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Struggling to cope

Community Member

My 60yr old husband has worked FIFO for 10yrs, finishing up in March this year after a very stressful role. He has always suffered anxiety, hypochondria, insomnia, food issues and mild OCD in varying degrees over the years. Throughout the FIFO years he has been moody and gets angry at the smallest thing. My daughter (his step daughter) and I have treaded very carefully when he was home and it was often a relief when he went back to work because of the moods. He is unpredictable, his tone of voice is hard to decipher and doesn't provide any clue. My 82yr old Mum has also come to live with us as she cannot support herself. It has caused a lot of problems. She and my hubby don't get on, their "quirky and not so endearing ways" clash big time but I keep hoping each will just accept the way the other is but I feel like I am constantly building bridges to keep the peace. I work 3 jobs to keep money coming in, care for my daughter, Mum (has had 2 strokes since last Xmas) and my husband, who also has a painful knee. Hubby does little around the house except play darts and read books. He cooks 3 evening meals a week and mops the floors weekly and empty's the kitchen bin obsessively! He thinks this is how he's going to live his life out and as long as everyone does things his way, it will all be ok.
If I suggest things are not ok - he immediately gets defensive, passive aggressive, laughs things off, says something horrible then says he was just joking - don't you know me by now Darls? Apparently I only ever want things my way, I always need to be right etc. None of us are perfect and I accept, yes, I want the towels folded a certain way so they fit in the linen cupboard! He refuses to fold anything now.

Last year he saw a psych for depression but behaved as if there was nothing wrong so as a result it was a waste of time. Why don't psychs ask to see other family members to get a fuller picture? The latest thing...Mum's cat was unfortunately attacking a bird in the garden. He got angry, threw his boot at it. He missed. The following Silver Chain came to visit Mum. She took ages to answer the door, our 2 dogs were barking away and he ends up yelling at them and gets angry. Mum comes through, compliments him on his boot throwing but asked him to not do it again, that she would try supervise the cat better whilst outside. He took the request badly and said she was telling him what to do infront of a stranger in his house...he told her he would kill the cat next time.

6 Replies 6

Community Member

Hi Westernrosella,

Firstly, welcome to the forums.

I am sorry to read what you are currently going through. This is sort of hard to give advice on as it seems the issues aren't directly with yourself but more so with your husband. I can see the stress this is causing you and you are trying your hardest to balance everything. It is so hard to change someone's ways and I always say try and talk to them first but you have done that and it didn't really help currently. Regarding when he saw the psychologist, was it just for one session? They usually won't ask to see other family members due to them I'd assume not wanting to step on their current patients privacy and needs. It may be something where you would see your own psychologist and chat to them about all of this as you do seem to be carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders.

I am sorry my advice is not great, I just wanted to reach out with some support for you.

Please, post back as much as you like, we are always happy to talk.

My best for you,


Hi Jay,
I really appreciate your response. I think I do need to talk with someone about it all...to get some help to deal with it and maybe help the situation better than I seem to be able to do now. I feel emotionally drained and just would like to run away at the moment 😞

Hi Westernrosella,

I understand, there seems to be a lot going on in your life and the feeling of running away is valid but not one that should be taken, facing these things head on is the way to gain strength from it all, even when it feels like there may not be strength to gain from this but there is always is. I think speaking to a professional may also help you understand it all and give you ways to deal with it as well.

My best,


hello Westernrosella, I'm pleased Jay has been talking with you and that's great.
As he has said it can be difficult to offer any advice, but that won't stop us trying.
I understand where you are at the moment and appreciate your circumstances, caught between a rock and a hard place, but you won't be able to please both your mother and husband at the same time and the more you try the worse you are going to be, and that's certainly not fair to you.
I think his doctor who is probably yours as well, should be telling him that he needs help, which he is unable to give him, except for medication, particularly mentioning all of what he seems to be suffering from, and it's important that he does, this will carry more weight than what you say to him.
It would be good if you can go with him and when he starts to deny that anything is wrong, then butt in and start talking, your husband maybe annoyed, then so be it, however the psychologist will take notice.
It seems as though you've got the world on your shoulders working 3 jobs, trying to keep the peace as well as sort out any problems that happen daily, wow, it's a lot for you to handle on your own.
I don't know whether your hubby is still working, but what it all boils down to is that you need to see a psychologist yourself, and I only mean this in a nice way, and whether your doctor suggest putting you on an antidepressant is up to them, but again it maybe worth doing for a little while. Geoff.

Hi Geoff and Jay,

Thanks for the replies. I had an interesting conversation with hubby today. He can be so spot on sometimes yet others so far off the mark it's incredible. I will see if talking with someone helps me help us all. We went to counseling many years ago, probably for similar reasons and it helped so I'm hoping that may be a solution.
I'm not sure I need medication - I feel perfectly ok away from home because I'm not second guessing someones reactions all the time.
Thanks for the support guys x

Hi Westernrosella,

I think that is a great attitude and if helping yourself helps all of you then it is a win-win to a degree. I do hope it all goes well for you.

My best,