I seem to post something in here every time my H and I are having problems, and it's constant! I'll put the situation in a nutshell if possible.
H had prev unhealthy marriage, blamed all his character defects and inability to communicate and handle anger on his previous wife. She was bipolar, cheated on him, it sometimes got physical, lots of arguing, etc. He's been divorced some 7+years. We got married almost 2 years ago. Since then it seems I've been thrown right into his unhealthy leftovers. He stuffs his anger, ignoring me and not talking for days and then blows up something awful. This past summer I went through lots of medical issues: found out we were pregnant but had to have emergency surgery and eventually lost the baby..two surgeries in a month. Two days after the last surgery and bedridden in pain, we had an argument and he threw me and my teenage daughter out of the house in our pajamas in the middle of the night. I wasn't even supposed to get out of bed. My parents drove out of state to come and put us up in a hotel, I had no money on me. (He works, I stay home btw.)
We were already in marriage counseling, but resolved to see a second counselor as well to amp it up, desperately needing help and I said I'd stay if that never happened again. While he hasn't thrown us out of the house, he continues to have the simmering rage inside of him and I don't see much improvement. We've stopped discussing divorce as an option because we both want to stay married ulitmately, and our respective daughters have grown to really love our new family, etc. However, I know I can't continue if he exhibits such vile behavior. (I opened a seperate checking account and have started putting money in it in case we're ever put out on our own in an emergency like before...and I told him I was doing that.)
He's been very ill this week and I've been taking care of everyone/everything...sleeping on the couch since he's contagious w/pneumonia, and he gets out and starts interfering w/my household stuff. I told him to get back in bed, he's sick, just let me do my thing and focus on getting well, and out of nowhere he screams "You want your freedom? You've got your freedom!" I almost laughed. Where did that come from??? What the heck is going on in that head? Maybe it was the meds making him irritable, who knows, but I'm tired of excusing his explosive anger for "being sick," or "under stress," or "last marriage baggage," or "old habits." Lots of people are divorced, have stress, financial worries, work deadlines, etc, but they don't throw their family out on the street in the middle of the night, or tell their wife they can "have their freedom" out of the blue, or (fill in the blank...there's too many to list.)
I'll add that I do own my part and I have no problem admitting when I'm wrong. I'm in a 12 Step program which guides me on how to treat people: when I'm wrong I promptly admit it; I take a daily inventory on my defects of character; I ask God to direct my thoughts and actions in all aspects of my life. He, on the other hand, intelligent and intuitive as he is, is like a four year old with a loaded gun, aiming it dangerously at me with his random behavior and often cold and punishing treatment. He even admits that he sometimes doesn't talk to me to "punish me." I think that's sick. What do I do? I've set boundaries for him and said "this is unacceptable, you can't talk to me like this or treat me like that. It's not even humane." He will apologize after a few days, bring me a dozen roses and all will be well for another 3 days until it happens again. I think I have 3 vases of roses around my house right now if that tells you anything. I'm trying to handle this with grace and dignity, but I think he sees that as a weakness and doesn't appreciate my candor. Sometimes I lose it and fight back, (I'm a strong woman) and at that point he'll play the victim. I do love him dearly and I believe that we're supposed to live in the solution, not the problem. I think we're supposed to stick it out and not give u, but something is telling me I'm being very naive. Please give me some suggestions if you can. Thanks.
Every time you post I ask you a weird question and here's tonights': I know hubby is a brilliant man and has a touch of the 'rock star' syndrome...Do you have any friends amongst his colleagues...does his work almost encourage him to display tantrums? Is there a culture of 'tormented genius'?
I've spent some time in such an environment (I'm tortured but not a genius) and it was awash with people rushing about shrieking and slamming doors...Wether or not he has come to be applauded for his tantrums I do think he sounds like a man with some detached, maverick bit of his personality rattling around his head - and your house.
Get him to see a good psychologist. If he behaves like that forever more you will suffer. And if he behaves that badly to, say, a police officer after some traffic offense...He could be a menace to himself as well as a source of anguish to you.
Steve, thanks so much for responding. He works by at home in his office all day. He will occasionally go out of town to do research in a library, alone, and about 3-4 times a year have to do presentations to those who contract him. He's very isolated. The mutual friends we have are over an hour away and he has no friends here since moving 600 miles to be with me, (maybe a guy at our church or another soccer dad..but no one he can go grab a beer with.) Part of that "tormented genius" thing you mentioned is that he doesn't think anyone here is "cool enough" to hang out with. I think on a very superficial level he married me because he thought I was "cool." It's very snobby, superficial, and selfish.
After he threw us out of the house, our pastor recommended a good psychiatrist who gave him anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds which he doesn't think he needs anymore. He stopped going to individual counseling and we let go of one of our marriage counselors because we were getting conflicting advice. Now all he (and we) see is our pastor once a week or so, who is tremendous. Only thing is my H doesn't follow any of the suggestions he's given. He has major health problems (emotionally and physically) due to lack of sleep and he takes meds for that, still only getting about 3 hours a night. I know that contributes to his moods and irritability, but I don't think that should give him carte blanche to be a horse's backside. I wish he would do what people have suggested to him and just try to work on himself, but he's admittedly lazy. Only when the pain gets great enough do some of us change.
Since writing this tonight he came to me and apologized for saying that I could have my "freedom." He asked "why do you keep bringing up how I kicked you out of the house? That was six whole months ago! And it's ridiculous that you opened an 'emergency' checking account because I'm never going to do that again." He does know I will leave, but he also knows that I don't want to.
I asked him why he stopped taking his meds and he said the anti-anxiety meds made him too high, and he felt he didn't need the anti-depressants anymore bc the doc said it wasn't clinical depression, just due to what was going on at home. He thinks he's made so much progress, but I told him tonight that he's killing us. He also said he's been told in the past that he is "self-tortured" and did I agree with that. It was hard not to laugh and say "Understatement of the Year!" He also asked if I thought he was meant to be alone because of what a jerk he is to me, and I said that if he leaves me he will definitely be alone because no one will put up with this kind of treatment; he'll do what he did before we met and that's serial dating. Anytime there was a problem with a girl he'd dump her at the slightest conflict. He'd go right back to that cycle of behavior. I'm just so emotionally drained by it all. I wonder if it's good for me to start detaching. I tried that before and it really alarmed him, although I was detaching to protect myself, not to alarm him.
Also, I've been advised by friends not to move out because he can use abandonment against me in court if there were a divorce. Plus, if a divorce were to happen, his parents already hate me and there would be an unending source of money to bury me...no holds barred. I don't want to make it easier for them. On the other hand, I can't kick him out because we have full custody of his daughter, and I won't do to him what he did to me and my daughter. That's the difference between us.