggest, this is squarely on him.

At some point you might need to tell him that if he does not see a doctor for his anger/depression, get counseling and stop the angry outbursts you will file for divorce. Be ready to file if he refuses. You should not be living in a marriage where you are mistreated like this.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-11-2014, 03:52 PM
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Re: Husband's father has died, mother is ill and he refuses to seek help

WOW! I thought I had it bad because my husband is grieving and completely ignores me unless his drinking. I couldn't handle getting yelled at like a child.

I don't have any advice but I can say I understand how isolating it can be when a spouse is grieving. Your husband has been grieving for 6 months while mine is going on a year. I bet we can find others that have dealt and are still dealing with this for years. I don't think either of us should just deal with it for who knows how long especially when neither our husbands are trying to get help.
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