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Husband is controlling and moody

Community Member

First time poster.

My husband can be incredibly moody. I often feel like he treats me disrespectfully, he doesn't listen to what I have to say as he always thinks his opinions/ideas/concerns are far more valid than mine. He gets really angry really quickly and talks down to me, swears at me, points his finger at me and basically just shrugs off anything I am trying to tell him that I am feeling. He takes exception if I try to tell him what is making me feel the way I do and takes EVERYTHING as a personal attack. Then he shuts off from the entire 'conversation' and gives me the silent treatment for however long it takes him to calm down. He NEVER apologises. I feel that he is a really high conflict person.

If we disagree about something to do with the kids (discipline, schooling etc) then he takes it upon himself to email the school without consulting me first or disciplines the kids the way he wants to without discussing it with me (we have very different ideas about discipline). He always wants to be in control, in charge, the boss. I dont fee that he ever takes my thoughts or feelings into consideration. He just pushes to do what he wants.

Of late I have noticed that I feel anxious most of the time...I feel like I am always walking on eggshells around him so we dont have another argument about something.

I dont want my children to grow up in a broken family. I want to try and manage this, I just dont know what to do. There is NO WAY he will attend any type of counselling because he wont admit to having a problem. I always feel that his wants are most important to him and what I think or want is 'stupid' or doesnt matter.

I dont want his irrational mood swings to affect the kids - they are THE MOST important things in this world to me.

Can anyone help me manage this?

9 Replies 9

Community Member

Hi there. If you don't think he'll go to counselling with you - I'd go to counselling myself and get advice on how to get him to join you. I mean you're describing a text book personality disorder here with your husband's behaviour, but it would be inappropriate for an internet stranger like me to talk on this too much.

If you're worried about where to go next, I'd be getting some expert help for yourself first and foremost. Hopefully you can then get help to develop a plan of attack on how you can manage your relationship with your husband/hopefully get him into marriage counselling

How long has he been moody for? Has he explained why he's like he is? Is there a common theme to his needs that always seem to take priority over yours??

Thank you so much for the reply.

There isn't a specific need that makes him act this way.... It could be about anything. If I try to explain to him how his behaviour makes me feel he claims I 'attacked him' - which his he latest situation.... He is currently giving me true silent treatment and just being nasty and mean. I sound like such a why her hurt I don't know how else to describe it.

He will never go to counselling. He wouldn't admit that he was ever a problem. Everything is always somehow my fault.... Every fight is because I apparently start it. I'm not someone who likes conflict. I pretty much get treated like dirt and it's deeply hurtful considering how supportive and understanding I am of him in other scenarios.

I feel like I'm reaching the end of my tether with it. I feel like waking out but I could never take the kids away from their dad.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

HiSimfa and welcome to Beyondblue.

Can l ask how long has your husband been moody? It will help me respond more thoroughly to your post?

My husband has depression and 'walking on eggshells' was a daily occurrence. He took most of what l said as an attack and retreated to arguing on every point and making life uncomfortable for myself and our son. The only way to know if your husband has a mental health concern would be to see a GP who can recommend a psychologist or psychiatrist. As you have pointed out, this is an impossibility. Have you thought about seeking respite? Spending a couple of days away to clear your head and decide if you can continue with your current lifestyle. This might provide you with some clarity on your next steps.

You also mentioned that you don't want your boys to grow up in a broken family, but are you happy for them to live in an environment where their father disrespects their Mum? I had to take this into consideration, for my son would observe in the background and l found after a time, he started to mimick his father's behaviour, and that hurt very deeply.

It is time for you as you deserve the respect that he is not giving as a caring and understanding wife.

Carmela has a good point, and it's something I have seriously asked myself before. Sure, I never wanted a broken up family - but seriously, what are we teaching our children? Not only is it ok to have arguing unhappy parents, but also its ok to tolerate abuse. Because that's essentially what it is - abuse. It's something you're going to have to face eventually. And your starting to do that now. Somehow you need to gather the courage to tackle this head on, to get expert help yourself to assist you in facing this challenge. You need help and support to create firm boundaries, to stand up for yourself and if necessary provide your husband with an ultimatum - he gets help, including the both of you getting marriage counselling, or you're out of there.

You don't have to take your kids away from their dad. If he is active in their lives then there is no reason why you can't work out an agreement for shared care. Going by what your saying he'd probably make things as difficult as possible for you to leave or negotiate a divorce with the kids. Regardless that shouldn't stop you - but you will beed help. So start by going to your GP and go from there. Please come back here and we'll provide you with as much support as we can. But you have to move on this, ok?

Yes, You are right...it is emotional abuse and I totally get that.

I will go and speak to my GP and see what her thoughts are. Its just difficult because if I approach him to ask him to seek help he will once again just take it as a personal attack. I dont know that he suffers depression exactly, its more of a high conflict personality I think. He is always writing complaints, picking apart situations until he can whinge or take exception to something. I am sooooooo far from being like that which is why I guess it causes conflict between the 2 of us.

He also brings everything back to him...whether its something good "I told you to do that! That was my idea" or something bad - its all about him and how it affects him....doesnt seem to matter how it affects me.

