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Avatar universal

How can I stop this abuse?

My husband has snapped.  He used to be a wonderful person but for the last year has become out of control.  I know he needs help but he refuses to get it.  Here is his story... after 18 years in a high stress job the company changed hands and they started treating him badly, when he started drinking too heavily and becoming mentally abusive to me, I talked him into resigning and getting something better for him thinking this would help, but it totally backfired.  He couldn't let go.  He felt even worse.  Now  he feels like a failure because things aren't working out very well.  He went into a cycle of sleeping most of the day, drinking most of the night, avoiding financial responsabilities, blaming everyone for ruining his life, loss of memory, obsessive with the tv and "getting some rest", uncontrolled bursts of anger, disreguard for health and safty, self-centered to an incredible degree, panic attacks over small things while brushing off big things, incessive lying, tries to control everything without paying attention to what should be done, refuses to take resposibility for himself, calls his mother constantly to make decisions for us and bail him out, gets angry/jealous about anyone else's happiness, if it is ours he immediatly sets out to destroy it.  He has become cruel and cold-hearted, nothing I say or do stops him, it only makes him angrier.  There is a lot more and it goes on and on every day. Sometimes he apologizes and says he knows he needs to change but then goes right back to it.  But when he walks out the door, he presents this intelligent, happy, fun-loving, responsible front and no one believes there could be anything wrong.  He tells all that I am the problem and need anti-depressives or something.  When I walk out, he freaks and does just about anything to get me back.
He fits the models of 'general anxiety disorder', 'cronic abuser', 'post traumatic stress disorder', and a few others.  None of this was there until now.  He will lose his career if labeled anything, he can have no confidentiality in his field, and so he won't seek the help he needs.  I am trying not to just give up on him, but I refuse to be his victim. Please tell me there is a way to stop all this while there are still pieces left to put back together.
9 Responses
Avatar universal
Dear TLC

Eventhough stress at job probably contributed to your husband's depression, Alcohol seems to be the major factor contributing to his present behavior.Unless he recognizes that it is a problem, it will be difficult for him to get back to his normal self.Consulting a Mental Health Professional for detox and regular participation in Alcoholic Anonymous would be helpful for him.If his depression continues even after abstaining from Alcohol,the psychiatrist may consider starting him on antidepressants.I would also recommend that you consult a therapist for counselling  for the problems that you are going through because they can cause significant impact on your mental health.Since you are not ready to give up on him at this time, it may be helpful to consider marital therapy if your husband agrees. Good Luck to you.

Avatar universal
You need to get out of the situaiton and stay out (no matter how much he pleads with you) until he has gotten help and has shown over a period of time that he is changed and is well, again.  You said yourself that you don't want to be his victim and you are absolutely right! So, get out now while you are still thinking clearly and are able to stand up for yourself.  Get some support (from family, friends, therapist, support group, shelter, AlAnon, etc.)and make sure you are safe and taken care of.  Good luck.
Avatar universal
Many of your husband's symptoms match my own.  I am in the throes of severe depression.  I don't know that I think men and women really have significant differences in incidence of depression but I DO believe that we sometimes manifest our symptoms differently.

For me, the first step in dealing with my depression was acknowledging that first of all I was depressed, and secondly getting in touch with why.  The second one was hardest for me.  As a male I was not prepared to deal with the childhood abuse issues. I had somewhat buried recollections of being physically and emotionally abused all through my childhood and completely buried being sexually abused at 4, at least on a conscious level. (My psychiatrist has diagnosed me as having 'Post Traumatic Depression'--just a label but it fits).   I think a lot of childhood abuse surfaces later in life in the form of very high levels of depression. Now I'm dealing with this but this investigation sometimes brings on even more intense depression.  It's a process.

I would look at depression as the culprit here rather than stress because it looks as though your husbands behavior/depression is creating the stress rather than the other way around.  Many of the symptoms you describe are classic depression symptoms.

I doubt if anyone can help your husband until he's ready to want that help--until he's ready to dig deep inside himself and face things head on--there's a lot of 'avoidance' in the way you describe him.  But from your perspective you might not be able to wait until that happens.  It does sound like there is some codependence going on (don't you hate all this psycho babble--still it's useful if it helps understand things).  For your sake I think you need to stand your ground and NOT be the victim of abuse--mental or physical.
Avatar universal

The first husband sounds like he has become under the grips of alcoholism which can cause all of those symtoms you described, panic, abusive behaviour,etc. It sounds like he chose the bottle to solve his stress initially and it got way out of hand.

He should seek help to get off the booze and then his attitude may change for the better and he may find things going better for him when he is sober.

If he refuses to seek help, then there is nothing you can do but to try Al-a-non or dump him.

Many alcoholics are like Jekyl and Hyde when it comes to drunkeness and sobriety.
Avatar universal
Your whole story sounds just like my past life, i went through the abuse, the 18 yrs on the job, the drinking, the negative attitude, the lets blame everyone but ourselves thing, the try to make me feel psycho thing..but i knew in my heart i was a good person and had to get myself out of that situation.  I was married for 25yrs and now divorced 1yr and i have never been happier.  Of course the ex still begs me to go back ...but nooo way i am finally enjoying life.  I would never tell anyone to get out of a marriage but i can just about guarantee you your husband will never change, i begged mine to go for counseling and all but he wouldn't until i actually went and filed for divorce but then it was too late he had already tore out my heart piece by piece and there was nothing left.  So do yourself a favor and as much as i am sure it will hurt, you really need to move on you will see in the end you will ask yourself why did i put up with all that for so long ?  Good luck hope all goes well.
Avatar universal
Sounds like you both need to get psychological counselling just as soon as you can get an appointment with a credible therapist.  You didn't say how old you both were; but from reading your letter, it sounds like you both are in your 40s or 50s.  Am I correct?  Anyway...whether I am or not is really irrelevant.  Depression and Anxiety can kill.  Treat both illnesses with the same caution and healthy fear as you would a loaded gun in the hands of someone who plans on using it.

Get help for both of you.  This is not just HIS problem.  This problem is shared.

There isn't any advice on methods of "making him stop" that anyone (other than a licensed, practicing, credible psychotherapist) can give you on the internet that will be helpful to you on a long-term basis.  Get counselling and get it now!!!

Good luck, and you, your husband, and your family are in my prayers.
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