Avatar universal

How to get help?

I met my husband and started dating him in high school. We are now in our late 40's have been married for 25 years, and have three sons.

My husband has always been great, a little quirky, and a little inflexible, but it was workable. Over the last wo years he has:

gotten very angry about things that happened 30 years ago in high school
wakened me at night to yell at me
was sexually aggressive
sent topless photos of me to strangers on internet
became very very angry when he saw a text I wrote to a friend indicating he was in a bad mood
restricts me from texting friend, cries when thinking about her, thinks that I want to leave him for her (this is irrational, I am not a lesbian.)
Cries a lot

We go to an IMAGO therapy sessions and have learned how to have "imago" dialogues, but at times he insists on dialoging in night etc.
I was able to get him to a psychiatrist but he refuses to take meds for depression, and refuses to tell me what the psychiatrist says, except that it is all my fault.
Sometimes he seems teary and aologetic, and loving  and at other times very angry at me.
My mom died in May, and he has cried more than me and I resent dealing with him while I'm grieving.
I resent that he says it's my fault he did those things (pictures and aggression, controlling behavior) and has never apologized but demands I apologize for things like texting my friend.

I am trying to get to an individual therapist. Does anyone have any input? I do love my husband, but I don't know how to help him.

3 Responses
Avatar universal
Assuming this is an accurate portrayal of what's going on, and I don't say this in any doubt but only because whenever someone complains about someone else we don't have that someone else's side of it, but assuming this is what's happening, it's not something you can solve for your husband.  From your description it might not be depression, it might be bipolar disorder, and that's a whole other kettle of fish.  There's no way for you or us to know, and if your husband doesn't recognize something is going to pieces in his life he isn't going to seek help in a way that can actually help him.  So the first thing to do is make him well aware of this, and one way to do that is for you to tell him, with love, that something is going on and it's not who he has been, and it would also be helpful if others in his family and friends also have seen this and can tell him the same.  Having mental illness feels very very lonely, and for many of us, the first thing that happens is we start losing our friends and family.  Most people just can't handle it, and so we become quite isolated even if we don't want to.  Now, most people who experience chronic mental illness get it when they're in their late teens to their thirties, so if this is happening at this late date in life the first question I would want to know is if something dramatic happened in his life that might have triggered this.  But what you and he need is a diagnosis, because without one you can't come up with a treatment plan.  Bipolar, which I raise because you're describing some pretty dramatic mood changes, is a psychosis, and requires medication.  Depression can be fixed with therapy, but of course only if the patient is willing to work hard at it and recognizes there's a problem and you can find a psychologist good enough to make a difference.  That can take more than one try.  If he is deteriorating rapidly and can't function in life very well medication might be necessary as well, and you  do describe a deteriorating situation.  Therapy takes time.  Medication doesn't cure anything in mental illness, but it can mitigate the symptoms and do it more quickly than therapy, but it can't cure it.  Often that's the best we can do, but when we're lucky enough to fix it in therapy it tends to stay fixed and we aren't stuck on the medication merry-go-round, but again, therapy can't cure true bipolar disorder.  There are also a number of physiological problems that can cause symptoms that look like mental illness but aren't, and when it starts this late in life that needs to be addressed by the most thorough exam with a physician you can get.  Some possible causes are thyroid problems, blood sugar problems, medications, nutritional deficiencies and inability of the body to properly utilize nutrients, and many other physiological problems.  You can't fix that by treating a mental problem.  The truth is, again if this is what's happening, it is your husband, not you, who needs the therapist.  And you can't help him if he doesn't believe he has a problem, so if you love him enough you have to find a way to convince him this isn't who he is.  Now, I will say, resenting someone for crying more than you are about a loss of someone he must have known pretty well if you've been married that long, that sounds like a problem you're having, not him.  He may very well be grieving too, though I can't know how deep his relationship with your Mom was.  You know that a lot better than I do.  Some of the things you've mentioned are really awful things for him to do and harmful for you, so this has to be resolved soon for your own safety.  That's harsh, but you can't let him start putting stuff about you out over the internet and if he's getting physically aggressive without your consent, that's pretty bad, too.  If this is what's happening, you have to make him see that either he gets help now or you have no choice but to leave until he does to protect yourself.  I'm so sorry this is happening to you.  It's really hard to live with those of us who have mental problems, but even worse when you become a target of it.  You can't let that go on.  You're welcome to show him all the replies you're going to get here, it might trigger something in him.  Something has to.  But again, at his age, something has to have happened, and if you can figure out what, and it could be so many things that go wrong in the human body, it will help both of you more quickly than if you can't.  All the best.
973741 tn?1342342773
Wow.  Sweetie, that's a lot.  Do you have kids with him?  How long have you been together.  Honestly, woman to woman, he sounds terribly unstable.  And if this progresses, I'm not sure he would be safe to stay with.  He's careening into dangerous territory from being irrationally jealous, trying to isolate you and not controlling his anger.  Has he ever hit you?  

I do not think anyone should have to stay in or be in a relationship where there is a safety issue or just living with someone that is unstable and not working on it fully.  I would not be okay with this situation in my home.

I understand your resentment as well. This was YOUR mother.  His emotions seem out of balance.  He may be sad for sure, but his duty as your spouse is to comfort YOU at this great loss.  This seems all about him. Would make me resentful too.  

I totally agree that it's hard to deal with those we love having mental health problems but even worse when you are the target of it.  That's not sustainable.  We are not punching bags.  We should not have to be in that position.  

You must feel very alone right now.  I'm sorry.  Here to talk any time.
How are you doing, hon?  Any update on things?  We;ll be here when you need us!
13167 tn?1327194124
I think he needs to be checked for frontotemporal dementia before you attempt things like behavior therapies.  

This onset of a complete behavior change,  and aggression,  and inappropriate behavior,  are the red flag symptoms.  Best wishes.

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