He has always been moody.....sometimes he just has a roll where he has mood swings for a time and then for a long stretch nothing happens.....but then something will set him off again. I told him how stressed and anxious I have been regarding a recent issue...instead of even trying to understand my point of view I got "You have been sitting on this for weeks and ambush me with it now??? You arent listening to what I am saying!!" etc etc....

Everything is always on his terms.....he gets to calm down in his own time....I just have to put up with him until he gets over it. If I ever want to feel angry about something he dismisses me as being stupid or takes it personally and turns it around on me more or less.

As for clearing my head.....He was away for a week and it was the most relaxed I have felt in a very long time. I didnt stress about anything and I was able to chill out. I realise that should be telling me something. And it does....Its taking a first step thats the hardest. I am just an anxious bundle of emotions and nerves at the moment.

I really appreciate your advice and responses.

Community Member
HI Simfa, I cannot offer any solutions but I can empathise with you. My husband sounds similar to yours in many ways in that he doesnt respect me and when he gets angry with me, swears at me, puts me down and speaks to me in a very nasty tone of voice. He emotionally abuses me but doesnt acknowledge this in any way. I've been married to him for 27 years and cannot face a future with him, I'll have to get divorced at some stage which I am dreading as I'm not in a good financial position. Ive stayed with him for the sake of the kids who are adults now but dont have jobs. We dont fight all the time but the kids know we dont love one another. We rarely do anything together as husband and wife although we do go out for birthday meals as a family. I've even been on holidays by myself without him. Are you in a position to do such a thing? You could go on a tour overseas for a short period of time if your husband is prepared to look after the kids for a bit. It might give you a much needed break. Just a thought. My husband and I havent touched one another in years. I know what it's like to be trapped in an unhealthy relationship with your husband and not be able to get out of the situation. I dont know how old your husband is but a psychologist told me that men go through "andropause", the equivalent to female menopause. Im totally bored with my husband and cannot wait for the day that I get away from him. Counselling didnt work with us but it may with you if you can manage to convince your husband that it would be a good idea. I hope something happens to improve your situation. Best of luck!

Simfa, your husband sounds like he has a personality disorder. It might be best to get out of the relationship. As mothers we all want the best for our kids and would lie down on train tracks for them, I get that and feel the same. But staying with an emotionally sbusive husnand is bad for you and bad for them. I know lots of kids from divorced families who are very happy and well functioning. Don't stay with your husband for the sake of the kids. It's not fair on you. You deserve better. Some counselling may help you reach a good decision.

Sometimes we can be with someone for so long that our self confidence can be worn away, especially if our partner has a very strong personality and is a black and white thinker. My husband is both of those. I can't win an argument with him. Whenever we argue he makes me feel like it's my fault. But I can't leave him because he's got cancer.

Community Member

Hi Simfa

Sorry I am little late - But please listen carefully ****

Everyone is unique in this world and every experience is different, these all responses above are not related to your situations at all for the following reasons.

1) They are not in your shoe or can never understand what's happening with your husband.

2) You have to make a balance between what you want and what your family or husband wants. If you are living in a family you are protected and most of the issues are away, which you no need to think.

I am not trying to say to ignore his behavior, but try to understand him. It's not easy and maybe not a right fit. But again I am against broken family situation. Give him a chance. Maybe there is some small communication gap. Maybe he has too much financial pressure or employment pressure or maybe some hidden issue. Try to talk to him in a loving way and give him the support so that he cant talk little more.

Nowadays I think pretty much 90% people are having pyscho issues this way or that way. We need to think differently. Apply forgiveness, add some love. There are some responsibilities from his side. Check how he responds to those responsibilities like mortgage or finance or if there are extra issues at house maintenance, does he take them seriously for you and your kids safety and happiness. if the answer is yes. Then never ever think about separation. he loves you but not able to reflect or not able to communicate to you.

Mostly we are not able to communicate as per the understanding of the other person. We can't speak and other cant hear and sometimes other can hear but only words but can't get the same feeling or emotions what we want to communicate. Life is complex and hence the challenges. Make small targets like one day with happiness and love within the family and try to increase it to a week or month.

I hope it will help.

I find myself in somehow similar situation as SimFa. My husband will never realise he is abusing me emotionally. I feel drained. im a cry baby, i cry a lot when he hurts me. I'm so hurt that I cant say a word and he keeps asking me what went wrong and why am I crying? As if all those hursh words and shouts he threw at me was something he didnt notice ! he never makes it up, but he has his good moments too. Its just the bad ones are too strong to cheer me up. He has a tendency to shout at shopkeepers too. His friends and family knows about his anger, my husband always claims he is never angry for no reason . But the reasons can be as silly as my nail colours didnt match with my dress that he bought me! Problem is, he never says it when he thinks what im doing isnt satisfactory for him. If he did, for the sake of avoiding his anger, I would listen to him and do as he please. He comesup when I have already done it without any intention to hurt him, or even realising it what i did had any potential to trigger him.

I love him, i want to grow old with him. But i fear, he is draining my love....

im sorry for my awful writing skill.