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Can anyone identity these behaviours

Community Member


I just I suppose wanted some advice on what these behaviours are. I've learned to just accept them and I suppose the wanting to have them named is a way of making sense of things for ourselves. But they baffle me in some ways. If I had a bit more understanding about them I might be able to be more understanding. NOTE: My husband does have PTSD, not the debilitating part of it which he endured 2006 but the residual part of it as stated by Psychs last year when our marriage came crashing down. His moods have been steadily been getting worse again, I feel over last 6 months. But he claims he doesn't know about them, or aware of them.

Scenario - My husband gets into a car with his daughter and her friend, his daughter is driving. Because my husband is diabetic and I was aware of how little he'd eaten I grabbed a trail mix and walked outside to give to him. So I stand at the door expecting him to wind down the window, he doesn't. I wait a few seconds then open the door myself and say "normally when someone is standing at the door it means they want to talk to you". (yes I was a bit annoyed). His response is "ohhh, but I couldn't give into you".

Scenario - My husband will say something of general interest and if I indicate that I already knew he'll say "you didn't know that, I just told you" or "don't 'yeah' like you already knew, you didn't know". This happens quite often.

Scenario - Random times, when he's more sullen, he just gives me a look of disdain.

Scenario - A few crumbs (literally) are on kitchen bench. He says "you girls are so disgusting". Meaning daughter and myself

Scenario - He is now retired and I work part-time. So I'm cleaning up after dinner he'll say "no you don't do that, you're the one working now I do the dishes". This is him in his more up mood. Since he's been down a little, he hasn't done the dishes in weeks.

Scenario - Im sick , it took him 4 days before he was free enough to say "how are you today babe".

He is not an empathetic person or very compassionate but tends to show things with money. He shows his kindness this way. Such as when I was sick, day 3 he said "you should stay home from work tomorrow". That's his way I suppose of saying I care. What I've found extremely challenging is the difference or changes in opinions and values depending on which person I get. His response to one thing will be one way, but if he's in his down mood, his opinion will be different. ????

8 Replies 8

Community Member
Just sounds like a bloke who is struggling to accept that he is no longer the primary provider in the house, due to his inability to work and cope with normal day to day interaction

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Livedevine,

Your questions about your husband's behaviour would be best asked of a psychologist, Dr or some other professional. Even then, you might not receive a clear and definitive answer.

When people I know do and say things that upset me, I generally try to not take any notice or not let my buttons be pushed.

That doesn't always happen. Only recently I had quite a blow out because I didn't catch my breathe before I reacted.

It is not easy to understand another person's behaviour. I have my own mental health issues and half the time I don't know why I react and behave the way I do!

Hope you can find some answers and also find ways of coping.

Cheers from Dools


I believe there are stresses relating to that which are separate and weve talked about those but these things mostly happened prior.

Hi Dools

Thank you. Yes i suppose they would be better answered by a professional. Ive spent my whole life just remaining calm and trying to not take on board. But have felt lately when hes being disrespectful to me i need to speak up. I dont dishonour him or speak to him rudely. He needs to honour me but ive worn it to protect him cos i know hes in pain. But thats not healthy for me.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi livedivine,

I was in an abusive relationship for many years, he was physically abusive at times, but it was the emotional/mental abuse that I found the hardest to deal with. In the end, I found confronting him about his behaviors at the time they were occurring the most effective, if he used a condescending tone I would say “please don’t talk down to me like that” or “I don’t appreciate you sneering at me when you speak to me”. Many times he would try and tell me that I had thin skin or it was just a joke, but I would just reply “jokes are funny, I know how to spot a joke by now” or say “I don’t accept that”. I think when people use things like that they don’t expect to be called out on it, and if they know they are going to get called out every time, then maybe they’ll think twice about it. I think it’s only if you show that it’s gotten to you, have they achieved their goal. It’s a hard way to live though.

Thank you very much. I havent been calling him out on it lately as much cos i didnt want to make it worse cos i know its coming from his pain. But im wearing it, to protect him. I on friday decided to honour myself by speaking up. I cant fix him or help him. But i deserve to not be disrespected. Ive seen him change when people are around then when we are alone again he just goes back to being cold and distant. And nothing had happened, no fight. This shows he does have control.

Hi Livedivine,

Good for you! I definitely encourage you to support your partner during this time, but it should never be at your expense. Abuse should never be the price you pay for loving someone. You don’t have to be confrontational but I think establishing clear boundaries of what you will and what you won’t accept sets things out clearly. If he knows that he will get pulled up on it each time, he may actually think about the things he says a bit more before he says them. And like you said, it’s not a lack of control if he can control himself and hide this behavior around other people, which means that deep down he understands it’s not ok. Regardless of the struggles we are all going through, it is noone’s place to ever take it out on another person, particularly someone we love.

Hi Livedivine and All,

It surprises and concerns me sometimes how I talk to my husband when I am depressed, in pain, anxious or concerned about something.

Why we do these things I don't know. It seems easy to let out our frustrations on the people who are closest to us. Not that this is okay by any means! I wish I didn't do it and do apologise for it.

Yes, it is important to set boundaries and to express what is okay and what isn't. As one who suffers from not being able to hold my tongue all of the time, I do realise how much I can hurt others! Hopefully your partner will become more aware.

Open communication and being able to say "sorry" helps! Cheers from Dools