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Bit like being married to basil fawlty...(10 Posts)
Dh has had a crap few years, bereavement. Job loss, huge amounts of stress and depression.
Considering all that he’s in pretty good shape now. Usually ok to be with.
But he’s always been stressy, prone to finding faults, but it’s got worse. Ie.g if a bowl falls out of a cuPboard in the kirchen, it would be a drama. I was upstairs yesterday and could hear one of the baking trays had fallen on the floor, cue 5 minutes of swearing and muttering.
We are living slightly chaotically at the moment as moved into new House an£ not quite unpacked as will need to pack up soon for building work to be done.
It’s not ideal and the things not being in their plac3 stresses him. But he won’t make the effort to make it more coherent, it doesn’t bother me. I’ve spent a lot of time tidying and sorting things in the past to make life easier for him, before realising it was always me doing it. So I’ve stopped.
He loves to do a big family meal for his kids and ex and his mum and dad every Sunday. It’s like a military operation though there’s no relaxing till it’s on the table. I realised I’m happy having them all around so often as it takes the pressure of me....
He’s not lazy, he’s much tidier than me, but the getting stressed by the small scruff stresses me. I try to ignore it which mostly works but I’m not sure this can continue as a long term plan.
My ex was like that and I came to the conclusion in the end that it was a kind of "control" measure. I tiptoed around him trying to organise things so he didn't have too much stress and we didn't have the bursts of angry swearing and shouting every time something (minor) went wrong. I remember him trying to put a small greenhouse up once and the stressy yelling and anger was just awful. I realised in the end that I was embarrassed to be with someone who behaved like that.
Don't underestimate how stressful this will be for you if you plan to spend the rest of your life with him.
He finds little things really stressful. Handling a multi million pound merger, no issue. Finding his driving Licence it’s www3. And I have to get involved and I don’t want to be.ive got my own stresses.
I asked him to put a trellis up yesterday but I made sure I was well upstairs out of earshot. And yes I could have done it myself, but there’s so much stuff I do myself!
This type of anger following big life events is often a sign of depression. I’d strongly advise the GP, and some big attempts to regulate his daily life, eating, exercise, relaxation/meditation and if he drinks a lot try and cut down.
I know this very well, you could be describing my DH twenty years ago.
He is depressed he is on medication. And did all the right things like exercise etc. Rarely drunks much. But he has cut back on exercise since we got a puppy. He used to bike ride and now we walk the dog. He loves the dog and we’d probably be in a worse place without it. But I think upping the exercise would help.
He’s always been like this, I know his ex well and she was probably better at managing her reactions to it.
Anger can sometimes get worse as a patient begins to recover from depression. They lose the apathy long before their mood actually lifts, so they present as irritable and angry instead of withdrawn.
Having said that, it sounds like your DH has always had a problem with stressing about minor things.
It could be helpful for him to have counselling, to see that minor irritations are not a reflection on his competence or the end of the world - that he does not have to be perfect - and he can be taught relaxation techniques to manage stress more appropriately. If he were willing to engage with that, it would improve life for both of you, as he would be more laid back and you would not be walking on eggshells waiting for his next Fawltyesque eruption.
@Babdoc that makes sense. He’s better, much better, and it’s been a huge long slog for him, but....you know it’s still there.
I’ve suggested counseling but he didn’t find it much use. Probably because he wasn’t listening to her.
Glad he’s on the right track, I can see my DH getting stuck in the anger/sadness response when he doesn’t get the exercise he needs (cycling and running). He does headspace when he can and has a light box in the winter. We also talk a LOT about the feelings and what they might be about. He has a mad perfectionist streak but self-sabotages by being careless (the finding the driving licence comment you made is bang on).
It might help him to find a different therapist, possibly a man? Were his parents quite controlling/unforgiving of failure?
His parents are the softest most indulgent people you’ve ever met.
I hope he does decide to try again with a talking therapy but it’s very difficult for some people to accept that it’s for them. It’s hard if he’s a bright, high achiever as it’s a vulnerability.
I wish you well, anger can be terrifying to observe and it’s never comfortable to be near. You do have to consider if you can tolerate this behaviour, make sure you are keeping your boundaries where you want them. Never appease him, he needs to deal with it.
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